Saturday, July 2, 2011

Impeach the President?

That was the left's cri de guerre when George W. Bush, who did have Congressional authorization, was conducting lawful wartime operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thursday's Air Force Times claims that U.S. piloted aircraft are conducting strike sorties in Libya, despite White House claims that our role is merely supportive. This is the fig leaf used by the administration to claim that we are not "at war." The State Department's top lawyer (pictured) was questioned by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
That view was echoed by the State Department’s top legal advisor, Harold Koh, who testified before the committee.

“We are far from the core case that most members of Congress had in mind when they passed the [War Powers R]esolution in 1973. They were concerned then about no more Vietnams. But we do not believe that the 1973 Congress intended that its resolution should be construed so rigidly to stop the president from directing supporting action in a NATO-led, [U.N.] Security Council-authorized operation [in Libya] with international approval," he said.
Note the use of the term "supporting action." However, the Air Force Times article discusses the fact that Air Force F-16's have been deployed in theater. F-16 are fighters are primarily used in air-to-air combat and but also in air-to-surface strikes. Further, here is what the AFRICOM had to say through it's public affairs office:
“U.S. aircraft continue to fly support [ISR and refueling] missions, as well as strike sorties under NATO tasking,” AFRICOM spokeswoman Nicole Dalrymple said in an emailed statement. “As of today, and since 31 March, the U.S. has flown a total of 3,475 sorties in support of OUP. Of those, 801 were strike sorties, 132 of which actually dropped ordnance.”
F-16CJ Falcon taking off for a "supporting mission."

Over 800 strike sorties, 132 bombing runs, but we're not at war Mr. Koh? If the President is going to blatantly ignore the war powers resolution and the constitution, what practical limit is there on his power?

1 comment:

  1. Funny. That picture you posted of what is allegedly an F-16 does not appear to be a tanker or surveillance aircraft.