Please disable your Ad Blocker in order to interact with the site.

 The Congress shall have Power….  To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water; To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; To provide and maintain a Navy; To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions… Article One, Section Eight of the US Constitution



Last week President Obama narrowly missed suffering a major embarrassment. A privileged resolution introduced by Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)  directing the President, per to the War Powers Act, to remove U.S. armed forces from Libya was pulled from the floor at the last minute by Speaker Bohner when it looked like it would pass. Boehner substituted a resolution that directed the president to explain “in detail” the U.S.’s “security interests and objectives” that justify supporting the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s bombing campaign against Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi. The resolution gave the President two weeks to reply.Boehner’s resolution passed the House by a vote of 268 to 145 or else!

The Congressional action was reminiscent of this scene from Team America

At least with Libya, the American people know that something is going on. According the the NY Times the United States is waging a secret covert war in Yemen without a declaration from Congress and without (until now) the knowledge of the American people

The Obama administration has intensified the American covert war in Yemen, exploiting a growing power vacuum in the country to strike at militant suspects with armed drones and fighter jets, according to American officials.

The acceleration of the American campaign in recent weeks comes amid a violent conflict in Yemen that has left the government in Sana, a United States ally, struggling to cling to power. Yemeni troops that had been battling militants linked to Al Qaeda in the south have been pulled back to the capital, and American officials see the strikes as one of the few options to keep the militants from consolidating power.

On Friday, American jets killed Abu Ali al-Harithi, a midlevel Qaeda operative, and several other militant suspects in a strike in southern Yemen. According to witnesses, four civilians were also killed in the airstrike. Weeks earlier, drone aircraft fired missiles aimed at Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric who the United States government has tried to kill for more than a year. Mr. Awlaki survived.

Understand, there is no implication here that the covert operations are right or wrong for this country.  The bottom line is, like Libya, the action in Yemen is goes against the Constitutional provision for Congress to declare war.

Remember this is the President who ran on a “peace” platform, and now he is circumventing the Constitution and the War Powers Act.

Under the War Powers Act of 1973, if a President authorizes military action without approval from Congress, they must terminate the action within 60 days unless they get specific approval from Congress, or unless there is a national emergency due to an attack on the U.S. In the case of Libya, the 60-day period has come and gone without any action from Congress, yet, in a direct violation of the law, U.S. military involvement in Libya continues. In fact, it has now been extended for another 90 days.

Based on the account of the actions in Yemen, the President is somewhere in the middle of the 60 days he has for the Yemen action.

There is little dispute that today Yemen is a major source of al Qaeda activity in the world.  But it is the President’s job to make a case to the American people before going after those terrorists.

The question American’s have to ask themselves is “Are you comfortable with the President taking it upon himself to wage an undeclared war on a foreign country?” This is not like the action against Bin Laden, that was a “one-shot.” Make no mistake about it, the bombings in Libya and Yemen are acts of war.  What is our plan? Are we splitting up our military resources to an extent were they cannot be effective? And why aren’t we being told about our activities in Yemen.

Its time for Congress to do its Job!

 The Congress shall have Power….  To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water; To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; To provide and maintain a Navy; To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions… Article One, Section Eight of the US Constitution



Last week President Obama narrowly missed suffering a major embarrassment. A privileged resolution introduced by Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)  directing the President, per to the War Powers Act, to remove U.S. armed forces from Libya was pulled from the floor at the last minute by Speaker Bohner when it looked like it would pass. Boehner substituted a resolution that directed the president to explain “in detail” the U.S.’s “security interests and objectives” that justify supporting the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s bombing campaign against Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi. The resolution gave the President two weeks to reply.Boehner’s resolution passed the House by a vote of 268 to 145 or else!

The Congressional action was reminiscent of this scene from Team America

At least with Libya, the American people know that something is going on. According the the NY Times the United States is waging a secret covert war in Yemen without a declaration from Congress and without (until now) the knowledge of the American people

The Obama administration has intensified the American covert war in Yemen, exploiting a growing power vacuum in the country to strike at militant suspects with armed drones and fighter jets, according to American officials.

The acceleration of the American campaign in recent weeks comes amid a violent conflict in Yemen that has left the government in Sana, a United States ally, struggling to cling to power. Yemeni troops that had been battling militants linked to Al Qaeda in the south have been pulled back to the capital, and American officials see the strikes as one of the few options to keep the militants from consolidating power.

On Friday, American jets killed Abu Ali al-Harithi, a midlevel Qaeda operative, and several other militant suspects in a strike in southern Yemen. According to witnesses, four civilians were also killed in the airstrike. Weeks earlier, drone aircraft fired missiles aimed at Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric who the United States government has tried to kill for more than a year. Mr. Awlaki survived.

Understand, there is no implication here that the covert operations are right or wrong for this country.  The bottom line is, like Libya, the action in Yemen is goes against the Constitutional provision for Congress to declare war.

Remember this is the President who ran on a “peace” platform, and now he is circumventing the Constitution and the War Powers Act.

Under the War Powers Act of 1973, if a President authorizes military action without approval from Congress, they must terminate the action within 60 days unless they get specific approval from Congress, or unless there is a national emergency due to an attack on the U.S. In the case of Libya, the 60-day period has come and gone without any action from Congress, yet, in a direct violation of the law, U.S. military involvement in Libya continues. In fact, it has now been extended for another 90 days.

Based on the account of the actions in Yemen, the President is somewhere in the middle of the 60 days he has for the Yemen action.

There is little dispute that today Yemen is a major source of al Qaeda activity in the world.  But it is the President’s job to make a case to the American people before going after those terrorists.

The question American’s have to ask themselves is “Are you comfortable with the President taking it upon himself to wage an undeclared war on a foreign country?” This is not like the action against Bin Laden, that was a “one-shot.” Make no mistake about it, the bombings in Libya and Yemen are acts of war.  What is our plan? Are we splitting up our military resources to an extent were they cannot be effective? And why aren’t we being told about our activities in Yemen?

Its time for Congress to do its Job!

UPDATE: My buddy Ed Morrissey of Hot Air fame read the above and feels that I am wrong on the War Powers Act. His feeling is that the AUMF (authorization to use military force) passed by Congress right after 9/11 covers this action in Yemen.  And as usual Ed is absolutely correct.

Section 2 of the 9/18/01 AUMF reads 

This joint resolution may be cited as the `Authorization for Use of Military Force’.

SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

    (a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

The key provision is the  nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons


Now that we can assume that the President has the power is he still correct in using it?

Since Libya is not covered in the 2001 resolution (it is not part of the War on Terror, we are going after Sadaam) the answer is no!

In Yemen I would argue that Congress still needs more oversight to answer many of the questions above..What is our plan? Are we splitting up our military resources to an extent were they cannot be effective? And why aren’t we being told about our activities in Yemen? The American people do not need to know about each mission, but I firmly believe that the President needs to explain to the folks his reasons for expanding the War on Terror.

Become a Lid Insider

Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.

Send this to friend