Obama’s Own Top Lawyers Said He Was Violating Constitution and War Powers Act….

His solution, find different lawyers who would agree with him… WASHINGTON — 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, according to officials familiar with internal administration deliberations. 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.

(*Note, how rare is it for the President to ignore the Top Legal Advice of the OLC?  It’s never happened before….EVER.  That’s how rare !…. /SD )

A White House spokesman, Eric Schultz, said there had been “a full airing of views within the administration and a robust process” that led Mr. Obama to his view that the Libya campaign was not covered by a provision of the War Powers Resolution that requires presidents to halt unauthorized hostilities after 60 days.

“It should come as no surprise that there would be some disagreements, even within an administration, regarding the application of a statute that is nearly 40 years old to a unique and evolving conflict,” Mr. Schultz said. “Those disagreements are ordinary and healthy.”

Still, the disclosure that key figures on the administration’s legal team disagreed with Mr. Obama’s legal view could fuel restiveness in Congress, where lawmakers from both parties this week strongly criticized the White House’s contention that the president could continue the Libya campaign without their authorization because the campaign was not “hostilities.”

The White House unveiled its interpretation of the War Powers Resolution in a package about Libya it sent to Congress late Wednesday. On Thursday, the House speaker, John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, demanded to know whether the Office of Legal Counsel had agreed.

“The administration gave its opinion on the War Powers Resolution, but it didn’t answer the questions in my letter as to whether the Office of Legal Counsel agrees with them,” he said. “The White House says there are no hostilities taking place. Yet we’ve got drone attacks under way. We’re spending $10 million a day. We’re part of an effort to drop bombs on Qaddafi’s compounds. It just doesn’t pass the straight-face test, in my view, that we’re not in the midst of hostilities.”

A sticking point for some skeptics was whether any mission that included firing missiles from drone aircraft could be portrayed as not amounting to hostilities.

As the May 20 deadline approached, Mr. Johnson advocated stopping the drone strikes as a way to bolster the view that the remaining activities in support of NATO allies were not subject to the deadline, officials said. But Mr. Obama ultimately decided that there was no legal requirement to change anything about the military mission.

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.  (*Obama did not want a paper trail to his illegal activity…. /SD)

A senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk about the internal deliberations, said the process was “legitimate” because “everyone knew at the end of the day this was a decision the president had to make” and the competing views were given a full airing before Mr. Obama. (read more)

Keep in mind this is a New York Times slanted article on the issue.  Use of the words “rarely” and “unusual” along with “less formal” should send massive red flags up everywhere.   What Obama and his executive team are doing here is completely illegal and they have been notified as such by their own Office of Legal Council.  But yet they persist and require the OLC to NOT put their position on formal documentation.   How much more blatant an example of presidential law breaking do we need?  Seriously……./SD

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24 Responses to Obama’s Own Top Lawyers Said He Was Violating Constitution and War Powers Act….

  1. Well when your entire life is a lie, you are a criminal a comunist, and you are iligetimate and a foreign national, who is acostomed to having your criminal activity overlooked is it really any wonder that idiot boy would blow iff the law again??

    Wouldn’t it be swell if we had a few people in congress that were not cowards and sent him off to jail where he belongs…

  2. WeeWeed says:

    What IS it with this hell’s halfwit that he CANNOT keep his feet off of other people’s furniture??

    • Otis P. Driftwood says:

      My mama would have slapped him a good one.

    • Sharon says:

      And in photos with leaders of nations, he can’t keep his hands to himself either. (unless its some Arab or communist or dictator he’s bowing to, then his hands are stiffly at his sides)

  3. Sharon says:

    That phrase “less formal” jumped out at me when I saw this piece last night. I wonder what kind of “less formal way” he has in mind to replace the 2012 elections.

    Next time I get stopped for speeding, I will ask that the officer deal with my 100 mph (not really) episode in a less formal way: perhaps he could accept $50 cash in lieu of writing the ticket.

    When Bill Clinton told the woman he had just raped that she had “better put some ice on that….” I guess that’s all he was doing: asking her to deal with the situation in a less formal way.

    When Richard Nixon’s gang went around with a bit of tape to prop doors open, he was, after all, just trying to deal with things in a less formal way.

    Whan Oswald shot Kennedy in Dallas (as opposed to helping someone beat Kennedy in the next election) he was, I see now, just trying to deal with things in a less formal way.

    When Holder’s DOJ began running guns into Mexico, they were just trying to protect the borders of our sovereign nation in a less formal way.

    If this piece of work occupying our public housing in Washington, DC is so enamored of doing things in a less formal way, I guess that makes us the upper crust folks in the room since we are the ones demanding the more formal way: we like when federal officers (such as himself) obey the law and adhere to the Constitution; we like when the dollars spent and the real revenue stream bear a passing resemblence to one another; we like when folks are evaluated and confirmed by Congress for service in the executive branch instead of being installed as czars. We quite like taking the lawful, more formal route in matters of governance.

    O’bama said about Weiner last week, “If it were me, I would resign.” Right back atcha, Fraud.

  4. YTZ4Me says:

    Re: HLS grad Obama rejected the advice of the OLC:

    A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.

    Congress needs to NOT accept his peremptory decision.

  5. zmalfoy says:

    Knowing this, then . . . knowing that Obama knew what he wanted was illegal, and did it anyway. . . what does that mean for the top brass? When the CiC blatantly and very deliberately breaks US law by ordering or military to do a certain thing, what do they do?

    There are two options I can see:
    1) They decide that, CiC or no, they will not violate the law, and all the personnel are removed from the region.
    or
    2) The do number 1, and further act to relive their commanding officer of his duties.

    I seem to recall that the “just following orders” argument expired at Nuremburg. Which is not to violate Godwin’s Law (Lord knows I love and respect our military)– I’m just saying that following orders known to be illegal or extremely immoral/ unethical is not an accepted defense. Whatever O does or says from this point on, at least as far as Libya is concerned, is it not incumbent upon the top brass in the operation to end the US part of it?

    • gruntofmontecristo says:

      Agreed, Z, and good point. My guess is there are some Pentagon brass who are thinking and talking about pulling a Lt. Col. Lakin right now, but they must be wondering if this is the right time to do prison time, like Lakin. I suspect they will wait until the time is riper. I think they know Obamanation will pull something even more blatant soon. Perhaps involving a more heinous betrayal of Israel than he’s already done. (I know, it’s hard to get much worse, but count on this guy) That’s when the mutiny will come. I just hope we survive that long with this guy in charge.

      • YTZ4Me says:

        There will be no mutiny. They have all sold out.

        Which is why there needs to be a major housecleaning come Jan 2013.

        • Sharon says:

          Well, crap (she said)….YTZ, you sort of answered the query I was putting to grunt below—which I was constructing when you posted this note….crap (she said again)….would still like Grunt’s comment if he has other thoughts……………

        • gruntofmontecristo says:

          Be right with you, Sharon. Just getting back from a Saturday walk with the wife in the beautiful Rocky Mountain sunshine.

          YTZ4ME, you must be talking about the politicians, but my comment, and the thread (I thought), referred to members of the military. I hope you don’t really think that every one of the US military leadership have sold us out?

      • Sharon says:

        Marine background, right? (the “grunt” part….)….our son is (once a Marine/always a Marine) as well. I’ve asked him for his take and am asking for yours. In terms of everyday understanding, where does the issue of obligation to the CIC get set aside with regard to the issue of illegal orders? How does the individual military man or commander recognize within his day the point at which that has been reached? Is there a formal way of understanding how to recognize that line? I always end up with the terrible feeling that there’s no consensus about it within the military and that it seems to always come down to a matter of judgment, on the ground, in the moment….and that makes me nervous.

        I always end up coming back to the fervant hope that there are private conversations and meetings behind closed doors, from the level of base commanders up to and including the Joint Chiefs that we never know about. I had the opportunity to put that question to a Brigadier General last summer with whom we are acquainted. He understood the question and wasn’t put off by my asking it, but answered it very generically. Obviously felt like he needed to not say anything more. My brother flew reconnaissance missions (navigator and photograper) over the Finland-Russia border during the U-2 years and I remember seeing that look on his face when I would ask one question too many!

        • gruntofmontecristo says:

          Good guess! But, no, not actually a US Marine. Got ‘em in the family, Semper Fi in the blood, but I’m really ex-Air-Force and civilian missile engineer. Used to work for a certain 3-letter govt agency who’s existence and name could literally not be spoken out loud until 20 years ago, so I know that look you speak of from your brother!

          I believe your “fervent hope” and very informed & knowledgable guess is more correct than you know. I’m certain that there have been *many* sensitive conversations from BCs to JCs in the Pentagon behind closed doors about this very subject. But it cannot be talked about openly. Our good military servants, unlike almost any others in the world, operate on their sacred honor. They are sworn to serve the people, but also the duly-elected civilian leadership, especially the POTUS. If (hah! – “if” – right!) they doubt the legitimacy of the POTUS, their hands are largely tied, legally and spiritually. Their only recourse is to refuse to serve and probably be courtmartialed. Our martial laws are not generally friendly to those who refuse to serve. The case of the Irish Catholic dissenters during our past wars with Mexico, who were shot, or Lt. Col. Lakin, who is still rotting in prison, come to mind.

          So my take? A genuine mutiny is virtually impossible. But those back room conversations are about not about that. They’re talking a lot about Terry Lakin, and who will be the next to go to jail, and whether there will be legal defense funds for them when they do.

          • Sharon says:

            We are approaching so many tipping points, the business under discussion here just one of them. God help us to appropriately take action with regard to those tipping points early enough to be able to salvage the nation. I’m encouraged by the ever-expanding fury of normal Americans; the increasing knowledge of facts and current events and the fact that threads which six-eight months ago were hip-deep in idiot trolls vomiting kool-aid don’t have many of them.

            Look at the crap that’s spiraling through the air right now: Libya, ATF and Pigford–and that’s just the high intensity stuff of the last 24 hours. Sure am glad the Fraud could get his golf game in today. We don’t want him all whiny and stuff come Monday.

  6. cjmartel says:

    The annointed one has spoken!

  7. Sharon says:

    http://www.hughhewitt.com/blog/g/cb252fec-a87e-4195-a4de-36684453bce0

    “This latest legal escapade should drive home to everyone not in the Obama-fawning MSM that this president is as imperial as W or RN ever dreamed of being. Bypassing the lawyers you don’t like to get to those who agree with you in fact sounds very Nixonian, but the lawyers Nixon overruled had the decency to quit rather than let their offices be downgraded. Will the lawyers in Team Obama stand by their legal judgment or with their increasingly unilateralist boss?”

    I remember that weekend in the 70s when the Halloween Massacre went down. That was a chilling 72 hours, those men were honorable when push came to shove.

    • gruntofmontecristo says:

      Good quote. So, what’s your take, Sharon? Will we see anyone in the military leadership saying “that’s enough”? And will it be over Libya or the next fiasco? If we send troops into Gaza or Jerusalem to defend a UN-ordered border, will it happen then?

      • Sharon says:

        I don’t think I have a take. I’m really just trying keep track of the moving parts and understand as well as I can how and if events fit together. We’re already on territory that, as far as I understand, this nation hasn’t been in since the Civil War. I know that there were some highly questionable and nasty judgments made by the Executive Branch as early as pre-WW I, but I still think the present onslaught from enemies both foreign and domestic is fearfully unique.

        I recently skimmed a book that reviewed some of the shenanigans of President Theodore Roosevelt’s administration in 1905, “The Imperial Cruise” by James Bradley. The dust jacket intro, just to give a taste, includes this: “During this trip, Taft, on Roosevelt’s behalf, would negotiate a series of secret–and wholly unconstitutional–agreements that would lay the groundwork for America’s Pacific engagement….The full details and implications of Roosevelt’s illicit pacts would remain largely unknown until his own death, and then be effectively erased from the textbooks.”

        I don’t know who James Bradley is (although Stephen Ambrose gives an attaboy on the back of the hardcover) but the information that is presented in this book is so shocking and vile in terms of what it suggests about our government’s motivations and actions 106 years ago. I hardly dare take it all at face value–it feels anti-American, and I want to know for sure that James Bradley isn’t working on some “let’s hate the U.S.” agenda of his own. His documentation seems considerable, but it’s just ugly stuff. Anybody know anything about him or these things about Teddy R?

        • gruntofmontecristo says:

          I haven’t read much James Bradley, but I understand your reservations about him. He does, after all, have a peace foundation. Hmmmmm. But Stephen Ambrose, whom I respect, seems to admire him, and the stuff he writes about is legitimately ugly – like TR’s ethnocentrism, racism, etc.

          Sometimes we have to accept that even though our country is a just one and does great good in the world at times, it has been manipulative and imperial and even a bully at other times. We still love it, right? And I think we have good reason to be proud of it.

          But I know the feeling you’re expressing. I felt it big time a few years ago when I was having one of those closed-door discussions with a retiring security chief at the big defense contractor we worked for. We had both joined the company because we considered it one of the most ethical, moral and patriotic gov’t contractors. He was a little jaded by this time, and didn’t care anymore, and so he was blabbing about some of our corporate executives attempting to make a fortune by entering into treasonous business arrangements with the Chinese Gov’t. Absolutely blinded by greed, these men were willing to endanger the security of the US, among other things, for a buck. I had admired these men, and they just turned out to be reckless, philandering con-men politicians-to-be. Made me sick to my stomach.

          Fortunately, I later found out that they weren’t ALL like that. Turns out there are saints in high places, but they run in dangerous company, in business as well as politics. I guess that’s why I hesitate to condemn Allen West too quickly for a bad vote. He’s swimming with sharks. There may be crap going on we can’t see, especially in the CBC.

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