White House on War Powers Deadline: 'Limited' US Role in Libya Means No Need to Get Congressional Authorization
ABC NEWS LINK: HEREIn an effort to satisfy those arguing he needs to seek congressional authorization to continue US military activity in accordance with the War Powers Resolution, President Obama wrote a letter to congressional leaders this afternoon suggesting that the role is now so “limited” he does not need to seek congressional approval.
“Since April 4,” the president wrote, “U.S. participation has consisted of: (1) non-kinetic support to the NATO-led operation, including intelligence, logistical support, and search and rescue assistance; (2) aircraft that have assisted in the suppression and destruction of air defenses in support of the no-fly zone; and (3) since April 23, precision strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles against a limited set of clearly defined targets in support of the NATO-led coalition's efforts.”
In a 2007 interview with The Boston Globe, then Senator and Presidential candidate Obama saidBOSTON GLOBE LINK“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.”
In the above article he goes on to say “As for the specific question about bombing suspected nuclear sites, I recently introduced S.J. Res. 23, which states in part that “any offensive military action taken by the United States against Iran must be explicitly authorized by Congress.”
Candidate Obama seemed to think that it was important that the American people knew what his positions were and went so far as to speak about the trust the American people must have in someone whom they might elect President. Here are his words again:
Do you think it is important for all would-be presidents to answer questions like these before voters decide which one to entrust with the powers of the presidency? What would you say about any rival candidate who refuses to answer such questions?In lite of the fact that he started a war Libya, what has changed since then, other than the fact that he is now President and there aren’t any real anti-war protests anymore? President Obama NOW seems to think that the United Nations is the legislative body that has the authority to authorize the United States to go to war rather than Congress.Yes, these are essential questions that all the candidates should answer. Any President takes an oath to, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." The American people need to know where we stand on these issues before they entrust us with this responsibility – particularly at a time when our laws, our traditions, and our Constitution have been repeatedly challenged by this Administration.
Obama is not alone in his flip-floppery either. Vice President Biden, then Senator and Presidential candidate Biden, threatened to impeach then President Bush if he bombed Iran’s nuclear sites claiming that the President has no Constitutional authority to take America to war unless we are attacked or there is proof that we are about to be attacked (see videos below).
What has changed? Why aren’t the American people outraged? I suspect it is because the majority of Americans want to support this President and want to see him succeed so badly that they allow him to lull them into utter ignorance by twisting words and coming up with phrases like “non-kinetic operations” and “reduce spending in the tax code”. If you plan to raise taxes and you call it “to reduce spending in the tax code”, you aren’t being honest and real with the American people.
However, when you take the country to war and claim that it isn’t a war because we are now only performing “non-kinetic operations”, you are basically saying that Osama Bin Laden was never at war with the US because he only engaged in “non-kinetic operations” aren’t you?