Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers in favor of bombing Libya
As American forces began bombing targets in Libya over the weekend, Rep. Mike Rogers from Michigan’s 8th District — chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — met with President Obama at the White House and supported the president’s actions:
“It’s an incredibly important thing that we show the support not only for our European allies but the Arab league countries who have stepped up in an unprecedented way,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-MI, told ABC News. “This is truly an international effort, and absolutely we should play a supporting role here.” …
“This is not going to be a short-term, two-day operation,” Rogers said. “Even if Ghadafi throws up his hands and gives up, I think it’s going to be a long-term event.”
Even so, Rogers said he does not believe President Obama needs congressional authorization to use the U.S. military to help enforce a no-fly zone.
“I don’t think he needs it,” he said. “He was smart to bring up members of Congress — both parties — put us in the Situation Room, and talk about what he’s planning to do, to try to build congressional support. I think that was the right decision. We do have to be in this together. There’s a lot going on in the world; the United States is in a lot of places right now. We need to do this together if we’re going to do it at all.”
Disagreeing with him is Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and one of the GOP’s top experts on military matters. During hearings Thursday he said:
“In this broad context, if the Obama administration decides to impose a no-fly zone or take other significant military action in Libya, I believe it should first seek a Congressional debate on a declaration of war under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution,” Lugar said.
Also disagreeing with President Obama is 2008 candidate Obama. During the 2008 campaign, as Glenn Greenwald points out, both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton adamantly maintained that the only circumstances in which the president has the authority to initiate military action without the authorization of Congress is in self-defense or in response to an imminent threat.
Q. In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)
OBAMA: The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent.