N.C. Libertarians condemn U.S. attack on Libya

The North Carolina Libertarian party has condemned the U.S. attack on Libya, saying that President Obama not only circumvented the U.S. Constitution but contradicted his own statements about presidential power to order such attacks.

“The Libertarian Party of North Carolina joins the national Libertarian Party in condemning President Obama for this military assault on Libya, circumventing the constitutionally required Congressional vote,” said Barbara Howe, Libertarian Party state chair in a statement posted on the party’s website.

In 2007, then candidate Obama told the Boston Globe, “”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.”

“The president was correct then, but he’s wrong now,” she said. “His actions are a direct contradiction of that statement. He has forgotten his own words. The selected bombing targets posed no imminent threat to the U.S.”

Administration spokesmen claim this action doesn’t contradict his earlier view, since the president conferred with Congressional leaders before ordering the attacks. The also claim that what Obama was referring to then was “an invasion like Iraq.” But as Reason magazine’s senior editor Jacob Sullum notes the question Obama answered in 2007 very specifically stated a scenario in which there was no imminent threat to the United States, much like the current situation in Libya.

It’s also wrong for the president to defer to U.N. authority in this mission, which is basically intended to force the will of the U.N. on the Libyan government,” Howe said. “Like many presidents before him, President Obama has committed the United States to yet another unconstitutional war,” added Matt Drew, a member of the party’s executive committee.

Howe also disputed Obama’s claim that U.S. involvement was justified because “we are answering the calls of a threatened people.” She said that this falsely assumes the U.S. has a responsibility to Libyan civilians threatened by military force because of their political protests against the current regime.

“On a personal level, I’m sure many Americans agree that the actions of Libya’s government against its people are appalling, ” she said. “But this is not our war to fight. It’s not our self-defense.”

The Libertarian Party platform advocates a strong national defense, coupled with a non-interventionist foreign policy. Libertarians believe the United States should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world. The would end any policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. At the same time, Libertarians “recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights.”

The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in North Carolina and has been active since the 1980s. The LPNC stands for free markets, civil liberties and peace.

6 thoughts on “N.C. Libertarians condemn U.S. attack on Libya

  1. paulie


    Sorry…this may be a bit confusing. If you are putting up something that speaks for NC Libertarians, regardless of whether you personally wrote it, you don’t need to put your name in the headline.

    If you are putting up an editorial by an individual (Lee Wrights, Thomas Hill, etc) which speaks only for that person’s individual viewpoint, then please do include their name in the headline in that manner.

    If you write an individual editorial that does not speak for a group, such as NC Libertarians or a county party or whatever, you should not post it – ask one of the other people at IPR to post it for you. But if it does speak for a group, such as NC Libertarians, it’s perfectly OK for you to post it here even if you wrote it….but you don’t have to identify yourself as the author in that case.

    Thanks again for posting and sorry for the confusing rules!

  2. paulie

    From the Advocates:

    LENO ON OBAMA’S POLICY CHANGE: “Remember when President Obama said we can’t fight two wars and vowed to change our policy? Well, he did. Now we’re fighting three wars.” — Jay Leno, March 21, 2011. [Actually, it’s five wars, if you count Pakistan and Yemen. – Editor.]

  3. Brian Irving Post author


    Not confusing. But my questions might be.

    The N.C. Libertarians story was something I wrote as the Raleigh Libertarian Examiner (examiner.com). I was not writing for the group (although I am a member of the group), I was writing about the group.

    What about Wrights 2012 press releases that are not op eds? And other press release stuff (I am VP and press sec for a group called Free the Vote NC)? In those cases I would be writing (and posting) for the group officially as a member of the group.

  4. paulie


    You don’t need to put your name in the headline on any press releases, regardless of whether you wrote them. Instead, put in the name of the organization. IE

    Free the Vote NC: yadda yadda yadda
    Wrights 2012: so on and so forth

    The same if you are writing about an organization and your headline already identifies whatever opinion that is being expressed as the opinion of an organization.

    The only time you should put an individual’s name in the headline is when the individual is speaking for him or herself rather than for an organization.

    If that individual is you, try to get someone else at IPR to post the article.

    What we are going for is to not create the impression that IPR is taking editorial stances. If an opinion is already identified as that of a group, party, media outlet, columnist, campaign, etc., there’s no need to also identify the individual author.

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