Foreign Relations ranking member Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) promoted making a declaration of war by Congress and laying out a plan with a clear mission, although other Republicans — including Sessions and Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), who appeared on “Fox News Sunday” — said Obama was within his authority as commander in chief to launch the military action currently under way.
“That’s especially important in this case because the mission right now is based, as the admiral said, on trying to relieve the civilians in Libya from a tyrant, from trying to make certain the cruelties, the murder and what have you doesn’t continue. But how do you do that?” Lugar said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Lugar, echoing some of the concerns voiced by other Republicans on Sunday morning, pointed out that other Middle Eastern nations have also attacked civilian uprisings, and the United States could run the risk of becoming involved in those conflicts as well.
“We had better get this straight from the beginning, or there’s going to be a situation in which war lingers on, country after country, situation after situation, all of them on a humane basis, saving people,” he said.
Both Kerry and Levin dismissed those concerns.
“We’re not policing Libya,” Kerry said. “We are engaged in a humanitarian initiative to prevent the slaughter of innocent people, to prevent a dictator from dragging people out of hospital beds and they disappear.”
“What you’re missing here,” Levin added, “is this is the world that has made a decision. ... It is not just we the United States. The president has taken the time to put the world community together.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.