By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. John McCain are now openly advocating the targeting of Col. Muammar Gadhafi by Western forces, in what would amount to an assassination attempt.
The only thing wrong with this picture is they want him dead because he killed Libyans instead of wanting him dead because he killed Americans.
We have questionable moral and constitutional grounds for taking Gadhafi out just because he is killing his own people. That ultimately is an issue for the Libyan people to decide. If we go in there and take him out, it’s a violation of Libya’s sovereignty and, strictly speaking, none of our business.
And, if Egypt is any indication, it’s not even smart. President Obama publicly rooted for the rebels in Egypt against Hosni Mubarak. He got his wish and now we’re dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt instead of a sometime ally.
In Libya, bless our president’s misguided heart, we are serving as the mercenary air force for Al Qaeda (who are now John McCain’s “heroes”) and helping the people who killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11. Sure, everybody would like to replace Gadhafi. But with what? Is anybody thinking about this stuff in this administration?
There is no government in Libya to request our aid, and no American interests at stake. We once again seem to be falling into the trap of using American power precisely because there are no American interests at stake, trying to prove how compassionate we are or something.
But credible evidence has surfaced, in the form of testimony from former Libyan justice minister Mustafa Abdul Jalil, that Gadhafi himself ordered Pan Am Flight 103 blown out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland. That act of jihad in the name of Allah the Most Merciful claimed 190 American lives.
Gadhafi did nothing to disabuse us of that notion when he gave Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi a national hero’s welcome at the Tripoli airport when the U.K. traded him for oil.
This is all the moral, ethical and constitutional justification we need to arrange for Gadhafi’s introduction to his 72 virgins.
The Constitution grants Congress - not the president, mind you, although constitutional strictures seem to be just a minor inconvenience to this president - the power to issue “Letters of Marque and Reprisal.” This power is found in Article I, Section 8, the section that outlines the legitimate powers of Congress, which of course is the section most routinely ignored by Congress in the spending of most of our money.
“Marque” is a reference to crossing an international boundary, outside the official jurisdiction of the United States. “Reprisal” means, well, “reprisal.” So a letter of marque and reprisal is an authorization from Congress to use American force to cross international boundaries and execute individuals in “reprisal” for the harm they have inflicted on Americans.
Intriguingly, back in the day when the Constitution actually meant something, Congress issued just such a letter with regard to the Muslim jihadist reigning over Tripoli in James Madison’s day, the Dey of Algiers. In fact, Madison’s letter declared open season on all Muslim ships from what is now Algeria and Libya because of their habit of plundering American merchant ships and selling their crews into slavery.
Proper procedure - don’t hold your breath - would be for President Obama to approach Congress to issue a letter of marque and reprisal naming Col. Gadhafi as the reprisee. Then the president, as commander-in-chief, could use whatever force he deems necessary to send him to Allah the Most Compassionate.
Once the letter is issued, we should let the Libyan people know that we’re coming after him, and if they want to live, they might want to get as far away from him as possible. If they hang around, they’ll have only themselves to blame if they suddenly find themselves in the afterlife.
In the perverse world of contemporary American politics, this scenario will never happen, likely precisely because it’s the scenario that ought to happen.
It’s a travesty that our elected officials swear to uphold the Constitution and then proceed to govern as if it did not exist. It provides a road map back to sanity whether we’re dealing with the federal budget or a murderous punk like Muammar Gadhafi. Maybe one day.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)