March 24, 2011
Congressional leftists like Dennis Kucinich and Maxine Waters have falsely claimed that every war since WWII was an “illegal war.” So when they accuse their leader Barack Obama of single handedly initiating an illegal war on Libya, it is like the boy who cried wolf too often.
But in this case, the always anti-war left has it exactly right, proving that even the nutty left will get one right sooner or later. Like predicting rain, sooner or later it will rain and leftists finally find themselves in a flood.
Hours after US tomahawk missiles rained down on Libya, I explained in detail how Barack Obama had just become a war criminal. Twenty-four hours later, anti-war Democrats were out in force accusing Obama of launching an illegal war and they were right this time.
I also asked where congressional Republicans were on the matter and now we know. Senators McCain and Graham (a JAG lawyer) are right where we have become accustomed to finding them, on the wrong side of the law, the constitution and the nation, running cover for their buddy Barack.
I accused Obama of being a traitor, a stooge of the United Nations rather than a US Commander-in-Chief, and – “one who betrays another's trust or is false to an obligation or duty” – but not a single congressional Republican seems to agree.
Instead of focusing on the fact that Barack Obama had just broken his oath of office, the War Powers Act and acted way beyond his constitutional authority at the command of the United Nations alone, Republicans seem only concerned with helping Obama put that genie back in the bottle after the fact.
A US president has authority to use military force only under the following conditions, none of which exist in the case of Libya, from Section II – C of the War Powers Act.
(1) a declaration of war, (which only congress can declare)
(2) specific statutory authorization, (as Bush received for both Afghanistan and Iraq)
(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces. (As Reagan used in the 1986 bombing of Libya)
Senator Obama knew this in 2007, which means that President Obama knowingly and willfully broke the law in 2011.
The War Powers Act is entirely clear –
Section III - “The President in every possible instance shall consult with Congress before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and after every such introduction shall consult regularly with the Congress until United States Armed Forces are no longer engaged in hostilities or have been removed from such situations.”
Despite the fact that Libya presented no threat to the United States, had not in any way attacked or provoked the United States or its allies, Obama decided to act alone without congressional authority.
Democrat Dennis Kucinich correctly states that a visit with congress now cannot put that genie back in the bottle. Obama’s illegal actions cannot be remedied by consulting congress today.
However, congress can become complicit in Obama’s illegal action by sanctioning those actions after the crime has already been committed. Congressional approval after the fact -- would be akin to hiding the bank robber after the robbery. Every member of congress would become an accomplice to the crime.
Joint Chiefs in Deep Water
The US Military is obligated to follow all “legal” orders of the Commander-in-Chief, but what about “illegal” or unlawful orders? The Nuremberg trials provide foundation…
“It's clear, under military law, that military members can be held accountable for crimes committed under the guise of "obeying orders," and there is no requirement to obey orders which are unlawful.” - US Military Law
However, as LTC Terry Lakin recently learned the hard way, there are some complicating interpretations concerning “illegal orders” within the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice).
The UCMJ has recently argued the following, including in the case that landed LTC Lakin in a military prison - “A military member disobeys such orders at his/her own peril. Ultimately, it's not whether or not the military member thinks the order is illegal or unlawful; it's whether military superiors (and courts) think the order was illegal or unlawful.” - US Military Law
On the authority of the Commander-in-Chief and at the direction of Sec. of Defense Gates, the Joint Chiefs of Staff represents the “military superiors” and as such, it is the Joint Chiefs who must decline to follow orders that they suspect of being unlawful.
Are the Joint Chiefs familiar with the US Constitution and the fact that a president cannot use military force without prior authorization from congress, except in an instance when the USA is under direct attack?
Are the Joint Chiefs familiar with the War Powers Act of 1973?
We must assume that they are, for the alternative is simply unthinkable. As a result, the Joint Chiefs have knowingly and willingly obeyed orders that they knew to be unlawful, in the case of the ongoing US military assault on Libya.
This means that both President Barack Obama and the Joint Chiefs, along with the head of DOD Gates and Secretary of State Clinton, ALL conspired to violate the US Constitution and the War Powers Act in their decision to “go it alone” in Libya without the knowledge and consent of congress.
There is no way to put that genie back in the bottle. Congress can only make itself complicit in these illegal and unconstitutional acts by sanctioning those acts after the fact.
Every US soldier currently attacking Libya is doing so on the basis of unlawful orders and as the UCMJ has established since 2004, many a good soldier has been court-martialed and jailed for following orders later deemed by the UCMJ to be “unlawful.”
LTC Lakin sits in a military prison today because he refused to follow what he believed to be unlawful orders. But SGT Larry Hutchins sits in a military prison for the second time now, for following orders later declared unlawful, by the same command that issued the orders.
Republican House Rep. Col. Allen West was court-martialed for following orders in combat.
Nobody knows the shameful situation our soldiers serve under today better than West, yet where is West’s call for action against the people who have placed American soldiers in harm’s way under unlawful orders?
Republicans seem only concerned with covering Obama’s illegal acts, but in reality, they cannot cover Obama, Clinton and Gates on this one.
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We are a constitutional nation of laws or we are a lawless nation headed for third world banana republic status in a rush. Which is it? Congress will soon answer this question.
Will they hold Obama, Clinton and Gates accountable for this illegal war? Or will they simply act swiftly to sweep it all under the carpet?
The Constitution and rule of law hang in the balance. How odd that it is lefty loon Dennis Kucinich who has this one right. Where are all those “constitutionalists” we elected last November?
All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing!
© 2011 JB Williams - All Rights Reserved
JB Williams is a business man, a husband, a father, and a writer. A no nonsense commentator on American politics, American history, and American philosophy. He is published nationwide and in many countries around the world. He is also a Founder of Freedom Force USA and a staunch conservative actively engaged in returning the power to the right people in America.
Web site 1: www.freedomforce.us/
Web site 2: www.jb-williams.com/