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MSM, Left, Yawn As The War In Libya Becomes Increasingly Illegal

MSM, Left, Yawn As The War In Libya Becomes Increasingly Illegal

(by Matthew Knee)

As the mainstream media strained its resources and even brought on amateurs to power through Sarah Palin’s old emails for the scandal that wasn’t there, a slow-motion constitutional crisis has been unfolding.

The War Powers Resolution clearly states that president can authorize military action for 60 days without seeking congressional approval. In the absence of congressional approval, the war in question must be wrapped up by the 90 day mark. For the war in Libya, that deadline is Friday.

The Obama administration claims that the war in Libya is too small to count as a war, and that it is not an US action but a NATO action. Congress disagrees. Speaker Boehner informed Obama yesterday of the upcoming deadline, and today 10 congressmen announced their intention to file a lawsuit.

That there is so little coverage of the fact that the president quite likely ignoring both the law and Congress to fight a war of choice is a testament to how far professional journalism has fallen. That the so much of the left is suddenly not that interested in the legality of wars or checking out-of-control presidential power is a testament to the hollowness of their ideals.

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Comments

I'm waiting for one president, of either party, to take this to court. None ever have, sadly.

What happened to all the 'Bush should be impeached for his illegal war' nutjobs?

One would think that the Left would be all over Obama on this one. But then they would have to admit to themselves that they were wrong about The One.

To attack Obama for his misguided failures in the Middle East would be to admit that they made a mistake. The Left has a hard time doing that; they continue to live in a dream world. It's sad.

So true about the MSM. However, members of Congress filing suit, in effect asking the Courts to referee a dispute between the too political branches is a terrible idea for any conservative (or anyone for that matter) even to appear to endorse.

The War Powers Act is almost certainly a legislative encroachment on the Constitutional authority of the Executive vested exclusively in the President. Every President of both parties since passage of the Act has, when pressed, insisted that this is the case. At the same time, most Presidents have avoided a Constitutional impasse by seeking Congressional authorization, as Bush 41 did in the Gulf War and Bush 43 did in the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq. In my view, Obama was mistaken in not seeking similar authorization for the intervention in Libya. His rationales that this was to be a very brief, limited intervention with other nations taking the lead are either outdated or irrelevant.

But mistaken is not the same as wrong. Obama would be quite justified in saying to Congress, you use your powers and leave mine alone. Republicans should be very wary of setting a precedent of support for the War Powers Act, as Boehner seems to be doing. Congress has the power to cut off funds for the Libyan venture. Short of that, it can pass a resolution condemning the action, which would put Democrats' feet to the fire and limit Obama's freedom of action politically.

But invoking the War Powers Act to score points against Obama is a very bad idea.

I am writing as an outsider about the use of terminology.

First of all, the "war" is not illegal from the standpoint of the United Nations. The resolution 1973 stated that they could "use all means possible" to protect the civilians.

If you want to scream but… so many died… I will just say… PROPAGANDA…. the deaths proclaimed by the Gadhafi regime are ficitional at best, even if there are some people who have died. Research and you might discover that a majority of people killed, are in fact killed by Libyan secret police.

Second, when you talk about the USA situation then you can state that taking the action was illicit because the Congressional approval was not sought. In this you would be correct. You should concentrate solely on this aspect.

Third, since March the role of the USA has been minimal. There are no USA boots on the ground (maybe some CIA agents), but there are no Marines. The Air Force is not involved in the sorties except to refuel the British, French and Canadian aircraft. Even Turkey has had a larger role in protecting humanitarian aid ships than the role of the USA.

I see a lot of moaning and bitching but most of it is about unsubstantiated facts.

Fourth point: Denis Kuchinich and co, including the idiot Ron Paul, are going about things the wrong way. This should be a situation where Østupid is brought before the Congress, and he should be questioned under oath. He is clearly in contempt of the laws of the land, and as such he needs to be impeached. The Courts will only laugh at Kuchinich and tell him to go back to nursery school.

J. E. Burke makes excellent points, but the irony of the vast, overwhelming silence emanating from the "anti-war" left is too precious upon which not to remark. Giggle, giggle.

Unfortunately, Teh Won is probably counting on cooler heads in the GOP comprehending the political dichotomy he's created and taking satisfaction on merely making noise but otherwise accepting the status quo.

I concur the WPA is an encroachment on the authority of the President. Then again the ambiguity of Constitution (Commander-in-Chief vs authority to declare war or appropriate money) is designed to establish a friction between the two elected branches.

That being said IMHO the WPA is not constitutional because it allows a congress from four decades ago to bind the actions of a current president in the highest part of foreign policy. With that in mind Mr Boehner is wrong is pursuing a law suit. He should move to cut off funding of this action.

A few points, if I may.

The truth is that most Americans could care less what the UN does as compared to our Constitution. And the Constitution says quite plainly that Congress has the power to declare war,not the president.

The War Powers Act essentially gives the president a window for short operations without Congressional approval and merely codifies how US presidents have behaved throughout our history.A quick strike on Libya or Grenada, OK. For anything else, you get Congresses' approval, either in a resolution or far better, with a formal declaration of war.

Also OzzieAussie, it really doesn't matter how deeply into the hostilities we are.If the US bombed Canberra with an unmanned drone and killed three MPS, would Oz regard it as an act of war? I dare say you would, and you'd be right.

Your fourth point is spot on.Prez Zero needs to be impeached.

Regards,
Rob

If Obama wants to come out and say the law is unconstitutional, and find an appropriate way to take it to court (i.e. argue against someone suing him by saying that the WPA is unconstitutional rather than inapplicable), then he can go right ahead and make his case in the courts. If he honestly believes that the law is unconstitutional, that is a legitimate approach.

What he should not be doing is simply breaking the law based on some highly unpersuasive excuses.

White House Defends U.S. Role in Libya Mission Amid Congressional Backlash

via Fox Headlines..

The White House responded Wednesday to a congressional outcry over U.S. military action in Libya, saying that President Obama has the authority to continue the campaign even without authorization from U.S. lawmakers.

In a detailed, 30-page report sent to Congress, the administration argued that the U.S. has a limited, support role in the NATO-led bombing campaign in Libya. Because U.S. forces are not engaged in sustained fighting and there are no troops on the ground there, the White House says the president is within his U.S. constitutional rights to direct the mission on his own.

The American taxpayers get stuck with the bill..
The White House said that the mission has cost the U.S. $800 million as of early June and estimated that a total of $1.1 billion will be spent through the beginning of September.

I'm waiting for one president, of either party, to take this to court.

I'm not. In fact that would be the exact opposite of what I'm waiting for, which is for a president to stand up to the judiciary and put it in its place, reversing the silent coup that it has executed. The constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution is none of any court's business. The executive branch is not subservient to the judicial one, and does not take orders from it. The president is entitled to his own view of the constitution, and to act on it without approval from anybody else.

First of all, the "war" is not illegal from the standpoint of the United Nations.

Who the hell cares about the United Nations? What has it got to do with anything? The USA is a sovereign country, not a division of the UN; and the legality of any action by its president depends entirely on USAn law. The UN doesn't get a say in the matter.

You should concentrate solely on this aspect.

Nobody has mentioned any other "aspect", because no other "aspects" exist.

since March the role of the USA has been minimal. There are no USA boots on the ground (maybe some CIA agents), but there are no Marines. The Air Force is not involved in the sorties except to refuel the British, French and Canadian aircraft.

How is this relevant? Is the USA at war with Libya or not? If Libya were to bomb New York, would that be a legitimate military attack, or an act of unlawful aggression? It's clear that, under the law of nations, it would be legitimate. The USA and Libya are now at war, and Libya now has every right to attack us in whatever manner it chooses, anywhere in the world. And Obama initiated that state of war, contrary to the constitution.

As for the WPA, it may indeed be unconstitutional, as every president since it was passed has said, but so what? Let's suppose it is unconstitutional and void; it still remains the case that the president has no power to declare war. The fact that the constitution reserves for Congress the power to declare war must mean something; according to those who claim the Commander in Chief has an inherent power to conduct military operations without Congress's approval, how is the Declaration of War clause not a dead letter?

Whether the War Powers Resolution WAS unConstitutional is kind of moot don't you say? If all the Presidents since its adoption have abided by it, it becomes settled Law until someone has the cajones to risk their position as POTUS. So IF the law suit by the group of 10 bipartisan legislators is successful, Obama has literally set himself up for impeachment. I'd say this is a small price to pay to rid ourselves of this lawless man. The fact that NO POTUS since the adoption of the WPR has challenged it in court speaks to how dicey the proposition that its unConstitutional. Yes, that's circular reasoning however, politics does have a corrupting influence on the application of the Law. So if Obama wants to play chicken, I'm all for it.

What's really going on here is Obama is testing the boundaries of how far he can usurp the Law and IF anyone in Congress can stop him. Given his track record of thumbing his nose at the Law, the Libyan adventure is perfectly consistent with his behavior. One only needs to look at his refusal to prosecute the racist New Black Panther Party when they were caught red handed intimidating voters to see that Obama has no regard for the Rule of Law, he believes in the arbitrary application of the Law for political purposes. In other words, its only illegal IF he says so depending if you are his buddy or not.

BTW- Who's to say the WPR isn't what the Founders had in mind with they gave Congress the right to declare war but the POTUS the responsibility to conduct it? All it really does is to codify the unwritten understanding that in order to wage war you must have solid backing from your constituents by presenting your case. 60 days, 90 days, 6 months are totally arbitrary timeframes to come to that understanding. But no one likes the idea of decisions by fiat so the WPR is a reasonable limitation on a right no different than yelling fire in a crowded theater. There is no such thing as total freedom, no matter who you are, all actions are bounded by limits otherwise we have chaos.

Whether the War Powers Resolution WAS unConstitutional is kind of moot don't you say? If all the Presidents since its adoption have abided by it, it becomes settled Law

No, it absolutely doesn't. Just because you refrain for years from calling your neighbour a pig, that doesn't magically make it illegal to do so. If the WPA was unconstitutional then it is unconstitutional and will always be unconstitutional, and therefore not a law. And every single president since it was passed has reiterated the official opinion of the executive branch that it is unconstitutional. The fact that they've all (until now) carefully avoided violating it is neither here nor there.

So IF the law suit by the group of 10 bipartisan legislators is successful, Obama has literally set himself up for impeachment.

What has one thing got to do with another? Each branch is independently charged with upholding the constitution, according to its own understanding of it, not according to that of another branch. If Congress believes he has broken the law then he's already set himself up for impeachment. And if it doesn't then no court's opinion can change that. No court has any business ruling on this, and no court will rule on it.

The fact that NO POTUS since the adoption of the WPR has challenged it in court speaks to how dicey the proposition that its unConstitutional.

No, it speaks to the fact that no court has any business pronouncing on whether it's constitutional or not.

The thing is, though, that the constitutionality of the WPR is a red herring here, because if the WPR is unconstitutional then we return to the legal status before it was passed, which is that only Congress can declare war. So what authority did Obama have to go to war with Libya? His only fig leaf is that we're not really at war with Libya, which is too ridiculous to consider. Bombing the place is an act of war; supplying others who bomb it is also an act of war. Under the law of nations, Libya has every right to strike at us whenever and wherever and however it pleases. So how are we not at war?

What has one thing got to do with another? Each branch is independently charged with upholding the constitution, according to its own understanding of it, not according to that of another branch. If Congress believes he has broken the law then he's already set himself up for impeachment. And if it doesn't then no court's opinion can change that. No court has any business ruling on this, and no court will rule on it.

This is statement absurd on its face, everyone is subject to the Law otherwise no branch of government is liable for breaking it much less upholding it.

This is statement absurd on its face

Right back atcha, pal. Is English perhaps not your native language? Because you show no understanding of the subject at all. Of course everyone is subject to the law; what's that got to do with it? You claimed nothing about the law, you claimed that if the president should lose a law suit he would be setting himself up for impeachment, which is absolutely ridiculous. How can a court's opinion have any impact on whether Congress decides to impeach the President? Neither Congress nor the President is subject to the courts. They are the judicial branch's equals, not its subjects, and they're each entitled to their own understanding of the constitution. That is basic; if you don't understand that then you shouldn't comment at all about US politics.

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