March 22nd, 2011
03:59 PM ET

Should Pres. Obama have consulted with Congress before U.S. military to Libya?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Quite a few members of Congress are not happy with President Obama over his decision to allow U.S. air attacks in Libya. They feel they weren't given any say in the whole matter…which they weren't. And the criticism of the president is coming in from everywhere.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/03/22/art.libya.strikes.jpg caption=""]
Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas says the no-fly zone is unconstitutional. Liberal Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich from Ohio has brought up the idea of impeachment hearings for President Obama's actions. No surprise there... but it's not just the far right and the far left up in arms. Moderates like Democratic Senator and former Navy Secretary Jim Webb and Republican Senator Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican member of the Foreign Relations Committee. They aren't happy with the president either.

Yesterday the President sent an official letter to Congress asserting his authority to make the decision on Libya based on the Constitution and War Powers Resolution. The letter said he was acting in the "national security and foreign policy interests of the United States."

The president did hold a briefing for congressional party and committee leaders in the White House Situation Room on Friday before any attacks were launched. But many lawmakers say that wasn't enough.

Here’s my question to you: Should President Obama have consulted with Congress before sending the U.S. military against Libya?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Lorne in San Luis Obispo, California:
If consulting with Congress was constitutionally required in this matter - and there seems to be plenty of confusion as to whether it was or not - then yes. If not, no. Members of Congress criticized him for going too slow. Members are currently criticizing him for going too fast. As in most political conundrums, hindsight is the court of last resort. If the Libyan "war" goes well, he's right; if not, he's wrong.

Mike in New Hampshire:
Jack, he complied with the letter of the law regarding the War Powers Act. That being said, during the weeks he schmoozed the Arab League and UN, he certainly could have been working Congress harder.

Tom in Kansas City, Missouri:
There hasn't been a declaration of war since 1942. Obama notified the leaders of Congress on Friday before any military action by the U.S. occurred.

Jim in Lehighton, Pennsylvania:
Congress? We don't need no stinkin’ Congress. Just follow the Bush doctrine…err…make that the Cheney doctrine. Hey it worked for Iraq version 1.0 and 2.0. Why not for Libya version 3.0?

Andy in Vancouver, British Columbia:
Constitutionally? Certainly. Practically? Nope. All of these representatives that accuse Obama of "dithering" should realize that they've been pushing the due date for the budget back for months. Who knows how long it would have taken them to figure out what to do with Libya.

Is there a wrong way to do the right thing? Our basis for action is much more solid and truthful than the sham that got us into Iraq. The critics of this venture fall into two camps: those that abhor war under any circumstances and those who attack Barack Obama under any circumstances.

What suddenly makes Congress so important anyway? What have they done for us lately?

soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Iona Meyer

    Why should the President have to consult with children who have not learned the most basic kindergarten social skills on how to get along with their playmates! Ontario Canada

    March 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  2. Charles, Lansing, Michigan

    He certainly should have. He ran his election on that basis. Having said that, the results would have been the same because our foreign policy is dictated by oil interests and the military industrial complex.

    March 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  3. Brian

    The guy can not win, they say he is too weak and too slow and then when he makes a decision, they are all over him saying it is wrong. I think they do not know what is right from wrong.

    March 22, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  4. John from Alabama

    Jack: Under the War Powers Act , President Obama does not have request permission from Congress. Congress has a repudiation of doing nothing when they are asked to make a decision. Around 300 B.C., the Greek Senate was debating what to do about the Romans, when the Roman Legions entered Athens and killed the Senators. It was time for a decision, President Obama made a decision. Something Congress will not do.

    March 22, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  5. jim in Alabama

    First of all Jack, it seems that Obama DID write a memorandum to members of Congress, which according to law, meets his requirement as Commander and Chief. Secondly, there's no evidence that American coalition forces have attacked anyone and instead have supposedly taken out command and control centers and anti aircraft installations which were targeted at coalition planes. In some cases, some tanks and planes which threatened civilians were also taken out. The key here to me is how long we commit to this effort and when do we take our pilots out of harms way. THis is not a declared war as yet and if it were to turn into one, then Obama would be dead wrong in the way he went about it. JMO

    March 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  6. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I don't know why Congress is no help. We all know the majority of the republicans loved to go to war and half of the democrats set on fence not being able to make up their mind. Getting these two groups together to make a decision on anything is practically impossible.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  7. Pete in Georgia

    The U.S. is the only country in history that goes into war or military action based on any one of 3,863 proceedures or whims.

    And we keep adding to that list with each new administration.


    March 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  8. Weldon from Canada

    I don't think that Obama should have waited for Congress to have made a decision. If everybody had stalled anymore than they did, would have been disasterous for the Lybians. It was almost too late as it was when a decision was made to aid the rebels.

    One up for Obama!!

    March 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  9. Joane G

    Absolutely ! Bush went to Congress re Afghan and Iraq ! Obama preached otherwise than what he has done – but then his fabrications have been many over the past 2 1/2 yrs.
    Joane G

    March 22, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  10. Elliman

    In this case Obama has right to act and save lives

    March 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  11. John in N.C.

    "The president does not have the power under the constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."

    Barack Obama, 2007

    March 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  12. Phyllis G Williams

    Should President Obama have consulted with Congress before sending the U.S. military against Libya?

    This is just “Much Ado, About Nothing”. It would have been nice if he had done so, but those who envy the power of a Commander-in-Chief pick on every little slip he makes to make a “mountain out of a molehill”, as a well thinking Congress would have agreed with him for a sensible, inescapable move..

    March 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  13. Phyllis G Williams

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Should President Obama have consulted with Congress before sending the U.S. military against Libya?

    This is just “Much Ado, About Nothing”. It would have been nice if he had done so, but those who envy the power of a Commander-in-Chief pick on every little slip he makes to make a “mountain out of a molehill”, as a well thinking Congress would have agreed with him for a sensible, inescapable move..

    March 22, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  14. Kia

    Zip you mouths democrat elective officials! We sent you to the White House to be on the side of our President not to attack him. Learn the lesson from your colleagues from the side of the aisle! Did they attack Bush when he invaded Iraq with little or no proof? NO!

    March 22, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  15. Dee Wilmington, NC

    President Obama didn't make this decision without consulting with Leaders of Congress and high level officials from the Pentegon. He is dammned if he don't and if he is. These same critics were begging him to take action and when he met with them if they had a problem then it should have been expressed.

    Now is not the time to criticize him while this military action is being executed and our men and women are in action. This is all about politics and continuing to denigrate this President. He is smart and is also a Constitunional Lawyer.

    The critics need to step back and support this innitiative he was very clear. When he returns from trying to help the economy I am certain he will address these critics.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  16. mark

    Yes he should of consulted, Was there any us soldiers on the ground in libya.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  17. David

    Maybe, but with the obvious dysfunction there and a need for speed, it was challenging enough to get the Arab League, African Union, NATO and the UN to reach a joint consensus on a rapid, effective response.

    Obama and Clinton deserve great credit for not imitating gunslingers of old who preferred rushing alone into saloons with guns blazing.

    You can see by the comments that Congress prefers playing politics, and that is very sad when so many lives were egregiously threatened.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  18. Olga

    ...and what? He's responsible for an international intent?


    He took his time before doing what the previous President did..."Shoot first; ask questions later!"

    Austin, Texas

    March 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  19. bob z fr ,pa.

    he does a lot of things with out telling cong. he uses his czars and dept to get around cong.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  20. Carl


    To heck with what congress thinks or cares, this should of never even been considered. What an idiot he is. We are already in 2 wars that we started, no money in our bank, people out of work everywhere, an illegal alien invasion that shows no sign of slowing down. My only defense of Obama is this, almost all politicians are idiots and think the very same way, now that's not much of a defense, but it's the best I care to do. Obama thinks that if we can just keep the money printing machines running 24/7 we will be okay, we are doomed.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  21. Julie

    I'm not sure. So you have to consult congress to enforce a United Nations resolution when your representative supported it? I do think he needs to consult congress if the military action goes beyond what it is now.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  22. AJ

    The President might have foreseen the delay when consulted. Justice delayed is justice denied.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  23. Mike in TN

    He should according to his own words in 2007:

    Obama's 2007 interview with the Boston Globe:
    "The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."
    "As commander in chief, the president does have a duty to protect and defend the United States," he added. "In instances of self-defense, the president would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent."

    March 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  24. Minesh - Troy, MI

    Absolutely, Jack.

    Bush consulted the Congress before attacking Iran when Saddam was believed to be a possible threat to the world. Why did Obama not consult Congress regarding Libya as Libya is far from a threat to USA.
    Does Obama think he is a dictator?

    Minesh Baxi Troy, MI

    March 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  25. jamie ashby

    Yes president Obama should have consulted with the congress before military action was taken agenst Libya. Yes the president is in charge of the united states millitary actions, however, seeking the advice if the congress would have been a wise decision.

    -<3- Jamie

    March 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  26. mcoville

    Of course he should, that is what the constitution instructs.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  27. Rick McDaniel

    Yes. Absolutely. They should have been informed, that action was imminent.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  28. Dean Marchant

    Jack, The president made a bold move. How long would it have taken for congress to move on this? Our government can't even act on things like our budget in a timely fashion, let alone an emergency. Those people are not going to foget what we are doing for them, they are all ready building bridges to america. At what point in time do you ever think an American poilet would have go down over Libya and the American government would not consider it hostile territory. We can't accupy the country militarly, but we can move in and show a suppresed Libya what freedom means. NOTE: feel free to edit. Dean J. Marchnt from Eugene, Oregon

    March 22, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  29. Joe R - Houston, TX

    President Obama should have consulted with Congress before sending the U.S. military against Libya only if the constitution and their collective oaths of office to it - mean anything at all.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  30. Patsy,Texas

    Jack, where does it say in the Constitution that Congress must be
    consulted before any military action is taken in another Country,
    short of declaration of war, unless such action is being done by
    a Republican President (Grenada), which apparently is just fine,
    or by a Democrat (Libya), which then the babies have to be
    told. They have complained so much that they are now like the
    boy who cried "Wolf", and anything they gripe about rings hollow.
    Kucinich never makes sense anyway, so he just needs to go to
    his room and play with his new tooth, which I presume the
    taxpayers bought him by virtue of his lawsuit. Thank you

    March 22, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  31. Mark from Cleveland

    In one word "NO!" The President is well within his powers to act when he deems it necessary for 60 days then he must go to Congress. Checks and balances people! I just sent the "Congressman" a message stating he needs to focus on Cleveland and not his political agenda or aliens. Electing Kucinich to eight terms is an impeachable offense. Hopefully people in this area wake-up and vote this turkey out of office. Love your show Wolf and Jack!

    March 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  32. Herman Portland OR

    I feel that in this case our President should have consulted with Congress and the American people. The knee jerk reaction to the UN's request may have satisfied them but not Congress or the American people. If the end result was the same, the promise of transparency and the administrations position on war in general has been the oposite of what he just did. The cost short term and the risk of revolt or additional terrorist acts because of this action may be costly or acceptable. Only time will tell.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  33. William Vancouver wa.

    The congress is entitled to it's opinion and so am I.
    President Obama did what was right and necessary. He shouldn't worry about impeachment by the time congress gets around to it he will have finished his second term. We are in it now so the congress needs to stick a cork in it, and do something else they're not good at like coming up with a budget.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  34. Dave in Arizona

    If he would have they would have screwed it up. They would have delayed everything until they figured out a way to get paid off it, or make their friends money. Already the grandstanding has started.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  35. Craig R. McNees

    Tampa, Fl Our nation is in turmoil with numerous crisis that demand our leaders attention. So Obama goes on vacation and leaves a note to invade Lybia and hold the mail until he gets back. It is Congress's job to declare war on foreign nations, not the President at his whim. It is also Congress's job to impeach a President when they break the law, but apparently they too have been on vacation since Nixon. Everyone get ready for Vietnam Part III.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  36. Ken from California

    Why should he talk to the party of "No"? They don't want to hear anything he says let alone go along with him. Then there are many Democrats that are war weary, and no point talking to them.

    We have been in too many unnecessary wars since WW2, and haven't declared war on anyone since 1942.
    It is about time to consider both the President and Congress agreeing to declare aggression on other nations for good reason.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  37. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    yes AND he should have done it in Febuary when it became apparent that Kadhafi was going to slaughter any protestors.

    I think that helping the rebels with a "no fly zone" and preventing a genocide was the moral thing for the United States and our allies to do BUT ANY President should at least advise or, better yet, consult with Congress before taking military action.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  38. Paul Austin, Texas

    NO, Bush didn't because he was the desider. If a President would have to wait for Congress it would take at least four years to come to a yah or nay. They can always cut off funding if the action is so unpopular.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  39. Ed from California

    Why? He's doing exactly what the "American-way-of-life-flag-waving-Republicans", were all in arms about, two weeks ago, and yelling about, this whole time! "Let's attack, Gaddafi. NOW!".

    Ok, were doing it, Newt, were doing it, Huck, were doing it, FOX"news"! Besides, Jack. Congress is controlled by the War loving Republicans that "we" all voted in! "This is what the American people want", says Bohner, all the time!

    The French started it by blowing up his tent, and making it personal. It wasn't us. Our involvement will not last long. Pres Obama did the right thing. The Saudi's, The British and The French, are putting up manpower and money. This whole thing is about making a level playing field for the Lybian's to get a grip of their country.

    Didn't we have a Revolution, Jack?

    March 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  40. Dave, Huntington, NY

    I’m having feelings of déjà vu all over again. It seems like eight years ago. Are we talking about Bush or Obama? Thoughts of no congressional approval, a coalition of one doing all the heavy lifting, no clearly articulated objective, no definition of winning, no end game play, no plan for withdrawal and so forth keep running through my head.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  41. Sandra Ellis

    No, I don't think there was time to consult Congress. President Obama did not want to do this but was forced to do it to save all those people in Libya. I just hope none of our Congressmen would ever have to have their life or fate decided by Congress debating it. All those people in Libya would have been shot by the time Congress decided anything. I am so prould of our President.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  42. FreedToChoose

    Well, yes and then again no. Our history is filled with past Presidents who consulted with Congress and those who did not. He decided to do what he thought was the right thing at the time.

    Agree or disagree, history confirms he can do so.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  43. oliver silva


    Yet that hole in the Constitution has been there since the founders drafted it, and neither side of the aisle has ever or will ever seek to amend it. Why? It allows them to ride the fence politically until they can see how military operations are being waged and perceived.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  44. Debi

    So many of us are getting SICK of all the Obama bashing. This President step into a total mess, people seem dead set on blaming him for all the problems from the last President. President Obama is here for the people, and I believe we need to start backing him instead of moaning and groanig about everything and everthing.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  45. Puffdragon

    I keep seeing a lot of the Republicans on TV condemning President Obama for actions in Libya. Where were these indignant politicians when Bush invaded Iraq without justification? That cost us 10 years of involvement and many US soldiers lives and for what? There was nothing ever done about Bush's decision in Iraq, though I think he should have been impeached. That's water under the bridge. At least Obama is acting on and supporting a justified UN decision which we are a member of. I don't believe I could vote for someone like Ron Paul or Luger who are basically bashing a President based on political affiliation.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  46. Mark B Graham 2012

    As a American and also a candidate in 2012 for President I think us having troops meaning ships aircaft and subs over there in Libya enforcing the so call No Fly Zone is a waste of time and money.We need to have our troops home and not thin them out any more as they are already.As i was watching CNN they had a report of the rebels that are fighting Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's troops could be linked to other groups.my question is why cant there be enough support from other Nations or even members from the United Nations handle the problem without us getting involved.Or we could do like most other Countries and let then solve it them self the Middle East has been fighting for thousand of years lets get America back on track Mr Presidant

    March 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  47. andyz Lynn, MA

    Yup. Have you noticed that our presidents seem place themselves above any and all laws? As our congress proves itself impotent in the governance of our country, power is usurped by the incumbent in the oval office. With an apathetic voting citizenry how many more years before we become a dictatorship?

    March 22, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  48. Kris

    It wouldn’t have mattered; Congress would have voted yes, because they are as clueless as Obama. We should not be in Libya – we are in debit, basically China's be-otch, and we can't help the 99ers, but we can waste more money in another Middle Eastern country. We are suffering as a people, but our government seems to be completely blind to our pain. This is why we should NEVER put someone in the White House again, who has limited national experience and zero international experience; Obama has made numerous bone-headed decisions and Congress just goes along for the ride.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  49. CGC

    If consulting Congress is as difficult on this issue as it is on others, American intervention with its allies would be light-years away!

    Guelph, Ontario

    March 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  50. Joe CE

    He should have had discussions with the leaders. More than that would have bogged things down.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  51. Cy Gardner

    Is there a wrong way to do the right thing? Our basis for action is much more solid and truthful than the sham that got us into Iraq. The critics of this venture fall into two camps: those that abhor war under any circumstances and those who attack Barrack Obama under any circumstances. One of these camps would have felt the exact same way if George Bush had done it. And the other consists of liars and hypocrits. Cy - Arlington, va

    March 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  52. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Yes, i think he might have mentioned it to them anyway. Bill Clinton did the same stuff with Bosnia so this is nothing new. It is very hard to explain how Libya was an immediate security threat to America and why he could not wait for congresses approval. I think Obama finds it easier to ask for forgiveness then for permission. Circumventing the laws of the United States has become a hobby for Obamas entire administration.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  53. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Yes, i think he might have mentioned it to them anyway. Bill Clinton did the same stuff with Bosnia so this is nothing new. It is very hard to explain how it was an immediate security threat to America and he could not wait for congresses approval. I think Obama finds it easier to ask for forgiveness then for permission. Circumventing the laws of the United States has become a hobby for his entire administration.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  54. Jason, Koloa HI

    Does it really matter anymore Jack? Do you still believe that America or any country still has anything to do with what's happening in the world? If you don't see the workings of the New World Order by now and the power they have over world governments, world banks, and all the worlds people, then I seriously doubt your ability to make any rational judgements. There is nothing moral, or just, or righteous in any of the decisions being made by anybody in power for quite some time.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  55. Tom (Atlanta)

    It becomes a technical questions, but as I understand there are situations in which the President needs only to inform congress and then ones he must consult and yet others "war" in which he must get Congress approval. Into which category does this fall? Congress approved a state of "war" in the Iraq situation. This sure looks like Iraq to me, i.e., we are intervening to over through an abusive dictator. So, yes. He should have I imagine he'll argue that he did.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  56. Peg in NY

    That is what a President is supposed to do. It would have been the wise thing to do. Did Dubya ask before he invaded Iraq or Afghanistan? If not, that may have sent a bad message and set a bad precedent. It seems we are getting primed for WWIII.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  57. Dennis In Florida

    HELL YES ! ! !

    He shouldn’t get into the middle of a civil war.

    He should also speak with his economic advisors to learn what deficit means and why the US is broke.

    The DOD and Sec. of Defense seemed to have good reasons for staying out as well.

    For a peace loving man, he sure seems to be butting into a lot of other people’s quarrels.


    March 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  58. Mike, NH

    Jack, he complied with the letter of the law regarding the War Powers Act. That being said, during the weeks he smoozed the Arab League and UN, he certainly could have been working Congress harder.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  59. Matt

    The President is the Commander- In- Chief of our military as stated in the Constitution, and doesn’t need to consult with anyone about using the military in Libya. If Congress doesn’t like it, they have control of the money.

    Matt, Vancouver, WA

    March 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  60. Lorne, San Luis Obispo, California

    If consulting with Congress was constitutionally required in this matter–and there seems to be plenty of confusion as to whether it was or not–then yes; if not, no. Members of Congress critisized him for going too slow, members are currently critisizing him for going too fast. As in most political conundrums, hindsight is the court of last resort.: If the Libyan "war" goes well, he's right; if not, he's wrong.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  61. David of Alexandria VA

    Gee, that would have been nice, wouldn't it? I mean, we just sent a bunch of our folks to war. The last couple of wars weren't very well understood and not very popular. They shot off $200M in missiles in the first six hours. Constituents would like to know what for, for how long, and at what cost - ya think?

    March 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  62. Andy in Vancouver, BC

    Constitutionally? Certainly. Practically? Nope. All of these representatives that accuse Obama of "dithering" should realize that they've been pushing the due date for the budget back for months. Who knows how long it would have taken them to figure out what to do with Libya.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  63. Andrew

    US Military should announce that they get targeting information from within Gaddafi military – this will have him guess a bit more !

    President should not wait for Congress – can you imagine the delay ?

    March 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  64. Jim M in Lehighton,PA.

    Congress..we don't need no stinkin Congress..just follow the Bush doctrine..err make that the Cheney doctrine..hey it worked for Iraq version 1.0 and 2.0 ..why not for Iraq version 3.0.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  65. Lee Sohlden

    What is not being said enough – Gaddafi is right now having people hauled out of their houses in Tripoli to be killed. He has been doing this continually now for 3 weeks on a massive basis. I believe anything we can do to stop this killing, we should do.

    That said, no, there is really no time to consult congress when this many people are getting killed.

    Anyone in Congress who objects to us funding the operations in Libya should come right out and just flat out state they don't care how many people Gaddafi is killing. If they don't care, I guess they can object to the money being spent.

    What Obama is trying to do is balance the needs of the people of Libya who are crying to be kept alive, with what is politically expedient in this country. If he can promise no US troops on the ground, that right there is a great plus for him to get the support of US citizens.

    As for me – I have been in the military. Even though pushing retirement age – not only do I support us being in Libya to help the people there – I would go myself and put myself in harms way. The people of Libya need heros. And they need them right now.

    Peace everyone. For those of you who don't want us to help, maybe you can at least say a prayer for the people being dragged off, tortured, and killed by the hour in Tripoli.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  66. Greg in Arkansas

    I would imagine that the President DID consult with select members of Congress....say the members of the intelligence committee, foreign affairs committee and the like....BUT....since he didn't consult with the whole House, some are bound to complain.

    However, given the rate at which congress has been approving action on anything.....(you know....things like jobs, the budget, spending, etc)...I sincerely doubt that there could have been any action approved against Libya before thousands, if not millions of innocent civilians were massacared while members of congress did their usual grandstanding and political posturing.
    Some members of Congress seem to think that consultation should lead to consent and right now, consensus can wait.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  67. Dan Barthel

    Since Truman and Korea, no one bothers to declare war anymore. So why should this president bother?

    March 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  68. Jenna

    Should President Obama have consulted with Congress before sending the U.S. military against Libya?

    No. Because president Obama did not wage war against Libya, he is only providing secondary support to a No Fly Zone in a NON Leadership role.

    The GOP and DINO's need to get over themselves.

    He as president has the right to do this without their blessings!

    Roseville CA

    March 22, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  69. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    Of course, the far right doesn’t think it’s constitutional for President Obama to send in the military, or do anything… including to be President. But Obama does have a precedent from President Reagan for attacking Libya without a congressional act of war. Reagan cited an article in the U.N. charter for his raid. Likewise did Obama. The truth is that past presidents have not used congressional declarations of war since 1941. Every military act since then has been under the premise of a 'police action'. COnsulting congress on anything these days drives the government into a quagmire, much like our recent wars.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  70. Chris



    Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution says "Congress shall have power to ... declare War".

    Not the executive branch.

    Let's start calling President Obama, George W. Bush Jr..

    -Chris, Orlando

    March 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  71. Jane (Minnesota)

    Why? The rate things make it (or actually don't make these days) thru Congress the rebels would have been wiped out by the time they supported it.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  72. Sid

    As far as I am concerned the President consulted and informed the leadership in congress and sure he will meet with them when he is back. No big deal...

    March 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  73. lou tran

    Who should care about it any more Jack !
    Muammar Gaddafi and bunch of dictators in middle east and north affrica should have gone a long long time ago. American politicians have done second to nothing about it.
    I was a big fan of Obama, very disappointed about what he has done since taking office but wondering now what kind of show he put on. It's strange.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  74. Rob in Brooklyn

    yes. at this point we don't have the resources or the men to be starting a possible third war.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  75. Paul

    Hello Jack,
    This is a another case of Dam if you Do and Dam if you dont for the president.What should he do? sit on the side line and allow Libya mental case leader to slaughter inocent people.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  76. Jeff

    Why is everyone so upset about president Obama's supposed mis-speak about our role in Libya? He made it clear from the begining
    that our role in Libya is to protect the lives of civilians. Everyone has known, or at least should have known that our Policy has been that Quidafy must go for the last forty years. All the senators or representatives should quit trying to make political Hay.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  77. thom richer

    Probably. However, he would have just been criticized for being indecisive and weak by the can do no wrong Right. Had Bush proceeded with just such caution and Congressional cooperation, we would not be in the Mid-East fighting two unjustifiable and illegal wars and Libya would not have happened. At this point we have not gone to war or invaded Libya, so Obama has thus far taken legal action. Further military and troop involvement without Congressional ok, would be wrong. Gadhafi must be taken out of power by any means and this is the perfect "legal" and justifiable opportunity to rid the world of a mass murderer. Not to do so would be the real crime.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    March 22, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  78. Bethany, Dublin Ohio

    He is the Commander-In-Chief. And if he went to Congress, they would still be arguing about it! The Republicans don't care if it is the right thing to do or not, they will go against him every time. Now they will start yelling for impeachment. Many Republicans have said that they won't rest till he is ousted from the White House. He didn't go to Congress before he ordered the pirates who held the Maersk Alabama commander to be taken out!

    March 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  79. david

    I have to say I am not behind the Libya thing 100%, but getting congress to make any kind of rational decision is going beyond the realm of wishful thinking! After all if you asked this congresss to find their butt with both hands, they would most likely fail 9 out of 10 times!
    Dave from NH.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  80. David in Citrus Heights CA.

    Damned if you do, and damned if you dont for the our President I suppose. Compliants about the U.S. always being the worlds police were thwarted this time when Obama rightfully waited for broad international participation before finally following other countries and lending our muscle.
    It wasn`t long ago that I remember many of our "fine political figures" begging the President to intervene, and now that he has, he was wrong in how he did it?.....I guess sometimes, you just can`t win!

    March 22, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  81. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    While I'm not a fan of the idea of the no-fly-zone, I don't think Obama needed to wait to get the "blessings" of the do nothing Congress. As long as we (the US) aren't "in charge" after a couple of days, then I don't have a problem with what he did. If we're still "in charge" in a week, then I might be shifting my opinion. On the other hand, we sure as hell don't need another war with Muslims.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  82. adem

    The constitution says yes. He should have consulted withe congress, not following Bush's doctrine.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  83. Donna from Wisconsin

    How can a No-Fly Zone be unconstitutional for Obama but it wasn't for the 12 years over Iraq? I swear everyone including his own party, is out to get this guy! Lay Off!! We have never had a President who knows the Constitution like Obama! He taught it for Pete's sake! I am happy with him and am tired of all the negative tripe! You really want Palin in there? Or Donald Trump? Be very careful what you wish for! I for one am leaving for Canada should Republicans win in 2012. I already have to deal with Walker here in Wisconsin.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  84. Roger

    Harry Truman did not get Congressional approval for the Korean War. He did get UN approval. He need to move quickly to stop the North invasion of the south.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  85. Nancy, Tennessee

    President Bush got Congressional approval for Iraq before going before the U.N. which was construed as a trick. President Obama tried it a different way – he got approval from the U.N. and the Arab League for a no fly zone. He then acted while the iron was hot and Great Britain and France were ready to help. Unless he has directly violated the Constitution, Congress needs to continue to talk to their constituents this week and return to work next week with some solutions of how to get our economy moving again.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  86. Kevin in CA

    No the President shouldn't have consulted Congress – they would do nothing and don't have any credibility anyway.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  87. AzRose

    I believe Obama should have advised Congress of his intentions in Libya. There is more at stake than his mission like the costs involved and his intended duration of the air strikes. The American people deserve to know what the President is doing with our money and so does our Congressional leaders. The letter he sent to Congress was not good enough, he was telling them he had the authority to act as he did but I wonder if he really does have the authority without Congress.

    Rose, Glendale, AZ

    March 22, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  88. RickFromDetroit

    The President should have consulted Congress, but it does not surprise me any that he didn't and it probably wouldn't have done any good anyway since the Congress is as "trigger happy" as the President.

    Over the past 30 years the U.S. has invaded and overthrown the governments of Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan and to a lesser degree Yugoslavia, so I guess another invasion doesn't surprise anyone.

    We continue to preach freedom and democracy to the entire world, but we are always forcing the people of foreign countries to elect officials that we want running the country.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  89. Gary H. Boyd

    Having served only 2 years in Government before becoming President it"s obvious Barack Obama really isn't what could be called a "Constitutional lawyer". For that reason some of what he says and does, such as committing military action without consulting Congress, is understandable and can be chalked up to simple ignorance rather than callous disregard for the rules. However, the fact that some in Congress are upset is certainly justified. After all, this is supposed to be a nation of laws.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    March 22, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  90. russell

    The attacks on Libya will only lead to more chaos and instability in the middle east. Very few middle east countries will give military support and a few will arm and aid Libya, it will only provide Al Qeda with another vital nesting place. Libya is fighting armed rebels every one keeps painting the picture that they are unarmed civilians. When you attempt to overthrow a goverment there are going to be innocent lifes lost.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  91. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    Gaddafi was counting on it, and realized the Congress wasn't in session. That's why he had the giddy-ups on his cavalry.

    Ideally Congress would have been in session. Ideally it would have been consulted. The ideal was something the people in Benghazi couldn't afford to wait for.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  92. steve garrard

    should the president have consulted congress-- yes did i expect him to consulted congress--- no obama is so arrogent he rams through anything, his lame brain, thinks is a good idea, if he had supported mubarak as he should have, in egypt , since he was an ally of the united states for over 30 years, instead , he turned his back on him, and know the whole mideast is in turmoil. also, john mcain needs to just shut up,ever since on his televised debate said, that americans have nothing to worry about if obama is elected. what an idiot!!! i knew at that point ,he lost the election. know the only advice obama takes from maccain is to enforce a no fly zone over lybia, when will america learn to mind our own bussiness, and stop murdering innocent civilians and calling them collateral damages!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  93. laura

    The congress cannot even agree on a budget,never mind wanting to debate a dictator killing his people,and what to do about it.Thousands would have died while they puffed and huffed to the cameras,and stood outside the congress looking for tv cameras for attention, never coming up with real answers.We voted in Republicans to make a budget and to work on the economy and jobs,and all they want to talk about is abortion,planned parenthood,NPR,and light bulbs.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  94. Mr. D

    Why is this sounding like a "broken record?" Obama (Hillary) probably realized that congress would sit and haggle over the issue for who knows how long. If something was going to be done, it had to be soon. I don't know if congress is capable of making a logical and timey decision.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  95. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    The Obama administration DID brief congressional leaders. Former president Bush asserted that he did not need congressional approval to invade Iraq so why is congress upset when president Obama is participating in establishing a UN Security Counsel approved NFZ? The neo-cons worked very hard to concentrate power in the executive branch, but it seems they never considered that a Democrat might someday wield that power.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  96. Matt McClamrock

    Atlanta, GA

    Yes. Is this the Bush Administration? I voted for Obama because I believed in the change. So far there has been little change...especially in doing what the people want. But it seems we're more interested in the rights of citizens of other nations and not in the civil rights of those here in America, especially those in Wisconsin and other states where what's going on has a true effect on the people of our nation, whereas we are not effected on a day to day basis by Japan, Egypt, Libya or any other oil bearing nation.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  97. Renee Peoria,Ill

    Personally, I agree with this decision, but his critics have a point. He should have consulted Congress on this more thoroughly. It's also not the first time he's acted very unlike the man who ran for office. Is this some sort of political disease? Once you win the election you undergo personality changes? I'd like the Senator Obama who represented my state so well back. I thought that's who I was electing to the W.H. But if they're going to try and impeach him over this then we need to go back and revisit the illegality of Bush and Cheney getting us into the Iraq war. Fair is fair.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  98. Ann from Charleston SC

    According to my limited understanding of the Consitution, he didn't need to. Should he have done so? Only to feed the egos of our arrogant congressmen.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  99. Susan from Idaho

    Nope, even a blind man could see it needed to happen. If some of those nitwits are offended, they can build a bridge and get over it.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  100. Lori Zachariah

    No, Jack, I do not. I feel Naysayers to the President, when he was responding to a U.N. approved mandate, should be tried for treason.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  101. Janet

    No more than he did. If congress people could keep their mouths shut, maybe they could be trusted with more info.

    Franklin, NC

    March 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  102. Bob Kobs

    Prez Obama consulted with Congress. Either you were asleep or you simply did not listen. The president invited Republican and democratic leaders to the WH after he met with his NSC. They represent Congress.

    You do not expect the president to hold a Townhall type of meeting so the T-hadists and narcissistic idiots like Kucinnichi would tie his hands. The prez did well and opinion polls across the country, the world and global media support him. try reading European media. it is different from the hackery and quackery that is MSM in America today.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  103. Spencer

    No, Jack, I beleive President Obama did the correct thing. With all the time Congress takes to get the simplest of legislation passed, it would have been too late. I, as well as many other Americans do not want to see another Rwanda whilest lawmakers fumble over what to do.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  104. johnnie from Tamarac

    President is dam if he do and dam if he dont!! He will always have complaints from Congress no mateer what he does.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  105. Doug in Tampa

    The President, formerly a constitutional law professor, should know there has to be a congressional authorization for the use of force. It's not a left or right issue, it is a constitutional issue. Time for him to give back his Nobel.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  106. cindy phillips

    If he had consulted them, they'd have wasted time debating the issue while Libyan civilains were murdered. No...he should not have consulted them. Sometimes a President needs to make a decision.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  107. Cathy

    Obama and the Democrats should be called out for all the things regarding Libya that they have been whining about Bush doing in Iraq.
    Plain and simple-they shouldn't be such HYPOCRITES. Either it's ok or it isn't.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  108. Howard form Novato, CA

    Far too many times Presidents take actions that they think are justified but they are not always in conformity with the law. It is time to end the War Powers Act, which is constantly being abused by both parties, and bring an end to the blank check for waging war by any president. Constitutional authority to wage war is embedded in our constitution. Let us not follow the constitution just when it happens to be convenient.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  109. dave in nashville

    No, he should not have even considered the idea of intervening much less asking the members of whatever it's called...congress?

    March 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  110. kate sprouls

    why bother? they have not been, nor are they currently listening to one another. perhaps if they would play nice int he sandbox, information would be shared, ideas elicited, and, dare i say it? actions be aligned to the best interests of our nation.
    – kate
    washington, dc

    March 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  111. bob in florida

    Consulted with Congress? Jack, are you out of your mind? Presidents have a long history of NOT consulting with Congress, for good reason.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  112. Jon Altmann, Senior Chief Intel Specialist, USN (Ret)

    The President skirted the line on the War Powers Act. It is apparent he would have bi-partisan support and currently has support in the polls. He should have done a speech to the nation on this. Lots of people want Khadfi's scalp – I don't see why he missed the opp to follow the Act precisely.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  113. Robin

    No Jack! Do you really think he could afford to wait another year for Congress to debate and make up their minds before helping a country that was on the brink of a massacre! The President's leadership is to be commended in this instance.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  114. Kathleen

    Since there was a UN resolution in place and there are no troops on the ground and ANYTHING President Obama does will be bogged down in partisan bickering....... NO!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  115. Ron, WA

    Obama probably should have consulted congress since he took enough time before acting but at a minimum he should have formally invoked the War Powers Act

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  116. Von Shipman

    Yes! This was not a major security issue that involves the protection US citizens or interests. He went to all the foreign powers but failed to gain the input of key congressional leaders. He should suffer the consequences of his actions.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  117. Doug

    From South Carolina.....This president would do well to study Theodore Roosevelt...walk softly and carry a big stick....he has it reversed...talks loudly and has no punch!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  118. Randall Roorbach

    The congress should impeach President Obama for acting unconstitutionally in attacking a sovereign nation when we were not under attack nor in an emergency situation. I voted for him, I am very disappointed that he would act in this way. The action should have been debated and voted on by congress before being undertaken. Simply saying it was constitutional does not make is so.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  119. Dempsey

    Why tell Congress? So they can grandstand and dither about for the next month while the rebels and civilians get slaughtered and end up doing nothing? When was the last time we actually declared war anyway Jack?

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  120. Doc In Tampa

    He can campiagn for 30 Dyas, before he has to consult congress..

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  121. Jiim Ingraham

    The president is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Why should he give the decision to a Congress that only likes to argue and rarely gets anything done?

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  122. Mark

    No Jack. Congress can't get anything done as it stands now. All they would do is hold hearing after hearing. The republicans would try to fund the operations with tax cuts, and the democrats would put limits on what, where, and when the military could do it. Congress needs to get THEIR house first.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  123. Stan, Canada

    Sure Jack, by the time Congress makes a decision, based on current paralysis, the 2016 elections will have been decided.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  124. Thomas Lawrenson

    There hasn't been a declaration of war since 1942. Obama notified the leaders of Congress on Friday before any military action by the US occured.

    Tom L, Kansas City, MO

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  125. Frankie

    By the time the Republicans and the Tea Party pretended to agree to have a meeting about voting on a resolution to vote about Libya, a whole lot of brave Libyan freedom fighters would have died.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  126. Gerard

    Absolutely not!!! He is the President of the United States, and his judgement after whomever he met with (security advisors) is sufficient. Congress can't agree on ANYTHING! Why waste time with congree when they're playing with silly issues... We don't have time for this! Gadhafi is an evil man who is destroying his own people! Our chief of staFf need not ask "mommy" for a cookie.. This is his damn job!!!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  127. Gordy

    Yes he should have. And show me the US policy where it states that ANY leader from ANY country needs to go. It sounds like the personal Bush war of later years.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  128. Jun Orteza

    Pres. Obama has the executive powers just like any other presidents to exercise powers as in the military against Libya.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  129. Ken in Oregon

    Yes, but since WWII no President has. And given that congress can't agree on anything, the entire Libyan population would have been wiped out by the Tyrant before our congress could agree on the right procedure to use to discuss the rules for discussing our involvement in Libya. Given that, can you blame President Obama for bypassing them?

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  130. kazz

    People will complain no matter what Obama does or does not do. We voted for him and a little more support and a lot less whining would do us all a lot of good. I have faith and confidence in his leadership.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  131. L Mig

    Where were these guys when Bush went into Iraq? THAT was unconstitutional. A war we're still waging. A war that has cost more lives than the 911 tragedy and left us still holding the bag all these years later. Give me a break. Impeachment? Then I say take Bush down with him.

    Freehold NY

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  132. Loren Rowton

    If Obama consulted with congress over the no fly zone in Libya, congress would still be arguing about it and thousands of Libyans would be dead and dying today.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  133. Butch F.

    I believe it is within the Constitution rights of the President to do exactly what he did. So, I'll answer your question with a question. Did G. W. Bush ask Congress before attacking Iraq? I doubt it.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  134. Steve Anderson

    Of course he should have received Congressional approval. Even George W. Bush did that, the second time!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  135. Tracy Cohen Oregon

    No! He is following the same pattern as Presidents since WWI! It is GREAT to have a Democratic President who is as cautious and decisive as pres. Obama. Friday in the WH situation room all parties were made aware of our impending action. We heard nothing from congress till after missiles flew. Hypocrisy at it's finest!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  136. tj

    Not one president has declared war since WW 2. And why inform the same cry babies of what you are about to do so they can complain a few days earlier than the are now. What ever happened to the words"Element of suprise". Hell just call Gadafi and tell him what you are about to do so he can move his misssels..

    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  137. David Hirsch

    I am not a fan of President Obama. No, he should not have consulted Congress. The president is in charge of Foreign Policy for the US and under the War Powers resolution he has the power to commit US forces without Congressional approval. If President Obama had consulted Congress it would have been on CNN before the military knew about it..

    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  138. Jiim Ingraham

    The president is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Why should he give the decision to a Congress that only likes to argue and rarely gets anything done?

    Ft.Myers, FL

    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  139. Marcus

    It appears, based on your own story, that the president consulted with members of Congress. The president met with Congressional leaders. How many other people does the president need to meet with before he can move forward? All 535 members?

    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  140. Wadler


    Those members of Congress coming out and lashing at Obama: that's no surprise to me. These are all the same folks who were previously saying he needs to take swift action. Now, they are against him? Tell Kucinich and the other pinheads to give the American people a break. I need to some Kool-Aid

    –Wadler (Michigan)

    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  141. Gigi Oregon

    No. In my opinion, Congress has already proven they have too much on their hands. They haven't passed a budget, worked on a jobs bill and a dozen other serious problems. One of which is their low approval rating by the people. Mrs. Clinton and President Obama have a higher rating than congress could ever dream up. And media would be better off reporting the news rather than creating it. They also need to work on their approval rating.

    If President Obama puts on a Air Force suit and declares "Mission accomplished" I might change my opinion.

    And on a good note...isn't it wonderful that the US plane shot down in Libya. The Libyan people who rescued the US pilots appreciated their efforts.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  142. John Unger

    Yes, Congress should have been fully briefed and have their majority approval.

    On the last request for comments on this subject, I find it odd that your program does not also comment on what the so called american people think. Pro and Con. Just another way to vent opinions and no one knows. too bad.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  143. Margaret Taylor

    It's a no win situation issue for the President. If he had asked Congress he would still be at fault for asking. If he had done nothing,he would have been blamed for not doing something. Get over it people and let the President do his job.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  144. rick

    I think Obama gave enough information. As leaky as Congress is, you can't take a sneeze without some staffer or Congressman leaking it to the press. By keeping the information limited to what is necessary they prohibit leaking any semiclassified information and letting the Ghadafi know what we're doing. I really don't know if we're at a war or not so other than the press indicating its a war, it could fall under the war powers act.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  145. Martin Wielgus

    Of course he should have consulted with Congress. Obama has been something of a disappointment, and I say that as a liberal. The Republicans have little to offer in response besides their venom. So we are really stuck.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  146. Brian L

    No I do not agree Pres Obama should have consulted Congress. Under the current fluid situation in Libya, a decision needed to be made quickly. As Commander and Chief, I fully support his decision and fully support the troops.


    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  147. Dan Raymond


    Heck no. If the President had to consult with a congress that can't agree on anything, every Libian would be DEAD before they came to a decision about a fly zone.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  148. Paula Williamson

    Although I cannot stand Obama and don't agree with much of what he has done and think he is a very poor leader, I have to say that this time he acted within his rights as President of the United States. The president did not declare war.....therefore, he did not have to consult with Congress. These Congressmen who are raising such an uproar should read the Constitution of the United States.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  149. kazz

    What suddenly makes Congress so important anyway? What have they done for us lately?

    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  150. Richard Curren

    The president had the unique ability to stop a massacre. If he had waited for a decision from the obstructionist congress the massacre would have been long over.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  151. bob kegress

    where were all these people when reagan,both bushes,and clinton sent our miltay without going to congress first. obama only did what nato authorized

    March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  152. Bob Doss

    Congress has a fragile ego - President Obama has stuck his finger in their eye too many times, which is at the root of today's gridlock.

    Of course he should have consulted with them - and then done what he was going to do anyway.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  153. Don - Michigan

    Ask congress? HA. Maybe they would have made a decision by next Spring...

    March 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  154. Mike F

    The U.S. is a member of NATO and the UN. If we had done nothing and allowed those Libyan people to get slaughtered, we would be criticized. Since we are doing our part, we are being criticized.
    However, the worse offense would have been to stand by and do nothing while those people were struggling to obtain their freedom.
    Where would we be if the French had not come to our aid during our Revolution?
    It is in our best interests for democracy to be established in the Middle East and Africa. Backing the Libyan rebels will allow us to help that become a reality. In the long run, it is the right thing to do.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  155. Linda Richards

    Yes. Like George Bush and a whole lot of others, our presidents are exercising too much power and then getting lawyers to make it okay. We should have impeached Bush but since we did not, it seems a bit ridiculous to go after Obama. Take a look around. Governors, Senators, Congressman–all kinds of politicians are acting more like dictators and kings. I might add that it seems absurd to talk about Gadafi and war crimes in the same sentence after invasion of Iraq and use of torture. The new policy is to act first and then to get a lawyer smart enough to make it legal.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  156. R Schloemer

    We haven't had a declared war since WWII because it's too odious to the American public. That said, we've fought major conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq (1 and 2) and Afghanistan and dozens of minor conflicts both with and without Congressional permission. Congress has repeatedly deferred to the President on these issues because they don't want the blame, they simply want the political room to criticize. Why complain about this now? Either remove the War Powers Resolution and recognize war for what it is, or be silent in your cowardice behind the shield of congressional anonymity. As it stands, we are only doing what any other hegemonic state would do in our position and I have no issue with our actions thus far in Libya.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  157. Martin Collins Jr

    The President is only required to obtain permission for congress for an exact declaration of war. The U.S. Marine Corps is known as the Presidents own and he can send the military anywhere he wants for a maximum of 90 days.. I don't see any point in him consulting a congress that can't even agree on a budget or work together for the good of our own people. The trend here is that President Obama is damned if he did and damned if he didnt... I find it ironic that when President Bush was in office no one ever complained about the thousands of deaths in Iraq, now this President does things the correct way by going to the United Nations building international support, ensuring the American citizens that were in country were out before launching any form of attacks. THIS IS A SMART PRESIDENT

    March 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  158. Nicholas Swann,CNN iReporter,"Slick Nick"

    With the bombing of Libya being a major decision where world governments and people lives are involved, Obama made a critical mistake. He must have had "A wheel in the sand"

    March 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  159. Joe Bates

    Why, so they could jam up the works arguing endlessly about it, so these roosters could make a big show of it. There was no time. And if the president had not have acted when he did, they would be belly aching about the fact that he didn't move quickly enough to save lives.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  160. John

    Obama Can't Win. He took to much time, if he went sooner, he looked before he leaped. He went when he had everything in place, with out telling our enemy his plans. He did contact congress. If this would have been said about Bush, Congress leaders would have been accused of being un-American. Politics, and war is like Gas on fire.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  161. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Congress was "out to lunch". It still is!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  162. Eric LeGros

    These actions by the US military are honorable and completely in line with the President's authority AND with the precedent set by President Regan, who fired on Tripoli with the intent of killing the murderer Gadaffi. Good for President Obama.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  163. Rose

    It's hard to consult with Congress if they're on vacation every time you turn around. Thanks Mr. Boehner – and where are the jobs?

    Nashville, TN

    March 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  164. Richard Curren

    President Obama had the unique ability to stop a massacre. If he had waited for a decision from the obstructionist congress the massacre would have been long over.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  165. Jeremy

    If Obama would have waited, more civilians would have died and he would have gotten blamed for that.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  166. Randy

    NO! He got the ok from his bosses in israel through aipac. The american people and congress are irrelevant.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  167. Liz

    Yes! The United States military does not belong to the president to use as he sees fit. It belongs to the people of the United States and our president has a duty to consult our elected leaders before taking such actions against a country that hasn't attacked us.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  168. Volker Zaun

    Jack –

    Haven't you heard? Our president gets his marching orders from the UN, not from Congress.


    March 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  169. Eduardo I. Rojas

    No Jack;

    Once again Republicans are attacking President Obama.

    Where were they when G. W. Bush was trampling the Constitution, right and left. They were all very silent. As for the Democrats, they were deadly afraid of being accused of been 'Unpatriotic".
    Republican and Hypocrisy go hand-in-hand.
    Thanks. E. I. Rojas

    March 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  170. Edward Smith

    Consulting with Congress would have made a mess of things. There are so many divergent views that nothing decisive would have come out of it. They can't even pass a 2010 budget.

    Khadaffi has American blood on his hands. What else is needed? Ron Paul is being silly with his potification. Kucinich and his Department of Peace is even more so. Let the President do his job. This is a well calculated gamble which may work out for the USA. If it is successful (and things have been going well) and a democratic Libyan opposition prevails, Obama will become one of our greatest Presidents.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  171. Terry Fayetteville, NC

    In a perfect world, Yes. But in a perfect world, the US Congress would have more adults than overgrown brats that can't even read the Constitution.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  172. Francis Eze Anyanwu

    We cannot continue to play politics with everything in this country especially when the security and interest of United Sttes are involved. That explains why these folks in Washington cannot get anything done except bickering. President Obama is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of United States...end of story.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  173. josie

    Heck no!!! and im sure if he did, they would have still let him go to libya!!!so why waiste time? moreover, when people are dying before our eyes, lets be human people...there is no thinking twice to rescue them!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  174. Ally

    Hell no! Through out the history Presidents have used their power to intervene around the world. Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton have done that . Congress approve is down.They are bunch of Whiners.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  175. Dwight

    Oh who are these people who lead us? Where was their outcry when the idea of a no-fly zone was bouncing around? The President is wrong for not helping the civilians, he is wrong for FINALLY getting involved...he might be wrong for them, but he is perfect for me!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  176. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    If every President is going to consult the congress for every decision he makes even with a small intervention in Libya which it is but a small intervention so far, we wouldn't have a President in the White House.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  177. Manna Sharma from NY

    No way! It's a bunch of nay-sayers-talk-nonsense-forever-never-decide-anything type of Congress that we have. To hell with them! I'd say sack them all and send them to pick oranges or something- they'll at least be productive! Btw, what do these nuts want? Wait till we have another Rwanda? We can't keep barking about democracy and not do anything when it comes to supporting people that really WANT it! It is fantastic to see US go with other countries and the UN in this action.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  178. Jeff

    This is just another disappointment from a disappointing group of professional politicians. Congress has been foolish for some time now, regardless of who holds the majority. Congress making this kind of noise plays into the hands of the radicals around the world. I wish they would wise and and not do politics in the form of sound bites played over and over again on the news cycle.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  179. terry beaton

    That's an impotant question to be asking Jack, since the reasoning and rational of all Presidents is not the same. Consider what someone like Prersident Palin might think as a good reason to go to war. No, he shouldn't go to war without Congressional Authorization. It's a matter of what's the best policy for today, and possibly tommorow!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  180. Charles N. Bono

    That we should even ask the question illustrates how far we have strayed from what the constitution requires. Of course he should have gone to Congress as only Congress can declare war and this is what he has done by his action. He went to the United Nations. Why didnt he go to Congress? They alone can decide whether we commit our nations life blood and money, not the United Nations.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  181. Debra Neal

    Hi Jack. We Americans are so judgmental!!! I am neither for any president, because they damned if they do and damned if they don't. Just this one time, just maybe we ought to put some trust in President Obama. Now congress is mad because they were not involved in this decision. What, let them argue and fight over this for the next year before they agree to go in. Just maybe, this won't be OUR war this time. I have never written to anybody before, but, damn, I am so sick of all the negativity. Please do a report on what Obama IS doing right. Maybe it is none of our business at the moment. Who among us wants that job? Who, name me one person, can do a better job? Sincerely, Debbie

    March 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  182. Walter A Johnson

    I was originally against the no fly zone. But, not taht so many of the dummies in congress are coming out with all the stupid statement about the no fly zone. I have changed my mind and support the no fly zone. Congress has not done anything right during the last 10 years.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  183. Scott

    This is a constitutional problem regarding the War Powers Act. The President was simply just acting within the framework of the Constitution. The War Powers Act requires 48 hour notice and a congressional vote30 days after deployed troops. If anyone has a problem with it, the issue is repealing the War Powers Act, not throwing Obama under the bus. Do you really think congress can make a fluid decision on deploying troops in the time of despair, they will turn it into a political football then grid lock would occur.

    Scott from chicago

    March 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  184. Donna Riley

    No. President Obama did exactly what we, the people, have elected him to do - his job! I'm tired of seeing "lawmakers", "congress", "committee leaders" etc. being reported ... as unhappy with the president ... show the viewing audience what the general public (the people) feel! I back the president and those around him who actually know the situation.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  185. Mike Franchell

    The President has 60 to 90 days to utilize our troops in supporting our foreign policy. Ron Paul needs to study his constitution. The concept of consulting with Congress made sense many years ago when war machines moved slowly. That time has passed us and we need to make intelligent lightening decisions to keep ahead of our enemies.
    Congress will be included in the decision 60 to 90 days later. Would we want to be responsible for the death of thousands? I sure would not to have my name included on that tomb stone of preventable death.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  186. Allison

    The response to Libya's situation was already, tragically, late to many of it's murdered civilians. How many more weeks would it have been,given your Congress's record, before approval would be given, or not.Your president did what he had to do. That's his job. Why can't you give the man a break?

    March 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  187. Jessica in Hawaii

    Of course Congress is upset. They will look for any other work to do besides working on the budget to insure that government workers and military families won't have to worry about not getting paid in April and that there isn't a government shutdown! But seriously, Congress has to realize this isn't a war, it is a military action with UN, who we have often badmouthed for not taking timely action to help people in need. And who else would protect those people if we didn't? When is the last time anyone else ever did anything to help anyone else without waiting to see if the US was in? Yeah, that's what I thought.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  188. bo brown

    Absolutely not congress can't agree on the time of day!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  189. Craig A. Aston

    This blatent lack of support for our president shows the world how biased and foolish the leaders in this nation truly are. If this would have been the hillbilly that was incharge for the last two terms, people would have supported him first and asked questions later when things calmed down. This lack of support is to me a display of borderline treason and makes it impossible for people to look upon us as a nation they can have confidence in. It is truly obvious that the white leaders in this country are not going to allow a man of color to take any credit for reversing the damage that they allowed to occur.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  190. Sharon

    If a President (in the middle of a recession) can do acts of war without Congress, when will he decide he doesn't need Congress at all!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  191. Molly

    The U.S. waited too long to go to Libya as it is. If he would have waited for those "big babies" in Congress to make a decision, it would have been like everything else they vote on, Way too Little-Way too Late.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  192. john getchell

    Not if he didn't have to Jack. Just think how many more innocent lives might be lost while Republican and democrats make up their collective minds on that matter. John in Maine

    March 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  193. Oliver McFalls, Riverside, CA

    If the President had consulted Congress, they'd still be debating, grandstanding, and scoring political points, and the citizens of Benghazi and other rebel cities would be slaughtered. It's saving lives, no more abusive of executive power than airlifting supplies to Haiti, Chile, or Japan.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  194. Joyce

    By the time Congress got through with playing their political games, half the population of Libya would have been slaughtered. President Obama is doing an excellent job of working cooperatively with other nations to eliminate the crisis in Libya. He has not committed the US to a war, but rather participation in an international action.

    Joyce from Rockford, Illnois

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  195. courtney

    Where were these champions of the law when George Bush invaded Iraq . I don't remember them screaming for his head. If the president went to Congress, the war would be over and everyone will have gone on to the next one before they could act on it. They don't do anything ASAP.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  196. Maureen

    Of course Jack! We have no business being in Libya or any other Arab country. The Middle East is imploding and we should stay OUT of their business. They will manage to make their own history. This is their destiny not ours. I don't want to pay for this nonsense.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  197. mary miller

    When did our congress start worrying about the people want
    or doing anything in a timely fashion

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  198. Karla Newmark

    With the brutality that was going on in Libya against the people, I was aggravated by the seeming hesitation of anyone to do anything to help. If I was being brutalized like that, I would hope that someone came to my aid. I believe that President Obama was in the right when he made the decision to begin this action without the vote of Congress, and I seem to remember George W. doing the same thing. Submitting the action for approval by Congress would have only dragged things out for at least a month and caused more torture and death among people who are trying to have a voice in their own governance.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  199. KB

    Jack – judging from the way this congress has worked over the last few years, it is worth taking the risk than seeking congressional approval. By the time congress approves Obama's request, the Libyan people (civilians) would be dead. I will not be surprised if Congress asks Obama to give up healthcare and union rights in exchange for war approval.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  200. Barry Dixon

    Why would anyone consult with the US Congress? They are the most hopeless and hapless persons in our country. Anyone who spoke out early and consistently against the invasion of Iraq has the right to speak out against the action taken in Libya. All others sit down and shut up.

    Atlanta, GA

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  201. Wendy

    Hell no! The vast majority of Congressmen the people have elected these days don't know a damn thing except MONEY. The way they have been acting shows that. I have been around 70 years and never seen such a arrogant and disrespectful bunch. It would do no good to tell them. It's damned if you do and damned if you don't!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  202. Imani

    Congress can't even square away the 2011 budget and they want to be consulted on this UN Resolution and our support of it? Let's get real! Maybe, maybe they'd get around to it in 2013.

    The President is Commander in Chief, not Congress. Tell them to get to work, posthaste, on what they were elected to do! They are way behind schedule.

    Imani from NY

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  203. LL bartlett

    To consult with Congress would be weeks of wrangling in never-never land. As Commander-In-Chief he followed through on a united agreement and resolution from the United Nations and not acting unilaterally as the Right asserts. This President carefully and thoughtfully plays by the rules, unlike his predecessor

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  204. rush

    No way, either way the president would get the blame. All the senators and experts want to be need to focus on their own states and this economy.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  205. Robert In Alabama

    Congress wants to talk. Would they consider Libya after they pass the 2010 budget? If we waited for Congress to finish talking all of the rebels would be dead along with their wives and children. Of course if we could get Gadaffi to come to Washington, Congress could talk him to death.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  206. Ed in Penna

    Yeah, let's wait for Congress to come up with a solution.. By then it will be 2016 or so.......after the fighting

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  207. Mike L.

    Of course he should have at least consulted with Congress. Does it make sense that we wait to get approval from the UN, but don't have the consent of our elected legislators?
    This is another demonstration of the arrogance of this administration. Our founding fathers established the 3 branches of government (and 2 houses within one branch) in order to assure that one person, or small group, could not initiate action that is not the wish of most of the electorate.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  208. Greg

    How long would it take this congress to pass the vote on military action in Libya? They can't even pass domestic policies let alone foreign. By the time a resolution would be passed, Gaddafi would have murdered thousands more.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  209. Brian Leach

    I have been following the situation in Libya on CNN since you started reporting. I understood the urgency for the civilians of Libya. The slaughter of innocent civilians was immenent and rapid action was required, not politics. I live in Canada and if we were under attack I would hope that support would be swift and immediate. The politicians can work out the red tape after the people of Libya have been saved from the likes of these militant rulers.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  210. Dave

    Since the President used to teach constituional law at Harvard, I would suspect he knows what he can and can't do without consulting Congress. You can be sure if his decision had gone the other way, there would be criticism too.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  211. Tom

    The Constitution never anticipated an age of automated war. Whether or not the President should ask Congress in these rapid moving times will from now on depend on the political axe any particular politician has to grind.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  212. gloria

    No!..First of all President Obama did not "Declare War"!. So he is acting legally. Secondly, if he wants to "Declare war", he has up to 60 days to consult with the Congress...And thirdly, when was the last time a U.S. President consulted Congress prior to waging war,uhmm?? Can someone tell me??

    San Francisco

    March 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  213. Dylan

    The President is the Command and Chief of the American Armed Forces. If anything in unconstitutional, it is trying to limit his control of the military. If anything is unconstitutional it is the War Powers Act. The War Powers Act, if taken to court, would be repealed. One branch of the gov't does not have the power to limit the powers of the other. That is why America has a three branch system, checks and balances. So I hope Congress tries to claim War Powers Act here, and I hope Obama takes it to the Supreme Court and has it repealed as unconstitutional.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  214. Christine - Boston

    Jack – It's not like talks about intervention and a "No-Fly Zone" just popped up on the radar screen – heck, John McCain said the President was too slow to act. While I don't want America engaged in Another War, certainly a multi-lateral initiative to stop the rising slaughter in Libya is a much smarter way to go than Iraq & Afghanistan. The analysis by "experts" has continued ad nauseum, putting their own spin on what has been done/said to date – it is giving me a popsicle headache.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  215. randy from pa.

    the world community had to act fast on this measure. it takes our congress months to debate a simple bill pertaining to our own country. we are doing the right thing so congress needs to shut up...

    March 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  216. Diane George

    No. This is a cooperative decision of the United Nations, therefore, the United States is honoring its UN agreement of its decision of a "no fly" zone and protecting the innocent people of Lybya.

    Is the United States going to become isolated from being a member of the United Nations and not support what the United Nations stands for?

    March 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  217. Leonard Holden

    Why should he consult Congress about this? Congress cannot make any important decision. They would have to make dozens of amendments and then debate each one and then make more for months. Look at how they acted with the health care bill.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  218. Ken in NC

    Maybe he should have getten their approval but Republicans put rules in place that says they only work 3 weeks a month. Also Congress isn't taking care of their own busidess (JOBS). Given the opportunity, they would probably require this President call them into session for approval before he gets out of bed at 2AM to go to the bathroom.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  219. KJ

    He should have consulted himself thoroughly first, then the congress...Either way, this country should stick to its own business...How hard is that? Isnt that better? Stop thinking that we rule the world..WE DONT!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  220. Salvador Trabanino

    And exactly in what year would congress approve emergency military action in Lybia or any other hot spot? How many subpoenas would they issue while Lybians are being massacred?
    Congress was informed, action was taken. Amen
    New Orleans

    March 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  221. Sandy, Illinois

    Oh, please spare me! The folks in Congress have failed to make a thoughtful, decent decision in more years than I can count. I fail to see where their self sustaining, politically motivated responses are of value to anyone.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  222. fabian

    Absolutely NOT! This would have stalled the process even more; we were already late to intervene as the situation stands! Congress needs to worry about domestic issues and let the president deal with issues abroad...

    Sacramento, CA

    March 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  223. Dan Whitcomb

    It really doesn't matter if he did consult congress first. He is "darned" if does and "darned" if he doesn't. It was ok when Bush did it..but not Obama. Put all the hypocracy and partisan spin aside...my 401k is coming back, jobs are coming back, practically all the mid-east nations want, and are getting democracy...Haven't heard from Osama, seems to be losing all his appeal...I am doing much better this year than the last 8 years...but Obama won't get any credit for anything. The hypocracy is out of control....so who really cares if he consulted congress...he HAD to do something...

    March 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  224. Barbara Gordon in Las Vegas

    No, Jack
    He is the Commander-in-Chief and as this action did not require a declaration of war the President is within his powers.
    Congress would still be debating- just get over it.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  225. Dave Perry

    Jack: I'm old enough to remember the Korean war and study the history surrounding it..as i recall, there was no declaration of war then...there also was no declaration of war for Vietnam. That's why there is the warpowers act. ..Obama should know that the far right is going to criticize him and it should come as no surprise that the far left is taking shots at him to....it's moving toward the crazy season(elections) and everyone wants to position themselves as far from Obama as possible....must be nice to be a coward and not stand up for what you believe, but what you think your base(whatever that is) wants....disgusted with them all

    March 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  226. Yvonne Marsh

    Define "consult". It would have taken weeks to get any concurrence from this Congress. More lives would have been lost ,and Gadhafi would have cemented his position as ruthless dictator.

    No, he is completely within his authority under the War Powers Act. Where are all the critics who were demanding to know what he was going to do to help the people of Libya while Gadhafi was slaughtering them? They were critical that the President seemed to be dragging his feet. The President's actions show a thoughtful approach bringing in NATO nations to support efforts to help the people of Libya and hopefully to get Gadhafi to step down. I applaud his well reasoned approach to a difficult situation that allows the US to live up to its ideals, but yet, not to go it alone. We are not the world's police, nor army. However, we have a responsibility to lead when leadership is warranted.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  227. Arthur Ducaine

    While not an Obama fan, he hasn't done anything other presidents in the past have done. I am just as concerned, if not more, about why Polosi was in Italy spending taxpayer money to meet with their Defense Minister. Isn't that Clinton's job? Congress is upset they weren't told by Obama–but when they travel first class in every way, at taxpayer money; do they formally notify and get approval their peers in Congress prior to leaving on all these boondoggle junkets all over the world?
    Doesn't congress have enough matters to contend with in this country instead of whining about not being in the loop?

    Art in Atlanta

    March 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  228. Vanansi Samson/ Lavergne, Tennessee

    NO Jack, I don't think Obama has to consult with the Congress. The President is the chief of staff and he can start the war anytime, likewise Presidents Bush did in Iraq and Afghanistan. Republican are mad because this is not their war, as uasually they are found of starting the wars without consulting the Congress. Lets see how this one goes and Democrats will be credited for it, then it would be a big blow to the Republicans.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  229. Nancy Nirenberg

    Consider this –Senator McCain's statement on Candy Crowley's State of the Union, Sunday morning - the day after we went into Libya. "We should have gone in two weeks ago"
    President Obama and the administration worked carefully with the international community with the UN and went into Libya only after The UN and the the Arab States requested it.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  230. Jeff In Minnesota

    If it would have been a one time thing such as what President Reagan did, I think everyone would have been fine. However, this prolonged enforcement of a no-fly zone is different because it is an ongoing military effort and technically an act of war under the international rules as I understand them. As an act of war, Congress has a right to be consulted and has a right to be concerned and complaining.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  231. Mike Owens

    LOL.... If President Obama were to consult with Congress on whether to send in troops, they would still be "debating" it today, tomorrow and probably for the next six months. In the end, more innocent people in Libya would die. Congress would do what they do best, "NOTHING but jack their jaws", and finally they would decide its all President Obamas' fault for not being more assertive and making a decision at the start of the crisis to begin with!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  232. Kris

    Hell no! Our Congress is incapable of coming to a consensus on anything. In bypassing Congress, Obama was able to act quickly and save thousands of lives. Thus avoiding us having to later express regret that thousands died while our prima dona Congress debated ad-nauseum.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  233. John Jenkins

    It's absurd!. Weeks ago various gov reps were screaming "no-fly zone" Gates clearly articulated and warned what is involved; now that its happening, gov reps want to talk about it and some said that President Obama should have initiated a unilateral no-fly sooner... Gov. reps are behaving like children... is it not possible that the USA agenda is synonymous with the UN; ie, no-fly zone and protection of civilians and all of the necessary military actions required to facilitate the aformentioned?

    March 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  234. Jason C. Galvez

    No, Mr. Cafferty. Time was of the essence and President Obama was in South America. This was a time-sensitive issue. I am sure that had he not made the decision when he did he would have been blamed for not making a decision early enough. If he had done it earlier he would have been blamed for flying off half-cocked. In politics the maxim holds true – you can't please all of the people all of the time.

    Jason G.
    NYC, NY

    March 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  235. mike in boyce,va

    Sure he should. I'm wondering if this will become into a ground war. CNN reported that he has over 6 billion in Gold assets. Now there are US lawmakers both Left and Right calling for impeachment proceedings. The Arab nations that said that they would participate now have their hands under their seats of their pants. What gives? I think that Prez. Obama should have used more caution and have let the NATO partners lead the charge. There is too much unemployment and the deficit is growing. We cannot afford to fund another Iraq, Afgan type of conflict. His approval rating is spiralling downward even further, and he's in S. America on a tour. What again is with that?

    March 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  236. Gerard

    Congress can't agree if they should tie shoelaces or not... Really? When it comes to global crisis, Our Chief of Staff is intelligent enough to know who to go to.. And where to go from there... So sick of congress.. Get out of his way, and stop trying to tear him down! He is the best guy for this job, and has done a beter job in this seat than anyone could!!!!!!!!!!!!! UGH......

    March 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  237. Franklin - NC

    Does it really matter? No matter what President Obama does, someone will disagree with it. Someone always has something negative to say about the president. It is so sad that nobody is willing to stand up for the President. As a young child, I was taught to respect the President and the USA. If we can't support our commander-in-chief in times such as this, then why even elect a President!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  238. Michael Wentworth

    Obama is a man of vision, and unlike other politicians, seeks to get things done. I think it's good that he's angered congress, It means he is doing his job

    March 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  239. Neal

    No. Obama should make every decision he can legally make without congress until they can prove capable of making rational decisions themselves. If Obama would have consulted with Congress, they would still be tied up in bipartisan mudslinging and Libya would be under the complete control of Gahdaffy with many more dead civilians. And of course the Democrats and Republicans would be blaming each other and Obama. Nothing changes in that Congress.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  240. george fredricksburg va

    Of course not was congress looking to help the poor souls dying because of a ruthless dictator ,and were the republicans going to impeach bush for invading iraq?I think not and this plan is going to be over in days for the U S

    March 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  241. Chris

    I wonder if these republican leaders questioned the last president's unilateral invasion of Iraq. An invasion that was based on evidence of W.M.D that was weak at best and ended up being proved completely false. Sounds to me like politics as usual, they would have complained just as much if Obama didn't invade Libya. obviously republicans simply wait for the president to make any decision so afterward they can claim they were opposed to it. I dare any republican to take a stance BEFORE the president makes his decisions.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  242. bill

    In this case no. Congress knew what was going on. We are either part of the UN and NATO or we are not. What the heck does congress think enforcing a no fly zone is. These same people praise gates, but question every move of our president. Congress cannot even negotiate and come up with an annual budget each year unless they one party or the other is in unanomous power. They can steal from our social security funds that so many of us paid into for decades and little is mentioned about that. My answer is Obama is doing everything within the law.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  243. Nicholas van Pelt

    I agree with President Obama's decision. I believe it was the right choice, and although I do understand the importance of consulting Congress, he retains the power to use military action for the time provided by the War Powers Resolution.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  244. Bob Johnson

    No. If obama paused, thousands would have been killed in Bengazi. He did what he had to. Lets move on.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  245. Ken Pickeral

    He could have signed Congress a new raise on their pay chacks, and some members would have found a reason to say they weren't given their say. Please Jack, they will always find something to bicker about. Never ends

    March 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  246. Jeanette Coleman

    If President Obama had waited to get permission from congress to help the people of Libya, every citizen of Libya would be dead by now!!!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  247. Brian MN

    Congress always complains and I'll live with it. Every time Congress (both sides) have been mad at the President lately he has been proven he made the right call.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  248. Patricia Teodorson

    I stand by the President in his decision to join the U.N. in ensuring the No-Fly Zone was enforced. If President Obama had gone to the Congress......it would still be in Congress; we all know how long it takes those politicians to make any decision. If he had waited for them to act I'm guessing very few Libya citizens would be alive!!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  249. Gia in Los Angeles

    No, he shouldn't have. He did the right thing. If he had waited for apporval from congress, the world would still be waiting while Libyans were being slaughtered left, right, and center.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  250. David Mason

    Why should he consult the congress? The are so incompetent, I wouldn't ask them for the right time of day!!!!!!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  251. Tom White

    Based on what the Congress has done positive for the country in the last 15 years. Obama did the right thing by not involving Congress. They are so concerned about getting reelected and paying back their election contributors, they don't do anything anyway until it's too late. Obama did the right thing,
    Tom White, Menomonie, Wisconsin

    March 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  252. Tim

    He did. In the situation room at the White House the Friday before the attacks. Give me a break. This debate is about ego. It's high school for crying out loud. Who got invited to the party and who got left out. For those who didn't - get over it. I'm sure you'll still be taken very seriously around town. Isn't that what this is really about???

    March 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  253. fyfy, Mesquite, Tx.

    NO Jack, it doesn't matter what he does he can't win with some people, the people of lybya need the help they are getting. Give this president a break already.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  254. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    Probably not.

    And those who think he went too far should just refuse any oil company contributions for their next campaign! Because for sure getting our military to enter the fray, and perhaps stabilize Libya and keep the oil flowing in the region is a GOOD thing for the oil companies! Not only can they stick us right now, saying the price increases are due to the "unsettled" situation there, but once things calm down they will be able to stick it to us even more, basing that on the costs to rebuild Libya after it is bombed into smithereens!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  255. Bob

    No, that is his job.. There are times that the Commander in Chief needs to act, and if you have to drag it through the political morass of DC nothing would ever get done, or approved until it is too late.

    I find it sad that some politicians that would have supported another President for acting in a similar way, are now lamenting the action for purely political reasons.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  256. Stephen C. Hoard

    Congress moves slower then snalls, by the time they decided to talk about it, it would be 2012

    March 22, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  257. Scot

    Why should congress have any say in this matter ? All they want to do is fight among themselves so they can get reelected and nothing gets done.
    I was against the invasion of Iraq but this guy that runs Libia has killed many US citizens and have been thumbing his nose at us for decades because he has the "OIL".
    He needs to go and a good many of the nations around think so too !

    March 22, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  258. hooverguide, Riverside, CA

    Exactly what do you mean by consult? Ask permission to use the powers invented in the office of the President of the United States? No
    Brief them in advance of decided action? Yes.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  259. ....Chaney..... La.

    Jack..... Congress likes to pose, posture and pontificate about every situation....and the president may have robbed them of the chance.....hmmmmm maybe he needs a medal.....I am sick of these self serving hypocrits.....

    March 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  260. myke wc

    The President has to make some decisions on his OWN... keep up the attacks on Libya

    March 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  261. Marty from Michigan

    yea Jack,and take even more time to impliment this no-fly zone that so many have been screaming should've happened two weeks ago.It seems like we never tire of ragging on this President.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  262. Larry

    Absolutely the President should have sought Congress’ permission before sending our military off into yet another war. The Constitution isn’t just a quaint piece of paper; it’s the supreme law of the land and it demands that Congress’ approval be given for the country to go to war.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  263. Claire, Indianapolis, IN

    Did George H. W. Bush ask for permission to invade Panama? Did Ronald Reagan ask for permission to invade Grenada or fund the Contras in Nicaragua? If Obama had waited to consult Congress, we would have lost the element of surprise, as well as positioned the U.S. on the wrong side of a country's struggle for democracy. The fly-overs are a good idea, as well as cooperation with the United Nations and several European countries. I don't favor ground troops being committed, but if our Congress wants to grandstand over something, let it be a debate on ground troops.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  264. thomas

    NO he is the president,and has all the right to make decisions that protect the national security.people complain about everything this man does anyway,so i am not surpise about all the complains.Thanks president obama for saving peoples lifes in libya.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  265. JonF - San Francisco, CA

    Yes, President Obama should have consulted with Congress before sending anyone to fight against Libya. If I were a member of Congress right now, I would be outraged. Briefing the leaders in Congress only hints of a Presidential "attitude problem." If the President were still in the senate, he would have been one of the first to stand up and violently object to his failure to be informed. It's not like there was not enough time – as it took almost two weeks for the President to use the military in the first place.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  266. Gene

    I think the situation was dire enough for the fate of the rebels that his immediate actions were definitely justified. I'm proud of his decision to help save lives and that is exactly what he did by going in there.
    I have such little respect for politicians who use anything they can to get their name in the headlines. So with the elections coming up next year the ugly are guaranteed to get uglier no surprises there. However that is a shameful statement of the politics in this country. And Thank you President Obama for doing this. I wonder what those congressmen would say if they were residents of Misurata or Benghazi.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  267. Erik

    Absolutely not. Obama is the commander in chief of the military and he does not need to check with congress before he makes any decision to mobilize. His decision has saved many libyan lives and they are incredibly grateful. It would have been incredibly embarrassing for the US to have stood aside and allowed gadhafi to slaughter his own citizens when we are the most prepared country to stop him. Obama made the right decision.

    Madison, WI

    March 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  268. Citizen123

    Certainly the congressmen who were at the meeting with the president had a chance at that time to question his authority and/or ask for congress to vote on it. If it went via vote-I don't see how it would pass. Is it ok for dictators to bomb, use heavy artillary against people who are seeking change-making their voices heard through demonstrations? It would be inhuman to just let him kill his people.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  269. Laura


    I just wish the pin heads in Congress could make up their minds(tee hee). First, the reaction was: where is Obama, why aren't we doing anything. Now they are complaining because Obama did do something. Consult with Congress, what for? We'd be watching these clowns for weeks before any decision would be made.

    Williamsport PA

    March 22, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  270. Ryan

    Yes, Obama should have. Even Bush Jr. got permission from Congress before he acted in Iraq. Anyone have any spare CHANGE?

    San Diego.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  271. Marco (Los Angeles)

    The way things are in congress right now, I'm more than happy to have a single voice have the final word. If you had left it to the current congress, the no-fly zone would've been implemented next year, if at all.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  272. Mark Ft. Worth Texas

    Had he consulted Congress we would not be involved in Libya since Congress is unable to even agree on how to pay for toilet tissue.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  273. John F.

    I think Obama made the right decision, and no I don't think he should have consulted Congress. It would have been a waste of time, and time was of the essence. A rebel stronghold was about to collapse, and delaying a day or two, or even a couple of hours, could have cost many lives.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  274. DERASA

    He did it under the law, and I think that he didn't have time to waste and too many lives to save.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  275. larry

    no jack. why should he? congress has proven themselves to be capable only of making things worse. with a few notable exceptions, they are a group of grandstanding fools owned outright by the mega rich. it isnt likely that anything like creative solutions would result from negotiating with a group whose leaders are interested only in furthering the interests of their masters, not us or our country.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  276. Phil

    where has congress been hiding under a rock?? this guy is
    killing alot of people,,the commande-in-chief should do what
    he thinks is best for the country

    March 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  277. William Velez

    The president as the commander in Chief of the Armed Forces have all the right to order the military into action without consent of the congress.I believe that he only need to consult the congress when there is the need of a declaration of war which in this conflict as in many others does not constitue so. Let's remeber we went to conflicts many times without congress apporval rememeber Iraq 1990's, Bosnia,Somalia and many others.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  278. Frank

    If congress needed to make the decision we would have attacked in August after all the political wrangling. This is why the constitution gives the president these powers. It needed swift action after the UN vote and the president did the right thing. Gadhafi continues to attack his own people. This is human rights issue and that is why the UN voted the way it did. Kudos to the president.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  279. mike from peoria

    Are you kidding the congress can't even pass a budget. They couldn't make a sound decision if they had too.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  280. Jeanette Coleman

    No! The President should not have waited to consult with Congress before sending U.S. military to LIBYA. If he had waited for congress approval, the opposition would have been obliterated by now!!!

    March 22, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  281. A. L. Flanagan

    Yes, but this just continues a long series of Presidential actions that flout the Constitutional requirement for a congressional Declaration of War. We haven't had one since WWII. Expect this sort of thing to keep happening until Congress grows a backbone.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  282. Nancy G

    No. They already expressed their views. President Obama is perpetually criticized for whatever he does, and I for one am sick of it.
    He's the President, duly elected and deserves our respect. You don't have to agree with everything, but EVERYBODY seems to think they do it better.....too much self-righteousness, to little humility and respect.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  283. larry

    no jack. why should he? consulting with the leaders of congress would take time that we didnt have and result in the usual unyielding standoff that results when reason is needed.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  284. Jon Torok

    The only parts of the constitution still in effect are those that protect individual citizen's rights. We might as well rip out all the rest about limiting and separating the powers of government.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  285. Richard Irons

    Submit it to Congress..right! Congress has proved their inability to accomplish even simple tasks. They would be debating this forever if it was in their hands.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  286. Ken G.

    No wonder congress has such a dismal rating. They can't even remember the legislation they enact. All these mini-presidents need to go back and read the War Powers Act.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  287. MNindy

    I am a liberal and yes he should have absolutely consulted the full congress rather than just some of the leaders as was his action.

    Bloomington, MN

    March 22, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  288. Pete

    Nope. The president has 90 days.

    He informed the leaders in congress of his actions and that's enough.

    There is no room for a Congressional debate ("let's talk).

    Remember, Gaddafi murdered Sergeant Kenneth Ford and Sergeant James Goins.

    Enough said.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  289. Greg in WA

    Who cares what congress says, they have already proved themselves irrelevant.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  290. Wayne

    Yes, Congress should have a say. The USA is BROKE. We were behind the Soviet Union, but it has happened to us now. We don't need a THIRD war in the middle East or anywhere. We need to worry about how we are going to survive this spending spree this government has been on. If we don't reduce spending dramatically we will collapse as a society.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  291. Steve in Michigan

    It took long enough to get this rolling WITHOUT congress ... imagine if we added that group of idiots to the process. This time Obama did the only thing that could be done, given the situation on the ground in Libya.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  292. Ted Gruenwald, Suttons Bay, Mi

    If the President had gone to Congress thousands of Lybians would have been killed and Congress would still be sitting on their butts. As for the cost, look at it this way ... Chinas picking up the tab. " Hail to the Chief" ... punn intended

    March 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  293. Erick

    I believe He is the best what he knows what to do I have trusted in him. I am shocked that the congress did not understand what he means by policy and Gadhafi has to go. Use their common sense:

    Policy + Gadhadfi to go = Policy: Gadhadfi to go

    it just like a math. The congress are embarrassed. I think He has a fantastic job. He's smart than the congress. He has my vote for 2012.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  294. DB

    Absolutely he should confer with congress. He is an ironic individual when you consider his campaign statements and his activities now. Guess the job was bigger than he originally thought, maybe he should send bush an apology – for his niaveness....

    March 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  295. Brian

    Why would it matter? Its not like congress stopped the pointless Iraq war from happening.....

    March 22, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  296. Lewis


    We don't need 535 more Commanders-in-chief.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  297. Eric

    The Congressmen on both sides of the isle are overreaching at this point (it has only been a week). According to the War Powers Act, the president can legally do what he wants with the US military for up to 60 days absent a Congressional resolution– He does not need congress' approval to start a war, only to continue waging it. Of course, the Constitutionality of the limits that the Act describes themselves are questionable, but not the Presidents legal right to deploy the military as he sees fit.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  298. Gerry

    No way!

    Enough said.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  299. Gail Hill

    If President Obama had consulted with congress before taking action, the conversation would still be going on and the people of Bengahzi would be dead. Then these same individuals would castigate him for his failure to take the necessary action to have saved them. It must be discouraging to be the leader of such a group.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  300. Robert Guertin

    Don't need congressional approval, since no war was declared. That's why he's Commander in Chief, he acts with the best interest of the country.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:57 pm |