La Loi, C’est Moi

Pages: 1 2

Like Congress’s timid assertion of its powers last Friday, the War Powers Act is a gentle reminder to presidents that taking the nation to war requires taking a vote of the nation’s legislative body.

The War Powers Act dictates that the president must cease any military action unauthorized by Congress within sixty days of its commencement. Eighty days have passed since the president embroiled the U.S. in Libya—and the campaign goes on unabated. President Obama has whimsically behaved as though this rule does not apply to him. La Loi, C’est Moi.

The 1973 resolution decrees, “The President in every possible instance shall consult with Congress before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situation where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances.” If that last part seems prescient in light of the “limited kinetic action” in Libya, keep in mind that it was written when it was fashionable to call wars “conflicts.”

The president didn’t consult Congress. He talked to France. He planned with NATO. He received the imprimatur of the United Nations Security Council. But the president left the branch of government constitutionally empowered to send the country to war out of the process entirely.

The War Powers Resolution is another law passed by a Democratic Congress to a restrain a Republican president that becomes null and void once a Democrat regains the White House. Like Barack Obama becoming warden of Guantanamo Bay or ordering the assassination of al Qaeda’s leader when he had decried the waterboarding of bin Laden’s underlings, the War Powers Act reversal is in keeping with a president whose current actions conflict with his past words.

The Gulf of Tonkin resolution may have fibbed and the authorization for the Iraq War may have jumbled some facts. But at least Presidents Johnson and Bush paid deference to the oaths they made to the Constitution. The war lie President Obama told came in the first moments of his presidency when he swore to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Daniel J. Flynn is the author of numerous books, including Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Elevated America, forthcoming from ISI Books this fall. He writes a Monday column for and blogs at

Pages: 1 2

  • Anamah

    What is Obama looking for in Libya? Why he goes after Gaddafi in Libya, but not by instance to Syria?

    • PhillipGaley

      Because, Gaddafi has a hundred and fifty tons of privately held gold, . . . which is desired to be added to the common pool for setting up a new monetary system on a gold standard—the moral of the story being: "There's a reason for everything under the sun.", you just have to think, . . .

  • zsqpwxxeh

    If Obama doesn't respond immediately to Congress, impeach him. This is an actual violation of the law (and yes, it's a dubious law but it is the law and he is brazenly breaking it). Obviously he'll be acquitted in the Senate but he will have baggage that cannot be ignored up until his defeat in November next year.

  • tagalog

    When they're using helicopters ("rotary-winged aircraft"), forces on the ground won't be far behind. Remember Black Hawk Down. Even if we don't want troops on the ground, engaged in fixed battle, it will happen.

    Didn't Obama tell us in the first week, that it would be a matter of hours or days before we were no longer involved? Oh well, just chalk up another lie from The One.

    Have we had enough high crimes and misdemeanors or wil there have to be more?

  • Wesley69

    Congress had better assert itself in this manner before The Obama turns the mission into more nation-building with questionable results. In the past, you won a war, conquering the enemy, laying his lands desolate, taking his riches, then returning home. The US, after WWII introduced this new concept into Europe and Japan with a huge degree of success. Not so much in other areas of the world, however. Now, after a war, we nation-build, costing us additional lives and treasure. What have we gotten in Iraq and Afghanistan? Iraq is in danger of becoming a client state of Iran and The Obama is negotiating with the Tailban so the US can get out of Afghanistan. Now, Libya???

    The House, controlled by the Republicans, have the ultimate tool to bring The Obama's illegal war to a close: THEY CUT THE FUNDING TO THE WAR. Naturally, Republicans are afraid that Libya may fall before this, so they are hesitant to pull the trigger. They don't want to look like obstructionists, BUT THE OBAMA NEVER COMPLIED WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE WAR POWERS ACT TO START WITH. HE IS, THEREFORE, IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW. Only if the Republicans point this out to the American people can they hope to restrain The Obama, who is desperatley looking for a foreign policy victory to go along with his killing of Bin Laden.

    If Republicans want to really screw up the president, they should demand why The Obama will intervene in Libya, but not in Syria, whose dictator, Assad, is murdering his own people. This is politics. You use the tools at your disposal and are not afraid to use them. Republicans, its time to confront thiis President.

  • jemc50

    Congress needs to find it's backbone and take the President to task for ignoring them and the War Powers Act requirements.

  • BLJ

    Obama should be frog marched out of the WH. Send his worthless behind to Egypt so he can hang out with his MB friends. If President Bush had pulled this the Dems and MSM would be howling for his behind.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    It may be that the reason we are going to be fighting in every Middle East Nation is
    to wear us down and spread us out so that when the attack comes on Israel we
    will be in no position to do anything about it. Obama is a sinister character and
    is working against America and Israel, he can not be trusted any more than the
    Congres. All things considered our military are in as much danger from Obama
    and Congress as from the Islamist enemies of freedom………………..William

  • LindaRivera

    Obama acts as if he is part of a one world government rather than the president of a sovereign country. Our representatives and our highly cherished Constitution are regarded with contempt. A very dangerous time for our country.

    Al-Qaeda are part of the rebels fighting in Libya. Why is America fighting on the side of Al-Qaeda???

  • LindaRivera

    To WilliamJamesWard:

    America will not lift a finger to help our trustworthy and much beloved ally, Israel, when Israel is massively attacked by multiple Arab armies and Muslim terrorist organizations. For many years America has armed and given and continues to give advanced military training to the Palestinian Authority army. One of the US trained Muslim terrorists told journalist, Aaron Klein, that all of the American training is used against Israel. They are the American government's proxy army against the Jewish people. Our enemies are treated as best friends and allies. Our allies are treated as enemies.