War in Libya – 77 Days Without Congressional Authorization

NATO bombs hit Tripoli

Maybe American government has put aside concerns over the Constitution once and for all. How else can we explain the United States Armed Forces fighting an unprovoked war in Libya without any congressional authorization? There is bipartisan opposition to the war among members of Congress, which has so far been countered by Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

By the way, President Obama’s defenders claim that the 1973 War Powers Resolution (WPR) gave the President the ability to wage war in Libya for 60 days without congressional authorization. In fact, there is no such unfettered power– as candidate Obama himself pointed out in 2007. Section 1541(c) of the WPR explicitly states that the 60-day grace period applies only to “a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.” Libya never attacked us.

Today is Day 77 of this war, anyway. It’s an illegal war without any doubt or room for argument.

UPDATE: A bipartisan group of congressmen has filed a lawsuit against President Obama.

The lawsuit challenges what the lawmakers see as “the executive branch’s circumvention of Congress and its use of international organizations such as the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to authorize the use of military force abroad, in violation of the Constitution.”

UPDATE: As the Libyan War reaches the 3-month mark, the Obama White House staff has come up with a truly bizarre reason for not obtaining congressional authorization – U.S. operations there are not “hostilities” by the new Obama definition of the word.

  1. #1 by brewski on June 4, 2011 - 11:10 pm

    I suppose we should have all voted for the former presidential candidate who appears to have taken the side of a brutal dictator:
    http://enoughgaddafi.com/?p=752

  2. #2 by Richard Warnick on June 5, 2011 - 10:44 am

    I actually did vote for Cynthia McKinney, not because I thought she would make a good President but because I did not trust Obama, and Utah was guaranteed to go for McCain anyway so why not?

    Hey, at least if McKinney were President we would not be waging war in Libya, and preparing to authorize a permanent worldwide war.

    Of course, the Bush administration led the way in the Gaddafi BFF department…

    Libya’s Qaddafi Gave Condi Rice $212,000 In Gifts, Including A Diamond Ring

  3. #3 by brewski on June 5, 2011 - 1:12 pm

    Yes, if McKInney were president we would be supplying arms to Gadaffi to kill the civilians demanding democracy.

  4. #4 by brewski on June 5, 2011 - 1:15 pm

    Richard,
    As usual, you misstate the facts for your own purposes in a Maddow-eque and Olbermann-esque way. As HuffPo says:

    By law, officials are required to turn such gifts over to the U.S. government, even the brown leather Hermes saddle given to President Bush by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    So any gift by Gadaffi was not to Rice but to the US government. She did not benefit from it. You imply dishonestly otherwise.

  5. #5 by Richard Warnick on June 5, 2011 - 2:18 pm

    brewski–

    I would give credit to Gaddafi for heartfelt friendship because of this:

    “I support my darling black African woman,” he said. “I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders. … Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. … I love her very much. I admire her, and I’m proud of her, because she’s a black woman of African origin.”

    I never implied, and the article I linked to did not imply, that Rice kept any valuable gifts — which would be against the law. The Bush administration was guilty of such major crimes that something like this wouldn’t even be worth mentioning anyway. Like I would say, “they started a war of aggression and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of noncombatants — and stole a diamond ring, too!” The point is that Gaddafi was an admirer.

  6. #6 by cav on June 5, 2011 - 3:17 pm

    I wouldn’t suggest Gaddafi was above irony.

    Also, i think it’s a fairly well accepted notion that whoever becomes the president of the United States of America, by whatever means, will also inherit the momentous bureaucracy and all that entails. Which is not to say the shrill Madam McKinney wouldn’t have given it a good try, but there’s no way any president will alter the essential and very profitable direction our oligarchs have established, even if it means hauling out the extreme blow-back that is occasionally required for maintaining a disciplined population and its ‘leadership’.

    Democracy was a nice idea, but it just isn’t happening.

    .

  7. #7 by Larry Bergan on June 6, 2011 - 3:49 am

    How did this song get lost?

  8. #8 by Richard Warnick on June 15, 2011 - 10:19 am

    A bipartisan group of congressmen has filed a lawsuit against President Obama.

  9. #9 by Larry Bergan on June 15, 2011 - 1:23 pm

    Walter Jones has come a great distance from his “freedom fries” over the years and I am in complete support of somebody who can admit his mistakes.

  10. #10 by Richard Warnick on June 15, 2011 - 1:57 pm

    I often wonder, when elected officials vote for bad stuff. Do they not have a conscience? Don’t they know the consequences? Are they consciously doing wrong in exchange for real/perceived political advantage?

    The same questions could be asked of President Obama, who once claimed to support the Constitution, and then swore to defend it. I never ask whether they know whether it’s illegal, because they do.

  11. #11 by Larry Bergan on June 15, 2011 - 2:05 pm

    Maybe they’re trying to pass on some-kind-of-legacy to their children; like the Koch brothers or the Walmart boys.

    Have no way of knowing. :(

  12. #12 by Richard Warnick on June 15, 2011 - 2:09 pm

    Here’s an example: Michele Bachmann: Let’s repeal clean air and clean water for our children.

    What we need to do is pass the mother of all repeal bills, but it’s the repeal bill that will get a job killing regulations. And I would begin with the EPA, because there is no other agency like the EPA. It should really be renamed the job-killing organization of America.

    She has children, too, lots of them. Does she not care about their future? The Environmental Protection Agency was established by President Nixon, back before Republicans went insane with corporate greed.

  13. #13 by brewski on June 15, 2011 - 2:19 pm

    Nixon was no conservative. He passed Wage and Price controls for godssake.
    http://www.econreview.com/events/wageprice1971b.htm

  14. #14 by Larry Bergan on June 15, 2011 - 2:51 pm

    We need to do away with red lights; starting immediately!

    They’re just slowing us down!

  15. #15 by cav on June 15, 2011 - 3:52 pm

    It is a very fine line between congenital stupid, and well polished lying.

    Cynicism isn’t much more, really, than due caution in the face of a particularly unfortunate reality.

  16. #16 by Richard Warnick on June 15, 2011 - 4:19 pm

    Nixon was not a true Scotsman, if you ask today’s Tea-GOP. But he had the right idea. You see, toxic air and water tend to be just as dangerous to Republicans as to Democrats, or to children who don’t yet know what party they want to vote for when they grow up.

    Same goes for climate change, except some people seem to think their money will protect them while poor people suffer and die.

  17. #17 by brewski on June 15, 2011 - 10:42 pm

    Nixon was more than not a true Scotsman. Wage and price controls aren’t considered legitimate policy any place north of Havana.

  18. #18 by Richard Warnick on June 16, 2011 - 7:18 am

    So brewski, are you with Michele on abolishing the EPA?

  19. #19 by Richard Warnick on June 16, 2011 - 8:50 am

    The Obama White House staff has come up with a truly bizarre reason for not obtaining congressional authorization for the war in Libya – U.S. operations there are not “hostilities” by the new Obama definition of the word.

  20. #20 by brewski on June 16, 2011 - 9:43 am

    No I am not. But a better way to get clean air is not to legislate technologies and pollution emissions, but to tax pollution so that the THE RESULTS WILL BE THE SAME without the bureaucracy and complexity.

  21. #21 by Ken on June 19, 2011 - 12:30 pm

    As you know I don’t give a flip about the argument that a war is illegal based on International law when Congress has given approval. Congress is all that is needed for a war to be legitimate and no need to get a mother may I from International debating societies like the UN, but this is different,. This war is illegal in all sense of the word because Congress has not approved it and even some of Obama’s top lawyers agree. Obama is in breach of the Constitution and thus has no Constitutional authority to wage war in this situation.

  22. #22 by Richard Warnick on June 19, 2011 - 6:17 pm

    If you’re implying that Congress authorized the unprovoked invasion of Iraq without a UN Security Council resolution, that’s a stretch at best.

    But we’re together on this one. None of the Obama administration’s arguments can overcome the fact that Gaddafi posed a threat only to people in Libya — just as Saddam was dangerous only to Iraqis.

  23. #23 by brewski on June 19, 2011 - 8:19 pm

    just as Saddam was dangerous only to Iraqis.

    you might have a few Kuwaitis who disagree with you on that one, not to mention a few Iranians as well as all the members of the Arab League.

    And remind me again of which UN Security Council resolutions authorized Clinton’s invasion of Somalia and bombings of Serbia.

  24. #24 by brewski on June 19, 2011 - 8:21 pm

    the censorship police have me in moderation.

  25. #25 by Larry Bergan on June 19, 2011 - 8:48 pm

    There are no censorship police on OneUtah. I released your comment at #23.

    These things crop up even for top-posters; believe me!

  26. #26 by brewski on June 19, 2011 - 10:07 pm

    Larry, that sort of answer is worthy of Diebold’s marketing department.

  27. #27 by Larry Bergan on June 19, 2011 - 11:18 pm

    brewski:

    You seem to discount this statement:

    just as Saddam was dangerous only to Iraqis.

    All of the countries immediately surrounding Iraq did not support the invasion by Dick Cheney. Why do you think that was? Could it have been something to do with oil? Do you think if the guy who actually won the 2000 election in America had been given the seat, we would have had these kinds of problems?

    Well, OK, there’s that Joe Lieberman thing, but at least oil wouldn’t have been the OBVIOUS problem. I don’t think the Middle East’s big concern was climate change at the time we Shocked-And-Awed.

  28. #28 by Richard Warnick on June 19, 2011 - 11:37 pm

    Congressional Republicans have a history of not wanting to authorize military action when the commander-in-chief is a Democrat, and indeed President Clinton overstepped his authority a couple of times. Now that another Democrat is in the White House some, but not all, Republicans are again growing their hair long, putting on tie-dyed T-shirts and flashing the peace sign.

    However, you’re wrong if you’re attempting to imply that the 1993 action in Somalia wasn’t pursuant to a UN Security Council resolution. Check out UN Security Council Resolution 794.

    NATO justified the actions in Kosovo and Serbia under Article 4 of its charter. There was no specific UN Security Council resolution (Russia would have vetoed), however the UN Charter permits offensive operations for collective security.

  29. #29 by Larry Bergan on June 20, 2011 - 12:53 am

    Now that another Democrat is in the White House some, but not all, Republicans are again growing their hair long, putting on tie-dyed T-shirts and flashing the peace sign.

    With not a stitch of musical talent or even a basic understanding of the golden rule. Some of us think the golden rule is tantamount to safety.

    One gun is a threat. Two guns are a guaranteed shootout. Either scenario is a VERY bad way to solve an argument. Total disarmament is impossible, so I’m left perplexed.

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