Thursday, October 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

GOP leader: Obama may act in Iraq without signoff

Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi

President Barack Obama meets with, from left, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. Obama briefed leaders of Congress on US options for blunting an Islamic insurgency in Iraq. US officials say Obama is not yet prepared to move forward with strikes and is instead focused on increased training for Iraq's security forces, boosting Iraqi intelligence capacities and upgrading equipment. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

By
From page A1 | June 19, 2014 |

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and congressional leaders believe he does not need authorization from Congress for some steps he might take to quell the al-Qaida-inspired insurgency sweeping through Iraq, the Senate’s top Republican and Capitol Hill aides said after the president briefed senior lawmakers Wednesday.

Still, the prospect of the president sidestepping Congress raises the potential for clashes between the White House and rank-and-file lawmakers, particularly if Obama should launch strikes with manned aircrafts or take other direct U.S. military action in Iraq. Administration officials have said airstrikes have become less a focus of recent deliberations but have also said the president could order such a step if intelligence agencies can identify clear targets on the ground.

Obama huddled in the Oval Office for over an hour to discuss options for responding the crumbling security situation in Iraq with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Speaking to reporters as he returned to the Capitol, McConnell said the president “indicated he didn’t feel he had any need for authority from us for steps that he might take.”

Pelosi concurred with the president, saying in a statement after the meeting that Obama does not need “any further legislative authority to pursue the particular options for increased security assistance discussed today.” She did not specify what options were discussed.

The White House has publicly dodged questions about whether Obama might seek congressional approval if he decides to take military action. Last summer, Obama did seek approval for possible strikes against Syria, but he scrapped the effort when it became clear that lawmakers would not grant him the authority.

However, administration officials have suggested that the president may be able to act on his own in this case because Iraq’s government has requested U.S. military assistance.

“I think it certainly is a distinction and difference worth noting,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday of the comparisons to the Syrian situation.

In addition, an authorization for the use of military force in Iraq, passed by Congress in 2002, is still on the books and could potentially be used as a rationale for the White House acting without additional approval. Before the outburst of violence in Iraq, Obama had called for that authorization to be repealed.

Some lawmakers were outraged when Obama launched military action in Libya in 2011 with minimal consultation with Congress and no formal authorization from Capitol Hill. More recently, some in Congress have complained that the White House did not consult on final plans for releasing five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for freeing detained American Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

White House officials offered no timeline Wednesday for how soon Obama might decide on how to respond to the fast-moving militants from the group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which has seized Mosul, Tikrit and other towns in Iraq as the country’s military melted away.

Obama’s decision-making on airstrikes has been complicated by intelligence gaps that resulted from the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq in late 2011, which left the country largely off-limits to American operatives. Intelligence agencies are now trying to close gaps and identify possible targets that include insurgent encampments, training camps, weapons caches and other stationary supplies, according to U.S. officials.

Officials also suggest that the U.S. could more easily identify targets on the ground if Obama would send in additional American trainers to work with Iraqi security forces. Obama is considering that possibility, the officials say, though he has ruled out sending troops for combat missions.

The officials spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to describe classified details and private discussions by name.

Obama is certain to face resistance from congressional Democrats if he launches any major military response to the crisis in Iraq. Two House Democrats — John Garamendi of California and Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii — said Wednesday they would offer an amendment to the defense spending bill that would require congressional approval before any sustained military action in Iraq.

The House is debating the defense bill and is scheduled to finish it this week.

Beyond airstrikes, the White House has been considering plans to boost Iraq’s intelligence about the militants and, more broadly, has been encouraging the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad to become more inclusive.

Iraq’s once-dominant Sunni minority has long complained of discrimination by the government and security forces. The Obama administration has said that without long-term political changes, any short-term military solutions would be fleeting.

“The entire enterprise is at risk as long as this political situation is in flux,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate panel Wednesday. He added that some Iraqi security forces had backed down when confronted by the militants because they had “simply lost faith” in the central government in Baghdad.

Republicans continued to insist that Obama bears the blame for allowing the insurgency to strengthen because of his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq in late 2011 after more than eight years of war. Washington and Baghdad failed to reach a security agreement that would have allowed American forces to stay longer.

“What’s happening in Iraq is a direct result of the president’s misguided decisions,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a Marine reservist who served two combat tours in Iraq. “Militarily, the U.S. won in Iraq, but the hard-fought and hard-earned gains of our servicemen and women have been politically squandered by the president and his administration.”

Despite withdrawing from Iraq, the U.S. has a range of ground, air and sea troops and assets in the region. There are six warships in the Persian Gulf, including the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush and the amphibious transport ship USS Mesa Verde, which is carrying about 550 Marines and five V-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft.

There are about 5,000 U.S. soldiers across the Iraqi border in Kuwait as part of a routine rotational presence, several Air Force aircraft capable of a full range of missions, and intelligence gathering and surveillance assets, including drones, in the region.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Suisun City streets: Better than Vallejo, worse than Dixon

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Children run for the sake of running

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
60th Air Mobility Wing gets outstanding unit award

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

Real McCoy ferry to shut down Thursday

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Nairobi, oldest giraffe at Six Flags, dies

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Day of Remembrance focuses on domestic violence prevention

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
Audubon group to offer wetlands walk, bird workshop

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
 
Trailer rolls, knocks down pole, damages roadway

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Bridge to Life gets extension for temporary kitchen

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

Pumpkin bob set at Fairfield city pool

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Oct. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Canada’s PM says shooting rampage was terrorism

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Healdsburg bans tobacco sales to anyone under 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Davis votes to return armored vehicle

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Study looks at lane splitting in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

125 San Francisco inmates to get computer tablets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California malpractice cap generates big spending

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Huge gold nugget going up for sale in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Methodist panel hears appeal over gay wedding

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

AP-GfK Poll: Public wants tighter Ebola screening

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Key features of rigorous new US Ebola monitoring

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Goofy dinosaur blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Social Security benefits get another tiny increase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

US to track everyone coming from Ebola nations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Teens’ travel renews concerns about terror appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Blackwater guards found guilty in Iraq shootings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Analysis: Fowle was North Korea’s easiest US case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

UK man faked coma for 2 years to avoid court

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Missile, fire from Egypt wounds 2 Israeli troops

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Mexico: Mayor linked to deadly attack on students

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Nigeria truce is shaky, no news of abducted girls

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers OK fighters for Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Prisons agree to end race policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Living a Democrat PC nightmare

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
Real reason to vote yes on 46

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

Keck did good job researching issue

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

.

Entertainment

‘SNL’ adds black woman to cast from writers room

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
.

Sports

AP source: Goodell told to testify in Rice appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Kings measuring success on ‘wins and losses’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Giants’ bullpen melts down in 7-2 loss to Royals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors hoping Kerr is final piece for title run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Local Report: Armijo XC teams finish MEL 10-0

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Carr confident despite Raiders’ winless start

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Phony World Series tickets, merchandise seized

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Request denied to remove judge on Peterson case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Probe: UNC academic fraud was ‘shadow curriculum’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
World Series rating for opener drops to low

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Beaten Giants fan shows significant progress

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Polian, Wolf nominated for Pro Football Hall of Fame

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Slumping Bears hope to slow No. 6 Oregon, Mariota

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford picked to win Pac-12 regular-season crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NBA owners fail to pass lottery reform

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Leafs-Senators game postponed after shootings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Brad Keselowski not concerned with popularity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
SHR swaps crews for Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

From Mexico to the World Series, Petit Giants’ shines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
’85 World Series Royals relishing playoff run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

This date in sports history for Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Business

FedEx, UPS make plans for a better holiday season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
The top 20 US cities for tech startup funding

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

‘Silicon Beach’ brings tech boom to Los Angeles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Google unveils app for managing Gmail inboxes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Government ups air bag warning to 7.8M vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Camel maker Reynolds snuffs out workplace smoking

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

BofA to refund Apple Pay customers charged twice

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
.

Obituaries

Mark Dean Lindsay

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Keith Bowen

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Blanche Stevens

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dr. Robert M. Takamoto

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9