Congress sues President Obama over Libya
While the White House continues to stand on Obama’s side regarding military presence in Libya, lawmakers are calling his actions both illegal and unconstitutional and have now filed a lawsuit against the commander in chief.
According to author David Swanson, the White House makes the argument that the War Powers Act doesn’t apply or “much less the Constitution.” The president feels that the conflict in Libya is not a war, or even a skirmish that has risen to a hostile level. Swanson argues, however, that the 1973-penned bill was made to keep the US out of involvements just like this.
Swanson goes as far as to say that those that wrote the law had the “foresight to anticipate” exactly what is going on now in North Africa.
The White House claims the US is merely helping out, but Swanson says that with drones targeting Libyan locales, the White House’s claims that this is a military operation that doesn’t rise to the level of hostilities is “absolutely absurd.”
“This was written in 1973 very intentionally and clearly to encompass all military engagements, including imminent threats of hostilities and anything that amount to hostilities,” he says.
Swanson recalls a point Representative Dennis Kucinich made earlier in the week:
“If there were 2,000 missions over the United States by a foreign nation and many of them were dropping bombs, would there be a war? Would there be hostilities?”
So far ten lawmakers have joined together to bring charges against the president, but Swanson says that’s not enough. “Senators can begin and end wars and that is what they ought to be doing,” he says.
“Congress could pass a bill through both houses denying permission to use any money from any source for a war in Libya,” Swanson says. “They could do that tomorrow but it’s not on the agenda.”
In the meantime, Democrats like Dennis Kucinich and Republicans such as Ron Paul are joining forces to make sure the president knows that—even if he is the president—he can still be guilty of breaking the law.