March 20, 2011
Obama Attacks Libya, and Where's Congress?
On the eighth anniversary of the day President George W. Bush ordered U.S. troops into Iraq in 2003, with the full support of the U.S. Congress and majority support from the U.N. Security Council, Barack Obama launched a Tomahawk missile assault on the sovereign nation of Libya with no majority support in the U.N. and without even consulting Congress.
Acting alone while Congress was away on recess, solely at the command of the United Nations and without constitutional authority, Barack Obama dropped over $70 million worth of Tomahawk missiles on Libya -- a dictatorial maneuver to force a regime change in a foreign land.
Under what authority did Obama green-light this dictatorial assault? To be certain, Qadaffi is no prize, but what Obama just did is nevertheless unacceptable. Acting all alone in a truly imperialistic fashion, Obama violated his oath of office, Articles I and II of the U.S. Constitution, and the War Powers Act -- all in one mindless, knee-jerk decision.
Article II, Section II of the U.S. Constitution identifies the U.S. president as the commander-in-chief and the civilian oversight of the U.S. military. But the clause gives the U.S. president no authority to use military might to enforce his political will upon foreign nations.
Article I, Section VIII of the U.S. Constitution bestows the power to declare war solely on the U.S. Congress. It requires both the commander-in-chief and Congress to commit U.S. troops to combat, without which any deployment of troops is wholly unconstitutional.
The 1973 War Powers Act was put in place to prevent a U.S. president from doing exactly what Barack Obama just did.
SEC. 2. (a) It is the purpose of this joint resolution to fulfill the intent of the framers of the Constitution of the United States and insure that the collective judgment of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and to the continued use of such forces in hostilities or in such situations.
A U.S. commander-in-chief can order use of military force under only three specific conditions:
- a declaration of war,
- specific statutory authorization, or
- a national emergency created byan attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.
The U.S. Congress has not declared war against a foreign nation since WWII. But when George W. Bush sent troops into Afghanistan and Iraq following the September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. soil, not only did he consult Congress in advance, but he sought and received specific statutory authorization from Congress before ordering troops into combat. Bush complied with the Constitution and the War Powers Act under conditions (2) and (3). He also had a broad coalition of U.N. partners driven by years of U.N. resolutions defied by Iraq.
In the case of Obama and Libya, none of the three necessary conditions exist.
- Congress did not declare war.
- Congress was not consulted and did not give specific statutory authorization.
- The U.S. was not attacked in any way by Libya, which presented no threat to the U.S. or U.S. assets.
As a result, Barack Obama had no constitutional authority to attack Libya with over $70 million worth of U.S. taxpayer-provided Tomahawks, placing American soldiers in harm's way in yet another war which cannot be justified even by the pursuit of oil.
Obama has acted alone, well beyond the scope and authority of his office and at odds with the national interests of the United States and the Constitution which he took an oath to uphold and defend.
The Washington Times has it right. Even crook Democrat Charlie Rangel has it right, saying he was angry that Congress was not consulted before the military strikes.
Rangel said that he was undecided on whether the military action against Libya was justified but that he thought that lawmakers and their constituents should have had time to weigh in. "Our presidents seem to believe that all we have to do is go to the U.N. and we go to war," Rangel said.
Crazy leftist Dennis Kucinich is asking why the missile strikes are not an impeachable offense. As we go to press, he stands alone.
Although the U.N. apparently has command over Barack Obama, this organization has no command authority over U.S. Armed Forces. Obama used U.S. soldiers illegally and unconstitutionally. These are the facts...
But where is Congress?
Antiwar liberal and libertarian politicians like Ron Paul have attacked President Bush for years on Iraq and Afghanistan, even though Bush openly sought and received congressional authority for both military actions.
Here we have a clear-cut violation and abuse of presidential powers, and where are all the Code Pink, MoveOn.org, Ron Paul antiwar types?
Who in the U.S. Congress -- specifically in the Republican-controlled House -- is going to launch a full-scale investigation into Obama's dictatorial use of military might and begin impeachment proceedings? Who in the US Congress is going to put a stop to the growing insanity?
We have a runaway government acting against the interests of the United States and beyond its legal authority. Does anyone have the backbone to stop it and hold Obama accountable? Will there be an international war crimes trial for Barack Obama?