Yesterday, President Obama strongly defended his decision to use military force in Libya, trying to say that it had some semblance of bearing US interests at heart — “US interest,” of course, being defined solely by the President. However, despite his altruistic rhetoric (and probably altruistic intentions), apparently of little importance is the rule of law.
The federal government breaks constitutional law so repeatedly that it has almost become traditional and yet, despite moving the barrier of what is constitutional further and further away from what the document actually says, President Obama has still managed to cross it as I’ll explain.
But first let’s look specifically at what President Obama has done. Without consulting any member of the United States Congress, the President has sent United States military forces to a foreign land in order to engage in aggressive action against a foreign governmental figure as a means to protect citizens of said country. No threat to the safety or sovereignty of the United States and citizens thereof was imminent or even suggested by Gaddafi’s actions against the rebel forces in Libya. There was no clear and present danger. Despite this unavoidable fact, Obama still took action.
This is blatantly unconstitutional. In no way does the Constitution vest within the Executive branch the authority to authorize and direct military action offensively. President Obama has broken the law. Here are resources to prove my point.
First, the Constitution itself.
On Legislative authority (Article I, Section VIII, Clause XI-XVI):
“The Congress shall have Power…To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
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