“In launching over 100 missiles on Libya this weekend, not only did the Defense Department undermine a carefully constructed consensus, which included the Arab League, but it leveled a devastating blow to our legislative-executive checks and balances,” The Huffington Post quoted the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s Peace and Security Taskforce as saying on Monday.
The White House however, maintains that it has operated with political caution and within a legal framework; and has pledged to keep members of Congress updated on events.
The Obama administration took action without consulting Congress as a hearing on US military actions in Libya is unlikely to happen for at least another week.
“For the Pentagon to deliberately circumvent Congressional authority sets a new precedent for war powers authorization and sends the message to the world that American democracy is deeply dysfunctional,” the Congressional Peace and Security Taskforce statement said.
The remarks come as US and European forces have unleashed massive airstrikes and cruise missile attacks on oil-rich Libya. France initiated the war hours before US and UK warships and submarines joined in.
Missiles are reported to have hit the Tripoli airport and targeted in the western city of Misratah. Nineteen US planes, including three B2 stealth bombers, took part in strikes on Libya. (*)