While campaigning in late 2007, reporter Charlie Savage quizzed the presidential candidates on their views of executive power. Savage asked if the president had the power, without congressional approval, to bomb a country that didn’t represent an imminent threat to the US, Obama answered:
The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
That was then. This is now. Obama has now pulled our nation into a third war that was quickly planned and has murky objectives.
This move toward war has already earned Obama a fair amount of backlash from the left and the right. Dennis Kucinich criticizes Obama for disregarding the Constitution in beginning this military offensive in Libya and even reads Obama’s own words from 2007 (posted above) criticizing his predecessor for disregarding the Constitution.
Filmaker/Clown, Michael Moore has even called for Obama to return his Nobel Peace Prize for his actions in Libya.
Gene Healy of the Washington Examiner elaborates on Obamas sticky situation…
For weeks, President Obama has resisted pressure to intervene in the Libyan conflagration. But it looks like somebody’s had a change of heart. Yesterday, US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice announced that the Obama administration was working “very hard” to get the UN to pass a resolution authorizing aerial bombing of Libyan tanks and ground forces. “Washington is insisting that any military action would have to be authorised by the security council,” the Guardian reports.
It’s nice that the Obama team wants to get international approval before launching a third war in the Middle East. But you know who else might deserve a say? The American people, through their elected representatives. As James Madison put it, “In no part of the Constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department.”
If Obama launches an air war on Libya without prior congressional authorization, he’ll violate the Constitution. What’s more–by his own admission–he’ll be breaking his oath to uphold the Constitution.
President Obama has obviously changed his opinion on the limits of executive power since his campaign, and becoming a Nobel Peace Prize winner.
How’s all that “Hope-And-Change” workin’ out for you?