Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi Killed (warning graphic photo)

Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi died of wounds suffered on Thursday as fighters battling to complete an eight-month-old uprising against his rule overran his hometown Sirte, Libya’s interim rulers said.

His killing, which came swiftly after his capture near Sirte, is the most dramatic single development in the Arab Spring revolts that have unseated rulers in Egypt and Tunisia and threatened the grip on power of the leaders of Syria and Yemen. Muammar Gaddafi’s ‘I am a fighter’

“He (Gaddafi) was also hit in his head,” National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid Mlegta told Reuters. “There was a lot of firing against his group and he died.” Obama Unconstitutional Attack On Libya

Mlegta told Reuters earlier that Gaddafi, who was in his late 60s, was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn on Thursday as he tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked. He said he had been taken away by an ambulance.

There was no independent confirmation of his remarks. Obama claimed that our goal in Libya is humanitarian

An anti-Gaddafi fighter said Gaddafi had been found hiding in a hole in the ground and had said “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot” to the men who grabbed him.

I must remind readers of my October 17, 2009 post Obama Gives Khadhaffi $2.5M In Aid, Khadhaffi Releases 88 Al-Qaeda Terrorists The government of Libya released 88 veteran al-Qaeda and affiliated terrorists from Abu Slim prison. The Foundation, in a joint statement with lawyers’ groups, said: “45 members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and 43 members of other jihadist groups were freed.” Libya received $2.5 million in foreign aid, of which $400,000 went to the “Khadhaffi Foundation.” We see why the left, and many others avoid the question, is Obama a Muslim. Muammar Gaddafi Address Obama As Son

His capture followed within minutes of the fall of Sirte, a development that extinguished the last significant resistance by forces loyal to the deposed leader.

The capture of Sirte and the death of Gaddafi means Libya’s ruling NTC should now begin the task of forging a new democratic system which it had said it would get under way after the city, built as a showpiece for Gaddafi’s rule, had fallen.

Gaddafi, wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of ordering the killing of civilians, was toppled by rebel forces on August 23 after 42 years of one-man rule over the oil-producing North African state.

NTC fighters hoisted the red, black and green national flag above a large utilities building in the center of a newly-captured Sirte neighborhood and celebratory gunfire broke out among their ecstatic and relieved comrades.

The conservative Washington Times has it right. In an editorial headlined, “Obama’s illegal war. Congress, not the U.N., should authorize force against Libya,” the paper said, “Removing Moammar Gadhafi from power would probably advance the cause of freedom, but the United Nations has no legal authority to take a step of this magnitude. By bowing to the will of the U.N. Security Council, President Obama is diluting the sovereign power of the United States.”

It’s true that President Reagan attacked Libya in 1986. But that was retaliation in self-defense, which is always reserved for the Commander-in-Chief, after evidence showed that the Gaddafi regime had attacked and killed Americans in Germany through a terrorist bombing.

“Today,” Obama said on March 19, “I authorized the Armed Forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians. That action has now begun. In this effort, the United States is acting with a broad coalition that is committed to enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which calls for the protection of the Libyan people.”

Obama said, “I’ve acted after consulting with my national security team, and Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress. And in the coming hours and days, my administration will keep the American people fully informed. But make no mistake: Today we are part of a broad coalition. We are answering the calls of a threatened people. And we are acting in the interests of the United States and the world.”

The President has no such “authorization” from Congress and consultation with Congress is not sufficient under the Constitution.

This announcement followed a February 25 executive order declaring Libya “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” which is ludicrous on its face. Obama then declared “a national emergency to deal with that threat.”

All of this happened without any critical comment from the media. Indeed, the media called for Obama and the “international community” to do something.

Even a prominent media watchdog like Howard Kurtz, while criticizing the media for not asking the right questions, asks the wrong questions and comes to the wrong conclusions.

On CNN, Howard Kurtz said, “U.S. warplanes hitting targets in Libya for a second day today. And I have to say this at the outset—the media get excited by war, the journalistic adrenaline starts pumping as we talk about warships and warplanes and cruise missiles, and we put up the maps and we have the retired generals on. And sometimes something is lost in that initial excitement.”

But then he went on a tangent: “It reminds me of eight years ago this very weekend, when Shock and Awe was rained down upon Baghdad and the media utterly failed to ask skeptical questions.”

The difference is that Congress authorized the invasion of Iraq after a debate. Congress has not authorized the war on Libya.

Strangely, House Speaker John Boehner does not seem to recognize how his constitutional authority and the sovereignty of the United States are being undermined.

In a statement, he said, “The United States has a moral obligation to stand with those who seek freedom from oppression and self-government for their people. It’s unacceptable and outrageous for Qadhafi to attack his own people, and the violence must stop. The President is the commander-in-chief, but the Administration has a responsibility to define for the American people, the Congress, and our troops what the mission in Libya is, better explain what America’s role is in achieving that mission, and make clear how it will be accomplished. Before any further military commitments are made, the Administration must do a better job of communicating to the American people and to Congress about our mission in Libya and how it will be achieved.”

To repeat: simply being the commander-in-Chief does not allow the President to wage an offensive war on a country that does not threaten the United States.

We at AIM were similarly critical of the media for failing to raise these issues when Clinton went to war in Kosovo. That case was even worse than Libya because the U.N. did not authorize the military intervention there. Clinton used NATO rather than the U.N. But NATO, which came into being through a treaty as a defensive military force, had been illegally transformed without the benefit of a treaty into an offensive military force.

To make matters worse, Clinton intervened on behalf of the Muslim terrorists in the Kosovo Liberation Army against the Christian Serbs. The result was creation of a Muslim state, Kosovo, in the heart of Europe.

Obama’s agenda in Libya is the enforcement of the U.N.’s so-called “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine, whereby nations work through the U.N. to intervene in the internal affairs of member states. The “Responsibility to Protect” was mostly the work of the World Federalist Movement, a group dedicated to world government by strengthening the United Nations system.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 on Libya calls for a no-fly zone and reiterates a “Responsibility to Protect” through explicit language on the “protection of civilians” against the regime.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the resolution “historic,” which is correct, and noted that it “affirms, clearly and unequivocally, the international community’s determination to fulfill its responsibility to protect civilians from violence perpetrated upon them by their own government.”

Hundreds of NTC troops had surrounded the Mediterranean coastal town for weeks in a chaotic struggle that killed and wounded scores of the besieging forces and an unknown number of defenders.

NTC fighters said there were a large number of corpses inside the last redoubts of the Gaddafi troops. It was not immediately possible to verify that information.

Obama claimed Monday that our goal in Libya is humanitarian:

“We knew that if we wanted — if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world. It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen. And so nine days ago, after consulting the bipartisan leadership of Congress, I authorized military action to stop the killing and enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973. We struck regime forces approaching Benghazi to save that city and the people within it.”

He is probably correct in that assessment, but does that not mean that once Benghazi was secured, the bombing should have stopped? The rebels are currently losing the battle in some places, winning it in others, and our involvement is no longer a matter of preventing a massacre but of deciding a war. If we’re convinced that a victory by Gadhafi means a massacre of civilians, then we aren’t engaged in a simple humanitarian mission. Our mission is regime change. Our mission is the destruction of Gadhafi.

This intervention was cast from the beginning in terms of “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P), the U.N.’s current doctrine governing intervention in domestic conflicts and slaughters. R2P doesn’t require regime change, though, which is now our explicit policy.

The argument for Gadhafi’s removal includes his past tyrannies. As Obama pointed out, “In the past, we have seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day.” That, though, was the old Gadhafi, the one who was developing WMD, killed Americans in Berlin and who had the American gun pointed in his general direction on a regular basis. The new Gadhafi relinquished his weapons programs, and his son was warmly welcomed to Washington by Obama’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton just two years ago. The new Gadhafi got a seat on the U.N. Security Council and a warm handshake (and probably a respectful bow) from President Obama. Why, then, must he be removed?

Obama has taken pains to point out that this intervention isn’t like the one in Iraq. This one has foreign partners (we had more partners in Iraq, 30 as opposed to the current 16; Obama means Arab partners). This one will be turned over to a multinational authority (NATO, which means the United States). This one isn’t about regime change and democracy at the end of a gun (oh, wait, it is).

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