Last week, President Obama told members of Congress he was not required to comply with the War Powers Resolution on Libya – because, he argued, what American forces are doing in Libya does not constitute actual “hostilities,” as envisioned by the Act.
I told you the president was wrong. If our drones are raining missiles on Libya every day, if our troops are helping plan other bombing missions, you can’t pretend we’re not at war.
Maybe you didn’t believe it from me. Because I’m not a lawyer.
OK. Here are a couple of top lawyers who agree with me – and disagree with President Obama. And they happened to be the top lawyer of the Pentagon and the top lawyer of the Justice Department.
They told President Obama that, in their considered opinion, the War Powers Act did apply to Libya – and that he had to seek congressional authorization.
But Obama overrode them, and went with White House Counsel Bob Bauer, instead.
Big mistake, in my opinion, and one that President Obama will live to regret. Because, especially in matters of war and peace, the president must be careful to obey the law – and not make it look like he’s playing politics.
That’s my parting shot for today.