Congress, drones, Harold Koh, hostilities, kinetic military action, Libya, Obama, War Powers Resolution, Yemen
I give the Obama administration points for creativity, if nothing else:
“The White House, pushing hard against criticism in Congress over the deepening air war in Libya, asserted Wednesday that President Obama had the authority to continue the military campaign without Congressional approval because American involvement fell short of full-blown hostilities.
In a 38-page report sent to lawmakers describing and defending the NATO-led operation, the White House said the mission was prying loose Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s grip on power.”
Wait a minute, I thought the mission was for humanitarian reasons, not regime change. Wha’ happen?
“We are acting lawfully,” said Harold H. Koh, the State Department legal adviser, who expanded on the administration’s reasoning in a joint interview with the White House counsel, Robert Bauer.
The two senior administration lawyers contended that American forces had not been in “hostilities” at least since early April, when NATO took over the responsibility for the no-fly zone and the United States shifted to primarily a supporting role — providing refueling and surveillance to allied warplanes, although remotely piloted drones operated by the United States periodically fire missiles, too.”
I think the people on the receiving end of those drone missiles might have a different definition of “hostilities.”
“We are not saying the president can take the country into war on his own,” said Mr. Koh, a former Yale Law School dean and outspoken critic of the Bush administration’s expansive theories of executive power.”
Uh yes, that’s exactly what you’re saying, Mr. Koh. You’re also saying that as long as it’s your guy expanding executive power and taking the country to
war kinetic military action on his own it’s OK. Can you say double standard, boys and girls?
“We are not saying the War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional or should be scrapped or that we can refuse to consult Congress. We are saying the limited nature of this particular mission is not the kind of ‘hostilities’ envisioned by the War Powers Resolution.”
No, you’re not actually saying you can refuse to consult Congress, whatever refuse means inside the White House these days, just that you can concoct some phony baloney reason not to, Carnac.
Mr. Koh, just for clarification purposes, the next time you talk to President
Bush Obama, ask him whether or not a drone attack a day in Yemen falls under “hostilities.” Just curious.
Oh, one more thing about disregarding the War Powers Resolution, the ‘everybody else does it’ excuse didn’t work for me when I was six and it doesn’t work for you now as far as I’m concerned. I must have missed the ‘vote for me, I’ll do what everybody else has done’ campaign speech in 2008.