Sunday, June 19, 2011

Do You Recognize This Man?

According to a Charlie Savage scoop:

[T]op administration lawyers -- Attorney General Eric Holder, OLC Chief Caroline Krass, and DoD General Counsel Jeh Johnson -- all told Obama that his latest, widely panned excuse for waging war without Congressional approval (that it does not rise to the level of "hostilities" under the War Powers Resolution (WPR)) was invalid and that such authorization was legally required after 60 days: itself a generous intepretation of the President's war powers. But Obama rejected those views and (with the support of administration lawyers in lesser positions: his White House counsel and long-time political operative Robert Bauer and State Department "legal adviser" Harold Koh) publicly claimed that the WPR does not apply to Libya.

  Glenn Greenwald

I refer you to James Comey and the Comey/Ashcroft/Alberto Gonzales affair.

Greenwald continues:

Obama could have easily obtained Congressional approval for this war -- just as Bush could have for his warrantless eavesdropping program -- but consciously chose not to, even to the point of acting contrary to his own lawyers' conclusions about what is illegal.

Other than the same hubris -- and a desire to establish his power to act without constraints -- it's very hard to see what motivated this behavior.

Oh, but it’s good to be king.

Obama is doing a disservice to the nation, history, and himself by insisting that the decision should be left strictly to him. If the Libyan campaign ultimately "goes well," he will not in any way lessen his own political and historic credit by having involved the Congress. If it goes poorly, he will be politically safer if this is not just his own judgment-call war. More important, in either case he will have helped the country if his conduct restores rather than further weakens the concept that a multi-branch Constitutional republic must share the responsibility to commit force. We can only imagine the eloquence with which a Candidate Obama would be making this exact case were he not in the White House now.

  The Atlantic

Okay, but I must disagree with the last sentence. From before Obama was selected to be president, he was unashamed to publicly announce that the president should have extraordinary powers. He just thought the president ought to be “good,” as opposed to being George Bush. Obama has not been concerned about restoring the balance in government; only in taking more power.

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

UPDATE: I'm going to have to quit saying that if I can't find the quotes to back it up...and so far I can't seem to do that.

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