Don’t Mention The War Powers Act

The BBC mentioned it once but they think they got away with it.

The US administration is examining the legality of continuing in the Nato-led Libya campaign beyond Friday.

The War Powers Resolution, passed after US withdrawal from the Vietnam War, rules that involvement in combat operations unauthorised by Congress must be terminated after 60 days.

That deadline is on Friday and deputy secretary of state James Steinberg has said the government is aware of it.

“President Obama has been mindful of the War Powers Resolution,” he said.

That one brief article from last week is all I can find from the BBC concerning Obama’s legal requirement to obtain congressional approval for US military action in Libya. The Friday deadline has been and gone but the BBC has shown no further interest in the story, so we look to the Chicago Tribune to bring us up to date:

Under the War Powers Act, President Barack Obama had until Friday to get congressional authorization to continue U.S. military operations in Libya. But the day passed without his even asking for it, which means he has to disengage within 30 days. Obama may not heed that requirement either… As a candidate, he said the president does not have the power to go to war on his own except in cases of actual or likely attack. But if he were to ask Congress to authorize the Libyan intervention, he would probably be rebuffed. So he’s chosen to simply ignore the law.

I can’t help thinking that the BBC’s treatment of this story would be somewhat different if a Republican president was visiting these shores having just ignored his own campaign pledges to seek congressional approval for military operations of the kind undertaken in Libya, arguing now that such actions are limited and therefore don’t require the say-so of Congress. Imagine the chorus of outrage the BBC would be leading right now. But it’s Obama, so the story is quietly dropped in favour of the usual gushing lovefest from his doting BBC fanboys and fangirls.

UPDATE 18.45. From last Friday’s New York Times:

Administration officials offered no theory for why continuing the air war in Libya in the absence of Congressional authorization and beyond the deadline would be lawful. Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2003 and 2004, portrayed it as a significant constitutional moment.

“There may be facts of which we are unaware, but this appears to be the first time that any president has violated the War Powers Resolution’s requirement either to terminate the use of armed forces within 60 days after the initiation of hostilities or get Congress’s support,” Mr. Goldsmith said.

I repeat – how would the BBC be playing this if it had all happened under a Republican president?

There were resolutions in Congress yesterday, so unfortunately for the BBC the story doesn’t look like it’s going away.

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52 Responses to Don’t Mention The War Powers Act

  1. Louis Robinson says:

    A simple exercise:
    1. Take any story about Obama and substitute the name Bush.
    2. Confront your liberal friends with the result.
    3. Withdraw to a safe distance and enjoy watching them justify themselves.
    4. Laugh at them! (They hate that)

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    • Biodegradable says:

      I just watched a clip from the Obamas’ last visit showing Michelle Obama and The Queen “hugging” each other. Actually Mrs Obama broke protocol and placed her arm around Her Majesty and HM graciously reciprocated. This is being spun as proof that HM and the Obamas are fond of each other.  
       
      I clearly recall that when GWB was filmed placing his arm on The Queen’s back it was laughed at and used to show the POTUS as an awkward, uncultured redneck.

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    • Grant says:

      Louis,
      You are right, Lefties just hate being laughed at !

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      • Biodegradable says:

        Another gaffe here that they would have made hay with if it had been Bush:  
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13518279  
         
        1734:  
         
        Mr Obama signed the distinguished visitors’ book of Westminster Abbey earlier, but apparently he dated his entry incorrectly as “24 May 2008″.  
        Barack Obama’s signature in Westminster Abbey guestbook

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        • D B says:

          Heh.

          He’s been in permanent campaign mode ever since 2008 so it’s an easy mistake to make.

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          • David Preiser (USA) says:

            Another one for the collection of Obamessiah gaffes the BBC has censored.

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        • Demon1001 says:

          He did a classic gaffe earlier at the toast making:

          The plan was that the Queen was to stand and inform the diners that she was about to toast the Pres, then the US National Anthem, then the actual toast.  This all went well of course. 

          Then the Pres was to announce that he was about to toast the Queen, then the UK National Anthem, then the actual toast.  He got the first bit right but carried on making the toast while the band played “God Save the Queen”.  He suddenly realised that he was the only one with a glass in hand so put it down.  He then made a quick toast after the anthem to cover the cock-up.

          Could you imagine how the Beeboids would be twittering about that if it had have been Bush!   They would be saying how dangerous it was to have such a buffoon with his finger on the nuclear butoon, etc. etc.  Obama makes easily as many gaffes as Bush but they don’t get picked up by the Beeb to be played over and over as they did with Bush, Reagan, Ford. 

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          • David Preiser (USA) says:

            No, no, no, Demon!  Your partisan bias obviously showing through there.  In fact, according to the BBC, it was the band’s mistake for starting up before He’d finished.

            To conclude, the president proposed a toast to the Queen, but there appeared to be a mistake as the band played the opening bars to God Save the Queen before he had finished.

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            • Grant says:

              I am surprised the BBC don’t turn it into a diplomatic incident :-

              “Queen’s Band insult Obama interrupt his toast by playing “God save the Queen”  ” .

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            • Demon1001 says:

              David P, that’s clever.  “There appeared to be a mistake” does not categorically blame the band, but “as the band played the opening bars to God Save the Queen before he had finished.” implies that it was his turn so the band were wrong.

              If you saw it you would have realised it was his mistake, so the BBC left that bit open to avoid criticism of bias, but leaving the implication it was the band’s fault exonerates him with his fanbois.

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  2. cjhartnett says:

    “No matter what they tell you-what you believe is true”
    Stephen Gately-the bard that Blair and Obama only wish they could have shared a wristband with!

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  3. NotaSheep says:

    “Illegal War, illegal war, illegal war” – Where are the protestors, where is the BBC outrage?

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  4. matthew rowe says:

    Well the coverage by BBC of their really quite unnatural obsession with the oba one  is getting bad ! I actually felt some one at the ministry  should give me a fiver to go to the pictures!!!

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  5. David Preiser (USA) says:

    100% correct, DB.  Laura Kuenssberg was on the News Channel just now telling us that the war on Libya is indeed taking longer than anyone expected.  But it turns out that this is all Cowboy Dave’s fault for lying to everyone that it wouldn’t be such a big deal, not so expensive, wouldn’t take so long.  Plus Cameron has “no exit strategy” and nobody knows how long this will take to resolve.

    So any illegal act by The Obamessiah is not His fault.

    Now Laura is describing in slightly sarcastic terms the President and PM’s visit to some school where the pair can sell themselves as being “a new generation of politicians”.  She sneeringly describes the idea of a photo op with “cheering teenagers” as “the Narrative Downing St. and Washington would like to create”.  L.O. #$%ing  L.

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    • Grant says:

      So, in Laura’s expert opinion, it is not because NATO are not hitting the bastard hard enough ?

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      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        That’s part of what she and all the Beeboids mean by Cowboy Dave and the others not having a coherent plan.

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  6. ltwf1964 says:

    can you imagine the butt kissing that will be done by the lefties and beeboids when mr antichrist appears on the scene?

    if he hasn’t already,that is……   ;)

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  7. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Do we really need a live shot of the entire ceremony of the President laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey?  Right now the News Channel is showing Him laying the wreath and standing in silence for at least two minutes while a choir sings in the background.  We don’t even get lovely wide shots of the scene, just an A shot on Him and the Mrs. standing in silence.  Is it out of respect for the dead or respect for Him?  Only the BBC producers know for sure.

    Astonishing: a President who is now involved in three illegal wars (two are illegal according to the BBC, and one is illegal according to US law) paying His respects to those who are sent to an early grave by people like Him.  And the BBC says nothing.

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    • Grant says:

      David P,
      If Obama started eating babies, it would become the new fashion at the BBC.

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  8. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Jane Hill on the News Channel just now asking a Royal Family expert (or something) if he knows what the Queen really thinks about meeting someone “in such an exalted position”!!!!  You couldn’t make it up.

    She quickly tried to correct herself, but made it worse by saying that what she really meant was that the Queen had met a lot of President’s and we want to know if she “differentiates” between them.  What Jane actually wanted to know was if the Queen thought The Obamessiah was as wonderful as the Beeboids do.

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    • D B says:

      Priceless. Wish I’d seen that.

      Re my blogpost – I see that a number of resolutions relating to Libya and the War Powers Act were introduced in both houses of Congress yesterday. Judging by the brief summaries, 3 of them are not helpful to Obama – these demand a withdrawal of US forces, or a declaration of war on Libya, or a declaration that Obama has exceeded his authority. The fourth is a vague sounding call to “express the sense of the Senate on United States military operations in Libya”.

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    • Grant says:

      She is probably thinking “another President, here today, gone tomorrow”.

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      • NotaSheep says:

        Barack Obama is the 12th US President since Queen Elizabeth came  to the throne. I would say that so far he is looking like being either the worst or second worst of those; it’s a tough fight between himself and Jimmy Carter.

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      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        At least there haven’t been any gags about the Duke of Ed. mistaking them for the staff…..

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        • Grant says:

          David,
          I can just picture Prince Philip saying to Obama ” How did you get a suntan like that in this weather ? “.

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  9. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Hey, Jane Hill just mentioned that there are some anti-US protesters setting up in front of Buckingham Palace after all.  She spoke of signs mentioning Bahrain and Guantanamo, and that the police are putting in the usual barriers.

    But a smile suddenly played on her lips when she said that the President was already inside, “so the protesters won’t see Him”.  It’s not that the President was rerouted so He wouldn’t see them – the exact opposite of how the BBC reported when it was Bush – but that they won’t see Him.

    Hey, BBC, will you be asking the public to send you their pictures of the protests this time?  I won’t hold my breath…..

    Also, where is the BBC fretting about how much the vist costs?

    The ultimate hypocrisy on display.

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  10. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Great bit of blind worship from Mark Mardell just now.  He told us that the President wants to make sure we think that Britian is an essential partner world action which means there will be certain requirements.  Mardell gushed that He wants Britain to “step up” and get more involved in places like Libya at times when the US “wants to step back a bit”.  You should have seen the content smile on his face, the kind Evangelicals have when explaining their love for Christ.
     
    In other words, the openly anti-war Mardell is perfectly happy for his own country to engage in conflicts of which he doesn’t approve just so his beloved Obamessiah can do a Pontius Pilate.  Simply awesome.

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  11. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Does anyone recall the Beeboids so anxious to convince you that the Queen has a good relationship with a foreign leader and how great it is?

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  12. D B says:

    The BBC article I link to in the blogpost has Bruce Ackerman, a Yale law professor, expressing his concern over Obama’s failure to seek congressional approval:

    “A future president not as reasonable as President Obama is going to use this case to engage in something much more ambitious.”

    See what they did there? It’s criticism, but only in terms of what it could mean under a future, less “reasonable”, president. If only there weren’t these bothersome legal precedents then I’m sure Ackerman would be happy to trust Obama to declare war wherever he wanted.

    Writing in the Guardian (where else) just after Obama’s election, Ackerman stated:

    President Obama must return American foreign policy to the rule of law. It is time for him and [Sec of State] Clinton to demonstrate that the era of illegal presidential unilateralism has come to an end.

    In the words of Sarah Palin, how’s that hopey-changey stuff working out for ya, Bruce?

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    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The BBC brought this up in their nightly newspaper review, right?  Yeah, right.

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    • Craig says:

      Given his sympathetic view of Obama, it’s not surprising that Prof. Ackerman is a Democrat donor, having given donations to John Kerry, Judy Feder (Virginia) and Jeff Merkley (Oregon). Just the sort of ‘independent expert’ the BBC likes to give an ‘impartial view’.

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  13. D B says:

    Wow, what are the chances of this? We’re having the exact same thing for us supper tonight – except for the wine where we’ve gone for Carling Black Label 2011 (Sainsburys special offer)

    State banquet menu

    Paupiette de Sole et Cresson

    Sauce Nantua

    ***

    Agneau de la Nouvelle Saison de Windsor au Basilic

    Courgettes et Radis Sautées

    Panaché d’Haricots Verts

    Pommes Boulangère

    Salade

    ***

    Charlotte à la Vanille et Cerises Griottes

    ***

    Fruits de Dessert

    ***

    Wine

    Ridgeview Cuvée Merret Fitzrovia Rosé 2004

    Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2004 (Domaine William Fèvre)

    Echézeaux Grand Cru 1990 (Domaine de la Romanée-Conti)

    Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Vintage Rich 2002

    Royal Vintage Port 1963

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    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Raymond Blanc was on the News Channel earlier being interviewed about how wonderful and exciting this state banquet was going to be, along with suggestions for dishes.  It’s so nice to see the BBC celebrating a US President again and not worrying about nasty things like cost in times of belt-tightening and public service cuts.  So long as the correct Royalty are dining well, it’s all good.

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    • Grant says:

      Why is the menu in French ?  Are there any Froggies as guests ?
      Surely it should be in Irish gaelic ?

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      • Grant says:

        Oh, I get it. It is in French because of Obama’s special relationship with the French. On these grounds, at least one of the wines should have been Argentinian. And why not a single English wine ?
        Can someone lend me £700 so I can buy a bottle of Echezeaux 1990 ?

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    • Grant says:

      DB,
      Black Label in honour of Obama ?

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    • john says:

      What ? no vintage 2008 ?
      Only a connoisseur would sign off on that even if it the BBC pretended he didn’t.

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      • Craig says:

        Not a bad menu, though surely ‘Agneau de la Nouvelle Saison de Windsor au Basilic‘ and ‘Pommes Boulangère‘ really needs purée de pois (mushy peas)?

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  14. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Listen to this Today segment with Niall Ferguson and Simon “Drama” Schama debating whether or not the President likes the UK as much as some would like.

    Ferguson is up first to say that He’s not so much of an Anglophile, but before he can finish his thought the BBC’s original Number One Obamessiah fan interrupts to ask Schama the leading question “Is He becoming an Anglophile, though?”  Good ol’ Justin, still reflexively defending his beloved Obamessiah.

    Note to Drama Schama:  putting milk in one’s tea is not the ultimate sign of being an Anglophile.  But having other countries higher on the agenda and more interesting actually does mean He’s not as favorable towards the UK as His predecessors.  Spin, spin, spin.

    Ferguson then made the point that the President is really here for a Europe visit, at a time of EU confusion, and that’s the context in which to look at this.  Justin didn’t think much of that and so, rather than get Schama to debate the idea (which I thought was the point of the segment?) and changed the topic with Schama.

    “Does He have a foreign policy,” asked Justin, hoping for a better answer than he got.  Schama babbled about how the President really was encouraging democracy in the Middle East, calling it a “Wilsonian policy” (I guess it’s cool when Democrats encourage regime change, eh, BBC?  Even though it’s the exact same as Bush.).  But then Schama made the mistake of mentioning Bahrain, which as we all know is one of the countries about which the Beeboids were whining about the President having a double standard, wishing He’d bomb them as well.  Ol’ Justin showed that’s exactly what he thinks by shouting Schama down.  Unfortunately for him, that gave Ferguson an opening.

    Ferguson is correct when he says that the President has been forced by reality to take a more Bush-like position.  Justin didn’t like that at all.  Nor did he like when Ferguson mocked those who viewed Him as a Messiah come to redeem the US from the Bush years.  He’s mocking the entire BBC there, and I got a good laugh.  Justin didn’t and changed the subject again.

    This wasn’t a debate at all but more or less two separate interviews happening at the same time.  Justin Webb and Drama Schama for the defense, with Ferguson discussing reality.

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