Brian Becker Interview Partial Transcript
Law and Disorder Radio –is a weekly hour long program that airs Monday mornings on WBAI and around the country throughout the week and is hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights). On the first half of this week’s show explore issues of media and dissent. A.N.S.W.E.R.’s Brian Becker speaks about the disinformation media campaign on the Libyan War and its future implications for the next DC desired ‘regime change.’ We’ll note this section.
Michael Smith: Brian, the United States, although it is supporting the war there and is actually having the CIA fly predator drone assassination planes, but the Congress has never declared war against Libya. And [US Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid, the head of the Democratic Party in the Senate, said, ‘Well this war’s going to be over with so quickly we don’t have to declare war.’ But the Constitution of the United States says quite clearly that Congress must declare war. Nonetheless, they’re going about supporting the overthrow — regime change is what Obama articulated — without doing that. What’s your reaction to that?
Brian Becker: Well Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution makes it clear that only Congress has the right to declare war. This is clearly a war when you drop thousands of bombs and missiles. And the Americans are doing most of the bombing, by the way. It’s not simply “leading from behind” — that’s partly public relations by the Obama administration. The bulk of the sorties are carried out by American aircraft. Very few voices in Congress — Dennis Kucinich was one who clearly made the point and has demanded that the Obama administration be held accountable for what is basically a violation of the Constitution. Obama even went beyond what George W. Bush did in one sense. In Iraq, Bush demanded and got from Congress something of a blank check for later military operations — that was the vote in October of 2002. In the case of Libya, the Obama administration said, ‘Well, we don’t even have to introduce any legislation that would give us any kind of pretext or premise for engaging in military hostilities” because they said that the bombing of Libya doesn’t “constitute a hostility in the traditional sense in which the word hostility is meant.” I mean that’s real, true double-speak. I think a lot of people don’t realize the extent to which that this is not simply NATO supporting a rebel force but the entire operation is a NATO operation. The Guardian newspaper on August 23rd says, for instance, and I’ll quote you, “British and NATO military commanders are planning what they hope will be the final onslaught on Col Gaddafi’s forces to put an end to put an end to all resistance from troops loyal to the Libyan leader.” And then they go on and describe — and this has come out only in the recent days — how French and British and, in particular, a British commando unit have actually been leading the troops into battle. Giving the advice, yes, but also leading them into battle and coordinating with the US, the British and the French air force for pin-point, precise, military bombing campaigns against Libyan resistance forces. And so leading from behind is just more euphemistic language designed to conceal what is, one, an illegal war as you suggest — or certainly as I would assert because it has no authorization — certainly the [UN[ Security Council isn’t a legal entity that gives the United States executive branch the authority to carry out wars of aggression. But it’s not simply supporting people in the field who have a beef or a grievance or are in armed struggle against Gaddafi. If it was them and them alone, they would never have survived — succeeded, to the extent that they are succeeding. This is the military efforts by the Pentagon and their colleague in Britain and France to overthrow an independent government and they’re using disaffected Libyans as foot-soldiers in this battle.
Michael Smith: I would add that the United States when it was formed, when the Declaration of Independence was issued in 1776, it was issued on the basis that the people in this country had a right to determine for themselves what type of a government they had. Whether you agree or disagree with the Gaddafi government, that would be, I would say, the business of the Libyan people, not the American government. And the principal of self determination which was a great principal that was established in the American Revolution two hundred years ago is the principal that’s been violated now, wouldn’t you agree?
Brian Becker: I would and I think that we need — political people need to recognize that the last century has been the era of imperialism. The slogan of self-determination has no credibility except in that struggle against imperialism.
A.N.S.W.E.R. will be taking part in two October actions:
Washington, District of Columbia, October 6, 2011