White House to Libya war foes in Congress: Shut up


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The Obama administration made a truly odd argument yesterday to explain why it's OK for them to continue military operations in Libya. The argument, reminiscent of Kissinger-esque or 1984-ish doublespeak, is that they don’t need congressional approval for waging war in Libya because ... we’re not really at war.

Members of Congress have been increasingly critical of the White House for its actions in Libya, where NATO forces are enforcing a no-fly zone. House Speaker John Boehner has warned Obama that by Sunday, the U.S. military will have been in Libya 90 days, meaning that the President will need congressional authorization to continue military action there, according to the War Powers Act. In the meantime, 10 House members, led by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) filed suit against Obama, saying it is unconstitutional for the White House to start military operations without congressional approval.

The White House, however, announced yesterday that neither the lawmakers’ suit nor Boehner’s objections were valid, since the U.S. is only offering a supporting role in Libya, with no ground troops and zero potential for casualties. The White House released a 32-page report that outlines its legal justification for continued involvement in Libya, which you can read here.

Kucinich answered the White House’s argument by saying that Obama’s "claim that the war is not war is not a legal argument. It is a political argument. The legal argument will hopefully be addressed by the courts.” He continued, saying the congressional lawsuit challenges “the rationale that has brought our nation to an Orwellian war that is not war."

My thoughts, or at least one of them, on the matter is that the administration is shoveling bullshit, pure and simple. Their arguments are similar to the nonsense peddled by past administrations — Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush 2 — essentially allowing them to continue sending troops wherever and whenever they please.

As for the Libya “operations” not involving America in a war, let’s remember that at the beginning of this “non-war,” we launched over 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles, and dropped bombs all over Libya (not just in the city of Benghazi, which we supposedly entered the fray to protect). That was just the first day. Sorry, folks, but that’s war, and members of Congress need to keep reminding the White House of that fact, and not back down.

NOT WAR? Tomahawk missile launched at Libya from U.S. ship
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