The War Powers Act has been a focus of attention recently with respect to President Obama’s use of the military in Libya. Passed by the Congress over a veto by President Nixon in 1973, this act says that a president, although commander in chief, cannot exercise that role unless Congress declares a war or gives the president express permission to use the military, or if a national emergency exists because the country is under attack. One feature of the act is a 60-day time limit for use of those troops unless Congress gives approval for an extended time.
Why has it become such a prominent feature in the news now? The president has decided to use the military in Libya without congressional approval. He has now gone beyond the time limit and is in contempt of the law. His rationale is that the troops are not engaged in activities that rise to the level of “hostilities” as defined by the act. Really? Then why are they receiving hazard pay?
In my opinion, this is just one more example of Obamamanian hubris. He’s not someone to let the law get in his way. What provides added angst over his decision to employ American forces in the Libyan conflict is that we don’t even know who the rebels are who are attempting to overthrow Qaddafi. Indications are some of them are Al Qaeda. How ludicrous would that be if this is the case? The entire enterprise is foolish at best, detrimental to our long-range security at worst.
Our government does not consist of merely an executive who can do whatever he wants. Yet that’s how he’s acting.
Has anyone noticed that the Left, which went bananas when President Bush got involved in Afghanistan and Iraq, is silent on our current president’s further involvement in Libya and Yemen? We have four wars now, and the usual handwringers are nowhere to be heard.
How wonderfully double-standard of them.