Boehner tries to bluff Obama on Libya

The US House of Representatives failed to pass a resolution, Robert Robb of The Arizona Republic called “remarkably pacifist,” requiring US military involvement in Libya to cease. The House however passed what Robb called “an irresponsible alternative to the Kucinich resolution.” This “irresponsible alternative” requests “the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the Attorney General, respectively, to transmit to the House of Representatives, not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution, copies of any official document, record, memo, correspondence, or other communication in the possession of each officer that was created on or after February 15, 2011” relating to US military involvement in Libya.

The resolution also says that President Obama is to hand over records since March 19 detailing 21 specific issues, including; “The President’s justification for not seeking authorization by Congress for the use of military force in Libya… The anticipated scope and duration of continued United States military involvement in support of NATO activities regarding Libya… and The costs of United States military, political, and humanitarian efforts concerning Libya as of June 3, 2011.” Nothing in the resolution “requires” compliance from President Obama, Hilary Clinton, Robert Gates and/or Eric Holder. Though they resolution does state, “Congress has the constitutional prerogative to withhold funding for any unauthorized use of the United States Armed Forces, including for unauthorized activities regarding Libya.” 1

President Obama could theoretically ignore this resolution, just as he ignored the War Powers Act, and call John Boehner’s bluff. I do not believe for one second that John Boehner would vote to de-fund ANY military action. Doing so would make him and the GOP appear “weak” and would be used in the 2012 elections by a more “pro-war” candidate.

Instead of focusing solely on the presence of troops in Libya – Congress doesn’t even talk about the covert operations in Yemen or Mexico; the Congress should instruct Secretary Gates to withdraw troops from all foreign nations, excepting the 6 Marines stationed at US embassies.

The countries with the largest troop deployment (aside from Iraq and Afghanistan) are Germany (54,4314), Japan (35,329), Korea, Italy (9,779) and the United Kingdom (9,318). In all there are nearly 300,000 US military personnel around the world. 2

Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com writes, “the War Party lives in mortal fear of Ron Paul’s message of a peaceful, non-interventionist foreign policy.” Though, I prefer to think of Dr. Paul as the messenger, not the author of the message. The Republicans will not vote to bring troops home, because they fear they will be seen as weak and/or called “pacifists;” and the Democrats won’t vote to bring troops home for the same reasons.

Even more disturbing is the lack of respect for the rule of law by the federal government. Presidents and Congress routinely violate the Constitution and federal law, they even encourage federal agencies, such as the DEA, CIA and TSA to do the same. Passing more resolutions and/or laws will not change anything in DC. After all, when the elected officials have no respect for the rule of law, why should anyone else?

[1] – http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hres292eh/pdf/BILLS-112hres292eh.pdf
[2] – http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/MILITARY/history/hst1012.pdf

2 Comments
  1. Boehner doesn’t have the backbone needed of a House Speaker. I’m surprised at how weak the GOP leadership has been lately on actual coherent constitutional discussion when it comes down to it. Too many of them outsource all the critical thinking and focus on political appearances and media games to have any kind of credibility on when they stand up (verbally only) and say no to the BS.

    Congress has the power to put a muzzle on the president’s war dogs. They should use it.

  2. Boehner doesn’t have the backbone needed of a House Speaker. I’m surprised at how weak the GOP leadership has been lately on actual coherent constitutional discussion when it comes down to it. Too many of them outsource all the critical thinking and focus on political appearances and media games to have any kind of credibility on when they stand up (verbally only) and say no to the BS.

    Congress has the power to put a muzzle on the president’s war dogs. They should use it.