By Bill Wilson
Word of Life Ministry
The president's 38 page report to Congress justifying the war in Libya raises questions over whether he has broken several laws and is in violation of the US Constitution. One is Article 1, Section 8 that empowers only Congress to declare war. Another is whether the president is materially supporting terrorists and terrorist groups in prosecuting his policy of nation building across the Islamic world. Still another is whether it is Constitutional for a president to use, as he put it, "all of the diplomatic, economic and strategic tools at our disposal...to promote reform across the region, and to support transitions to democracy." There are no enumerated powers in the Constitution that allow nation building or imperialism.
In his report to Congress released June 15, the president continues to make a humanitarian case for the war in Libya. Notwithstanding, the War Powers Act requires an act of Congress for a president to continue "any use of United States Armed Forces" that required such a report. Congress has not so acted. The President is acting in defiance of War Powers, and Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. He claims he has kept Congress informed on the Libyan war, and therefore, is well within his authority to continue it without Congressional approval. War Powers and the Constitution, however, are not about informing, but rather authority. Congress will eventually determine where the president stands.
Page 24 of his report is dedicated to dispelling any consideration of American tax dollars and US military being used to aid and abet terrorists. It appears that the president has either ignored or completely discounted reports from his own State Department, his Joint Chiefs of Staff, and at least seven independent media sources that say otherwise.
The president's report states on page 24:
"We are not aware of any direct relationship between the TNC [sic. Transitional National Council] and al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) or any other terrorist organization. There are reports that former members of the LIFG, which had been initially formed as an anti-Qadhafi group, are present in Eastern Libya and that some of them were fighting with opposition forces on the front lines against the regime. During the past two years, the Government of Libya had instituted a program to rehabilitate and release from prison members of the LIFG who had renounced terrorism, and some of the former LIFG members in Eastern Libya had participated in this program. The TNC has consistently and publicly rejected terrorism and extremist influences and we have not observed any TNC support or endorsement of the LIFG.This report mischaracterizes and/or does not disclose the entire truth to Congress or to the American people about the US-supported "opposition forces" in Libya.
"In addition, the TNC has publicly declared the secular nature of its organization. The TNC and other members of the opposition have actively worked to open up Eastern Libya to civil society groups for the first time in the 42 years since Qadhafi took power. As a result, non-regime groups that had been previously banned, including the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood, have now organized and are participating in Libyan society. From public press reports, we understand that the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood has declared its support for moderate Islam, emphasized the important role of women in society-building, and formed a relief organization in Benghazi."
On March 29, 10 days after the president announced military action in Libya, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and Chief of the US European Command, Admiral James Stavridis testified before the US Senate. He said there were "flickers in the intelligence of potential al Qaeda, Hizbollah; we've seen different things...But at this point, I don't have detail sufficient to say there is a significant al Qaeda presence or any other terrorist presence."
The direct relationship between America's Libyan support and terrorist groups comes in two forms - the military leader of the Libyan rebel movement and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) mentioned on page 24 has been dedicated since its inception in 1995 to overthrowing the Gaddafi government. It is the subject of State Department reports on terrorism in December 2004 and again in April 2008. State designated LIFG as a "Foreign Terrorist Organization" and that some senior members "are believed to be or have belonged to al Qaeda's senior command structure, and now are part of the support network of the broader international jihadist movement...LIFG constitutes the most serious threat to US interests and personnel in Libya." On November 3, 2007, Al Jazeera reported and the State Department confirmed that LIFG became the Libyan wing of al Qaeda.
The American supported leader of the Libyan rebels is Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi. Hasidi was a leader in the LIFG. According to the New York Times, the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, and the UK Telegraph, Hasidi and 25 men from the Derna, Libya area fought against American soldiers in Afghanistan. Hasidi was captured in 2002 in Pakistan, turned over to the US, who turned him over to Libya, where he spent the rest of the time in jail before being released in 2008. To secure his release, he had to take a non-violence pledge as part of the reform program spoken of on page 24 of the president's report. However, Hasidi is now conducting a violent campaign to overthrow Gaddafi. His word is not his bond.
He said there are al Qaeda fighters from Afghanistan now fighting in Libya. He told the Italian newspaper, "Some came back and today are on the Ajdabiya front; they are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists. I condemn the September 11 attacks, and attacks against innocent civilians in general. But the members of al Qaeda are also good Muslims, and are fighting against the invader." He also said he praised Osama bin Laden's "good points." His words are contradictory. He condemned attacks against civilians, but said al Qaeda are good Muslims fighting against America. He also offered praise for bin Laden. Hasidi's terrorist actions, connections, and intentions are undeniable. The French daily Le Figaro identified Hasidi as the "voice of Libya's Islamists" and claimed that a transitional government could only be formed with his approval.
Hasidi's rebels caught the attention of Chad's president Deby Itno. Itno told the weekly Jeune Afrique April 4th that the Libyan rebels were raiding Gaddafi's arsenals in the Derna region and selling them to al Qaeda. The UK Telegraph confirmed these reports independently saying that a convoy of eight Toyotas full of weapons travelled through Chad and Niger to al Qaeda in Mali. The Telegraph said, "We know that this is not the first convoy and that it is still ongoing."
The Administration's public relations campaign to date has been to dress up these rebels as trustworthy professionals, doctors, attorneys, teachers, students, etc., when the evidence suggests that they are Islamists and supporters of terrorism posing as a legitimate alternative to the Gaddafi dictatorship. The "suits" that have been paraded around to all the NATO coalition members downplay al Qaeda involvement.
For example, the chief representative of the TNC, Ali Aujali, has made his rounds, one such stop at the Washington, DC think tank American Enterprise Institute on April 11. He said, "Some are coming from the position that al Qaeda was there. Some al Qaeda, yes...most of them from the small cities. They graduated from the universities. They have no job. They are doing nothing. Unfortunately, al Qaeda was able to recruit some of them." He says that after rehabilitation, "they changed their attitude completely." Then he goes on to say that none of the al Qaeda fighters were involved with the rebels, directly contradicting Hasidi, who also was a product of rehabilitation and sworn to nonviolence. Such oaths have become foundational to the pattern of deception employed by representatives of Islam.
A similar portrait has been painted of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood is a founder and supporter of terrorist organizations worldwide. It has been listed as a terrorist supporting group by the federal government. In the Texas Holyland Foundation trial, Federal prosecutors entered as evidence a Muslim Brotherhood plan to overthrow the United States by conducting a "Civilization Jihad." This plan never has been denounced or retracted, but the president has adopted the Muslim Brotherhood as his preferred organization to bring about democracy in Islamic nations. The Muslim Brotherhood is dedicated to the implementation of global Sharia Law and states that it will work with any Islamic group to attain that goal.
The evidence is overwhelming that the US president is downplaying or even misrepresenting his use of American military and diplomatic support of Libyan rebels who are terrorists, supporters of terrorists, and radical Islamists.
Pelosi: Obama Doesn't Need Congressional Authorization for Libya Action - CNS News
Obama's unauthorized war on Libya costs $9,421,000 a day - LA Times
Boehner hints at defunding Libya ops - UPI
Obama Report on Libya Not Ending Lawmakers' Anger - Real Clear Politics
Latest developments in Libyan conflict - Reuters