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Mr. President, U.N. Resolutions do not trump U.S. Law

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Finally, from page 26 until the end we have "Congressional Consultation".  This consists of a list of various Libya-related hearings, briefings, calls, and other communications and consultations between Congress and the Executive Branch.  Trying to claim that briefing members of Congress on the situation in Libya from March 1st to June 15th equates to getting approval from Congress to commit the U.S. to war there or continue bombing Libya beyond the War Powers Resolution deadline, the White House's mult ipage list is, once again, irrelevant.   Nowhere is any U.S. legislative granted authority cited justifying the President's actions.

Indeed, after ancient Rome fell to emperors, they too briefed the Roman Senate on the overseas adventures they had committed their armies to, though the Senate no longer had any real power to do anything about it.  When an executive simply tells a legislative body what he is doing while disregarding his need to seek their authority, he reduces that body to the status of ministers beneath an unchallenged autocrat.  The U.S. government is based on the rule of law, which maintains the separation of power between each branch...that has not changed.  The U.S. Constitution and the War Powers Resolution are clear on this fact and on the limitations set down for the executive branch to follow when it comes to starting wars.

One of the most telling excerpts in this section of the report is the March 18th entry.  It lists 18 members of Congress (none of which are involved in the lawsuit against the President, such as Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich, who have voiced strong opposition to U.S. involvement in Libya from the beginning) being invited to the White House.

It states:

"President Obama invited Congress' bipartisan bicameral leadership to the White House to consult on the situation in Libya and brief them on the limited, discrete and well-defined participation that he envisioned for the United States to help implement the U.N. Resolution. The White House invited House and Senate Leadership, Chairs and Ranking of Foreign Affairs, Armed Services and Intel committees."

This speaks volumes regarding the President's perception of his own power and his dismissal of the U.S. Constitution under what he believes to be the greater authority of the U.N.  Such a view being held by a man in a position like his is dangerous for U.S. sovereignty and for our republican form of government.  The President cannot be allowed to ignore the rule of law and wage war based solely on what he envisions the United States' role in the world to be.  Otherwise there will be nothing to stop him or future presidents from waging war at will without any constraint.  At that point the constitution that the President took an oath to defend will cease to exist and the people of the United States will no longer be sovereigns determining the destiny of their nation, but rather subjects to an international body that no longer has to answer to them.

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Andrew Steele is the editor of America 20xy-- an independent news service that highlights articles from around the web focusing on international and economic policy, and human rights abuses. The mission statement for the page is a quote from Thomas (more...)
 
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