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In the good old days of Bybee and Yoo, before we let them get away with it, thereby guaranteeing worse things to come, Justice Department memos "legalizing" the crime of aggressive war were secret. Now they're published quickly, and there's a new one out on Libya (PDF). It begins:
"The President had the constitutional authority to direct the use of military force in Libya because
he could reasonably determine that such use of force was in the national interest. Prior congressional approval was not constitutionally required to use military force in the limited operations under consideration. April 1, 2011."
April Fools! Ha Ha! They had me going.
Remember Libya: One of History's Terror Bombing Victims - by Stephen Lendman
Like Cast Lead against Gaza, Odyssey Dawn is criminal imperial war, willfully attacking non-combatants and civilian targets, including vital infrastructure, hospitals, non-military airports and buildings, ports, power generating facilities, and other sites unrelated to military necessity.
These and more besides so-called rebels killing hundreds on the ground, targeting anyone thought to be pro-Gaddafi, including African guest workers there for employment, not political allegiance.
In his article titled, "Libya and Obama's Defense of the 'Rebel Uprising,' " James Petras said:
Obama's Terror War on Libya - by Stephen Lendman
Since WW II, America's gone to war as much to wage as win them because so many profiteers benefit. The prospect of peace, in fact, terrifies government, military officials, and corporate predators, so new enemies are invented when old ones are vanquished, are no longer of interest, or conflicts end for other reasons.
Wars are solely for wealth and power, never humanitarian intervention to liberate oppressed people or promote democracy. They're notions, in fact, US leaders won't tolerate, notably Obama, doubling down on Bush, waging his Iraq and Afghan wars, fighting two others in Pakistan and Libya, another allied with Israel against Palestine, as well as proxy wars in Somalia, Central Africa, Yemen, Bahrain, Haiti, Honduras, Colombia, and at home against Muslims, Latino immigrants, and working Americans.
(to hear the song, go to ThisCantBeHappening! and click on the link.
New Song by Dave Lindorff:
That Tea Party Racket (Ain't Playin' So Well No More) Blues
Governor Scott Walker tried to
Take union rights away
But the workers of Wisconsin
Are gonna make him pay
We’re working on those recalls
Gonna show those bums the door.
That Tea Party racket
Ain’t playin’ so well no more!
Oh here in Pennsylvania
Corbett’s slashing aid to schools.
That means more local taxes.
They’re playing us for fools
But meanwhile with natural gas
He’s giving away the store.
This Tea Party racket
Ain’t playin’ so well no more!
Over in Ohio
The legislature threw
Union rights of cops away
And firefighters too.
What happens if a fire
Starts on the capital floor?
Then that Tea Party racket
Won’t play so well no more!
There’s twenty percent unemployed
Home prices in the the gutter
2 April 2011 - A terrible thought has struck me. Could the excitement over the war in Libya serve to make Tony Blair look less awful and deprive the Chilcot inquiry of what little sting it may have when it finally publishes later this year?
Of course the Government, and the many MPs who supported military intervention, argue that this time is different, that they have learnt the lessons of Iraq, sought proper UN sanction and eschewed action on the ground.
By Debra Sweet, National Director of World Can't Wait
I've talked to a number of people in the last 10 days who describe themselves as "hoping for the best" from the US intervention into the North African country of Libya. They choose to believe the US arguments that the intervention is 1) for humanitarian reasons limited to "saving civilian lives"; 2) is legitimate because it has the backing of the UN and NATO.
But the facts don't support those hopes.
Read more at:
By John Grant
“…get a man greedy enough and he got the guts to go – go, go, … Vietnam, hot damn.”
-Norman Mailer, Why Are We In Vietnam?
The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the program created by Congress to expend over $700 billion of our tax dollars to prevent a “meltdown of the financial system,” is a “colossal failure.” It’s now official. Neil M. Barofsky, the man hired as TARP’s special inspector general, has come clean.
Why is it a colossal failure? Because, Mr Barofsky says, the act passed by Congress “expressly directs” Timothy Geithner’s Treasury Department to spend hundreds of billions of the TARP money to aid struggling homeowners with their mortgages.
by Walter Brasch
Millions of Americans gave George W. Bush unquestioned support when he diverted personnel and resources from the war against al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden to invade Iraq.
Several million fewer opposed the invasion, stating that the primary mission was to destroy the enemy hiding in Afghanistan that destroyed a part of America and not to expand the war. At first, President Bush claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, capable of destroying Israel and, if placed aboard cargo vessels, could be launched at the east coast of the U.S. When that explanation fizzled, Bush said the invasion was to remove a dictator. Soon, “Regime Change” was the buzz phrase of the month.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s Address to Congress on the War in Libya
As Prepared for Delivery—
So President Obama has been quoted calling his war in Libya a turd sandwich, while Juan Cole calls it philanthropy, and Ed Schultz praises it as vengeance against this month's Adolph Hitler. The last time we bombed this particular Hitler we took out his daughter, among other people.
How is Schultz's spitting mad hatred as war justification squared with Cole's humanitarian generosity? The answer is easy. They prefer different condiments on their turd sandwiches. Which is why wars are always packaged in multiple and mutually contradictory propaganda campaigns.
As all the experts pile on in pointing out that the UN Resolution (never mind Congress) does not authorize arming Libyan rebels, it turns out Obama already committed that crime and neglected to mention it in his "We're about done over there" speech. That is, he has authorized the CIA to arm Libyan rebels (using your money, of course). Whether the order has been acted on is not clear. Here's Mark Hosenball of Reuters:
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.
Obama signed the order, known as a presidential "finding", within the last two or three weeks, according to four U.S. government sources familiar with the matter.
March 30, 2011 - Obama Gets Lowest Approval, Reelect Score Ever, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; More Voters Oppose U.S. Involvement In Libya
Washington D.C. (March 30, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), the leading opponent of the Obama Administration’s intervention in Libya, again challenged the basis for the Libyan war saying: “The critical issue today is not the defense of Libyan democracy but the defense of American democracy.” Tomorrow, Kucinich will address the House for one hour.
See the video here. The full text of the Congressman’s remarks follow.
"We are in the midst of a foreign policy and constitutional crisis. The Administration has committed our nation to a war against Libya in violation of the Constitution of the United States.
Johan Galtung, sometimes called the father of peace studies, predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union and the refusal of Egyptian soldiers to attack civilians. His prediction of the collapse of the US empire in 2020 appears to be on schedule. So, it was noteworthy when he predicted on Tuesday at the University of Virginia that the war in Libya would last 20 years. If, however, NATO and the opposition were to kill Gadaffi, he said, the fighting could go on for more than 20 years.
This prediction came the day after Obama gave one of those speeches, like his speeches on Gitmo or Iraq, where he persuades you that something is already over without actually making that claim. How can the war (excuse me, humanitarian intervention) in Libya be over and have 20 years left to go?
Obama on Libya: Defending the Indefensible - by Stephen Lendman
Obama's March 28 television address wreaked of hypocrisy, lies and disdain for basic democratic values, making an indefensible case for naked aggression against a non-belligerent country. America's media approved.
On March 28, New Times writer Helene Cooper headlined, "Obama Cites Limits of US Role in Libya," saying:
Obama "defended the American-led military assault in Libya on Monday, saying it was in the national interest of the United States to stop a potential massacre that would have 'stained the conscience of the world,' " even though no threat existed until:
-- Washington showed up with co-belligerents France and Britain;
-- beginning in 2010, armed and funded so-called "rebels" who, in fact, are cutthroat killers, rapists and marauders, terrorizing every area they control, including their Benghazi stronghold; and
From Black Agenda Radio
Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, at Champaign, says the U.S. is involved in an “all-out war” of “plunder and aggression” in Libya. “This is the first major outright power grab by the United States and the major colonial, imperial powers against Africa in the 21st century," says Boyle.
“Humanitarian” Bombing Bogus
David Swanson, peace activist and publisher of the we site “War Is A Crime,” says President Obama’s claims that “humanitarian” motivation is nonsense. “If there were an Obama doctrine that said: Where there is a humanitarian crisis, we’re going to go bomb people, we’d be bombing our own puppet dictators.”
Western Military Occupation Likely
“When the U.S. invades another country, which happens frequently, we generally leave U.S. military bases there,” says Marjorie Cohn, professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, in San Diego. “The countries who are bombing Libya don’t really know who the opposition is,” says Cohn. “It could be al Qaida.”
Whose Interests Are Served?
Ali Ahmida, an historian of Libya and chairman of the political science department at the University of New England, is generally sympathetic to the rebels. But, he worries that the revolt could be “hijacked for other people’s agendas.”
Obama’s Haiti Policy is “Deeply Cynical”
Haiti’s recent presidential elections, which offered a choice of only two rightwing candidates and for which only about a quarter of the population turned out, will produce a government that has “absolutely no constitutional or popular credibility.” Brian Concannon, Jr., of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, calls President Obama’s claim that the U.S. is bringing democracy to Haiti is “deeply cynical.”
Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 4:00pm ET on PRN. Length: One hour.
President Obama on Monday said he would "never hesitate" to use the U.S. military "unilaterally" to defend "interests" and "values," including "maintaining the flow of commerce." Fear of exactly that led the founders of this republic to give Congress the exclusive power to declare war. James Madison did not believe any single individual could be trusted with such power:
"The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast, ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace."
By STEPHEN BRAUN, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — In the months before Libyans revolted and President Barack Obama told leader Moammar Gadhafi to go, the U.S. government was moving to do business with his regime on an increasing scale by quietly approving a $77 million dollar deal to deliver at least 50 refurbished armored troop carriers to the dictator's military.
By Phyllis Bennis
Many thanks, Juan, for your thoughtful article. I agree with a number of your points, but I come out with the opposite conclusion. Let me explain why, going thru some of the points in your piece.
The Libyan uprising against their longstanding dictatorial regime clearly emerged in the context of the region-wide Arab Spring, and our support for it remains grounded in that broader support. The claims about al Qaeda leading the uprising, of Benghazi’s population all being Islamists or drugged are certainly ridiculous – the fact that an Islamist movement has long had a presence in eastern Libya doesn’t change that, nor does the fact that some people may be proud of the few hundred young Libyan men over the years who joined resistance forces of whatever sort in Iraq or elsewhere.
By Dennis J Kucinich, The Guardian
On November 2, 2010 France and Great Britain signed a mutual defence treaty , which included joint participation in "Southern Mistral" (www.southern-mistral.cdaoa.fr), a series of war games outlined in the bilateral agreement. Southern Mistral involved a long-range conventional air attack, called Southern Storm, against a dictatorship in a fictitious southern country called Southland. The joint military air strike was authorised by a pretend United Nations Security Council Resolution. The "Composite Air Operations" were planned for the period of 21-25 March, 2011. On 20 March, 2011, the United States joined France and Great Britain in an air attack against Gaddafi's Libya, pursuant to UN Security Council resolution 1973.
Planned Regime Change in Libya - by Stephen Lendman
A March 25 White House press release announced Obama's planned March 28 national TV speech:
"to update the American people on the situation in Libya, including the actions we've taken with allies and partners to protect the Libyan people from the brutality of Moammar Qaddafi, the transition to NATO command and control, and our policy going forward."
Imagine the hypocrisy. US-style "humanitarian intervention" reigns death and destruction "to protect the Libyan people." Recall how "shock and awe" protected Iraqis, how war on Afghanistan helps Afghans and neighboring Pakistanis from predatory drone and ground attacks. Libyans are now tasting imperial viciousness firsthand.
US-Led Libyan Ground Assault Planned - by Stephen Lendman
In his weekly March 26 address, Obama said:
"As I pledged at the outset, the role of American forces has been limited. We are not putting any ground forces into Libya....And as agreed this week, responsibility for this operation is being transferred from the United States to our NATO allies and partners."
Earlier he said:
"United States forces are conducting a limited and well-defined mission in support of international efforts to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster."
Lawrence Kaplan of TNR just explained why we have to bomb Libya
I'm about to be on to correct him
One wonders why there is so little knowledge of these others uprisings and confusion, as I see it, as to the Libyan actions by the U.S. and NATO as well as seeming little support. One big reason is we already were familiar with a couple of the players in the Egyptian opposition and through the internet got familiar with the younger generation people that were so active in bringing it on. These others we have extremely little knowledge, if any, of the players in opposition, we do know that some in the Libyan movement are not considered friendly to the west, especially us here in the U.S. after the previous decade!!
Americans turned against this one faster than ever before, but not fast enough. There can be no such thing as fast enough if presidents are given war powers.