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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Libyan Legality

April 6th, 2011
by F. Grey Parker
As Ben Smith noted earlier, some very prominent partisans are really pushing impeachment:
"Bruce Fein, a former Reagan administration official in the Department of Justice and chairman of American Freedom Agenda writes in his 15-page argument of Obama's course that "Barack Hussein Obama has mocked the rule of law, endangered the very existence of the Republic and the liberties of the people, and perpetrated an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor."

Read on to learn how wrongheaded Mr. Fein and his cohorts are.
Original Post
There has been plenty of chatter from across the spectrum stipulating that Obama's use of military power in Libya was "not legal" because he "failed to get authorization from congress."

Although I was utterly opposed to this excursion, what I actually find shocking is that so many people don't have a clue what they're talking about.

Pat Buchanan smarmed about it. Howard Kurtz wrung his hands over it. Right wing loon Jeffry T. Kuhner shrieked that it was an offense worthy of impeachment. Papers from the left and the right wasted ink and interweb space over Security Council Resolution 1973. Dr. Abdul Ruff, "terror expert," not only argued it's being illegal but dusted off the phrase "technocracies" in doing so. This was an impressive and rare moment of creativity from the chorus.

I agree that the Libyan intervention is incredibly ill-conceived. However, it would seem that none of these critics have ever actually read a standing American law called The United Nations Participatory Act. That's just plain lazy. Perhaps they are Google-challenged.

There are dozens of cogent arguments against this misadventure. Legality is not one of them.

I direct your attention to section 22 U.S.C. § 287d, of the UNPA and this passage in particular:

"The President shall not be deemed to require the authorization of the Congress to make available to the Security Council on its call in order to take action under article 42 of said Charter and pursuant to such special agreement or agreements the armed forces, facilities, or assistance provided for therein"

So. Libya. Our involvement is a really stupid set of incredibly bad moves resulting from poor strategic thinking. However, until we outlaw hubris or repeal the UNPA, it's also perfectly legal.

Major hat tip to Jenkinsear for illustrating this better than I.

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