Sunday, June 26, 2011

Greenwald With the Money Quote(s)

"The White House strongly denied Tuesday that regime change is part of its mission in Libya . . . . Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, issued a statement acknowledging that President Obama would like to see a democratic government in Libya, but explained that the aim of the U.S. military’s intervention there is not to enact regime change. 'We're clarifying, as we’ve said repeatedly, that the effort of our military operation is not regime change,' Rhodes said" -- The Hill, March 22, 2011.

"The top U.S. admiral involved in the Libya war admitted to a U.S. congressman that NATO forces are trying to kill Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi. The same admiral also said he anticipated the need for ground troops in Libya after Qaddafi falls" -- Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy, yesterday.

Would this be an example of a President misleading the nation into an (illegal) war? Or did the goal of the war radically change oh-so-unexpectedly?

  Glenn Greenwald 6/25/11

Hmmmmm…..let me think about that.

UPDATE 12:30pm: I wonder how long until we hear that a "top U.S. admiral involved in the Libya war" has "resigned."

The so-called "de-funding" bill the House rejected yesterday was not really a de-funding bill. It would have barred the spending of money for some war purposes, but explicitly authorized it for others. That's why, as Foreign Policy's Josh Rogin reports, dozens of anti-Libya-war members in both parties voted NO on the de-funding bill: not because, as [John] Cole and [Matt] Yglesias suggest, they were cowards who did not have the courage of their anti-war convictions; and not because the bill would have approved some spending for a war they oppose (though that is true), but rather because they were worried (appropriately so) that had that "de-funding" bill passed, Obama lawyers would have exploited it to argue that Congress, by appropriating some money for the war, had implicitly authorized Obama to wage it.

Well, maybe all three reasons apply.

[T]he Clinton administration -- after the House failed in 1999 to authorize bombing for the Kosovo war -- continued the bombing anyway by claiming the House had "implicitly" authorized that war by appropriating some funds for it, and Obama White House lawyers would have almost certainly made the same exploitative claim here.

As Ron Paul -- echoing the spokesperson for House progressives -- said in explaining his NO vote on "de-funding", the bill "masquerades as a limitation of funds for the president's war on Libya but is in fact an authorization for that very war. . . . instead of ending the war against Libya, this bill would legalize nearly everything the president is currently doing there."


As Rogin reports, "there were more than enough lawmakers to pass" a true de-funding bill, but GOP leaders -- who have been protecting Obama on Libya from the start -- did not bring that to the floor.

The vote failed 180-238 - but, in fact, there were more than enough lawmakers to pass the measure. Of the 149 Democrats who stuck with the president, up to 70 of them are totally opposed to the Libya intervention and want to see it completely defunded as soon as possible. They voted "no" on the Rooney's bill because they thought it was too weak, did not cut off all funds, and implicitly authorized the intervention. . . .

These 70 Democrats make up the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, whose leadership includes Reps. Mike Honda (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ).

"Members of Congress voted no because the bill provided funding and legal authority for everything we're currently doing. It was back door authorization. Members didn't support authorizing what we're doing now in Libya," Michael Shank, Honda's spokesman, told The Cable. "The majority of the CPC voted no on the Rooney vote because of this."

  Josh Rogin via Glenn Greenwald

Hang in there CPC. Although I wouldn’t blame any of you for finding less difficult employment.

It is frequently asserted that Article II of the Constitution vests the President with the power and obligation to defend the nation, even though nothing in Article II (or any other provision of the Constitution) actually does that. But there is an obligation which Article II does explicitly impose on the President: "he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." That includes, by definition, the War Powers Resolution.

  Glenn Greenwald 6/25/11

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

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. There may be some delay before your comment is published. It all depends on how much time M has in the day. But please comment!