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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Obama's Explanation of Why He Did Not Need Congressional Authorization

.... for the attacks on Libya sounds an awful lot like his explanation of why the health care mandate is constitutional.

Just as the Obama administration tied the decision of an individual not to purchase health care insurance, through a series of connections and chains of causation, to the health care costs and availability of insurance of the entire nation thereby warranting regulation under the Commerce Clause mandating the individual purchase of insurance ...

... so too Obama in a letter to Congress has sought to justify the failure to obtain prior Congressional authorization by tying what happens in the civil war in Libya, through a series of connections and chains of causation, to an exigent national security threat to the United States (emphasis mine):
Qadhafi’s continued attacks and threats against civilians and civilian populated areas are of grave concern to neighboring Arab nations and, as expressly stated in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973, constitute a threat to the region and to international peace and security. His illegitimate use of force not only is causing the deaths of substantial numbers of civilians among his own people, but also is forcing many others to flee to neighboring countries, thereby destabilizing the peace and security of the region. Left unaddressed, the growing instability in Libya could ignite wider instability in the Middle East, with dangerous consequences to the national security interests of the United States.
There are, of course, other possible explanations as to why congressional authorization was not needed, such as that a limited attack does not constitute the level of hostilities necessary to trigger congressional approval, but this Butterfly effect argument of exigent circumstances seems quite weak.

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  1. Bet Qadhafi's wishing he had applied for a HHS waiver that Assad, Admedinejad and the House of Saud somehow knew to get.

  2. That statement may, in a sense, explain why military intervention in Libya is in America's interest. It does not, however, explain how it is that Obama can take such action without Congressional authorization, something he said in 2007 would be unconstitutional given the absence of an imminent threat against the U.S.

    I'm not sure I necessarily agree with Obama's 2007 position on the limits of the president's authority to order an attack without Congressional approval, but that's not the point. The point is that he's a complete hypocrite and a fraud. He has taken an action that, by the standard he himself laid down in 2007, is clearly unconstitutional. Moreover, he did it in about the most cavalier way imaginable, not bothering to address the nation, or in any way make his case for American involvement, or even interrupt his South American vacation.

  3. Yeah, I don't think this is legal. Mind you, i wanted it to happen 2 weeks ago, but it has to happen the right way--with congressional approval.


    As for whether this counts as war-making.... we might not think of bombing a country as a big deal, but in 1941 when we were on the other end, we thought it was. mind you, i am not saying we are wrong to have bombed libya. but it was waging war. give me a break.

  4. Couldn't the reverse argument be made more strongly, that failing to intervene would allow the Libyan dictator to suppress the revolt which would give aid and comfort to other dictators in the region to stabilize their countries, in the same manner, which would reduce 'instability' in the region, without the intervention of USA blood and treasury?

    Also, how was it that a 'moron' and 'cowboy' like George Bush, in the face of imminent threats from Afghanistan and Iraq, somehow managed to persuade Congress to pass authorizations for use of force, but Obama, the brilliant and beloved, didn't have that capacity?

    I'm not saying intervention for the right reason in Libya would be wrong, just that the President's argument (and execution) is half baked.

  5. Will we continue to take the necessary measures if the rebel insurgents in Libya prevail and begin their version of ethnic cleansing? Probably not. I am still waiting to see evidence of a humanitarian movement in that unstable sand box. Peace and security, yea sure.

  6. He is poking congress in the eye. Odds are that he would've received congressional approval. He is making a statement by cutting congress out of "the loop", which might be the ultimate point of this exercise, in his mind.

  7. so in other words, like the mandate, the argument is for what could potentially happen, and not what is laid out in the constitution.

  8. In Hawaiian pidgin English, I'd say, Mr. President ...

    "What? Trying, Brah?"

    Loosely translated as, "Phony, as evidenced by trying too hard,"(in this case, to make a connection).

    You gotta speak Barry's childhood language.

  9. In particular, it seems to me that the statement you highlighted above, as it was contained in the Obama letter argument to Congress, is not just weak.

    It is pure conjecture:

    "Left unaddressed, the growing instability in Libya could ignite wider instability in the Middle East, with dangerous consequences to the national security interests of the United States."

    There is no way to prove it, or disprove it.

    Note that he did not state that his actions were taken in the national security interests of the United States.

    He stated that, if the unfolding situation in Libya had been left unaddressed by him and by the "Coalition," dangerous consequences for the national security interests of the United States could possibly ensue.

    And, he said so, without identifying any or all of the specific national security interests of ours which, in his mind, could be affected.

    In a strange way, this is the "action-filled" version of voting present. He seems to feel caught in a huge conflict . . . an aversion to being "identifiably wrong" in the long run, coupled with an absolute need to act now.

    And he has temporarily "resolved" that conflict by advancing an unacceptably vague justification for dropping bombs!

  10. He isn't, despite his pretensions, our KING, nor is he the entire judicial branch rolled into one unlovely package!

  11. Wow- and the left thought W's justification for going into Iraq WITH congressional approval was weak.

  12. Congressional authorization?

    He doesn't need authorization! He's the Messiah! Just ask his buddy Farrahkan.