Libyan rebels visit White House - ask for money

Rick Moran
The battlefield is a stalemate but that hasn't stopped the Libyan Transitional National Council from coming to Washington with its hand out.

We're already supporting them to the tune of $53 million in humanitarian aid and another $25 million in "non-lethal" military support. But rebel spokesman Mahmoud Jebril has bigger plans; he wants up to $180 million of the billions in Gaddafi's assets that have been frozen by US banks.

Fox News:

Though the rebels still suffer deep divisions over their leadership and purpose and seem to lack popular support outside of their tribal homeland in the east, Jebril makes a good face for the group in the U.S. He is American educated and was formerly a professor of planning at the University of Pittsburgh.The rebels have also been savvy about playing the political game in the U.S. They have used some of the funds provided them by foreign governments (including the U.S.) to hire Democratic lobbyists in Washington for more money, this time not limited to "non-lethal" aid. By hiring veterans of the Clinton administration to press their case, the rebels are presumably looking to further cement their support from the former president's wife, one of the strongest proponents of U.S. entry into the war.

The groundwork will pay off today when Jebril is welcomed into the White House for a meeting with National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, the greatest recognition shown so far to the ragtag group.

While hawks like Sen. John McCain have dismissed the relevance of the War Powers Act, the administration and its allies in the Senate aren't looking to test that theory. A measure authorizing the war would be helpful and having the rebels make their case to the more sympathetic

Democrats in Congress might prevent a fusion of conservative and liberal opponents to the war.

If the liberals can be convinced that Libyan rebels are modern-day Jeffersons (or at least Guevaras) then they will be less likely to join the conservatives who believe Obama has overstepped his presidential authority by joining the war.

The War Powers Act gives the president 60 days before he has to ask congress for permission to continue any conflict he starts. That deadline will come on May 18 and there is no sign that anyone - supporter or critic - is willing to invoke the Act's stipulations. In the past, no court has touched the issue, preferring to let the executive and legislative branches battle it out among themselves.

Critics of the War Powers Act have always claimed it was simple grandstanding by the Democratic Congress in the aftermath of Viet Nam. If congress is unwilling to enforce the act for both GOP and Democratic presidents, that would seem to be a good analysis.





The battlefield is a stalemate but that hasn't stopped the Libyan Transitional National Council from coming to Washington with its hand out.

We're already supporting them to the tune of $53 million in humanitarian aid and another $25 million in "non-lethal" military support. But rebel spokesman Mahmoud Jebril has bigger plans; he wants up to $180 million of the billions in Gaddafi's assets that have been frozen by US banks.

Fox News:

Though the rebels still suffer deep divisions over their leadership and purpose and seem to lack popular support outside of their tribal homeland in the east, Jebril makes a good face for the group in the U.S. He is American educated and was formerly a professor of planning at the University of Pittsburgh.

The rebels have also been savvy about playing the political game in the U.S. They have used some of the funds provided them by foreign governments (including the U.S.) to hire Democratic lobbyists in Washington for more money, this time not limited to "non-lethal" aid. By hiring veterans of the Clinton administration to press their case, the rebels are presumably looking to further cement their support from the former president's wife, one of the strongest proponents of U.S. entry into the war.

The groundwork will pay off today when Jebril is welcomed into the White House for a meeting with National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, the greatest recognition shown so far to the ragtag group.

While hawks like Sen. John McCain have dismissed the relevance of the War Powers Act, the administration and its allies in the Senate aren't looking to test that theory. A measure authorizing the war would be helpful and having the rebels make their case to the more sympathetic

Democrats in Congress might prevent a fusion of conservative and liberal opponents to the war.

If the liberals can be convinced that Libyan rebels are modern-day Jeffersons (or at least Guevaras) then they will be less likely to join the conservatives who believe Obama has overstepped his presidential authority by joining the war.

The War Powers Act gives the president 60 days before he has to ask congress for permission to continue any conflict he starts. That deadline will come on May 18 and there is no sign that anyone - supporter or critic - is willing to invoke the Act's stipulations. In the past, no court has touched the issue, preferring to let the executive and legislative branches battle it out among themselves.

Critics of the War Powers Act have always claimed it was simple grandstanding by the Democratic Congress in the aftermath of Viet Nam. If congress is unwilling to enforce the act for both GOP and Democratic presidents, that would seem to be a good analysis.