UPDATE: In the audio I posted "Buck" McKeon states that one of his colleagues was told by a US commander in NATO that we were actively trying to kill Qaddafi. Josh Rogin confirms this and names the officer.
House Armed Services Committee member Mike Turner (R-OH) told The Cable that U.S. Admiral Samuel Locklear, commander of the NATO Joint Operations Command in Naples, Italy, told him last month that NATO forces are actively targeting and trying to kill Qaddafi, despite the fact that the Obama administration continues to insist that "regime change" is not the goal and is not authorized by the U.N. mandate authorizing the war.
Had a chance to sit on a small roundtable today w/ the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee "Buck" McKeon. We were supposed to talk Libya and Afghanistan, but he got called to the floor for votes on authorizing the use of force in Libya before we talked about Afghanistan. The video has my questions to him about the President's attempts to subordinate US force to multinational groups like the UN and NATO and whether our mission is actually to kill Qaddafi. Rep. McKeon passed on the news that according to one of our military commanders, NATO has said it is. This points out the problem Obama has made for himself as the rationale for our actions is a UN resolution on protecting civilians, but the alliance he has placed our forces under believes we are trying to kill a tyrant.
Josh Rogin from Foreign Policy, who was also at the roundtable, has an excellent report on the over all bipartisan disgust in Congress w/ the President and his complete disregard for its role in warmaking.
The House of Representatives, in a culmination of over three months of Congressional frustration with the Obama administration's handling of the Libya intervention, voted against authorizing the war 123-295 and is set to vote for cutting off most of the funding for the mission......
"It's crazy that we're fighting over this the way we are," Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) said in a roundtable with reporters just now.
The scene here at the Capitol on this sunny, summer Friday morning is surreal, as the three-hour debate continues. Lawmakers, who must still vote a resolution to cut off all funds for the war sponsored by Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL), are continuously unleashing statements on why the Libya war represents a threat to the Constitution, a plundering of the Treasury, or an overreach of U.S. power.
The President seems to have alienated just about everyone, including those who would have been inclined to support a mission to take out Qaddaffi. But he didn't have the stones to actually go to our Congress and ask for their support for such a mission. Instead he is hiding behind the coat tails of the UN and NATO and pretending that we are not actually involved in hostilities so as to weakly attempt to avoid the War Powers Act. If the War Powers Act is unconstitutional, the the President should have stated this. Instead he has ignored the advice of his own lawyers and the Defense Department's and is tap dancing around saying that we are not actually warring when any sentient being can see that we are.
I don't believe that the War Powers Act is a good thing, but trying to pretend it doesn't apply is BS. In addition the lame pretense that because NATO has the lead role in this and we are just support is an insult to those of our troops pulling down combat pay for participating. It also reminds everyone that NATO is a Potemkin alliance and beyond some Euro Generals, all of the muscle is supplied by Uncle Sugar. That is unfair to the Brits, Canadians and a few others but facts are facts. We have the only truly expeditionary military and if NATO wants to play war, then they need our ball and our balls.
Obama has well and truly screwed the pooch with this attempt to allow multi-nationals to volunteer our forces for use in whatever humanitarian debacle they decide to intervene in. The only upside of this is O may have shown the American people just what folly it is allowing our military to be a play toy for the progressive wankers.You can make a case that toppling Qaddafi is in our national security interest, and you can make a case that saving Libyan civilians is a worthy cause. Obama has made neither. He has also managed to point out the blatant hypocrisy of ignoring the slaughter in much more strategically important Syria or why intervene in Libya and not Yemen plus a myriad of other examples. The incoherence of this adminstration's strategic policies, and its incompetence in implementing them, is mind-numbing and soul-crushing. Bravo Mr. President, a more complete goat rodeo would be hard to imagine.