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Authorization For Libyan War Set To Expire Next Week, Don’t Expect Anyone To Do Anything About It

According to the provisions of the War Powers Act, the 60 day authorization that went into effect when President Obama committed American forces to the United Nations/NATO mission in Libya will expire sometime next week. Of course, don’t expect Congress to take action of any kind:

The War Powers Resolution of 1973 allows the president to commit U.S. forces for 60 days without the explicit authorization of Congress, with another 30 days allowed for the withdrawal of those forces.

“The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to a declaration of war, a specific statutory authorization, or a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces,” the law states.

But the administration won’t be immediately pressed to follow the law if nobody in Congress intends to enforce it. Both leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told The Cable on Tuesday that there are no plans for Senate action on the war in Libya — before or after the deadline.

“I’m not hearing from my colleagues that they feel the War Powers situation is currently in play because we’re deferring to NATO,” committee chairman Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) told The Cable. Kerry had been working on a resolution with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) but the text was never finalized.

Kerry said there’s nothing on the schedule either in his committee, where a resolution based on the War Powers Act would have to originate, or on the Senate floor. “I’m certainly prepared to listen and be responsive,” if senators want to debate the war, he said.

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), the committee’s ranking Republican, told The Cable he also doesn’t see any action on the horizon, but he called on the Senate to start conducting oversight of the war and demanding more details from the Obama administration.

“I’m one who believes that there does need to accountability, if not a declaration of war under the War Powers Act, at least some specific resolution that would give authority,” Lugar said. “But even absent that, some definition from the president of what our plan is, what our metrics would be, and by this time what the costs have been, quite apart from the estimate of what they will be.”

Asked if the president is legally required to begin ending U.S. military involvement when the 60-day window closes, Lugar said it’s a possibility.

“That is certainly one strong interpretation of this. I’ll examine that when we come to it,” he said. “The War Powers Act has been argued through several administrations as to whether the president feels bound by it or not.”

Lindsey Graham is apparently surprised that none of his colleagues are pressing the issue, but he also doesn’t seem to care very much:

“I’m surprised that no one’s pushed that issue harder,” said Graham. “I’m comfortable with the president’s authority, quite frankly, but from a War Powers perspective, it’s probably something that you want to consider.”

None of this Congressional abdication should be surprising. As I noted back when the Libya mission started, it has a history as old as the Republic itself:

what the Constitution says about war powers at this point is largely irrelevant, what matters is nearly 200 years of tradition and history, during which Presidential authority to engage in military action without getting direct Congressional approval has gradually, but incessantly, expanded. It started in 1801 when Thomas Jefferson essentially declared war on the Barbary States (located, ironically enough, in what we now call Libya) for their piracy against American military and merchant vessels. In that instance, Jefferson did inform Congress of his actions, and they did issue what some might call an authorization for the use of force against the pirates. Later, in the 20th Century, Presidents sent forces of various sizes of Latin American nations such as Nicaragua to put down rebellions or maintain control. Then, once the Cold War started, the instances of unilateral action by the President increased exponentially, starting with the Korean War, a three-year long engagement that was never directly authorized by the United States Congress. And, of course, its worth noting that the bloodiest conflict in American history was an undeclared war.

There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the fact that we’ve strayed so far from the intended separation of powers when it comes to the power to make war. However, we are not just talking about a situation where President’s have grabbed power. This has been a willful abdication by a Congress that doesn’t want to get its hands dirty in the foreign policy arena, and doesn’t want to take responsibility for the decisions that they should be making in that area. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

So, there’s no hope that Congress will act, now or ever, to reign in Presidential war powers. What about the Courts? In response to Congressional inaction in the face of the impending expiration date, Hot Air’s Allahpundit expresses this hope:

Someone, be it the ACLU, a peace group, or maybe even Rand Paul, is going to file suit if we pass the 60-day deadline without congressional authorization. So there’s the silver lining in this dubious executive move: At last, the War Powers Act will be tested in court.

Don’t count on it. From the beginning, the Federal Courts have refused to get in the middle of what they see as an argument between the Legislative and Executive Branches over the scope of a power that the two of them share equally:

The first legal challenge to noncompliance with the resolution, Crockett v. Reagan (1982), was filed by eleven members of Congress who contended that President Ronald Reagan’s decision to send military advisers to El Salvador must be reported to Congress. A district court ruled that Congress, not the court, must resolve the question of whether U.S. forces in El Salvador were involved in a hostile or potentially hostile situation. The Supreme Court declined consideration of a later appeal. In Lowry v. Reagan (1987), the courts refused to decide whether President Reagan had failed to comply with the War Powers Resolution when he dispatched naval forces to the Persian Gulf. A suit was brought by 110 members of Congress, arguing that sending forces close to the Iran-Iraq war zone required congressional approval. The district court held that it was a political dispute to be dismissed “as a prudential matter under the political question doctrine.”

(…)

Forty-five Democratic members of Congress sought a judicial order enjoining the president from offensive military operations in connection with Operation Desert Shield unless he consulted with and obtained an authorization from Congress. However, a federal district court denied the injunction, holding that the controversy was not ripe for judicial resolution because a majority of Congress had not sought relief and the executive branch had not shown sufficient commitment to a definitive course of action ( Dellums v. Bush, 1990). On the same day, another federal judge issued a decision in Ange v. Bush (1990), holding that the courts could not decide whether President Bush needed congressional permission to go to war because it was a political question.

We can expect that any lawsuit that might be filed regarding the U.S. commitments in Libya would suffer the same fate. My point from March remains in force. Congress has ceded authority over foreign policy and war making to the President and, unless it actually has the courage to try to reassert its own Constitutional authority we can expect that the War Powers Act, which may or may not even be Constitutionality, will remain as worthless as the paper it is printed on.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. The rule of lawlessness.

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  2. michael reynolds says:

    I’m more or less in favor of the Libya thing, but still the the submissiveness of Congress on this is kind of appalling.

    I think basically the problem here is that no one is paying Congress to act. If it’s not going to be reflected in campaign contributions they don’t have much to say.

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  3. ponce says:

    The American people are the final check on a president’s power to take America to war.

    And the American people don’t seem to mind them doing it at all.

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  4. Jay Tea says:

    I’m more or less in favor of the Libya thing…

    Why? Kindly explain what US interests are served, and what distinguishes Libya from, say, Syria, which is using even more brutal force against its civilians. And explain why you are convinced that the Libyan rebels would actually be an IMPROVEMENT over K-Daffy — who, after we invaded Iraq, has made great strides towards being less of a threat to the international community. But I’m sure the timing there was a wild coincidence.

    Oh, I know the real answer — because Syria doesn’t sell a lot of oil to Europe, and Obama wants approval from Europeans so he can get them to take a “leadership” role so the US doesn’t have to, even if it means doing something as fundamentally wrong-headed as starting his UnWar in Libya. I’m just curious to see how you spin it.

    J.

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  5. what distinguishes Libya from, say, Syria

    Syria has:

    1. Less oil

    2. a better army.

    3. friends in Iran and Hezbollah.

    I don’t favor going into either Libya or Syria but that is the reason.

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  6. I wrote on March 18 that Congress would roll over on its Constitutional responsibilities. As the result, as a columnist wrote (name eludes me), we now have a “King’s army.”

    The lid is being nailed down on the coffin of our freedoms in ways too numerous to count by this administration.

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  7. michael reynolds says:

    Jay:

    I think in very general terms our interests are served when a tyrant falls. Particularly a tyrant who has a long record of malicious activity.

    Does this mean that I think we should run around willy-nilly knocking off every tyrant? No. But when the occasion arises, and especially when we can get others to do a lot of the heavy lifting, and when it carries low risk, I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

    So far we have lost zero lives. I think we’re doing pretty well, all things considered, and I think for a low price we may get a somewhat improved environment in North Africa. And there are some diplomatic side benefits.

    I was never a big advocate for getting in, I thought it was a 60/40 proposition in terms of whether or not we’d succeed. I think it’s improved and is now more like 70/30. Like so many things in life, if it works, great.

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  8. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Since when do laws apply to Democrat administrations??

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  9. mantis says:

    Since when do laws apply to Democrat administrations??

    So something that has been going on for decades, under many, many administrations from both parties, and that’s your takeaway?

    They never should have dug you up from your shallow grave in Sverdlovsk.

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  10. Jay Tea says:

    Bush’s “illegal wars” had Congressional approval.

    Obama first consulted with foreign states and the UN, but didn’t bother with Congress or the American people.

    But don’t take that as a challenge to where is true allegiances lie…

    J.

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  11. michael reynolds says:

    Jay:

    Clearly his true allegiance is to Kenya.

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  12. Jefferson actually had several congressional authorizations to conduct military activities in the Mediterranean Ocean to protect American shipping.

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  13. michael reynolds says:

    Timothy:

    In those days there was no choice: we had no standing army and not much of a navy. Congress actually had to build the ships to send after the pirates.

    I do think we need some system other than, “because the president says so.” But we’re at a point in history when Congress is the least functional branch of government.

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  14. An Interested Party says:

    I wonder if these same people who are now whining about this administration going its own way without Congressional approval would have done the same if Bush had somehow tried to link Gaddafi to jihadist terrorism and gone after him…of course, to echo what others have written, previous administrations have done this same kind of thing and I don’t remember these same voices bemoaning a “King’s army” or questioning where previous presidents’ allegiances lay…hmm…curious that…

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  15. sam says:

    “As I noted back when the Libya mission started, it has a history as old as the Republic itself”

    As old as our constitution, really. The president is commander and chief of our armed forces and preeminent in foreign policy. Potent conjunction, that.

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  16. Dave Schuler says:

    what distinguishes Libya from, say, Syria

    Syria’s president wears a nice suit, doesn’t appear to be crazy, and his wife is attractive and stylish. All the difference in the world if you gauge your judgment based on cocktail parties.

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  17. Jay Tea says:

    K-Daffy learned his lesson from the invasion of Iraq: immediately after we toppled Saddam, he turned over his WMD program (far more advanced than anyone suspected), cut back on his support for terrorism, and started making nice with the rest of the world. In short, he did pretty much everything we demanded of him.

    And he still got pounded the instant it got convenient.

    Syria, on the other hand, had its WMD program blowed up by Israel, but never admitted it or gave it up. They’re doing far worse things than K-Daffy ever did to their own people, and we’re ignoring them.

    The lesson: don’t give up your WMD program, don’t stop supporting terrorism, don’t bother making nice with the rest of the world. Instead, stay as much of a bastard as you can, and the US will leave you alone.

    One would expect a smarter foreign policy from a certified genius and Nobel Peace Price winner…

    J.

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  18. PD Shaw says:

    Dave, too cynical. To use the Mead types:

    Jacksonian: Libya’s leader is a treacherous enemy of the U.S., who has American blood on his hands. Al-Assad has avoided such confrontations.

    Wilsonian: Libya is located in the near-abroad of the West, subject to political and cultural influences that will encourage modernization. Broad international support exists for at least some aspects of the mission. Syria is a backwater and intervention lacks international support.

    Hamiltonian: Libya is both a source of commodities important for international trade and is located along strategic waterways, which the U.S. must safeguard from disruption. Syria is a backwater.

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  19. michael reynolds says:

    The lesson: don’t give up your WMD program, don’t stop supporting terrorism, don’t bother making nice with the rest of the world. Instead, stay as much of a bastard as you can, and the US will leave you alone.

    One would expect a smarter foreign policy from a certified genius and Nobel Peace Price winner…

    Do you ever actually think before you comment?

    Is it your conclusion that Obama would be showing greater intelligence by picking a fight we’re less likely to win against a more capable opponent?

    We’re not teaching lessons, we’re knocking off low-hanging fruit. You know, like when Reagan went after Grenada and avoided Cuba? Or when George W. Bush went after Iraq and not Iran?

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  20. tom p says:

    Do you ever actually think before you comment? The lesson: don’t give up your WMD program, don’t stop supporting terrorism, don’t bother making nice with the rest of the world. Instead, stay as much of a bastard as you can, and the US will leave you alone.

    One would expect a smarter foreign policy from a certified genius and Nobel Peace Price winner…

    Michael, I have to admit, J has a point. Unfortunately for him, it indicts the Bush administration far more than anything Obama might have done.

    Case in point:We “thought” Iraq had WMD. We invaded, they did not have WMD. North Korea said they had WMD… proved it…. we did NOT invade NK.

    Iran…

    Who wants to make a bet we never go there?

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  21. An Interested Party says:

    Michael, I have to admit, J has a point.

    Indeed…it just got muddled as he tried to use it as a simple club to bash the president…

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  22. michael reynolds says:

    There’s never been any question that it was better to be strong than to be weak. There’s a reason we don’t go around picking fights with Russia, China, or North Korea.

    I suspect a big part of the reason we went after Libya was geography. There’s a relatively simple east-west division with a big empty desert in between. Plus we have friendly new governments on either side.

    Syria by contrast borders Iraq, and “Kurdistan” and it’s within Turkey’s sphere. Then there’s the Golan. Syria can cause trouble in a number of neighbors. What’s Libya going to do?

    In terms of the basics of the map Libya’s about a 2 out 10 in terms of difficulty and Syria’s maybe a 6.

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  23. PD Shaw says:

    I think Israel is a big factor too. Since Syria and Israel are in some sort of luke-warm war, Golan Heights, etc. Any conflict with Syria would quickly become a part of that conflict. And there wouldn’t be international support on the side of Israel.

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  24. Jay Tea says:

    Oh, Michael, I completely understand the “low-hanging fruit” principle. What I’m saying is that we pressured Libya to set itself up as such, rewarded them for it, made some promises (implicit or explicit) that if they gave up some of their “strengths” (WMD, support for and intelligence on terrorism and the like), we’d forgive them their past offenses and let them become — gradually — part of the community of nations.

    And at the first opportunity, our European allies — mainly France — took advantage of their weakened state.

    Libya made itself a “low-hanging fruit” because they cut a deal with the Bush administration to stop being a threat/pain in the ass to most of the world — and they actually believed the US would honor that deal. They didn’t realize that not only do all of Obama’s promises come with expiration dates, so do those promises he inherits.

    The lesson out of the Libyan UnWar is this: don’t believe the US when we make promises in exchange for a nation trying to become less of a threat. To paraphrase Franklin, “Those who would trade essential security for temporary pledges of safety deserve neither security nor safety.”

    K-Daffy is a despicable human being, and the world would be better off without him. But we cut a deal with him shortly after the invasion of Libya: he gives up his WMDs and support for terrorists, makes amends for certain of his more heinous past deeds, and we let a lot of things go and start rehabilitating Libya. But Obama walked that pledge back.

    In the process, that he betrayed K-Daffy doesn’t bother me in the least. He certainly deserves the worst. But that we would do the betrayal? Iran and North Korea, among others, are taking very careful notes — and they would be fools to not keep K-Daffy in mind during any and all negotiations.

    J.

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  25. mantis says:

    Oh, Michael, I completely understand the “low-hanging fruit” principle, I just criticize it when a Democrat is in the White House.

    FTFY.

    K-Daffy is a despicable human being, and the world would be better off without him. But we cut a deal with him shortly after the invasion of Libya: he gives up his WMDs and support for terrorists, makes amends for certain of his more heinous past deeds, and we let a lot of things go and start rehabilitating Libya. But Obama walked that pledge back.

    Was there something in that deal that covered future crackdowns on Libyan civilians? Oh, it didn’t? Well then, you’re just talking out your ass as usual, aren’t you?

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  26. michael reynolds says:

    Jay:

    I’m confident we never indemnified Gaddafi against reaction if he started bombarding his own people in the midst of what we hope is a pan-Arab liberation. Even if we did, that’s way down on the list of American double-dealing.

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  27. Jay Tea says:

    Even if we did, that’s way down on the list of American double-dealing.

    So, because we’ve done worse, that makes it OK?

    I’m not even going at it from a moral position. I’m coming from a pragmatic approach.

    We took K-Daffy from a threat into an asset. We took a rogue state with a highly-advanced WMD program into a country that was begging to be admitted into the family of nations. We persuaded him that he would be best served not by continuing his belligerence, but by cooperating.

    And at the first opportunity, we tried to whack him. And worse, we did it half-assed — we don’t even get the benefit of taking him out.

    The message we’re sending? If you’ve got a WMD program, for god’s sake don’t give it up, because the US just might decide later that you need whacking — and without those WMDs, you just make yourself a more tempting target.

    In other words, don’t let the US talk you down the tree — we’re just setting you up to be a “low-hanging fruit.”

    Forget morality. It’s just plain stupid. It does us far more harm, in both the short run and the long run, than any benefits we might get.

    Speaking of which… what would that be, anyway? Anyone got any indicators that the rebels would actually be better than K-Daffy? Hey, let’s ask Lara Logan how preferable the Egyptian rebels were over the Mubarak regime.

    J.

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  28. Jay Tea says:

    mantis, whenever you and I address each other, it turns into a micturating contest that ends up sidetracking the whole topic, and that’s just rude to our hosts. So I’m going to tread lightly.

    First up, don’t rewrite my words without at least indicating what changes you made. There’s a wonderful “strikethrough” option that you can use.

    Next, no, we didn’t explicitly say “we won’t help rebels that might rise up.” But we committed acts of war against Libya for what is defensibly called “a purely internal matter,” and we have a lengthy history of NOT intervening when far more heinous governments do far more atrocious things against their own poeple. Witness the Darfur genocide, or the current situation in Syria.

    As I said, I’m not saying this from any kind of moral standpoint. I’m talking strictly pragmatically — and our “policy” in Libya is quite possibly the stupidest and least productive of all our options.

    Which is why I’m not surprised that it came out of the Obama administration, and that folks like you and michael are so eager to defend it.

    There, that’s how you use the “strike” command.

    J.

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  29. Libya says:

    Lets have a look at how the Libyans live under Gadaffi regime..Libyans are entitled to free healthcare, and their hospitals provide the best in the world of medical equipment. Education in Libya is free, capable young people have the opportunity to study abroad at government expense. When marrying, young couples receive 60,000 Libyan dinars (about 50,000 US dollars) of financial assistance. Non-interest state loans, and as practice shows, undated. Due to government subsidies the price of cars is much lower than in Europe, and they are affordable for every family. Gasoline and bread cost a penny, no taxes for those who are engaged in agriculture.There are virtualy no homeless people. The Libyans are quiet and peaceful, are not inclined to drink, and are very religious.
    there is also no denying for one very popular achievement of the Libyan government: it brought water to the desert by building the largest and most expensive irrigation project in history, the US$33 billion GMMR (Great Man-Made River) project. Even more than oil, water is crucial to life in Libya.
    The GMMR provides 70% of the population with water for drinking and irrigation, pumping it from Libya’s vast underground Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System in the south to populated coastal areas 4,000 kilometers to the north.
    Those are the facts. But, Media distortion and misinformation have played a major role in opening the door to war in North Africa. The media has done nothing less than create a justification for war through a series of lies.
    It must be stated that the Libyan authorities for years have oppressed political opposition and that people have the right to resist that.On the other hand, it has to be understood that in any country, including the United States and Britain, soldiers and security forces will fire on people who attack a military or police compound with the intention of acquiring weapons.In this sense the events in Libya are fundamentally different from those of Egypt. The rebels were not a ‘peaceful protesters’, how the western media portreyed them.
    Perception management has been used to start the war against Libya and to garnish support for the aggression against Libya. This is part of a tradition that the Pentagon and NATO have followed. All the major wars the U.S. has fought in have involved major media lies. In Vietnam there was the Gulf of Tonkin incident, in Yugoslavia the claims of ethnic genocide, in Afghanistan the tragic events of 9/11 (September 11, 2011) were blamed on the Taliban, and in Iraq the lies about weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) . The mainstream media has been the first line of attack in these wars of aggression.

    In regards to Iraq, the U.S. government brought a false witness to the U.S. Congress who while pretending to be a Kuwaiti nurse testified that Iraqi soldiers threw 312 Kuwaiti babies out of incubators to die. This was used to galvanize public opinion in the U.S. in order to go to war with Iraq in 1991. The infamous Nurse Nayirah testimony was given by Nijrah (Nayirah) Al-Sabah the daughter of the Kuwaiti envoy to Washington. She was even given acting lessons by a public relations (P.R.) firm before her false testimony, which George H. Bush Sr. referred to when justifying going to war with Iraq.
    U.S. and E.U. officials made hard verbal condemnations against Colonel Qaddafi when the reports about jets firing on protesters were made. There is nothing that corroborates this. The reports turned out to be false like the claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. These types of criminal fabrications should not be allowed to go unpunished.

    The Russian military was monitoring Libya from space and saw no signs of jet attacks on civilians. No satellite evidence even showed damage caused by jets. Nor was one piece of video evidence produced about this, while all sorts of footage had been coming out of Libya. The Pentagon, the E.U., and NATO all had access to the same satellite technology and intelligence to verify if such attacks were made, which means that they knew the reports were false. Stories were also presented that Libyan forces were killing individuals from within their own ranks that refused to fight. Video evidence from within Libya actually proved that video footage presented alongside these reports about Libya was spun. It was not the Libyan forces that killed these men, but elements within the Libyan opposition. Videos showing torture and brutal treatment of civilians, including a small boy, by elements from within the ranks of the rebel fighters are also appearing.
    It has to also be emphasized that Britain sent commandos into Iraq that were disguised as local Arabs to bomb local mosques and areas with civilians in order to create sectarian fighting amongst the Iraqis. [20] It is not beyond the realm of possibility that this is also being replicated amongst the Libyans and other Arab peoples in order to divide them and to fuel civil strife. Nor should the doctored pictures made by Britain and the U.S. about Iraqis greeting Anglo-American forces as liberators be forgotten either.
    Although Qaddafi has used mercenaries from Europe and Africa, racist and exaggerated reports about mercenaries were inseminated globally about the so-called “African mercenaries.” Many members of the Libyan military and the Libyan general population were presented as foreigners from other African countries. In reality, many Libyans are black-skinned.

    In addition, the plight and murder ,done by the rebels,of the scores of “Black Libyans” or foreign workers from sub-Sahara(n) Africa, which in many cases were barbarically decapitated and mutilated, have been ignored and not even covered by the same media outlets that talked about Qaddafi using African mercenaries.
    Despite what foreign media sources were claiming at the outset of the revolt, the Qaddafi government was in control of most of the country with the support of the majority of the population, specifically in the western and southern parts of Libya. What the war against Libya has done is widen Qaddafi’s base of support. Patriotism has been a huge factor. Many people who opposed Qaddafi at one point or another have united and locked ranks with Qaddafi and his regime. They have done this, because they believe that they have to stand united to save Libya from falling prey to the U.S. and its coalition and becoming a new and divided colony. To them Qaddafi is not the real target, Libya and Africa are the real targets.

    one more thing.. The Libyan uprising is not “spontaneous.” The incident that allegedly spurred the Libyan “rebellion” was the arrest of an activist lawyer on February 15, 2011. This ignited a wave of protests that spilled over onto the
    Internet and other media. But an unusually large number of YOUTUBE videos and TWITTER messages have emerged that are suspiciously similar and seem to be a product of the Pentagon’s recently uncovered project to develop software that allows it to secretly manipulate social media sites to influence Internet conversations and spread propaganda. These suspicious “free Libya” sites all claim to be homegrown, but YOUTUBE and other social media sites cannot be accessed by Internet users in Libya. The “revolution” websites are all in English even though the language of Libya is Arabic, with English rarely spoken and only in the big cities. Despite their dubious origins, professional media groups like CNN, BBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox News, and Al Jazeera have amplified these anonymous and uncorroborated video postings as legitimate news sources.
    And some of the “spontaneous” websites are clearly fraudulent. One that calls itself “LIBYAN REVOLUTIONARY CENTRAL” (http://www.feb17.info/) was created on February 14—A DAY BEFORE the original protest. And the website is registered in Ohio as a non-profit organization with a 501c3 tax exempt ID number!

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  30. Libya says:

    Rebel “leaders” are CIA agents. The “rebel” leader, a man named Khalifa Hifter, left the Libyan government and set up his own militia financed by the CIA. He then spent two decades living within minutes of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where, according to Rep. Dennis Kucinich, he had no apparent source of income. Shortly after the 2011 “protests” began, the CIA airlifted him into Benghazi and told the press to start calling him the “leader” of the rebels.

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  31. Jay Tea says:

    Hey, who invited the K-Daffy propagandist?

    On the other hand, it’s nice to see the Iraqi Information Minister found a new job and a new tyrant to shill for…

    J.

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  32. Libya says:

    Most of the “rebels” are Al-Qaeda. When Col. Gadhafi first claimed that the rebels were members of Al-Qaeda, no one believed him. But according to a 2007 report from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point titled “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters In Iraq,” eastern Libya—the very center of the current uprising—is a well-known Al-Qaeda stronghold. The same people the U.S. is fighting three wars to destroy are the “rebels” the U.S. is protecting, supplying, training, and attempting to install into power in Libya. And if the West Point military analysts knew this to be true in 2007, why did they not bomb those Al-Qaeda strongholds in the way they are bombing Gadhafi’s forces now?Since our involvement in Libya, it has been reported that we either had no idea exactly who the rebels were or that we indeed knew that at least some of them were al Qaeda linked, yet we continue to nurture, assist and fund them. John McCain went so far as to visit and encourage them while Hillary Clinton feeds them special halal food and provides them with radios and body armor to the tune of $25 million in tax dollars.

    McCain met with Libyan rebel leaders and concluded that they are not al Qaeda. But there remains a problem. Who is saying that these people are al Qaeda? Libyan rebel leaders.

    Are there indeed al Qaeda members among the Libyan rebels? NATO commander and US Admiral James Stavridis said:

    ‘We have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah. We’ve seen different things,’ he said, referring to Osama Bin Laden’s global network and Lebanon’s party and militia.
    Al-Qaeda militant Abu Yahya al-Libi, himself a Libyan whose whereabouts are unknown, has urged on the rebellion against Gathafi, and Al-Qaeda in North Africa has vowed to do everything in its power to help.

    For more than five years, Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda bin Qumu was a prisoner at the Guantánamo Bay prison, judged “a member of Al Qaeda” by the analysts there. They concluded in a newly disclosed 2005 assessment that his release would represent a “medium to high risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies.”
    Today, Mr. Qumu, 51, is a notable figure in the Libyan rebels’ fight to oust Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, reportedly a leader of a ragtag band of fighters known as the Darnah Brigade for his birthplace, this shabby port town of 100,000 people in northeast Libya. The former enemy and prisoner of the United States is now an ally of sorts, a remarkable turnabout resulting from shifting American policies rather than any obvious change in Mr. Qumu.
    The town of Darnah has a long history of Islamic militancy, including a revolt against Colonel Qaddafi’s rule led by Islamists in the mid-1990s that resulted in a vicious crackdown. Activists from here are credited with starting the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which later announced that it was affiliating with Al Qaeda, and which sent militants like Mr. Qumu to fight in Afghanistan.
    Most famously, though, Darnah has a claim to being the world’s most productive recruiting ground for suicide bombers. An analysis of 600 suicide bombers in Iraq by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point found that of 440 who listed their hometowns in a recruiting roster, 52 were from Darnah, the most of any city, with Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 40 times as populous, as the next biggest source, sending 51.
    In addition to Mr. Qumu, local residents say the Darnah Brigade is led by Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi, another Libyan thought to be a militant who was in Afghanistan during the Taliban’s rule, when Al Qaeda had training camps there. More over,Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, one of the most prominent Libyan rebel leaders, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. He insisted in his interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, that “members of al-Qaeda are good Muslims”.

    His revelations came even as Idriss Deby Itno, Chad’s president, said al-Qaeda had managed to pillage military arsenals in the Libyan rebel zone and acquired arms, “including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries”.

    US and British government sources said Mr al-Hasidi was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG, which killed dozens of Libyan troops in guerrilla attacks around Derna and Benghazi in 1995 and 1996. Even though the LIFG is not part of the al-Qaeda organisation, the United States military’s West Point academy has said the two share an “increasingly co-operative relationship”. In 2007, documents captured by allied forces from the town of Sinjar, showed LIFG emmbers made up the second-largest cohort of foreign fighters in Iraq, after Saudi Arabia.

    Earlier this month, al-Qaeda issued a call for supporters to back the Libyan rebellion, which it said would lead to the imposition of “the stage of Islam” in the country.

    British Islamists have also backed the rebellion, with the former head of the banned al-Muhajiroun proclaiming that the call for “Islam, the Shariah and jihad from Libya” had “shaken the enemies of Islam and the Muslims more than the tsunami that Allah sent against their friends, the Japanese”.

    Ofcourse, US knows all this.. they used and supported Al Qaeda network in Bosnia and Kosovo as well.
    If these rebels really think the West is going to hand them
    Libya and its riches, they have another thing coming. The
    Neo-Con arm of the globalist agenda is already seeding the
    ground to deal with “extremists” coming to power after the
    “Arab Spring” runs its course. as soon as the Libyan rebels secure Libya, or the Muslim Brotherhood takes hold of Syria, or Yemen, or wins out in a co-opted counterrevolution against International Crisis Group stooge Mohamed ElBaradei in Egypt, the blinders Western propagandists seems to be wearing will suddenly drop and point out that indeed the globalists have installed extremists “by accident.”

    That means Libya’s oil & future
    will be left in the hands of NATO troops, not the rebels..

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  33. mantis says:

    First up, don’t rewrite my words without at least indicating what changes you made. There’s a wonderful “strikethrough” option that you can use.

    There was nothing to strikethrough, since I was amending it. I noted the FTFY, which is an indication that I changed something. You just complain about everything, don’t you?

    I’m talking strictly pragmatically — and our “policy” in Libya is quite possibly the stupidest and least productive of all our options.

    And your only argument to support such a contention is that Gaddafi dismantled his nuclear weapons program eight years ago, which doesn’t really support your contention.

    If you wanted to argue that intervention on behalf of citizens fighting for more control of their governments in the so-called “Arab Spring” is stupid and unproductive, that could be a legitimate argument. If you wanted to argue that the inconsistency of helping citizens in some nations but not others undermines our goals, that could be a legitimate argument. But the fact is you are not making those arguments. You are arguing that a) opposing Gaddafi now undermines our awesome Iraq War as deterrent strategy and b) we don’t know if the rebels would be any better. The first is rather silly, as said deterrent strategy had no real effect anywhere but Libya, and even that is debatable. The first, while true, goes against the Bush Doctrine of supporting democracy in the Middle East and North Africa, which you have long supported, no?

    So, make an honest argument if you like, but until then it’s clear that your only real objection is the (D) next to the name of the guy in the White House.

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  34. Jay Tea says:

    And your only argument to support such a contention is that Gaddafi dismantled his nuclear weapons program eight years ago, which doesn’t really support your contention.

    No, K-Daffy surrendered his nuclear program — to the US. And he came clean on Lockerbie and a bunch of other things. In short, he started complying with our demands after decades of intransigence. We responded by lifting sanctions.

    I also didn’t say the “deterrent” was a strategy of the Iraq war, but certainly it was a benefit. One we just threw away.

    I’d be curious to hear any kind of evidence that the rebels are interested in democracy. All we know about them so far is they don’t like K-Daffy. Oh, and they apparently like capturing K-Daffy loyalists and burning them alive.

    The first rule of medicine is “first, do no harm.” In that spirit, I’d like to think that we won’t get involved in a civil war without first taking some steps to figure out which side is less bad, and that our intervention will actually achieve something — both of which are sadly lacking.

    And you really ought to knock off the ad hominem BS — it ain’t gonna get me riled up, and makes you look like a petty ass with an axe to grind.

    Which, while apparently true, doesn’t do anyone any good.

    J.

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  35. Libya says:

    @Mantis … ‘democracy’? you mean, like the one that we installed in Iraq? wow, great democracy.. 500.000 children died to this day.. very democratic indeed..

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  36. Libya says:

    let’s be clear – our involvments didn’t bring any democracy at all.. they just brought deaths, destroyed infrastructure, and a lot of cancer deaseases from our depleted-uranium bombs..

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  37. Jay Tea says:

    OK, the Iraqi Information Minister isn’t a bot, but still… gotta be one of those academics who got K-Daffy money for years, and now feels the need to show he’s still loyal to his master.

    J.

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  38. Libya says:

    I’m 27 years old, and I wish I was payed for writing this Jay!! But sadly, I’m just one more pissed off US resident, who can’t find a job, becouse the government is investing in one more bloody war, instead of our industry

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  39. [...] Mataconis’ post “Authorization For Libyan War Set To Expire Next Week, Don’t Expect Anyone To Do Anything About…” has generated some great discussion, both here and around the [...]

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  40. mantis says:

    The first rule of medicine is “first, do no harm.” In that spirit, I’d like to think that we won’t get involved in a civil war without first taking some steps to figure out which side is less bad, and that our intervention will actually achieve something — both of which are sadly lacking.

    So your argument is that the outcomes of wars are uncertain? Quite a turnaround from previous positions. Care to share what made you see the light?

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  41. Libya says:

    How can I not be pissed!!??
    The Libyan “Revolution” was a creation of NATO, starting on its borders so ably secured by the “Revolutions” in Tunisia and Egypt, starting not in the capital, Tripoli but in the endemically separatist region of Eastern Libya, the home of the Benghazi suicide bombers used by the rebel leader Hashidi against American and British troops in Iraq, on the western frontier with Tunisia and in the port city of Misrata. These Benghazi rebels were also fighting alongside bin Laden in Afghanistan. Hashidi, indeed, was arrested and shipped back to Libya, where he was imprisoned, Al-Qathafi being the first head of State to issue a warrant against bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. While the USA was cavorting with him, arming him and using him, Libya was fighting against him. So who are the terrorists? What the f are we doing?? Killing Osama for the fifth time?? Leave me alone!

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  42. Libya says:

    another question –

    Why did NATO murder Gadaffi’s son and three of his grandchildren (4 months old, 2 years old and 3 years old!!!!)? Was their home a military target? The attacks continue – eight of them on Tuesday against residential areas where they thought Colonel Al-Qathafi may be staying, acts of terrorism with civilian casualties. Apart from aiding terrorists, NATO is committing terrorist acts. The Downs Syndrome Center has already been obliterated, yesterday it was the High Commission for Children, where four children were hospitalised with splinters of glass shrapnel projected into their bodies by a heroic NATO pilot.

    In Misrata, NATO ships have bombarded civilian and military targets. Is this imposing a no-fly zone?

    And what is NATO doing stealing Libyan oil to sell in Qatar? It belongs to the Government of Libya. What is NATO doing stealing billions of dollars from Libyan bank accounts, money earmarked for the African Union, and giving it to the Al Qaeda rebels?

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  43. Libya says:

    and how can this guy above say that this mit\ion is a success becouse none of our troops have nbeen killed?? yeah, great, it must be a success to kill innocent babies and children from the safe distance! Luckily, they can’t fight back!

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  44. Libya says:

    and here are some videos of our heroic deeds in Libya.. millitary targets, my a/ss.. helpless children and babies.. (remind me once again why are we there? o, right, to protect civilians, innocent al qaeda rebels) … and these children possesed treath to them, so we had to put them down.. enjoy these videos..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LWewTE-_r0&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rv78vEiP4Uo&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7Bb5GoxlT4&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqU5DWzRrV4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGL9gv_UoMA

    and this is who we are supporting :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG0Qt6cebkw (the rebels from Benghazi burned a man,cut off his head, arms and legs, rip off his heart, and played with it, while cheering, in the middle of the day on a square in Benghazi (Libya)… this was before Gadaffi even started fighting with them .. 18+)

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=185270008187728&oid=120923604638411&comments (rebels beheading a man.. ‘democracy seekers’.. yeah sure.. 18+)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ip1sbXw3u4&feature=related&skipcontrinter=1 (some more of ‘democratic’ beheadings .. 18+)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beOh_JsPiOM&feature=related&has_verified=1 (please note, all these videos are very grafic, 18+)

    http://nao-bum.ru/libyan-war/cut_off_the_head.mp4 (18+)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IGM6oZ0RCw&skipcontrinter=1 (18+ , this is the most horrible video in the world.. the rebels in Misurata enpaled this child with 2m long pins, from his genitalia, to his shoulder)

    We are supporting horrible atrocities done by rebels in this war.. just becouse of oil, and a private central bank which we set-up in Benghazi, after a week of uprising.. I want the governement to be held accountable to what they are doing!! I want them to stop spending people’s money in that war!!! we need jobs in USA, we need free healthcare, we need lots of things, and we need to stop helping Al Qaeda rebels in Libya, we should not support those animals in killings!!

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  45. Jay Tea says:

    So your argument is that the outcomes of wars are uncertain? Quite a turnaround from previous positions. Care to share what made you see the light?

    You did, mantis. You and your awesome brilliance and your moral certitude and unfailing correctness.

    Gosh, it’d be nice if you for once would actually respond to what I say, and not what you wish I said.

    When I say that I’d like to think that we won’t get involved in a civil war without first taking some steps to figure out which side is less bad, and that our intervention will actually achieve something — both of which are sadly lacking. I’m not demanding any guarantees — just a few indicators that they’ve been thought about, and there are at least a few indicators that the answers are at least partially favorable.

    As far as I can tell, the preparations boil down to “hey, here are some people who don’t like K-Daffy and want to overthrow him, let’s help them out — but not too much, ‘cuz that would be icky.”

    You wanna add anything to that? Something that shows the rebels Obama’s kind-sorta backing would be an improvement? Something that shows we’ve done some good in Libya beyond keeping the struggle going?

    Or you just wanna vent your spleen at me some more? Fine by me. Shows more about you than me.

    J.

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