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?