Virtually every president before President Obama has viewed the 1973 War Powers Act as unconstitutional, says historian Michael Beschloss. In a conversation with Renee Montagne, Beschloss analyzes Obama's decision to seek congressional approval for military action in Syria — and what it says about his presidency.
The Pentagon has been focusing on the Syrian military's command-and-control sites, which remain the most likely focus of any U.S. strike. But military planners have begun to add new targets, such as mobile missile launchers, that could require more than cruise missiles — and make the mission more complicated.
President Obama has asked Congress for the authority to attack, citing evidence that Syria's government used chemical weapons against its own people. Planners must tailor strikes that are not too aggressive to satisfy legislators who don't want the Syria crisis to escalate. But they must develop plans that would be robust enough to make a difference in the war to satisfy others.
President Obama will argue his case to the nation Tuesday evening that the U.S. should make a retaliatory strike in Syria, and the Senate is set to vote on his resolution Wednesday. Host Rachel Martin talks with Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who has not decided which way he will vote.
The agency has access to individuals' most private information, including banking reports, medical records and email, reports Jeff Larson of ProPublica. Host Scott Simon speaks to Larson, whose article appeared in Friday's New York Times and Guardian newspapers.
Documents revealed by former government contractor Edward Snowden show the National Security Agency has the ability to crack encryption that is supposed to keep communications and data private. The NSA has also worked with companies to insert vulnerabilities into their products to make them hackable by the NSA. Robert Siegel talks with Stuart Millar, U.S. deputy editor for The Guardian.
Republican congressional leaders support an American military strike in Syria, but the rank-and-file membership is divided. GOP Congressmen Doug Collins of Georgia and Luke Messer of Indiana serve on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. They talk about the debate in the Republican caucus.
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