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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 04:03 PM
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Letter from the President regarding the commencement of operations in Libya
Letter from the President regarding the commencement of operations in Libya

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE

March 21, 2011

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President: )

At approximately 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on March 19, 2011, at my direction, U.S. military forces commenced operations to assist an international effort authorized by the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council and undertaken with the support of European allies and Arab partners, to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and address the threat posed to international peace and security by the crisis in Libya. As part of the multilateral response authorized under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973, U.S. military forces, under the command of Commander, U.S. Africa Command, began a series of strikes against air defense systems and military airfields for the purposes of preparing a no-fly zone. These strikes will be limited in their nature, duration, and scope. Their purpose is to support an international coalition as it takes all necessary measures to enforce the terms of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973. These limited U.S. actions will set the stage for further action by other coalition partners.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 authorized Member States, under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, to take all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in Libya, including the establishment and enforcement of a "no-fly zone" in the airspace of Libya. United States military efforts are discrete and focused on employing unique U.S. military capabilities to set the conditions for our European allies and Arab partners to carry out the measures authorized by the U.N. Security Council Resolution.

Muammar Qadhafi was provided a very clear message that a cease-fire must be implemented immediately. The international community made clear that all attacks against civilians had to stop; Qadhafi had to stop his forces from advancing on Benghazi; pull them back from Ajdabiya, Misrata, and Zawiya; and establish water, electricity, and gas supplies to all areas. Finally, humanitarian assistance had to be allowed to reach the people of Libya.

Although Qadhafi's Foreign Minister announced an immediate cease-fire, Qadhafi and his forces made no attempt to implement such a cease-fire, and instead continued attacks on Misrata and advanced on Benghazi. Qadhafi's continued attacks and threats against civilians and civilian populated areas are of grave concern to neighboring Arab nations and, as expressly stated in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973, constitute a threat to the region and to international peace and security. His illegitimate use of force not only is causing the deaths of substantial numbers of civilians among his own people, but also is forcing many others to flee to neighboring countries, thereby destabilizing the peace and security of the region. Left unaddressed, the growing instability in Libya could ignite wider instability in the Middle East, with dangerous consequences to the national security interests of the United States. Qadhafi's defiance of the Arab League, as well as the broader international community moreover, represents a lawless challenge to the authority of the Security Council and its efforts to preserve stability in the region. Qadhafi has forfeited his responsibility to protect his own citizens and created a serious need for immediate humanitarian assistance and protection, with any delay only putting more civilians at risk.

The United States has not deployed ground forces into Libya. United States forces are conducting a limited and well-defined mission in support of international efforts to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster. Accordingly, U.S. forces have targeted the Qadhafi regime's air defense systems, command and control structures, and other capabilities of Qadhafi's armed forces used to attack civilians and civilian populated areas. We will seek a rapid, but responsible, transition of operations to coalition, regional, or international organizations that are postured to continue activities as may be necessary to realize the objectives of U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973.

For these purposes, I have directed these actions, which are in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.

I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution. I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.



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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. And That, Ma'am, Ends The 'Constitutional' Flurry....
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. For 60 days, anyway
Well, actually, for 30 days. The House and Senate committees have 30 days to properly respond.

1544. Congressional action
How Current is This?
(a) Transmittal of report and referral to Congressional committees; joint request for convening Congress
Each report submitted pursuant to section 1543 (a)(1) of this title shall be transmitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President pro tempore of the Senate on the same calendar day. Each report so transmitted shall be referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate for appropriate action. If, when the report is transmitted, the Congress has adjourned sine die or has adjourned for any period in excess of three calendar days, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate, if they deem it advisable (or if petitioned by at least 30 percent of the membership of their respective Houses) shall jointly request the President to convene Congress in order that it may consider the report and take appropriate action pursuant to this section.
(b) Termination of use of United States Armed Forces; exceptions; extension period

Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is required to be submitted pursuant to section 1543 (a)(1) of this title, whichever is earlier, the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces with respect to which such report was submitted (or required to be submitted), unless the Congress
(1) has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces,
(2) has extended by law such sixty-day period
, or
(3) is physically unable to meet as a result of an armed attack upon the United States. Such sixty-day period shall be extended for not more than an additional thirty days if the President determines and certifies to the Congress in writing that unavoidable military necessity respecting the safety of United States Armed Forces requires the continued use of such armed forces in the course of bringing about a prompt removal of such forces.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode50/usc_sec...
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
2. 
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
3. waiting for Mr. Boehner to come up with a new lame argument...
Edited on Mon Mar-21-11 04:07 PM by Clio the Leo
.... now that his latest one has been shut down.

"Obama's job-killing crushing Libyan intervention."
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Tx4obama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
4. K & R n/t
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Liberal_Stalwart71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
5. Thanks for this, sweetie! n/t
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vaberella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
6. ~sigh~ This won't matter----they'll find some way to continue on arguing this. n/t
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yep.
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missheidi Donating Member (152 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
8. Thanks for posting!
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
9. President Obama's February 25 letter to Congress
Letter from the President Regarding Libya Sanctions

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
February 25, 2011

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President: )

Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order (the "order") that takes steps with respect to the situation in Libya.

I have determined that the actions of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi, his government, and close associates, including extreme measures against the people of Libya, constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. The order declares a national emergency to deal with this threat.

The order blocks the property and interests in property of persons listed in the Annex to the order, who I have determined meet the first or second of the six criteria set forth below. The order also provides criteria for designations of persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:

  • to be a senior official of the Government of Libya;
  • to be a child of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi;
  • to be responsible for or complicit in, or responsible for ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, or to have participated in, the commission of human rights abuses related to political repression in Libya;
  • to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of the activities described above or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the order;
  • to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the order; or
  • to be a spouse or dependent child of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the order.
    In addition, the order blocks the property and interests in property of the Government of Libya.
I have delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury the authority, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the order. All executive agencies of the United States Government are directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of the order.

Additionally, the Secretary of State is suspending all existing licenses and other approvals for the export of defense articles and services to Libya.

The order, a copy of which is enclosed, became effective at 8:00 p.m. eastern standard time on February 25, 2011.


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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
11. Not real clear on the duration, and it is still fuzzy to me on the constitutional authority.
1543. Reporting requirement

In the absence of a declaration of war, in any case in which United States Armed Forces are introduced

(...)

the President shall submit within 48 hours (he got that) to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President pro tempore of the Senate a report, in writing, setting forth

(A) the circumstances necessitating the introduction of United States Armed Forces(I think this was sufficiently explained in the letter;
(B) the constitutional and legislative authority under which such introduction took place(the President cites his constitutional authority 'to conduct foreign relations') ; and
(C) the estimated scope and duration of the hostilities or involvement.(the scope is well defined, the duration is only 'rapid')

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode50/usc_sec...

----------

Is there a constitutional authority for the President to use war 'to conduct foreign relations'? If so, from where in the Constitution is that power derived?
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Here,
from the War Powers Act.


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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. So Resolution 1973 is
a "treaty implemented by legislation specifically authorizing the introduction" US forces into hostilities.

And "in the United States, the term "treaty" has a different, more restricted legal sense than exists in international law. U.S. law distinguishes what it calls treaties from executive agreements, congressional-executive agreements, and sole executive agreements. All four classes are equally treaties under international law; they are distinct only from the perspective of internal American law. The distinctions are primarily concerning their method of ratification. Whereas treaties require advice and consent by two-thirds of the Senate."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty#United_States_law

Two-thirds of the Senate advised and consented with their vote on a Libyan no-fly zone on March 1st. He is constitutionally covered. I do wish he had been more specific on the duration. It is in Congress' hands now. They have 30 days to get it into committee if they want (or need) to extend it past 60 days.

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. The treaty
is the U.N. Charter.

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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Right. The Resolution, as coming under
the UN Charter is the legislation specifically authorizing the introduction of US forces.
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CakeGrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 11:56 PM
Response to Original message
16. k/r
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