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…
Ben Johnson, The White House Watch
When Barack Obama updated Congress on the war in Libya last Friday, he claimed our role is so limited it does not require Congressional authorization. However, on Monday Hillary Clinton told the European press, “Even today, the United States continues to fly 25 percent of all sorties,” and Obama has promised there will be “no let-up.”
Apparently Congress will have no vote on the matter, either. This week, leaders in the House and Senate have refused to vote for or against the authorization of the war, as the Constitution requires.
Although the Founding Fathers vested Congress alone with the power to make war, Obama launched Operation Odyssey Dawn on the approval of the United Nations and the Arab League. Some interpret the 1973 War Powers Resolution to say the president may send soldiers into harm’s way for 60 days before getting Congressional approval, but Congress has passed no authorization 66 days into the war.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Tuesday that the Senate will not vote on the measure before the end of this month.
A spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner told CNN, “No decisions have been made about how to proceed.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was equally passive on Fox News Sunday, saying, “The administration is going to have to decide whether it thinks [the War Powers Resolution] was triggered and we’ll have to respond to that.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday….