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.