Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What If Bush Started a War without Authorization?

In yesterday’s post, I talked about how many pundits who are not enamored with President Barack Obama have started a little game called, “What if George Bush did what Obama just did.”

Today would be a good time to play that game since it has been over two months now that President Obama committed our troops to some kind of military action against Libya.  Despite the fact that two months have transpired, Obama has still to receive any kind of Congressional resolution supporting his action.  Of course, the Obama administration has yet to even define the military mission.  Is it a war?  Is it a military excursion?  Is it a police action?  What is it?  Why aren’t reporters still asking these questions on a daily basis?

Can you imagine the uproar in the main stream media if George Bush had committed our troops to any military action during his administration without Congressional authority?  The headlines calling for his impeachment would probably be endless.  Editorials in the New York Times and other liberal newspapers would be overwhelmingly negative toward Bush’s action. Democrats would be apoplectic.  In fact, they were when they had feared then President Bush might attack Iran without Congressional approval. 

During the later part of the Bush Administration, there was a famous video clip of Senator Joseph Biden, who is now Vice President Biden.  At the time, then Senator Biden was being interviewed by Chris Matthews on MSNBC and said, “Launching an attack without Congressional approval is an impeachable offense.”  Biden vehemently said that if Bush initiates an attack on Iran without Congressional approval, he would immediately move to begin impeachment proceedings against the then President.

As many of you may remember, Bush was excoriated in the media for sending our troops into war in Iraq under what many claimed were false pretenses.  However, President Bush received Congressional action for the war in Iraq.  The House of Representatives approved the resolution to authorize an attack on Iraq by a vote of 296-133.  The Senate approved the identical resolution by a 77 to 23 margin.  The approval came in October 2011, but the war didn’t begin until March 20, 2003.

Believe it or not, there actually is a resolution authorizing the Libyan action waiting for a vote, but the few reports that exist indicate that the resolution may not be introduced until next week.  I must give credit to CNN since they are the only news operation that has been giving this issue any significant coverage.  Even Fox News, the news operation that liberals claim undermines President Obama, has hardly mentioned this scenario.

Maybe President Obama thinks that his election was a mandate that he does everything the opposite of former President Bush.  Maybe that’s why he has decided to commit our military troops first and then hope to get Congressional approval later.  The only problem is that he is shredding the Constitution and existing war powers law in the process.

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