"The President Has No Power To Declare A War"
By the Constitution, Congress alone has the power to declare a national or foreign war. [. . .T]he President [. . .] has no power to initiate or declare a war either against a foreign nation or a domestic State. - The Prize Cases
One of the more bizarre aspects of the Obama Administration's arguments regarding the non-applicability of the War Powers Resolution to American involvement in the Libya conflict is the blithe dismissal of the fact that the Constitution does not authorize the President to engage the Nation in war at all. Consider Jack Goldsmith's reaction to the Administration's arguments:
The administrationís theory implies that the president can wage war with drones and all manner of offshore missiles without having to bother with the War Powers Resolutionís time limits[.]
How about without regard to the Constitution? Of course, this is not new, see (in recent history, see Panama, Grenada.) But it is sad that no seems to even give a passing thought about the Constitution on this issue. More . . .
At first, the Obama Administration argued that the involvement in Libya was not a war because "its anticipated nature, scope and duration fell short of a 'war' in the constitutional sense." that was when the involvment was "humanitarian in nature. Whatever the merits of that argument, they seem to disappear when NATO made the aims of the intervention the toppling of the Ghaddafi regime:
Since then, the conflict has dragged on for longer than expected, and the goal of the NATO allies has all but openly shifted from merely defending civilians to forcing the Libyan leader, Colonel Qaddafi, from power.
In NewSpeak worthy of Orwell, the Obama Administration has an answer for this:
Mr. Koh and Mr. Bauer said that while regime change in Libya might be a diplomatic goal, the militaryís mission was separate and remained limited to protecting civilians.
'Who you gonna believe me or your lyin eyes?' seems to be the Obama Administration argument on this point. You don't protect civilians by bombing Tripoli.
In any event, it is truly bizarre that for all the discussion of the War Powers Resolution, only a statute after all, the Constitution itself appears to have been forgotten.
Speaking for me only
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