Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Obama's Law of Armed Conflict

June 14, 2011

by Jeff Huber

If young Mr. Obama is a representative example, the point of being a constitutional scholar is not knowing how adhere to the document but how to get away with using it to wipe your plenary keister.

Obama (left) and constitutional law
mentor Professor Lawrence Tribe
What makes Obama a “constitutional scholar” is that he studied constitutional law under some rooting, tooting, high-faluting constitutional law professor at Harvard Law School and he also taught the subject at the University of Chicago Law School.  I’m not sure if teaching a subject at the graduate level makes you a scholar in it.  All but about four of the faculty at the Naval War College didn’t know attrition from maneuver or their Clausewitz from their elbows or their Sun Tzu from a hole in the ground. 

Whether Obama is a legitimate expert on the Constitution or not, it’s become palpable that when it comes to making moral, ethical and legal decisions, he follows the example set by young Mr. Bush: rather than go through the troublesome chore of exercising his own judgment and moral conscience on weighty issues concerning the fate of his nation, Obama hired a herd of highly educated halfwits to tell him that whatever he wants to do is legal and ethical, and probably non-carcinogenic and low fat to boot.  (In a post-regime interview with NBC morning fop Matt Lauer, Bush said he thought water boarding was legal "because the lawyer said it was legal.”)

Eric Holder and the rest of the attorneys general conjuring legal positions favoring Obama’s tsarist policies make Bush era Svengali John Yoo seem like a decent human being in comparison.  Obama administration foreign policy wonks like Suzy Rice are neocons in Democrat's clothing.  As our ambassador to the UN, Suzy makes John Bolton look in retrospect like a blustering peace poofter.  And Obama’s top military advisers look exactly like Bush’s top military advisers because they’re the exact same herd of four-star hooligans. 

Boy George had the grace to let Congress rubber stamp them wars in Iraq and the Bananastans with a couple of them Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs).  Bush no doubt thought them two wars was legal ‘cause Congress said they was, and heck, Congress makes the dadburned laws so they ought to know what’s legal and what ain't, shouldn’t they?  Kid Obama hasn't even offered Congress a reach-around on his Libya deal. 

When our “days not weeks” commitment to Operation Odyssey Loser went screaming past the two month marker, Denny Kucinich and others did their best banshee impersonations about how Obama was in violation of the War Powers Act of 1973 because he’d exceeded the sixty day limit for committing U.S. troops to combat without a Simon Says from Congress. But the legislators behind the check and balance issues are just going through the motions and they know it.
Boehner, Graham,
McCain and Lieberman
say we should do
more in Libya.

Bad Bill Boehner shoved a “rebuke” of Obama through the House that amounts to a rap across the knuckles with a Nerf ruler.  Boehner’s resolution demands that the White House answer questions about the goals of the military campaign in Libya.  That’s probably because despite his resolution, Boehner is, along with his fellow Golden Girls of War in the Senate—John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman—in favor of continued if not escalated fighting in Libya, and he’s no doubt desperately searching for a plausible argument to justify his position. 

The warmongering ménage of McCain, Graham and Lieberman actually disagree on Libya: not over whether to escalate the fight there, but on how to do it.  Goober Graham wants to “cut the head of the snake off” (oh, Goobs, you little mongoose you) by bombing Ghadaffi’s strongholds.  Senator Ex-Prisoner of War wants to beef up the rebel forces so they can win the battle on the ground.  Joe Bag-o’-Bullroar says we’re only a “foot and a half” engaged and would like to see us plunge both feet firmly into our latest Manic Misadventure in Quicksand Land.

But even the Three Senate Sisters can’t toil-and-trouble up a real reason for fighting the war in Libya.  Oh, they toss around the “regime change” rubric faster than FOX News can fling a straw man, but circumcising the sovereignty from tinhorn heads of state like Khadafi is a means, not an end.  What real objective do we have in ousting Khadafi?  There are no weapons of mass destruction, there are no ties to 9/11 or al Qaeda and there’s no pressing humanitarian situation in Libya that doesn’t exist in Egypt or Syria or Somalia or dozens of other third world hornet holes that we aren’t engaged in militarily.  The reason nobody is coming forth with an “explanation” of what we’re doing in Libya is that they can’t.  Even Carl Rove can’t pull a bluster this big out of his hat.  What, we’re going to say we’re enforcing a no-fly zone over there so they can’t enforce a no-fly zone over here? 

So our leaders are motivated to circumvent our core founding document for the sake of the dope deals within dope deals they’ve cut with the Saudis and the Israelis and the military industrial complex and our Maker only knows what other malignant monkey shiners.

But whatever's going on, you can kiss the notion of the Constitution being a “living document” farewell.  It’s dropped dead away; it's as dead as irony, shame and integrity. 

Oh, happy Flag Day.  And support the troops, huh?

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance.


  1. "constitutional scholar"?

    Only if you were damned fool enough to believe that he was a "constitutional scholar" in the first place!

    A Westlaw search reveals that his name appears on only seven reported cases. It appears --- though I cannot be sure --- that he argued only one of them.

    I had more reported decisions three years after I started practicing law.

  2. But you don't have his pr team. ;-)

  3. Gobomber sure is a "fine" example of not only a "Constitutional scholar", but of a president as well. More like he is a president in the mold (and mildew) of W, Shrubbie, or even the "heroic" "saint" Ronnie of Raygun. In short, a bigger crook than even old "tricky" Dick Nixon could ever dream of being.
    Yeah, just WHAT are we doing in Libya? No-fly zones? Not that old bull crap again, please, that is so Billy Bob Bubba Iraq/former Yugoslavia/Bosnia/1990's.
    Yes, now that Gobomber has the Oval Office, we can kiss that pesky old Bill of Rights goodbye. The damn banksters and other Wall Street gangsters are running this show now. We working class folks just get the "privilege" of paying the damn bills.
    This old vet still says ENOUGH! Enough of the lies and idiotic, damn fool wars of choice.
    Great commentary sir.
    semper fi,

  4. Semper fi, Charlie.

  5. War is deception, war is a racket, which is why government officials are the type continually attracted to it.

  6. I love this quote, and I'm gonna share it with you.

    But, do you know how discouraging it is... to find out.... all this stuff has been going on... since before I was born? And, Commander, I'm old.

    Huey Long On the Political Parties

    They've got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side, but no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen."
    — Huey Long, campaign speech for the re-election of Senator Hattie Caraway (D-AR), 1932 (Williams p. 589)

    The more things "change" the more they stay the same.

  7. Perfect, EL. Thanks.

  8. Not to worry, Commander. They won't be able to play their Empire games for very much longer:

    After Dumping 30% Of Its Treasury Holdings In Half A Year, Russia Warns It Will Continue Selling US Debt

    Maybe it's finally time for that DOD fire sale. It will sure be interesting to see how the U.S. military copes with austerity (although it's a sure bet that they'll pull out all the legislative and bureaucratic stops to make sure the rest of us feel it first).