Rand Paul To John Kerry: Why Is Bombing Libya OK, But Not Cambodia?

In the early 70’s John Kerry came out as a prominent opponent of Nixon’s order to bomb Cambodia without congressional approval. He said it was unconstitutional. He was right. A president ordering military force in a foreign country without any declaration of war from Congress is a dictator. The founding fathers didn’t want a king for president who could order acts of war on a whim. They wanted the people to decide through their congressional representatives. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives only Congress the power “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.”

This is something John Kerry allegedly still believes except when a Democrat does it, and then it’s OK. At Kerry’s Senate confirmation hearing, Senator Rand Paul asked Kerry about Obama’s order to bomb Libya without congressional approval:


Senator Paul:  In the early 1970’s, after Vietnam, you were quite critical of the bombing in Cambodia, because I think you felt that it wasn’t authorized by Congress. Has your opinion changed about the bombing in Cambodia? How’s Cambodia different than Libya?

Senator Kerry:  Nor did my opinion change, or has it ever altered about the war in Vietnam itself. Where I don’t believe, and I argued then…

Paul:  Is Cambodia different than Libya?

Kerry:  Well, Cambodia, yeah it is. Because it was an extension of the war that was being prosecuted without the involvement of Congress after a number of years. That’s very different…

Paul:  Length of time but similar circumstances – a bombing campaign unauthorized by Congress. See, the Constitution doesn’t really give this kind of latitude to sometimes go to war and sometimes not go to war. I thought Barack Obama was very explicit, and it’s what I liked about him frankly. People think, ‘Oh, Rand Paul certainly didn’t like anything about Barack Obama.’ I did like his forthrightness when he ran for office and said, ‘No president should unilaterally go to war. The Constitution doesn’t allow it.’

Kerry:  Well, I respect that. Look, you can be absolutist and apply it to every circumstance. The problem is, it just doesn’t work in some instances. When 10,000 people are about to be wiped out by a brutal dictator, and you need to make a quick judgment about engagement, you certainly can’t rely on a Congress that is proven itself unwilling to move after weeks and months sometimes.


Kerry claimed that Obama had no time to wait for a congressional approval to bomb Libya because a brutal dictator was “about to” slaughter 10,000 people. But as Hot Air pointed out, “Obama had nearly an entire month in which he could have asked for congressional approval but Kerry wants you to believe that his decision was made under some sort of emergency conditions, a la an invasion or nuclear attack, where the president had no choice logistically but to act on his own.”

What it boils down to is, the Constitution is meaningless to politicians like Kerry. He’ll pretend to be the champion of the Constitution if the other party favors bombing another country. But when it’s his own team doing the same thing, it’s always sold to the people as an “imminent threat” or a “humanitarian mission.” And it’s not a war. It’s an “overseas contingency operation.”

78 thoughts on “Rand Paul To John Kerry: Why Is Bombing Libya OK, But Not Cambodia?

  1. And this traitor is most likely going to be the new Sec of State! My God, how low our Great Nation has fallen! We have an UnTrustworthy UnVetted President, who would never pass an FBI Investigation, like I had to do to work for the DOJ/BOP. We have a current Sec of State that outright Lies to We, the People over Bengazi, along with that UnTrustworthy President, Obama, and both refused to help four Americans in trouble and let them be slaughtered by animals! Time to take our Nation back and give it to Patriots instead of the Enemy!

  2. Short answer: Cambodia posed no threat to the USA. By contrast, Libya could provide a conduit to the Atlantic Coast of Africa to threaten the USA; the aim would be to plant missiles in Morocco if you ask me. (It’s much closer to the USA from Morocco than Iran.)

    1. Cambodia was a main pipe line around the northern part of viet nam to infiltrate men and supplys to south vietnam at a time that we were getting ready to pull out. how do i know this, I was there. Then men on the ground at that time fought the war the politicians kept the war from being won. The north was on the verge of collapse it was not the troops that failed but the troops were betrayed by our on govt.

      1. Spoken for absolute truth. LBJ was wishy washy and changed policy almost daily and then just like Iraq and Afghanistan ham-strung our troops with ridiculous Rules of Engagement.

      2. a marine….Thank you sir for your service to our Nation. Welcome home.

        I could not agree with you more. Betrayed by their own government and then spit on by their own people.

        Its one of the most shameful times in our history.

        Semper fi.

  3. Once Rand Paul called the Benghazi incident “The worst tragedy since 9/11, and I really mean that.”, you could stop listening to him. Either he is so out of touch he does not remember Katrina, the Iraq war, the mass shooting in Connecticut, or dozens of other considerably more significant American tragedies, or he is just so desperate to blow this scandal out of proportion that he just couldn’t contain his exaggeration.

    What about the other embassies and consulates that have been attacked since 9/11?

    2002 – Pakistan
    2004 – Uzbekistan
    2004 – Saudi Arabia
    2006 – Syria
    2007 – Greece
    2008 – Serbia
    2008 – Yemen

    Why was the death of 4 in Benghazi worse than the death of over a dozen people killed in the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Yemen? Was it because Obama wasn’t President when that happened?

    1. Pastafarian…….I have followed all of the Islamic terrorist attacks against America for decades and from my recollections, I think Bengazi is the first where an attack against our people lasted 7+hours and there was no effort by our government to help. The two CIA agents on the roofs at the CIA compound were waiting for military help..using lasers to target the enemy….yet no help came….though Gen Hamm

      (and several other military officers/CIA agents) said that special forces were available to move on it. Imagine what went thru the minds of those guys as they waited in vain.They KNEW that they had been screwed by their own gov.

      I suspect Bengazi happened because we are involved in a guns transfer operation putting guns into the hands of the MB who are opposing Bashar al-Assad …and Obama doesn’t want anyone to know about. That’s because he is in collusion with the Muslim Brotherhood, and is aiding and abetting their acquisition of more arms so that they can take over and establish the caliphate…their ultimate goal.

      If a Republican president had been at the helm when this happened, the media (and rightly so ) should have been on him 24/7 until all questions were answered and people were held accountable. But the fawning media refuses (Steve Croft, the latest one) to ask him to account for the incident. And our gutless Congress last week refused to do the same. Obama and Hillary are accountable to no one.

      Funny how you leftists have always got to bring up the subject of race when there’s any criticism of Obama. You just can’t imagine how it’s possible for a person to have a disagreement with Obama’s policies based on principle and not race.

      I would submit this persistent behavior is indicative of a reverse kind of racism on the part of those who do it.

      1. So, was the media “on” George W. Bush (R) until all questions were answered and people were held accountable for the 7 attacks on American Embassies and Consulates I mentioned?

      1. No. There are questions that need to be answered, but let’s put some perspective on this. It is nowhere near “the worst American tragedy since 9/11”. 4 people who were stationed in the Middle East were killed. That has happened almost every single day for the last decade. By ignoring the thousands of other Americans who have been killed in the line of duty while serving our Country, you denigrate their memory and say to their families that they aren’t as important as these diplomats.

    2. You seem to be clueless to the differences. In all of the aflrementioned cases, there were immediate, unforeseen attacks that were the results of intelligence shortfalls- shortfalls enhanced by liberals like yourself.
      On the other hand, Bengazi was not immediate. The poor people there lasted for hours while awaiting help. Help that never arrived. Some wonder if they weren’t allowed to die so that the American public would not learn why they were there. Don’t you find it odd that we have seen none of the survivors on TV, interviewed or anything? It has been a perfect hush-up wihth complicity by the press.
      I also noted that you failed to mention Jimmy Carter’s Iran Hostage crisis. That one lasted 444 daqys, and carter faile don every front to help that situation It wasn’t resolve duntil the “cowboy” thyat all you liberals hated came to office, and threatened to turn the whole place to glass, and call our hostages collateral damage.
      I suspect we will see several more of these situations in the next 4 years. Weak foreign policy leads to these sorts of uprisings.

      1. I also did not mention the bomb that killed more than 60 people at the US embassy in Beirut when Ronald Reagan was President. I specifically said these were attacks that happened AFTER 9/11/2001.

    3. It’s because Obama demanded that those who could have prevented the tragedy must “stand down” rather than respond during the attack. Those who died could very easily have been saved. Obama said no. Nothing like that is connected with the other listed attacks.

  4. Rand Paul for President and get rid of this dummicrat J^*&a$$ party. The lying to the American people and not answering the questions about Benghazi is apalling. I am so tired of this administration and so hoped they would have lost the last election. We need someone like Senator Paul to tell it like it is for a change. Go Dr. Paul!

  5. Why did we bomb Lybia, but not Syria?
    Obama is conflicted … He wants to see Assad be overthrown by his alQueda and Muslim Brotherhood allies, but he can’t help himself but to admire Assad’s brutal dictatorial tactics.
    Obama can hardly wait to employ them here on us … All that’s standing in his way is that he hasn’t been able to disarm us yet.

    1. Carl U got that right. Emperor/Dictator without an American passport has plans for us.
      People in other countries don’t believe it, they think that it is just Hollywood. I watched O’Reilly with Colin Powell. As I said before, Powell just voted Black, what a coward.

    2. Carl, I’m not real sure ‘disarming’ is the key here. The Kenyan Klutz is looking for the right flashpoint in current events in order to declare a public emergency and use all those executive orders he has been piling up. And the media is working overtime to provide him with an excuse, just frantically and frothingly screeching news of all the violent acts in every corner and closet of this country.

    1. Here is a beautiful example of how liberal/socialist/progressives twist words and events to their own ends – Kerry turned Rand’s statement/question against him, painting him as an “absolutist’, an unthinking person who only uses a formula approach to all these nuanced, delicate, complicated, stressful international events that require a sensitive touch from an experienced diplomat (diplomat = a person who can put off a decision until 1) everybody forgets about the original event or 2) he can find some poor sucker to pin a bad rap on!)

  6. It is useless to talk of impeaching the likes of Obama, Clinton, etc. when imbeciles and imbecilic states continue to advance the miscreants and vote them into office. In order to defeat these unconstitutional perverters of the republic, imbeciles must be denied the franchise or whole states must be excised from the union. Otherwise, we are doomed to a slow death, that is, until bloody revolution forces the appropriate action.

  7. I gotta agree … Bary had entry of time to ask for buy-in on Libya from the Congress. Doggone it, laws hafta mean something or we basically have a despot -benevolent or otherwise.

  8. Kerry of course has been a hypocrite the whole time. Pretending to be “one of the people” while having a huge fortune. He wrote his own medal recommendations and was reviled by the great majority of the people who knew him in Vietnam. He would again like Hillary do nothing but travel the world having lunch in different spots every day

    1. jong…Right. Kerry is a spoiled brat who actually believes he is one of the elite. He fulfills the criteria to be in Obama’s cabinet:

      He actually believes he is smarter than the American people.

      He’s an accomplished liar.

      His invariable demeanor is one of smug arrogance.

      He’ll fit right in.

      1. The Obama Administration must be having thrills go up their collective legs at the thought of this elite snob entering the Kingly circle! He fits right in! Lives off his wife’s money; bloviates about nothing; personifies every attribute of a physical coward; and looks down at the “great unwashed” (you and me) and wonders why we persist in breathing the same air as he! A perfect fit for the Gang that Can’t Shoot Straight, except with their mouths. (I wonder what Hillary’s Muslim girlfriend/aide is going to do).

  9. Appointing Kerry (Traitor) to Secretary of State, in no different than appointing Geitner (Income Tax Evader) as Secretary of Treasury……Is there any department in his administration that isn’t corrupt.

  10. John Kerry is traitorous scum! He is a traitor to the nation. He is a traitor to all veterans who served honorably. He is a perfect fit for treasonous Senators and a treasonous fraud president!

  11. Same old traitor he’s always been, it seems. And the democrat double standard to boot. King zero whined that Bush’s spending was ‘unpatriotic’, but how’s HIS spending record? Where’s all the lefty war protests now that king zero is in charge of the war? Nary a peep, but you can take it to the bank, had Romney been elected, the war protesters would be out in force, again.

  12. I have sat on the toilet and birthed more honest floaters than Kerry could ever be. He is a liar, works for a liar and has been bought by another liar. My turds have more integrity that anyone in BHO’s administration and they smell better too…

    1. No Heinz products in THIS house for a number of years now. When Obama claimed he had been to “all fifty-seven states” it was clear he confused the 50 States with sycophant Kerry’s political campaign contribution checks from Heinz 57 Varieties.

  13. Becoming more and more impressed with Rand Paul. Unlike other Republicans (McCain comes to mind) he doesn’t try to jam down our throats that these dems are “really nice guys”. How refreshing!

    1. Yes the other thing this article failed to mention was the other half of the interview, where McCain kissed Kerry’s boots, and told how great a warrior he was. Makes me wonder if any of McCain’s POW story is true.

    2. Oh, and yes, I will support Rand Paul for next president. I always thought he was a bit short on experience, but he’s worlds ahead of what we have now, and he seems yet to be tainted by the Washingotn political machine like McConnell and Boehner.

    3. ste1021…..yep….When I heard what he had to say to Hillary, I thought….THANK GOD for at least ONE Congressman with the guts to speak the truth.

  14. It’s the blind leading the blind. Who else would make a better Sec of State for somebody like Obama? You cannot write this stuff. Future generations will look back on us and laugh. I’m still scratching my head and asking how this ever happened? Surely they did not vote for him a second time??!! Yet, I thought the same thing when Clinton was re-elected. Only, Clinton actually had some redeeming qualities. He actually found out how to work with congress. Obama will never do that- he seems bent on a path of destruciton both of himself and our nation.

  15. Kerry should be serving a life sentence for treason in Leavenworth and Obama should be in the cell next to him for the same crime as should also be Hanoi Jane Fonda. All three are disgusting affronts to the Constitution and the Republic.

  16. With Liberals it is always a one way street and now with rinos in the mist America is on her knees to the mercy of tyrants and traitors of such. America needs a revolution or civil war to clean up America NOW

  17. Kerry should have been put in Prison instead of the Senate, he was a TRAITOR then he is a TRAITOR now, just like his boss! This whole Regime needs to be put where the sun never shines! Semper Fi.

  18. He met in France with the chief negotiator of the Viet Cong while still an officer in the naval reserves.That in itself is an act of treason,he should be tried as a traitor & executed

  19. Dear Rand:
    Would you ask Jane Fonda the same question? Think not!
    Give Flip-Flop Karry a brake…
    Sen. Karry will be “a cartoon character” in the World Scene, probably always showing his Big Boat around… Remember, the once he parked in another State Marina, to avoid paying haigher taxes… Don’t you remember?

  20. Not only that but it is a proven fact (after the fact – no arm chair quarterbacking here) that 10s of thousands were killed in Cambodia!

    So what the H is his point people were about to be slaughtered that was the exact situation in Cambodia so again why was he against that if lots of people about to get slaughtered is the litmus test!!!!???

    Major ignoramus alert!!!

    Why would we want someone so ignorant as Secretary of State.

    Guess you would have to ask obama who wants another one after the ignoramus Hillary!!!

  21. Democrats are amazing. They are against a violation of the Constitution if it is preceived a violation by the the other party. But, if Democrats are in power, it is okay. If Obama is ever found ineligible, the whole traitiorist Democratic Party should be taken down.

    1. Obama now controls the Democrat party. They should never win another election in the nation which seeks to be loyal to our Constitution. It appears more and more likely that it will be necessary for some states to secede from Obamaland which was once a proud land of liberty, with all patriots moving into the seceding states. .

  22. In the early 70’s John Kerry came out as a prominent and traitorous opponent of Nixon’s
    order to bomb communists in Cambodia without congressional approval. He said it was
    unconstitutional. He was right. Nobody rode him out of town on a rail for giving aid and comfort to our enemies, and that was the mistake which will come back to haunt us as he assumes the role of the first communist Secretary of State ever.

    Receiving accolades from the CPUSA, USSR, and North Vietnamese, he disgraced himself before his fellow men and then had the temerity to run for and get elected to American political office where he continued to disgrace himself as a representative of the People’s Republic of Massachusetts.

  23. Cambodia… In April 1965, Sar (Pol Pot) went to North Vietnam to gain approval for an uprising in Cambodia against the government. North Vietnam refused to support any uprising due to ongoing negotiation with the Cambodian government. Sihanouk promised to allow the Vietnamese to use Cambodian territory and Cambodian ports in their war against South Vietnam.
    Sar (Pol Pot), (after John Kerry and democrats lost the war in Vietnam) eventually took over control of Cambodia. People from the cities were forced into labor camps where starvation and brutality killed what was around one third of Cambodias population.

    Thanks to John (the coward) Kerry.

  24. Why doesn’t anybody ask Kerry about his secret talks with IRAN??? (Ever sense he ran against Gorge Bush, and is still doing secret talks)

  25. Ol’ Horseface Kerry, the fifth columnists’ best friend. May the specters of Cordell Hull, George C. Marshall, and John Foster Dulles haunt the hell out of this communist-aiding sonofabitch.

  26. People who marry a woman with as much money as she has and then plays in the Capitol on our nickel, well what do we expect. They are so aloof it is hard to imagine, but then again, look at the average American and u get what we are getting.

  27. I fear that I am but repeating what Billy just said, but the D. C. situation would be funny if it were in a film: We have a TOTALLY inexperienced wannabe non-citizen with a socialist/internationalist as Secretary of State, who is being replaced with a proven, certifiable former military member guilty of treason, liable, and backstabbing. Don’t they shoot traitors?

  28. Kerry is a great choice for the Obama Administration. He would fit perfectly with all the other corrupt incompetent cronies already there.
    After all, Kerry learned everything he needed to know about foreign policy during his short stint in Vietnam. He learned how to kiss commie a**es,and stab Americans in the back.

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