“American troops out of uniform pose a double-edged sword for Mr. Biden. If they are unarmed and out of uniform, he can legally deny that the U.S. has “boots on the ground.” But because they are out of uniform and supporting hostilities, they can legally be shot at by Russian troops, captured and executed as spies working for Ukraine. This is how the U.S. began its disastrous and criminal war in Vietnam,” Andrew P. Napolitano, a former professor of law and judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey who has published nine books on the U.S. Constitution, writes with great concern.
Congress has authorized the president to spend up to $100 billion in borrowed money to support the doomed Ukraine forces. He has thus far wasted about half of that in donated military equipment and cash.
Much of the military equipment has come not from American surplus. but from America’s storehouses of equipment for self-defense. And much of the equipment the U.S. has furnished is so sophisticated that Ukraine troops are in Oklahoma learning to use, maintain and repair it. Some of it is so sophisticated that U.S. troops are on the ground in Ukraine, out of uniform, instructing Ukrainians on using and maintaining the equipment. And some of the equipment requires American soldiers to target Russian troops and dispatch missiles at them.
Congress cannot fund a war involving Americans that it has not declared, as the constitutional language is clear. Moreover, Russian ground forces are about to expand by somewhere between 300,000 and 500,000. Those troops will simply overwhelm the Ukraine forces and their American instructors, no matter what equipment the U.S. provides and operates.
But the use of troops out of uniform and the expenditure of $50 billion without a clear, attainable goal is not the worst decision Mr. Biden has made in this conflict. All of that waste is well known.
What was not known until last weeks was the act of war the Biden administration waged against Germany and Russia. Against Germany? Yes.
German and Russian industry built a natural gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea called the Nord Stream Pipeline. The pipeline enabled the Russian government to sell and deliver cheap Russian natural gas to German utilities.
According to the famed investigative journalist Seymour Hersh — he of My Lai massacre, Watergate, CIA spying, American torture and Pulitzer Prize fame — Mr. Biden ordered a joint CIA/Navy operation last June to prepare the pipeline for detonation. Navy SEALs dove down to the seabed and lined the pipeline with explosives.
In September, Mr. Biden gave the order to the CIA to deploy the explosives, which it did, according to Mr. Hersh’s reporting, causing $10 billion in damage to the pipeline and much more to the German and Russian economies and to the Baltics.
If true, this was an act of war on an ally, Germany, and on a putative adversary, but one with which the U.S. has never been at war, Russia.
Can the president legally deploy violence to another country, whether ally or adversary, without a clear military need? In a word, no.
The War Powers Resolution of 1973 requires the president to notify Congress of all violent military deployments. Not only was this violence without notice, it was not defensive, nor was it intended to save lives in immediate harm from a foreign military. And it was against an ally.
Stated differently, attacking Germany and Russia so as to weaken their economies, knowing there was no moral military purpose to it, has made this act of war a criminal act — a war crime — as well.
But if Mr. Hersh’s reporting is true, Mr. Biden will be the first known American president to use the CIA and the Navy to attack an ally. Isn’t it mysterious that German authorities have been silent about this attack? And where is the mainstream American media? My guess is that Mr. Hersh embarrassed the Germans and the American media.
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