Call him a uniter, not a divider. Barack Obama has achieved rare bipartisan agreement in Washington with the strange defense he has offered justifying continuing his illegal war in Libya: We’re not engaged in hostilities.
Obama tried the “These are not the droids you’re looking for” argument. The force is not strong with this one.
The administration, in a report it reluctantly gave to Congress on Wednesday, said that because the United States is in a supporting role in the NATO-led mission, American forces are not facing the hostilities that would require the president to seek such congressional consent under the War Powers Resolution.
The 1973 law prohibits the military from being involved in actions for more than 60 days without congressional authorization, plus a 30-day extension. The 60-day deadline passed last month with the White House saying it is in compliance with the law. The 90-day mark is Sunday.
As has been noted by many others plenty of times before, the law doesn’t say anything about needing permission only to lead a mission. Whether America is leading the mission or whether NATO (which is America anyway) is leading the mission, if Americans are involved in action for more than 90 days, the President needs Congressional approval. Period.
“We have got drone attacks under way, we’re spending $10 million a day,” Boehner told reporters. “We’re part of an effort to drop bombs on Gadhafi’s compound. It doesn’t pass the straight-face test, in my view, that we’re not in the midst of hostilities.”
Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., a combat veteran and member of the Armed Services Committee, scoffed at the notion.
“Spending a billion dollars and dropping bombs on people sounds like hostilities to me,” Webb said in an interview.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., called the claims “really totally bizarre.” Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., said telling Congress and Americans “that this is not a war insults our intelligence. I won’t stand for it and neither will my constituents.”
RINO squishes John McCain and Lindsey Graham are hard at work to provide Obama cover. At this point, I don’t think whatever they pass in the Senate could pass the House, though. I could be wrong, but last I heard only 26% support action in Libya and the other 74% vote for House members every two years. That vote passes at the Representatives’ electoral peril.