The War Powers Resolution (often mistakenly called the War Powers Act) provides that:
(c) The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.
The simple question I wish to pose is, exactly what gave President Obama the authority to introduce our military into Libya and to launch missles against the sovereign nation of Libya? The War Powers Resolution (WPR) as quoted above clearly states there are exactly three situations in which the President may legally “introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities.”
Let’s examine these three situations. The first requires a declaration of war. Was there a declaration of war? The Obama administration as much as admitted there was no declaration of war (nor is there one) when it called the launching of missiles against Libya owned assets (get ready to laugh) a “kinetic action.” Clearly the answer is “No.”
The second permissible situation is where there is “specific statutory authorization.” Was there “specific statutory authorization” as required by the WPR? To date no news organization has claimed this is the case. Nor has the Obama administration argued there was “specific statutory authorization.” Good intentions do not count if one follows the law. Thus the answer to this clearly appears to be “No.”
The third permissible situation whereby a President may legally introduce military troops into hostilities is when there is “a national emergency” that is “created by attack upon” the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces. To date there has been no evidence provided that Libya has launched any attack against the USA or its possessions.
So under what legal authority did President Obama authorize our military forces to launch missiles and attack another sovereign country?
The USA is supposed to be a country of laws. I will be the first to admit that there are far, far too many laws. And I will admit that several laws appear illegal under a logical reading of the Constitution. And I willingly agree that many laws infringe upon our rights and even our duties as citizens. But that leaves the simple question I asked initially. What authority does the President have to introduce our military forces into Libya? Even Al Gore could not argue there is “No controlling legal authority” when the WPR clearly is the controlling legal authority.
Where is Congress? Where are our courts? Where are our patriots? Where is the fidelity to the oath of office by our leaders? Forget politics. Set them completely aside please. But by the same token, do not set aside the responsibility to abide by the law.
Then Senator Biden promised to act against President Bush if he violated the WPR. Where is our good Vice President Biden now?