On page 24 under "Analysis of Potential Ties to Extremist Groups" the White House attempts to dismiss reports of ties between anti-U.S. terrorists and the Libyan rebels by focusing solely on the U.S. relationship with the Transitional National Council of Libya, claiming that the TNC itself has no relationship to terrorist organizations and that it's secular in nature. However, the TNC is just an administrative body and would be unable to stand up and maintain power if not for the rebel forces that are fighting the war for it. Indeed without NATO committing "boots on the ground" to the war, these rebels would make up the army that would be sharing power with the TNC due to the fact that they're the ones holding the weapons.
From "The two faces of the Libyan Rebels, which is the real one?" published on the International Business Times' website on May 31st 2011:
"A second problem derives from the fact that, the INC's (aka the TNC) purpose is essentially administrative and remains quite separate from the rebels who fight on the ground. Technically the rebels fight for the council to overthrow Gaddafi, however the discourse that emanates from the fighters is somehow less bureaucratic and West-friendly than that of the council.
In March, Abdul Hakim al-Hasidi's, a Libyan rebel leader from Derna, east of Benghazi, was quoted telling an Italian newspaper he had recruited "about 25" Libyans to fight alongside insurgents in Iraq, and claimed some had now returned and were fighting Gaddafi forces in Ajdabiya." ...
..."Interestingly, Al-Hasidi himself was captured in Pakistan in 2002 and handed over to US forces after fighting against US troops in Afghanistan. He was held in Libya and eventually released in 2008."
Page 25-- " Legal Analysis and Administration Support for Bipartisan Resolution"
Once again, what should be considered an important section of the White House's report receives only limited attention. In only a little over half a page the White House rationalizes the President's justification for involving the U.S. in Libya's civil war without first seeking congressional approval by insisting:
"Given the important U.S. interests served by U.S. military operations in Libya and the limited nature, scope and duration of the anticipated actions, the President had constitutional authority, as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive and pursuant to his foreign affairs powers, to direct such limited military operations abroad. The President is of the view that the current U.S. military operations in Libya are consistent with the War Powers Resolution and do not under that law require further congressional authorization, because U.S. military operations are distinct from the kind of "hostilities" contemplated by the Resolution's 60 day termination provision."
The War Powers Resolution does not define "hostilities" and the Supreme Court has never ruled on the issue. Given that the War Powers Resolution was passed in response to previous presidents involving the U.S. in wars--(the most recent and resonating war at the time being Vietnam)-- without a declaration of war, and the concern over eroding congressional authority in deciding when the U.S. should become involved in war, or any use of the military that might lead to war, it wouldn't be crazy to assume that any form of U.S. military combat (including bombing missions) would be defined as "hostilities" and be subject to the resolution's deadline. The involvement of the U.S. in Vietnam, after all, started at a much slower pace than the U.S. has taken in Libya, beginning with the U.S. providing military advisors and transports to the French and stretching out over a span of years before official U.S. combat troops were committed.
The White House's report goes on:
"U.S. forces are playing a constrained and supporting role in a multinational coalition, whose operations are both legitimated by and limited to the terms of a United Nations Security Council Resolution that authorizes the use of force solely to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under attack or threat of attack and to enforce a no-fly zone and an arms embargo. (Again, this doesn't trump the requirements of the U.S Constitution.) U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve the presence of U.S. ground troops, U.S. casualties or a serious threat thereof, or any significant chance of escalation into a conflict characterized by those factors."
The White House concludes this chapter by strongly supporting S. RES. 194, which was introduced in May by Senators McCain, Kerry, Lieberman, Levin, Feinstein, Graham, and Chambliss that-- while proudly proclaiming joyous support for everyone involved in the Libyan war (except Gadhafi)-- supports the limited use of military force by the United States in Libya as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) mission to enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973".
That resolution has not been passed, and one of the men listed above--Kerry--has begun to backpedal on his support of it.
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