Overheard on CNN.com: Is U.S. action in Libya criminal?
President Obama will defend U.S. involvement in Libya.
June 15th, 2011
05:34 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Is U.S. action in Libya criminal?

Comment of the day:

“Regardless of your personal beliefs and political leanings, it is our solemn duty as American citizens to ensure that no elected official oversteps the bounds of their office as outlined in the constitution.” -Archyle

Suing the president

As President Obama got ready to defend U.S. military involvement in Libya to Congress, a bipartisan group of House members filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging U.S. participation in the Libya military mission. The lawsuit against Obama had many CNN.com readers recalling former President George W. Bush’s military decisions and his approach to having them approved by Congress:

Garyx24 said, “Sue George W. Bush for WAR CRIMES.” Pedro1234 said, “Bush got approval from Congress, so I guess they can sue themselves, including folks that sided with Bush, like Hillary.” jrm03063 said, “@Pedro1234 – you consider an approval based on fraud to be legitimate?” jaffa48 said, “We lost trillions on the Iraq war which was based on LIES by the GOP party (Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld). They are responsible for our debt.” pollopaefv said, “Bush lied to the UN via pumped up CIA intelligence and hid behind the congressional vote. Just because you have 10 accidents that were ruled ‘no fault’ on your license, doesn't mean you don't suck at driving.”

BinaryTruth said, “The Iraq war was based on a lie, whereas nobody is confused about why we're in Libya. Except for knee-jerk partisan hacks, of course. If it were the Bush administration behind this NATO mission you'd be on here proclaiming the mission's greatness and ultimate legality.” Pedro1234 said, “Why is that anytime Obama is challenged, the libetards start crying ‘Bush, Bush, Bush?’ Get over it. Eventually, Obama's record will have to be a reflection of HIS presidency, not Bush's.”

hopalong said, “Why would the President need the approval of Congress to comply with the obligations of a treaty? Oh, you didn't know that NATO means North Atlantic TREATY Organization. The terms of the treaty were ironed out long ago so we're no doubt obligated to support NATO operations. Sit back while the President schools them once again.”

roshev32 said, “When the Libyan crisis began, I recall that Obama was criticized by Republicans for not responding promptly enough. Now he is criticized for staying the course that Republicans were advocating at the time." justageek said, “It is bipartisan. CANES2004 said, “I love how the US (and I mean US the people) have become so polarized that everything is Dems vs Reps. Why can't we just see what the right thing is? By law the President has 90 days to move troops and use them at his disposal before going to Congress. Once those 90 days are up he needs to remove the troops or simply request approval from Congress. There is no political agenda behind that ... it's simple social studies or government studies we all learned back in the 6th grade.”

Man vs. elephant

The Maasai, a pastoral tribe living along the border of Kenya and Tanzania, are encountering conflicts with elephants as they turn to farming to support themselves. The elephants are not only eating their produce; there have been reports of people being trampled by them as well. As a result, some Maasai say they have considered killing the elephants. The situation ignited a debate about whether people (and overpopulation) or elephants (and rights to their natural habitat) are more important:

mam219 said, “Elephants are the largest land animal in current times. They are a shining example of nature.” attucks1986 said, “We must save the elephants! The Maasai having a safe place to live is far less important than white people having an elephant-filled vacation.” iEvolved said, “The problem is not the animals being ‘pests’ as the article says, but the expanse of farming into the natural habitats of the animals.” mypitts responded, “To the Maasai they are pests. You can't just pretend their viewpoint has no validity. The people who are getting burned out of the Arizona woods also encroached on nature. But those are still their homes getting burned.”

BinaryTruth said, “Animals suffer too often from the arrogant presumption that human beings own this planet. The animals don't stand a chance with stewards like us wreaking havoc to their habitats.” Bus2 responded, “@ BinaryTruth I respectfully disagree; human beings DO own this planet. While we may act as stewards to some degree, are we really supposed to sacrifice the safety and livelihood of other humans, solely because someone halfway around the world thinks a few certain animals are pretty to look at?” karmabug said, “Humans shouldn't come first, we should be equal and use our ‘superior' intellect to maintain the balance of the ecosystem.”

WallyBalloo said, “While we're at it, let's kill all the dogs, geese, mice, deer, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, wolves, sharks, jellyfish, mosquitoes, ants, and on and on and on ... because my knowledge of what's best for the world is what's best for me!”

refdccnn said, “given that there are 7 billion underdeveloped primates (us) running around the planet, I wonder who's the "pest". Chartreuxe said, “Too many people. Not enough resources. Worldwide problem."

Pakistan arrests bin Laden informants

Likely to further strain its relations with the U.S., Pakistan's intelligence agency has arrested a person who rented a safe house to the CIA before American special forces killed Osama bin Laden, and a second official confirmed that Pakistan had detained people suspected of giving information to the CIA before the raid.

CNN.com readers largely had harsh words about the arrests:

DoubleW said, “So Pakistan has arrested people who may have helped us to locate bin Laden, the most wanted criminal in the world. Meantime, no news whatever of them arresting anybody who was involved in hiding and supporting bin Laden, in a Pakistani city crowded with Pakistani military.”

justaword said, “This just confirms that Pakistan is our enemy. It's time to end the billions of dollars in US aid to Pakistan. Let their neighbors, China and Iran eat them alive with no protection from US taxpayers. Keep my taxes in the US and rebuild America first.”

ColoGeezer said, “We spend $2 billion per year in aid to Pakistan to prop up their military in order to keep their nuclear weapons from falling into the wrong hands. Just to use their military as mercenaries for border protection the US pays Pakistan $3 million per year. How messed up is that? bresson responded, “First of all, we got Bin Ladin. That’s the biggest national security gain we've had in decades and they are still drone bombing other operatives in the Al Qaeda network. Looks like we had contacts in Pakistan that led to those gains so I'd say money well spent.”

But Guest said, “This isn't retaliation, this is just Pakistan enforcing its laws. Anybody remember Jonathan Pollard? Just because somebody's working for an ally doesn't mean they aren't spying. I'm not sure about Pakistan's laws but in the US if you work for a foreign government you need to be registered as an agent of that government - otherwise you're breaking the law and subject to arrest. I'm sure Pakistan has something similar."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. jackinurcrack

    is US action in libya a crime? HELL NO! The only issue is we picked the wrong side to fight on.Were supposed to GIVE freedom, not PREVENT it from reaching the people.

    June 16, 2011 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. All fall down

    Yes, it is illegal for NY to police California. just as it is illegal for one country to police another. It is a violation of international law. Countries whose laws allow for loose conduct on the part of citizens have a hard time respecting international laws that do not allow for such behavior.Many of them even struggle trying to figure out if it's legal to police another state or not.

    June 16, 2011 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      Point well taken, All fall down. Well said.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. All fall down

    As if Satan doesn't conspire. get a clue.

    June 16, 2011 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    @Rabble...those mobile chemical weapons labs you speak of? Colin Powell showed members of the UN pictures of standard oilfield equipment saying they were mobile labs! Powell even used evidence that showed Iraqis suffering from being exposed to Saddam's weapons, making Powell the highest ranking US Official to admit that there is even such a thing as DU illness. (gulf war syndrome) This cost Powell his job, and he went on to found Combat Services Limited, an outfit that illegally recruited foreign trained soldiers to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan for the Pentagon. A Chilean soldier would typically be offered $5,800/mo. plus US citizenship if he went awol from Chile and joined forces with US. Of course this is a violation of International Law. But the US dropped it's long-standing membership with The World Court shortly before invading Iraq. The US simply ignores complaints made to the UN and vetoes any resolutions.

    June 16, 2011 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  5. citizen

    Plenty of rain this year. Expect a banner year for corn and wheat.
    The price of fuel will fall to $3 per gallon soon. Home prices have not been this low since the great depression.
    Happy days are here again. Break out your wallet and start spending.

    June 16, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. superg

    citizen, you are being sarcastic, correct? this is the worst it's been since the great depression according to a recent report. are you dropping ludes?

    June 16, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. superg

    i know that any comments here or at least most will be in favor of anything ob does, but I'll be here to balance out the scale. peace

    June 16, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Deniz

      The 5 Essential Elements of Every Successful Blog -a0Whether you’re a small time blogger or a hhlgiy respected authority, there are five main elements every successful blogger needs to focus on. a0These five elements have been used since the beginning of the blogging era and ..

      April 22, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  8. saywhat

    Congratulations folks! With sinking $ 1.2 trillion and counting in Iraq and Afghanistan ,we have crossed the $ 700 billion mark in our Libya campaign and are expected to touch $ 1.2 billion or higher come September.
    I am amazed at the generosity of our tax payers , it has no limits just as our lust for wars & penchant for violence has no boundaries. Tens of thousands of men,women & children dead & dying , but that doesn't matter. An NBC poll today showed 51% of Americans favouring continued engagement in Libya.
    According to an article by Smith Grant, the anti-war activist & widely published writer AIPAC is now pushing hard to to get us to attack Iran.
    Yes AIPAC the same agency who is on our territory to spy and spread propaganda for the far right Zionist regime in Israel. Their staffers Keith Weissman,Steven J.Rosen and DOD employee Col.Lawrence were indicted in 2005 under Espionage Act.

    And if that happens God forbid, it would be a horrifying scenario for a world already whipped by endless cycle of violence.

    June 16, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. Lee Oates

    Gee, I guess I should comment on this silly article, since I have been blocked from commenting on any serious issue, like Libya or the middle-east by CNN. I made the serious mistake of pointing out that Libyan interest had taken over all their stories by simply deleting any opposition to Gadhafi. It seems as though its ok to make racist remarks, or hate Muslims, but not alright to express an opinion contrary to Government (Republican) interests. Americans are losing the right to speak their opinion unless it supports the radical right, or is meaningless and trite. America is losing its right to free speach and we are sliping backwards into another McCarthy era.

    June 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cesar

    I love being held tight by a gay black man.

    June 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sandyk

    Why is it that the gov`t is Republican, sorry but I think there are some Democrats peppered in there solmewhere....Hmm like maybe your President!! How do you get that kind of job where youn get all the credit killing UBL or OBL and none of the blame invading addiitional countries. childish bs

    June 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. SAS

    Only yesterday NATO airforce planes bombed Tripoli's largest university's library......in my book military actions do not get any more criminal than that......

    June 16, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Stonesrule

    Stunning – there are still people supporting this loser despite him doing EXACTLY the opposite of what he promised during his campaign and what he has been saying in office!! Funny – all the Dems deriding President Bush suddenly support the same polices and actions Bush p[ut in place and now Obama has embraced and continued, despite his campaign promises against them. Look, you may not necessarily agree with most of what conservatives stand for. But, honestly, can anyone REALLY and with a straight face, say that this guy has any idea what he's doing?! For those that say yes, please dig a little deeper......

    June 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bammer

      No, what's stunning is there are people in this country who have forgotten the mess were are dealing with now started long before Obama took office. People out there blame everything on him. He may be the current President. but I'll never hold him accountable for being unable to rescue us from the cesspool we now call the United States.

      June 21, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. observer

    hello, whatever arguments here, donot forget Obama was a peace nobel prizer winner and his promises about lots good things why doesnot him like to cease fire in Libya and talk with both parties the Rebels and Quadafi surely if he is really care about that country's people even jsut for the sake of Lybian people and forget about the oil the FRENCH is another false leader...etc.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4