Waging War by Decree

“In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department.”

~James Madison
14 September 1793

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
via Gulag Bound

From: Solid Principles Blog

Barack Obama basically stomped on the War Powers Act last week in a hissy fit proclaiming that it did not apply to his Libyan War/Conflict kinetic military action.

Showing clear disdain for the Act and America in general, Obama claimed that it was not applicable since the Libyan debacle was not actually a full-blown war. Under the War Powers Act, the President has 60 days to get authorization from Congress for any military involvement, and if he fails to get that authorization, he must end the involvement within 30 days. The 60-day authorization period expired on Friday the 20th. He penned a letter to Congress saying that the role of the US in the conflict was so limited that he does not need to seek congressional approval.

In a blatant act of Obama’s word smithing, ABC News reports the following:

“Since April 4,” the president wrote, “U.S. participation has consisted of: (1) non-kinetic support to the NATO-led operation, including intelligence, logistical support, and search and rescue assistance; (2) aircraft that have assisted in the suppression and destruction of air defenses in support of the no-fly zone; and (3) since April 23, precision strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles against a limited set of clearly defined targets in support of the NATO-led coalition’s efforts.”

A senior administration official told ABC News that the letter is intended to describe “a narrow US effort that is intermittent and principally an effort to support the ongoing NATO-led and UN-authorized civilian support mission and no fly zone.”

“The US role is one of support,” the official said, “and the kinetic pieces of that are intermittent.”

Bovine excrement…

…Obama is getting more and more brazen in his actions. He is ruling by executive orders, regulation and decree and not by the Constitution and the laws that the rest of us honor and follow. There are a number of lawmakers who are now demanding answers, but they will not be listened to by Obama. And in Obama’s usual two step mode, he may play legal games to get around the War Powers Act

The article continues at Gulag Bound.

Update: Senate has no plans to invoke War Powers Act over Libya

…”The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to a declaration of war, a specific statutory authorization, or a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces,” the law states.

But the administration won’t be immediately pressed to follow the law if nobody in Congress intends to enforce it. Both leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told The Cable on Tuesday that there are no plans for Senate action on the war in Libya — before or after the deadline.

“I’m not hearing from my colleagues that they feel the War Powers situation is currently in play because we’re deferring to NATO,” committee chairman Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) told The Cable…

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