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

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


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