Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) is a frequent critic of the president. Lieu served in the military, serving in the JAG corps from 1995-1999 and as a colonel in the US Air Force Reserve from 2000-2016.
Now he’s introduced legislation that would require congressional authorization for nuclear strikes. When asked about his reaction when he first heard Trump’s threat to bring “fire and fury like the world has never seen” to North Korea, he responded,
My first reaction was, “That’s an idiotic statement.” It’s unnecessarily provocative. We know so little about the North Korean regime, we don’t know how they’re going to take that kind of incendiary language. It increases their chances for miscalculation….
I have no idea what he’s thinking. What he’s thinking can change depending on the day of the week. The one thing that he has done in his first six months is massive inconsistency, as well as a series of false and misleading statements.
Lieu says there are no good military options. “We don’t know where all their nuclear weapons are; we don’t even know how many they have. So we have very little intelligence and data about this closed regime.”
In addition, North Korea also has chemical weapons, and they could strike South Korea where 150,000 Americans live, as well as multiple US bases and over 2 million South Koreans in Seoul alone:
When the framers designed the Constitution…they gave the greatest power they knew at that time, the power to declare war, to Congress.
Senator Markey and I believe there is no way that the framers would have allowed one person, the president, to launch thousands of nuclear missiles, and kill hundreds of millions of people in less than hour, without congressional approval. That actually would be war. If you don’t call it war, you basically red out the constitution.
Lieu’s bill doesn’t address the ability of the president to respond in self defense or with a second strike; it just says we shouldn’t be the aggressor and use nuclear weapons first.
If Trump pursues a military option without congressional authorization and it’s not in self-defense, Lieu says, “If he starts a war with North Korea without congressional approval, that would be grounds for impeachment.”
What do you think?
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