Amidst claims by members of Congress that they were insufficiently consulted, and ensuing White House pushback, President Obama Monday officially notified congressional leaders that at “approximately 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on March 19, 2011, at my direction, U.S. military forces commenced operations to assist an international effort authorized by the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council and undertaken with the support of European allies and Arab partners, to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and address the threat posed to international peace and security by the crisis in Libya.”
The notification was part of the president’s “efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution,” but given complaints from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, and the fact that the war started two days ago, it had the effect of a rather discomforting “While You Were Out…” note.
The White House has pushed back against claims that Congress was insufficiently consulted, noting that the president met with congressional leaders the day before the attack and the administration has provided testimony and background briefings on the latest from Libya.
The president pledged in his letter, as he has in his public remarks, that the “strikes will be limited in their nature, duration, and scope” and “will set the stage for further action by other coalition partners.”
You can read his whole letter HERE.