President Obama has longed for bipartisan support to his directives and finally he received it.
However, this bipartisan support does not work in President Obama’s favor as many on both sides of the political fence are coming together under a mutual agreement that President Obama directly violated Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution which separated powers for the decision to go into war intentionally with the approval of Congress, in an attempt to thwart the tyranny of kings.
In fact, one of the US’s Founding Fathers, James Madison stated, “The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature”.
However, President Obama has proven time and time again that he feels that he is above the law and has shown that he is willing to strip rights away from people (this time not just the common people but the legislature at large!)
In a harshly worded statement Monday evening, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) declared, “The United States does not have a King’s army.”
“President Obama’s unilateral choice to use U.S. military force in Libya is an affront to our Constitution,” said Bartlett, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee.
Sen. Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a frequent ally of the president on foreign policy, also called Monday for “full congressional debate on the objectives and costs” of military action in Libya — and a declaration of war if it goes on.
“There needs to be a plan about what happens after Qaddafi” Lugar said in a statement. “Who will be in charge then, and who pays for this all. President Obama, so far, has only expressed vague hopes.”
Not that these “grand hopes with little detail” should be a surprise to everyone as he ran his campaign on the vague concepts of “hope” and “change” and let the American people fill in the blanks with whatever their definition of hope and change was without setting a clear sense of direction.
Much like Operation Odyssey Dawn.
This time though, the criticism is not coming from just the Republican side of the camp but also that of his own party.
Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, told MSNBC Monday “this isn’t the way our system is supposed to work.”
“We have not put this issue in front of the American people in any meaningful way,” said Webb. “The president is in Rio, the Congress is out of session.”
In a conference call over the weekend, several House Democrats reportedly raised questions about the president’s action in Libya, without having consulted Congress.
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) said Monday the president should have done so.
“I truly believe that before we put our young people in harm’s way that people in the Congress should be able to explain to their constituents that our national security was in jeopardy,” he said.
Obama secured United Nations approval in the form of a security council resolution that calls for the protection of Libyan citizens, and waited until the Arab League endorsed a no-fly zone, despite initial opposition.
However, Under the War Powers Resolution, a president must get congressional authorization to deploy U.S. troops except in the case of a clear threat or emergency to the US.
It is important to note that the US was not in direct danger- our gas prices rose but as far as physical danger- we were not at risk. Even Defense Secretary Robert Gates agrees.
That is, the Libyan circumstances does not justify President Obama authorizing air strikes on Qaddafi without the approval of Congress, a concept that Obama is failing to grasp.
Quoting the War Powers Resolution is all well and good and I would be supportive of his action if the Libyan turmoil presented a direct and imminent threat here at the United States but it doesnt.
What President Obama did was essentally get involved in a civil rights battle in the middle east.
For all of you who are saying that he is protecting human rights of freedom, ask yourself this– If that is what Obama was really doing, then how come he did not intervene in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Bahrain and Yemen as the leading government was oppressing their rights to freedom. President Obama was oddly silent on those happenings.
If you are going to fight for human rights, then they must always be defended- not selected by the President WITHOUT the approval of Congress.
Once again, the Obama of Yesteryear conflict with Obama of the Current Times as in 2007, Obama told The Boston Globe that it is always “preferable” to have “the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.”
Obama even goes further to say, “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” Obama said, responding to a question about when a president could bomb Iran without use-of-force authorization from Congress.
“In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch.”
On Monday afternoon, responding to the congressional pushback, he sent a 2 page letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), the president pro tem of the Senate, offering excuses for violating the Constitution, ahem, asserting his constitutional authority.
He noted he did not deploy ground troops into Libya and that the U.S. is conducting a “limited and well-defined mission in support of international efforts to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster.”
Well defined mission? It is apparent that there is NOT a long term consequence plan mapped out.
He said he “directed these actions, which are in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.”
“I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution,” he wrote. “I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.”
Further, Obama did not mention the budgetary impact of the military campaign in that letter, but cost has become a flashpoint.
Proven, once again, Obama does not take the budgetary consequences of how actions into consideration.
Our Founding Fathers were absolutely clear in their demand that the country would only go to war upon the collective decision of the representatives of the People.
“The facts are that our budget is stretched too far and our troops are stretched too far,” Lugar said in a statement. “The American people require a full understanding and accounting, through a full and open debate in Congress.”
Additionally, a primary reason for creating a system of representation was due to exigencies of the day that made it impossible for the People to meet and decide their fate in person.
Thus, the true reason for entrusting the Legislature with the power to declare war was to ensure that the People would be involved in the decision as much as was physically possible.
What the Framers did not imagine was a weak and ineffectual Congress that failed to claim its rightful authority in deciding when the nation would go to war, or a power-hungry President that wouldn’t refuse an extra-constitutional transfer of such power from Congress.
If a President failed to recognize the US Constitution in pursuing a war with a country that posed no liable threat to the US- that would be room for impeachment.
Even VP Biden supports impeaching Obama for his offensive into Libya. Well, he didnt say those words exactly but what he DID say was that he would look to impeach Bush if he went into Iran without congressional approval (video evidence below)- so he should stand behind his belief or else prove to be hypocritical.
What can WE do about it? For starters, you can contact:
Obama’s staff directly at 1-202-456-1111. Try it, you get to talk to a live person.
Tell them that we need to regroup and figure out the long term plan, BUDGET and EXIT strategy as well as the cost and the increase in taxes (its either an increase in taxing or cutting more programs to balance!).
Also mention that the Libyan air strikes go against the US Constitution as it violates Section 1, Article 8 as Obama collaborated with the UNs and engaged in an offense attack without the approval of Congress.
Causally mention that our current debt of $14.3 trillion is a concern and knowing that the Tomahawk cruise missiles are $575k a piece, you are not comfortable with the fact that we, in a matter of a week, threw $73.6 million on top of our debt with the deployment of 128 Tomahawk cruise missiles.
For an added punch, tell them that you remember when VP Biden supported impeaching Bush if he went into Iran without Congressional approval and this is the exact same situation.
Also, make it a point to contact your Senators and Representatives to put more pressure on them and encourage them to stand up against President Obama (we elected them to be our voice!)
Representative Search: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
Senate Search: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.
Copyright (c) March 22, 2011. All rights reserved.