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Friday, July 01, 2011


Obama: "Constitution and laws are just 'noise'" and other lies about Libya

Via fellow blogger WIIIAI, I was alerted to an Obama press conference I somehow missed on Wednesday. One could use up a lot of electrons on picking apart what he had to say on lots of subjects, but let's concentrate on the most egregious statements - the ones on Libya (a subject which, curiously enough, was apparently not important enough to be addressed by Obama in his introduction, and only came up in the Q&A session).
Q: There have been a lot of questions about the constitutionality -- constitutional interpretations of a few decisions you’ve made, so I’ll just simply ask: Do you believe the War Powers Act is constitutional?...

A: I’m not a Supreme Court justice so I’m not going to -- putting my constitutional law professor hat on here. Let me focus on, initially, the issue of Libya. I want to talk about the substance of Libya because there’s been all kinds of noise about process and congressional consultation and so forth.
Absolutely remarkable. To a man who was a Constitutional law professor, discussions of the Constitution and laws passed by Congress are just "noise." The Constitutional mandate for Congress to declare war is just a "process." Are we sure this man actually was a "Constitutional law professor"? I have my doubts.
Obama: And throughout this process we consulted with Congress. We’ve had 10 hearings on it. We’ve sent reams of information about what the operations are. I’ve had all the members of Congress over to talk about it.
Not only is he unfamiliar with the Constitution, apparently he's unfamiliar with the English language as well. Congressional hearings are not "consultation." Sending information to Congress is not "consultation." Talking to members of Congress could potentially be "consultation," if the members of Congress were allowed to talk back and if what they had to say had the slightest effect whatsoever. However the Constitution and the War Powers Act don't require "consultation." They require Congress to authorize the war.
Now, when you look at the history of the War Powers resolution, it came up after the Vietnam War in which we had half-a-million soldiers there, tens of thousands of lives lost, hundreds of billions of dollars spent -- and Congress said, you know what, we don’t want something like that happening again. So if you’re going to start getting us into those kinds of commitments you’ve got to consult with Congress beforehand.
A straight-out lie about the War Powers Resolution. Regardless of how you interpret the "meaning of Congress," the WPR doesn't say the President has to "consult" with Congress. It says they have to authorize his actions.
Muammar Qaddafi, who, prior to Osama bin Laden, was responsible for more American deaths than just about anybody on the planet, was threatening to massacre his people.
First of all, Qaddafi threatened to crush an armed rebellion, which every government in the world would do, not to "massacre his people." Second of all, "more Americans than just about anybody"? Really? Hitler comes to mind. So do George Bush and his fellow conspirators, who were responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama himself is responsible for the deaths of more than a thousand Americans who he has kept fighting in Afghanistan. I could also mention the American health "care" system, which is responsible for the deaths of 18,000 (some estimates are higher) Americans every single year.
And as part of an international coalition, under a U.N. mandate that is almost unprecedented, we went in and took out air defense systems so that an international coalition could provide a no-fly zone, could protect -- provide humanitarian protection to the people on the ground.
The entire operation, dropping hundreds of bombs and missiles a day on Libya, summed up as "providing a no-fly zone." Please, Barack, the American people are naive, but not that naive. Everyone in the world knows the operation is way beyond a "no-fly zone." But you'd still like to maintain that fiction, apparently.
And as a consequence, we’ve protected thousands of people in Libya.
"Protected" hundreds of them from the hazards of breathing by putting them safely in their graves, including small children. Some people will say that that number is not proven, and it could be less. No doubt that's true. But the "thousands" that Obama claims the U.S. has protected (in the sense that he's using the word) is entirely unproven and unknowable, pure conjecture.
What we’ve seen is reports of troops engaging in horrible acts, including potentially using rape as a weapon of war.
Obama resorts to the same dodge that I wrote about the other day when the U.S. Ambassador to Libya claimed to have seen "reports" that up to 30,000 people had died. "Seeing reports" means almost less than nothing, and Obama even dodges a second time with the word "potentially." And whatever the ICC says, that rape charge is as bogus as they come.

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