Patterico's Pontifications

6/20/2011

More on Obama’s Willful Defiance of the Constituton

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:51 am



[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

This broke on Friday, where stories go to die, so I decided to sit on it over the weekend.  Still this New York Times piece is devastating:

President Obama rejected the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department when he decided that he had the legal authority to continue American military participation in the air war in Libya without Congressional authorization, according to officials familiar with internal administration deliberations.

Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon general counsel, and Caroline D. Krass, the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, had told the White House that they believed that the United States military’s activities in the NATO-led air war amounted to “hostilities.” Under the War Powers Resolution, that would have required Mr. Obama to terminate or scale back the mission after May 20.

But Mr. Obama decided instead to adopt the legal analysis of several other senior members of his legal team — including the White House counsel, Robert Bauer, and the State Department legal adviser, Harold H. Koh — who argued that the United States military’s activities fell short of “hostilities.” Under that view, Mr. Obama needed no permission from Congress to continue the mission unchanged.

Presidents have the legal authority to override the legal conclusions of the Office of Legal Counsel and to act in a manner that is contrary to its advice, but it is extraordinarily rare for that to happen. Under normal circumstances, the office’s interpretation of the law is legally binding on the executive branch.

Do read the whole thing.  As Allahpundit put it on Friday:

What they’re basically saying here, without actually saying it, is that the president’s own lawyers told him that the Libya war is illegal and he responded by looking around for other lawyers who’d tell him what he wanted to hear.

Of course the most amazing thing about that is that in conducting this war the President has rejected his own legal advice on the subject.  So it’s not just “hey, these lawyers tell me this is wrong.  Let me get a second opinion.”  It’s: “hey, these lawyers tell me this is wrong and I agree.  Let me get a second opinion.”  That is why I call this a willful violation of the constitution—because it is wrong, and he knows it is wrong.

The good news is that

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, last week said Congress could cut funding for U.S. military involvement in Libya, ratcheting up pressure on Obama.

I hate to do something so drastic, but somehow this administration has to be brought to heel on this.

But then again, how do you cut off funds that were never allocated in the first place?

Update: Jack Goldsmith has thoughts on the subject, here.  Thanks Ian.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

143 Responses to “More on Obama’s Willful Defiance of the Constituton”

  1. “What they’re basically saying here, without actually saying it, is that the president’s own lawyers told him that the Libya war is illegal and he ”

    There’s a lot packed in here, but wouldn’t the white house counsel count as “the presidents own lawyer” ?

    “Under normal circumstances, the office’s interpretation of the law is legally binding on the executive branch.”

    Curious, how can someone in the executive branch below the president bind the president when the text of the constitution vests the executive power with the president?

    stone (b79151)

  2. stone

    how about he follow his own legal advice, then, which contradicts what he is doing today?

    Aaron Worthing (b1db52)

  3. Curious, how can someone in the executive branch below the president bind the president when the text of the constitution vests the executive power with the president?

    Comment by stone — 6/20/2011 @ 11:55 am

    That’s a good point, but that’s not really what Aaron’s saying.

    Libyab bombing IS hostilities. Obama IS violating the constitution. Those are the facts.

    This is a very corrupt administration.

    This and the Fast and Furious scandal will rock this country for years. They are huge breaches of faith in the social contract. And you will realize that after the president is a Republican and has a need to deal with Iran or Syria or Pakistan, and you, no doubt under a new handle again, try to complain about hypocrisy or laws.

    The constitution matters. Obama explained his Libya strike behavior is unconstitutional, swore to uphold the constitution to the best of his ability, and then broke his word.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  4. The idea that Obama being a unitary executive means he can pretend something isn’t hostilities when all his advisers explain that something obviously is hostilities would be a pretty radical effort to shill.

    Suppose Bush claimed he balanced the budget, but his own Treasury Secretary said we had $150 billion average deficit throughout GOP’s time in control of both branches. Would Stone claim that the facts don’t matter because Bush is a unitary executive?

    The Unitary executive means ‘the buck stops here’. Not the dictionary.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  5. The beautiful thing for me in this is that in his opinion shopping, Obama manages to wring an opinion out of committed lefty Harold Koh which appears to be at serious odds with Koh’s existing body of work, at least in my humble opinion.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  6. I have attempted to post this to a blog/website. I just cut and pasted the article by Aaron Worthing exactly as he wrote it. I added a line that stated it can from Patterico’s Pontifications and link to the website. I hope this is okay. If not please let me know how I should do it, ie should it just be a link to the original article?

    I don’t really have a blog, I just want more people to see the truth and get this information out there.

    cstmbuild (be02cc)

  7. =at least in my humble opinion==

    Just to clarify–is that your humble psychologist’s opinion or your humble Journalist’s opinion, daley?

    elissa (1bb674)

  8. “how about he follow his own legal advice, then, which contradicts what he is doing today?”

    It would be a stretch to call that “legal advice.”

    stone (e9ef3a)

  9. The guy is acting like a dictator… he ONLY agrees with those that agree with his current “belief”… as a senator he felt completely different than he acts today.
    This is yet another brick in the wall… as our Constitution is again ignored and run-over by this current administration, the most interesting part of this story, the left is SILENT as crickets at a fireworks display…. IF a republican were ignoring the constitution like this president is, all hell would break lose on the MSM and the left-blogs.
    Well, times are about to change…

    Hargoosh (d0e9bc)

  10. Actually, it’s not the surprising, considering Koh’s actual focus, to subordinate the US’s sovereignty, to that of international bodies, hence
    no congressional declaration:

    ian cormac (72470d)

  11. It would be a stretch to call that “legal advice.”

    Comment by stone — 6/20/2011 @ 12:13 pm

    No, it’s really not. Whether or not this is hostilities has legal implications, and determining whether something meets a legal definition is legal advice.

    The only point you could be possibly making is that it’s so obvious that our involvement in Libya is hostile that the legal advice hardly required a lawyer. And yes, that’s true. There is nothing seriously controversial in noting Obama has violated his promise to America to uphold the constitution. He knows it and you do too.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  12. “Whether or not this is hostilities has legal implications, and determining whether something meets a legal definition is legal advice.”

    Yes but a Boston globe Q and A is not where one dispenses “legal advice.” It’s where one discusses their political / campaign philosophy.

    I’m eager to see if congress does anything with this. The moment is right in terms of partisanship as well as popular opinion about foreign hostilities (though the cries of ‘do something’ are not so distant). It would be good to reverse the trend that appears to be increasing executive power, but I’m not too hopeful that Boehner can pull this off, or wants to pay the price of trying.

    stone (8bb588)

  13. Dustin

    how anyone could pretend this is not war. Seriously what precisely did we do to libya that japan didn’t do to us in pearl harbor.

    of course even with the illegality of the action, morally the actions are not comparable. but that only goes to whether it is a just war or not, not whether it is a war. if planes dropping bombs on enemy soldiers and tanks is not war, then what is?

    Aaron Worthing (b1db52)

  14. “Whether or not this is hostilities has legal implications, and determining whether something meets a legal definition is legal advice.”

    Yes but a Boston globe Q and A is not where one dispenses “legal advice.” It’s where one discusses their political / campaign philosophy.

    I’m eager to see if congress does anything with this. The moment is right in terms of partisanship as well as popular opinion about foreign hostilities (though the cries of ‘do something’ are not so distant). It would be good to reverse the trend that appears to be increasing executive power. I’m not too hopeful that Boehner can pull this off, or wants to pay the price of trying. What can I do? Pin my hopes on the Paul troupe?

    stone (8c9005)

  15. That Booosh is such a unitary executive. He did signing statements and executive orders and everything. He acts like he’s a king. Abuse of power!! Unlimited executive authority is an abuse of Constitutional protections and balances between the branches of government. Booosh.

    Wait–what? Someone else is president now and is doing that stuff? Oh, yeah, he’s a democrat. Never mind.

    elissa (1bb674)

  16. “Stone” – how many other names have you posted under? List them. Thank you, in advance, for your anticipated cooperation, and mendoucheity. That is all.

    Isn’t Obarcky a constitutional scholar, extraordinaire?!

    JD (85b089)

  17. I am not a liberal, not by any stretch of the imagination…but I have to say I have been amazed at the number of conservatives who are suddenly arguing for the War Powers Act…since when? Republicans and conservatives have never been strong supporters of this act. As for willful defiance of the Constitution, it seems to me that Obama has the right to take or not take the advice of these lawyers.

    The thing is when all this started so many conservatives and Republicans were complaining that all of a sudden Sarkozy was the leader of the free world and Obama was a wimp or weak for not going after Gaddafi.. I realize that Obama screwed this up, if he had gone in there with NATO early on when Gaddafi was on the ropes things might be over and done with now…but it kind of reminds me of the Democrats who voted for the war in Iraq claiming after the fact that Bush lied to them or some such silliness.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  18. The guy is acting like a dictator… he ONLY agrees with those that agree with his current “belief”… as a senator he felt completely different than he acts today.
    This is yet another brick in the wall… as our Constitution is again ignored and run-over by this current administration, the most interesting part of this story, the left is SILENT as crickets at a fireworks display…. IF a republican were ignoring the constitution like this president is, all hell would break lose on the MSM and the left-blogs.
    Well, times are about to change…

    Comment by Hargoosh — 6/20/2011 @ 12:14 pm

    Congress can always cut off the funding.Any time they want. I may not like Obama, but he is not a dictator.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  19. of course even with the illegality of the action, morally the actions are not comparable. but that only goes to whether it is a just war or not, not whether it is a war. if planes dropping bombs on enemy soldiers and tanks is not war, then what is?

    Comment by Aaron Worthing

    Yes, and this is what really frustrates me. Obama is playing off the issue in such a cynical way.

    Now, if you merely ask him to uphold the constitution, observe his own views on the WPA, his oath of office, and the facts, then you are suddenly opposed to the war in Libya?

    John Mccain acted like that, and it really ticks me off.

    We are a country with limitations on power. One man alone cannot take this mighty military to war. They need the say of the people, via their representatives in congress. Those reps gave Obama a ‘defend us in emergencies’ coupon, but that has nothing to do with this situation anyway.

    I’m really getting angrier about this and the ATF’s crimes. We have a lawless administration. It’s trying to ruin Texas’s economy, put guns into the hands of criminals in Mexico, and undermine the concept of a constitutional republic.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  20. Congress can always cut off the funding.Any time they want. I may not like Obama, but he is not a dictator.

    Comment by Terrye — 6/20/2011 @ 12:42 pm

    I like the way you think, Terry, but I do not think they really can cut funding. Obama would ignore them, saying he must keep the troops fed and supplied when they are in harm’s way, playing the issue even more cynically than he is presently.

    When has the law stopped him before?

    Dustin (c16eca)

  21. Terrye – is it too much to ask for one standard? One you would hold the left and right to?

    JD (d48c3b)

  22. No, the War Powers Act, is ‘worse than a crime, it’s a mistake,’ however seeing his previous protestations on the subject, one has to find another motive for what he’s doing:

    ian cormac (72470d)

  23. What if Libya collapses like Somalia? Then parasites like the ones who run that country come in there and take over an oil rich city>

    To be honest, I still remember Pan Am 103…and the fact that Gaddafi could still come to New York and stand in the UN and call out the President of the United States even after he had ordered the murders of hundreds of Americans. The truth is they should have dealt with him years ago..if they had he would not be a problem today.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  24. Well, he may have changed his mind. Thus, the statement “hey, these lawyers tell me this is wrong and I agree” is inaccurate. Many Presidents have changed their mind about a whole number of things after their election. When in Congress, members of Congress support the War Powers Act. When one of them gets elected President, they suddenly get a new perspective on it. That doesn’t make them hypocritical. One of the strengths of our checks-and-balances system is that individuals have an incentive to pursue the interests of the INSTITUTION of which they are a part.

    All of us on the right who supported President Bush’s claims of final authority over DoJ or DoD lawyers in any number of circumstances were correct. The President is the only person in the Executive Branch with final authority to make legal conclusions and act on them. The advice of the lawyers in various executive agencies is just that, advice. That the President chooses not to listen to them, chooses to reject their advice, is not itself proof of any sort that the President is acting illegally. Nor does the fact that he is contradicting some of his prior personal positions proof of that.

    Now, perhaps these actions ARE illegal. If so, there are Constitutional mechanisms for dealing with that. But those mechanisms should consider only the law, not what some executive branch employees’ opinion of the law is, nor the prior opinions of the current occupant of the White House.

    PatHMV (60d1a5)

  25. I am starting a JD’s lexicon of useful and fun words
    twatwaffle (definition?)
    mendoucheity

    bmertz (d77c52)

  26. I like the way you think, Terry, but I do not think they really can cut funding. Obama would ignore them, saying he must keep the troops fed and supplied when they are in harm’s way, playing the issue even more cynically than he is presently.

    When has the law stopped him before?

    Comment by Dustin — 6/20/2011 @ 12:44 pm

    For one thing, Dustin, I am not sure he is breaking the law and for another thing if so many conservatives had not been hot to go after Gaddafi in the first place maybe there would have been more efforts made up front to get a resolution through Congress. And yes, if they want to they can cut off the money. They have done it before..in Viet Nam and in Central America.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  27. Terrye – is it too much to ask for one standard? One you would hold the left and right to?

    Comment by JD — 6/20/2011 @ 12:44 pm

    So which standard? Do you honestly think that if and when a Republican ends up in the White House that this whole thing will not play out again? Maybe it will be Iran or some other hot spot, but I am sure that Republicans will end up supporting a Republican President while Democrats treat the man like a Nazi. Once upon a time national security was a bi partisan sort of issue, at least to some extent..those days are over apparently. Everything is dependent on the initial behind the guy’s name.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  28. , I am not sure he is breaking the law

    Respectfully, but yeah, he totally is. The constitution makes absolutely no mistake about it. The president doesn’t even get to go after pirates without Congress’s say so. His role is to administer their wishes. They wished for him to defend us in emergencies with the WPA, but in case someone abused that, they established some strict timeline requirements, so even if you give Obama some extreme benefit of the doubt, it’s clear at this point this is an illegal war.

    But Aaron was right from the onset that this isn’t a WPA sanctioned war.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  29. And yes, if they want to they can cut off the money. They have done it before..in Viet Nam and in Central America.

    Comment by Terrye — 6/20/2011 @ 12:47 pm

    They can try, and Obama can lawlessly find a way to fund them.

    Here’s a question: have we gone beyond the debt ceiling, Terry? What did Obama do: borrow some more money via easing?

    Remember how LBJ handled these issues? He could take funding for one thing and vaguely use it for another. Obama is the executive. He enforces the law. If he doesn’t care about the law, it is pretty difficult to shut him down without impeaching him.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  30. Comment by Terrye — 6/20/2011 @ 12:40 pm

    I agree with Terrye to a certain extent – but on the other hand, these are the rules that the liberals have foisted on us and we should hold their feet to the fire and make them abide by teh rules they created.

    If a republican did anything even remotely similar to what Obama is doing, the press/liberals would be going nuts and talking about how we are in the midst of a constitutional crisis the likes of which america has never seen. Thus, I think it is fair play to hold Obama to that standard.

    Yes, conservatives have never loved the War Powers Act – but that is the current law and republicans have always had to follow it.

    Moreover, after the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, I think conservatives have lost the belief that we can install democracy anywhere through such actions. Conservatives as a whole bought into the freedeom agenda for foriegn policy under Bush, but I think we have learned hard lessons and are returning to a more normal, cautious no-nation-building and “what is the U.S. interest” basis for such actions, rather than teh wishful – they’ll love us if we free them – foreign policy of the last 10 years.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  31. Please we had two authorization of use of force resolutions, that the Democrats signed on to, but
    they didn’t give a ‘tinker’s damn’ about it, The Dems don’t even bother with a figleaf defense like citing Curtiss/Wright.

    ian cormac (72470d)

  32. Comply with the law. State the reasons for being there(US interests), have the debate and vote. Geesh!

    Sister Mary Elephant (e7577d)

  33. Off, d@mn sock!

    ∅ (e7577d)

  34. If Obama had wanted to get daffy, he could have gotten daffy with one specop guy using a laser designator from under his Walmart desert robes, and one cruise missile from whatever unit of the Sixth Fleet wasn’t otherwise occupied.
    This clown, instead, decided to hop onto the Arab Spring and come out on top, standing next to the Libyan George Washington with no discernible cost (ie. US casualties).
    Instead, eventually, we’re going to see the Libyan version of Aidid as Mayor of Benghazi and the Muslim Brotherhood running the criminal justice system and the foreign policy office.

    Richard Aubrey (cafc94)

  35. Didn’t the left haver a name for this type of thing during the last administration? Cherry-pitting or cherry-popping, oh yeah, cherry-picking.

    Charliefreak (fd1bca)

  36. why did our moron vice president think partitioning Iraq was a good idea but not Libya? It doesn’t make a lot of sense. Obama and McCain can spend a ton of money and slaughter all the innocent Libyan citizens they want but it seems to me that a smaller weaker divided Libya would suit the world just fine.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  37. I agree with Terrye to a certain extent – but on the other hand, these are the rules that the liberals have foisted on us and we should hold their feet to the fire and make them abide by teh rules they created.

    If a republican did anything even remotely similar to what Obama is doing, the press/liberals would be going nuts and talking about how we are in the midst of a constitutional crisis the likes of which america has never seen. Thus, I think it is fair play to hold Obama to that standard.

    Yes, conservatives have never loved the War Powers Act – but that is the current law and republicans have always had to follow it.

    Moreover, after the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, I think conservatives have lost the belief that we can install democracy anywhere through such actions. Conservatives as a whole bought into the freedeom agenda for foriegn policy under Bush, but I think we have learned hard lessons and are returning to a more normal, cautious no-nation-building and “what is the U.S. interest” basis for such actions, rather than teh wishful – they’ll love us if we free them – foreign policy of the last 10 years.

    Comment by monkeytoe — 6/20/2011 @ 12:54 pm

    In other words it is all just some partisan game and the only thing that matters is that we stick it to the guy.

    By the same token I could just as easily say that when the time comes that the next Republican president is faced with a similar situation, he should just do as Congress says and forget all that stuff about being Commander in Chief.

    John McCain has remained steadfast and consistent when it comes to this policy. He did not demand action and then complain when he got it. This is what annoys me about all this.

    I am not saying that liberals are not hypocrites..of course they are…but apparently they are not the only hypocrites out there.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  38. And as for democracy in the region…in this particular case there was a general uprising against Gaddafi. He threatened to wipe out some cities if people did not cut it out. That is why the US and NATO and Europe got involved, we did not just say…hey let’s go install a democracy in Libya.

    But people like AlQaida are parasites, they look for failed states to sit up camps and bases in and while I don’t want troops there or anything like that, I also don’t want to just ignore the situation until we have a bigger problem to deal with. This is part of the problem with dealing with this part of the world. We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  39. Terrye, who’s one the front lines of this exercise, training the fighters, Hasadi who was directing similar operations against Iraq, and another regional chief, Yumu, a Gitmo detainee, is it really
    that hard to demand congressional authorization over this.

    ian cormac (72470d)

  40. Well, of course he considers Harold the First Among Equals, ’cause he knows stuff.

    That this is a constradiction of the President’s previously held, Senatorial, position is inconsequential:
    His words have always had a half-life of one nano-second, or past his lips – whichever came first!

    AD-RtR/OS! (434c01)

  41. McCain is not interested in spreading freedom and American values anymore than bumble is. What you need to know about McCain is that he’s a useless doddering old coward what goes on tv everytime we deploy our military cause he fancies himself a Respected Voice.

    Note that he was very critical of Bush, but he’s lavish in his praise of bumble. This is because McCain’s foreign policy is whatever he can use to barter with his dirty socialist media friends in exchange for the Respected Voice treatment he craves.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  42. In other words it is all just some partisan game and the only thing that matters is that we stick it to the guy.

    By the same token I could just as easily say that when the time comes that the next Republican president is faced with a similar situation, he should just do as Congress says and forget all that stuff about being Commander in Chief.

    John McCain has remained steadfast and consistent when it comes to this policy. He did not demand action and then complain when he got it. This is what annoys me about all this.

    I am not saying that liberals are not hypocrites..of course they are…but apparently they are not the only hypocrites out there.

    Comment by Terrye — 6/20/2011 @ 1:00 pm

    1) I said that we should hold Obama to the law. If what he is doing is against the law, then so be it – whether we like the law or not. How is that some kind of terrible thing?

    2) Calling for action by Obama on Libya is not the same thing as saying he has carte blanch to do whatever he wants regardless of the law and the constitution – let’s not forget that Bush obtained congressional resolutions for his actions. Why should Obama be treated differently?

    3) Your idea of being the better people and not calling Obama on this (assuming it is only Hypocrasy in play and nothing more) would still be wrong. Republicans have tried for years to be teh bigger indivuals and do what is right, only to always get it thrown back in their faces. Making them live by their own rules is hardly an immoral thing.

    4) If I thought that was a particularly smart of necessary foreign involvement, I might feel differently. As it is, I was against getting involved from teh begining and did not quite understand the calls for action by some conservatives. Are we to step in every time there is civil unrest in some country? What is teh standard?

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  43. By the same token I could just as easily say that when the time comes that the next Republican president is faced with a similar situation, he should just do as Congress says and forget all that stuff about being Commander in Chief.

    He should do as Bush did, which is to follow what Congress permits when it comes to military force.

    Don’t pretend those complaining about this illegal war are being partisan hacks.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  44. “Actually, it’s not the surprising, considering Koh’s actual focus, to subordinate the US’s sovereignty, to that of international bodies, hence
    no congressional declaration:”

    ian – I understand what you are saying, but it is inconsistent with Koh’s work on the separation of powers. Goldsmith seems to agree with me.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  45. 39.And as for democracy in the region…in this particular case there was a general uprising against Gaddafi. He threatened to wipe out some cities if people did not cut it out. That is why the US and NATO and Europe got involved, we did not just say…hey let’s go install a democracy in Libya.

    My point was that I think conservatives taste for foreign policy adventurism and nation building is gone. We got the taste on teh idea that we could make the middle east like us by helping them become “free” and “democratic” – partially Bush’s agenda in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    I think most of us now realize that you can’t accomplish that goal and Iraq is going to end up more like Iran then like America. Same with Afghanistan.

    We have woken up from our fevered dreams and now want to go back to the traditional conservative foreign policy viewpoint of “is there a vital U.S. interest” and “we are not going to nation build”.

    In Libya, there is no vital U.S. interest (yes, I know, potential haven for terrorists – but that vague interest could be used for any action anywhere) and we basically are attempting to nation build.

    And, who, exactly will follow Quadaffy? My guess is that it will be someone more like teh Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt than liberal secularists.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  46. Comment by Terrye — 6/20/2011 @ 12:45 pm

    What about Syria?
    What about Yemen?

    If we are involved in “kinetic military actions” in Libya to protect the people of the country from its’ government, than why not in Syria?

    And why Yemen, but not Syria?

    Conservatives’ beef over the WPR is not that they love it, but that it is the law, and we support The Rule of Law.
    Long ago Conservatives believed that Presidents of both parties should have advanced a case to SCOTUS for a determination as to whether or not Congress had overreached on this matter.
    But, since no President has wished to contest the matter, it is (for now) settled law and should be observed.
    I would mention that the Evil Boosh, went to Congress twice for authorization to use military force against terror orginizations (AUMF-2001), and the Hussein government of Iraq (AUMF-2002) – both of which had precipitated actions by attacks upon U.S. territory and forces.

    As far as we know, the only attack that precipitated our actions in Libya was a snide remark by the Libyan Ambassador at a cocktail party about the SecState?

    AD-RtR/OS! (434c01)

  47. Amen, monkeytoe.

    JD (85b089)

  48. “…Remember how LBJ handled these issues? He could take funding for one thing and vaguely use it for another…”

    Dustin, Landslide Lyndon didn’t have the restrictions contained within the Budget Act of 1974 to contend with.

    AD-RtR/OS! (434c01)

  49. Actually, in reflection, my comments RE Yemen in # 47 are inappropriate, in that AUMF-2001 probably covers such action against AQ within Yemen as they have, through the recruitment (and training) of the Underwear Bomber, and Maj. Hasan, launched attacks against the U.S., and U.S. forces from Yemen.

    AD-RtR/OS! (434c01)

  50. AD, they don’t have the same rules to follow, but they have a similar attitude about those rules.

    I’m not saying defunding the war against Libya is a bad idea. I’m just confident Obama could ignore such an effort if he wanted to.

    It’s too late now to salvage Bush’s diplomatic triumph with Libya, which proved once and for all that Operation Iraqi Freedom rid the world of a nuclear weapons program in the hands of a terrorism supporter, I might add. Since it’s too late, my main concern is that the effort against Libya produce a real victory. The terms of the conflict should be defined much as they were in the OIF AUMF, such that we are at least somewhat hopeful we are not producing a future terror state that hates us.

    I’m not asking for much. It’s too late to undo this, so I wouldn’t want to pull out of Libya. I’d want to win.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  51. AD, I agree the post 9/11 AUMF covers Yemen. It doesn’t cover Qaddafi, of course.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  52. Winning is always nice.
    The Progs though seem only to develop quagmires, which then descend into defeats – see Saigon-’75.

    AD-RtR/OS! (434c01)

  53. The Progs though seem only to develop quagmires, which then descend into defeats – see Saigon-’75.

    Exactly.

    Exactly x 500.

    That’s what I’m afraid of. We’re going to have a disaster in Libya. The next president will try to fix it, and be blamed for it. This entire thing will be a political football. And America will be much worse off.

    Unless we do this right. I know Obama doesn’t want boots on the ground… he wants a war without the bad headlines that leads to. But if he thinks this is a war worth fighting, he should come up with a plan and win that fight. He’s acted like there is no war on terror at all, and that’s going to lead to a similar result that Clinton’s BS led to.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  54. We’re going to have a disaster in Libya?

    I bet the one we have here at home is way more spectacular.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  55. I bet the one we have here at home is way more spectacular.

    Comment by happyfeet

    Actually, the one in Libya fits the ‘spectacle’ bill very nicely. It creates a constitutional crisis. It pushes the GOP into a box where democrat hacks can say they are hypocrites when they aren’t. It makes Obama look busy doing stuff, if you’re not a detail oriented person (an Obama voter, in other words).

    And the spectacle is one way to keep people from talking about the price of gas or the lack of jobs.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  56. What’s unclear to me is what position Boehner has on Libya. Would he try to pass or vote for an authorization for what we’re doing there?

    stone (b5a79f)

  57. What’s unclear to me is what position Boehner has on Libya. Would he try to pass an authorization for what we’re doing there? Would he try to pass something stopping it?

    stone (de7003)

  58. What’s unclear to me is what position Boehner has on Libya. Would he try to pass an authorization for what we’re doing there? Would he vote against something like that?

    stone (8c9005)

  59. Comment by Terrye — 6/20/2011 @ 12:45 pm

    What about Syria?
    What about Yemen?

    If we are involved in “kinetic military actions” in Libya to protect the people of the country from its’ government, than why not in Syria?

    And why Yemen, but not Syria?

    Conservatives’ beef over the WPR is not that they love it, but that it is the law, and we support The Rule of Law.
    Long ago Conservatives believed that Presidents of both parties should have advanced a case to SCOTUS for a determination as to whether or not Congress had overreached on this matter.
    But, since no President has wished to contest the matter, it is (for now) settled law and should be observed.
    I would mention that the Evil Boosh, went to Congress twice for authorization to use military force against terror orginizations (AUMF-2001), and the Hussein government of Iraq (AUMF-2002) – both of which had precipitated actions by attacks upon U.S. territory and forces.

    As far as we know, the only attack that precipitated our actions in Libya was a snide remark by the Libyan Ambassador at a cocktail party about the SecState?

    Comment by AD-RtR/OS! — 6/20/2011 @ 1:19 pm

    What about Syria? That is like saying we can not get all the murderers, so why bother with any of them? During the cold war we did not intervene or interfere with every single communist country out there, but we most certainly did intervene when we thought we could and should…and by the way, why are you asking these questions now? When all of this started most conservatives were complaining that we were not doing enough..that Sarkozy was showing us up…and now all of a sudden we are asking Why Libya? Maybe it was because there was a better chance of getting international support to stop Gaddafi than there was when it came to Syria.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  60. Terrye, who’s one the front lines of this exercise, training the fighters, Hasadi who was directing similar operations against Iraq, and another regional chief, Yumu, a Gitmo detainee, is it really
    that hard to demand congressional authorization over this.

    Comment by ian cormac — 6/20/2011 @ 1:07 pm

    Oh come on. This is the Muslim world. Most of those people are just people who are sick of their country being run by a mass murdering insane dictator. The idea that they all get blamed for the fact that some AlQaida have tried to take some control here is ridiculous…besides, if we just walk away and let it all go to hell in a hand basket there will probably be a lot more AlQaida in there, they seek out states like this.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  61. Stone/imdw – how many names do you plan on commenting under?

    Terrye – because it is a good idea, Barcky should just be able to ignore the law? This a poz on both your houses crap is just that, crap.

    JD (b98cae)

  62. Maybe it was because there was a better chance of getting international support to stop Gaddafi than there was when it came to Syria.

    Comment by Terrye — 6/20/2011 @ 1:51 pm

    We didn’t “get” international support for Libya. We joined a group that had already formed – after the fact.

    Not that such has any bearing on any of my other points, just don’t want to leave anyone with the impression that anything Obama has done here reaks of statesmenship or ability, it doesn’t.

    I don’t think all conservatives were on the go into libya bandwagon. but, even if so, that does not mean that if we are going to engage in a lengthy conflict, the WPA shouldn’t be followed.

    to use your angalogy, just b/c someone calls for a murderer to be caught, doesn’t mean that the police should not have to follow the law.

    By your argument, if conservatives are in favor of “x”, then they must be in favor of any and all means utilized to achieve “x”. that is hardly persuasive.

    And, for those of us that were against the libyia thing from teh get-go, we want the law followed, just the same as Bush was required to follow it.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  63. And ian I am not saying that there should not be any Congressional authorization…I am saying that Congress allowed all of this to happen and that most conservatives and Republicans supported it initially. They could have asked for this kind of authorization up front and they did not do it. It was only after the fact that they got all antsy and decided all of a sudden that the War Powers Act was something they supported and believed in.

    If they want to go for authorization, fine do it..but don’t get all sanctimonious about Obama breaking the law and supporting AlQaida or whatever.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  64. Who gives a shlt about international support when you are not even willing to get congressional support?!

    JD (3ad5b9)

  65. And, for those of us that were against the libyia thing from teh get-go, we want the law followed, just the same as Bush was required to follow it.

    Comment by monkeytoe — 6/20/2011 @ 1:56 pm

    I supported Bush. But I also know that all sorts of people swore that the war in Afghanistan was illegal and the war in Iraq was illegal..no matter how many resolutions he got passed or how many force resolutions went through the UN or how many NATO operations were authorized. Most of the people who said they were illegal said it because they did not like Bush..I think that is what a lot of this is about too.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  66. terry, a lot of what you say, such as Obama ‘getting’ support for the Libya effort, shows you’re not really all that familiar with this issue.

    Also, I’m not sure I understand the idea of breaking the constitution just to get Qaddafi. That’s asinine on many levels. Qaddafi gave up terrorism, was not a threat to us, gave up nukes.

    By striking Qaddafi down, we prove once and for all that it is a mistake for terror states to give up terrorism and nukes. The only way to win the war on terror that is left is to win wars against every terror state.

    I don’t even think that’s possible.

    The Bush plan was to use war to persuade those we didn’t fight to act as Qaddafi did. We have ruined the war on terror and made America much less safe. There’s no undoing that, so I would rather we win now, but it’s still a tremendous shame and obviously illegal. The constitution is not vague about who has which power.

    We skipped over Iran when they killed protestors while building nukes (to say nothing of North Korea), so the real lesson is that every enemy of the USA needs to build nukes. That’s the Terrye/Obama doctrine’s ultimate effect.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  67. Who gives a shlt about international support when you are not even willing to get congressional support?!

    Comment by JD — 6/20/2011 @ 1:58 pm

    Why didn’t Congress make an issue of it then? It seems to me that most of Congress supported the action when it was taken..it was only after the fact that they began to talk about approval. So where were they?

    I am not saying they can not or should not authorize this. I am not saying that they have no recourse. I am saying that I think some of the rhetoric surrounding this is ridiculous considering the fact that they did nothing at all to stop Obama nor did they give any impression that they wanted to.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  68. I am saying that Congress allowed all of this to happen and that most conservatives and Republicans supported it initially. They could have asked for this kind of authorization up front and they did not do it. It was only after the fact that they got all antsy and decided all of a sudden that the War Powers Act was something they supported and believed in

    Congress “allowed it to happen”? How were they to stop it? Particularly when the WPA gives the president to engage in such conduct for a certain period of time?

    I’m not sure that all of the conservatives and/or republicans in teh House supported action in Lybia. Or, if they did support action in Lybia, I’m thinking it would have been action taken at the very beginning, which could have been decisive, and not the half-hearted later action that is turning into a prolonged affair that may not even end well. I’m not sure everyone was behind the action that Obama eventually took. But even if so, people can’t change minds? We can’t demand that the law be followed? Once you voice some support for something, all legalities are waived?

    While I sympathise with teh whole “failed states are safe-havens for al queda” argument, that can be applied to just about anywhere. It is much too vague a standard to rally behind. Heck, we can apply it to non-failed states like Iran and Syria who provide safe havens for and money for terrorists.

    Also, I’m not sure that what we would end up with after Quaddafy is going to be better than Quaddafy from a U.S. interest perspective.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  69. I supported Bush. But I also know that all sorts of people swore that the war in Afghanistan was illegal and the war in Iraq was illegal..no matter how many resolutions he got passed or how many force resolutions went through the UN or how many NATO operations were authorized. Most of the people who said they were illegal said it because they did not like Bush..I think that is what a lot of this is about too.

    Comment by Terrye — 6/20/2011 @ 2:00 pm

    Well, if you question someone’s motives I guess the merits don’t have to be addressed. the difference between teh left and the right is that if Obama got approval from Congress, that would be the end of questioning the legality of this action. Funny that, we are only asking that the law be followed.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  70. I think that is what a lot of this is about too.

    BS. Most everyone has laid out their issues with this quite clearly. You seem intent on ignoring people’s stated problems with this willful breaking of the law.

    I think child assrape should be illegal, and prosecuted, yet I do not think that the police or prosecutors should be able to do whatever they want in order to combat same.

    JD (d48c3b)

  71. terry, a lot of what you say, such as Obama ‘getting’ support for the Libya effort, shows you’re not really all that familiar with this issue.

    Also, I’m not sure I understand the idea of breaking the constitution just to get Qaddafi. That’s asinine on many levels. Qaddafi gave up terrorism, was not a threat to us, gave up nukes.

    By striking Qaddafi down, we prove once and for all that it is a mistake for terror states to give up terrorism and nukes. The only way to win the war on terror that is left is to win wars against every terror state.

    I don’t even think that’s possible.

    The Bush plan was to use war to persuade those we didn’t fight to act as Qaddafi did. We have ruined the war on terror and made America much less safe. There’s no undoing that, so I would rather we win now, but it’s still a tremendous shame and obviously illegal. The constitution is not vague about who has which power.

    We skipped over Iran when they killed protestors while building nukes (to say nothing of North Korea), so the real lesson is that every enemy of the USA needs to build nukes. That’s the Terrye/Obama doctrine’s ultimate effect.

    Comment by Dustin — 6/20/2011 @ 2:01 pm

    Do not condescend to me…and I do not think the Constitution has been broken either. I am familiar enough with the issue to know that conservatives have never supported the War Powers Act. I am familiar enough with the situation to know that when all this started no major conservatives in or out of Congress questioned the constitutionality of the action. I am familiar enough with the situation to know that if and when Congress wants to put down its collective foot, it can cut off the funding.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  72. I think that is what a lot of this is about too.

    BS. Most everyone has laid out their issues with this quite clearly. You seem intent on ignoring people’s stated problems with this willful breaking of the law.

    I think child assrape should be illegal, and prosecuted, yet I do not think that the police or prosecutors should be able to do whatever they want in order to combat same.

    Comment by JD

    Yep.

    I get the impression someone didn’t bother reading Aaron’s posts on this.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  73. Bush followed the law he was a very very conscientious war person. Bumble has no clue what he’s doing but if bumble and Meghan’s coward daddy want to go to the mat for the right of the president to deploy troops willy nilly to do whatever gay stuff pops into his heads then they need to be more forthright about what they’re asking.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  74. I think that is what a lot of this is about too.

    BS. Most everyone has laid out their issues with this quite clearly. You seem intent on ignoring people’s stated problems with this willful breaking of the law.

    I think child assrape should be illegal, and prosecuted, yet I do not think that the police or prosecutors should be able to do whatever they want in order to combat same.

    Comment by JD — 6/20/2011 @ 2:06 pm

    I am not ignoring the fact that people have a problem with the law…you said why Libya, why not Syria or Yemen..I was responding to that comment not any general comment about the law. The point is that is exactly what people said about Iraq even though Bush got authorization from Congress, he had a resolution from the United Nations..and people still said Why Iraq? Why not Iran?

    John McCain has been constant in all this. He has not changed his mind with the polls and I am sure that if Obama asked for authorization he would vote for that. But if he honestly thought that there was no reason to do this, he would not have agreed to support it in the first damn place.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  75. From the candidate, and his party, that accused the Bush administration of placing itself above the law, comes the claim that spending a billion dollars to use drones to attack Libyan ground forces, including their leader, does not violate the War Powers Resolution because there are no ground troops involved and hence no possibility of US casualties. Under this logic, the US could drop bombs on Caracas and try to kill Hugo Chavez without crossing the boundary into a war.

    How does one begin to refute this; how is it even possible?

    Dana (4eca6e)

  76. Why didn’t Congress make an issue of it then? It seems to me that most of Congress supported the action when it was taken..it was only after the fact that they began to talk about approval. So where were they?

    I am not saying they can not or should not authorize this. I am not saying that they have no recourse. I am saying that I think some of the rhetoric surrounding this is ridiculous considering the fact that they did nothing at all to stop Obama nor did they give any impression that they wanted to.

    Comment by Terrye — 6/20/2011 @ 2:03 pm

    Pursuant to the WPA – Obama had a certain amount of time to act unilaterally but then had to get approval.

    Everything you say above actually fits very nicely with teh WPA. Congress “allowed” Obama to act adn didn’t say anything negative to affect foreign policy (which you seem to be upset at now, but then in the same breath critizie congress for not doing it earlier?). Now, Obama’s unilateral time is up, he was supposed to come forward and seek authorization to continue his action. He is failing to do so and congress, rightly protecting their constitutional perogative and the separation of powers.

    To claim that requiring Obama to do so, and to challenge his “argument” that he does not need to do so is wrong, or disengenuous is silly.

    Obviously, if Obama thought he could get authorization he would have sought it. Thus, your argument that congress was always behind this is refuted by the facts at hand.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  77. Dustin, I read the post. I just disagree. The President does not have to abide by the advice any lawyer. I can remember when Bush did not always go along with all of his lawyers either. That is not the point.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  78. Bush followed the law he was a very very conscientious war person. Bumble has no clue what he’s doing but if bumble and Meghan’s coward daddy want to go to the mat for the right of the president to deploy troops willy nilly to do whatever gay stuff pops into his heads then they need to be more forthright about what they’re asking.

    Comment by happyfeet —

    I wonder how much of this is Obama being incompetent. My take is that he isn’t an effective leader, and he’s clever enough to use distractions to occupy ideological opponents instead of focusing on leadership. I don’t think he’s stupid so much as of a weak moral constitution that is not compatible with being a good president.

    Anyway, Bush was a great leader. Even if you disagree with what he wanted to do, he led. He owned what he wanted to accomplish, faced the legal challenge of war head on, and even faced the UN.

    Obama did the opposite, following France’s demand to fight Libya (hilarious in light of their actions against OIF). And yet Obama would have you think he put together a coalition.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  79. I am familiar enough with the issue to know that conservatives have never supported the War Powers Act. I am familiar enough with the situation to know that when all this started no major conservatives in or out of Congress questioned the constitutionality of the action. I am familiar enough with the situation to know that if and when Congress wants to put down its collective foot, it can cut off the funding.

    Comment by Terrye — 6/20/2011 @ 2:06 pm

    You actually don’t seem to understand. No conservative questioned teh constitutionality of the action up till now b/c the WPA gave Obama the authority to act unilaterally up to now.

    Your argument appears to be the WPA gave Obama the right to unilaterally act for 90 days, ergo when teh 90 days is up, you don’t have the right to question his action – even though the law requires him to then get authorization from you.

    You are confusing the fact that Obama had statutory authority to take a limited unilateral action with implied consent by congress.

    There are no facts to back up your theory. Instead, the fact that congress is demanding Obama abide by the WPA refutes your theory in its entirity.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  80. Everything you say above actually fits very nicely with teh WPA. Congress “allowed” Obama to act adn didn’t say anything negative to affect foreign policy (which you seem to be upset at now, but then in the same breath critizie congress for not doing it earlier?). Now, Obama’s unilateral time is up, he was supposed to come forward and seek authorization to continue his action. He is failing to do so and congress, rightly protecting their constitutional perogative and the separation of powers.

    To claim that requiring Obama to do so, and to challenge his “argument” that he does not need to do so is wrong, or disengenuous is silly.

    Obviously, if Obama thought he could get authorization he would have sought it. Thus, your argument that congress was always behind this is refuted by the facts at hand.

    Comment by monkeytoe — 6/20/2011 @ 2:11 pm

    So, all those conservatives who said for years and years that the War Powers Act is not constitutional were wrong?

    And how does it fit? They supported the action in the outset. There were no demands to know why we were there or why Libya and not Syria or is AlQaida there. If Obama had been able to push Gaddafi out of there in a few weeks none of these issues would have been a big deal..so now they are? It was okay to go in there and now it is not? The rebels were the good guys and now they are the bad guys?

    Terrye (007c3b)

  81. How does one begin to refute this; how is it even possible?

    Comment by Dana —

    It’s possible by stubborn hackery that avoids the argument. Look at how Terry’s doing it. We say exactly how this is illegal, and she attacks a completely different argument she has replaced with ours. She gives only a moments notice of legality simply to announce she isn’t convinced.

    It’s frustrating, but I’m used to it. Even sincere Republicans can be concern trolls. Just look at John Mccain. I don’t know where these people come from, but I think a lot of it is ad hoc.

    Whether Libya was a good idea is a completely irrelevant aspect of whether it’s legal, which it is not.

    And of course as soon as President Perry considers an airstrike against Iran, or the most silly (but valid) possibility of assassinating Hugo, these Mccain types will reverse again.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  82. Dustin, I read the post. I just disagree. The President does not have to abide by the advice any lawyer. I can remember when Bush did not always go along with all of his lawyers either. That is not the point.

    Comment by Terrye — 6/20/2011 @ 2:13 pm

    I have to agree with this – just b/c some lawyers advised against it doesn’t ipso facto make the actions unconstitutional. I think his actions are likely unconstitutional, but whether or not he followed particular lawyers’ advice is really irrelevent. Either the action is or isn’t wrong. You can always find a lawyer willing to give you the opinion that you want.

    Now, the fact that everyone Obama himself appointed disagrees with him should give Obama -a dn Terrye pause. When you have to really shop around to get teh opinion you want 9 times out of 10 taht opinion is wrong. Once in a great while everyone else was wrong, but that is really the exception.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  83. You actually don’t seem to understand. No conservative questioned teh constitutionality of the action up till now b/c the WPA gave Obama the authority to act unilaterally up to now.

    Your argument appears to be the WPA gave Obama the right to unilaterally act for 90 days, ergo when teh 90 days is up, you don’t have the right to question his action – even though the law requires him to then get authorization from you.

    You are confusing the fact that Obama had statutory authority to take a limited unilateral action with implied consent by congress.

    There are no facts to back up your theory. Instead, the fact that congress is demanding Obama abide by the WPA refutes your theory in its entirity.

    Comment by monkeytoe — 6/20/2011 @ 2:14 pm

    Yes, I do understand. Conservatives have never supported the War Powers Act for this very reason.

    And did they tell Obama that he needed to come to them for authorization at the end of that time or they would cut it off? Did they draw up authorizations to that effect? Did they threaten to cut off funding? They can do all of these things, they are not helpless.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  84. I have to agree with this – just b/c some lawyers advised against it doesn’t ipso facto make the actions unconstitutional.

    Did I say otherwise? No. Is Terry reacting to what I said accurately? No. I’m not offended by that. It’s predicatable.

    But the President is bound by the constitution and the law. And these are hostilities. And Obama did get legal advice pointing out the obvious fact they are hostilities.

    And noting that Obama is not bound by his subordinates doesn’t change the fact he is bound by the truth that this is war. That’s just a fact. Obama can’t pull rank on a dictionary.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  85. Now, the fact that everyone Obama himself appointed disagrees with him should give Obama -a dn Terrye pause. When you have to really shop around to get teh opinion you want 9 times out of 10 taht opinion is wrong. Once in a great while everyone else was wrong, but that is really the exception.

    Comment by monkeytoe — 6/20/2011 @ 2:19 pm

    No, what should give people cause is that until now I can not remember conservatives supporting the War Powers Act..I do not remember Republican presidents ever acknowledging the fact that they had to abide by it. That is the point. Now all of a sudden, Obama is breaking the law. Please, I do not like Obama..I will vote for whoever gets the nomination to run against him, but this seems partisan to me. I also have to wonder if the day will come when a Republican is once again defending himself or herself against just such a charge.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  86. “Why didn’t Congress make an issue of it then?”

    Terrye – Harry Reid? He hasn’t produced a budget in more than two years. Why would you expect him to push Obama to follow the law?

    Does the phrase “A matter of days not weeks” ring any bells?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  87. No conservative that Terrye recognizes as a conservative has ever supported the WPA therefore every conservative ever must support unilateral war as defined by Barcky. It is as though Terrye refuses to actually read orr understand anyone else’s position.

    JD (306f5d)

  88. So, all those conservatives who said for years and years that the War Powers Act is not constitutional were wrong?

    And how does it fit? They supported the action in the outset. There were no demands to know why we were there or why Libya and not Syria or is AlQaida there. If Obama had been able to push Gaddafi out of there in a few weeks none of these issues would have been a big deal..so now they are? It was okay to go in there and now it is not? The rebels were the good guys and now they are the bad guys?

    Comment by Terrye — 6/20/2011 @ 2:16 pm

    You are being silly. Most conservatives believe roe v. Wade is wrong and unconstitutional. Can a republican governor now simply ignore it? By your logic, they can. If you think a law is unconstitutional you don’t have to abide by it or enforce it.

    Second, you keep saying that everyone “supported” Obama. That is not true.

    And, even if it were true, calling for a quick action and what we now have – a prolonged war, are 2 different things.

    Your logic is seriously lacking on this. I suppose if I support “x” today, for all eternity I have to support “x”?

    I don’t think you have the foggiest idea of what the WPA is about. If NATO (not Obama – I love how you keep trying to give him credit as if he started the action, rounded up support, and led it) had been able to push Quaddafy out in a couple of weeks, the WPA would never have come into effect, as teh WPA gives the president a certain amount of time to act unilaterally – specifically for short engagements.

    This is now dragging on past the deadline of the WPA and asking that Obama abide by it is hardly wrong.

    And, I’m not sure the rebels are good guys. I pretty much think everyone involved is the bad guys.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  89. Did I say otherwise? No. Is Terry reacting to what I said accurately? No. I’m not offended by that. It’s predicatable.

    But the President is bound by the constitution and the law. And these are hostilities. And Obama did get legal advice pointing out the obvious fact they are hostilities.

    And noting that Obama is not bound by his subordinates doesn’t change the fact he is bound by the truth that this is war. That’s just a fact. Obama can’t pull rank on a dictionary.

    Comment by Dustin — 6/20/2011 @ 2:21 pm

    Oh yes, so predictable. After all, I am such a trial.

    So is it a war? I don’t know. My father in law was in the Battle of the Bulge and my own father was at Nagasaki days after the bomb was dropped. I guess I think of that as war. In this case, we have not lost any people, not yet anyway. Was it a war when our men were killed in Somalia? Or when our embassies were blown up in Africa?

    But then again, did they consider the Korean conflict a war? The men who fought there would say it was.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  90. No, what should give people cause is that until now I can not remember conservatives supporting the War Powers Act..I do not remember Republican presidents ever acknowledging the fact that they had to abide by it. That is the point. Now all of a sudden, Obama is breaking the law. Please, I do not like Obama..I will vote for whoever gets the nomination to run against him, but this seems partisan to me. I also have to wonder if the day will come when a Republican is once again defending himself or herself against just such a charge.

    Now you are just lying your butt off. Can’t you ever be honest?

    Really, no republican has abided by the WPA? bush did not get 2 authorizations for Iraq and Afghanistan?

    And, liberals are always complete hypocrits, so no matter what Republicans do now, liberals will call the next republican president hitler, and a chimp and a war criminal and whatever. to even pretend that if we allowed Obama to ignore the law on this would ever be recipricated by any liberal anywhere is a joke. So that’s a dumb argument.

    Your argument that we think it is a bad law and therefore Obama should not have to follow it is so infantile as to be pathetic. Really? the new rule is that if we think a law is a bad law, we don’t have to abide by it? Is taht really teh standard you want set?

    So dam dishonest and silly

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  91. You are being silly. Most conservatives believe roe v. Wade is wrong and unconstitutional. Can a republican governor now simply ignore it? By your logic, they can. If you think a law is unconstitutional you don’t have to abide by it or enforce it.

    Well said, Monkeytoe.

    The law is the law. Bush abided by the WPA. He may not have said ‘I support the WPA a lot and here’s me abiding it’ any more than I said ‘I support the speed limit on this road today!’ but he asked permission to go to war anyway.

    And that’s because the constitution gives congress this power. One man alone should never have the power to send our nation to war. Either they go because Congress gave the president permission to handle an emergency, or they go because Congress specifically authorized it.

    It’s that simple. If you don’t like that, there is an amendment process.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  92. Also, just reading over this thread, it’s clear Terrye would never lose an argument. Some people are impossible to debate.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  93. So is it a war? I don’t know. My father in law was in the Battle of the Bulge and my own father was at Nagasaki days after the bomb was dropped. I guess I think of that as war. In this case, we have not lost any people, not yet anyway. Was it a war when our men were killed in Somalia? Or when our embassies were blown up in Africa?

    But then again, did they consider the Korean conflict a war? The men who fought there would say it was.

    Comment by Terrye — 6/20/2011 @ 2:27 pm

    I love how Terrye is trying to play the hypocrit card here. the true hypocrasy is where are all the anti-war leftists? Where is everyone that claimed Bush and Cheney were hitler and war criminals? Why have all the leftists not risen up in righteous outrage over Obama’s unilateral war-mongering and ignoring U.S. law?

    Oh, b/c he is a dem. I recall for 8 years hearing how Iraq was illegal, etc., etc., etc. But now comes president hopeandchange dropping bombs without so much as a congressional resolution, and suddenly its all good. We are being bad americans by not supporting the president.

    I remember when dissent was the height of patriotism and now it is the floor of treason.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  94. Your logic is seriously lacking on this. I suppose if I support “x” today, for all eternity I have to support “x”?

    I don’t think you have the foggiest idea of what the WPA is about. If NATO (not Obama – I love how you keep trying to give him credit as if he started the action, rounded up support, and led it) had been able to push Quaddafy out in a couple of weeks, the WPA would never have come into effect, as teh WPA gives the president a certain amount of time to act unilaterally – specifically for short engagements.

    This is now dragging on past the deadline of the WPA and asking that Obama abide by it is hardly wrong.

    And, I’m not sure the rebels are good guys. I pretty much think everyone involved is the bad guys.

    Comment by monkeytoe — 6/20/2011 @ 2:24 pm

    My logic is wrong? Bush got all the authorization he could possibly need to go into Iraq and people still disavowed the mission. They disavowed their own votes when the polls went south on Iraq. Sure, people change their minds. It happens all the time.

    The point is that if Congress wants to act, they can. Obama is not a dictator and Congress has the ability to reign him in if they choose to do so.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  95. When Obama and Congress last agreed upon the budget, one of the items to save money in the bill was to eliminate Obama’s czars. Upon signing the budget bill, however, Obama decided that was an infringement on the executive branch and decided he would continue to have his czars. He issued a signing statement saying as much, without indicating how the czars would be paid.

    How does that inform us in regards to Congress cutting off funding for Libya?

    MayBee (081489)

  96. Terrye makes her points well I think Mr. Dustin and she makes good ones – and definitely the notion that giving a bunch of American congresswhores a say in the prosecution of military larks like the Libya one is a Good Idea is definitely problematic at best.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  97. I love how Terrye is trying to play the hypocrit card here. the true hypocrasy is where are all the anti-war leftists? Where is everyone that claimed Bush and Cheney were hitler and war criminals? Why have all the leftists not risen up in righteous outrage over Obama’s unilateral war-mongering and ignoring U.S. law?

    Oh, b/c he is a dem. I recall for 8 years hearing how Iraq was illegal, etc., etc., etc. But now comes president hopeandchange dropping bombs without so much as a congressional resolution, and suddenly its all good. We are being bad americans by not supporting the president.

    I remember when dissent was the height of patriotism and now it is the floor of treason.

    Comment by monkeytoe — 6/20/2011 @ 2:32 pm

    What?? I don’t like Obama, but I am not going to suddenly become a fan of the War Powers Act just to put the screws to him.

    And who cares where the anti war people are? Where are all the people who were outraged when the man who put that bomb on Pan Am 103 went home to a hero’s welcome? This is Gaddafi we are talking about, the man has killed hundreds of American civilians and he has made attacks on our military. There was a reason Reagan bombed Libya..tell me was that a war? How Operation Preying Mantis? When the US sank about half of the Iranian navy in the late 80s? Or how about Grenada?

    Terrye (007c3b)

  98. How does that inform us in regards to Congress cutting off funding for Libya?

    Comment by MayBee — 6/20/2011 @ 2:34 pm

    Well then blame Congress. The point everyone is missing is that if they want to stop this, they can.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  99. Terrye makes her points well I think Mr. Dustin and she makes good ones – and definitely the notion that giving a bunch of American congresswhores a say in the prosecution of military larks like the Libya one is a Good Idea is definitely problematic at best.

    Comment by happyfeet

    I disagree damn strongly with that. As do your founding fathers for the most part.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  100. Everything wise about our government assumes consolidating total power in one man is a bad idea, even if you predict great men will wield that power sometimes.

    Everything wise about our constitution instils some chaos and confusion and delay and hassle. This brings problems in emergencies, and in a good faith effort to limit this problem, the WPA was passed.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  101. Obama decided that was an infringement on the executive branch and decided he would continue to have his czars. He issued a signing statement saying as much, without indicating how the czars would be paid.

    How does that inform us in regards to Congress cutting off funding for Libya?

    Comment by MayBee — 6/20/2011 @ 2:34 pm

    Yup. You get it. While I don’t see any fundamental problem with defunding Libya, I remember how Obama deals with that issue.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  102. Republican Sen. John McCain, a staunch defender of the Iraq war, on Tuesday faulted the Bush administration for misleading Americans into believing the conflict would be “some kind of day at the beach.”

    The potential 2008 presidential candidate, who a day earlier had rejected calls for withdrawing U.S. forces, said the administration had failed to make clear the challenges facing the military.

    “I think one of the biggest mistakes we made was underestimating the size of the task and the sacrifices that would be required,” McCain said. “Stuff happens, mission accomplished, last throes, a few dead-enders. I’m just more familiar with those statements than anyone else because it grieves me so much that we had not told the American people how tough and difficult this task would be.”*

    these are the sorts of cowardly anklebiters you invite into the discussion when you let American congresswhores participate in your war councils… whatever it is our Esteemed Founders found to be salubrious about this arrangement, it can hardly be said to be optimal Mr. Dustin

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  103. Well then blame Congress. The point everyone is missing is that if they want to stop this, they can.

    I don’t understabd.
    I’m saying Obama already blatantly disregarded a Congressional bill cutting off funding for something in the executive branch.

    I’m not certain he would do any different if Congress voted to cut off funding. What funding, anyway? They haven’t even voted to fund this thing.

    MayBee (081489)

  104. these are the sorts of cowardly anklebiters you invite into the discussion when you let American congresswhores participate in your war councils

    The American people should be represented, via congress, in decisions pertaining to powers the constitution gives congress.

    This isn’t called a ‘war council’. It’s called ‘the US Constitution’. I didn’t ‘invite’ them. Obama usurped them.

    And what’s the alternative? To have a system here 535 people can authorize a war, some of them being ‘whores’ in your estimation, vs 1 person, that person being Obama or Mccain depending on the result of an election?

    Anyway, you hit the nail on the head when you say this isn’t optimal. The US Constitution is quite assuredly not trying to be ‘optimal’. It’s trying to limit powers and abuses and efficiency. War shouldn’t be an easy thing to authorize, happyfeet. Frankly, I’ve been to a lot of military funerals in the past ten years and I’m never going to be convinced we should make it easier for the president to get the USA into one.

    That doesn’t have anything to do with whether Libya is a worthwhile effort, so I won’t address that again.

    I’m saying Obama already blatantly disregarded a Congressional bill cutting off funding for something in the executive branch.

    I’m not certain he would do any different if Congress voted to cut off funding. What funding, anyway? They haven’t even voted to fund this thing.

    Comment by MayBee

    Exactly. You didn’t ‘miss’ that congress can defund this. That’s a lie. Everyone repeatedly notes that Obama usurped the law, and now we’re told we ‘missed’ that we could just pass another law? What a load of crap. What a dishonest argument.

    And yeah, I’m not aware of this ‘Libya Funding’.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  105. I think this all has to do with you not liking a black President.

    JD (b98cae)

  106. Well yeah. :(

    Dustin (c16eca)

  107. mostly I just wanna bag on McCain Mr. Dustin. It makes me feel better as a person.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  108. What we desperately need is a Libyan U.N. Sponsored Limited Duration Kinetic Military Humanitarian Action Czar.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  109. “mostly I just wanna bag on McCain Mr. Dustin.”

    Mr. Feets – Those resentments of yours, you are really just pointing a finger at yourself. As a Psychologist I know things.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  110. Since the War Powers Act came into being every president has been accused of being in violation. In fact Ronald Reagan was said to be in violation of the law three times if I remember correctly.

    The issue is whether or not the WPA is constitutional. Opponents have always claimed that Congress has the power of the purse, which enables them to cut off funding.

    That is the real issue.

    Terrye (7c855d)

  111. Well then blame Congress. The point everyone is missing is that if they want to stop this, they can.

    I don’t understabd.
    I’m saying Obama already blatantly disregarded a Congressional bill cutting off funding for something in the executive branch.

    I’m not certain he would do any different if Congress voted to cut off funding. What funding, anyway? They haven’t even voted to fund this thing.

    Comment by MayBee — 6/20/2011 @ 2:54 pm

    Well, he can not blatantly disregard it if they don’t want him to. If they actually want to cut off the funding, they can and if they don’t follow through then they are not doing their jobs.

    Terrye (7c855d)

  112. Obama is not making the argument that the WPA is unconstitutional. At least put pressure on him to do that.
    Or perhaps critics of his actions right now will force the issue to court.

    Maybe House Republicans should put forth a bill to repeal the war powers act.

    MayBee (081489)

  113. I ask you what’s a little pickachu got if he doesn’t have his resentments Mr. daley?

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  114. Well, he can not blatantly disregard it if they don’t want him to. If they actually want to cut off the funding, they can and if they don’t follow through then they are not doing their jobs.

    What do they do? What are the steps they take to cut off funding to something they have not opted to give funding to?

    MayBee (081489)

  115. Terrye – care to point where it has been funded?

    Why is it that when people say things like “the real point is” or “the actual question is” they are inevitably trying to run around with the goalposts and change the topic?

    I don’t get Terrye’s mendoucheity on this.

    JD (3ad5b9)

  116. The inconsistencies in Teh Won’s responses to internal disruptions in Muslim countries is interesting.
    He literally ignored the deaths in the streets of Tehran, and went so far as to reaffirm his desire to reach an accord with the Mullahs.
    He has ignored the involvement of the Assad Regime in the polical assassinations in Lebanon, and has sent Pelosi, Kerry, and Clinton to Baghdad to reach out to this Great Reformer.
    He has involved us in a civil war in Libya, and has sent mixed signals on whether or not the endgame is regime change, or not.
    AQ in the Arabian Pen., and the Yemini Regime, are up to their backsides in international terrorism, and should have been dealt with long ago, and all we’re doing is a carbon-copy of the Predator Mission in Pakistan.
    Speaking of which, do we have a policy in Pakistan (or Afghanistan, for that matter) that is anything but confusing to all involved?
    Does Karzai know what we would like the ultimate outcome to be (do we?), and does he agree with it?
    And, if he doesn’t, why is he still in power?
    Or, are the alternatives so bad, that we have to put up with his crap?
    And, why hasn’t this been explained to the Congress, and the American People?
    For such a wonderful, remarkable communicator, there sure ain’t a lot of comminicatin’ goin’ on (with Thanks to Sen Jim Sasser for one of the great punch lines of the late 20th-Century)!

    AD-RtR/OS! (434c01)

  117. mostly I just wanna bag on McCain Mr. Dustin. It makes me feel better as a person.

    Comment by happyfeet

    Well, it’s just true that under the constitution, a lot of congressmen get some say in a matter like this. That’s feature of my views. When a congressman like Mccain behaves like a douche, that’s just an inherent truth about both houses.

    It’s not like this plan is meant to get the decision from the bad branch to the good and honorable branch. It’s mean to make such a decision closer to the masses. Your representative and Senator are somewhat more beholden to you.

    To be honest, I wish Senators were chosen by states instead, though, with the additional level of hassle and negotiation that would bring.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  118. Comment by JD — 6/20/2011 @ 3:40 pm

    I’m with JD on this:
    There has been no request by the administration for funding for the adventure in North Africa, nor for support of NATO’S mission.
    They have robbed Peter to pay Paul, and the devil take the hindmost.
    What missions in AfPak are being denied funding and resources that has been diverted to Libya?
    What forces in CONUS are being hollowed-out to divert resources to Libya, and Yemen?

    As someone has said repeatedly, Jimmy Carter is now a Best Case Scenario.

    AD-RtR/OS! (434c01)

  119. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7618722.html

    thats okay – Obama just legalized illegal immigration

    EricPWJohnson (8a4ca7)

  120. I’m asking honestly. What would the steps be to cut off funding to Libya?

    MayBee (081489)

  121. I assume Congress would have to pass some incredibly broad law asserting no funds could be used for any missions involving the Libyan strike. Great pains would be needed to make clear that redefining a refueling mission as training, or Libya as some other war effort, would not be OK.

    It would be practically impossible to write it in a way Obama wouldn’t use a signing statement to escape. Hell, he might even say this has created a mess that implicates terrorist organizations included in the 9/11 AUMF, so you’d have to somehow draft that kind of argument in as well.

    The left used defunding efforts against Bush, so I guess some think that’s a clever way to talk about Libya, but Bush sought funding specifically for the Iraq effort. We were building facilities and funding contractors and feeding troops and a huge assortment of things. This isn’t like Libya. Obama is not going to war with Libya to win. He’s just using air and naval assets that we do need funded regardless of Libya.

    This is all a red herring, IMO.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  122. The left used defunding efforts against Bush, so I guess some think that’s a clever way to talk about Libya, but Bush sought funding specifically for the Iraq effort.

    Exactly.
    And I agree with you that the law prohibiting funding to Libya would be very difficult to write, and very easy for Obama to ignore.

    I can imagine him announcing he’d have to stop paychecks from going out to the troops, and he did during the budget battle.

    MayBee (081489)

  123. I can imagine him announcing he’d have to stop paychecks from going out to the troops, and he did during the budget battle.

    Comment by MayBee —

    That one made my head explode. Why didn’t we impeach him? That is a more reasonable recourse than playing his game.

    And yes, he absolutely would do that. Absolutely. And Terry would blame congress somehow.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  124. where the anti war people are? Where are all the people who were outraged when the man who put that bomb on Pan Am 103 went home to a hero’s welcome? This is Gaddafi we are talking about, the man has killed hundreds of American civilians and he has made attacks on our military. There was a reason Reagan bombed Libya..tell me was that a war? How Operation Preying Mantis? When the US sank about half of the Iranian navy in the late 80s? Or how about Grenada?

    Comment by Terrye — 6/20/2011 @ 2:38 pm

    do you really not have the ability to tell the difference between days, weeks, and months? I can’t explain to you any more clearly how the war powers act works. You don’t seem capable of understanding it.

    a 1 night bombing run without congressional approval does not violate the war powers acwt.

    A 4 month engagement without congressional authorization does.

    I like your thinking though. If we don’t like a law, we don’t have to obey it. I’m going to stick with that from now on. there are a lot of laws that i don’t like that I certainly hope the next republican president ignores. And, you will clearly support that as you do violating the WPA.

    after all, consistency is important. You are for violating this law now, so you must be for violating all laws for all time. If you don’t object to a president violating a law right now, by your logic, you never can. You have given carte blanche approval.

    And, as for “de-funding” – you do realize that the Libya action was never specifically funded in teh first place? congress didn’t have a vote on funding a libyan action. So, your silly implication that congress approved this through funding is likewise dumb.

    Monkeytoe (4fa094)

  125. I’ve heard silly arguments before, but really Terye, c’mon. You don’t seriously believe you are making some kind of logical point, do you?

    Monkeytoe (4fa094)

  126. that whole “congress can reign him in if they want to” argument is such a stupid straw man.

    that is not the issue. The issue is whether Obama is violating the WPA.

    You say he isn’t, but make no argument as to why, except for “well, republicans don’t like the WPA” and “hey, some republicans supported action in Libya”.

    neither of those arguments has anything whatsoever to do with whether the WPA is being violated.

    All you do is change the subject and throw out straw men.

    that is infantile argumentation.

    The WPA would apply to any military action, regardless of what you call it. so it applies here.

    the reason it doesn’t apply to some previous actions has to do with how long the actions lasted, not whether we called them war, or police actions, or whatever.

    And fyi – the wPA did not exist for the Korean War.

    If you would simply argue honestly and state why you think the WPA does not apply, instead of throwing out all these silly red-herings like “congress can do something”; “mccain supported it” or “wait until the next republican president”, people would not think you were a fool.

    Monkeytoe (4fa094)

  127. she’s not a fool

    hey checkit

    ConocoPhillips and Occidental Petroleum Corp. said they have received inquiries from the Securities and Exchange Commission related to their operations in Libya.

    ConocoPhillips spokesman John McLemore said the Houston oil company has received a request for information from the SEC and is cooperating fully.

    Occidental spokesman Richard Kline said in an email the company was “among the companies which received an information request regarding Libya from the SEC.”

    The SEC declined to comment. A person familiar with the inquiries said the SEC is asking oil companies for any type of communications they held with the government of Col. Moammar Gadhafi since 2008.

    “It’s a very broad inquiry for communications with the Libyan government,” the person said.

    interesting fishing trip, no? What exactly is our buttmunch pezzydent fishing for you think?

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  128. oops here is the link

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  129. ________________________________________

    Republicans and conservatives have never been strong supporters of this act.

    I can’t speak for other people on the right, but if Bush or any other Republican president had been as cavalier and tactically stupid as Obama has been regarding Libya, I’d be damn furious at such a person.

    I respected Bush for making sure to dot his i’s and cross his t’s when getting Congressional approval to declare war on Iraq.

    The utter hubris and ineptitude of the current White House — in which the idiocy can be deemed as non-partisan and a slap in the face to both the left and right (and anyone with common sense) — is not too dissimilar from what occurred last year…

    weeklystandard.com, Bill Kristol, February 2010:

    [Liberal New York Times columnist] Paul Krugman is, I think, right to be amazed by Obama’s embrace of the $17 million bonus given to JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon and the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

    If Obama’s idea of moving to the middle politically is to embrace Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail banks, he’s crazy. Usually Republicans are the party of Big Business and Democrats of Big Government, and the public’s hostility to both more or less evens the politics out. But if Obama now becomes the spokesman for Big Government intrusiveness and the apologist for Big Business irresponsibility all at once–good luck with that.

    And look at the tone-deafness of Obama’s comments about the bonuses:

    “President Barack Obama said he doesn’t ‘begrudge’ the $17 million bonus awarded to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon or the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein, noting that some athletes take home more pay.

    The president, speaking in an interview, said in response to a question that while $17 million is ‘an extraordinary amount of money’ for Main Street, ‘there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well.’

    ‘I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen,’ Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday….

    First of all, as Krugman points out, “irresponsible behavior by baseball players hasn’t brought the world economy to the brink of collapse.” Nor has the federal government spent billions (trillions?) bailing out baseball owners after they signed foolish contracts. Nor does it guarantee baseball owners’–or players’–future solvency.

    And second, doesn’t Obama realize how creepy this statement is? “I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen.”

    Mark (411533)

  130. With all of Obama’s strange talk lately about how his family would love for him not to be President again, could this Libya thing be his way of setting himself up to fail in 2012? Sure, that’s a reach, but if he really doesn’t want to be re-elected, willfully violating the Constitution and teeing this up for the GOP to ruin him in debates about it is a great way to lower your electoral votes….

    Elliott (30180a)

  131. Conservatives’ beef over the WPR is not that they love it, but that it is the law, and we support The Rule of Law.

    Not according to any president, R or D.

    Long ago Conservatives believed that Presidents of both parties should have advanced a case to SCOTUS for a determination as to whether or not Congress had overreached on this matter.

    Really? Which conservatives have supported involving the judiciary? How is that a conservative idea? This is none of any court’s business.

    But, since no President has wished to contest the matter, it is (for now) settled law and should be observed.

    No, it is not “settled law”. Only Congress thinks it’s law; the president, like every single one of his predecessors, says it isn’t. Which is a bit difficult in this case, since before he became president he vigorously insisted that it was, but that’s 0bama for you. It still remains the case that if the president believes a purported law is invalid he has no obligation to obey it. Of course if Congress believes it is valid, it may impeach him for breaking it, but that’s purely a prudential consideration, not a legal one, and a president who is confident he won’t be impeached has no reason to defer to Congress’s view of the constitution, or to that of the Supreme Court.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  132. The problem with saying that Congress could cut funding for this war is that most members of Congress don’t want to, because they were for the war long before 0bama was. Had he done the right thing and asked Congress for permission, it would surely have been granted by large majorities in both houses. He chose not to, for reasons known only to him, and for that he ought to be brought to heel; but defunding a war that Congress supports would be cutting off its nose to spite its face. IMO an appropriate response to his lawlessness, since we don’t want to impeach him, is for the House to censure him, as it did to Polk.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  133. “stone” thinks that the POTUS is the Supreme Being.

    Sheesh!

    Icy Texan (4ebbba)

  134. My view is that the congress governs and regulates the military and also determines when it is to be used, be it against pirates or in warfare or to capture.

    This is also the view of the constitution. The president merely commands the military in accordance with the rules, regulations, and missions specified by Congress.

    The War Powers Act is plainly a rule regulating the military. It just freaking is. It plainly is necessary and proper to whether we are at war, given presidential behavior to go to war and just pretend we aren’t.

    How could congress not have the power to regulate the military or to specify when and where we go to war? What possible honest interpretation of Article I is that? Just because someone is assigned a command of the military? That’s like saying a platoon’s leader can take his platoon wherever he wants.

    But besides, the argument from presidents Nixon and onward that he has power to go to war against Congress’s wishes would be utter BS. Without a WPA, his powers are diminished and this war is still illegal.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  135. Congress has the power to say the entire military must report to the north pole every 36 hours. They have the power to say the entire military must wear red tennis shoes and call the President curse words every 30 minutes.

    They have the power to regulate the military.

    The commander of the military swears and oath to uphold the Constitution, and thus agrees to obey these directives to the letter. He is the commander of the military that Congress regulates however they see fit.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  136. Why didn’t Congress make an issue of it then? It seems to me that most of Congress supported the action when it was taken..it was only after the fact that they began to talk about approval. So where were they?

    Um, what exactly should Congress have made an issue of, when the bombing started? The (possibly unconstitutional) WPR gave 0bama a free hand for 60 days. When the 60 days expired and he still didn’t ask Congress for permission, naturally Congress got peeved. How else did you expect this to work?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  137. Do not condescend to me…and I do not think the Constitution has been broken either.

    How so?

    I am familiar enough with the issue to know that conservatives have never supported the War Powers Act.

    What has that got to do with it? Suppose the WPR is unconstitutional; where does that leave things? What authority did 0bama have to initiate the state of war with Libya that we are now in?

    I am familiar enough with the situation to know that when all this started no major conservatives in or out of Congress questioned the constitutionality of the action.

    Really? There certainly seemed to be enough opposition in the blogosphere. Doesn’t anyone there count as “major conservatives”?

    I am familiar enough with the situation to know that if and when Congress wants to put down its collective foot, it can cut off the funding.

    And why should it do that? How does its failure to do that change the fact that whatever ones position on the WPR, this war is illegal?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  138. So is it a war? I don’t know.

    Oh, come on. You certainly do know, you just won’t admit it. What has the number of casualties on our side got to do with it? Are you really claiming with a straight face that if we haven’t lost anybody then we’re not at war?! What about the Libyans? They’ve lost people, so they are at war with us, but we’re not at war with them?! That has got to be the stupidest think I’ve heard in a while, and I hear some very stupid things. No sane person could believe such a proposition.

    Do you want to know the litmus test for whether we’re at war? Suppose Libya were to bomb the Pentagon; would that be a criminal act of aggression, or a legitimate act of war? If we arrested the bomber, could we charge him with a crime? The answer is obvious: we are at war with Libya, and therefore under the law of nations Libya has every right to strike at our forces wherever they are, and by any means it finds appropriate. And the constitution has something to say about who may initiate a state of war.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  139. You are being silly. Most conservatives believe roe v. Wade is wrong and unconstitutional. Can a republican governor now simply ignore it? By your logic, they can.

    Um, Roe isn’t a law. By definition it can’t be unconstitutional. But it can be and is wrong, and anybody who believes it wrong is certainly entitled to ignore it, so long as he doesn’t depend on a court to agree with him.

    If you think a law is unconstitutional you don’t have to abide by it or enforce it.

    If it’s unconstitutional then it isn’t a law, so why should anybody keep it?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  140. Well, he can not blatantly disregard it if they don’t want him to.

    Really? How can they stop him, short of impeachment?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  141. Terrye, here’s a question for you: how do you understand the Declaration of War clause in the constitution? Is it a dead letter? Does it mean anything at all? If so, what? When does the president need a congressional declaration of war before doing what he pleases?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)


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