Constitutional Problems With The Libyan War

by Ron Paul

Last week the Obama Administration took the United States to war against Libya without bothering to notify Congress, much less obtain a Constitutionally-mandated declaration of war. In the midst of our severe economic downturn, this misadventure has already cost us hundreds of millions of dollars and we can be sure the final price tag will be several times higher.

Why did the US intervene in a civil war in a country that has neither attacked us nor poses a threat? We are told this was another humanitarian intervention, like Clinton’s 1999 war against Serbia. But as civilian victims of the US-led coalition bombing continue to add up, it is getting difficult to determine whether the problem we are creating on the ground is worse than the one we were trying to solve.

Though the administration seems to be playing with semantics, calling this a “kinetic military action,” let’s be clear: this is a US act of war on Libya. Imposing a no-fly zone over the air space of a sovereign nation is an act of war, as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates pointed out before the bombing began. That the administration hesitates to call this war, possibly due to the troubling Constitutional implications, does not mean that it is not one. Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution could not be clearer: the power and obligation to declare war resides solely in the US Congress.

There was ample time and opportunity for the administration to consult the UN, NATO and the Arab League before going to war, but not the US Congress.

Aside from the manner in which the administration took us to war, it is also troubling that our government has taken a decisive stand for one side of an internal conflict in another sovereign country. The administration speaks out of both sides of its mouth on this, claiming that the US is not attempting to overthrow the Gaddafi regime while clearly benefitting the rebels and stating that Gaddafi must leave. Does this make any sense? Gaddafi may well be every bit the “bad guy” we are told he is, but who are the rebels we are assisting? Do we have any clue? Will they bring freedom and prosperity to Libya if they are victorious? We might like to hope so, but the fact is, we don’t know. Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit, explained in a recent article that there is plausible reason to believe the rebels are current or former Islamist mujahedin, eager to engage in jihad. Indeed, Gaddafi has fought against Libyan Islamists for years and is seen by them as a bitter enemy. Astoundingly, it may well be that we are assisting al Qaeda in this new war!

The costs of this terrible mistake cannot be ignored. Congress has been locked in battles over budget cuts and agonizing over ways to save money. Recent proposed spending cuts have by now been completely wiped out with this new war! Will we be rebuilding Libya ten years from now? Will Congress simply roll over and rubber stamp more emergency spending bills for this new war as they have done in the past? We must end our participation in any attack on Libya immediately and I have signed on to legislation that would do exactly that. Congress must assert its Constitutional authority and rein in an administration clearly out of control.

via: Constitutional Problems with the Libyan War

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18 comments on “Constitutional Problems With The Libyan War
  1. […] Constitutional Problems With The Libyan War (mountainrepublic.net) […]

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  2. DarcsFalcon says:

    What Bob said!

    For all Obama’s rhetoric about “getting the US out of Iraq and Afghanistan,” he has zero reason for going INTO Libya. Yet no one on the left is really pointing out his hypocrisy at all. Michael Moore maybe, but it’s not like he counts for anything. Where is the media decrying this? Clearly they have cued the crickets.

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  3. The nations on that side of the world need to take a greater role in their destiny or I mean the destiny of their neighbors. But since the whole Arab world is in uproar and transition that leaves only Europe but they don’t have the backbone and don’t want to be seen as neocolonial. Then NATO draws in the US if they are involved in military action. At the very least, domestically a committee of congresspersons should be allowed in the war room at all times. There was congressional resistance to building Panama Canal in congress and Teddy Roosevelt said words to the effect ” Congress may debate all they care to and while they debate I’m building the canal.” Oh well.

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    • “and transition that leaves only Europe’
      Or China maybe?

      “At the very least, domestically a committee of congresspersons should be allowed in the war room at all times.”
      I agree, but the United Nations doesn’t recognize the authority of our Congress, nor does our President. This unprecedented action by Obama is just the next step towards the goal of turning the complete control of our military over to the United Nations.

      MR

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      • I think WE USE the United Nations to give our movements international legitimacy. so we have allies and it does not appear we are acting unilaterally. No UN action works without US involvement but we often decline to be involved. UN cannot stop US unilateral action but it in our best interest to act unilaterally sometimes and not other times. We have not ratified the Kyoto Accords (which I think is disgraceful) and the UN can do nothing. We acted unilaterally in Grenada and when Reagan bombed Libya.Even if it is a UN sanctioned matter we have always insisted and continue to insist it be commanded by an American general if we are participants as was the First Gulf War. We want NATO to intervene with US as a participant but not the director so that no one can claim this is a unilateral US action in Libya. We will never subordinate our military to UN. Who cares if the UN doesn’t recognize authority of congress. Of course it doesn’t. Neither have authority over each other anyway. The UN is a tool of the the US not vice versa. Of course Roosevelt was Wilsonian in wanting some kind of post war league of nations with equal voice and participation from all. But we run the thing even though a majority may vote against US. That’s piddly stuff of little consequence. . It’s in New York City. As a matter of fact the Rockefellers donated the land upon which it is built for all human kind.

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        • I’m almost drooling wanting to pick apart this juicy comment, but just don’t have the time.

          MR

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        • Hi Carl,
          Thanks for commenting! Sorry I couldn’t get back to you sooner. Here’s my two-bits:

          “I think WE USE the United Nations to give our movements international legitimacy.” I think the UN uses the US military to impose it’s globalist agenda on the international community.

          “We have not ratified the Kyoto Accords (which I think is disgraceful) and the UN can do nothing.” I don’t believe global warming is man made or can be controlled by man. All the planets are currently experiencing similar temperature fluctuations due to solar cycles. Remember in the 1970’s when it was “global cooling” and the coming of the next Ice Age? I think not ratifying the Kyoto Accords was the right decision.

          “Even if it is a UN sanctioned matter we have always insisted and continue to insist it be commanded by an American general….” I haven’t heard any calls for an American general to run the show this time around. It’s been more like a game of “hot potato” in the leadership department.

          “We want NATO to intervene with US as a participant but not the director so that no one can claim this is a unilateral US action in Libya.” Why even call it NATO anymore? It’s just UN Lite. NATO is just another division/arm of the United Nations.

          “We will never subordinate our military to UN.” We have this time.

          ” The UN is a tool of the the US not vice versa.” Again, I believe the UN uses the United States for it’s military muscle.

          “Of course Roosevelt was Wilsonian in wanting some kind of post war league of nations with equal voice and participation from all.” Too bad it didn’t quite work out that way!

          “As a matter of fact the Rockefellers donated the land upon which it is built for all human kind.” Ironic that the family that donated the land for the United Nations and “all human kind”, are also members of groups that seek to oppress all human kind.

          MR

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          • Your presentations are all reasonable alternative views and can be supported by established evidence.

            The global warming thing is one with which I must take issue. I believe the planet can be very much influenced by man’s footprints. Yes there are natural developments in the earth’s geophysical possess that will occur whether man is here or not. And that fluctuations have and will occur is evidenced in the earth’s history shown by meteorologists and geologists as you say. But I think man now contributes and alters the natural history. We have perforated the atmosphere and radiation for skin cancer is 5 times greater than it was just 50 years ago. That is an astonishing change and not part of the planet’s natural cycle when stuff is supposed to take bazillions of years. Our particulate pollution of the upper atmosphere is such that less heat bounces back off the earth because it is now somewhat blocked and retained thus global warming. That is not an earth cycle. I think you said you were in China sometime back and knew first hand of the pollution and smog. I don’t think anyone can deny that such dramatically affects environment that it is unnatural and not part of a planetary cycle. Look what acid rain is doing to the environment. It is man produced. We are cutting down all the trees. There are consequences here which too are man induced. The radiation in Japan is not part of the earth’s natural cycle either.

            Marlins blew it last night. Should be 2 and 0.

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          • You’d probably have a hard time selling the global warming story to anyone north of the Mason Dixon line this year!

            That would also a hard sell here in the Sierra, where 61 feet of snow has fallen so far this year. Four feet short of the record.

            And I just don’t buy the BS that global warming is the reason for long, hard winters.

            MR

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          • YES I HEAR IT’S BEEN BRUTAL.I UNDERSTAND THAT SOME AREAS WILL GET COLDER LIKE THE WHOLE ATLANTIC COAST BECAUSE THE WARMING GULF STREAM WILL MOVE 800 EAST,ESP. FLORIDA. COLD AND WET. THEY SAY THE WARMING WILL EXTEND CANADA’S WHEAT PRODUCING ABILITY BY MOVING THAT FARM CLIMATE NORTH BY 500 MILES AND MAY OPEN UP VAST AREAS OF ANTARCTICA FOR MINING. ANYWAY I’D TRADE FLORIDA’S BLISTERING HEAT FOR ONE OF YOUR SNOWMEN IN A SEC,

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  4. […] Constitutional Problems With The Libyan War (mountainrepublic.net) […]

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  5. […] Constitutional Problems With The Libyan War (mountainrepublic.net) […]

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  6. boudicabpi says:

    Obama has been a great divider in this country but in the ME is the great unifier, that is unifying the Islam countries under the Muslim brotherhood. Why? Their goal is the end of our western civilization. He has created a situation in Libya that will not turn out in favor of our country regardless of the outcome.
    Bob A.

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    • Obama should be impeached for his actions. Where the hell is the outrage from Congress? Not even a whimper. Except from Boehner, of course. We might as well shred the Constitution. All they need to do at this point is come & get our guns.

      MR

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