Monday, March 21, 2011

International alliance divided over Libya command. Is it Constitutional?

Constitution of the United States of AmericaImage by The U.S. National Archives via FlickrOne thing we don't seem to be hearing about at all in the news media today is, that we have a President that doesn't seem to think he has to go through Congress to make MAJOR decisions like this.
That's right our so called leader did not go through Congress to go to War.
The Congress shall have Power:
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water; 
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; 
To provide and maintain a Navy; 
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; 
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; 
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress....


The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States....
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur....

 "If this was so grave, Congress is still in session. The President could have said 'don't go home, I've got to talk to you about what's happening here. I may need your approval.' This is about the Constitution and if we don't abide by our Constitution, everything falls apart here. This is about the Constitution, not about whether you like President Obama or not. I like President Obama, but I love the Constitution," Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said on FOX News this morning.

This has even seemed to have woke up a few on the Democratic side as well.
See more here.
Over the past 48 hours, there’s been much commentary about President Obama’s failure to obtain Congressional approval for American involvement in the actions against Libya to enforce UNSCR 1973 on both sides of the political aisle. Some Democrats in Congress were quick to speak out against the President’s decision, which they said he lacked legal authority to make:
A hard-core group of liberal House Democrats is questioning the constitutionality of U.S. missile strikes against Libya, with one lawmaker raising the prospect of impeachment during a Democratic Caucus conference call on Saturday.
Reps. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Donna Edwards (Md.), Mike Capuano (Mass.), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Rob Andrews (N.J.), Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) “all strongly raised objections to the constitutionality of the president’s actions” during that call, said two Democratic lawmakers who took part.
Kucinich, who wanted to bring impeachment articles against both former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney over Iraq — only to be blocked by his own leadership — asked why the U.S. missile strikes aren’t impeachable offenses….
Saturday’s conference call was organized by Rep. John Larson (Conn.), chairman of the Democratic Caucus and the fourth-highest ranking party leader. Larson has called for Obama to seek congressional approval before committing the United States to any anti-Qadhafi military operation.
“They consulted the Arab League. They consulted the United Nations. They did not consult the United States Congress,” one Democrat lawmaker said of the White House. “They’re creating wreckage, and they can’t obviate that by saying there are no boots on the ground. … There aren’t boots on the ground; there are Tomahawks in the air.”
These liberal Democrats have been joined in their position by Republicans ranging from Richard Lugar to National Review’s Andrew McCarthy who wrote yesterday:
The Security Council is powerless to “authorize” the U.S. military to do a damned thing. The validity of American combat operations is a matter of American law, and that means Congress must authorize them.
Read more here.
News from Yahoo today. Lets leave the States and explain it away out there. Does this seem fishy at all?

President Barack Obama, speaking in Santiago, Chile on Monday, defended his decision to order U.S. strikes against Libyan military targets, and insisted that the mission is clear.
And like a parade of Pentagon officials the past few days, Obama insisted that the United States' lead military role will be turned over—"in days, not weeks"—to an international command of which the United States will be just one part.
The only problem: None of the countries in the international coalition can yet agree on to whom or how the United States should hand off responsibilities.
The sense of urgency among White House officials to resolve the command dispute is profound: with each hour the U.S. remains in charge of yet another Middle East military intervention, Congress steps up criticism that Obama went to war in Libya without first getting its blessing, nor defining precisely what the end-game will be. (On Monday, Obama sent Congress official notification that he had ordered the U.S. military two days earlier to commence operations "to prevent humanitarian catastrophe" in Libya and support the international coalition implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1973.)
Below, an explainer on the military mission in Libya, the dispute over who should command it after its initial phase, and whether the military is concerned about mission creep.
What is the U.S. military task in Libya?
The military mission in Libya is implementing U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973, which calls for Gadhafi's forces to pull back from rebel-held towns, and the establishment of a no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians from attack by Gadhafi, and for civilians to be allowed access to food, water and other humanitarian supplies.
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