In Defense of Liberty - Daily News - 6/16/2011
Written By: The Liberty Brothers, Mr. John C. Deming | Posted: Thursday, June 16th, 2011
President Obama's letter to Congress - "United States activities in Libya". This is the document President Obama sent to Congress to justify U.S. efforts in Libya. It is long, but it is important because it outlines his rationale for entering the conflict, as well as why we should continue involvement into September. Some interesting items are included. For instance, on page 15 he estimates that the cost of our military involvement through September will but over $1.1B. The report states, "The Department [Defense] does not plan to ask for supplemental appropriations and will pay for these costs using currently available Defense funds." Obviously, the Department of Defense would be able to prioritize and move funds around, but does the Department of Defense have enough extra money to take on $1.1B in spending in a six-month time frame? If so, that probably should be reduced in the next budget. As of June 3, 2011, President Obama suggests that humanitarian aid totals $81M (page 18-19). The discussion of the Interim Transitional National Council and suggested ties to terrorism is also included. (page 22-24). Although he suggests there is no known link between terrorist organizations and the TNC, this statement does not instill great confidence, "During the past two years, the Government of Libya had instituted a program to rehabilitate and release from prison members of the LIFG [Libya Islamic Fighting Group, a terrorist organization] who had renounced terrorism, and some of the former LIFG members in Eastern Libya had participated in this program." Might they have renounced terrorism to be released? The president claims to have Constitutional authorization and does not require additional authorization from Congress because the actions of the U.S. are not acts of war (his words say "the kinds of `hostilities' contemplated by the Resolution's 60 day termination provision"). He also lists the committee hearings, emails, and meetings with legislative personnel as evidence of his receiving approval from Congress. It will be interesting to see how Mr. Kucinich and the other members of the legislature respond. More interesting would be to ask candidate Obama how he would have viewed this document if it had been submitted by then-president Bush. My guess is that he would have determined this document does not meet Constitutional muster.
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