Obama Says Libya is Not War, It’s “Noise”

Jim Emerson, FloydReports.com

When asked about his personal war against Libya and criticism about ignoring congress in a blatant disregard of the War Powers Act the President brushed both aside as just “noise”. Obama has no intention to seek congressional approval as required by law. The President wants Americans to ignore the fact that the incursion into Libya was supposed to be a US Lead effort to establish a UN mandated “No Fly Zone” and no more.

He wants us to overlook the fact that this “kinetic military exercise” which started as a NATO air operations is now an overt effort to assassinate Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi.

Congress Strikes Back

In an effort to justify the president’s contempt for the law, legal adviser to the State Department Harold Koh stated “From the outset, we noted that the situation in Libya does not constitute a war”. Outraged, Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) shot back, “When you have an operation that goes on for months, costs billions of dollars, where the United States is providing two-thirds of the troops, even under the NATO fig leaf, where they’re dropping bombs that are killing people, where you’re paying your troops offshore combat pay and there are areas of prospective escalation — something I’ve been trying to get a clear answer from with this administration for several weeks now, and that is the possibility of a ground presence in some form or another, once the Qaddafi regime expires — I would say that’s hostilities.”

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) accused the White House of “sticking a stick in the eye of Congress,” saying it had done “a great disservice to our country.”

On the other hand, Senators John Kerry ( D. Mass.) and John McCain (R. Az.) have passed a resolution supporting the president’s action while asking the House and fellow senators to forget how president Obama didn’t obey….

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Tim Pawlenty: We Need More, Bigger Unconstitutional Wars!

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

In election years, candidates inevitably promise voters they will do more than their opponents. In practice that usually means increased debt-spending and expanding unconstitutional encroachments on liberty. Now one Republican presidential candidate has doubled-down on the most blatantly illegal action of this presidency, saying Barack Obama has not gone far enough in waging war-by-decree in Libya — and those who want to follow the Constitution are bead-wearing hippies bent on dragging America down in disgrace.

On Tuesday, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty gave what he dubbed a “major” foreign policy speech to the Council on Foreign Relations. In it, Pawlenty pouted, “parts of the Republican Party now seem to be trying to out-bid the Democrats in appealing to isolationist sentiments.”

“America already has one political party devoted to decline, retrenchment, and withdrawal,” he said. “It does not need a second one.”

He fleshed out what he meant in the speech — calling on Obama to “commit America’s strength to removing Ghadafi” and recognize the rebels as Libya’s legitimate government. During a question-and-answer session afterward, TPaw agreed with President Obama that the War Powers Resolution “does not apply” to the war in Libya.

In March, Pawlenty told students at Vanderbilt University that getting Congressional authorization for a war, as required by the Constitution and the resolution, is “a very complex matter and it’s not something that lends itself to an easy answer.” He added, “we need to make sure we don’t tie the executive or the commander in chief’s hands so tightly that he or she can’t respond in an emergency quickly or in a situation that deserves and needs a quick response.” Pawlenty told the CFR on Tuesday he would consult with Congress “as a courtesy and gesture of respect.”

His speech and his attack on his fellow Republicans raises (at least) 15 questions this author would like to ask Gov. Pawlenty:

  1. You have stated the War Powers Resolution does not apply to the war in Libya. However, the administration’s best lawyers disagreed with your assessment. Attorney General Eric Holder reportedly sided with them. The highest legal scholar in the administration to hold to your view is Harold Koh, who advocates “transnationalist jurisprudence,” who once branded the United States a member of the “axis of disobedience,” and who often co-authors articles with members of the Center for Constitutional Rights — a pro-terrorist legal house founded by Marxists. How can a self-identified “conservative” find himself to the Left of Eric Holder? If elected, will you rely on the advice of Koh or others of his ideology?
  2. The Founding Fathers clearly placed the war-making power in the hands of Congress alone — in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution as well as their deliberations before its passage and their practice following its adoption. Since the Constitution has not been amended, what legal precedent do you believe suspended and nullified the Founders’ intentions?
  3. Since you do not believe Congressional authorization is necessary to initiate hostilities, at what point, if any, would you consider Congressional authorization necessary to continue military interventions abroad in which American personnel or weapons were killing or attempting to kill foreign nationals (referred to as “hostilities” in the War Powers Resolution)?

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Golfing While the Constitution Burns

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

When Barack Obama and John Boehner played golf this weekend, they played on the same team. How appropriate.

Barack Obama has violated the Constitution’s war-making power – reserved by Article I, Section 8, to Congress – from the moment he sent American troops into harm’s way without Congressional approval. He has been violating the War Powers Resolution since at least the 60th day of that campaign. And he has violated the most liberal reading of that act – the one Boehner has adopted as his own – since this weekend. Yet despite the letter Boehner authored last week, which the media presented as an “ultimatum,” Obama has neither obtained Congressional authorization nor removed our troops. Boehner’s letter weakly supplicated “I sincerely hope the Administration will faithfully comply with the War Powers Resolution,” but at least it seemed to set this weekend as a definitive cut-off point.

The “deadline” has come and gone, and Obama has not answered the most burning questions of the mission’s legality to anyone’s satisfaction. Instead, the president has thumbed his nose at Congress in general, Boehner in particular, and the American people at large, and the Speaker-cum-caddy has made no meaningful response whatsoever.

Obama insists the American role in Libya is too diminutive to constitute “hostilities,” so his action is perfectly legal. White House spokesman Jay Carney repeated his boss’s party line at Monday’s press conference, stating, “the War Powers Resolution does not need to be involved because the ‘hostilities’ clause of that resolution is not met.” However, soldiers in Libya are receiving an additional $25 a month in “imminent danger pay.” American drones still rain missiles down upon military targets. NATO is alternately bombing Muammar Qaddafi’s home and killing the innocent Libyan civilians they are purportedly protecting. (We had to kill the civilians in order to save them?) NATO admitted (at least) one of its bombs went off target on Sunday, killing nine civilians in Tripoli, while allied bombs allegedly killed 15 civilians in Sorman on Monday.

Not to worry, though; Defense Secretary Robert Gates said over the weekend, in a confidence-builder worthy of Churchill, “I think this is going to end OK.” Gates, who once opposed the Libyan adventure, has pulled a 180 on the matter.

Even Obama’s short-term fellow Illinois Senator, Dick Durbin, agrees Libya more than rises to the level of hostilities.

So, too, we have learned, do the best legal minds of Obama’s administration (not a coveted nor much-contested title, I assure you). In overruling his own lawyers, Obama rejected the considered conclusions of Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon’s general counsel, and Caroline Krass, the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). The New York Times reported it is “extraordinarily rare” for any president to overrule the OLC. “Under normal circumstances, the office’s interpretation of the law is legally binding on the executive branch.”

But then, nothing in the Obama administration transpires under “normal circumstances.”

Two former OLC lawyers outlined precisely how unusual the dismissal was….

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Obama, the New Caesar

Jeffrey T. Kuhner, The Washington Times

President Obama has crossed the Rubicon. He now believes – and acts – as if he is above the law; the Constitution no longer applies to him. This is the real meaning behind the U.S. military intervention in Libya. Mr. Obama is abrogating the linchpin of our democracy: the rule of law.

He is violating the War Powers Act. Passed in 1973, the law clearly stipulates that the commander in chief can only deploy U.S. forces for 60 to 90 days without congressional approval. He must then receive authorization from Congress. If he does not, he is usurping legislative authority and expanding the prerogatives of the executive branch – concentrating power in his hands, especially the most important act of all: war. In short, by flagrantly transgressing the War Powers Act, Mr. Obama has sparked a constitutional crisis. (Um, Mr. Kuhner, how about a little credit?BJ.)

House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, is demanding that the Obama administration explain why it has passed the deadline without seeking or getting congressional approval for the Libyan campaign. The White House’s response: Get lost. The administration sent a report to lawmakers defending the NATO-led Libyan war. For Mr. Obama, the War Powers Act does not apply because U.S. forces apparently are not engaged in “sustained hostilities” with troops loyal to strongman Col. Moammar Gadhafi. Moreover, U.S. air and missile strikes are only being conducted in a “supporting” role. Hence, there is no need to have congressional buy-in.

This is postmodern humanitarian interventionism. According to the liberal apparatchiks in the White House, Mr. Obama can bypass Congress simply by redefining “hostilities.” War is no longer war. It is whatever Mr. Obama says it is – or isn’t. George Orwell warned that the perversion of language is the first step on the dark road to authoritarianism.

Mr. Obama’s policy contravenes our national interest, is inept, immoral and illegal. This is why members of Congress are in open revolt. A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, Ohio Democrat, and Rep. Walter B. Jones, North Carolina Republican, have filed a lawsuit demanding that the courts force Mr. Obama to end the intervention in Libya. They are right. It is time Congress reined in an out-of-control administration. There is a growing alliance between conservative constitutionalists and anti-war liberals…

In addition, the hypocrisy of the liberal establishment is stunning. For years, progressives, such as Mr. Obama, railed against President George W. Bush. He was denounced as a “fascist” dictator and compared to Adolf Hitler for his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Bush lied, people died,” went the slogan. Yet, regardless of whether one supported those campaigns or not, Mr. Bush received congressional authorization…

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King Obama Tramples the Law, Continues Libyan War by Decree

Ben Johnson, FloydReports.com

In his official notice to Congress that he had unilaterally sent American soldiers into the Libyan war kinetic action, Barack Obama wrote, “I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution.” Today, he decided the War Powers Resolution is also disposable. In a letter to Congress today Obama declared America’s role in the Libyan civil war is so “limited” that he does not need Congressional authorization, as that law requires. He then asked their support for a measure John Boehner had not even seen. The move is the most recent of a string of Obama actions that bypass Congress to implement his agenda.

The War Powers Resolution allows the president to introduce troops into war for 60 days before either seeking Congressional approval or beginning a 30-day withdrawal.

Those 60 days ended today. However, Congress adjourned this afternoon without providing authorization.

Obama has made clear our troops are staying in the middle of a losing civil war no matter what the members of Congress – or the people who elected them – think.

Only as Congress was ready to adjourn did Obama send a letter to the leaders of both houses supporting a resolution in favor of the war. The measure drafted by Sens. John Kerry, John McCain, Carl Levin, Dianne Feinstein, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Lieberman.

Obama wrote passing the resolution would “underline the U.S. commitment” to this “remarkable” action. As an afterthought, he added it would be “important in the context of our constitutional framework” – not because it is a legal requisite imposed by constitution and statute – but because “it would demonstrate a unity of purpose among the political branches.” If there is a division, the implication is that Obama would continue without such “unity.”

At least one Congressional leader said he had not yet seen the resolution, much less had it been approved. A spokesman for Speaker of the House John Boehner, Michael Steel, told the L.A. Times, “We received the president’s letter but have yet to see the draft resolution it mentions.”

The president concluded the letter with his traditional audacious lie….

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