Just when you think that people like Jamie Radtke and George Allen can’t get any more ignorant, they manage to do so. This time, they’ve issued statements about Libya that are models of cluelessness and ignorance. First, here’s Radtke’s statement, which claims that “President Obama’s decision to commit America to a third concurrent war has two serious flaws,” one of which is that “the president has committed American troops to battle without the authorization of Congress.” Radkte also claims that “Congress must hold an immediate vote on a declaration of war on Libya.”
This is so false and so clueless, it makes Christine O’Donnell look like a rocket scientist. A few points.
1. Under the War Powers Resolution of 1973, all the president is required to do is “to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30 day withdrawal period, without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war.”
2. President Obama has already complied with the notification requirement (see here for that story).
3. There’s a great deal of question whether the War Powers Resolution is constitutional. For instance, here is what the Reagan Administration’s Legal Adviser to the Department of State said about it on September 15, 1988.
4. Note that there have been many, many U.S. military actions without declarations of war by Congress. Here is one list, including many during the 1980s and early 1990s under Presidents Reagan and Bush. In fact, the last formal declaration of war by the U.S. Congress came on June 5, 1942, against Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania. Since World War II, there have been dozens of military actions, but only a handful “authorized by Congress.”
Bottom line: Jamie Radtke is in wayyyy over her head, has no idea what she’s talking about, is dead wrong on the War Powers Act, etc. By the way, don’t even get me started on space aliens like Dennis Kucinich on the far far far left, who apparently believes that President Obama’s action in Libya is an impeachable offense. Of course, by that criterion, every president during the Cold War certainly would have been impeached. Fortunately, both crazy Kucinich and clueless Radtke have no idea what they’re talking about.
Speaking of crazy and clueless (and completely hypocritical!), that now brings us to George “Felix Macacawitz” Allen, and specifically to his Libya statement. This one’s particularly hilarious, as it turns out that as a U.S. Senator in 2002, Allen voted for EXACTLY what he’s criticizing today!
With the courageous men and women of our armed forces serving in harm’s way in North Africa, Americans should support them and their families as they perform their duty. However, we should not be outsourcing our sovereign foreign policy decisions to the United Nations. The elected representatives of the people in U.S. House and Senate, not the UN Security Council, should be the governing body authorizing U.S. military action. With our current commitments in Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq, the President must present to the American people and Congress the goals and the extent of our military action in Libya.
This action once again brings to the forefront the need to develop an American energy policy that reduces our dependence on oil from a volatile region – a dangerous vulnerability that demands an ever-higher cost from America. All while we have very accessible American coal, gas and oil resources.
The President has much more to explain to the American people.
Again, clueless. First off, getting U.N. Security Council authorization for multilateral military actions is very common, almost Standard Operating Procedure. For instance, in the 1990-1991 war against Iraq, there were a series of UN Security Council resolutions authorizing it. Same thing with the Bosnian War (President Clinton) and the 2001 war in Afghanistan (President Bush). Also note that the 2002 Congressional authorization to use force against Iraq specifically used the language, “enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq,” “Iraq persists in violating resolutions of the United Nations Security Council,” “United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;” and this:
Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688, and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949;
Whereas Congress in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) has authorized the President “to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677″;
Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it “supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1),” that Iraq’s repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and “constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region,” and that Congress, “supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688“;
Whereas on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the United States to “work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge” posed by Iraq and to “work for the necessary resolutions,” while also making clear that “the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable”;
Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq’s ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary;
That’s right, President George W. Bush and the Republican Congress in 2002 cited the United Nations over and over and over again as its legal and moral authority for using U.S. armed forces against Saddam Hussein. And guess who voted for that resolution, which repeatedly cited the United Nations for legal and moral authority? That’s right, one Senator George “Felix Macacawitz” Allen. Apparently, it was fine to “be outsourcing our sovereign foreign policy decisions to the United Nations” then, when Republicans were in charge and Allen was a U.S. Senator voting to do so, but not now when a Democrat’s in the White House and Allen’s looking to get back to his old job. Complete hypocrisy, not to mention completely brain dead.