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May 26th, 2011
04:41 PM ET

Pres. Obama breaking the law with U.S. role in Libya?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Several members of the House of Representatives are accusing President Barack Obama of violating the war powers act by continuing to allow U.S. participation in allied attacks on Libya. Rep. Dan Burton, R-Indiana, accused the president of playing "king." While Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, said this whole ordeal is "shredding the U.S. Constitution."

Friday marked the 60th day since the president told Congress the U.S. was joining allied forces in the attacks against Col. Moammar Gadhafi in Libya. Told Congress, as opposed to asking for approval. The 60-day mark is significant because under the War Powers Resolution, congressional authorization is required in significant military activity by then or the operation must be stopped. Neither has happened.

Instead, as the deadline approached, the president sent a letter to congressional leaders asking for a resolution of support. Obama did not mention the War Powers Resolution or ask explicitly for authorization in his letter.

He may get that resolution of support from the Senate. Sens. John Kerry and John McCain have introduced a bipartisan resolution that expresses Congress' support for U.S. military involvement in Libya. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the vote would not happen before the week-long Memorial Day recess.

And over in the House, it's a much different story. Neither party has any plans to bring a resolution of support to the floor.

The War Powers Resolution dates back to 1973 and came out of the Vietnam War. It was passed as an effort to restore the role of Congress in deciding whether the U.S. military becomes involved in significant conflicts. President Richard Nixon at the time vetoed the act. Congress overrode it.

And it has pretty much been ignored by presidents ever since.

Here’s my question to you: Is President Obama breaking the law with the United States’ role in Libya?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Spero:
Of course Obama is breaking the law in Libya. There is a question about whether the War Powers Act is constitutional, but the President should not be ignoring it just because asking Congress to approve a war is inconvenient to his image.

Thomas:
No, he is not. This action was supported by large numbers of people all over the globe. The war powers act is simply paperwork that is hindering the appropriate use of force. What’s more troubling is the shredding of the constitution started by the Bush administration with the Patriot Act and continued by the Obama administration.

T.:
At first pass here in Minnesota, I would have to agree that Obama is side-stepping the War Powers Act and more importantly the Constitution. The reaction to his overall foreign policy agenda by our "allies" during his European trip is a reality barometer. At least Obama is consistent. He did not have a solid plan for Libya that generated the support he needs before he left and he will not have one when he returns.

Van in Texas:
The law has been interpreted by every president as "declaring war" and not a "military action." He is not breaking the law as long as he doesn't declare war on Libya.

Jason:
President Obama, like recent presidents of both parties, is fixated on becoming a world "hero" in any way he can and presidents for some reason usually figure that military violence is the path to that goal.

Murphy:
If George W. Bush did not break the law by invading Iraq, then most certainly President Obama's decisions in Libya are legal.

James:
I am no constitutional scholar, but from what I do know about the Act, it has never been fully accepted as Constitutional itself. While it is concerning that Congress has not yet weighed in officially on this conflict, they certainly have the power to send the President a strong message against the military interventions in Libya if they convene and draft resolutions or actions to that effect.

John in Lake Charles, Louisiana:
Obama and every other politician in Washington are breaking my heart.


Filed under: Libya • President Barack Obama
soundoff (244 Responses)
  1. Jayne

    It appears he is. I'm a leftie and generally support Mr. Obama, but this makes me angry.

    May 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  2. Loren, Chicago

    He'll say he's not, but that reflects the apparent view of too many in power that "nothing I do is illegal until a court tells me otherwise". There is a term in legal ethics called the "appearance of impropriety". The President would do himself and his country a great benefit by avoiding the appearance of impropriety and seeking Congressional approval to continue the actions against Libya.

    May 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  3. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl Is he over his 60 day limit when Congress must act? Yes. Our president breaks lots of laws, no one does anything to hold him accountable, just like the last several administrations, so why should he suddenly start obeying the Constitution and his oath of office now?

    May 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  4. Russ in PA

    In a certain respect I think he is breaking the law. After all, Congress has yet to vote for a resolution supporting the war, as required by law. So the sixty days that Obama had are up. And why aren't we then out of Libya? Seems like both the White House and Congress are derelict in their official duties. Once again, no surprise there...

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    May 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  5. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    That's a simple YES! He should either get that approval of Congress and how to pay for this stuff or get out of any activity today but these above the law people like him and Bush don't follow the Constitution like they expect us too.

    May 26, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  6. John from Alabama

    Jack: I suggest you ask those Americans who lost loved ones over Scotland, because of Libyan Terrorist bombing of an airliner. Asked the loved ones of people in Libya who have lost children, parents, and spouce's at the hands of the Libyan government.

    May 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  7. Conor in Chicago

    The question really is whether or not treaty obligations trump the War Powers Act. I think that is actually Obama's argument. Since this is authorized via NATO, and NATO is an international treaty signed into law, then any military action they take and that we by definition must take part in trumps the War Powers Act. I'm not saying I am agreeing with that. I'm just saying that if that is the case then its legal. If that is not the case then it is illegal. Guess we'll find out soon enough.

    May 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  8. Bryan, Colorado

    Technically yes, However we need to finish the job. Giving Gadafy Duck another hall pass is not an option. This issue of legality is being generated by the untrustworthy GOP. We can't rely on the GOP to unite.

    May 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  9. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    No more so then Jefferson, who sent the Marines into Tripoli.

    May 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  10. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    Benjamin Netanyahu had a warmly unifying effect on both Republicans and Democrats in his address to Congress while walking away with yet more billions of American Aid dollars borrowed from the Chinese. President Obama's Lybian Coalition inclusion should receive equal Congressional reception in a legitimate action to bring peace to Israel's neigbors. How can that be a crime?

    May 26, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  11. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    That should be a question for the supreme court to decide. Maybe it might lead to the end of Afghanistan war? The republicans should stop and think this one out first, because they are the ones who love to jump into war and invade countries and then run the bill on a credit card. I would like to know where were those questions when President Bush invaded Iraq? Where were those questions when President Bush tapped Americans phones without a warrant? All this Libya crap amounts to is playing politics. Both parties keep trying to cut each other's throat while our country keeps suffering because of it.

    May 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  12. Tony from Southport

    This President doesn't find it difficult to break the law so I wouldn't be surprised if he's breaking the law on Libya.

    May 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  13. Adem oakland

    Yes, it has already been over 60 days. It's a no- brainer question, even Palin and O'Donnell know that.

    May 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  14. flex

    If obama thinks he is willing to help in sending gadafi out from power, why not him pick up a gun and go in front of gadafi , and ask him to live , than killing innocent onces with nato air strikes, only to save 600k people to kill 6million , so back to u what do u think.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  15. Pete from Georgia

    I'm sure he is, the same as the U.S. did in Vietnam, Kosovo, Iraq, and a dozen other places during our history.
    It's all part of keeping our image as a "Know It All" Republic and then forcing it down the throats of the rest of the world.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  16. ken, atlantic city, nj

    Yes he is violating u.s. law and international law. Obama said he would be in libya a few days, however 60 days has passed without congressional approval and that violates the u.s. constitution. He also is violating international law by trying to remove the president of libya which has done nothing to the u.s. This would be the same thing as france or england trying to remove lincoln during the u.s. civil war and replacing him with jeff davis the president of the southern rebels in richmond. Obama has ordered cia and special forces to assist the rebels with their their plan to overthrow the government of libya and remove ghadafi. Trying to assassinate ghadafi and killing his son and grandchildren violates the u.s. resolution and international law.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  17. Paul, Seattle Washington

    Yes, Libyan law strictly forbids armed attempts at overthrowing it's government.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  18. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Probably--but the administration has a way of stretching the law to meet it needs-–something the average American is not entitled to.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  19. John ............................. Marlton NJ

    Yes ... sadly he is being feed 'garbage' data to suppport a twisted policy objective that isn't in the best interest of the United States of America ... Hw is the President and he should be able to figure it out !!

    May 26, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  20. Frank Moon

    Absolutely not, When our country joined the UN we made a commitment to work in the best interest of the worldwide community, not just our own. When a civilian city is about be be leveled by a tyrant it is our responsibility to intervene, and Obama would've been just as responsible as Ghadafi if he let that slaughter go by unopposed. Im aware there are similar situations in other parts of the Middle East and Africa that we dont do anything about, but our country simply doesn't have the resources to help everybody. Maybe when we withdrawal from Iraq/Afganistan we could focus our $700 Billion military on places whose people actually would greet us as liberators.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  21. Scott in Bellingham

    Yes the President is breaking the law since the maximum amount of time to report to Congress and acquire permission has expired. I believe the President has chosen to 'be above the law' on this. He will spin with those who figure America doesn't care. There is very little about Libya on the news these days.

    Or he may accuse those accusing him to have made a wrong interpretation about America's role in Libya. We are in for a lot of smoke on this one. Four legs good, two legs bad.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  22. Layne Alleman

    Jack, Probably. Now quick, tell me who, of the past six presidents, hasn't done the exact same thing(with or without the knowledge of the country)? Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  23. John, Lake Charles, LA

    Obama and every other politician in Washington are breaking my heart.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  24. Steve, Clifton, VA

    The law established by precedent by his predecessors clearly shows that he is not breaking the law. Further, with all of the detractors he has in the Republican Party and the Tea Party, some of them surely would have impeached him in the same fashion that was done to Bill Clinton.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  25. Bill in New Mexico

    Is Obama breaking the law in Libya?

    "No!" arguments:

    Huge precidents have been set for expanding presidential powers especially in making agreements with foreign countries.

    The U.S. has volumes of agreements with NATO. The Libya War is actually a NATO action. This probably gets Obama off the hook.

    "Yes!" arguments:

    President Nixon signed into law a law that severely limits presidential powers. This law spells trouble for Obama.

    A conflict in law goes straight to the Supreme Court.

    The Supreme Court must decide. This Supreme Court is biased against democrats. Obama had better get himself a lawyer and Obama will be found breaking the law.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  26. Mike Billingsley

    I don't know if the law is being broken or stretched but the push for regime changes throughout that region could be an opportunity for a better geo-political situation to grow....then again it might not. That will depend on who takes over, But, I think we need to do what we can to depose the despots in charge over there and see what comes of it. If anyone out there thinks any nation is totally above board when it comes to these things then roll me one too.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  27. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    I don't know if Obama is breaking the law, if he is, I'm sure he just want to try and catch up to George W Bush's score.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  28. Charles, Lansing, Michigan

    I find it disingenuous that you can ask that question when George Bush was given a free ride on the lies he told in order to invade Iraq. At least this president is going with the majority of allied countries.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  29. andyz Lynn, MA

    Obama is not doing anything that his predecessors did.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  30. Tony

    Of course he's breaking the law in Libya. No surprise there, after all he continues to break the law in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan by making war without consent of Congress. Also he is committing crimes against the Geneva Conventions abroad and in the United States against torture and also against our Constitution by detaining people indefinitely without trial. He should be charged with war crimes but the UN and World Court are owned by the US government.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  31. hongli

    Jack,when it comes to bringing down a DICTATOR please tell me what law can be broken? The White Republicans are playing a dangerous game with this black President and are very nervous about 2012 since the killing of Bin Laden. The Republican Party is TOTAL TRASH.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  32. Joe CE

    So it would eem. Although I think that the courts legislate too much, this is a legitimate issue and should be taken to court for resolution.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  33. Mark

    Dah! NATO countries involved plus the US have no business bombing Libya. Talk about an unjust war. Where's all the Liberals protesting this war act? Such hypocracy from the left, again.
    Mark

    May 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  34. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack if Obama was really violating the law there are enough lawyers in Washington to pounce on him and you can bet they would. Unfortunately the rules of engagement for a president are sketch at best with war powers so we are left with the opinions of his peers to tell us one way or the other. Obama's Peers are remaining very quiet so my guess is either they truly don't know or are too scared to speak up.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  35. Bob in Kansas City

    What law Jack?.......why don't you ask that to the people that lost family on Pan Am flight 103. Remember, that suitcase bomb originated in Libya via their intelligence services. Gaddafi most likely gave approval to the operation.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  36. Jim in Gardendale, Alabama

    Yes, Jack. Since Obama has gone beyond the NATO Resolution and refuses to give a time limit of the war in Libya now, I believe that he is in violation of the law. We need to get the Hell out of there now and not get in any other wars. We cannot afford it.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  37. Ralph Spyer

    No President Obama is telling Iran,Do not give up your nuclear program , if BP wants your oil they control the British army. Why do you think we have not yet started a war with Pakistan ? What law are you talking about ? Our C.I.A. has no laws, Our congress has no laws ,why do you think so many of them go to jail. Did we break any Law in Vietnam with the search and distroy type operations,except ,of course ,a different name for them now in Afghanistan

    May 26, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  38. Richard C.

    He is certainly bending the law and possibly breaking it, but that is what the USA does. A simple analogy is 'on a hot day you might stick your toe in the water to test it, but then you either jump in or leave the pool area.'
    We just seem to 'hang around' and that is annoying and stupid.
    That is a basic and simplified definition of a politician, not a leader.
    Malvern, PA.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  39. Donald in CA

    Jack, can a mule read, NO.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  40. David

    Which law in Libya is he breaking? And, who's the enforcer? Ghaddafi?

    May 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  41. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    What if he is? Robin Hood was a crimmial in the eyes of the King but he faired well with the needy.
    Where trying to stop a slaughter here. We certainly can't look the other way. Leave it to our own gov't to criminalize the actions of a man who's trying to save the innocents.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  42. JENNA ROSEVILLE CA

    Is President Obama breaking the law in Libya?

    Which law(s) would that be Jack?

    As a member of NATO we are following the lead of other NATO nations in our actions against Libya we are not in a leading role.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    May 26, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  43. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    Going beyond 60 days "shreds the U.S. Constitution" about as much as the War Powers Resolution did in the first place. The U.S. Constitution states that only congress can declare war and anything that changes that should have been put forth as a constitutional amendment. President Obama has requested the required resolution before the 60 days were up so I would think the ball is in their court but congress moves so slowly going past 60 days was inevitable. Of course there is the legal fig leaf that the Libyan mission was handed off to NATO.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  44. Ken in NC

    Does it make much difference? If he was, the Right would accuse him of it and if he wasn't the Right would accuse him. You see, he is the one man that walks this earth that can do no right.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  45. Ed from California

    Can you lay-off the president for one minute Jack?? What do you want him to do?? Ignore the slaughter of Europe's gas pump, and it's pump jockeys?? All were doing is supporting the freedom fighters w/ air strikes. Great Britain and France are still in there too, giving air support and most likely arms. We were all for Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Syria. And now were expecting to get the same kind of revolt in Iran. People all of the world are basically the same, we all want a job. We want to support ourselves and our families. We take freedom for granted, don't believe me....just look at what the Kochplicans are trying to do to all of us. Send our jobs overseas, take away our benefits that we all pay for through payroll deductions. at the same time our hired help are ripping us all off and laughing at us. The next revolution needs to be here in America. I have no problem helping people, who ask for our help.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  46. Randy

    Yes. But so is our congress when they give more support to a foreign country than it's own citizens.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  47. Annie, Atlanta

    I'm not qualified, legally, to make that call. However, most of us can question why we pay Congress critters so much when they only work half a year, at most, and usually accomplish nothing.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  48. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    I am certain the Libbian Government thinks so, and by the way, how do we spell that guys name anyway?

    May 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  49. Thomas

    No he is not. This action was supported by large numbers of people all over the globe. the war powers act is simply paperwork that is hindering the appropiate use of force. whats more troubling is the shredding of the constitution started by the bush administration with the patriot act and continued by the obama administration.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  50. Sorry

    the guy thinks that teaching laws gives you free way to break the law, he is a blood-thirst and hypocrite; i don't know why i supported him as a candidate

    May 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  51. Beverly H Tatum Charlotte NC

    NO.
    He has not declared war on another nation which would require Congressional approval. This is a humanitarian effort in conjunction with a NATO operation. No American soldiers are engaged in military action than bombing missions to protect citizens.
    We need to do this more often. Let nations self-determine without us in the middle of the conflict. AId yes, troops NO.
    Unlike Bush, President Obama thinks before he acts. Muslim nations will respect us more for helping them but not interfering in what they see for their nation's future.
    Thank goodness we have a real leader in President Obama.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  52. Harry Wortz

    Seems like Congress is breaking law by doing what they do best, "nothing".

    May 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  53. BW

    No. Congress does not have the Constitutional authority to limit the powers of the President, anymore than the President has the authority to limit the powers of Congress.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  54. Jason R.

    President Obama, like recent Presidents of both parties, is fixated on becoming a world "hero" in any way he can and Presidents for some reason usually figure that military violence is the path to that goal.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  55. Worried American

    At first pass here in MN I would have to agree that Obama is side stepping the War Powers Act and more importantly t he Constitution.
    The reaction to his overall foreign policy agenda by our "allies" during his European trip is a reality barometer. At least Obama is consistent – he did not have a solid plan for Libya that generated the support he needs before he left – and he will not have one when he returns.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  56. Jane (Minnesota)

    I find it ironic that the Congress let the Bush administration have what ever war requests they made without much question and didn't investigate any questionable activities. Why now? I imagine the Right leaning Republicans do not want to see the White House succeed at anything and the extreme Liberals are flat out against war. I wish they would act in America's best intests instead of their party's.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  57. Jon

    President Obama helped save a city of 70,000 people through his actions. Maybe he had to compromise his principles – but morally? Can't say I think he made the wrong decision.

    As for the War Powers Act... are the Republicans really sure they want to be deliberately difficult here? Do they really think it will be to their advantage?

    May 26, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  58. Andy

    There's a 30-day withdrawal period called out in the War Powers Resolution for a reason. Let's have this conversation again a month from now and it might be relevant.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  59. Robert

    Of course what Obama is doing is unconstitutional. This isn't the first in a long line of broken promises and disrespect for the Constitution; of course, thanks to "news organizations" like yours, Obama will never be called on it. Critics of Obama (and there are MANY) are intimidated by the inevitable attacks against their character for TELLING THE TRUTH about this very frightening "leader" of our country. Obama gets a free pass, and our country is spiralling out of control because of it. Most Americans have simply resigned themselves to sinking with this president. It's really scary.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  60. Albert B from Atlanta, GA

    There is no question that Obama is absolutely breaking the law on the Lybia issue. The Lybia situation should NOT be a priority for this country at this time, it is NOT supported by Congress, and amid the skyrocketing debt in this country, the American people are not behind him on this war.

    What is interesting is that Obama's past record shows that he himself would have opposed such an operation (i.e. Iraq, Afghanistan), however this time it's different. Victory over a weak dictator will turn into approval points for his administration. For example, the situation in Syria is far worse than what has happened in Lybia. The Syrian people are being slaughtered like sheep, yet Obama has made no indication that he will attack Syria because of their stronger ties to Iran. Obama is acting unfairly and is not representing the wishes of the American people.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  61. Anonymous Citizen

    Our role in the situation in Libya is minimal. If we wanted to, Libya would be forced to choose a new leader today. That's how we roll. We've already demonstrated that fact to the world this month. There is no need to prove it twice in one month. So to answer your question, no, Obama isn't breaking the law any more than Bush jr did by flying the Bin Laden family out of the country while all other flights were grounded immediately after 9/11.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  62. james walker

    I am no constitutional scholar, but from what I do know about the Act, it has never been fully accepted as Constitutional itself. While it is concerning that Congress has not yet weighed in officially on this conflict, they certainly have the power to send the President a strong message against the military interventions in Libya if they convene and draft resolutions or actions to that effect. In the current conflict, it appears the balance of power is preserved – especially given the composition of Congress at this moment.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  63. Clint

    Jack, Doesn't the war powers act only say that the President has to ask for Congressional support for military action before 60 days? Which if he doesn't it get a support resolution by that point, in theory he is suppose to stop action. This seems like there is a big 'I don't know what is suppose to happen' in the War Powers Act. I mean should a sitting President have to stop action just because Congress doesn't take up the issue in a timely manner. While, I would not argue that Libya is necessarily vital conflict to the U.S., to pull our planes out would have a profound effect there. The last point, from me, what does this do for future conflicts, ones that may be vital, but for some reason Congress drags its heels.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  64. Ray

    Again, Obama is the law. What about that don't you understand? Must we have Holder explain it again?

    May 26, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  65. Spero

    Of course Obama is breaking the law in Libya. There is a question about whether the War Powers Act is constitutional, but the President should not be ignoring it just because asking Congress to approve a war is inconvenient to his image.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  66. MikeGCNY

    At this time, the President is not violating the law. He has 30 days to stop the US involvement in Libya. So Obama has until July 19 to stop the US military attacks in Libya.

    My personally think the President beleived the Libyan battles would be over by now, or at least be winding down. Furthermore, what about our obligations through the UN as a permenant member of the Security Council and the laws that mandate our action when there is evidence of crimes against humanity?

    May 26, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  67. Kenneth

    President Obama is breaking the Law. If a law is passed by Congress, and then signed by the President or passed via Congressional override is put on the books, the President (and all U.S. citizens) is required to follow it. However, whether the President is morally incorrect in continuing this is another issue, one on which I believe he is acting in the best possible manner given the situation.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  68. pat in michigan

    Probably .At least this time when the Republicans try to impreach a Democratic President it wont be over a bj.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  69. Ryan

    Yes, to any HONEST person Obama is clearly breaking the War Powers Act. This wouldn't be the first time (ObamaCare is in clear violation of the Constitution and all predictions show that the SCOTUS will be overturning the one crucial part in it, forced consumption of a service) and it won't be the last time.

    P.S. Don't use the car insurance example. You're not forced to drive so you're not forced to have car insurance simply for breathing. Please, educate yourself voters.

    Ryan
    Los Angeles, California.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  70. Bill

    It sounds like he blew it but this is a legal issue and beyond most peoples area of expertise.

    The worst was Pres Bush's pre-emptive strike on Iraq where the country was invaded based on incorrect intelligence information that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and links to 9-11, neither of which was true and yet he never pulled the troops out.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  71. Scott

    "Shredding the Constitution" seems a bit dramatic of an accusation, but I think they learned that from the D's accusations of Bush. I'm sick of both sides getting so worked up about arbitrary things like this. Why 60? Why not 45, or 75? What if there's a federal holiday? All politicans need to get a grip!

    May 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  72. Sebastian (Plainfield, NJ)

    I once successfuly fought a traffic ticket by focusing the judge on the spirit of the law; instead of just the letter of the law.

    Seems to me, the "spirit" of the 1973 War Powers Act was to prevent a President from unilaterally starting an action (like Vietnam) that could drag on for years and kill 50,000 American soldiers. Well, we've not lost a single soldier in Libya and if the politicians stay out of it, Kaddahfi will likely leave / be driven from power before the summer is over.

    Our actions in Libya maintain the spirit of the law.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  73. blake

    Yep. But in his mind, no big deal, he is above the law.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  74. Sandy

    Mr. Cafferty, you have run headlong into the problem with this President. Hillary clinton gave numerous statements as to his ineptitude and inexperience and in effect saying someday this would come into play and haunt us. Now, those Chickens....etc., etc. How is it possible for a person with absolutely no management experience, no foreign relationships experience, and certainly no military experience, put our Nation and our troops in such danger by getting us into even more war? Now, we don't know who we are at war with, who we are fighting for, and why are we fighting? This seems to rise to the level of an impeachable offense.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  75. Max S. in Utah

    Just like many of our other laws that he feels he does not have to follow. If the government can't follow it's own rules, why should the citizenry be subjected to those laws either. Anarchy soon follows.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  76. Mabus

    In my understanding of the War Powers Act, he may have broken the law initially by committing US Forces when there was no imminent threat to the US or it's citizens. He also appears to be going back on his own opinion expressed when he ran for President regarding committing our Armed Forces to military action. In any case, like some in this country believe, it's only illegal if he gets caught. By this I mean if Congress takes some meaningful action to address it. Judging what I've seen so far, many in Congress (on both sides of the issue) would prefer not to deal with it at all so they won't have to go on "record" with an opinion. After all, there is an election next year.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  77. jac in minnesota

    The President has engaged our military in a conflict that under the war powers act requires authorization to continue past 60 days. The President claims that because the actual "kinetic" portion of this conflict is speratic that the act doesn't apply. But the Act says that "The President in every possible instance shall consult with Congress before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances...." according to § 1542 of the war powers act. This means that if there is likely hood that the military will be in a situation where they could be attacked is great, then the President is required to notify Congress. Therefore, the President has 30 days from last Friday to either pull the troops out of the theater, or receive authorizaiton from Congress to proceed, otherwise he is in clear violation of the Act.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  78. Matt from Munster, IN

    Yes he has. This is a clear sign that he will not go to Congress because he has not formluated any sort of exit strategy to end military action in Libya. He fear that going to Congress will end to conflict with Colonel Gaddafi still in power.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  79. Nate (Seattle, WA)

    Why is this even a question? This issue is cut-and-dried. He's violating the law. Plain and simple. The same one he criticized Bush for violating while in the Senate. It just doesn't get much press because conservatives are generally in favor of any opportunity to go to war with anybody, and liberals are too weak and naive to admit that they voted enthusiastically for a warmonger.

    It's really not more complicated than that. Obama has us in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, the Horn of Africa, and Libya. And those are just the Islamic wars.

    Is this the change blue voters were hoping for?

    May 26, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  80. Rick from Los Angeles

    Jack to answer your question.

    The war powers act states that congressional approval is required in the first 60 days of military action otherwise all actions must cease in 30 days thereafter. The law will be violated if he does not cease military action 30 days after the deadline.

    My question to everyone is; would that final deadline prevent us from participating in the humanitarian asssitance aspect of this conflict?

    -Richard from Los Angeles

    May 26, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  81. Butch

    As far as I can tell.... YES he is breaking the law with the United States
    role in Libya.... and others promises all over the place! Has he closed Gitmo, or any of those other campaign promises? No! Instead of bringing the troops home, he's EXPANDED the war. As of now (May 2011) it's been delayed til 2014...maybe even 2016 to bring our troops home. Many other issues as well....

    May 26, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  82. Sean

    Just about every president this country had has broken the law, it's time for a government overhaul

    May 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  83. maude

    The man has a good heart and his motives are generally clear and for the common good.
    We can debate about the legalities all we want, we will never get the
    right answer.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  84. Nino LaRocca

    YES the president is breaking the law !!
    and what a joke Kerry and McCain introduce a bill for support
    of course they would !! two war mongers like that they enjoy wars for ever !
    they're just criminals the politicians in congress
    and one more thing
    GREAT JOB TO THE NOBLE PEACE PRIZE COMMITTEE
    for giving a warmonger like OBAMA a NOBLE PEACE PRIZE !!!
    hmmm I wonder who will win next year the NPP maybe Satan !!!!!

    May 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  85. Marrion Fuller

    Not even "technically." We are not "at war" with Libya. Nor are we "technically" (read, Constitutionally) at war with anyone, except the radical, right wing, zealot, Republican party.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  86. DT in Nevada

    I'm surprised he doesn't fly a helicopter on to Ghadafi's lawn and finish the job like he did with bin Laden.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  87. Bull

    JACK About 80% of what this buffoon does is illegal so why would this be any different. The sooner he and his ilk dissapear the better off this country and the world will be.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  88. runswithbeer

    Since Americans forces are not in Libya except on an intermittent basis the War Powers Resolution resets after Libya Airspace is cleared of Amercian Planes. Also a Constitutional question arises about the use of Drones as Amercian Forces are not in harms way when they are used. All this would simply be a moot point if Congress would simply step up and produce a resolution supporting the President in his efforts to bring Democracy to the Middle East. The Congress by inaction is the issue here not the President.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  89. Lawrence Davis

    "The king can do no wrong" seems to be the attitude in the White House. It's time to put a stop to it.

    Lawrence
    Lancaster, CA

    May 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  90. Mike D

    Where were all of these complaints about breaking the law when reagan had the iran contra affair or when bush unilaterally went into iraq which had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. No because we have a black president everything he does the racist republicans want to say he is breaking the law. But if you read the last line of the story.....

    "The War Powers Resolution dates back to 1973 and came out of the Vietnam War. It was passed as an effort to restore the role of Congress in deciding whether the U.S. military becomes involved in significant conflicts. President Richard Nixon at the time vetoed the act. Congress overrode it.

    And it has pretty much been ignored by presidents ever since!!!"

    If Obama takes a stinkty crap in the white house republicans will say that he is breaking the environmental laws or something.

    Republican Ignorance and immorallity never ceases to amaze me.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  91. THOR in NC

    I suppose if it is OK for the president to jump into this quandry as he has so gracefully done in a lot of other middle eastern situations without much consideration of consequences, then he is above the law. However if one takes into consideration the fact that we are running the country on fumes rather than actual money in the bank at this time, then he is playing his WARGAMES with an empty wallet and this should merit some call as ILLEGALLY NON-FUNDED WARGAMES at some point.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  92. Frank from Connellsville, PA

    I would think that we can go to cemetaries marked and unmarked around the world where hundreds of dead from other countries and in Libya where tens of thousand dead would see him as a freedom fighter. Winning battles against absolute evil isn't pretty.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  93. Kea from Honolulu

    Tough question Jack. The US is a part of the NATO alliance, and has the best military technology in the world. If Obama were to pull our military away from a joint alliance mission, it would make America look bad for abandoning NATO and the suffering people of Libya. If Obama keeps our military in the mission, it makes him look bad for breaking a law. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  94. Kelly

    The simple answer is yes. I am shocked at reading some of the responses to your question. I dont believe Thomas Jefferson has been president since 1973 (or alive for that matter) to send troops to Tripoli, and I dont know of any treaties that would supercede US Law. I think we should stop participating in these military incursions, and giving money to other countries and focus on our own people, problems and debt.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  95. Jamberie

    What is interesting is the Big O would have oppose these operations as a Senator. And people are comparing this to Bush's wars, but he not only received the okay for the two wars, he had nearly unianimous support from both houses okaying the fights before they started. Meanwhile the Big O is still tyring to play with the meaning of words.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  96. Chris in Sacramento, CA

    No. What he’s doing isn’t necessary right, but it IS legal. The President has a Constitutional protection as the Commander-in-chief, which trumps a statute passed by Congress. This in all likelihood would have been challenged and struck down in court had previous Presidents not just ignored it. Also, international treaty trumps statute as well, for better or worse. Obama has two layers of protection on this one. If Congress really wanted to end this, they would cut all funding, which they have the Constitutional ability to do.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  97. Lou

    Regardless of the reasoning, he is violating the law. Other presidents have ignored it as well.

    I guess hypocrisy isn't limited to the politicians, but extends to the lefty loons who are now rushing to his defense after attacking Bush for 8 years for essentially the same actions.

    I mean we're "saving the people of Libya" now, as if Saddam was a much nicer dictator than our Libyan friend. But because Hope and Change are for it, it's ok this time.

    BTW – Wasn't this "action" supposed to only last weeks, not months?

    May 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  98. Dave S

    We cannot be the worlds policeman. We need to get out of Libya as soon as we can. If we play that role then we would need to invade most of the Middle East and Africa to impose justice.
    We are bankrupt! Let Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the other oil rich nations pay for our protection and demand they stop teaching and funding hate, that would be the best possible action! Stop the hypocracy!

    May 26, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  99. THOR in NC

    Obama is consistent about one thing in his presidency...He likes for the US to have a huge bill that it cannot pay back without bilking taxpayers to the hilt. In other words, he loves to SPEND other folk's money!!!

    May 26, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  100. Mike D.

    In my opinion, yes. Also, why get involved in Libya? If it is for humanitarian reasons, why are we not involved in any number of African countries? This is our Nobel Peace Prize President? Maybe they put the cart before the horse on that one.

    Mike, Green Bay

    May 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  101. Donald in New Mexico

    Did he lie about why we joined the NATO operation? Did he go it alone, making the U.S. bear the entire cost? There will always be opposition to anything President Obama does. Since many people don't believe he is even born here, or that there is something strange about his college grades, etc. it will be easy to convince some, that whatever he did yesterday, today or tomorrow, he broke the law. He's not legitimate. He can't really be our president. Would he have broken the law if he had taken any other action or no action? Many will believe anything you repeat over and over Jack. Just mentioning something on tv makes some believe it is true.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  102. Tim

    Mr. Obama may claim two (2) legal arguements for support.

    1. The 1973 War Powers Act does not cover actions called for under Congressionally approved treaties, such as our agreements with NATO and the U.N.

    2. The 2001 War Declaration was written so vaguely as to include Libya and specifically Khadafi.

    However, it appears that the President will attempt to comply first, but if the GOP obstructs that effort, then he can easily fall-back on the fact that Congress has already authorized the "War on Terrorism".

    May 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  103. michael

    Nope. It's not US vs. Libya. It's a UN sanctioned event. We're in the UN. Case closed.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  104. Donald

    Yes ,but who cares I'm a true republican and I think it's pitty to fight this argument. No matter which party has the White House the other party is crying fowl play!! grow up!! Bush did things that might of been to some people abuse of the War Power Act Sacramento, CA.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  105. Dennis in Florida

    He probably is violating the law; however, the US should stay completely out of this mess no matter what the actual details of the law stipulate.

    No matter what happens in Libya, the US will get blamed for the resulting mess. Last I looked Libya is very close to Europe. Let those folks handle the problem. Didn't the British release the poor guy with cancer to Libya so they could get more oil?

    *************************************************************

    May 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  106. ganzma

    He is in violation of the law. It is something that is very important is rectified immediately. While I don't believe Obama is intentionally abusing this power (I am no fan of the President, but don't think he is a risk in this area) and he should ultimately get the support, this is a very important part of our checks and balances that must be strongly preserved to prevent any President, current or future, from taking advantage and effectively going to war without an act of Congress.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  107. Gerry

    So where were you Jack when Bush went into Iraq under a lie about weapons of mass destruction. Isn't lying to congress and the world at large illegal?

    May 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  108. Karl in Flint

    If Bush and Cheney can authorize water boarding, Halliburton can kill our troops in faulty electric showers, GE doesn’t pay a dime in taxes and oil companies get subsidies for robbing us blind, don’t even start on Obama and Libya. I’d take it that if the House, including both parties, isn’t even contemplating a resolution then they back Gadhafi and his tyrannical regime. Isn’t reality funny some times?

    May 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  109. Cary

    Does the war powers act even apply? It was meant to prevent major military actions being taken by a President. We aren't the lead in this effort we are supporting ally nations. There's is nothing it it that says "all" military involvement must be approved by Congress. This is purely about Congress finding fault as we are headed into another election. The Republicans seem very pro-war when it's "their" war. McCain is actually pushing for ground troops. If anything he complains are that Obama isn't involving the US enough. Would everyone please take the country's interests over their own sick need for power.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  110. Michael

    First, it would take 91 days for Obama to be "breaking the law" (60 days for approval and 30 to withdraw and then activity on the next day).

    Second, The question is not as clear cut as those opposed would have people believe. Given that we pulled back to a secondary role long ago, does our current involvement even qualify as a "significant military activity"? The answer isn't as clear as Cafferty tries to make it appear.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  111. Donaldo in ATL

    The law is the law, if you don't like it, change it. But if you violate it, you pay the penalty, pretty simple. No exceptions, unless you are politican, an athlete, a celebrity or someone with lots of $$, then you get a pass.
    This is pathetic, a disgrace, no wonder most of 60+ BOOMERS are getting ready to rock n roll out of the good ol US of A.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  112. T, California

    Hi Jack:

    Absolutely he broke the law, not only with Libya, but also by killing Bin Laden instead of capturing him and bring to court (note that our SEAL teams was able to do so easily)

    I am sure that President Obama will continue to violate the law since he knows quite well about the law and believes in his ability in making American to love him.

    America will pay the high price for this soon but we have to wait for peope to recognize the danger of selecting a leader that is too good in public speaking.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  113. Blair

    Jack

    Yes Obama is breaking the law (War Power's Act)

    My question to you - Does it rise to high crimes and misdemeanors so he can be impeached?

    Blair
    Grand Rapids MI

    May 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  114. frank dileo

    It seems to me that congress is out of line. Arent they supposed to vote on it? Well once again congress is doing nothing while the world passes them by. They cant blame the president for them once again not doing their jobs. Maybe if they werent always on vacation they would get something done!!!

    May 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  115. Van-Texas

    The law has been interpreted by every president as "declaring war" and not a "military action." He is not breaking the law as long as he doesn't declare war on Libya.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  116. Mike Page

    Jack,
    There are so many more things going on in Washington and the rest of the world today and I really don't think that if the President of the United States actually takes action to rid the world of terror we should question his actions. Why don't we question the loyalty of thos who challange this and of Congress for not taking the initive to offer the President a resolution?

    May 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  117. Eric

    The Supremacy Clause puts this Act on par with the Constitution, however the President also has powers as Commander and Chief of the Armed forces, and an implied power of discretion in foreign policy unique to the executive branch. Because no Act of Congress can ever limit an enumerated or implied power of the President that is found in the Constitution (only an Amendment can do that). The Act while Constitutional, fails to have teeth, because the President has other Constitutional powers to accomplish the ends the Act sought to prevent.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  118. Kenny

    It's about time Congress had enough hutzpah to take on the president when he by passes the Constitution. Every president since Viet Nam has done it. But it's time we got back to what made this country different than all the others, the Constitution.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  119. Murphy

    If George W. Bush did not break the law by invading Irag, then most certainly President Obama's decision(s) in Libya are legal.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  120. Del Denver, CO

    Hey Jack, I wonder if republicans raised the question when Bush Illegally entered Iraq. I also wonder if the critics in senate realize how important stability in that region is. Libya was a US ally before Gaddafi and will be after him. I should know, I am a Libyan American who was born in the US 33 years ago because of him. By the way, we have no problem covering the tab for this effort.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  121. Kevin Law - Long Island

    I wouldn't say that Obama is breaking the law just yet. He still has around 20-25 days left in the 30 day withdrawal period, so U.S. forces should technically still be able to contribute to the NATO mission. However, if the 30 day withdrawal period has passed and we still have U.S. military personnel contributing to the NATO mission, then I think it's safe to raise the red flag.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  122. Martin

    President Obama is no different from the previous administratiions and the rest of The West in breaking the law in being in Libya just like Iraq and Afghanistan. Never supported the West when it comes to Foreign Policy and any time the West gets involved in Foreign Politics it is alway illegal. I could have told them that. They have no right being in Libya or any country where they don't have the legal right in being there. I hate what is happening in Libya and don't support the Rebels and the Oppositions either.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  123. Rudy P.

    Doesn't matter . Our country's leaders do what they want, irregardless of laws, the Constitution.

    Rudy P.
    Roanoke, VA

    May 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  124. Wayne

    To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible to any definition." Thomas Jefferson

    May 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  125. Robert FTL

    President Obama is not breaking the law. The US has not declared war on Libya. This is a coalition lead by NATO.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  126. mike from rhinebeck n.y.

    i think it is funny that the gop has a problem with obamas decision to have a small supporting roll in libya with the cooperation of nato after republican presidents have started 2 huge wars without congressional approval. why was this controversy not started 60 days after bombing iraq or the start of the afgan war?

    May 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  127. EMMANUEL

    NO.
    The question really is whether or not treaty obligations trump the War Powers Act

    May 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  128. Robert L.

    I am retired military. When I was on active duty, the President of the United States is the Commander in Chief and is my boss not Congress. They need to stay out of the President's way and let me do his job and Congress needs to do their job....

    May 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  129. JD Droddy, Ph.D., J.D.

    Portions of the War Powers Act, especially that part requiring the President to obtain approval from Congress to engage troops in combat, are clearly unconstitutional. Although Congress is granted the power to "declare" war - and even fund it - Article 2 give the President to power to order troops into combat. Most members of Congress has know that for years. That's why none of them ever challenge the President in Court when they commit troops. Without the court case, they can bellow and shout and say tsk tsk, but if they challenge it and the Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional (which it should), then the political game is up.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  130. ROland

    The problem is not Obama. He did his job. Its congresses job to act at this point on Approving the war. He can't bring up motions in congress he's not jesus.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  131. the_dude

    This is ok. Not to worry. Ummm bush is bad ok. cheney is bad ok. ummmmm.....barack the vote ok. dems can do no wrong. ummmmbush is bad ok......bush is dumb ok

    May 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  132. Don

    Yes he's breaking the law by ignoring the war powers act. Not only that he's also breaking international law by aiding and abetting the overthrow of a sovereign government, humanitarian reasons or not. We use to accuse the Russians of trying to do the same exact thing during our civil rights era.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  133. Michael

    Some individuals in the government will complain if he stops, and others if he doesn't. But if he stops the NATO support, and something happens elsewhere regrading Gadafi's loyal supporters, Obama would then be
    blamed because he didn't keep the NATO support in place.

    Why can't the bickering House of Representatives (and it's "leader"), and the Senate, forget their precious vacation this weekend, and vote and pass the support needed?

    Because THEY are afraid how it will HURT their future political agenda's rather than supporting NATO.........

    May 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  134. Camilo

    Technically, I suppose we must define what a "significant conflict" is. In Libya, we used our military in a very specific, controlled and restrained way. We did not put combat troops on the ground and limited our air power. I do not believe this qualifies as a significant conflict, therefore this was not a violation of the War Powers Act.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  135. Isaac (Mobile, AL.)

    Jack, Hell yes he is breaking the law. We have a weak Congress that won't uphold the law, but instead, they are making stupid ones. The real question you should be asking is why the President won't push for Syria is he is trying to do the right thing. One word- OIL

    May 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  136. Bill Oberpriller

    Ya know Jack. Sometimes the law just doesn't fit the situation. Sometimes you just have to do the right thing.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  137. Ira

    Literally breaking the law? Maybe. Who cares?
    Obama is pushing the NATO countries to take their share of the responsibility and that's great! He took heat from the Washington Post editorial page today for not sending more air power. The other day, he was taking flak for not asking Congress for permission to continue.
    He's trying to thread the needle. I think he's doing great!

    Ira
    Sunny Isles Beach, Florida

    May 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  138. Justin Simmons

    Yes, our President is in violation of the law, and this needs to be addressed. While all Americans appreciate our President's efforts to secure the end of bloodshed in the Middle East, we must oppose any act involving the commitment of U.S. Armed Forces to attack a sovereign nation without an Act of Congress, in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  139. Diane from Oklahoma

    Any action that President Obama is involved in is immediately condemned in the House of Representatives, and the Senate is obviously not missing their vacation for such a trivial matter. The Congress hasn't agreed on anything for 2 years, how can we expect them to make one in 60 days.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  140. jennifer birdsong

    I believe that Obama is breaking the law. If are regular citizen was to break any law they would have to deal with consequence. So what makes him so special to ignore a law that was made to keep a president from playing God. . Just seems he is power Hungry the last few months. I can understand wanting to get the bad guys but he still needs to follow the right way to go about it.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  141. Jimmy Dunn

    I am not a lawyer, and have not read this law in detail, and therefore cannot answer whether or not he is breaking the law. In fact, I resent this question without more specifics on the law itself.

    However, I believe that congress should be involved in decisions regarding long term major conflicts, and I believe that the justice department should pursue any president that breaks US law. At this level of government, anything else could turn our democracy into something else entirely.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  142. HG

    The president is honoring our obligations to the United Nations. This is a Humanitarian Mission, to help defend the defenseless. Isn't what this country is supposed to be represent and be about?

    May 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  143. jac in minnesota

    The President has engaged our military in a conflict that under the war powers act requires authorization to continue past 60 days. The President claims that because the actual "kinetic" portion of this conflict is speratic that the act doesn't apply. But the Act says that "The President in every possible instance shall consult with Congress before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances...." according to § 1542 of the war powers act. This means that if there is likely hood that the military will be in a situation where they could be attacked is great, then the President is required to notify Congress. Therefore, the President has 30 days from last Friday to either pull the troops out of the theater, or receive authorizaiton from Congress to proceed, otherwise he is in clear violation of the Act.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  144. James Eason

    Is Obama in violation of the "War Powers Act"...?

    Hell, yes. I'm an Air Force veteran who served under several
    presidents, dating from Eisenhower, and this president is
    absolutely.....THE WORST.

    Where is Congress? Out to lunch.

    JE

    May 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  145. Bill

    Obama does not appear to care about the law, or his promises. During he campaign he promised to get end the wars not start new ones, and then once elected he feels he can do whatever he pleases. What a disappointment, truly an embarrassment for the electorate.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  146. jeremy

    100% breaking the law. He is also supporting the racist Al-Qaeda-led black-African-lynching Eastern Rebels while he okays NATO's bombardment of innocent civilians in Tripoli. Obama is guilty of way more than just the War Powers Act.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  147. J.T. - AL

    What was it Nixon said... When the President does it, that means it's not illegal. Yeah right.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  148. Dave Burcar

    If as you say "all the Presidents have ignored it since" and they try to crucify President O'Bama for it, that proves the "right" are holding him to a different standard.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  149. irrelevent-seattle

    u.s. forced to dump Billions of Dollars,into 3rd world while we cant get loans without more assets, and obama attempts to derail white culture with his hipppocritical historical perspective, legitimizing money worshippers and powermongers, who still make it unsafe to go out side.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  150. Pablo

    He probably is but arent most of these wars illegal in some way? The USA defied the UN to invade Iraq and there is no justification for that war at all. Afghan? No one has any idea what the war is about now.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  151. Allen Whedon- Arkansas

    Yes, Obama is breaking the law, but what's new? He has done a fine job of ignoring the laws of the USA for almost three years on just about every subject imaginable. The Senate is not much better at forcing the issue, nor is the House. Just let the Grand Czar go about his business– without any funding. Let's see how far they all get with no funding. But what's new there either? No budget and just interim measures to fill Obama's pockets. After all how long will China pay the bills?

    May 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  152. Bob Dutta

    Anything Obama does is wrong. Yes anything and everything. I hardly saw voices raised 'otherwise'. I never saw them credit him for anything whatsoever. These people would try to appose him and smear his actions anytime and everyway possible. He's the smartest, best and the most competent president this country could ever have. If these people continue to criticize him in every turn I just don't care any more. I feel sad though.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  153. Lisa

    My Question is ... if Mr. Obama do ask Congress ... would they give him the right answer? ... would they say YES to stoping Kadhafi from killing innocent people even children?

    May 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  154. james

    I don't even know why the question is being raised. Under the war powers act it states that SIGNIFICANT conflicts be approved by congress. I don't call a few air strikes, no ground troops, and helping to support NATO as significant. This act was passed in 1973 during the vietnam conflict. That my friends is significant.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  155. gREG

    This is a Liberal President, Starting a war without Congressional Approval , Man you Bunch of Hypocrites, If this was a Republican President you would have burned him to ashes on this column,
    So its OK for Obama to wage war willy nilly, Is that what all of you are saying here! How does your little liberal hearts justify this. remember Conservatives are the Gas Liberals are the breaks,

    May 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  156. MeLoN

    Yes. Just as Bush did. Bush and Obama are exactly the same.

    Obama is once again proving to the world that the US is hypocritical in it's actions around the world by attacking Libya claiming to be "protecting innocent civilians" and attempting to promote democracy while ignoring the innocents being killing by Israel with US made military weapons.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  157. Jim Rossi

    Jack,Yes, He's breaking the law, the law is the law. It is plainly stated and not subject to individual interpretation nor bending to suit ones own agenda.This is just another offense by this pretender to the throne that we can add to the steadily growing list. Libia is a sovereign country and Obama had no right to attack it without Congressional approval.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  158. EV

    He is absolutely breaking the law. Ever since 911 the executive branch has been extending its power in the name of PROTECTING its citizens. Obama has just carried this over to his presidency. It is time people realize this abuse and take action to end this travisty.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  159. Tony

    I'm no fan of Obama, but every president at least as far back as Kennedy, has had a problem adhering to the War-Powers Act, so why is everybody complaining now. There are already enough other reasons to dislike and distrust Obama that Americans don't need to, all of a sudden, pull their heads out of the sand over this issue. And for those of you with a selective memory, at least Obama isn't blatently paying for this "war" by selling drugs and weapons, something that the most popular present in the last 40 years did–does anybody remember Iran-Contra?

    May 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  160. Michael

    Absolutely. If I ran a red light in front of a cop with the video running would there be any question of me actually running the red light and breaking the law? This man is breaking the law in front of a nation. Book him Daniel!

    May 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  161. Gary H. Boyd

    Yes, YES and YOU BETCHA. Barack Obama's ability to understand our Constitution and the steps it imposes upon a President to get Congressional approval for such an act is zero, zilch, and NONE. Only problem being, and he knows it, is the lack of political guts in the Congress to call him on it. Obama's getting to be a bit like the fruit cake now running Venzuela. He's gonna do whatever the hell he wants to.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    May 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  162. Al

    The law doesn't mean anything to them Jack, you know that. They'll just come up with another interpretation. On to Syria and Iran!

    May 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  163. Kenneth Griggs

    Our current actions in Libya do NOT require Congressional approval and are NOT a violation of the War Powers Act. The War Powers Act covers unilateral actions by the President and the DoD not covered by existing treaties or other agreements already approved by Congress. Our current actions in Libya at this time are being done under the auspices of NATO and are directed/commanded by NATO. We have approval from Congress as part of our NATO treaty to engage in NATO military actions.

    Maj Griggs (Retired)
    Chicago, IL

    May 26, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  164. Liberal Traditionalist

    Jack,
    Not only does this violate the War Powers Act, but also the Constitution. Why everyone on both sides of the political spectrum is not up in arms is beyond me. Do we seriously want to set the precedent that one person can decide to drag our Nation to war with the danger of spilling our sons' and daughters' blood and in the process covering their hands and our body politic with the blood of others?

    May 26, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  165. Ed from MD

    Yes he has broken the letter and the spirit of the law, same as Bush. Worse, he did it without warning and without making up a good lie about why he is doing it. No lies, no debate, It seems hollow without the echo's of congress, the senate and the media.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  166. Paul

    I never like you, but you are correct in this instance. Congress only has the power to declare war. Absent a declaration of war, the president cannot enter the armed forces into hostilities.

    There was no declaration of war vs. Afganistan or Iraq, hence both wars are illegal. A resolution of support is not a declaration of war, this is obvious.

    Where were you Jack when Bush illegally went to war?

    ps. the war powers act is unconstitutional, as it delegates to the president the war making power for 60 days which is a power the constitution explicitly gives to the congress.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  167. Mark

    Not quite yet. He has 60 days to get Congressional approval, but then has an additional 30 days to withdraw US forces. Now he's not showing signs he will abide by that 30 day withdraw limit, but as of now he isn't breaking the law yet. It also doesn't help that Congress is moving slowly on voting on the resolution.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  168. Donald

    Yes ,but who cares I'm a true republican and I think it's pitty to fight this argument. No matter which party has the White House the other party is crying fowl play!! grow up!! Bush did things that might of been to some people abuse of the War Power Act Sacramento, CA.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  169. Caleb

    Cafferty, you said it yourself last week. Obama is just a clone of Bush.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  170. David

    If you only mention the legal jargon he may be violating, sure. But if you would mention our legal responsibilities to our allies then he is actually following the law. Inaction by our military to fulfill our obligation to treaties would be the true crime. Ignorance by the public of this fact is only reinforced by the silence from the media on the existence of any such treaty. Congress cannot, by law, disallow actions taken to support our allies. All those pesky international agreements aside; what exactly is the legal definition of this 'significant action'? Surely a few sorties on a handful on locations hardly meets the criteria necessary to involve Congress and their approval. His hands are tied on this one.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  171. Gary Christenson

    The fact of the matter is no president can afford to wait to get Congressional approval when military action is called for. Congress dithers on everything and seldom gets anywhere. Meanwhile, lives hang in the balance.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  172. mycroft austin tx

    He might be breaking the law and we can only hope, that he hasn't learned from Bush,Cheney,Rove and Rumsfield how to manipulate Inteligence, lie to us all, murder,maime and torture people that had nothing what so ever to do with attacks of 9/11. HOPE !

    May 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  173. Nick

    Jack,

    I'm not familiar with the exact language of the law but I would have to say no. Compared to what we've been involved in in the past, this isn't significant. It's NATO led and backed by a UN Security Council resolution – the whole world is on the same page here. On top of that our level of involvment is far less proportional to our level of military spending compared to our NATO allies. The rest of the world stepped up in a big way so we didn't have to get significantly involved. We don't even have boots on the ground!

    Nick – MPLS, MN

    May 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  174. Sangoma

    Because he said he would not be like other presidents and would respect the rule of law

    May 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  175. longhorn

    "restore the role of Congress in deciding whether the U.S. military becomes involved in significant conflicts. " define Significant, the argument can be made if this can be called sigificant or not.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  176. Richard

    If King Obama is breaking the law, Republicans would certainly be best informed about the behavior of presidential kings. Actually its Congress that is undecided about what to do about Libya.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  177. Vivek Chaudhary

    Most of the people are forgetting a very important point that Obama doesn't want to show in front of the Muslim world that he is after another Muslim country. Although, substly US forces are in Lybia as part of international forces, US will not be considered waging war. Obama can appease Muslims as much as he wants, Muslims will find a reason to hate US.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  178. james chapman

    the war power resolution gave the president far more power and stripped congresses role in war.. and redifined war. get facts straight cnn

    May 26, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  179. Peter from Canada

    Jack, if the President did not 'break the law", the American people would call him weak. If he does break the law and protects freedom, he's called a law breaker. Question: Is there any US president that hasn't been disliked by his own people? Stand behind and with your President. Thank you.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  180. Fred Evil

    "There is no question that Obama is absolutely breaking the law on the Lybia issue"
    if you can't even spell the country's name correctly, you are not entitled to an opinion.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  181. Bob

    I can't understand why so many people out there are for the terrorists. You're either with us or against us, and we should all stand behind OUR PRESIDENT, OUR LEADER, and AMERICA and support him regardless. You may not of voted for him, but whether or not you like it, he's the president and he's protecting us from THE THREAT OF TERROR. GET IT? Now go back to 2008 and whine about Iraq.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  182. james chapman

    and by the way, he has to submit report to congress within 30 days, the president then has 60 days to withdraw troops from hostilities unless congress approves continued action. do two minutes of research before writing op eds.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  183. delroy palmer

    Hipocracy in US middle east policy. Libya we were told was killing its people, now they are been killed by US and NATO. Syria is killing its people in the hundreds weekly "Where is the UN Security council. OH! the dead syrians are not humans i guess.US throw its military might on helpless countries it knows it can destroy .after it is destroyed they pack up and leave.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  184. ivan

    Last I checked Jack, the President is in fact "Commander In Chief" so I believe he can order our military as he sees fit for the security of our nation. The question you should have asked is... Is action against Col. Moammar Gadhafi in Libya a matter of our security?

    May 26, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  185. steve - virginia beach

    Yes. Both the War Powers Act and the US Constitution as extensively explained by our founding fathers require the President to obtain Congressional approval before engaging in acts of war. The only exception is the 60-day window when the US is invaded or directly attacked. Since Libys didn't attack or invade us, Obama was in violation on day one.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  186. james chapman

    The president has to submit written report to congress within 30 days, then the president has 60 days to withdraw troops from hostilities unless congress approves continued action. 90 days is maximum, not 60. i don't understand why the war powers resolution wasn't researched before this article was written.
    And the bigger violation of the Constitution came when Obama served as chairmen of a meeting of the UN security council.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  187. DW

    It would seem that the question that needs to be asked is: How does the law define "significant military activity"?

    May 26, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  188. Craig

    Conor in Chicago,

    Regardless of Treaties, only Congress and with limits the President can commit our military. The UN, NATO nor any other body has that authority.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  189. john

    Yes he is breaking the law. The war powers act was vetoed by Nixon and overruled by 2/3 of congress. President Carter accepted the limits as law and it is the accepted rule that allows a president 60 days from the beginning of any military conflict to get congressional approval. If congress says no or fails to act than all military action must stop in 30 days. The law is clear. Bush got congressional approval before sending the troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan. When Clinton took us into Bosnia he got approval in 62 days and we were out of there in 78. It is clear he is breaking the law. It is doubtful the the congress has the courage to impeach him though. They will be setting a precedent that may come back to bite us all.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  190. TinKnight

    Andy is the only one who got the answer right.

    Right now, it doesn't matter if the President sent every single member of the Armed Forces (including the National Guard) into Libya...it wouldn't be a violation of the War Powers Act until the 30-day withdrawal period ended.

    It is NOT, contrary to the tone of the INCORRECT Senators & Congressmen and this article, "Receive permission in 60 days or be out by sundown." The Act states "Received permission in 60 days or by out a month later."

    May 26, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  191. 2bits

    Obama should be impeached.

    Obama will destroy this country with his pea brained economics.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  192. Daniel

    Without a doubt there is a violation here. One has to wonder, why would President Obama not just follow the rules? Does he really think that he would have trouble getting permission to continue our involvement? It seems as if any politician not backing our support at this point would be either incompetent or ready for a long vacation from politics.

    -Daniel, Huntsville, AL

    May 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  193. Justin

    Probably. He should seek Congressional approval. I'm pretty sure he'd get the approval, the US apparently does like war and conflict.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  194. Ben G

    President Obama is not breaking the War Powers Act. This military intervention is through NATO and not unilateral action. If the War Powers Act was interpreted so strict that this would be considered illegal, taking part in international organizations with military capabilities like NATO would be difficult if the executive had to consult congress before every action involving the US military.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  195. Dan Boston

    I don't know that it has and only because the US is only using Aviation Assets. There are no ground troops and if the US Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps do not fly for a 24 hour period, the 60 day count begins again. I won't say that I agree with this policy. However, many prior presidents have use this same approach. I would give this president a grade of B+ overall, considering what he took over from the previous president. 2 wars on the credit card, while lowering taxes, high unemployment, record foreclosures and wall street bailout program. I believe this president is trying to bring together a country that is ripped apart, with neither side making compromises. That's my 2 cents, the other 98 are free. Dan B. from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  196. Michael

    the war powers act contains many loopholes which every president has exploited and Obamas not going to be impeached over it. otherwise we would have to impeach every other previous president

    May 26, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  197. Marc

    Oh c'mon now. This is a waste of time. I believe we are obligated to assist via our treaties with NATO anyway. The R's are simply scratching for ways to make Mr. Obama look bad in the leadup to an election year. This is a highly educated, intelligent man, unlike his predecessor; he knows what he is doing. There's nothing illegal about it at all. Tell congressman Burton to go pound sand.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  198. Fred In LA

    If course the law is being broken. I seem to remember that our involvement was only supposed to last for days. Well were two months in, and no approval from Congress. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for getting rid of this dictator. However we're supposedly an nation of laws (that includes illegal immigration), and they should be obeyed and enforced (again that includes illegal immigration) even at the level of the President of the United States.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  199. Ben G Washington Univ. in St. Louis

    President Obama is not breaking the War Powers Act. This military intervention is through NATO and not unilateral action. If the War Powers Act was interpreted so strict that this would be considered illegal, taking part in international organizations with military capabilities like NATO would be difficult if the executive had to consult congress before every action involving the US military. Also, Congress must start the clock on the 60 days to remove troops, it cannot just say it has been 60 days and troops must immediately leave. The reason for this was to avoid spontaneous withdrawal from a conflict.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  200. Madcap

    How many more laws does he have to break? Impeachment time kiddies!

    May 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  201. Mark in Las Vegas

    Jack, Presidents have been starting wars for a long time now. Our last truly declared war was World War II. President Obama is probably violating the war powers act but it's meaningless. What he is violating is the trust of the American People. We shouldn't even be involved in invading another country that hasn't attacked us. We shouldn't even be in Afghanistan or Iraq right now. It just seems that our Presidents think they have to have us at war to justify their position.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  202. John in Phoenix

    The War Powers Act is very clear about the three scenarios under which the President can use military action without first getting authorization from Congress. After reading the law itself (rather than listening to political rhetoric), I don't see how the military action in Libya meets any of those three cases. Congress must debate the issue and declare war in accordance with the Constitution or else the President must cease military operations in Libya.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  203. CT Nederlk - Rochester, NY

    NATO led action since April 1 – budgeted dollars in DoD for sustained NATO actions.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  204. Harry from York PA

    I believe the President is doing what is right in the matter, whether congress gets on board and votes I believe that falls down to them. It's not like they are totally oblivious to what is going on I mean how is it that we the people know more than them on whats going on. As to what is right, I believe that if France backed down on us because it would have only taken 60 days, then we would still be under British occupation. But because France decided to help us in acquiring our freedom we are now a great country that supports freedom in other places around the world. Libya is trying to gain their freedom as are others in the Arab areas around the world, now you tell me what is the "right" thing to do.
    I also believe CNN covered this before with saying that the Pentagon is funding this with most of their money that is alloted to them. If this is not a war effort and a humanitarian effort I don't see the problem with the Pentagon forking over their own money so that the Libyians get achieve what the United States have achieved, Freedom.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  205. Bob

    Cafferty stated he would need authorization for significant military action. In my book "Significant" is up to interpretation, and one could go either way.with defining the our military action in Libya. Either Cafferty is ambiguous with the article (I hope its just that) and did not clearly define the law or congress was ambiguous with the law that was passed. If it was Congress' fault, then it is more of the same crap. The US needs to move towards a academic system of the management of our country and get away from the normal partisan bickering.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  206. Pete from St Paul

    I surmise a law can be broken softly; rolling through a stop sign: This is Obama's war in Libya. Now Bush Jr and LBL on the other hand; is like a cop who uses his flashers to blast thru red lights on his way to buy donuts......

    okay I know it sounds stupid but I will print it anyway.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  207. alan

    jack how bout you raise a question about how the house could pass a 690b defense budget, only increase pay for troops by 1%, increase the cost for vets seeking care from the va, all the while moaning about the deficit. no he didnt break the law, this is absurd, no one was monaing when bush1 rolled into panama, nor was anyone complaining about Honduras. should this whole deal fall under the war on terror since Libya is a terrorist state or classified as one?>

    May 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  208. Albert

    I cannot remember when a President took military action without notifying Congress. Since Congress controls the spending of everything in the government, it probably makes logical sense to let them know. Wouldn't you say? President Obama should be careful here as Congress can stop allowing government funding for the Libyan activities we are in. While I admire President Obama for obtaining a United Nations Security Council resolution, it still does not make the United Nations our government. It does not matter if you are a democrat or republican, one must follow the laws passed by previous Congresses and Presidents.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  209. allan

    He is certainly violating the law. But it will just be ignored. The least Congress could do if it still care about the Constitution, if it cannot impeach him it should cut funding and made to account the expenses illegally used in Libya operation. Uphold the constitution of the Union!

    May 26, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  210. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    If President Obama is breaking the law...why not just call the police?

    May 26, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  211. Liz Johnson

    I was under the impression that monitoring the Libyan situation was handed over to NATO and that America's unilateral involvement ended when it handed the mission over to NATO. Does it mean then that every NATO resolution needs congresses approval because the US is often involved in NATO operations?

    May 26, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  212. Andree

    Ye, I believe he is breaking the law. Why do we have the rule of law in this country; what do we need congress for in the first place if the president can bypass it and do what he wants? Talk about crimes against humanity, the US and allied countries have agreed to choke off Tripoli and legitimate Libyan citizens by denying them access to food and gas. I can't think of a greater crime against humanity than for a super power to starve the citizens of a sovereign nation

    May 26, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  213. GaryB

    If I recall correctly, under the War Powers act, the president has 60 days to get congressional approval. If approval is not received in 60 days, he/she has 30 days to wind down the activity. As such, it would not appear the Obama has violated the War Powers Act yet. The whole "shredding the Constitution" claim is a bit overdone as well. Yes, Congress is needed to declare war, but the courts have ruled that there's a certain amount of flexibility depending upon how the action is defined.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  214. jon

    Put it this way Jack; if Bush was president all you lefties would be crying foul! Fact is, Obama never brought this before congress in the first place, and perhaps more importantly, this mission has far exceeded its mandate of saving civilians. I would rather hear from the commander in chief that its time for Assad to step down! Can you say hypocrisy?

    May 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  215. Jason

    As a combat veteran of Iraq, and an avid Obama supporter i can firmly say that this action may be the very action that costs him the election. Even George Bush Jr got permission from congress for Iraq. I cannot support a president who disregards the very document i was falsely sent into Iraq to defend. It appears that Mr. Obama is a bigger war monger than Bush. He's just nice about it and can use big words. You just lost the vote of hundreds of thousands of people who supported you because you said you would bring to an end the war in Iraq. I even support the action in Libya. Just don’t violate or laws or your no better than the enemy you’re trying to defeat. By this act, Obama has officially made himself a tyrant.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  216. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    No he isn't breaking the law. We are in Afghanistan, and we didn't declare war on Afghanistan, we been there for almost ten years fighting the Taliban, and we are on the ground, not so in Libya.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  217. Antonio in Scottsdale

    Are there US boots on the ground? Are US planes dropping bomb via WH commands, not NATO commands? Are US ships firing missles via WH commands, not NATO commands? If the answer is Yes to any of these questions, then Obama is breaking the law.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  218. David Johnson

    The wording of the Act is subjective. The U.S. is not taking the lead role in this conflict. Anyhow, is this even counted as a significant conflict?

    May 26, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  219. phillip Marlowe

    I voted for Obama because he said he would end the war, now we are up to our neck in wars and none in my opinion are worth any American's life. Enough is enough and he won't fool me the next time around in the voting booth.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  220. JayinSF

    Sometimes doing the right thing IS illegal – just ask one of these people...

    Winston Churchill
    Rudy Giuliani
    Ronald Reagan
    Bill Clinton
    George W Bush
    etc...!

    May 26, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  221. guy

    i am left-leaning and generally proud and happy w obama's presidency EXCEPT FOR THIS LIBYA NONSENSE!!!!

    GET US OUT!!!!

    May 26, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  222. Tim

    The law, assuming it is even constitutional, grants him an additional 30 days beyond the 60 day limit to complete the withdrawal. So I don't think he's breaking it unless American troops remain engaged in combat past that point without Congressional approval.

    And every President, Democrat and Republican alike, has taken the stance that the War Powers act is unconstitutional.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  223. Manny

    I thought the deadline was 90days under the War Powers Act, not 60days.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  224. KC

    Its hilarious to hear the excuse "well Bush did it" from the Obama apologists. Yes isn't that the reason they wanted to get rid of Bush? Because he supposedly was the way he was?
    So the question begs an answer. Do you Obots want to get rid of Obama as bad as you wanted to get rid of Bush? After all, he is just like Bush when you say that Bush did it too.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  225. Tim

    I believe we, as a country, are obligated by International Law to support NATO after we said (signed the agreement) we would. Obama is correct to include our support to NATO's action. I believe Obama is the legitimate elected head of our Executive Branch of Government and the Commander-in-chief of our armed forces, and therefore also has moral authority to proceed. The question you're asking doesn't say anything about political motives for opinions of individuals in congress. The political atmosphere in Congress is so troubling that I, for one, do not trust their decisions. They are almost always politically motivated and not in the interest of the American People. There would be many, many, dead in Libya if we had to wait for congress to get off it's duff and make a decision. Obama stated from the start why he sent our military to Libya, to avoid a political massacre of large portions of the Libyan citizenry. Obama is/was right to do so.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  226. wzrd1

    Read article 6. Ratified treaties are the law of the land, overruling an act of congress, which the War Powers Act is.
    So, either congress is asking to revoke both the UN membership treaty AND the NATO membership treaties, which bind us to UN and NATO military actions OR they're ignoring the constitution and those treaties.
    I suspect the latter, just to make political capital.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  227. Manny

    actually they can fight for 60 days, but they have 30 days to be withdrawn, hence 90days.
    And did you know that Obama is not the first president to do this? according to Wikipedia.......Despite the apparent non-ambiguity of its language, the War Powers Resolution has been regularly ignored by presidents of both parties.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  228. Tim

    Most of the arguments here, both pro and con, are not at all based in legal arguments. "Is he breaking the law" has nothing to do with whether the action is morally justified. The only really relevant questions are 1) Is he in compliance with the War Powers Act? and 2) Is the War Powers Act constitutional in the first place?

    May 26, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  229. Carl

    Absolutely,🙂 But if he waits for the legislature to act, We will be invaded, concured, and speaking a language I probably wouldn't understand. Who really cares on the Hill, as long as they get their raise, money for pet projects, and don't get caught doing anything that gets them thrown out.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  230. keithb

    Many of you say it is unconstitutional. Tell us what part of the constitution. He may be in violation of the War Powers Act but he is not in violation of the constitution. The War Powers Act may be unconstitutional.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  231. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    The only laws that really matter are "Thou shall not kill" and "Thou shall not lie"...He has broken them both with this invasion of Libya.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  232. Peter

    Isn't the real problem here Congress, not the President? Congress could (and should) exercise its power here and vote on a resolution. After all, they've had 60 days to think about it. Do we continue with military operations in Libya, or don't we? In the absence of Congressional leadership, the President would be negligent to jeopardize what he perceives to be the nation's interests by waiting for an answer from Congress that will never come.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  233. oneSTARman

    Under the War Powers Act the president has 30 days to wind down the Mission and 'Withdraw' from the conflict after the 60 days – although in this case the President and SecDef Gates both say that we are currently acting in a 'Support' capacity only; so it COULD be argued that the War Powers Act NO LONGER APPLIES.

    May 26, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  234. Michael Smaglik

    You have to remember that President Obama has exempted himself from political correctness throughout his presidency. This is nothing new. Take it from a psychologist, narcisists dont need to follow the rules, as president Obama has made it clear throughout his presidency.

    May 26, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  235. Bob

    Strictly speaking, yes. However it's hard to fault him for it. He asked Congress already. Not his fault the Congress is the absolute nadir of efficiency.

    Congress will probably have to vote on whether to accept his request. If the request is accepted, they'll have to vote on whether to acknowledge his request. If they acknowledge his request, then they can actually vote on the legality of sending troops into- wait, 3 month recess for Memorial Day.

    May 26, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  236. Davey

    I am amazed at all the misinformed comments. According to the WPA, the President has a total of 90 days.The War Powers Resolution requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30 day withdrawal period, without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war. Therefore to date he is NOT in violation. Not to mention that most Presidents in both parties have ignored the WPA as a historical fact. Don't try to make this about this one President.

    May 26, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  237. John King

    They say evil can only triumph when good men fail to act
    I guess our President is a good man
    THANK GOD

    May 26, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
  238. snr

    US should leave Libyans alone. it is very disheartening to hear civilians dying everyday in Libya because of the insensitivity of NATO. is the US, UK and UN in support of rebels? then, why is Osama bin Laden killed? who are the civilians that NATO is protecting in Libya? and who are the civilians NATO is killing. it is about time to make a civilized step taken by RUSSIA and AU

    May 26, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  239. Metallic Dinosaur

    Of course Obama is breaking the law and should be put on trial. It's bad enough he's used tax payer money to bail out car manufacturers and Wall Street, now he seems to take it upon himself to make decisions that require Congressional approval. Shame on you Obama!!!!

    May 26, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  240. CaliforniaBC

    The 60th day has not come yet so NO, Obama is not breaking the law.

    May 26, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  241. MrAnansi

    "Such sixty-day period shall be extended for not more than an additional thirty days if the President determines and certifies to the Congress in writing that unavoidable military necessity respecting the safety of United States Armed Forces requires the continued use of such armed forces in the course of bringing about a prompt removal of such forces."

    If he can argue this is the case, then no, he is not breaking any law.

    May 26, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
  242. Rob from NY

    Yes he is breaking the law. The law is the Constitution. The Constitution states only the congress shall declare war. Has the congress declared war on Libya? No. Is the U.S. using military force in Libya? Yes. Is it an illegal war? Yes!!

    May 26, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  243. Eric

    NATO doesn't trump the War Powers Act. Go read the treaty. There is nothing in there obligating us to act against Libya. Even if Libya were right now attacking a NATO country, the treaty states that each party take "such action as it deems necessary."

    Obama isn't shredding the Constitution. He is breaking the law. Whether that law is Constitutional or not is a matter of debate, and for the courts to decide. Absent a court ruling, the law stands. The Constitution states that only Congress can declare war, and the President is the Commander in Chief. It doesn't say anything beyond that.

    May 26, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  244. ScipioRising

    Just one of a long line of presidents who have circumvented the war powers act. So what is new?:

    May 26, 2011 at 7:26 pm |