News / Africa

White House Defends Legality of Libya Mission

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (file photo)
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (file photo)
Kent Klein

The Obama administration is defending the legality of its military mission in Libya.  White House officials have sent lawmakers a report saying Congress does not need to approve the continuing operation in Libya because U.S. troops there are in a support role.

The administration has sent a 30+ page report to Congress.  It rebuts objections from some lawmakers in both parties that continued U.S. involvement in the Libya mission, without a vote in Congress, violates the War Powers Resolution.

The act, passed in 1973, says military action is not expected to last more than 60 days unless Congress has either declared war, authorized the use of force, or extended the deadline.  The resolution gives the president another 30 days to withdraw forces.

President Barack Obama notified Congress about the use of force on March 20, and some lawmakers say his legal authorization to have forces in Libya expires on June 20.

Shortly before the report was released Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters it would answer lawmakers’ questions about the administration’s actions.

“It will also include within it a legal analysis that explains our position that the president has acted in a manner that is consistent with the War Powers Resolution," said Carney. "And we believe that the support for the overall mission, the support for the goal of protecting Libyan civilians and holding Colonel Gadhafi accountable will continue.”

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican John Boehner, has warned that President Obama will be violating the resolution if the president does not seek authorization for the Libya mission from Congress this week.

While the administration has held numerous meetings with lawmakers since the operation began,  Speaker Boehner has said those do not satisfy the letter or spirit of the law.

Boehner had called in 1995 for the repeal of the War Powers Resolution.

Without mentioning Boehner by name, White House spokesman Jay Carney said some lawmakers who earlier called for the act to be overturned are now demanding that the president obey it.

“The material that has been written and testified to about this could fill this room, over the years," he said. "I would point out that there have been some expressions on the [Capitol] Hill about this issue that are inconsistent with expressions in the past about the constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution, and I think that, if nothing else, testifies to the fact that there is a lot of debate about it.”

Mr. Obama’s government also faces a lawsuit filed by 10 bipartisan members of Congress, led by anti-war Democrat Dennis Kucinich, which asserts that the administration does not have Congress' approval to continue the Libya mission.

A senior administration official said Wednesday the White House is not debating the resolution’s constitutionality.

But the official said the United States is not engaged in what the law would consider hostilities.  He said there has been no exchange of fire with hostile forces, no American troops on the ground, and little chance that the fighting will escalate.  

Carney and other officials have said NATO and U.S. troops have successfully protected civilians from attacks by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s government forces, fulfilling United Nations Security Council resolution 1973.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid