• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Senate Resolution Requesting No-Fly Zone in Libya Changed in Secret

    On March 1 the U.S. Senate passed a resolution by unanimous consent calling for a no-fly zone in Libya. Many Senators are angry, because they feel like they were the subject of a bait and switch.

    The resolution was advertised as a condemnation of the human rights situation in Libya, yet this Administration has used it to provide the fig leaf of congressional authorization for hostilities in that country.

    The resolution was vetted as a denunciation of the “gross and systematic violations of human rights in Libya.” Language was added in secret that put the Senate on record in favor of a no-fly zone. This resolution was changed at the last minute, to give the Obama Administration a talking point that the Senate had requested a no-fly zone.

    Conn Carroll of the Washington Examiner reports in a story titled “How the Senate was bait and switched into war” that Senators and staff were unaware of the provision in the resolution putting the Senate on record in favor of a no-fly zone.

    According to numerous congressional aides, almost no members knew about the no-fly zone language. Most offices thought they were approving a different resolution – with the same sponsor and a nearly identical title – that had been circulating among congressional offices for two weeks.

    The resolution, S. Res. 85, was circulated without any reference to a no-fly zone and under the purpose of condemning human rights violations in Libya:

    Strongly condemning the gross and systematic violations of human rights in Libya, including violent attacks on protesters demanding democratic reforms, and for other purposes.

    Carroll provides evidence in the form of an email dated Feb. 22, 2011.

    In a February 22 email obtained by the Examiner, an aide to Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) sent a resolution to the staff of members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee condemning human rights abuses in Libya. There was no mention of a no-fly zone.

    Here is how it went down, according to Carroll. First the bill was “hotlined.” Hotlining is when the Senators’ office phones ring and they receive a message to the effect that “the Majority Leader in consultation with the Republican Leader would like to call up and pass (insert bill number).” According to Carroll, the full text of this resolution “was not made public until the day after the Senate approved it.”

    In other words, the resolution was hotlined and staffers assumed that the leadership was hotlining the Menendez version of the resolution to call for human rights in Libya. They were unaware that they were being put on record with the following language that was added in secret on or about March 1:

    Resolved that the Senate … (7) urges the United Nations Security Council to take such further action as may be necessary to protect civilians in Libya from attack, including the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over Libyan territory.”

    The Senate passed the resolution by unanimous consent, putting the Senate on record that every single Senator approved of the proposal. Many Senators felt snookered by this process.

    Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) told The Examiner: “Clearly, the process was abused. You don’t use a hotline to bait and switch the country into a military conflict. There is no more difficult decision than whether to put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way. With no imminent threat to the national security of the United States, the President should have asked for authorization and Congress should have had a thorough debate.”

    Any way you slice it, the process used to pass the resolution was controversial and out of the ordinary.

    As a result of Carroll’s Examiner piece, the Obama Administration should retire the talking point that the Senate “unanimously in a resolution called for the imposition of a no-fly zone.” It is not accurate.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Senate Resolution Requesting No-Fly Zone in Libya Changed in Secret

    1. Carla De petris san says:

      I am appalled to hear that another irresponsabile behaviour occurred.

      When will it stop and what will be done?

      Carla De Petris

    2. Pingback: Big Propaganda

    3. patriotdynamite says:

      Unfortunately it will not be stopped. Nothing will be done to hold hobama responsible because he is a democrat, a super liberal and he is black! Simply the facts. But don't worry it will be a quick war just as were Iraq and A-stan.

    4. The Buck Montana says:

      Didn't anyone ever learn the old saying about "assume?" Especially our overpaid underworked professional lawmakers. Don't ever take anything liberals say at face value and make sure you KNOW what you sign or vote for, for crying out loud! Are these guys the best America has to offer…………..excuse me!

    5. unclebarry, ca. says:

      There is nothing that this Regime will not do to get its way. It is deplorable.

    6. allwipedout, tn says:

      and you believe anything he says? Not shame on him, but shame on you for you continued naivety.

    7. Delores Smith says:

      I watched the Secretary-General of the United Nations speak on Television at the beginning of all of this illegal war in Libya. He said, "Stop…stop…this violence, you are not abiding by the terms of the U.N. Resolution. We called only for a "No-Fly Zone." When I saw the Secretary-General on Television at the meeting that Hillary Clinton attended, he seemed pleased with the way things were going. How much did you get paid off, Mr. Secretary-General?

    8. azwayne says:

      I am still disappointed with senate, how can we expect anything responsible let alone sensible when they can't get something this simple correct. I've been wandering how senate was briefed and approved>I know our idiot mccain would have voted louder if he knew we get another war, To see what ODUMBO calls senate information and approval,, now we see how, and here we sit.no media willing to show truth. It's time somebody brings action to legislature. Pass it we'll see what's in it later. What a great 2 years we've watched. WHO do these incompetents work for??

    9. dontwannabelieveit, says:

      the dems/socialist/communist are showing that they can do anything they want to do and no one is going to do anything about it.

      wait until o cancels the 2012 election because of some contrived emergency and declares himself our supreme leader.

    10. Rayupnorth says:

      Why are we all just talking all the time and not doing something about it???

    11. Larry, Tennessee says:

      Here's a radical idea- read everything you sign!

    12. Pingback: Sen. Mike Lee | Leaders With Ginni Thomas | Interview | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment

    13. Pingback: Leaders with Ginni Thomas: Utah Sen. Mike Lee (Daily Caller) | Stock Market News - Business & Tech News

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×