Rep. Findley, Key Author of War Powers Resolution, and Congressional Critic of Israel, Dies

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Rep. Paul Findley died last week and will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The New York Times this week ran an obituary: “Paul Findley, Congressman Behind War Powers Act, Dies at 98.” The Times wrote: “The main author of the resolution that limited a president’s ability to wage war, he also made overtures to the Arab world and earned the opposition of the pro-Israel lobby. …

“He supported civil rights and … named the first black person in the 20th century — 15-year-old Frank Mitchell of Springfield [Illinois] — to the position of page in the House of Representatives.” The Washington Post reports: “Mr. Findley was the publisher of a small-town weekly newspaper when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1960 from a district once represented by Abraham Lincoln. He often invoked Lincoln in his campaign rallies and could quote his speeches from memory.” The federal building in Springfield, Illinois is named for Findley.

Meanwhile, Rep. Steny Hoyer just came back from Israel with 40 other pro-Israeli congressional Democrats. Israel is prohibiting Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering Israel — or the Palestinian territories it occupies, where Tlaib has family — because of their alleged support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at
Professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Boyle’s books include Destroying World Order. He was a longtime associate of Findley, including appearing on several news releases together on the War Powers Resolution. He was also an early advocate of using the boycott, divestment and sanctions tactics employed successfully against apartheid South Africa against Israel.

He said today: “Findley was a Republican, but the pro-Israeli lobby effectively destroyed his political career, as they would for Republican Illinois Sen. Charles Percy during the same period. You thus have both the Democrats and Republicans dominated by pro-Israeli individuals, like Hoyer or now Sen. Dick Durbin, who defeated Findley in 1982.

“Similarly, we’ve seen an escalation of exactly what Findley tried to stop with the War Powers Resolution: President after president attacking other countries illegally, in violation of the Constitution, the War Powers Resolution and international law. The issues he tried to tackle were central to trying to preserve the rule of law and ensuring that the U.S. not use force illegally. He wanted the U.S. to be the ‘Land of the Free and Home of the Brave,’ not relentlessly pursuing murderous wars that ultimately make our own citizens less safe.”

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