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Public Statements

Legal Authority For War in The Name of Humanity?

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Madam Speaker, the United States is engaged in a new concept of war. No longer will the United States go to war only when it is in our national security interest. The Obama Doctrine is ``war in the name of humanity.''

Secretary Gates said military intervention in Libya is not necessary for our national interest. So now we drop bombs in countries when we self-righteously decide the ruler is mean to his people. Is this a lawful reason, a legal reason for war in Libya?

My concern is that the Constitution does not give the President unilateral authority to commit our military to foreign entanglements in the vague philosophy of humanity. There has been no prior consulting and consent of Congress. The War Powers Act only gives the President authority to enter into war without consulting Congress when a national emergency is created by an attack on the United States, its territories or possessions, or its Armed Forces.

There is no such national emergency. So what is the legal authority for military intervention in Libya? We need some answers. Are you in, Mr. President? And that's just the way it is.

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