Hon. Dennis Kucinich / US House of Representatives – 2013-02-15 10:50:30
Obama vs Obama: Kucinich Calls for the Return of Congress to Exercise Constitutional Authority to Declare War
US Military Action Against Libya Absent Imminent Threat or Congressional Approval Is Outside the Legal Scope of the Presidency
Senator Barack Obama, December 20, 2007, â€œThe President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.â€
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 18, 2011) — Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released the following statement and letter to Congressional leaders after the President announced that the United States will support a United Nations-approved attack on Libya:
“While the action is billed as protecting the civilians of Libya, a no-fly-zone begins with an attack on the air defenses of Libya and Qaddafi forces. It is an act of war. The president made statements which attempt to minimize US action, but US planes may drop US bombs and US missiles may be involved in striking another sovereign nation. War from the air is still war.
“It is also worth noting that the President did not comment upon nor recognize that the Libyan government had declared a ceasefire in response to UNSC Resolution 1973. It was appropriate for the UN to speak about the situation.
“It was appropriate to establish an arms embargo and freeze Qaddafi’s considerable financial assets. But whether the US takes military action is not for the UN alone to decide. There is a constitutional imperative in the United States with respect to deciding to commit our US armed forces to war.
“Congress should be called back into session immediately to decide whether or not to authorize the United States’ participation in a military strike. If it does not, the action of the President is contrary to US Constitution. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution clearly states that the United States Congress has the power to declare war. The President does not. That was the Foundersâ€™ intent.
“I have sent a letter to Congressional leadership indicating that the national interest requires that Congress be called back quickly to Washington to exercise its Constitutional authority to determine whether our armed forces should participate in the UN mission. Both houses of Congress must weigh in. This is not for the President alone, or for a few high ranking Members of Congress to decide.
“It is hard to imagine that Congress, during the current contentious debate over deficits and budget cutting, would agree to plunge America into still another war, especially since America will spend trillions in total for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and incursions into Pakistan.
“The last thing we need is to be embroiled in yet another intervention in another Muslim country. The American people have had enough. First it was Afghanistan, then Iraq. Then bombs began to fall in Pakistan, then Yemen, and soon it seems bombs could be falling in Libya. Our nation simply cannot afford another war, economically, diplomatically or spiritually,” said Kucinich.