President Obama rejected the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department when he decided that he had the legal authority to continue American military participation in the air war in Libya without Congressional authorization, according to officials familiar with internal administration deliberations. ...I was sure that my go-to commentator on such constitutional issues, Glenn Greenwald, would have gone ballistic about this, and hypothesized that he would draw the Bush parallels with evidence; he didn't disappoint me:
The administration has also emphasized that there are no troops on the ground, that Libyan forces are unable to fire at them meaningfully
That George Bush would knowingly order an eavesdropping program to continue which his own top lawyers were telling him was illegal was, of course, a major controversy, at least in many progressive circles. Now we have Barack Obama not merely eavesdropping in a way that his own top lawyers are telling him is illegal, but waging war in that mannerGreenwald takes this one step more:
what is undeniable is that Obama could have easily obtained Congressional approval for this war -- just as Bush could have for his warrantless eavesdropping program -- but consciously chose not to, even to the point of acting contrary to his own lawyers' conclusions about what is illegal.Why do we keep electing warmongering candidates to the presidency in the first place? Why do we think that any talk about peace and limiting our military interventions is somehow only being wimpy? Awful!
Other than the same hubris -- and a desire to establish his power to act without constraints -- it's very hard to see what motivated this behavior. Whatever the motives are, it's clear that he's waging an illegal war, as his own Attorney General, OLC Chief and DoD General Counsel have told him.
I suppose Professor Obama dismissed all the legal advice and went with his own interpretation of the text. But, wait, what is that old saying about an attorney being his own lawyer? Oh yeah, has a fool for a client!