NYT: Obama overruled top Pentagon, DOJ lawyers on Libya war powers

posted at 10:32 pm on June 17, 2011 by Allahpundit

No “Quotes of the Day” post today. This is big enough that I don’t want anything new on the site distracting from it overnight.

The Times is treating it as the major story that it is, but under a Republican president (especially one named, say, George Bush) it would be a scandal of nuclear proportions. What they’re basically saying here, without actually saying it, is that the president’s own lawyers told him that the Libya war is illegal and he responded by looking around for other lawyers who’d tell him what he wanted to hear.

The congressional hearings begin on Monday, I hope.

Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon general counsel, and Caroline D. Krass, the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, had told the White House that they believed that the United States military’s activities in the NATO-led air war amounted to “hostilities.” Under the War Powers Resolution, that would have required Mr. Obama to terminate or scale back the mission after May 20.

But Mr. Obama decided instead to adopt the legal analysis of several other senior members of his legal team — including the White House counsel, Robert Bauer, and the State Department legal adviser, Harold H. Koh — who argued that the United States military’s activities fell short of “hostilities.” Under that view, Mr. Obama needed no permission from Congress to continue the mission unchanged.

Presidents have the legal authority to override the legal conclusions of the Office of Legal Counsel and to act in a manner that is contrary to its advice, but it is extraordinarily rare for that to happen. Under normal circumstances, the office’s interpretation of the law is legally binding on the executive branch

The administration followed an unusual process in developing its position. Traditionally, the Office of Legal Counsel solicits views from different agencies and then decides what the best interpretation of the law is. The attorney general or the president can overrule its views, but rarely do.

In this case, however, Ms. Krass was asked to submit the Office of Legal Counsel’s thoughts in a less formal way to the White House, along with the views of lawyers at other agencies. After several meetings and phone calls, the rival legal analyses were submitted to Mr. Obama, who is a constitutional lawyer, and he made the decision.

See what he did here? The OLC is typically called “the president’s law firm” because it’s tasked with advising him on what he can and can’t legally do with his office. They study the law and consult with relevant agencies, and then they make a formal determination to guide his actions. That’s what should have happened here — they likely would have determined that he was violating the War Powers Act, which in turn would have forced him to go to Congress and finally request formal authorization of the mission. (In fact, Johnson, the Pentagon’s counsel, reportedly told Obama he’d be on firmer ground if he stopped the drone strikes, at least. Obama refused.) This time, because he almost certainly knew that they’d tell him that he was in violation, he bypassed the normal procedures to avoid a binding ruling and treated the OLC as if it was just one lawyer among many. He rigged the game because he knew what the probable outcome would be if he didn’t. Disgraceful.

Ironically, Boehner’s now in almost as tough a position as Obama is. He’s the one who confronted O about the War Powers Act after Kucinich forced his hand; now he’ll have to figure out what the proper congressional response to this should be. Does the House hold hearings? Vote to defund the mission, citing Krass and Johnson for authority that it’s illegal? File suit in federal court charging Obama with violating the WPA, even though any court will almost certainly refuse to rule on it on “political question” grounds? And what happens to O’s supporters on Libya in Congress, especially among Democrats, now that his warmaking has been deemed renegade by his own core legal team? This doofus almost certainly could have gotten congressional authorization shortly after the mission began if he’d asked for it, but for reasons I still don’t understand, he refused. I guess he wants to maximize his presidential prerogative to use drones anywhere he likes, notwithstanding Johnson’s assessment that that’s enough to constitute “hostilities” under the WPA, in order to give himself a free hand in Yemen and beyond. Good work, champ — you’ve now forced a high stakes, politically risky separation-of-powers confrontation with Congress over a conflict to which virtually no one has paid attention for weeks.

Here’s Harry Reid insisting that the War Powers Act doesn’t apply here, and even if it did, “this thing’s going to be over before you know it anyway.” Which is basically what Obama himself said — three months ago. Remember “days, not weeks”? Exit question: That’s going to be one awkward round of golf, huh? Click the image to watch.

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So he did commit a “High Crime” after all and his own legal team told him so. Tome for an impeachment for that and “Gun Runner”

Oh wait, the law doesn’t apply to dems anymore.

I agree, AP if a Republican acted this way the LSM would be screaming to the rafters, but all we hear on this for Failbama is crickets.

dogsoldier on June 18, 2011 at 8:08 AM

ObaMao shopped around until he secured the vague weasel-wording of the international-law pimp Koh. Stanley Kurtz says that O’s declaration is a “gift to Samantha Power.” I would add that this kowtowing to the UN falls into line with the open-borders, no-nation-is-sovereign philosophy of O’s puppetmaster, George Soros.
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/269955/obamas-gift-samantha-power-stanley-kurtz

onlineanalyst on June 18, 2011 at 8:36 AM

He’s the One. He is above the law and doesn’t have to answer to you peons.

vcferlita on June 18, 2011 at 8:44 AM

Was this news just another part of a Friday afternoon dump that is supposed to go down the memory hole? Will the Sunday squawk shows spend meaningful discussion time on the ramifications of O’s misuse of power?

onlineanalyst on June 18, 2011 at 8:47 AM

If the DOJ doesn’t assign the FBI to investigate Weenie’s claim of hacking when it first came out, they are not going to investigate themselves for F&F and the president for ignoring the law here. We are no longer a nation of laws, only of what the govt says. Remember when we were lectured on the meaning of what ‘is’ is?

Kissmygrits on June 18, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Smart Power.

Aronne on June 18, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Welcome to the right side of the issue. I hope you’ll stay with us in the future.

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 2:38 AM

LOL, all I asked was a simple question, and yet you interpret said simple question as me siding with what O’bama is doing here?

That rates a good solid F-. Yes, you’ll make a fine Activist Lawyer.

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2011 at 9:18 AM

The War Powers Act the far-left Dems who controlled congress and over-rode a Nixon Veto in 1973 is an Unconstitutional Law.

So Obama is defying a law, but not the Constitution. This is the position all Presidents since 1973 have agreed on basically.

The only true Constitutional grounds Congress has with Lybia is they could vote to Defund the mission at anytime.

jp on June 18, 2011 at 9:32 AM

In the name of Equal Opportunity, Osama Obama, the “historic first” President, should be treated like any other President, especially those eeeeeevil Repub Presidents: Congress should go into session Monday and offer up at least one impeachment resolution (preferably one for each of his unconstitutional and illegal acts during the last two-plus years). They should then follow through and throw the Traitor-in-Chief’s America-hating butt out of office.

Instead, they’ll hem and haw, make excuses, and the punditocracy will play along, out of “fairness” to the poor, overworked guy.

MrScribbler on June 18, 2011 at 9:36 AM

I’d urge you to read more about the opinions John Yoo wrote during the Bush years. I’m sure you’ll be at the very least, equally outraged

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 2:38 AM

How’s that frivolous lawsuit against Yoo proceeding? Last time I checked, the O’bama Administration was trying to get it dismissed.

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Yes, you’ll make a fine Activist Lawyer.

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Sadly, she is stupid enough to take that as a compliment.

aikidoka on June 18, 2011 at 9:39 AM

We have only declared war five times during our entire history out of over 300 military conflicts! The precedent is firmly established that Congress merely needs to fund the fighting to show its approval.

jp on June 18, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Welcome to the right side of the issue. I hope you’ll stay with us in the future.

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 2:38 AM

STFU You’re a despicable lying coward.

jdkchem on June 18, 2011 at 9:41 AM

President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.”
NaCly dog on June 18, 2011 at 12:05 AM

Since Biden’s in the Dem’s pocket, I’m sure things might not change too much. Except for the fact he does not seem to be the power hungry narcissist that BO is.
The VP should be the guy who gets the next amount of votes in the POTUS election, like it USED to be.
That’s how we got VP John Adams.

Badger40 on June 18, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Let me see.
Obama ignores court orders.
He’s ignored more than one law passed by congress.
Does this mean he is acting lawlessly?

Is there a danger when our elected officials act lawlessly? What if he keeps raising the stakes? Ignoring other laws? Other court orders?

So, what would happen if America just sort of got used to the idea that Presidents ignored laws and court orders? I’m wondering, just to myself, of course, if anything really really bad could ever come of that.

JellyToast on June 18, 2011 at 9:43 AM

the War Powers Act doesn’t apply here, and even if it did, “this thing’s going to be over before you know it anyway.”

Yeah, that’s all that really matters.

I suppose the president could just drop nukes willy-nilly. Those are over before you know it too.

MississippiMom on June 18, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Man, I wish I didn’t miss this post last night. Wow! I’ll be calling my reps first thing on Monday.

I don’t know if this has been brought up yet, but there’s something historic here. This may be the first time in history that a military engagement was sought to be terminated by the Defense Dept., citing lack of legal authority, while the State Dept. twists in all manner of knots to keep that military engagement going! Has that EVER happened?

Weight of Glory on June 18, 2011 at 9:44 AM

After several meetings and phone calls, the rival legal analyses were submitted to Mr. Obama, who is a constitutional lawyer, and he made the decision.

Is this what really happened?

Are we sure?

To find what really happened we should waterboard the Noble Peace Prize winner President Barack Hussein Obama….

Mcguyver on June 18, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Talk about your cowboy in the Oval Office…

Washington Nearsider on June 18, 2011 at 12:36 AM

This cowboy’s wife takes umbrage at that.
Obama is NO cowboy.

Badger40 on June 18, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Ignore that pesky Constitution

Wade on June 18, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Linked, with John Yoo’s commentary on WPA, ‘Presidential War Powers’.

Donald Douglas on June 18, 2011 at 9:57 AM

This cowboy’s wife takes umbrage at that.
Obama is NO cowboy.

Badger40 on June 18, 2011 at 9:45 AM

No doubt…

Erkel here can’t even make it right on a bike….
…..much less a horse:

http://weaselzippers.us/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Obama-riding-a-bike.jpg

Baxter Greene on June 18, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Impeachment for thee ,not for me!

ohiobabe on June 18, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Obama doesn’t care about the law or principles, just what he can get away with, and unfortunately, that is a great deal. The Democrats will never try to stop him, the Republicans don’t have the power to bargain with him, and the press is not going to wage war on the guy they put in office.

The only limitation he seems to understand is how what he does affects his reelection chances, and he doesn’t seem to care about that too much lately. He’ll continue to trash the Constitution and the country until his term expires.

Aardvark on June 18, 2011 at 10:12 AM

One thing is very clear to me and that is the dems knew electing this person of color would let them sail thru anything.The r’s haven’t been a problem,a judge ruling the h/care law unconstitutional hasn’t been a prob, etc.

ohiobabe on June 18, 2011 at 10:14 AM

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 2:38 AM

Are you effing kidding me?! Were you in a coma during Bush’s Presidency? He went to Congress and got the approval he needed for both wars! You’re not living in reality. Thus is the legacy of the hypocritical left. How can you say what he “would have done” when what HE DID was the complete opposite! Goodness you’re a freaking loon!

jawkneemusic on June 18, 2011 at 3:45 AM

Well said. In the last few weeks I’ve noticed that the progs are attempting to rewrite history on President George W. Bush’s conduct of the two wars, in order to provide cover for the bumbling little Bammie.

As usual when the democratics get desperate, their final fallback position is -”they all do it”.

slickwillie2001 on June 18, 2011 at 10:45 AM

jp on June 18, 2011 at 9:32 AM

First of all the law is unconstitutional, but besides that he most certainly is in violation of the constitution itself! Congress SHALL declare war. Maybe if you understood the constitution and the founders thoughts on this issue and why thely left the powers to congress you would understand that he most certainly is in violation of the constitution and this is an impeachable offense!

xler8bmw on June 18, 2011 at 10:56 AM

We have only declared war five times during our entire history out of over 300 military conflicts! The precedent is firmly established that Congress merely needs to fund the fighting to show its approval.

jp on June 18, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Precedent? LMAO what cracker jacks box did you get your law degree?

This is a clear constitutional violation. Just because congress has ceded its power (which under the constitution no branch has the power to do so) does not mean they cannot make a stand now to take the powers of the congress under article 1 sec 8 that were given them in the constitution.

xler8bmw on June 18, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Fascist.

rbj on June 18, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Absolutely. In fact, he would have went much further.
crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 2:38 AM

You’re an idiot, historically (and syntactically).

The Left only still exists because they’ve rigged the deck of the modern culture to tolerate their ignorance, contempt for truth and licentious revisionism.

rrpjr on June 18, 2011 at 11:05 AM

From 2 years ago

The Obama administration has asked an appeals court to dismiss a lawsuit accusing former Bush administration attorney John Yoo of authorizing the torture of a terrorism suspect, saying federal law does not allow damage claims against lawyers who advise the president on national security issues.

Such lawsuits ask courts to second-guess presidential decisions and pose “the risk of deterring full and frank advice regarding the military’s detention and treatment of those determined to be enemies during an armed conflict,” Justice Department lawyers said Thursday in arguments to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Other sanctions are available for government lawyers who commit misconduct, the department said. It noted that its Office of Professional Responsibility has been investigating Yoo’s advice to former President George W. Bush since 2004 and has the power to recommend professional discipline or even criminal prosecution.

The office has not made its conclusions public. However, The [San Francisco] Chronicle and other media reported in May that the office will recommend that Yoo be referred to the bar association for possible discipline, but that he not be prosecuted.

Remember Jack Goldsmith? He came in to the Bush Administration after Yoo left, and was immediately made a hero by the Left.

That lasted just a few months. The Left then tossed Goldsmith under the bus, after he told an audience in a speech at Boston College that in fact the evil Bush/Cheney Regime had underreported the threat to Americans from AQ terror plots.

The Left couldn’t have one of their tools saying that. So he went down the rabbit hole.

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Obama patient dumping scheme

Key West Reader on June 18, 2011 at 11:18 AM

UN Small Arms Treaty Endorsed by Billary Clintoon and Whatitsface Obama

Key West Reader on June 18, 2011 at 11:21 AM

unstinkingbelievable….

king obama has spoken

cmsinaz on June 18, 2011 at 11:38 AM

turned on all the cable news networks…..nary a peep….

crickets are chirping big time even on fox….

cmsinaz on June 18, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Operation Fast and Furious + Libya = Impeachment Proceedings!

petefrt on June 18, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Impeachment for thee ,not for me!

ohiobabe on June 18, 2011 at 10:09 AM

yepper

cmsinaz on June 18, 2011 at 11:43 AM

turned on all the cable news networks…..nary a peep….

crickets are chirping big time even on fox….

cmsinaz on June 18, 2011 at 11:42 AM

This is where maybe the GOP could make a few public service announcements or something. I hate to keep hammering away at the need to ads but, people need to see and hear.

I try to talk to a few people I know, I try to mention a few things without overwhelming anyone.. just to alert people and they just look at me like I’m crazy. Somebody posted it here, if it’s not on American Idol or Dancing with the Stars, does it really matter? Does it really exist?

JellyToast on June 18, 2011 at 11:47 AM

turned on all the cable news networks…..nary a peep….

crickets are chirping big time even on fox….

cmsinaz on June 18, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Fox has got the story as a headline on their web page and just mentioned they’d be talking about after their “money” shows.

There is virtually nothing on CNN’s page nor MSNBC’s.

Knucklehead on June 18, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Obama to Libya: yes, I am bombing you, but in a nice way.

bitsy on June 18, 2011 at 12:04 PM

LOL

Rick Moran at American Thinker

Obama went lawyer shopping for War Powers Act opinion

So what if the top legal advisors at the Pentagon and Department of Justice told the president he had to get congressional authorization for the war in Libya? Obama was sure he could find someone to split the necessary legal hairs to find him justification to make war without pesky democratic checks and balances like, you know, the law standing in his way.

To say that the legal justification Obama accepted from other attorneys is weak, a stretch, contradictory, and without merit is just getting started in a critique of the president’s actions. He actually overrode the top legal minds in government when it comes to warmaking in order to give congress the back of his hand.

For the record, Bush did something similar in overriding legal opinions at DoJ on FISA warrants. The legal justification for enhanced interrogation techniques was also shopped by the White House.

But in the Bush case, these actions were taken post 9/11 and dealt with the security of the US. No one argues that Libya is anything but a “humanitarian” adventure with zero impact on the safety and security of the country.

And only rank partisans argue that our actions in Libya fail to rise to the level of involvement where the War Powers Act should not be triggered.

The moral of this story is, if presidents look hard enough, they can probably find a legal justification for just about anything.

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Is it just me or does it seem like the wheels are starting to fall off of the Obama Administration.

Everything seems to be coming to a head and one thing after another is starting to snowball.

Not sure if Republican disinfectant in Congress is finally allowing all the shenanigans to come to light or if the strain of trying to keep it all under wraps and within the bubble is tearing it all apart.

Or am I imagining things?

ButterflyDragon on June 18, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Glenn Greenwald’s site is getting some hysterical “letters to the editor”…

Of course, Glenn, Obama is a lawyer who taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. He is perfectly capable of determining which legal opinions he received from different lawyers in his own administration are persuasive and which are not. This is not a situation where he had to trust in and defer to the experts. He is himself an expert.

(One of crr6′s relatives in CA)

When I can’t tell the right wing authoritarians and chickenhawks from those of the CultOfObama I figure the gap between the Bush administration and the Obama administration has narrowed to an indistinguishable degree. Not a nearly indistinguishable degree; but the distinction is without any substantive difference. The Limit is not just approaching Zero [L-->O], in defiance of Leibniz (apologies to Newton), Zero has been reached and breached.

He’s worse than Cheney, isn’t he?

And WHO helped him get elected?

(Try not to make the same mistake again…)

By the way, economically, his wars are, in many ways, breaking this country economically.

Shouldn’t he be held accountable?

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2011 at 12:20 PM

What if Obama/NATO and friends decide someone or a group in the US or Israel is a threat, will he turn his drones upon the American/Israeli citizens just because one of his crony lawyers says he can?

nwpammy on June 18, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Jindal says to not “hate” him.

Hate him with all you’ve got, mock and ridicule him too.

He knows no limits and his destruction is just in phase I.

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Eau de Obama.

Ve vage de wahr wit de velvet helmet.

/And the occasional drone when we feel like pressing the buttons on my special chair of authority. And, when I’m really feeling frisky, I might break out my button of doom. So. You. Just. Watchit.

(michelle and valjar)

Key West Reader on June 18, 2011 at 12:47 PM

“But the safety of the people of America against dangers from foreign force depends not only on their forbearing to give just causes of war to other nations, but also on their placing and continuing themselves in such a situation as not to invite hostility or insult; for it need not be observed that there are pretended as well as just causes of war.” –John Jay, Federalist No. 4

Mcguyver on June 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM

I can’t believe that Obama would take this position. As candidate Obama, we loved it when he accused George W. Bush of ignoring the War Powers Act and said as president he would comply with it. And here he’s got a chance to, and he’s thumbing his nose at it.

…This is just another case, I think, of a president trying to act above the Constitution, above the law. Barack Obama doing it just like — I hate to say it — just like George Bush did, dammit! And this is supposed to be different.

Leftist Loon Bill “Lovenstein Institute” Press on his radio show Thursday.

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2011 at 1:16 PM

I mentioned Jack Goldsmith earlier; he worked for the Bush Regime after John Yoo left. Here’s what he has to say about this latest mess:

The Administration argues that its operation is legitimated and limited by the U.N. Security Council Resolution. It does not really explain why it thinks this. But in any event, the “no danger to troops” theory, combined with the heavy reliance on the Security Council Resolution, suggest that the Administration is creating a principle of unilateral presidential war power for U.N.-sponsored interventions from a distance. In practice, this principle will likely favor humanitarian over national security interventions, since the U.N. is more likely to authorize a purely humanitarian intervention than one that has a more obvious U.S. national security interest. So the ambition of the Obama legal theory – or at least its effect – is to carve out a place for presidential war unilateralism for U.N.-sponsored humanitarian wars but not (for lack of a better phrase) national security wars. That ambition (or effect), unsurprisingly, dovetails with the commitments and preferences of some top Obama advisors.

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2011 at 1:21 PM

The Democrat’s ruler is a dictator…pure and simple. The constitution of the U.S. had never meant squat to him…he is a dangerous person and a traitor to the U.S.

metroryder on June 18, 2011 at 1:24 PM

LOL, big surprise there. When you say you don’t know much about this area of the law, you are simply trying to buy more time so like Harold Koh you can find a way to twist the law to mean what you want it to mean for your President. As I have said before and it is now confirmed, you aren’t a liberal, you’re a partisan.

How’s that, Daemonocracy? I’m the one who said, on first blush, I disagree with the President here. You’re the one who’s now foaming at the mouth about executive power issues when you were quiet as a mouse during the Bush years. So who’s the partisan?

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Are you effing kidding me?! Were you in a coma during Bush’s Presidency? He went to Congress and got the approval he needed for both wars! You’re not living in reality. Thus is the legacy of the hypocritical left. How can you say what he “would have done” when what HE DID was the complete opposite! Goodness you’re a freaking loon!

jawkneemusic on June 18, 2011 at 3:45 AM

Jawkneemusic,

I think you’re confusing the issue here. The problem isn’t whether or not Obama has received Congressional approval for Libya (at least, that’s not what this post is about), it’s that he overruled the OLC and other top administration lawyers. He’s perfectly within his rights to do so, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 1:38 PM

I’d urge you to read more about the opinions John Yoo wrote during the Bush years. I’m sure you’ll be at the very least, equally outraged

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 2:38 AM

Is crr6 Debbie Wasserman-Schultz?

John Yoo’s legal arguments were sound and supported by case law. The President chose to defer to Yoo’s legal arguments, and AS A DIRECT RESULT OSAMA BIN LADEN IS SLEEPING WITH THE FISHES. Unlike your hero, the Black Narcissus, who decided to charge ahead after ignoring his own legal counsel’s advice.

Better put some ice on that . . .

BigAlSouth on June 18, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Knucklehead on June 18, 2011 at 11:58 AM

thanks knucklehead….

cmsinaz on June 18, 2011 at 1:49 PM

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Bush obtained an Authorization to Use Military Force from Congress prior to commencing hostilities (or non-hostile kinetic activities or whatever BS the WH is peddling this week).

MJBrutus on June 18, 2011 at 1:55 PM

I think you’re confusing the issue here. The problem isn’t whether or not Obama has received Congressional approval for Libya (at least, that’s not what this post is about), it’s that he overruled the OLC and other top administration lawyers. He’s perfectly within his rights to do so, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Congress would have given him the OK. Why didn’t he just go to them in the first place?

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Congress would have given him the OK. Why didn’t he just go to them in the first place?

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Duh Won??? Deferring to his “lessers”???

Roy Rogers on June 18, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Congress would have given him the OK. Why didn’t he just go to them in the first place?

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Because narcissists cannot fathom “getting permission” from anyone they deem inferior to them. Which means everyone.

ButterflyDragon on June 18, 2011 at 2:15 PM

More from Jack Goldsmith

It is interesting and unusual enough that President Obama, of all people, would take an aggressive view of his war authorities and interpret the WPR very narrowly. But the lawyers he relied on to reach this conclusion make the situation even more interesting and unusual. I discount the legal input of the White House Counsel; Bob Bauer is a smart man but neither he nor his office is expert in war powers or situated to offer thorough legal advice on the issue. Legal Advisor Harold Koh, by contrast, spent his entire academic career studying and writing about presidential war powers, including the WPR. Based on this academic record, one would not have expected Koh to push an unusually narrow interpretation of the WPR. Nor would one have expected him to have supported the original constitutional justification for unilateral presidential intervention in Libya. To get a flavor of what one might have expected, consider what Koh’s former colleague Bruce Ackerman said in support of his nomination to lead State-L:

“This is the real importance of the Koh nomination. President Obama has selected one of the few lawyers who probed deeply into the constitutional implications of presidential unilateralism and how it might be controlled. Koh would be taking his position as legal adviser at one of the rare moments when it might be politically possible to consider a National Security Charter that aims to restore an effective system of checks and balances.”

This is not how things have worked out. One wonders why. One possibility is that Koh has a client, the Secretary of State, who is committed to the Libya intervention, and he is serving his client faithfully. Another possibility is that Koh’s commitments to humanitarian intervention and the “responsibility to protect” outweigh his commitment to his academic vision of presidential war powers. I certainly do not believe that Koh’s academic views should control his advice and judgment during his government service. Nor do I think that his academic writings addressed the precise issue under the WPR that he is now advocating in the government. But for a quarter century before heading up State-L, Koh was the leading and most vocal academic critic of presidential unilateralism in war, and a tireless advocate for institutional cooperation between the political branches in war decisions. I am thus genuinely surprised, as many people are, by his current stance.

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Makes all his talk about Bush seem pretty disingenuous doesn’t it?

Scrappy on June 18, 2011 at 3:44 PM

ButterflyDragon on June 18, 2011 at 2:15 PM

ding ding ding

cmsinaz on June 18, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Scrappy on June 18, 2011 at 3:44 PM

indeed….and he’ll do it again for the campaign…

cmsinaz on June 18, 2011 at 4:20 PM

John Yoo’s legal arguments were sound and supported by case law.

BigAlSouth on June 18, 2011 at 1:43 PM

LOL.

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 4:38 PM

John Yoo’s legal arguments were sound and supported by case law.

BigAlSouth on June 18, 2011 at 1:43 PM

LOL.

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Then why in 2009 did the O’bama Administration try to get the lawsuit against Yoo dismissed?

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Erkel here can’t even make it right on a bike….
…..much less a horse:

http://weaselzippers.us/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Obama-riding-a-bike.jpg

Baxter Greene on June 18, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Make it viral, peeps:

http://i50.tinypic.com/ablbms.jpg

RedNewEnglander on June 18, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Welcome to the right side of the issue. I hope you’ll stay with us in the future.

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 2:38 AM

Your narcissism knows no bounds. particularly right after such stupidity as this:

Would Bush have done the same thing, given the circumstances?

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2011 at 12:03 AM

Absolutely. In fact, he would have went much further.

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 2:38 AM

Without a single bit of evidence to back a wild claim that is exactly the opposite of what Bush did in the most similar situation he faced.

Once again you come here hoping that a mountain of legalese BS will distract people from that fact that you have very little common sense.

Scrappy on June 18, 2011 at 5:26 PM

John Yoo’s legal arguments were sound and supported by case law.

BigAlSouth on June 18, 2011 at 1:43 PM

LOL.

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 4:38 PM

No logical refutation; just a too cute attempt at dismissiveness.

You don’t even bring a real argument; just claims of superior intellect and knowledge, wrapped in poor grammer and cheesy snark.

massrighty on June 18, 2011 at 5:39 PM

John Yoo’s legal arguments were sound and supported by case law.

BigAlSouth on June 18, 2011 at 1:43 PM

LOL.

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 4:38 PM

No logical refutation; just a too cute attempt at dismissiveness.

You don’t even bring a real argument; just claims of superior intellect and knowledge, wrapped in poor grammer and cheesy snark.

massrighty on June 18, 2011 at 5:39 PM

No logical refutation is possible, because logic is a term foreign to those on the Left.

crr6: have any of Yoo’s legal decisions been legally overturned or ruled to be unconstitutional? I’ve found absolutely no evidence to suggest that they have.

And once again, if Yoo’s decisions were as you say “lol-worthy”, why has the O’bama Regime tried to get the lawsuit against him dismissed?

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2011 at 5:52 PM

You don’t even bring a real argument; just claims of superior intellect and knowledge, wrapped in poor grammer and cheesy snark.

massrighty on June 18, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Ahhh yes. Good times.

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 6:08 PM

wrapped in poor grammer and cheesy snark.

massrighty on June 18, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Ahhh yes. Good times.

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Yeah, a one-key typo; focus on that, and ignore the larger point.

Not your “A” game, even for you.

massrighty on June 18, 2011 at 6:21 PM

The hits just keep on coming!

Leaving aside the horrid grammer on display here;

massrighty on February 18, 2011 at 7:26 PM

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 6:26 PM

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 6:26 PM

Yes, but what we learn here is this – that I have trouble remembering how to spell grammar. You, on the other hand, claim a superior intellect and education, don’t know how to structure a coherent sentence.

Focusing on my speck, while ignoring your own plank, isn’t really winning, except in your everybody gets a trophy just for showing up universe.

massrighty on June 18, 2011 at 6:31 PM

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 6:08 PM

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 6:26 PM

That’s what you resort to when you can’t address any of the points made? Pathetic.

Scrappy on June 18, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Still waiting:

crr6: have any of Yoo’s legal decisions been legally overturned or ruled to be unconstitutional? I’ve found absolutely no evidence to suggest that they have.

And once again, if Yoo’s decisions were as you say “lol-worthy”, why has the O’bama Regime tried to get the lawsuit against him dismissed?

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Del Dolemonte,

crr6: have any of Yoo’s legal decisions been legally overturned or ruled to be unconstitutional?

Yoo’s decisions were overturned in the alternate universe crr6 resides in. Apparently this alternate universe is a place where President Bush refused to seek Congressional authorization for the conflicts that occurred during his term, Barack Obama is unquestionably qualified to be POTUS, and this nation is economically better off now than we were four years ago.

Mike Honcho on June 19, 2011 at 1:19 AM

The first one to point out typos and misspellings when debating politics loses. Don’t you know that by now crr6? Of course your position is an obvious loser to begin with. I guess it’s all you have. Here’s a clue. Your evil ideology has blinded you to truth. Your faux-intellectual comments here prove it and actually exposes your foolish and uninformed state in grand fashion. We all see through it crr6 dear….you’re convincing no one.

To point to someone’s very minor misspelling as evidence of their supposed ignorance or either your self-supposed superiority is the height of arrogant pomposity. Typical libtard tactic.

starman on June 19, 2011 at 2:03 AM

How’s that, Daemonocracy? I’m the one who said, on first blush, I disagree with the President here. You’re the one who’s now foaming at the mouth about executive power issues when you were quiet as a mouse during the Bush years. So who’s the partisan?

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 1:34 PM

No, you the main purport of your comment was that President Bush would have gone further than Obama with Libya. How could you possible know this? What evidence do you base this leap of logic on? Why did you ignore the inconvenient historical fact that Bush went to Congress before he pursued hostilities?

You glossed over what Obama did and went after Bush and then, which is common with you, you through up a red herring about conservative double standards. You attacked Bush, you attacked Conservatives, you did everything a one note partisan does when their first instinct is to defend Obama because he is on the same “team” as you.

Then again, you are the same person who cited the NLRB complaint against Boeing as fact and convicted Boeing in your mind based on that complaint without even hearing Boeing’s side of the story. Before there was even a trial and a chance to hear arguments from both parties, you immediately sided with the NLRB and the union, just like a good partisan hack would.

Daemonocracy on June 19, 2011 at 11:14 PM

On another note crr6:

1) Quote Mining
2) Straw Man arguments
3) Red Herrings
4) Ad Hominem attacks

You fall back on the same logical fallacies in every single debate you are involved in while trolling this blog. You have not improved one bit in putting your side forth and just aren’t a serious person.

Don’t bother pointing out the irony in what I just wrote as an ad hominem attack itself, it is not. This post is completely unrelated to the topic at hand and just an observation of your bad habits. It is up to you whether you take it as constructive criticism or a personal attack. I wonder if you aspire to be anything more than a troll.

Daemonocracy on June 19, 2011 at 11:28 PM

No, you the main purport of your comment was that President Bush would have gone further than Obama with Libya. How could you possible know this? What evidence do you base this leap of logic on? Why did you ignore the inconvenient historical fact that Bush went to Congress before he pursued hostilities?

I think you’re confused, Daemonocracy. The topic of this thread is Obama’s opinion shopping re: the Lybia issue. Bush did pretty much the same thing re: warrantless wiretapping, and in fact, in my opinion Bush’s opinion shopping was much, much worse. See here for a comparison of the two.

So yes, we do know that in a similar situation, Bush would react similarly. It’s a historical fact that he acted similarly. Why are you ignoring that?

You glossed over what Obama did and went after Bush

Well you seem to think I glossed over what Obama did, but I thought I addressed it pretty clearly. Can you explain exactly what it is you would have liked me to write? Because it’s very important to me that my posts satisfy your standards for even-handedness. You are, after all, an authority on non-partisanship and fairness.

and then, which is common with you, you through up a red herring about conservative double standards.

Well excuse me, but it’s hard not to mention the fact that you guys are relatively new to this side of the issue. As I mentioned above, Bush did pretty much the exact same thing, and I don’t recall anyone here being too upset about it. So I’m glad you’ve joined us, but it’s certainly a bit odd (and worth mentioning) that your concern over Presidential war powers and the integrity of the OLC have developed so recently. Surely you agree, given your deep concerns about blind partisanship.

Then again, you are the same person who cited the NLRB complaint against Boeing as fact and convicted Boeing in your mind based on that complaint without even hearing Boeing’s side of the story. Before there was even a trial and a chance to hear arguments from both parties, you immediately sided with the NLRB and the union, just like a good partisan hack would.

Daemonocracy on June 19, 2011 at 11:14 PM

Again, I think you’re factually incorrect here, Daemononcracy. I’ve repeatedly said that it’s unclear at this point whether Boeing committed a ULP, and that there’s a good chance they’ll win their case. See here for an example:

If Boeing can establish that they moved the plant for economic/business reasons, rather than in retaliation for their employees’ engaging in protected conduct (striking), then they’ll win.

crr6 on May 5, 2011 at 11:53 AM

ve said over and over again that there’s a good chance they’ll win. The law is very employer-friendly; if they can prove they made the decision for pretty much any reason other than anti-union animus, then there’s no ULP.
crr6 on May 5, 2011 at 12:01 PM

crr6 on June 20, 2011 at 8:33 AM

I think you’re confused

crr6 on June 20, 2011 at 8:33 AM

The Messrs Pot and Kettle meet reality.

Roy Rogers on June 20, 2011 at 11:01 AM

So it’s not “hostilities”, but “tough love”? O-kay.

Ward Cleaver on June 20, 2011 at 1:26 PM

I think you’re confused, Daemonocracy. The topic of this thread is Obama’s opinion shopping re: the Lybia issue. Bush did pretty much the same thing re: warrantless wiretapping, and in fact, in my opinion Bush’s opinion shopping was much, much worse. See here for a comparison of the two.

Once again, you ignore the issue at hand, which is Obama circumventing the war powers act and your statement that Bush would have done the same, and you focus on a completely unrelated issue in an attempt to bash Bush. You are stuck on Bush, and deflecting attention from Obama. You ignore the direct comparisons of Iraq and Afghanistan compared to what Obama is doing with Libya and instead rather focus on “warrantless wiretapping” (yet the Obama administration pursues the same wiretapping policies). You either can’t see the difference because you are a blind partisan or because you are nothing more than a troll who has no interest in an honest discourse.

Well excuse me, but it’s hard not to mention the fact that you guys are relatively new to this side of the issue. As I mentioned above, Bush did pretty much the exact same thing, and I don’t recall anyone here being too upset about it.

“Pretty much the same thing”? Pretty much the same is nothing like actually the same.

Let me explain to you the conservative position: Bush had actually gone to Congress both times and though he didn’t get a declaration of war, he received authorization for military action which is covered under the War Powers act. Obama has not received said authorization to comply with the war powers act and that is the difference. That is the controversy. You refuse to acknowledge this difference and instead cling to a made up double standard that only exists in your world. Bush went to congress and received the proper authorization while Obama has not. He could have and would have easily received the votes needed, but he did NOT.

One more time: Bush went to congress and received proper authorization, Obama did not.

Would Bush had handled Libya the same way as Obama? According to actual history, no.

Well you seem to think I glossed over what Obama did, but I thought I addressed it pretty clearly. Can you explain exactly what it is you would have liked me to write? Because it’s very important to me that my posts satisfy your standards for even-handedness. You are, after all, an authority on non-partisanship and fairness.

I listed the logical fallacies which you consistently fall back on in your arguments. You did so yet again in this comment and never actually addressed what I said. You’re clearly not a serious person.

As for the Boeing issue, here is your argument:

It can’t move the work to penalize/chill protected conduct. And from the complaint, it appears that’s exactly what they were doing. Why would they mention time and time again to the press that they were moving it due to the strikes, unless they wanted to discourage the WA employees from striking?

crr6 on May 3, 2011 at 7:40 PM

and…

Proof, please.

pambi on May 3, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Read the complaint.

crr6 on May 3, 2011 at 11:01 AM

and…

crrr6: Just what statements are being used to show aminus?

The only ones I see in the complaint are statements that they want to provide diversification from the frequent labor disruptions they have seen in the past.

That seems like a sound economic choice to lower production risk. Clearly a valid business concern not animus.

I may have missed the big one. Could you provide it or point me to it?

OBQuiet on May 3, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Well it’s very early in the case, but as of now, the statements in the complaint.

crr6 on May 3, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Here is the whole thread so others can see for themselves the clear favoritism you had for the union over Boeing while only hearing one side:

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/05/03/nlrb-still-making-the-news/comment-page-3/#comments

Page 1 is all anyone really needs to read since your position fell apart immediately because your “proof” was based on the complaint and accusations made by the union. You’re just not a serious person.

Daemonocracy on June 20, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Barry is orchestrating this kabuki theatre.

Obama wants to provoke this crisis. Barry is instigating “both sides” outrage over mission creep– all the better to push new binding legislation on any future POTUS.

Progressives and neo-isolationist libertarians both desire cynical restraints on American power enacted by Congress. Imagine America reduced to defending ourselves with a pre-WWII Polish Legislature-in-Chief.

Will conservatives see this trap and counter it?

Terp Mole on June 21, 2011 at 2:10 PM

binky reflexively apes Louis Farrakhan;

“Who the hell does he think he is?”

*dismissed*

Terp Mole on June 22, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Welcome to the right side of the issue. I hope you’ll stay with us in the future.
crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 2:38 AM

^^^^^^

she is a Lynne Stewart disciple who can’t wait to damage the country she was born in by betraying it

Sonosam on January 4, 2012 at 10:07 PM

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