Gates: Of course Obama should have hit Libya

posted at 9:20 am on June 20, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Something has changed in the world view of retiring Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Whether this is just an evolving view based on conditions on the ground or a new freedom to speak his mind remains to be seen. In any event, he hit the Sunday morning talk show circuit this week to comment on foreign policy and raised a few eyebrows. First, we recall what his position on Libya was roughly 90 days ago.

It was reported in March that Gates, along with Counterterrorism Chief John Brennan and National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon, privately advised the president to avoid military involvement in Libya — but they were overruled, and Gates subsequently has became one of the stronger advocates of the controversial operation.

And now the position taken this past weekend.

Gates told Wallace that President Obama made the right call in letting NATO take the lead on the operation, what has been referred to as the United States “leading from behind.”

“When this operation stated,” Gates told Wallace, “we were at war in Iraq still, we had 50,000 troops in Iraq, we have 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, we have 24,000 people engaged in Japanese earthquake relief – we have a number of commitments around the world.”

“So, the arrangement and the understanding that the president had with our key allies form the very beginning was the U.S. would come in heavy at the beginning, establish the no-fly zone and then had off the operation to our allies – and that we would recede into a support role,” Gates said.

Back in the real world, that particular horse has already left the barn and the debate back home has settled into a good old fashioned fight between the co-equal branches of the government, and it’s not just Republicans vs. Democrats. Ohio Congressman Mike Turner is among those claiming that the president has violated the War Powers Act. Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham wants all of the president’s critics on Libya to sit down and shut up.

John McCain has never been accused of falling on the doves’ side of arguments with the hawks, and stayed true to form this week. He is warning the rest of the GOP against a return to the “strain of isolationism” which used to permeate the party, and “Pat Buchanan style Republicanism.”

I’m not sure what Gates is up to at this point. I’ve yet to hear any serious discussion of his seeking higher office or, in fact, a future in politics of any sort after leaving the administration. He may very well be planning a book tour, or possibly even a role as a media commentator on military matters. (And it would be hard to argue with his bona fides on that score.) But at least for now, he’s backing up his boss on the question of our current activity in Libya.

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Just obey the law, d*mmit.

rogerb on June 20, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Ugh…

The problem isn’t being over in Libya as much as *following the law* and *having a plan of what we’re going to do*.

The former clearly wasn’t done, as Obama has given the finger to Congress at every opportunity. There is no indication that the latter exists either, IMHO.

teke184 on June 20, 2011 at 9:29 AM

It’s only about the law. The fact that it may be unconstitutional is neither here nor there. A court has to decide that, not McCain or Gramnesty.

wb-33777 on June 20, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Ugh indeed

It’s the double standard of congress and the lsm….W had to get approval before doing anything and this dude is allowed to start one without any repercussions

cmsinaz on June 20, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Old joke: What do you call a cabinet member who disagrees with his POTUS? Answer: Unemployed.

apostic on June 20, 2011 at 9:43 AM

I don’t see a new position here. His advice to the president, privately, and to an extent publicly in the run up to the decision, in the way he couched the difficulties of success, is one thing. The position he takes here is the position Gates has had since Obama made the decision — support the President’s policy.

Isn’t this expected? Isn’t this pretty much the way everyone would want it to be?

I’ve got to say, also, that nothing in the story actually shows that Gates says Obama was right to hit Libya, unless one’s belief is that Gates is incapable of spinning or mincing words.

Dusty on June 20, 2011 at 9:50 AM

The Fox interview, at least shouldn’t have raised any eyebrows. Gates is an honorable man, and tremendously capable, and he was spacifically asked to defend a marginal policy (Libya). He did so, as one would expect. If you want criticism of the policy, then talk to those people who are outside of the administration. Talk to Buchanan or Kucinich.

But I have to ask: how comfortable are people here being on the same side of a political fight as scum like Pat Buchanan or Dennis the Menace? Not me.

I have no idea why we are in Libya, but instead of being petty in my criticism and trying to figure out where the bright line is on the War Powers Resolution, I would take the argument right to the President of the United States (where it belongs!): Why are we in Libya? What is the national interest?

MTF on June 20, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Where did you get that teaser photo? Was Gates on Weekend Update?

DailyDanet on June 20, 2011 at 9:57 AM

I wonder if Boehner and his bud talked about the impending impeachment proceedings during their golf game the other day….

theaddora on June 20, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Gates realized his skin was on the line too so he’s decided to fight on.

Bishop on June 20, 2011 at 10:01 AM

So we are offered the either or argument again. John McCain’s position appears to be if we don’t attack countries of opportunity we are isolationist? The other side is we can’t afford $$$ to keep hitting target’s of opportunity. This reminds me of the illegal immigration debate. It’s framed for making political points, not for resolving any issue- either we deport millions of illegal aliens or we make them citizens, either or. Neither political party is required to take the extreme position every time an issue comes up, like this one for example. What is the point? To be contrary and feed their political base. They are actually supposed to govern after they are elected, not run on endless political campaigning talking points.

The mention of Pat Buchanan is supposed to invoke fear in the electorate. Since when is not attacking other countries, where no clear case of national interest can be made, define anyone as being isolationist? “either or” .

As far as Lindsey Graham, and his argument about Afghanistan. If we did leave Afghanistan, the warring partys would settle it between themselves- The Taliban would probably take back over. We don’t need to inject ourselves into every civil war around the globe. It’s draining our treasury. The target is Al Qeada – the focus should remain on Al Qeada we should keep hitting them, and stomping them, until they can’t get back up. Lindsey Graham doesn’t appear to understand “mission creep” and the consequences of mission creep. If Graham wants to stay in Afghanistan forever, he should move there.

Dr Evil on June 20, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Just obey the law, d*mmit.

rogerb on June 20, 2011 at 9:25 AM

You might want to have a look at this legal blog on war and have a look at the article from last Friday. It is interesting as it points to the potential legal arguments as well as one of the legal personalities involved.

lexhamfox on June 20, 2011 at 10:08 AM

lexhamfox on June 20, 2011 at 10:08 AM

I cited that article by Jack Goldsmith on Saturday in another thread. Goldsmith, remember, was briefly made a hero by the Left after criticizing some of Bush’s decisions in the WOT, but they later threw him under the bus after he mentioned in a speech that Bush had in fact under-reported the terror threats from AQ.

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Book Review Section Now Live
Monday, June 20, 2011
by Benjamin Wittes

Lawfare’s new book review section is now live. Reviews will appear as a regular posts, but the most recent reviews will also show up listed on the side bar. A page with all of the reviews can be found by clicking the “More Reviews” link on the sidebar.

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Book Review: Habeas Corpus After 9/11: Confronting America’s New Global Detention System
by Jonathan Hafetz
Published by New York University Press
Reviewed by Benjamin Wittes
Monday, June 20, 2011

Jonathan Hafetz’s new book on post-September 11 habeas corpus strikes an oddly dissonant chord. The keynote in Habeas Corpus After 9/11: Confronting America’s New Global Detention System is celebratory as to the writ’s role—the now-predictable exultation on the part of the American Left of the role that habeas has played in reining in detention excesses.

At the same time, however, Hafetz is candid that habeas has been in the past and increasingly will be in the future inadequate as a means of checking the executive—and he thus urges its radical expansion to allow judges to supervise detentions beyond Guantanamo Bay, even beyond individuals held by U.S. forces abroad. Yet even as he argues for this expansion, Hafetz also argues uncompromisingly against non-criminal detention itself—that is, for the abolishment of those very practices that he would expand habeas to cover. His book is frustrating because he never quite squares the circle between the grandiose role he would have habeas play and the virtual null set of detentions he would allow. Put simply, he never quite answers the question of why habeas is really important if one is not going to have any detainees to file cases.

Most of Hafetz’s book is a fairly conventional, and familiar, liberal critique of the Bush administration on detention matters. The first section, in the author’s summary, “examines the rise of the interconnected global detention system.” It “traces the origins of this system to a series of executive branch decisions and legal opinions that opened the door to arbitrary detention, sham military trials, and torture, all without court review.” It discusses Guantanamo as “a prison beyond the law, pervaded by illegal detention, abuse, and secrecy.” It looks at “other off-shore U.S. prisons, from the military detention centers in Afghanistan and Iraq to secret CIA jails or ‘black sites.’” And it tells the story, once again, of both the litigation to establish judicial control over Guantanamo and the story of the domestic enemy combatant cases—which Hafetz describes as the effort to “create a lawless enclave—a new Guantanamo—on American soil.” All of this is well-trodden territory. There’s not that much new to add on these subjects, and Hafetz does not, in my view anyway, add much that is new.

In this review, therefore, I focus almost entirely on Hafetz’s final section, his four forward-looking chapters, which engage a project close to my own heart. As he summarizes in his introduction, this section,

Provides the broad outlines of a legal and sustainable detention policy. As its starting point, it takes the singular importance of habeas corpus as a constraint against the growth of prisons beyond the law. It also explains why habeas alone is insufficient, its potential constrained by a combination of practical limits on its availability and the government’s proclivity to seek new ways to detain and interrogate without judicial oversight.

Hafetz is certainly correct that the scope of habeas coverage is a question of “singular importance” if the United States is going to be holding a lot of detainees in the future. And his book does attempt to solve some of the vexing problems associated with defining the reach of habeas in the context of a worldwide conflict against a non-state actor. These problems all boil down to the fact that the writ’s availability in some contexts but not others creates incentives for the government to exploit those situations to which habeas does not extend and to avoid those to which habeas does extend whenever possible. (Continued)
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Senate Armed Services Language on Detainee Matters
Sunday, June 19, 2011
by Benjamin Wittes

The Senate Armed Services Committee announced Friday that it had completed its markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2012. Committee Chairman Carl Levin, in the press release accompanying the bill, declared that ”The bill contains a bipartisan compromise provision regarding detainee matters that provides a statutory basis for the detention of individuals captured in the course of hostilities conducted pursuant to the Authorization for the Use of Military Force and deals with other important matters relating to such detainees.” I have not yet seen the language itself, but from the committee’s summary, it appears to lack the House bill’s language on the AUMF but to include a version of the mandatory military detention provision that was stripped from the House version. The committee’s summary describes the language as follows:

The bill reported by the committee includes a bipartisan detainee compromise, introduced by Senators Levin, McCain, Graham, Chambliss, Brown, and Webb, that was adopted by a 25-1 vote. The bipartisan detainee provision would:

* Provide a statutory basis for the detention of individuals captured in the course of hostilities conducted pursuant to the Authorization for the Use of Military Force.
* Require military detention – subject to a national security waiver – for the core group of detainees who are part of al Qaeda and participate in planning, carrying out or attempting attacks against the United States or coalition partners.
* Establish permanent limitations on the transfer of Guantanamo Bay (GITMO)detainees to foreign countries, to ensure that all possible steps have been taken to avoid recidivism, subject to a national security waiver.
* Establish a permanent prohibition on the use of DOD funds to build facilities in the United States to house GITMO detainees.
* Require DOD to issue procedures addressing ambiguities in the review process established for GITMO detainees and ensure that the Secretary of Defense has final responsibility for any release or transfer decision.
* Require DOD to establish procedures, including a military judge and a military lawyer, for determining the status of detainees who will be held in long-term custody pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
* Clarify procedures for guilty pleas in trials by military commission

I will post the text–and my thoughts on it–as soon as I can obtain a copy.
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Site Upgrades, Book Reviews, and Facebook Likes
Saturday, June 18, 2011
by Benjamin Wittes

Lawfare is currently undergoing some technical upgrades to enable our new book review section. The section, as you will see on the sidebar, now exists, but it is empty. That will change as soon as we iron out a few minor kinks. Please bear with us in the meantime.

Discerning readers will also notice that there is a new Facebook “like” button in the sidebar to the right. This is for those of you who are too lazy to visit our Facebook page. Now you really have no excuse. If you have a Facebook account, please click the button. If you don’t have one, please get one so that you can then click the button. As I type these words, the number of “likes” reads 328. Every time that number goes up, someone’s Facebook friends are learning about the site.
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President Obama Rejected DOJ and DOD Advice, and Sided with Harold Koh, on War Powers Resolution
Friday, June 17, 2011
by Jack Goldsmith

Charlie Savage has the amazing story that President Obama “rejected the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department when he decided that he had the legal authority to continue American military participation in the air war in Libya without Congressional authorization.” The Acting head of the Office of Legal Counsel, Caroline Krass, and the General Counsel of the Department of Defense, Jeh Johnson, advised the President that military activities in Libya constituted “hostilities” under the War Powers Resolution and thus Section 5(b) of the WPR required him to terminate or scale back the mission after May 20. The President – himself a lawyer – rejected this advice and instead sided with the White House Counsel, Robert Bauer, and the State Department Legal Advisor, Harold Koh, who argued that the actions in Libya fell short of “hostilities” and thus did not implicate Section 5(b)’s termination provisions.

There are many things to say about this but here are a few quick reactions.

As Savage notes, the President has the authority under Article II to make legal determinations for the Executive branch. The process by which he reached this decision, however, was very unusual. The typical (and in my view best) process is for OLC to solicit the views of interested agencies and then offer its interpretation in a written opinion; then the President can, if he wishes, reject that considered OLC interpretation based on his independent judgment. This process has the virtue of placing the presumptive legal decision in the office – OLC – that is institutionally best suited to provide relatively detached legal advice to the President as well as the advice most consonant with Executive branch precedents and traditions. (I am not naïve about how detached OLC is, nor do I think it should be entirely detached; my complex views on this issue are laid out in The Terror Presidency and are summarized on pp. 195-97 of this essay.) OLC is also the government’s institutional expert on interpretations of the WPR. And it has not, traditionally, taken a narrow view of the WPR.

In the Libya decision, however, the typical process was not followed. As Savage explains:

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.

This is not a process designed to produce a sound legal decision. (In the NYT story, former OLC chief Walter Dellinger makes a similar point.) When the President effectively decides the legal question in the first instance based on the input of interested agencies, his legal judgment is inevitably skewed a great deal by wanting to uphold his policy. OLC (and any executive branch lawyer) faces this danger to some degree, but the danger is less pronounced when the initial decision is made in a relatively independent legal office in DOJ as compared to the Oval Office. And indeed in this instance, for reasons I explained here, the best reading of the law was clearly the one that OLC (and DOD) apparently gave the President.

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.

Goldsmith then concludes:

…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 20, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Sorry for the huge post, something wrong with my cut and past.

Del Dolemonte on June 20, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Obama have a plan?

He doesn’t think that far ahead.

Roy Rogers on June 20, 2011 at 10:22 AM

I have no idea why we are in Libya, but instead of being petty in my criticism and trying to figure out where the bright line is on the War Powers Resolution, I would take the argument right to the President of the United States (where it belongs!): Why are we in Libya? What is the national interest?

MTF on June 20, 2011 at 9:51 AM

According to my recollection, “we” (NATO and the US leading from behind) are there not to get rid of Colonel Gawdawful (that’s working well up to now) but to protect civilians (a few bumps in the road).

It would also provide a warning to countries like Syria not to brutalize their own civilian populations (still a work in progress).

Yes, Obama should give a speech before the revitalized anti-war left (remember them?) are out on the streets chanting Hey, Hey, Barack Hussein, How many kids have you killed in vain?

Yes, Let me be clear. Make no mistake. There are those who wouldn’t have you ever speak and there are others who would have you speak all the time. Do give us a speech about Libya, Mr. President. You got some ‘splainin’ to do.

Drained Brain on June 20, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Mr. President. You got some ‘splainin’ to do.

Exactly right. The idea that we are there to prevent a humanitarian outrage begs the question, “Why, then, aren’t we in Mexico, Nepal, North Korea, etc etc?”

It doesn’t wash.

We all hate Ghadafi- he bombed a nightclub in Berlin and a Pan Am flight aiming at Americans specifically- and I have no problem honoring our NATO treaty commitment either. When the Senate approved that treaty it had to know we might someday be called upon to send troops into harms way, and here we are.

But having said that, the President owes us an explanation based on national interest. Personally, I don’t think he can make an argument and that’s why he silent. We should be not be sending Americans to fight unless there is such an argument, and the political pressure on Obama should be mounting to stand up and tell us why he ordered this action, kinetic as it is.

MTF on June 20, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Del Dolemonte on June 20, 2011 at 10:21 AM

The miracle of javascript. You need to paste into a local editor and clean up. I’m finding that more and more sites are embedding extra stuff when I click the copy button. They can capture the copy button using javascript and pretty much add (or subtract) what they want.

unclesmrgol on June 20, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Del Dolemonte on June 20, 2011 at 10:21 AM

It is the links in the article that I found most interesting. My take from Kho’s leanings is that the nature of US support for the NATO mission (limited & sporadic) is what allows it to be compliant with WPR. I think that is why Gates is able to roll with this as well from a resources standpoint. There has been little reporting of the exact nature of US involvement (fine with me) but my bet would be that it is tailored to be compliant.

lexhamfox on June 20, 2011 at 11:24 AM

blink on June 20, 2011 at 11:33 AM

from the DOD website describing US involvement:

These include electronic warfare assistance; aerial refueling; strategic lift capability; personnel recovery and search and rescue; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support; a standby alert strike package and manpower support at three NATO headquarters.

It’s a little like the participation of certain countries in past missions in Afghanistan and Iraq which allow military forces to contribute without being seriously engaged in the fighting….

lexhamfox on June 20, 2011 at 11:41 AM

FLASHBACK Lebanon (9/82): Reagan deploys 1,200 U.S. Marines to Beirut.

President Reagan reported the first deployment without referring to [the War Powers Act], despite a warning from the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the deployment should be reported with specific reference to Section 4(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution.

President Reagan also reported the second deployment without reference to the War Powers Resolution, stating that the Marines would not engage in combat unless attacked.

In June 1983, *Congress passed the Lebanon Emergency Assistance Act of 1983 (P.L. 98-43), requiring statutory authority for the President to significantly expand the number or role of U.S. military personnel in Lebanon. As a result of the continuing War Powers debate, on September 20, 1993, *Congress passed a joint resolution (P.L. 98-119) authorizing the Marines to remain in Lebanon for 18 months. The resolution specifically invoked section 4(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution.

[Note: Reagan was never impeached for awaiting *Congressional action.]

Terp Mole on June 20, 2011 at 11:54 AM

blink whined: there’s no way to try killing someone as to avoid it being considered hostile.

Executing terrorists is not a hostile act– it is a justified act of self-defense.

Cluebat to Kaddafi-kuddler: What Congressional authorization empowered the Navy Seals to execute UBL in Pakistan?

Terp Mole on June 20, 2011 at 12:01 PM

binky lied: The US had no treaty obligation to support this mission against the government of Libya.

NATO’s mission is not “against the government of Libya.”

NATO forces are liberating Libya from Kaddafi’s hired mercs and are backing the legitimately recognized government of Libya.

Why do Paulian-Kookcynics persist in peddling these obvious LIES in support of Kaddafi? and in violation of FARA?

Terp Mole on June 20, 2011 at 12:10 PM

binky whined: You obviously haven’t ever read the language

Yeah well, you know thats just like, your opinion, man.

Terp Mole on June 20, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Blink, Hostile acts don’t require congressional approval under US law.

lexhamfox on June 20, 2011 at 12:23 PM

blink: Obama is way out on a limb on this issue

Admit it? I have repeatedly made clear that Barry is intentionally out on a limb on this.

Obama wants to provoke this crisis. I think Obama is allied with the Paulian-Kookcynic bloc in crafting this cynical hawk trap.

Barry is instigating (if not orchestrating) “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 20, 2011 at 12:26 PM

kaddafi-kuddler crowed: And my opinion is right.

*yawn* …more vacuous boasting?

Q: How does one confirm a museum-piece exhibit of drool-cup sporting idiotarianism?

A: When it asserts 3X! that John Kill Qaddafi Bolton… “supports Obama.”

binky credibility: 0.00

*dismissed*

Terp Mole on June 20, 2011 at 12:29 PM

John McCain has never been accused of falling on the doves’ side of arguments with the hawks

McCain isn’t a Hawk, he’s a Dodo.

FloatingRock on June 20, 2011 at 12:32 PM

binky whined: Is Obama awaiting congressional action?

How should I know? The WH position appears to be that these NATO actions in Libya don’t require Congressional approval.

Reagan didn’t solicit Congressional approval to join the multi-national force in Lebanon, either. It eventually took Congress a full year to authorize the Marines to remain in Lebanon for 18 months.

Try harder to avoid obfuscating on behalf of Kaddafi.

Terp Mole on June 20, 2011 at 12:39 PM

binky lied: Bolton’s position on this… supports Obama’s actions

Bolton’s position (“reverse course“) conflicts substantially with Obama– in particular in respect to our objective.

Why can’t Kaddafi-kuddlers wrap their micro-cephalic brains around the Bolton doctrine?

First, we must reverse course now and declare regime change to be our objective… Second, because Libya’s opposition leadership is still inchoate at best, we must identify anti-Gadhafi figures who are pro-Western and find ways, overt or covert, to strengthen their hands.”

Kaddafi has publicly VOWED to resume targeting civilian airliners.

If Americans learned anything from 9/11, it’s that we can’t afford to wait for terrorists to follow through on their threats.

America now has a duty to bring Kaddafi to justice; or justice to Kaddafi.

I don’t much care whether Kaddafi meets a Predator drone or Mussolini’s fate on a meat-hook. But Kaddafi (personally) must answer for his actions.

Mark these words: Anything short of a Kaddafi dirt-nap will be a grave mistake.

Terp Mole on June 20, 2011 at 12:44 PM

kaddafi-kuddler spat: Keep trying to pretend that Bolton’s position doesn’t support Obama’s actions

Explain to readers how Bolton’s course reversal supports Obama’s actions?

First, we must reverse course now and declare regime change to be our objective…

Don’t peddle obvious intellectual fraud your whole life, binky.

Terp Mole on June 20, 2011 at 12:56 PM

binky whined: Don’t you ever get tired of pasting citing the same comments verifiable facts over-and-over on here?

Nope. Get used to it.

FTFY

Terp Mole on June 20, 2011 at 12:59 PM

binky: Bolton is calling for regime change. Obama currently has the US military involved in hostile actions that support the mission of regime change ruled out regime change

FTFY

Grade: F- (miserable failure)

*dismissed*

Terp Mole on June 20, 2011 at 1:09 PM

MTF on June 20, 2011 at 9:51 AM

The case hasn’t been made because Obama never asked for an authorization, Congress would have certainly debated the issues and these question would have been asked.

And as a consequence, neither Congress nor the public has ever “bought into” the mission. Which is why support is crumbling after only three months.

LarryD on June 20, 2011 at 1:41 PM

kaddafi-kuddler drooled: Ha ha. Obama is absolutely supporting the mission of regime change.

I see. That explains why Harry Reid rejected Marco Rubio’s call to authorize regime change.

Reid dismisses Rubio’s call for Congress to authorize regime change in Libya

For her next trick, binky will explain why “up” is the new “down.”

*not*

Terp Mole on June 20, 2011 at 2:14 PM

binky lied: Obama is absolutely supporting regime change in Libya

Then explain why Harry Reid rejected Marco Rubio’s call to Congressionally authorize regime change.

Reid dismisses Rubio’s call for Congress to authorize regime change in Libya

Q: How can you tell when a Kaddafi-kuddler gets stumped?

A: When they begin peddling the outlandish fiction that Marco Rubio and John Bolton are tools of the Obama Administration.

*gaze*

Terp Mole on June 20, 2011 at 3:22 PM

John McCain has never been accused of falling on the doves’ side of arguments with the hawks, and stayed true to form this week. He is warning the rest of the GOP against a return to the “strain of isolationism” which used to permeate the party, and “Pat Buchanan style Republicanism.”

I’m not sure what Gates is up to at this point. I’ve yet to hear any serious discussion of his seeking higher office or, in fact, a future in politics of any sort after leaving the administration. He may very well be planning a book tour, or possibly even a role as a media commentator on military matters. (And it would be hard to argue with his bona fides on that score.) But at least for now, he’s backing up his boss on the question of our current activity in Libya.

John McCain, unlike some people on the right, has been consistent in his feelings about going after Gaddafi. He has remained steadfast in this regard. I have been amazed at how many conservatives have decided to argue for the War Powers Act when by and large they have never supported it. They also thought that going after Gaddafi was a good idea before we actually got involved. This is not true of all of these people of course, but it is true of a lot of them. A lot of this debate right now is more about politics than national security.

As for Gates, I think his remarks here have something to do with the remarks he made to NATO leaders not long ago when he chastised them for failing to carry their weight. If they do not want America to act alone, then they need to step up. The problem of course is in getting them to do what they agree to do.

Terrye on June 20, 2011 at 3:25 PM

How many more innocents must Kaddafi slaughter before non-interventionists stop defending this terrorist klan?

Munich Olympic Massacre
Constable Fletcher Murder
Rome Airport Massacre
Vienna Airport Massacre
Berlin Disco Massacre
TWA840 Massacre
PA73 Massacre
PA103 Massacre
UTA772 Massacre
IRA proxy massacres
Libyan opposition massacres
Abdullah targeting plot
EU Nurse Prison Rape-Extortion
Swiss hostage extortion
More Libyan opposition massacres

Nemo me impune lacessit?

Terp Mole on June 20, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Kaddafi must be laughing his ass off watching Ron Paul and Dennis Kookcynic turn our Congressional Quislings into his own private mobs of terrorism appeasers.

George Soros and Code Pink couldn’t have done better.

Terp Mole on June 20, 2011 at 3:52 PM

binky howled: How does any action or comments by Harry Reid affect… Obama’s actions

Having surrendered the outlandish fiction that Marco Rubio and John Bolton are tools of the Obama Administration, binky now turns to pretending Harry Reid… (wait for it) …opposes Obama.

*gaze*

Terp Mole on June 20, 2011 at 4:26 PM

binky whined: I didn’t say that Harry Reid opposes Obama. I asked how any actions or comments by Harry Reid affect the fact that…[blah,blah, blah]

Torture your own language ’til you’re blue in the face.

Q: How can you tell when a Kaddafi-kuddler has lost it?

A: When they continue peddling the ridiculous assertion that Marco Rubio and John Bolton are tools of the Obama Administration.

*gaze*

Terp Mole on June 21, 2011 at 1:35 PM

binky sobbed: It is you that are pumping citing their positions

FTFY

Don’t be a Kaddafi appeaser your whole life, binky.

Terp Mole on June 21, 2011 at 3:01 PM