Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surely curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”     Robert A. Heinlein

May 20, 2011

Gary Johnson to President Obama: “Time’s Up in Libya”

by Stephen Littau

The “limited kinetic action” (don’t call it military force or war!) in Libya has reached the 60 day mark; the statutory time limit a president can use military force without congressional approval according to the War Powers Act of 1973. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot about the goings on in Libya in the news these days with Obama deciding what another sovereign nation (Israel) should do about its borders*.

Not everyone has completely forgotten about Libya though. Former New Mexico Governor and presidential candidate Gary Johnson wrote an opinion piece today in The Daily Caller pointing out that the president’s authority to use kinetic action in Libya has expired today.

This blatant disregard for the law must not go unchallenged. As several senators did this week, Congress must demand an explanation for the fact that, with no declaration of war, no authorization from Congress, and certainly no imminent threat to the U.S., our forces are today engaged in what is clearly a military conflict halfway around the world in Libya.

Specifically, the War Powers Act requires that the use of American forces in a conflict must be ended within 60 days of commencing — unless Congress expressly authorizes otherwise. In terms of our current engagement in Libya, Congress hasn’t authorized anything, nor has the president asked them to, and today, May 20, is the 60th day.


[The War Powers Act] was carefully crafted to allow the commander-in-chief to respond to attacks and otherwise take whatever action necessary to protect us. At the same time, it was obviously crafted to limit precisely the kinds of ill-defined and costly uses of our military that we are witnessing in Libya right now.


To be fair, this president is certainly not the first to disregard the War Powers Act. Some have even questioned its constitutionality. But until the courts or Congress deem otherwise, it is the law of the land — and in my opinion, a good one.

This is yet another example of President Obama’s lack of respect for the rule of law when the law isn’t compatible with his policy.

Hope n’ Change you can believe in.

*I never understood why our presidents ever had any say about the whole Israel/Palestine question. It’s not our place to intervene one way or the other IMO. Could you imagine some other country telling our president to return Alaska to Russia?

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  1. Q: Why should they?
    A: Because it beats telling US voters what they should do. It keeps interest high. They can’t resist telling people what to do.

    As for other countries presidents, Mexico’s has no problem telling ours what type of gun laws he prefers we adopt.

    Comment by Thane Eichenauer — May 20, 2011 @ 11:11 pm
  2. To be fair, it actually looks like both halves of congress failed miserably to do what little the WPA tells them they’re supposed to do.

    And benji and his spy boys need to shut up.

    Comment by John — May 21, 2011 @ 1:48 am
  3. No question about it, John. The congress has once again been derelict in its duties on use of military force.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — May 23, 2011 @ 10:43 am

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