March 23, 2011
We all know “the five second rule.” Drop food on the floor and if you pick it up before that span of time elapses, and it’ll still be “good.” There is also a life-and-death version of this: the five-day rule, by which we have surrendered to any U.S. President the right to kill people in our name, provided he only does it for a couple of days.
I’m not defending this policy, I am simply stating that at some point in the last 60 years it has been established. And from the Bay of Pigs, to Reagan’s Trophy War in Granada, to President Clinton’s bombing of Iraq, to President Clinton’s bombing of Sudan, to President Clinton’s bombing of Libya — “the horse of undeclared war” has pretty much left the barn.
Nevertheless. After that Imperial period of a few days, a President – this one included – is required to either call it off, or justify why it must continue, or maybe even follow the Constitution and get approval from Congress by explaining the threat to this country that rationalizes the continuing action. Especially when we now have American pilots bailing out over hostile territory.
Keith Olbermann: Special Comment: Libya, Obama, and the Five-Second Rule