Secretary Hillary Clinton To Congress On Libya: Pound Sand!

Clearly, this is a simple case of IOKIYOA*:

The White House would forge ahead with military action in Libya even if Congress passed a resolution constraining the mission, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a classified briefing to House members Wednesday afternoon.

Clinton was responding to a question from Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) about the administration’s response to any effort by Congress to exercise its war powers, according to a senior Republican lawmaker who attended the briefing.

The answer surprised many in the room because Clinton plainly admitted the administration would ignore any and all attempts by Congress to shackle President Obama’s power as commander in chief to make military and wartime decisions. In doing so, he would follow a long line of Presidents who have ignored the act since its passage, deeming it an unconstitutional encroachment on executive power. […]

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), who asked Clinton about the War Powers Act during a classified briefing, said Clinton and the administration are sidestepping the measure’s provisions giving Congress the ability to put a 60-day time limit on any military action.

“They are not committed to following the important part of the War Powers Act,” he told TPM in a phone interview. “She said they are certainly willing to send reports [to us] and if they issue a press release, they’ll send that to us too.”

Politico has more Democrats expressing their, er… concern and :

“If they didn’t need congressional authorization here in these circumstances, can you tell me under what circumstances you’d ever need congressional authorization if we’re going into a war? Nobody answered [that] question,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.). “The administration and its lawyers believed they had the authority under the War Powers Act.” […]

Without a vote, it’s impossible to tell whether a majority of members would support more intense action in Libya, but it’s clear the administration has done little to assuage its critics. Lawmakers expressed skepticism that they’d even be consulted if the administration were to take such action.

“Now he wants people like me to support him,” said one moderate Democrat. “Quite frankly, I can’t.”

The irony of one former lawmaker telling other lawmakers to go [redacted] themselves is not lost on me. It’d be funny if lives were not on the line.

At this time and moment, the arguement is no longer if we should be there or not. Obama dragged us kicking and screaming into a conflict we had no business being involved in. Hell, we were not even given the choice of going in kicking and screaming. We woke up one morning and we were at war engaged in kinetic military action with Libya.

It also doesn’t really matter who the rebels are or if they win. This is, by definition, an internal civil war. The people choose to abandon peaceful protests and armed themselves. They are armed combatants, specifically they are privileged combatants, and thus none of our responsibility**. If we were so worried about Tunisia and Egypt, then we should have just offer them protection. A policy of containment would have been preferable than out-right getting invloved.

No, the real argument is that of congressional authorization. There no getting around the fact that Congress authorized President Bush to use military force against Iraq. He went to congress, made a case for going to war, and there was an up or down vote. Hell, even Sen. Clinton voted yes.

Clearly, Secretary Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration is unwilling to go down this path of getting congressional authorization. Why is this the case? No one knows or understands. Is this a sign of a leaderless White House? Obviously. Will Congress push the issue? They should.

I will look forward to impeachment hirings if after his 60 days under the War Powers Act are up, he still hasn’t got any kind of authorization from Congress, and still engage in his “kinetic military action” with Gaddafi. I have personally marked the calendar (May 18th 2011) and I’ll see you then.

Exit Question: Is Libya starting to look a lot like Vietnam to you? Umm…

[Cross-Posted On Practical State.com]


*It’s OK If You’re Obama’s Administration.

**Sure it would be sad if they were crushed, because I have no love for Gaddafi. While I gave a thumbs up for him giving up his nukes, I still didn’t like that we normalized relations with them.