Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Boehner Gives Obama An Ultimatum On Libya As Congressmen File Suit

House Speaker John Boehner sent a letter Tuesday to Presiodent Obama warning him that he will be in violation of the War Powers Act by this Sunday, which marks the 90th day of U.S. military involvement in the country:

June 14, 2011

Dear Mr. President:

Five days from now, our country will reach the 90-day mark from the notification to Congress regarding the commencement of the military operation in Libya, which began on March 18, 2011. On June 3, 2011, the House passed a resolution which, among other provisions, made clear that the Administration has not asked for, nor received, Congressional authorization of the mission in Libya. Therefore, it would appear that in five days, the Administration will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution unless it asks for and receives authorization from Congress or withdraws all U.S. troops and resources from the mission.

Since the mission began, the Administration has provided tactical operational briefings to the House of Representatives, but the White House has systematically avoided requesting a formal authorization for its action. It has simultaneously sought, however, to portray that its actions are consistent with the War Powers Resolution. The combination of these actions has left many Members of Congress, as well as the American people, frustrated by the lack of clarity over the Administration’s strategic policies, by a refusal to acknowledge and respect the role of the Congress, and by a refusal to comply with the basic tenets of the War Powers Resolution.

You took an oath before the American people on January 20, 2009 in which you swore to “faithfully execute the Office of President” and to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” The Constitution requires the President to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” and one of those laws is the War Powers Resolution, which requires an approving action by Congress or withdrawal within 90 days from the notification of a military operation. Given the mission you have ordered to the U.S. Armed Forces with respect to Libya and the text of the War Powers Resolution, the House is left to conclude that you have made one of two determinations: either you have concluded the War Powers Resolution does not apply to the mission in Libya, or you have determined the War Powers Resolution is contrary to the Constitution. The House, and the American people whom we represent, deserve to know the determination you have made.

Therefore, on behalf of the institution and the American people, I must ask you the following questions: Have you or your Administration conducted the legal analysis to justify your position as to whether your Administration views itself to be in compliance with the War Powers Resolution so that it may continue current operations, absent formal Congressional support or authorization, once the 90-day mark is reached? Assuming you conducted that analysis, was it with the consensus view of all stakeholders of the relevant Departments in the Executive branch? In addition, has there been an introduction of a new set of facts or circumstances which would have changed the legal analysis the Office of Legal Counsel released on April 1, 2011? Given the gravity of the constitutional and statutory questions involved, I request your answer by Friday, June 17, 2011.

From the beginning, the House of Representatives has sought to balance two equal imperatives regarding Libya which have been in direct contradiction: the House of Representatives takes seriously America’s leadership role in the world; our country’s interests in the region; and the commitments to and from its steadfast allies. At the same time, strong concern and opposition exists to the use of military force when the military mission, by design, cannot secure a U.S. strategic policy objective. The ongoing, deeply divisive debate originated with a lack of genuine consultation prior to commencement of operations and has been further exacerbated by the lack of visibility and leadership from you and your Administration.

I respect your authority as Commander-in-Chief, though I remain deeply concerned the Congress has not been provided answers from the Executive branch to fundamental questions regarding the Libya mission necessary for us to fulfill our equally important Constitutional responsibilities. I believe in the moral leadership our country can and should exhibit, especially during such a transformational time in the Middle East. I sincerely hope the Administration will faithfully comply with the War Powers Resolution and the requests made by the House of Representatives, and that you will use your unique authority as our President to engage the American people regarding our mission in Libya.

John A. Boehner

I think it's an entirely reasonable request considering that we're putting American lives at risk and spending money we don't have in an adventure on behalf of one side in a civil war without even a clear idea of whom we're helping. And there's not even the rationale that intervening in Libya is vital to US security - because it wasn't and isn't.

This was about three things: a wag the dog moment for the Prevaricator-in-Chief,rescuing the multimillion dollar oil deals of the Brits and French once they decided to support the rebels and then the tide turned in favor of Khaddaffi, and to provide Obama with a precedent for the UN's 'responsibility to protect(R2P) doctrine.

At the same time Boehner's letter went out, a group of ten bi-partisan Congressmen led by Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) filed a lawsuit against the president, charging that he acted illegally when he approved U.S military action against Libya and bypassed Congress.

According to Kucinich, the suit will challenge the Obama administration’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.”

It also will ask a judge to prohibit the White House from conducting a war without congressional approval.

The group also includes Democrats John Conyers of Michigan and Michael Capuano of Massachusetts and Republicans Howard Coble of North Carolina, John Duncan of Tennessee, Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, Ron Paul of Texas, Tim Johnson of Illinois and Dan Burton of Indiana.

With all the high crimes and misdemeanors President Obama has likely committed while in office, it would be ironic if he ended up getting impeached over Libya...with a slew of anti-War Democrats leading the charge.

please helps me write more gooder!


louielouie said...

i'd vote for monkey boy if he ran against boehner.
the institution formerly known as the US congress is about to get a teachable moment.
......and no one will notice..........

B.Poster said...

If this is about oil, the British and French made one of the stupidest moves in the history of nation states and we've made an equally stupid move by supporting them in this. Furthermore the British and the French especailly the French will stab us in the back without hesitation any time it suits them. We are their "strategic competitor." At the very least, we ought to ask "what's in it for us?"

It should have been obvious to any one with an IQ above 50 that the Khaddaffi forces were going to prevail in this conflict and whatever initial success the rebels may have had was only because the Khaddaffi forces were caught by surprise. Essentially the rebels don't have the strategic depth, the training, or the funding to be able to prevail against the Khaddaffi forces. This should have been obvious to anyone from the start.

The only way for the rebels to prevail would have been if they got signifcant help from outside. Given that as you point out correctly we don't have the money to do this. In addition, we don't have the available forces or equipment. The British and the Frendh don't have the personnel either to carry this out.

With our current level of commitment we can only delay the inevitable dereat of the rebels. We cannot prevent it. All of this was obvious to anyone with an IQ above 50 from the start.

Why was it not obvious to NATO officals? I think it has to do with ideology. I think they got caught up in r2p or somehting like that and did not even realize they don't have the resources to actually "protect" nor do they even know who they are "protecting!!"

If this was about oil, they already had oil deals in place with the Khaddaffi governemnt. All they had to do was stay out of the way and Khaddaffi's forces prevail in a couple of weeks or so and the oil deals are safe. If I were a Briton or French, I'd be livid at my government for sacrificing vital oil deals for some nebulous what ever we are doing. As an American, I'm livid at my governmetn for squandering precious resources on something that doesn't advance our interests. Not only that, Khaddaffi and his forces are now even angrier at us than they were before. The prudent course of action would be to redeploy to defensible positions rather to continue wasting resources on unwinnable propositions.