(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) says President Barack Obama did not have the constitutional authority to order U.S. forces to participate in an attack on Libya, reports David Edwards writing at RawStory this morning:
In a conference call with other liberal lawmakers Saturday, Kucinich asked why the U.S. missile strikes were not impeachable offenses, according to two Democratic lawmakers who spoke to Politico.
The U.S. unleashed a barrage of strikes against the Libyan regime’s air defenses over the weekend, but ruled out using ground troops in what Obama called a “limited military action.”
After taking a cautious stance on armed intervention in Libya’s civil war, Obama ordered the attacks citing the threat posed to civilians by Moamer Kadhafi’s forces and a UN-mandated no-fly zone endorsed by Arab countries.
“We must be clear: actions have consequences, and the writ of the international community must be enforced,” Obama told reporters while on an official visit to Brazil Saturday.
“We are answering the calls of a threatened people. And we are acting in the interests of the United States and the world,” he said, stressing that Washington was acting in concert “with a broad coalition.”
Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Mike Capuano (D-MA), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Rob Andrews (D-NJ), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) “all strongly raised objections to the constitutionality of the president’s actions” during the conference call, a source told Politico.
Kucinich also released a statement Friday questioning the constitutionality of the president’s actions:
Senator Barack Obama, December 20, 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.“
Washington D.C. (March 18, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released the following statement and letter to Congressional leaders after the President announced that the United States will support a United Nations-approved attack on Libya:
“While the action is billed as protecting the civilians of Libya, a no-fly-zone begins with an attack on the air defenses of Libya and Qaddafi forces. It is an act of war. The president made statements which attempt to minimize U.S. action, but U.S. planes may drop U.S. bombs and U.S. missiles may be involved in striking another sovereign nation. War from the air is still war.
“It is also worth noting that the President did not comment upon nor recognize that the Libyan government had declared a ceasefire in response to UNSC Resolution 1973. It was appropriate for the UN to speak about the situation. It was appropriate to establish an arms embargo and freeze Qaddafi’s considerable financial assets. But whether the U.S. takes military action is not for the UN alone to decide. There is a constitutional imperative in the United States with respect to deciding to commit our U.S. armed forces to war.
“Congress should be called back into session immediately to decide whether or not to authorize the United States’ participation in a military strike. If it does not, the action of the President is contrary to U.S. Constitution. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution clearly states that the United States Congress has the power to declare war. The President does not. That was the Founders’ intent.
“I have sent a letter to Congressional leadership indicating that the national interest requires that Congress be called back quickly to Washington to exercise its Constitutional authority to determine whether our armed forces should participate in the UN mission. Both houses of Congress must weigh in. This is not for the President alone, or for a few high ranking Members of Congress to decide.
“It is hard to imagine that Congress, during the current contentious debate over deficits and budget cutting, would agree to plunge America into still another war, especially since America will spend trillions in total for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and incursions into Pakistan.
“The last thing we need is to be embroiled in yet another intervention in another Muslim country. The American people have had enough. First it was Afghanistan, then Iraq. Then bombs began to fall in Pakistan, then Yemen, and soon it seems bombs could be falling in Libya. Our nation simply cannot afford another war, economically, diplomatically or spiritually,” said Kucinich.
Why the jerk had to be attacked: PART ONE:
The Best Thing in The World for Big Oil
Greg Palast, August 3, 2006
“Control is what it’s all about,” one oilman told me. “It’s not about getting the oil, it’s about controlling oil’s price.”
With Saddam out of control, jerking markets up and down, the price of controlling the price was getting just too high. Saddam drove the oil boys bonkers. For example, Saddam’s games pushed the State Department, disastrously, to launch, in April 2002, a coup d’etat in Venezuela.
This could not stand. Saddam delighted in playing cat-and-mouse with the USA and our oil majors. Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t playing with mice, but a much bigger and unforgiving breed of rodents.
Saddam was asking for it. It was time for a “military assessment.” The CFR concluded:
Saddam Hussein has demonstrated a willingness to
threaten to use the oil weapon to manipulate oil mar-
kets… United States should conduct an immediate pol-
icy review toward Iraq, including military, energy,
economic, and political/diplomatic assessments.
Why the jerk had to be attacked: PART TWO:
The Club Med War
Pepe Escobar, March 19, 2011
It would be really uplifting to imagine United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 on Thursday was voted just to support the beleaguered anti-Muammar Gaddafi movement with a no-fly zone, logistics, food, humanitarian aid and weapons. That would be the proof that the “international community” really “stands with the Libyan people in their quest for their universal human rights”, in the words of United States ambassador to the UN Susan Rice.
Yet maybe there’s more to doing the right (moral) thing. History may register that the real tipping point was this past Tuesday when, in an interview to German TV, the African king of kings made sure that Western corporations – unless they are German (because the country was against a no-fly zone) – can kiss goodbye to Libya’s energy bonanza. Gaddafi explicitly said, “We do not trust their firms, they have conspired against us … Our oil contracts are going to Russian, Chinese and Indian firms.” In other words: BRICS member countries.
When Gaddafi threatened Western oil majors, he meant the show would soon be over for France’s Total, Italy’s ENI, British Petroleum (BP), Spanish Repsol, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Occidental Petroleum, Hess and Conoco Phillips – though not for the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC). China ranks Libya as essential for its energy security. China gets 11% of Libya’s oil exports. CNPC has quietly repatriated no less than 30,000 Chinese workers (compared to 40 working for BP).
For its part Italian energy giant ENI produces over 240,000 barrels of oil a day – almost 25% of Libya’s total exports. No less than 85% of Libya’s oil is sold to European Union (EU) countries.