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stockholmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 03:04 PM
Original message
10 congressmen sue Obama over strikes in Libya
Source: The Boston Globe

WASHINGTONA bipartisan group of 10 lawmakers is suing President Barack Obama for taking military action against Libya without war authorization from Congress.

The lawmakers say Obama violated the Constitution in bypassing Congress and using international organizations like the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to authorize military force.

The lawmakers want a judge to issue an order suspending military operations without congressional approval. They said they were filing their lawsuit Wednesday against Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The plaintiffs are Democratic Reps. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, John Conyers of Michigan and Michael Capuano of Massachusetts and Republican Reps. Walter Jones and Howard Coble of North Carolina, Tim Johnson of Illinois, Dan Burton of Indiana, Jimmy Duncan of Tennessee, Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland and Ron Paul of Texas.


Read more: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/06/15/1... /
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OKNancy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. White House response
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hzZ7...

Officials said that the 30-page report justifies US action in the mission to protect civilians and target the forces of Moamer Kadhafi and contains a detailed legal analysis showing Washington's role is permitted under US law.


"We are not engaged in any of the activities that typically over the years in war powers analysis has been considered to constitute hostilities within the meaning of the statute," a senior administration official said.
"We are not engaged in sustained fighting, there has been no exchange of fire with hostile forces, we don't have troops on the ground, we don't risk casualties to those troops," the official said on condition of anonymity.
"Within the precedents of a war powers analysis... we are confident we are operating consistent with the resolution."
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 02:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
19. OP says they sued under the Constitution. Seems WH reply is about the statute.
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IntravenousDemilo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. I wish them well. n/m
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Monique1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Why did they not do this Bush?
Sorry, these people now tick me off.
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IntravenousDemilo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Why indeed? I agree, but better late than never.
Besides, Cheney would have shot them all in the face.
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. No, not better late than never. They waited until they could fuck a fellow Democrat.
No wonder the Democrats will always lose.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. Yep, "progressives" fall for lying Republican garbage every fucking time if it fits their narrative.
It doesn't matter if it's true or not, fulfilling the narrative is far far more important.

It'll be interesting to see how they'll defend their reticence in not following the War Powers Act deadline requirements, which are rather stringent. Not one of these congress people formed a "Libya Hostilities" committee. Not one. If it even passes the muster the courts are going to laugh these clowns out of the room.

Obama sent the first letter informing them of hostilities, Obama sent the last letter informing them of standing down. The total action in Libya lasted 12 days. As it stands now the Libya NATO actions come out of Pentagon discretionary spending. The warmongers would prefer it come from additional funding so as to screw the taxpayers even more.

http://www.juancole.com/2011/05/selective-outrage-about...
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #17
29. Again, that is NOT in complaince with the War Powers Resolution
A president may ONLY introduce armed forces into hostilities or where they're imminent under three conditions: after a Declaration of War by Congress, after Congressional Authorization, or if we're attacked. None of these things happened. It was illegal from the beginning. From that point, his letter to Congress was to have had specifics of forces already used, intended forces and plans, with a set of goals. It doesn't seem that this happened, either. If Congress decides to not act, he is still in violation of the law, and Congress is not obligated to act.

He did NOT hand over the reins to NATO and stop performing active strikes as you keep stating. There have been U.S. airstrikes as recently as June 18th.

The UN Participation Act allows a president to respond to an Article 42 call up without authorization of Congress ONLY if he has a special agreement in hand that has already been authorized by both houses of Congress. The UN Charter is NOT a self-actuating treaty, period. Congress was very clear about this, and that's one of the reasons the League of Nations was never joined.

The NATO Treaty is PURELY DEFENSIVE. NATO, by its own rules is only to attack in response to a member nation being attacked. NATO itself has no legal standing to be fighting this WAR; the member nations may be able to respond to the UN Resolution to do so--depending on their own laws--but not under the aegis of NATO.

You've heard all of this before, yet keep peddling the same twaddle.

For the rest of you reading this for the first time, there are ample examples of the actual documents in various threads, as well as legal opinions confirming them.

It is reckless and arrogant beyond belief what our President has done, and it endangers the party and our quasi-democracy more than people seem to understand.
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Congress voted for war, that's why.
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hugo_from_TN Donating Member (895 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
15. Because Bush complied with the War Powers Resolution
He got congressional authorization for those misguided wars.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. I never thought I'd see the day Bush's wars would be considered "legal."
Wow.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 02:18 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. The Constitution and the WPR both require Congressional approval.
Edited on Mon Jul-11-11 02:27 AM by No Elephants
Bush got it; Obama says he doesn't need it. So, which President complied with the law?

BTW, in case you haven't noticed, Bush's wars have become Obama's wars. Bush set the timetable for withdrawal in Iraq; Obama is following it (so far) and Obama has about 80,000 or so more troops in Afganistan than Bush did when Bush left office. I don't know how many are in Pakistan or are/were involved in Libya.

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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #18
30. Just because you dislike something doesn't make it illegal
and just because you like something doesn't mean it's illegal. More importantly: just because you like someone doesn't mean he's always truthful or acting legally.

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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #18
32. The ironic difference between Bush and Obama
Bush fought for wars that were legal under American law, and illegal under international law.

Obama fights for a war that is illegal under American law, and legal under international law.

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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #32
40. That is the key difference. For many folks American law trumps international law,
so Bush comes off looking more "legal" because he complied with American law before invading Iraq. In other parts of the world, international law is held in higher regard.

I do wish Obama would put the Libya operation to Congress for a vote rather than make a legalistic argument that it is not covered by the WPR. A debate in Congress would allow everyone to debate Libya, the UN and its Responsibility to Protect doctrine. I don't know which way the vote would eventually go, but it would be a more honest approach and would allow a discussion of the UN and its R2P and what role the US should take in its enforcement - verbal (condemnation from the Security Council), economic (sanctions and the like), and/or military (interventions like in Libya and Ivory Coast).
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-11 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #40
44. "Many folks:" The Framers, those who first ratified the U.S. Constitution, those who never amended
it in that respect and the SCOTUS.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-11 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #32
43. The President takes an oath about the U.S. Constitution, not international law.
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Constitution of the United States, Article II, Clause 8.


Granted, the Constitution mentions treaties, though not international common law, so the door is open for some sophistry. However, the SCOTUS has held that the Constitution trumps both treaties and laws of Congress.

And there is at least one law that says that we do not comply with a treaty that violates United States law. (Though I am not certain, I believe something to that effect has even been incorporated into some treaties to which we are Party.)
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 02:32 AM
Response to Reply #15
23. The Constitution is much more significant than the War Powers Resolution.
The lawsuit raises the Article I Constitutional issue.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 02:16 AM
Response to Reply #3
20. ? Bush got Congressional authorization for the Iraq War and the WOT.
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Springer9 Donating Member (268 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #3
35. Maybe because Bush got Congress to pass
The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Resolution
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bamacrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
6. This is stupid.
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Hawkowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
7. Bipartisanship!!
Obama has finally achieved the bipartisanship I have foretold! In opposition to his Bushco policies!
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. ironic, isn't it, it comes after 8 yrs. of BushCo wars?
Where were these litigants then?
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obxhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Voting to give Bush permission to start his wars.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 02:29 AM
Response to Reply #9
22. I appreciate irony, but how is this ironic? Bush got Congressional approval
of the War in Iraq and the WOT, as the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution require. This lawsuit is about Obama's not getting Congressional approval.
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yodermon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
8. The pukes will try to impeach him for this. Staggering hypocrisy of course
but when has that ever stopped them?
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jkappy Donating Member (214 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #8
16. When It Comes to Ending Wars, I'll take Hypocrisy anytime
Besides, when it comes to international policy, neither party has even an edge over the other in terms of its morality or efficacy.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 02:57 AM
Response to Reply #16
26. There's no hypocrisy. The suit is about Congressional approval, as required by the Constitution.;
Bush got Congressional approval; Obama says he doesn't need it.

Notice, the suit is about violating Article I the Constitution, while the WH remarks, including the WH response to this lawsuit, as posted upthread, have been about the War Powers Resolution.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
31. It's a possibility, and it's an open and shut case.
The Republicans HATE the War Powers Resolution and love that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are tearing it to shreds, but that may not stop them from sticking to the law. We shall see.

It's a truly flagrant violation of both the War Powers Resolution and the UN Participation Act, and NATO has no justification under it's bylaws to intervene either.

The high-handedness is appalling, as were the grotesque emotional distortions he used to justify the action in the first place. It's full-on deceptive imperial hubris.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-11 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #31
45. The SCOTUS may say ten members on a mission of their own do not have standing.
I have no idea if there is precedent for a suit brought in this way. There has been no vote of Congress and it's Congress as a whole that is being defied, not only this particular "Gang of Ten."

I hope they succeed, but only heaven (and Tony) know.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-11 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. I should have been clearer; I meant that impeachment would be an open and shut case
I have no idea how this private action will sort out or even how it should under the law.

The whole thing is so very, very depressing.
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trud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #8
39. I'd vote to impeach him.
He's not only taken the country to war against the War Powers Act, but he lied his head off when he was campaigning about this and other things of vast importance. I think Biden would be a much better President, he's been trying to get us out of Iraq, and Libya is Hillary's and Obama's war, not Biden's.
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Ramulux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
12. Awesome
I love the white houses response. "The bombings we are doing dont count under the war powers act!"

This whole Libya war is so fucking stupid it boggles the mind.
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frylock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
13. knr
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Warrior Dash Donating Member (175 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
14. Could it be that Ron Paul's ideas are becoming more mainstream?
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 02:39 AM
Response to Reply #14
24. Article 1 of the Constitution was not Ron Paul's idea.
Ron Paul opposes wars because they cost money and his "patriotism" does not embrace giving his country money. He would oppose almost any war, even if if Congressional approval had been sought pursuant to the Constitution. That is not what the lawsuit is about.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 02:42 AM
Response to Original message
25. Capuano has been thinking of challenging Brown, so this is especially courageous and unselfish
Edited on Mon Jul-11-11 02:54 AM by No Elephants
on Capuano's part.

He voted against the Iraq War and the Patriot Act too during the height of the 911 nationalistic fervor, so this is not the first time he put his principles ahead of his personal election or re-election ho
Kerry went the other way from Ted Kennedy, head of the Massachusetts delegation, on those votes, then voted against funding for the war he (Kerry) had voted to authorize. (This was the opposite of Lincoln, who, as a Rep., had voted against a war, but, once Congress had authorized it, voted to fund it.)

Kerry's votes created the opportunity for those "He was for it before he was against it" remarks about Kerry's position on the Iraq War from Dick Vader, as well as the flip flopper label and the flip flop souvenirs at the 2004 Republican Convention.

Anyhoo, time for me to donate to Mike again.



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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 03:34 AM
Response to Original message
27. The courts usually don't like to resolve such matters. If Congress doesn't want Pentagon
discretionary spending used to support NATO operations, then Congress (having the power of the purse, of course) is free to forbid money to be so spent

That would provide a much cleaner case

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Federal courts don't like to resolve issues of possible violation of the U.S. Constitution?
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #28
33. Disputes between the executive and legislative branches will typically be regarded as "political"
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #33
38. "When there are no specific constitutional duties involved, the issue is to be decided through the
democratic process. The court will not engage in political disputes."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_question

In this case, there is a specific constitutional issue involved, though.

I do not believe federal courts, with a case brought before them by members of Congress, are going to let a President (or Congress) violate the Constitution as to Congress until the next Presidential election, nor is the electorate the expert on constitutional claims.
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classysassy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 11:58 PM
Response to Original message
34.  Where were those ten peace loving
congressmen when Bush started two wars thats cost the lives of countless civilians and cost the American tax payers billions and billions of dollars that went into the pockets of Bush/Chaney cronies?More of our congress critters sleeping at the switch.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. That's been answered several times on this thread.
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Ash_F Donating Member (105 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
37. Good
nt
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
41. Good, I wish them well. We've had enough fiscally suicidal warmongering.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-11 04:16 AM
Response to Original message
42. So is this suit still active?
Since, in the 4 weeks since this OP, the House defeated Kucinich's measure to cut off funding for the NATO part of the Libyan conflict, things seem to have moved on. Has the suit been withdrawn or dismissed? Has there been anything in a court? Or is is going to take weeks for anything to happen with it? I can't find anything recent about it in Google News.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-11 07:41 AM
Response to Original message
46. Professor Turley of GWU is responsible for preparation of the complaint, the full text of which is
here, for those who have the time and patience:

http://thatsmycongress.com/index.php/2011/06/15/10-in-c... /

(Looks like a handy site to bookmark for other info about Congress, too.)
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