Millions of people, including 122,000 Americans,
have been killed in wars started illegally
by U.S. presidents since 1950.


The Vietnam Wall, Washington, D.C., with names of 58,195 killed in Indochina—a monument to presidential lawlessness.


Until President Truman plunged the United States into three years of bloodshed in Korea without authorization by Congress, nobody in government had ever suggested that a president had the right to decide to wage war.
Later presidents followed his false doctrine: Johnson and Nixon (warring in Indochina), Reagan (Latin America, Middle East), Bush I (Panama, Iraq), Clinton (Iraq, Bosnia, Colombia, Yugoslavia, etc.), Bush II (Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan), Obama (Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Syria), and Trump (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Niger, etc.).

As though a dictator, the executive orders acts of war, invasions, bombings, and assassinations anywhere he wants—yet Congress and courts timidly avoid curbing his illicit power. Life and death are in the hands of one man with nuclear weapons at his fingertips.

No matter how many of those high crimes have been committed, they remain unlawful. The Supreme Court has said illegality does not become legal by repetition—though it ducks the issue of the war power.

Constitution says only Congress can start a war

As Hamilton wrote, the power to declare—i.e. start—war is the “exclusive province of Congress.” The commander-in-chief of the army and navy is “nothing more than . . . first General and Admiral….” And Madison wrote that the war decision “is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature…. The executive has no right … to decide the question.” Many writings prove the intention of the Constitution’s framers. (See quotations at the end.)

They knew that foreign rulers were prone to start wars and resolved that in this country no one man would have the tyrannical power to cause war’s death, destruction, and suffering. Before any military action could begin, except for repelling of a sudden attack, the Senate and the House of Representatives would have to vote to authorize it.
But since the Korean war, presidents have initiated a multitude of military actions, bringing us the tyranny over life and death that the framers dreaded.
In the hope of returning to constitutional principles, ending White House lawlessness, and preventing unlawful wars, the War and Law League (WALL) was formed in March of 1998.

Among highlights of 20 years, WALL:

  • Sent letters to all 535 members of Congress, urging them to assert their constitutional power, after Bill Clinton attacked Yugoslavia.

  • Drafted a bill against executive wars, introduced by Rep. Ron Paul.

  • Opposed Bush Jr.’s undeclared war on Afghans from the start in 2001 and petitioned Congress and UN against his impending Iraq attack.

  • Started “Postcards for Peace”: got people to write thousands of antiwar cards to officials, after anthrax attacks held up letters to DC.

  • Sought congressional investigation of heinous U.S. combat practices, e.g., sacrificing many civilians to get a few fighters.

  • Issued the paper “Termination of Treaties,” leading to a lawsuit by 30 congressmen against Bush’s ending of a missile treaty on his own.

  • Twice surveyed war views of presidential candidates; among respondents were the 2004 Democratic finalists, Kerry and Edwards.

  • Proposed ending the Yugoslav, Afghan, Iraq, Syria etc. wars under the War Powers Resolution, 5(c); the Afghan war drew a House vote.

  • Set up Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and the lecture by Dr. Helen Caldicott.

  • Exposed the illegality of presidential war-making from Truman to Trump on this web site.

Since the Korean war (1950-53), our presidents have initiated foreign military actions in the hundreds. To prevent such lawless acts is to avoid most potential U.S. wars, to save countless lives.

Join us. End presidential tyranny over life and death!

War and Law League (WALL)

A nonpartisan, all-volunteer organization, upholding the Constitution and treaties of the United States in matters of war and peace. It defies any warfare begun by a president and not first declared by Congress, or that is aggressive and not strictly to defend our land from an armed attack.


War and Law League, P.O. Box 42-7237, San Francisco, California 94142 E-mail:

 What the Founders of the U.S.A. Wrote About the Constitution’s War Power


Alexander Hamilton: “… ‘The Congress shall have power to declare war’; the plain meaning of which is, that it is the peculiar and exclusive duty of Congress, when the nation is at peace, to change that state into a state of war ….” (“Lucius Crassus” 1, 1801.)

“The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States …. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first General and Admiral of the Confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war and the raising and regulating of fleets and armies — all of which by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature.” (The Federalist, 69, 1788.)


Thomas Jefferson: “We have already given in example one effectual check to the dog of war by transferring the power of letting him loose from the Executive to the Legislative body ….” (Letter to Madison, 1789.)

“Considering that Congress alone is constitutionally invested with the power of changing our condition from peace to war, I have thought it my duty to await their authority for using force in any degree which could be avoided.” (Message to Congress, 1805.)


James Madison: “…The power to declare war …is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature;…the executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.” (1793.)

“The constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war to the Legislature.” (Letter to Jefferson, c. 1798.)

William Paterson framer and Supreme Court justice): “ … It is the exclusive province of congress to change a state of peace into a state of war.” (United States v. Smith, 1806.)


George Washington:  “The Constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure.” (Letter to Gen. William Moultrie, 1793.)


James Wilson: (framer and ratifier): “This system will not hurry us into war; it is calculated to guard against it. It will not be in the power of a single man, or a single body of men, to involve us in such distress; for the important power of declaring war is vested in the legislature at large ….” (To the Pennsylvania ratifying convention, 1787.)