Ron Paul On Holding The President Accountable On Libya

Tyler Durden's picture

From Ron Paul

Holding the President Accountable on Libya

Last week, more than 70 days after President Obama sent our military
to attack Libya without a congressional declaration of war, the House of
Representatives finally voted on two resolutions attempting to rein in
the president.  This debate was long overdue, as polls show Americans
increasingly are frustrated by congressional inaction. According to a
CNN poll last week, 55 percent of the American people believe that
Congress, not the president, should have the final authority to decide
whether the U.S. should continue its military mission in Libya. Yet for
more than 70 days Congress has ignored its constitutional obligations
and allowed the president to usurp its authority.

Finally, Congressman Dennis Kucinich was able to bring to the floor a
resolution asserting that proper constitutional war power authority
resides with Congress. His resolution simply stated that "Congress
directs the President to remove the United States Armed Forces from
Libya by not later than the date that is 15 days after the date of the
adoption of this concurrent resolution."

Opponents of the withdrawal resolution said the 15 day deadline was
too abrupt. But as I pointed out during debate, the president attacked
Libya abruptly – he didn't even bother to consult Congress – so why
can't he order an end to military action just as abruptly? When members
of Congress took an oath of office to defend the Constitution, we did
not pledge to defend it only gradually, a little bit at a time. On the
contrary, we must defend it vigorously and completely from the moment we
take that oath. I was pleased that 87 Republicans were able to put the
Constitution first and support this resolution.

House Speaker John Boehner offered his own resolution on the same
day, which declared that Congress would not support the insertion of US
ground troops into Libya. Although this unfortunately was far from
adequate to satisfy our constitutional obligations, it certainly was a
step in the right direction and I am pleased that it passed in the
House.  Just days before Speaker Boehner's resolution, an amendment to
the defense authorization act prohibited the president from using any
funds in the bill to insert US troops into Libya. A separate amendment
last week prohibiting any funds appropriated to the Department of
Homeland Security from being used to attack Libya came within just a
handful of votes from passing.  All of these votes demonstrate that
members of Congress increasingly understand that our foreign wars are
deeply unpopular with their constituents.  We are broke, and the
American people know it.  They expect Congress to focus on fixing
America's economic problems, rather than rubber stamping yet another
open-ended military intervention in Libya.

I believe these resolutions and amendments indicate that the tide is
turning in the right direction.  I am confident we will see Congress
move toward ending our unconstitutional wars.  The American people are
demanding no less.  The president's attack on Libya was unconstitutional
and thus unlawful.  This policy must be reversed.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Cast Iron Skillet's picture

didn't impeach Bush, so don't see why they should go after Obama.

TheTmfreak's picture

While I think most bush comments are really ad hoc and stupid, this is actually a pretty good one.

The entire "world" was against Bush particularly late in his presidency, congress had a supermajority of democrats, and still didn't impeach him or anything.

That should say something.

Carl Spackler's picture

Whether you liked Iraq (or not), Bush had congressional approval before starting the wars.

Obama did not go to Congress for approval. Now his 60 days has more than expired, and he is impeachable for being in violation of the War Powers Act.

If it is not clear that Bush conformed with the U.S. Constitution and Obama has not, then you need to go back to middle school civics class and start over again.

TheTmfreak's picture

I guess I need to be a hell of a lot more specific, especially if I attack the mighty Bush's credibility. (Did you completely ignore the fact that I "stuck up" for Bush, since most attacks are "well Bush did this and this" as it relates to bad things? Stop jumping to conclusions.

I never meant to imply he should be impeached for congressional approval regarding wars. There was ample things that congress could have tried to impeach him on, and would have liked to but didn't.

Never_Put_Down's picture

I agree, Bush got congressional approval based on lies, propaganda and deciept, but but he did get congressional approval nevertheless

jeff montanye's picture

imo, this rough stuff in the house of r's is one more glimmer of the silver lining in the hideous black cloud that is the obama presidency: as there is just one opposition party in the u.s., the republicans (as the democrats are utterly spineless cowardly sellouts), their reflexive urge to destroy democrats generally and obama particularly, even though he adopts and worsens bush policies (vanity wars, incarceration of whistleblowers, assassination of citizens), will lead to effective opposition to the original, unconstitutional atrocities that went effectively unopposed under bush.

this is not to say that ron paul's (or dennis kucinich's!) opposition is unprincipled; imo it is not. 


SuperRay's picture

what it says is that congress is filled with a bunch of self-serving sociopaths who only do what will benefit them (and, with democrats, spineless sociopaths)...

the grateful unemployed's picture

actually a sociopath with a spine is more problematic

TheTmfreak's picture

No kidding.

I fear an active "loving" government.

High Plains Drifter's picture

oh yeh, the whole world was against bush.........yeh right.........please....

samsara's picture

The entire "world" was against Bush particularly late in his presidency,


And early in his presidency for those who could Read, think, and See.


Chuck Walla's picture

Thank God Obama has changed all that. I think Pakistan and our interloping helos firing back at their anti-aircraft batteries stands out for me. What great moral victory do think Obama will hang his hat on? 

jeff montanye's picture

toss up between the incarcerations of bradley manning and that of thomas drake.  no wait, between the lack of prosecution of bush war/torture crimes and the continuation of them.  

as this is an investment blog perhaps the adoption, essentially unchanged and unprosecuted, of bush's too big to fail, leave the felons in charge, piss all our money away protecting bank bondholders from even a dollar of loss while destroying the working and middle classes economically deserves a singular mention. 

Henry Hub's picture

Presidents of the United States can only be impeached for B-jobs. Look it up!

Clamdigger's picture

Hilarious that this spot-on comment brought out the RepubliBots.

cynicalskeptic's picture

Bush's actions were FAR 'worse' - in direct violation of International Law according to past precedent.  Yet the Repubs remain silent on all W did - including torture and use of white phosphorousagainst civilians and far more....

Truth is that the US should NEVER go to war without a declaration of war from Congress but they've given up that right over and over again....... Vietnam, Grenada, Panama.....  all our Founding Fathers feared has come true - a concentration of power in the Executive Branch - with W being one of the worst in his illegal actions - but then Obama has not rennounced any of those powers or prosecuted his predecessors for their actions......   the Republic is dead.  the Empire has had a short life and is collapsing....

TheTmfreak's picture

I'm not going to necessarily disagree with most of your post, but International law is the argument you come out of the gate with? Fuck that.

Funny because if we want to play the international "law" game, Obama is 100% in the "right" with Libya. International law also says that troops should use FMJ ammunition instead of hollow points to "minimize" suffering, yet no questions asked its a reverse reality. If you think US law is fucked up, international law is significantly worse.

jeff montanye's picture

point well taken.  both obama and bush, in at least a measurable way more than their evil predecessors, have violated the actual u.s. constitution that they swore (haltingly in obama's case, lol) to uphold.  they are both bags of excrement.

High Plains Drifter's picture

LBJ = Nixon = Ford = Carter = Reagan = Bush 41 = Clinton = Bush 43 = Obama.

its all the same. they are all the same. the only thing that changes is the name but the game remains the same.

TheTmfreak's picture

Why did you start at LBJ? Any reason in particular (rather than starting at the 20th century or before)? What about Lincoln and beyond.

High Plains Drifter's picture

well the terrorist state of israel was started in 1948 . is there a correlation? 

jeff montanye's picture

yes there is, and a good one.  

nonetheless the original point is not without validity.  wars, particularly, invite unconstitutional abuses of citizens and even worse abuses of noncitizens.  the horrid laws of ww1 live on: trading with the enemy cited by fdr in the gold "seizure" and espionage act of 1917 used to jail thomas drake today.  

nevertheless the incredibly stupid political/military alliance with israel deserves special mention in the annals of u.s. horrible mistakes that keep begetting yet more horrible mistakes (and "mistakes" is being charitable).

Overpowered By Funk's picture

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...

_Alekhine_'s picture

That's because they are all (with the possible exception of Carter) RIGHT-WING SOCIAL DEMOCRATS!!! a.k.a Neo-Cons.

Chuck Walla's picture

Torture is the deliberate injury to another. Who did we deliberately injure? And how? Water Boarding?  You must have missed the Senate hearing where Holder was forced to admit under the recognized definition of torture, there wasn't any. But that would be an inconvenient truth to an OFA parrot.

Cast Iron Skillet's picture

oh, man! I got junked. And I thought I was gonna get popular by posting that ... 

Yen Cross's picture

  Make sure that skillet isn't stamped (Made in China)

ElvisDog's picture

didn't impeach Bush, so don't see why they should go after Obama

That's the 4th Grade "Well, he did it too" defense. Or perhaps you were going for the Clintonesque "Well, everyone is doing it" defense.

Michael's picture

Precedents don't mean shit.

Lord Koos's picture

Congress hasn't actually declared war since the 1940s.  Obama certainly isn't the first president to do something like this.

DosZap's picture

No, but he damn sure needs to be the LAST MF to do so.

legal eagle's picture

GW Bush War Criminal

Saddam Hussein War Criminal

Now, Mr. Intellectual, Obama is a War Criminal.

We go to countries to stop dictators from killing their own people by doing what, of course, by killing the people we purport to help.  I think GW should be hung by the Hague as a war criminal, like Milosevich, and I think Obama should stand trial at the Hague for war crimes, sentenced to life imprisonment since he is guilty of starting only one unnecessary war.

Richardk888's picture

If you are going to hang Bush, please include Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice and Karl Rove!!!


Dr. No's picture

According to a CNN poll last week, 55 percent of the American people believe that Congress, not the president, should have the final authority to decide whether the U.S. should continue its military mission in Libya


So a little over half of American citizens side with the constitution.  I am not sure what to think about that stat.

Trundle's picture

"According to a CNN poll..."

Nothing else to say.

wanklord's picture


By appealing to tons of bullshit about the Constitution and other patriotic crap, Congressman Ron Paul is able to seduce his brute and ignorant constituency and most important, to perpetuate himself in that position for years to come (a clever way to make easy money).

NotApplicable's picture

Give it up, troll. Go play character assasination somewhere else.

Race Car Driver's picture

Not sure why you got junked for a rational assumption.

While it'd be nice to believe that the US .gov is limited by the Constitution and the BoR, facts are that it is not. Nor does anyone care in .gov to rein it in. Ron Paul can kick, scream and pout all he wants about limited government - but he hasn't made a dent in 30 years of being a congressman (not for lack of trying, I suppose - but the numbers are against him). He has, OTOH, made millions from his supporters contributions (who would prolly fare better in the long run spending that money on grub, guns and gold).

The likelyhood that Ron Paul will do something stupendous that turns this mother around within his lifetime is about nil. He's the equivalent of a life preserver in a whirlpool... looks good, but useless all the same.

SuperRay's picture

(hmmm, the trolls are targeting Ron Paul now.  that's good, that's very good. It means he's got the attention of the kleptocrats who pay the trolls to bash whoever appears to be against their interests....)

damage's picture

And there's a better likelyhood if he doesn't make it to POTUS? What's your point? I guess we should just all not ever bother even trying to vote or we should just vote in Obama again?

Race Car Driver's picture

Who's trolling? Just callin' it like I see it.

I used to send my fiat d0llars to rich guys running political campaigns, like Ron Paul. I thought I'd somehow feel better about the problem if I did something. And then I realized I was being suckered.

I stopped falling for the right/left/blue/red/ bullshit duopoly of US politics a long time ago... in fact, it was soon after I threw out my TeeVee.

But you guys go'head and vote if it makes ya feel good. Send your hard earned d0llars to rich guys who know how to spend them better than you. I'll spend my time a bit more productively - like napping - and my d0llars on things I'll be needing when this all comes unglued.

High Plains Drifter's picture

give all your money to the ron paul money bomb.  after all, he is doing it all for you.........


hey paul is pretty good at this money bomb business. almost as good as alex jones.....

damage's picture

Yeah a whole maximum of $2,500 thanks to shitty campaign finance "reform" laws.

Anyways I gave him some money. I believe in what he is doing, even if he doesn't win he has done a whole lot to educate the public.

High Plains Drifter's picture

yeh i gave him money in the big money bomb during the 2008 campaign. you know the one, that after it was over, he immediately quit. then asked well what about all of that money?  he said, oh it will go to conservative causes......yeh sure.......more than one person was pissed off, and wanted their money back.

damage's picture

As far as I know he never "quit". But see it as you will. He's the best shot we have at some sort of decent federal government.

snowball777's picture

Where 'conservative cause' is defined as...Rand's campaign. And he can do it every four years until he's dead because he'll never win and be accountable for the success or failure of his policies.

SilverDosed's picture

You could maybe say "Over half of Americans polled" probably dont even know who their representatives are much less what congressional district they're in?

ibjamming's picture

Does it matter?  Really...does it matter?  If they have a D or an R by their doesn't really matter.


BTW, registered independent yet voted for RP in the primaries.  We can only