Nearly three months ago, President Obama invaded Libya with the consent of the United Nations and NATO, but without Congressional approval. According to the U.S. Constitution the president has the authority to take military actions he sees fit, but only for sixty days along with thirty days for withdrawal. After that he must have Congressional approval to continued action in any foreign conflict.
The problem is that the ninetieth day of the Libyan conflict is this Sunday, June 19th, 2011 and no action has been taken to have the troops in Libya home in the next three days. Rep. John Boehner, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, in a meeting with Obama, urged him to explain the legal issues of the continued military actions. The deadline for Obama’s response is Friday.
Now we have ten Congressman filing a law suit against the president for taking military action in Libya without Congress approval. The suit states that Obama bypassed the proper channels to take this step of going into Libya. The plaintiffs are Democratic Reps. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, John Conyers of Michigan and Michael Capuano of Massachusetts and Republican Reps. Walter Jones and Howard Coble of North Carolina, Tim Johnson and Dan Burton of Indiana, Jimmy Duncan of Tennessee, Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland and Ron Paul of Texas.
What annoys me about the whole situation is 1) Obama had no reason to send troops into Libya since there was no security threat to our country. 2) Congress is wasting time with this law suit and involving judges to take action when in fact they (Congress) hold the power to control funding of such actions. Instead of this latest step by Congress, they should be writing legislation to de-fund the military action to bring our troops home.
This past Monday, the House voted to prohibit any money for the Libya conflict, backing an amendment barring the use of any funds in contravention of the War Powers Act. The vote was passed 248-163 on a spending bill that still needs to be reconciled with the Senate. So why hasn’t the Senate done anything in the past three days? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the Senate is controlled by the Democrats and they’re just helping out the fellow Democrat in the White House. At the same time Sen. John Kerry stated that there will be a delay in a meeting to write a resolution so it would allow lawmakers time to review the White House report on the Libya conflict. A report that Congress has been asking for from the White House for weeks, and they are still dragging their feet on submitting it. Kerry also stated the possibility of some action on a resolution next week. “We just want everybody to see the information and see how it impacts their thinking,” Kerry said. Well guess what Senator, next week is after the deadline of ninety days the president was to remove the troops. What the hell were you thinking?
To add to the matter, Sen. McCain of Arizona is warning Republicans against taking any steps that would send a positive signal to Qaddafi. “I caution my friends, both here in the Senate and in the House of Representatives, that we don’t want to do anything or pass legislation which would encourage Qaddafi to remain in power,” McCain told reporters, even though there are continued signs that Qaddafi’s hold is deteriorating including defection from high level members within his regime. “I would say to my Republican friends: If this were a Republican president, would you be trying to impose these same conditions?” McCain said.
This is a clear case of following the money. There is no reason for us to be involved with having a military presence in Libya. Who is going to benefit from this action? I haven’t looked deep enough into it to really know, but then again since I’m not connected to anyone in Washington or the media, I doubt I’ll ever get to the bottom of it. I do know that Libya has two hundred miles of pristine beach front on the Mediterranean Sea where the climate is spectacular.
We saw with the involvement of U.S. troops in Iraq how Halliburton made a killing in being the private company to get the contract for the oil fields. So who is going to “win” in Libya? We need to see how this will play out since it took a while before we saw how Dick Cheney’s involvement with Halliburton helped the company make billions of dollars from President G.W. Bush’s actions. The one difference between Bush’s actions compared to Obama is that at least Bush received Congressional approval before going into Iraq. Say what you want about G.W. Bush, but at least he followed the necessary steps to do what he did. I’m not surprise by Obama’s decision to go to an international entity to hide behind for something he knew we had no right to be involved in.
Congress has not declared war with any country since WWII. Even though we’ve been in quite a few since. Presidents have taken some sort of military action throughout the world and Obama is no different than any other president even though he said during his campaign that there would be transparency in his Administration. He said he was going to do things differently. Well he has, by going into a military action without Congressional approval and according to the Constitution, that is an impeachable offense. So why isn’t Congress just taken action by either de-funding the Libya conflict or impeaching the president? Again like I said before…FOLLOW THE MONEY.