Black America Web is reporting the White House insisted Wednesday that President Barack Obama has the authority to continue U.S. military action in Libya even without authorization from lawmakers on Capitol Hill. In a detailed, 32-page report to Congress, the White House also put the cost of U.S. military operations in Libya at about $715 million, as of June 3, with the total increasing to $1.1 billion by early September.
It was the first time the administration has publically detailed its legal rationale for continuing the Libya campaign without receiving congressional authorization within the 60-day window set in the War Powers Resolution. Officials argued that because the U.S. has a limited, supporting role in the NATO-led bombing campaign in Libya and American forces are not engaged in sustained fighting, the president is within his constitutional rights to direct the mission on his own.
"The president is of the view that the current U.S. military operations in Libya are consistent with the War Powers Resolution and do not under that law require further congressional authorization because U.S. military operations are distinct from the kind of "hostilities" contemplated by the resolution's 60-day termination provision.," the White House said.
The administration's defense of the Libya mission comes in response to a nonbinding House resolution passed this month that chastised Obama for failing to provide a "compelling rationale" for U.S. involvement in Libya.
President Obama's decision to continue the U.S. presence in Libya has earned him a lot of critics inside and outside of Congress. He appears to be in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" type of situation. If he allowed Moamar Qaddafi to kill his people in defiance of the expansion of democracy, he would have been called a hypocrite because of the stance he took on other countries and their pro-democracy movements. Had he ignored the problem i.e. addressed it with no action, then he would have been accused of not caring about democracy in Libya because of U.S. interests. Either way, we're in Libya now and based on this information, the U.S. will not be leaving anytime soon.
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