Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Libya and the War Powers Act

House Speaker John Boehner sent a very proper letter to President Obama reminding him that his war in Libya is in violation of the War Powers Act unless he receives authorization from Congress. The Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, and the War Powers Act gives the President the go-ahead only if there is "(1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces." None of these conditions exists with Libya.

Obama is pursuing a go-it-alone involvement in Libya without knowing the allegiance of the people we are backing or what kind of regime they would institute if they win. Even his own top lawyers told him that the War Powers Act requires him to stop his war in Libya unless he gets congressional authorization. Obama prefers to take advice from Harold Koh, the State Department transnationalist. That's a person who advocates incorporating foreign law into U.S. domestic law. Some pro-war extremists have gone to the defense of Obama by calling those who oppose the war in Libya "isolationists." That's just using a smear word to avoid dealing honestly with real issues.

Obama has tried to justify his war in Libya by citing United Nations and NATO approval. But his Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, delivered a frank speech reminding our NATO friends that America is getting fed up with providing three-fourths of the money for NATO's wars and defense spending, while most NATO countries have reneged on their promises. All 28 NATO members voted for the operation in Libya, but fewer than a third have participated in the mission. Gates said this is "unacceptable," and sooner or later Americans will just stop financing NATO.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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