Calif. Congressman: Obama Attack On Libya May Be Illegal

SACRAMENTO (CBS) — A California congressman has issued a bipartisan challenge to the White House to clarify the ongoing mission against Libya, with allegations that U.S. involvement without Congressional approval may be illegal and unconstitutional.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-California) is joining House Speaker John Boehner and other senior lawmakers from both parties in charges that President Barack Obama is guilty of conflicting messages when it comes to the Libya air assault.

McClintock tells KNX 1070 the attack is “in direct violation of the War Powers Act and in direct violation of the United States Constitution, which gives to Congress the sole power to declare war.”

“I think the President crossed a very bright constitutional line that he himself recognized in 2007 when he told the Boston Globe that the president doesn’t have the constitutional authority to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” said McClintock.

The Republican lawmaker also referenced remarks from then-Senator Joe Biden in 2007 saying it was an “impeachable offense” to unilaterally order troops to attack Iran without authorization from Congress.

The Obama administration is facing mounting domestic criticism over its decision to join an international coalition aimed at destroying Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s air defenses as analysts estimate the U.S. military is spending upward of $1 billion on the assault

Read the entire letter from Rep. McClintock to the White House on the Congressman’s website.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Thomas Bleming

    None of those Republican’s in Congress or the U.S. Senate would have said a word in protest if it had been Bush/Cheney ordering our military into another undeclared war with a country (Libya) that had not done anything against us, to justify being bombed.
    Obama, in ordering our forces to attack Libya, has added his name to the list of international war criminals.

    • icecream

      This reeks of more Teabag Party Antics.

  • Scooby Doo

    Obama committed war crimes. Act of War without Congress is an Impeachable offense. Get the dirt out.

    • Mexicans Work Harder Than You

      I agree. Let start with your mom.

  • Marcus

    I always knew the Republicans were soft on defense. Now, Congress, get back to work on the real issues facing the country instead of playing politics.

  • John

    Poor reporting. Why wasn’t Rep. Tom McClintock asked how he responded to in 2007. He feels free to quote Obama and others for their remarks in 2007. What did he have to say????

  • R. Bob. Wilkins ret.

    Why does McClintock hate the troops? I’m tired of these traitor politicians who are soft on protecting our great America.

  • Mexicans Work Harder Than You

    Maybe he hates the troops because they are mostly people of color?

  • 5T guy

    yeah i bet huh

  • Womyn's Rights

    And womyn. There are plenty of womyn in our Armed Forces. He may have issues with them.

  • Sandra Bufford

    you are sicko what did brush do stared a war and got on tv on oprah and said no wmd was ever found look at all of the people that got killed on a lie and you people stand behind him he killed you sons and husband ect that is sick

  • Robert Grim

    I hope this guy knows that the President is allowed to send troops anywhere he/she choses for up to 100 days without Congressional approval

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