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

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora