Barbara Lee Disagrees With Obama’s Decision on Libya

Congresswoman and other lawmakers have many questions for the president.

Posted: 03/24/2011 08:20 AM EDT
Filed Under Barack Obama

Congressional Black caucus members don’t like to criticize President Obama—at least not publicly. So when Rep. Barbara Lee of California appeared on MSNBC’s NewsNation Tuesday afternoon, it was a big deal that she called him out for engaging in military action in Libya without consulting the full Congress.

Though he did speak with the leadership, “There’s a big difference between the president meeting with leadership in the House and in the Senate versus a full debate by members of Congress to make a decision whether or not to authorize the use of force or, if you ask me, to declare war,” Lee said. “Because whenever we put forth our human resources and the taxpayer dollars into firing missiles and into military engagements, we have to talk about is this a war or not?”

That’s also what D.C. delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton wants to know. And don’t get her started on the issue of “killing your own people,” she said in an interview on MSNBC Live with Cenk Uygur, in an operation that could have repercussions if it’s unsuccessful. According to Holmes Norton, during the conference call that she and other Democrats participated in on Saturday, “our intelligence people said that we don’t have any intelligence on Libya.”

A new CBS poll shows that 43 percent of Republicans and independents approve of the Libyan mission, as do 66 percent of Democrats. Holmes Norton said that’s “because they don’t like to see anybody trampled on by a dictator. I can go with that. All I say to the president is, please come home and tell us all the reasons and tell us how you’re going to get out of there.”


(Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)