“The United States does not have a King’s army. President Obama’s unilateral choice to use U.S. military force in Libya is an affront to our Constitution.” – Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Maryland.
Advertisement – story continues below
Barack Obama has gotten away with subjecting a wide swath of national life to unelected czars, bankrupting the country through unconstitutional spending, ignoring judge’s orders, and running roughshod over states rights. Now, the Czar-in-Chief has decided he wants the full royal treatment. He has sent U.S. soldiers to fight in the Libyan civil war without asking for Congressional authorization, as required by the U.S. Constitution. King Obama’s undeclared war on Libya is the logical extension of his decision to rule by decree on the homefront – lawless, destructive, unconstitutional,
Illegal, and Impeachable.
The U.S. Constitution restricts the warmaking power to Congress. Article I, Section 8 gives the legislative branch alone ability to “declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal” and “calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”
Advertisement – story continues below
This is as the Founding Fathers intended. “The father of the Constitution,” James Madison, praised “the fundamental doctrine of the constitution, that the power to declare war including the power of judging of the causes of war is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature: that the executive has no right, in any case to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war…In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department.” Madison declared the reason this is true: “the trust and the temptation would be too great for any one man.”
It is certainly too much temptation for our president, who has launched
King Obama’s War.
When it became clear last fall that Democrats would lose control of the House, White House aides began floating word that Obama would rule through executive orders, regulations, and federal fiats after the elections. The Center for American Progress drafted a blueprint for Obama to rule by decree. The Huffington Post reported matter-of-factly Obama “will use executive authority when blocked by Congress,” and Politico virtually begged him to do so. Even in the middle of the lame duck power grab, he made good on his word. The FCC passed Net Neutrality, although it lacks Congressional authorization to do so. Now Obama is taking his power grab overseas.
Over the weekend, Obama ordered U.S. troops to launch Operation Odyssey Dawn, raining more than 100 Tomahawk missiles onto Libya.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates insists Americans will “hand-off” our role in Libya “in a matter of days.” However, a “hand-off” does not mean we will be free from this humanitarian diversion. Gates assured after those few days, “we will have a military role in the coalition, but we will not have the preeminent role.” American soldiers will kill and die; they just won’t call the shots. This raises the question of command structure, including whether U.S. soldiers will serve under foreign command.
Obama stated he was acting because, “in response to a call for action by the Libyan people and the Arab League, the UN Security Council passed a strong resolution that demands an end to the violence against citizens.” He did not ask Congress for any form of authorization, and waited until after the body went into recess to launch the attack.
In a typically gratuitous insult, Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough hosted a conference call with Congressional leaders, reassuring them of Barack Obama’s “deep respect for Congress in all of these matters.” Republican Congressman Mike Rogers of Michigan recounted, “I wouldn’t call it consultation as much as laying it out.”
Obama wrote a more detailed letter to Congress yesterday, insisting his actions are “consistent with the War Powers Resolution. I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.”
The 1973 War Powers Resolution, passed in the wake of Vietnam, allows the president to place troops into harm’s way for up to 60 days before getting Congressional authorization. However, many legal scholars believe the War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional, as it plainly appears to contradict the Constitutional system. Its provisions have not been fully vetted.
Hypocrisy, Thy Middle Name is Hussein
It might be different if these facts were unknown to Obama. However, in 2007 candidate Obama said:
The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
As commander-in-chief, the president does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the president would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent.
He knows and does not care he is overstepping his authority. The New York Times asked national security adviser Tom Donilon about Obama’s 2007 criteria on Monday. Donilon sidestepped, saying Obama “welcomes the support of Congress in whatever form that they want to express that support.” The Times continued, “Donilon added, Mr. Obama could authorize the operation on his own.”
Thankfully, a growing number of Congressmen in both parties not only reject Obama’s power grab but agree
This War is an Impeachable Offense.
No one has been as forthright as Dennis Kucinich, D-OH, who told Raw Story, “It would appear on its face to be an impeachable offense.” He added, “Now, it doesn’t necessarily follow that simply because a president has committed an impeachable offense that the process should start to impeach and remove him. That’s a whole separate question. But we have to clearly understand what this Constitution is about.” Ralph Nader has similarly said, “Obama should be impeached.”
Kucinich is not the only Democrat to oppose his president. When the bombs began to fall, the media reported strong objections from Congressmen Jerrold Nadler, Donna Edwards, Mike Capuano, Dennis Kucinich, Maxine Waters, Rob Andrews, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Barbara Lee.
On the other side of the aisle, John Boehner released a weak statement pestering Obama to “define for the American people, the Congress, and our troops what the mission in Libya is, better explain what America’s role is in achieving that mission.” With his letter today, Obama can claim he has done so.
However, Rep. Ron Paul has called the action “unconstitutional,” saying it “needs to stop.” Walter Jones, Roscoe Bartlett and others have expressed reservations. Rep. Justin Amash, R-MI, wrote on his FaceBook page, “No United Nations resolution or Congressional act permits the president to circumvent the Constitution.”
It is hardly all Granola-crunching left-wingers and Tea Party Republicans who acknowledge this. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-IN, has declared, “if the Obama administration decides to impose a no-fly zone or take other significant military action in Libya, I believe it should first seek a Congressional debate on a declaration of war under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.”
Even Virginia’s retiring Democratic Senator, Jim Webb, has said, “This isn’t the way our system is supposed to work.” Indeed, it is possible this war is not only unconstitutional but
Illegal Under the UN Charter, Too.
The Washington Times noted in an editorial:
Article 2 section 7 of the UN charter states that, “Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter.” Chapter VII of the charter, which enumerates UN intervention powers, applies only to international breaches of the peace. The December 1981 UN “Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention and Interference in the Internal Affairs of States” reaffirmed this principle with its solemn declaration that, “No State or group of States has the right to intervene or interfere in any form or for any reason whatsoever in the internal and external affairs of other States.”
This may explain why so many other nations are working against this action, including those who initially invited us in.
The True Meaning of “Isolationism”
Barack Obama fancies himself a multilateralist, one who passively waits for “the international community” to move before he acts. This, he believes, will improve America’s image after eight years of Bush unilateralism (the war in Iraq, waged pursuant to more than a dozen UN resolutions). Libya should show the bankruptcy of this way of thinking.
Five days later, all of those nations except Germany have demand a ceasefire. China warns of a U.S.-created “humanitarian disaster.” Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov humiliated visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates by accusing coalition troops of killing civilians, then voicing Russia’s “opposition” to its mission. The Voice of Russia reports today the UN Security Council will “discuss” the resolution on Thursday, focusing “on the way this resolution has been implemented and whether it is truly aimed at protecting the civilians in Libya.”
Well, at least this time we have the support of the Arab League, right? Amr Mussa, secretary of the Arab League, told reporters Sunday, “What has happened in Libya differs from the goal of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not bombing other civilians. From the start we requested only that a no-fly zone be set up to protect Libyan civilians and avert any other developments or additional measures.” Mussa’s musings are not off-point. After all, a “no fly zone” does not require bombing Qaddafi’s private residence or demanding regime change.
The African League also called for an “immediate stop” to the bombardment of Libya.
The only thing worse than alienating the “international community” over a war that was perceived to be in our national interest is alienating the international community over a war that benefits the United States in no discernable way. Yet the United States is waging
A Destructive War
in Libya. Much like Bill Clinton’s intervention in Kosovo, Barack Obama has chosen to fight from the air without first gaining Congressional approval. Clinton succeeded in bombing innocent civilians, Orthodox Christian churches, and the Chinese embassy in the process. He, too, promised the war would be a short affair, and all troops would be home by Christmas…1995. Ultimately, Clinton helped establish an al-Qaeda affiliate in charge of Kosovo.
Now Barack Obama is acting on “humanitarian” motives. In the midst of two additional wars in the Muslim world, and facing trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, the United States has taken sides in a civil war that has nothing to do with our security or well-being.
No one seems to know who the “rebels” America is aiding are or what they want. However, they refer to themselves as “mujahedin,” or “devout” Muslim holy warriors.
For this, the United States is paying richly. The National Journal reports, “the cost for the first day alone of the operation was well over $100 million with the total price tag expected to grow much higher.” Moreover, “Maintaining a coastal no-fly-zone after those first strikes would cost in the range of $30 million to $100 million per week” which is “far less than the $100 million to $300 million estimated weekly cost for patrolling the skies above the entire 680,000-square-mile country.” For this reason, Sen. Lugar has stated, “if American forces go to war in Libya, we should ask Arab League governments and other governments advocating for American military action to pledge resources necessary to pay for it.”
With this kind of “leadership,” it is no wonder politicians are seriously talking about impeachment. Professional pols know this could be serious. This is why some in the Establishment have launched
against Kucinich, Paul, and the Constitution. Sen. Carl Levin, R-MI, has already said he opposes impeachment. Sen. Mark Udall, D-CO, insisted, “Colonel Qaddafi…gave the international community no choice but to act.” And Earl Ofari Hutchinson of the heavily Soros-financed Huffington Post has written, “Impeach Obama Over Libya? You’ve Got to be Kidding.” (He added “Obama’s UN no fly zone” is “cheap, easy, and ultimately effective.”)
Even some conservatives are defending the legality of Obama’s war…by citing the UN Charter, no less.
Obama has launched an unnecessary, unconstitutional, destructive, and costly war on behalf of fundamentalist Muslims and in defiance of Congress, our Founding Fathers, and the American people. It is time for impeachment proceedings to move forward.