The U.S. is now at war in a third Muslim country, according to the “official tally” (that is, counting Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya but not Pakistan or Yemen, for example). But Congress has never authorized or debated the U.S. military intervention in Libya. (A sharply disputed claim holds that the Pakistan and Yemen actions are covered by the 2001 authorization of military force, but no one has dared to argue that the 2001 AUMF covers Libya.)
Some will no doubt claim that the president is acting in Libya within his authority as Commander in Chief. But this is an extremely dangerous claim.
To put it crudely: as a matter of logic, if President Obama can bomb Libya without Congressional authorization, then President Palin can bomb Iran without Congressional authorization. If, God forbid, we ever get to that fork in the road, you can bet your bottom dollar that the advocates of bombing Iran will invoke Congressional silence now as justification for their claims of unilateral presidential authority to bomb anywhere, anytime.
Some members of Congress have strongly objected to President Obama’s bombing of Libya without Congressional approval.
On the Democratic side, John Larson, chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House, called for President Obama to seek congressional approval. Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Donna Edwards, Mike Capuano, Dennis Kucinich, Maxine Waters, Rob Andrews, Sheila Jackson Lee, Barbara Lee and Eleanor Holmes Norton “all strongly raised objections to the constitutionality of the president’s actions” during a Saturday call organized by Larson, Politico reports.
On the Republican side, Senator Richard Lugar, ranking Member on Senate Foreign Relations, told CBS’ Face the Nation yesterday that if we’re going to war with Libya, we ought to have a declaration of war by the Congress:
A memo distributed to Republican aides in the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committee made the case that Congressional authorization is necessary and used Barack Obama’s own words to make the case, ABC reported.
In times like this, you can be sure some journalist will marvel at the “strange bedfellows” coalition of Democrats and Republicans standing up to the president. But there’s nothing strange about this bed. Everyone who wants to live in a constitutional republic belongs in this bed.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com