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White House on War Powers Deadline: 'Limited' US Role in Libya Means No Need to Get Congressional Authorization

May 20, 2011 7:14 PM

In an effort to satisfy those arguing he needs to seek congressional authorization to continue US military activity in accordance with the War Powers Resolution, President Obama wrote a letter to congressional leaders this afternoon suggesting that the role is now so “limited” he does not need to seek congressional approval.

“Since April 4,” the president wrote, “U.S. participation has consisted of: (1) non-kinetic support to the NATO-led operation, including intelligence, logistical support, and search and rescue assistance; (2) aircraft that have assisted in the suppression and destruction of air defenses in support of the no-fly zone; and (3) since April 23, precision strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles against a limited set of clearly defined targets in support of the NATO-led coalition's efforts.”

A senior administration official told ABC News that the letter is intended to describe “a narrow US effort that is intermittent and principally an effort to support to support the ongoing NATO-led and UN-authorized civilian support mission and no fly zone.”

“The US role is one of support,” the official said, “and the kinetic pieces of that are intermittent.”

From the beginning of the U.S. military intervention in Libya, the Obama administration has cited the 1973 War Powers Act as the legal basis of its ability to conduct military activities for 60 days without first seeking a declaration of war from Congress. The military intervention started on March 19; Congress was notified on March 21. Those 60 days expire today.

The president thanked the congressional leaders – House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky --- for the support that they have “demonstrated for this mission and for our brave service members, as well as your strong condemnation of the Qaddafi regime.”

The president voiced support for a bipartisan resolution drafted by Senators John Kerry, D-Mass., John McCain, R-Ariz., Carl Levin, D-Mich., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., stating that Congress “supports the U.S. mission in Libya and that both branches are united in their commitment to supporting the aspirations of the Libyan people for political reform and self-government…Congressional action in support of the mission would underline the U.S. commitment to this remarkable international effort.”

Earlier this month, Kerry – who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – described his resolution as “in limbo.”

-Jake Tapper

May 20, 2011 in Current Affairs, Jake Tapper, Middle East Peace Process | Permalink | Share | User Comments (1011)

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Oblab Blab is a liar,a fraud and nothing but Illuminati and CFR SCUM, Half bread would do the world more good if he were in a body bag!!

Posted by: nonofyourbusiness | Jun 2, 2011 2:12:35 PM

From Star Wars: "The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I've just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council
permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept
away."

Posted by: Ron Paul 2012 | Jun 1, 2011 3:02:03 PM

This issue is nothing but a red herring anyway. Obama is not the president of the United States because he has not proven he is eligible to hold that position. He is a criminal usurper who blatantly disregards the rule of law. He is an illegal alien himself, an undocumented worker.
________________

Canadian concerned about what, exactly?

Didn't your nation just hand over power to Harper? Again?
Yeah, good luck with all that. Go on and be concerned, it means so much to us. You're clearly on the cutting edge of the Regressive agenda, with your birther nonsense. Unless I am missing your joke in which case I apologize.

Thanks so much for your "concern." Really.

Posted by: WheresTheOutrage | May 30, 2011 11:36:08 PM

And soon the Regressives will forget their objections to this issue and they'll foam at the mouth about some other manufactured affront, and it will mean just as much (nothing).
Meanwhile they will stubbornly ignore whatever facts or circumstances that contradict the purported reasons for their naked hatred of the POTUS because they dare not admit the real reasons for their vitriol. "I want my America back!" I bet you do! Nevermind how unfair and horrendous it was, because it wasn't bad for YOU.
I am not surprised that not one of you addressed the issues I raised earlier but instead choose to amplify the regressive, hateful echo-chamber of disingenuous and willfully ignorant accusations, even though they fly in the face of established law. These red-herrings have been clearly and soundly refuted and should be dismissed; but nevermind all that. Your gut feeling trumps all fact or reason.

Someone earlier in this comments thread attributed Trickle-down economics to liberals. WOW. It's typical of the regressive agenda: Accuse the other side of the horrible tactics of your own elected agents, who despise you and work against your own interests; and proclaim it so loudly and so often that it's unassailable truth in your minds.

There are lots of things to be angry about in this broken system, but your "saviors" only want you, the increasingly poor and disenfranchised, to fight against us, the OTHER poor and disenfranchised. This is the real tragedy: that you buy into this paradigm and we fight and hate each other while the uber-rich get uber-richer and the rest of us get leeched, literally, to death.
It's unconscionable. My own beloved brethren betray themselves to the tune of hating the "other" while they give their support and love to those who have no allegiance but to themselves and their corporate sponsors, because they parrot jingoism and spread fear and lies and couch it all in some language in direct opposition to their goals: Take our hard-won rights away and call it Patriotism. Sell our future away in huge tax handouts and giveaways call it "Jobs Now!"
And regressives just blindly follow these evil people and hate their neighbors, laborers, immigrants, "others."
Except we are ALL the others, now. We who own the tiny percentage of our nation's wealth, we who are one paycheck or illness or accident away from financial ruin, we who have been indoctrinated to hate, hate, hate "others" because we "deserve" but they do not.
There's nothing to debate here. This action in Lybia, it's all been laid out in clear language for all to comprehend, but emotion trumps reason and apparently there's just no reasoning with so many.
If your reasoning starts and stops with "If Bush did this" then you already abdicate your obligation to consider the big picture. This world is smaller and smaller every day, and soon enough there will be NO others, except you and me versus the moneyed. They need us to hate and fight each other. And you are all too willing to oblige them.

Posted by: WheresTheOutrage | May 29, 2011 8:01:39 AM

And how much has it cost for the so called "limited" non-kinetic WAR?

NATO, run by the US, is making the calls. LOL...

And who's E3A are the using...maybe we sold the old A-4 to someone and FRANCE is orchestrating the fighter jet gymnastics, eh?

Go fetch me some real information and stop repeating what the president says.

Posted by: Stan | May 26, 2011 11:49:28 AM

Ronny V says:
The Constitution gives Congress the authority to declare war, not the president.

Mr. Incredible says:
Congress declares war. Congress may not make war. Congress is not the commander-in-chief. It is not the commander-in-chief's commander-in-chief.

The president, as commander-in-chief, may send his command into combat. He has the power to make war, not declare it.

Posted by: Mr. Incredible | May 26, 2011 6:41:52 AM

I believe you now have taxation without representation all over again - A Concerned Canadian

Posted by: G Carson | May 24, 2011 1:24:45 PM

This issue is nothing but a red herring anyway. Obama is not the president of the United States because he has not proven he is eligible to hold that position. He is a criminal usurper who blatantly disregards the rule of law. He is an illegal alien himself, an undocumented worker.

Posted by: G Carson | May 24, 2011 1:17:41 PM

The American people, the President and Congress all want a limited role in Lybia. The President was reluctant to even get involved and has authorized only limited force, putting the main responsibility rightly on NATO's shoulders. We do not need to be the world's policeman.

Obama does not want to go to war with Libya, so why should he ask Congress to declare war? Did Congress authorize Bush's war in Iraq that wasted thousands of lives and billions of dollars? The foaming at the mouth against Obama on this board seems disproportionate.

Posted by: Dan Jerrems | May 24, 2011 12:54:00 PM

The White House cannot appropriate the money needed to continue these "limited" functions. Only the Congress can. Obama's arrogance in parsing the War Powers Act pretty much begs Congress to specifically defund all operations related to Libya. No payments to the UN or NATO related to any US actions in Libya.

Posted by: USAPatriot | May 23, 2011 11:35:59 PM

Moderate American, I thought your comments were very convincing! Just lose the caps.

Posted by: Lydia | May 23, 2011 9:42:50 PM

The resolution, like the budget, is in limbo. Can they actually wait to see who wins before voting on something?

What do they call this; leadership from behind, the behind, something like that? Are they waiting for some polling data, again?

Posted by: bill | May 23, 2011 7:56:57 PM

Best President we've had since Nixon!

Posted by: Lost In Translation | May 23, 2011 7:31:02 PM

Dear "Moderate American", Just to let you know that if you take over the comments section by making demagogic statements posted over and over again...in caps no less...you are not convincing anyone of your position. If you want to make a point, please do so without blathering a bunch of nonsense. By the way, if you are moderate, I have some oceanfront property in Arizona.

Posted by: Susan in Texas | May 23, 2011 7:08:37 PM

LET'S FACE IT: NO HELP FOR ORDERLY TRANSFER OF WAR ACTIONS HELPS TERRORISTS GAIN POWER AFTER A TOTAL U.S. WITHDRAWAL.
NEXT, TERRORISM ESCALATES AT OUR BORDERS, RESULT: INNOCENT AMERICANS DIE.

IS THAT WHAT YOU CRITICS OF THE U.S. PRESIDENT BARRY OBAMA WANT? HEY , THINK OF YOUR KIDS AND GRAND CHILDREN! PRESIDENT OBAMA SAVED THEM :)))))))

Posted by: Moderate American | May 23, 2011 3:42:22 PM

PRESIDENT OBAMA DID FINE AND TOTALLY UNDER THE U.S. CONSTITUTION. PERIOD :)

Posted by: Moderate American | May 23, 2011 3:35:28 PM

TO VANCE ARMOR: GIVE SOURCES. I READ THE NEWS FROM DIFFERENT NEWS ALMOST DAILY, I DID NOT FIND SUCH CLAIMS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA ANYWHERE. RATHER, OBAMA EXPLAINED THOSE POWERS ACT GAVE HIM PERMISSION TO ACT ACCORDING TO THE US CONSTITUTION. HIS WORDS MADE SENSE. SEE IN CRITICAL TIMES THERE IS NO TIME TO HESITATE AND DISCUSS NEEDED WAR POWERS ACTIONS IN ORDER TO CARRY URGENT ACTIONS. ALL PRESIDENTS KNOW THAT.

BESIDES, PRESIDENT OBAMA DID DISCUSS HOW TO DEAL WITH LIBYA, ETC. WITH bOEHNER, PELOSI, AND OTHER CONGRESSIONAL TOP LEADERS.BUT THE SESSIONS WERE CONFIDENTIAL. SO THIS CLAIM ALL CONGRESSPEOPLE DID NOT KNOW IS FALSE, OR A BASIC DYSFUNCTION IN THE CONGRESS. THAT IS NOT PRESIDENT'S OBAMA' FAULT OR RESPONSIBILITY.

Posted by: Moderate American | May 23, 2011 3:33:03 PM

NO, PRESIDENT OBAMA IS NOT MAKING THE US CONGRESS IRRELEVANT.RATHER, THE NEGATIVE
NAZI LIKE ATTITUDE OF THE GOP AND THE TEA PARTY ARE MAKING THEMSELVES IRRELEVANT. WHY CONSULT A PARTY THAT WILL OPPOSE ANYTHING THE PRESIDENT PROPOSES? AND SO DELAY PROMPT AND EFFECTIVE ACTIONS RIGHT ON TIME?

Posted by: Moderate American | May 23, 2011 3:19:59 PM

NO, PRESIDENT OBAMA IS NOT MAKING THE US CONGRESS IRRELEVANT.RATHER, THE NEGATIVE
NAZI LIKE ATTITUDE OF THE GOP AND THE TEA PARTY ARE MAKING THEMSELVES IRRELEVANT. WHY CONSULT A PARTY THAT WILL OPPOSE ANYTHING THE PRESIDENT PROPOSES? AND SO DELAY PROMPT AND EFFECTIVE ACTIONS RIGHT ON TIME?

Posted by: Moderate American | May 23, 2011 3:19:59 PM

NO, PRESIDENT OBAMA IS NOT MAKING THE US CONGRESS IRRELEVANT.RATHER, THE NEGATIVE
NAZI LIKE ATTITUDE OF THE GOP AND THE TEA PARTY ARE MAKING THEMSELVES IRRELEVANT. WHY CONSULT A PARTY THAT WILL OPPOSE ANYTHING THE PRESIDENT PROPOSES? AND SO DELAY PROMPT AND EFFECTIVE ACTIONS RIGHT ON TIME?

Posted by: Moderate American | May 23, 2011 3:19:59 PM

ABROAD AMERICA WAS KNOWN AS THE EMPIRE OF THE DOLLAR WHEN EISENHOWER AND NIXON GOVERNED. SO, THIS CONSERVATIVE IDEA AGAINST PRESIDENT OBAMA IS PURE GOP PROPAGANDA AGAINST WHAT ITS PRESIDENTS DID.

Posted by: Moderate American | May 23, 2011 3:15:41 PM

NOPE, RATHER THE REPUBLICAN CRITICS OF

PRESIDENTIAL POWER ACTS ARE THE REAL

LIARS. IF THE US ARMY WITHDREW IN A FAST,

DISORGANIZED WAY LIKE IN VIET NAM, MANY

SOLDIERS WOULD DIE. ADVISORY SUPPORT HELP

IS NECESSARY.

Posted by: Moderate American | May 23, 2011 3:11:25 PM

NOPE, RATHER THE REPUBLICAN CRITICS OF

PRESIDENTIAL POWER ACTS ARE THE REAL

LIARS. IF THE US ARMY WITHDREW IN A FAST,

DISORGANIZED WAY LIKE IN VIET NAM, MANY

SOLDIERS WOULD DIE. ADVISORY SUPPORT HELP

IS NECESSARY.

Posted by: Moderate American | May 23, 2011 3:11:25 PM

President Obama is right. He has a Constitutional Powers Act, just like all previous presidents. It looks his opponents are again turning a a light rain into a tornado!!!!!! It figures they focus in turning truths into lies and confusing naive Americans :( Who do the ultra-right congress people think they are, ? Their envy of the Presidency is patent.

Posted by: Moderate American | May 23, 2011 3:06:01 PM

President Obama is right. He has a Constitutional Powers Act, just like all previous presidents. It looks his opponents are again turning a a light rain into a tornado!!!!!! It figures they focus in turning truths into lies and confusing naive Americans :( Who do the ultra-right congress people think they are, ? Their envy of the Presidency is patent.

Posted by: Moderate American | May 23, 2011 3:06:01 PM

Jason, your list doesn't include any Conservatives or free thinking Liberals.
Both parties are not in favor of the Libya action which is why President NoBo won't go to congress for approval.

You sound like an Obama Sycophant.

Posted by: Noz | May 23, 2011 12:04:15 PM

Viet Nam was a "limited" war too.

Posted by: John Q Public | May 23, 2011 10:39:33 AM

Did you people not read this article... you have to go past the headlines:

"a bipartisan resolution drafted by Senators John Kerry, D-Mass., John McCain, R-Ariz., Carl Levin, D-Mich., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., stating that Congress “supports the U.S. mission in Libya and that both branches are united in their commitment to supporting the aspirations of the Libyan people for political reform and self-government"

Why blame Obama when the entire congress (both parties) are in favor. You people just never miss an oportunity to bash Obama... fact just get in the way.. Sigh... So many GOP fanatics...

Posted by: Jason | May 23, 2011 2:43:46 AM

oabma ,makes his own rules up, ignores the laws, treats the white house as a vacation and this media ignore most of it and if other Presidents had done this the media would have gone mad but I bet the likes of ABC, CNN, MSNBC ETC all will ignore it AGAIN AS USUAL or not make a big deal out of it

Posted by: mick | May 22, 2011 5:29:50 PM

Marxist dialectic has replaced debate with dialogue and consensus, facts with lies, a patriarchal system with a heresiarchal paradigm. This nation needs to wake up.

Posted by: mn8 | May 22, 2011 4:08:17 PM

Careful study of the Kaballah will lead you to conclude there is much to learn about lumps.

Ask Jake Tapper, it's in the Talmud. Lumps.

Seriously.. Christians and Muslims, let's nuke this plague off the planet already.

Posted by: Rachel Maddow's Lumps | May 22, 2011 3:53:16 PM

They are all hypcrites. King Obama has spoken.

Posted by: king | May 22, 2011 3:50:56 PM

Great. If our involvment is as limited as Obama says, we are clearly not needed and can cease our operations.

Posted by: Chris | May 22, 2011 3:46:35 PM

"Somebody needs to remind Obama that he is an elected leader not an absolute dictator!" Posted by: valwayne | May 22, 2011 12:24:13 PM

- - - - - - - - - - -

That somebody is you, me and everyone else who sees Obama for the Marxist, anti-American, anti-Constitution, anti-capitalist, divisive, racist, ignorant, inexperienced huckster and thug that he is.

Will it be at the ballot box or some other way?

I hope it's the former. But with Obama's complete dismissal of the will of the people and the Constitution, it may
have be by other means.

For example, ex-car czar Ron Bloom said, in October 2009: "We know this is largely about power, that it's an adults only no limit game.

"We kind of agree with Mao that political power comes largely from the barrel of a gun."

Yes, Ron, if you accept what mass-murder Mao Tse-tung believed.

But, you know, that axiom certainly works in all directions regarding dictators and the dictatored.

Posted by: CKAinRedStateUSA | May 22, 2011 3:20:15 PM

IMPEACH OBAMA NOW!!!!!!!
How many times is our marxist ruler going to be allowed to circumvent our constitution?and ignore federal judges rulings
OBAMA IS THE GREATEST THREAT TO OUR CONSTITUTION AND CAPITALISM SINCE WORLD WAR II.
DEFEAT OBAMA IN 2012 !!!!!!!

Posted by: Titainiumman | May 22, 2011 2:58:47 PM

I like this news comment board because they are not unfriendly to the President of The United States of America. President Obama can rest assured if he does what 50% of the American public wants him to do the 10% political ranters and ravers who don't agree will not eat him alive ON THIS BOARD!

Posted by: Wild Man | May 22, 2011 2:57:55 PM

for those who seem to not to know the laws or want to defend their messiah regardless of him breaking laws and making things up as he goes along.
in any case in which United States Armed Forces are introduced—

(1) into hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances;

(2) into the territory, airspace or waters of a foreign nation, while equipped for combat, except for deployments which relate solely to supply, replacement, repair, or training of such forces; or

(3) in numbers which substantially enlarge United States Armed Forces equipped for combat already located in a foreign nation;"

Posted by: mick | May 22, 2011 2:34:45 PM

Oh my, Sally and Mr Invincible please tell me you're joking as the CIC needs congress to vote on this and get authority after 60 days.
This just goes to show why the MSM and some others have no clue how to inform the less informed folk amongst us about what is law and what the constitution states

Posted by: mick | May 22, 2011 2:30:31 PM

Look at that diaper-load he said in Isreal the other day, saying "the U.S. wants bla bla bla" about the borders over there and the fact is what he said about the borders going back to pre-67' is not the policy of the United States, its just his policy. Our new King of the United States of America. And what our King says goes, if anyone likes it or not! If you dont like it then move to another country, period! Got it?

Posted by: Kiba | May 22, 2011 2:26:22 PM

he now rips up the laws and the constitution and this MSM YET AGAIN COVER AND LIE FOR HIM. It is high time the MSM actually did their job and no it is not covering for king obama but to report the good and bad plus point out how obama is ripping up our laws and acting like a dictator or king.
THE MSM ARE BIASED AND HAVE BEEN PAID OFF BY GEORGE SOROS

Posted by: mick | May 22, 2011 2:23:19 PM

I wish our King would concern himself with our friggin borders for just once. Apperantly he doesnt believe in borders for the entire world. I think he should move his family to one of the border towns in Texas or Arizona and see how much he likes the neighborhood.

Posted by: Kiba | May 22, 2011 2:13:03 PM

Its a shame that the US has a warped perspective in that it believes that it is righteous and loved by all its actions in the all of its "supported" wars. The thing is you have become in the eyes of the world as a tyranical power imposing its terror on nations it has obvious financial interest in.
Bush-Obama two sides of the same coin, infact Obama has defiled the American people more than Bush!
When are you going to throw this dictator out?
You have become the very thing you farthers and grand farthers hated.

Posted by: Sad4america | May 22, 2011 1:41:35 PM

Is being in a "little bit" of a war something like being a "little bit" pregnant?

Posted by: Tax Slave | May 22, 2011 1:15:23 PM

This was Obama in 2007: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” Yet Obamma has launche our entire nation into a useless, endless, unauthorized war against a nation that was no threat to the U.S. And if humanitarianism was the reason what about the murder of thousands by the Assad regime in Syria? Now Obama tells us he doesn't have to account for his war in any way. Somebody needs to remind Obama that he is an elected leader not an absolute dictator!

Posted by: valwayne | May 22, 2011 12:24:13 PM

his excuse of limited role doesnt matter. we are attacking libyas conventional ground forces with bombs. we have been in roles where our limited action would mean no congressional permission but this is still to big even though somewhat small scale.

Posted by: ivan | May 22, 2011 12:10:44 PM

I think Obama is just making this stuff up as he goes along. And the leftist media allows him to get away with it.

Can anyone imagine a conservative ignoring the War Powers Act so blatantly with the excuse that "this isn't a war, it's a kinetic action in support of our allies" ?? Do you think the media would let a conservative president get away with that?

Of course not. What a joke. Congress needs to re-establish it's role as the body that decides whether we go to war, and remind the president that his job is to win the wars that Congress declares. Plain and simple.

Posted by: Bob | May 22, 2011 11:55:54 AM

The Constitution may not be perfect, but is preferable to the government we have today.

Posted by: Likely_Suspect | May 22, 2011 11:13:20 AM

I guess 'common courtesy' is out the window in this republic?

Oh, wait, I forgot, HRH Obama has made it a dictatorship.

Posted by: gunther | May 22, 2011 11:13:08 AM

The people "wanted" anyone but Bush. You were even willing to accept an arrogant, back room dealing, Chicago thug politician. You got him, live with it! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Posted by: Doan Bugme | May 22, 2011 11:03:58 AM

NATO's operations in Libya seem to have had the unintended consequence of inspiring right-wing Gaddafi fans here in this country to take an newly found interest in what's in the Constitution.

Posted by: Skip | May 22, 2011 9:37:22 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

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