Dear Mr. President:
Five days from now, our country will reach the 90-day mark from the notification to Congress regarding the commencement of the military operation in Libya, which began on March 18, 2011. On June 3, 2011, the House passed a resolution which, among other provisions, made clear that the Administration has not asked for, nor received, Congressional authorization of the mission in Libya. Therefore, it would appear that in five days, the Administration will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution unless it asks for and receives authorization from Congress or withdraws all U.S. troops and resources from the mission…
Given the mission you have ordered to the U.S. Armed Forces with respect to Libya and the text of the War Powers Resolution, the House is left to conclude that you have made one of two determinations: either you have concluded the War Powers Resolution does not apply to the mission in Libya, or you have determined the War Powers Resolution is contrary to the Constitution. The House, and the American people whom we represent, deserve to know the determination you have made.
Therefore, on behalf of the institution and the American people, I must ask you the following questions: Have you or your Administration conducted the legal analysis to justify your position as to whether your Administration views itself to be in compliance with the War Powers Resolution so that it may continue current operations, absent formal Congressional support or authorization, once the 90-day mark is reached? Assuming you conducted that analysis, was it with the consensus view of all stakeholders of the relevant Departments in the Executive branch? In addition, has there been an introduction of a new set of facts or circumstances which would have changed the legal analysis the Office of Legal Counsel released on April 1, 2011? Given the gravity of the constitutional and statutory questions involved, I request your answer by Friday, June 17, 2011.
Allahpundit questions the politics of this salvo, but I don’t see that Boehner—Congress, actually—has any choice. Like it or not, the War Powers Resolution has been the law of the land for 38 years, and Obama doesn’t appear to give a hoot about it. Boehner puts it exactly right: “The House, and the American people whom we represent, deserve to know the determination you have made.”
I think Qaddafi is a murderous scumbag, and I hope he dies. I think the President, as Commander in Chief, should be given leeway to conduct affairs in this nation’s defense. But the law says he has to consult Congress, and the Constitution itself gives Congress the power to declare war.
Obama can’t avoid this forever. And he shouldn’t. Boehner is just doing his job, our job.
C U in court, sucka!
A bipartisan group of House members will file a lawsuit Wednesday challenging U.S. participation in the Libya military mission.
The administration will provide a report to address a June 3 House resolution that raised questions about the president’s goal in Libya, how he hopes to achieve that goal, why he has not sought congressional authorization for involving U.S. troops abroad and how much the conflict will ultimately cost, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said.
The lawsuit, which will be formally announced at a Washington news conference, will cite the War Powers Resolution as well as the role of Congress in protecting taxpayers’ money, said Rep. Walter Jones, R-North Carolina, one of the 10 legislators filing it.
A statement by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, an anti-war liberal who is leading the lawsuit effort with Jones, said that the lawsuit will “challenge the executive branch’s circumvention of Congress and its use of international organizations such as the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to authorize the use of military force abroad, in violation of the Constitution.”
“With regard to the war in Libya, we believe that the law was violated. We have asked the courts to move to protect the American people from the results of these illegal policies,” Kucinich said in his statement.
Personally, I wouldn’t stand next to Kucinich unless in a hazmat suit (his wife’s a different story), but he is a consistent little hobgoblin.
As Michael Savage just said, we’ve gone from “I did not have sex with that woman” to “We are not at war with that country.”
The two senior administration lawyers contended that American forces have not been in “hostilities” at least since April 7, when NATO took over leadership in maintaining a no-flight zone in Libya, and the United States took up what is mainly a supporting role — providing surveillance and refueling for allied warplanes — although unmanned drones operated by the United States periodically fire missiles as well.
They argued that United States forces are at little risk in the operation because there are no American troops on the ground and Libyan forces are unable to exchange meaningful fire with American forces. They said that there was little risk of the military mission escalating, because it is constrained by the United Nations Security Counsel resolution that authorized use of air power to defend civilians.
Maybe so, but you have to threaten to sue these guys to get them to tell you anything, even lies (which I suspect this is).