The War in Libya and the War on Logic

One of the most strategically important aspects of the war in Libya is the parallel war on logic.  According to the Obama administration, the ongoing war in Libya is neither illegal nor unconstitutional because it is not a war.  From The Atlantic:
"We are in no way putting into question the constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution," one senior administration official explained to reporters on a conference call. "We are not engaged in any of the activities that typically over the years in War Powers analysis has considered to constitute hostilities within the meaning of the statute. We're not engaged in sustained fighting, there's been no exchange of fire with hostile forces, we don't have troops on the ground, we don't risk casualties to those troops." And here is Obama in his letter to Boehner:
The initial phase of U.S. military involvement in Libya was conducted under the command of the U.S. Africa Command. By April 4, however, the United States had transferred responsibility for the military operations in Libya to NATO and the U.S. involvement has assumed a supporting role in the coalition's efforts. Since April 4, U.S. participation has consisted of: (1) non-kinetic support to the NATO-led operation, including intelligence, logistical support, and search and rescue assistance; (2) aircraft that have assisted in the suppression and destruction of air defenses in support of the no-fly zone; and (3) since April 23, precision strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles against a limited set of clearly defined targets in support of the NATO-led coalition's efforts.
So, as the Obama administration would have it,  the president does not need a declaration of war from the Congress or even Congressional approval of the war in Libya because we're not involved in a war in Libya: we're just providing material support for allies engaged in combat, neutralizing air defenses, maintaining a no fly zone, and waging an extensive bombing campaign with unmanned drones.  Ron Paul writes at the Daily Caller:
Our Founders understood that waging war is not something that should be taken lightly, which is why Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution gives Congress — not the president — the authority to declare war. This was meant to be an important check on presidential power. The last thing the Founders wanted was an out-of-control executive branch engaging in unnecessary and unpopular wars without so much as a Congressional debate.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly the situation we have today in Libya. That’s why I’ve joined several other members of Congress in a lawsuit against President Obama for engaging in military action in Libya without seeking the approval of Congress . . . the War Powers Act is hardly an improvement on the U.S. Constitution because it does allow the president to go to war without the approval of Congress.  But President Obama refuses to follow this law.
It is time to begin holding our presidents accountable for their crimes. 


Samuel Wilson said...

Unfortunately, the President has probably elucidated the reasons why many Americans simply don't care, and won't unless American lives are lost at some point. My pessimism aside, here is a legitimately nonpartisan campaign that ought to gain traction the more the war on Libya is perceived as a profligate waste of money. I can imagine good old ANSWER joining in if they haven't already, but I wonder where the other boots on the ground, so to speak, will come from.

TiradeFaction said...

"It is time to begin holding our presidents accountable for their crimes."

I agree, but how can we do this? This is a topic that needs to be explored IMO.