Suddenly, President Obama cares about notifying Congress of troop movements under the War Powers Resolution.
This afternoon, after moving military personnel to Libya and Yemen, President Obama issued a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate President Pro Tempore Daniel Inouye notifying them of the troop movements. Here’s the text:
TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE
September 14, 2012
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
On September 12, 2012, in response to an attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four U.S. citizens, including U.S. Ambassador John Christopher Stevens, a security force from the U.S. Africa Command deployed to Libya to support the security of U.S. personnel in Libya. Further, on September 13, an additional security force arrived in Yemen in response to security threats there.
Although these security forces are equipped for combat, these movements have been undertaken solely for the purpose of protecting American citizens and property. These security forces will remain in Libya and in Yemen until the security situation becomes such that they are no longer needed.
These actions have been directed consistent with my responsibility to protect U.S. citizens both at home and abroad, and in furtherance of U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.
I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in these actions.
Sincerely, BARACK OBAMA
This is what we call covering your ass.
When Barack Obama ordered American operations against Libyan dictator – who, we should remember, voluntarily gave up his nuclear aspirations after the United States deposed Saddam Hussein in Iraq – on behalf of Libyan rebels, he insisted that he needed no Congressional approval to do so. According to a report the White House sent to lawmakers, “U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve U.S. ground troops.” The total cost for the Libyan operation over the first two months: $716 million. The White House sent that letter after House Speaker Boehner sent Obama a letter telling him he was in violation of the War Powers Act because he hadn’t received Congressional authorization for the mission, and the mission had extended beyond 60 days.
But now, when Obama orders troops to Libya and Yemen to protect our embassies and track down terrorists who attack them, he suddenly complies with the War Powers Resolution. That’s for a very simple reason: he knows that if American troops are harmed or killed during this mission, he will take the blame. And he wants to share that blame with Congress. It’s the same reason that Defense Secretary Robert Gates was nowhere to be seen when Osama Bin Laden was killed, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was front and center during this Islamist Uprising. When things are going well, Obama wants the credit. When they begin to go poorly, he wants to share the blame.