Combat Pay For Non-Combatants: Administration Paying Extra Pay To Military Serving in Libyan Operations

As previously announced, I am lead counsel representing members of Congress challenging the Libyan War. The White House has insisted that this is not a war and that, for purposes of the war powers resolution, there are no “hostilities” in Libya. Putting aside the appearance of Western forces taking out tanks and coordinating attacks with the rebels, it now appears that military personnel in the Libyan operations are being given extra pay for “imminent danger” for the non-hostilities.

Since April, the Pentagon has been paying an “extra $225 a month in “imminent danger pay” to service members who fly planes over Libya or serve on ships within 110 nautical miles of its shores.” So, let’s catch up. We can bomb a capital city, destroy tanks and enemy forces, and pay personnel hazard pay, but there are no hostilities and no war. It is so because . . . well . . . the President says it is so.

Source: Washington Post

Jonathan Turley

33 thoughts on “Combat Pay For Non-Combatants: Administration Paying Extra Pay To Military Serving in Libyan Operations”

  1. HR 2278 appears to be a covert way of authorizing the Libya war. So a ‘No’ vote was appropriate.

    The U.S. Libyan War is already a War Crime and funding it is, by law, prohibited.

    No need to limit illegal funding of War Crimes. That would endorse the crime.

  2. This post is slightly misleading. It doesn’t point out that there are numerous other locations around the world that aren’t active combat zones but in which service embers nevertheless receive imminent danger pay.

  3. HenMan,

    You need to take the University of Idaho uprisings more seriously, I hear they use beer kegs and wine coolers. Petraeus is like Colin Powell, good public relations and the ability to politically get ahead in the military.

  4. Frank-

    I love the photos of Ike and Gen. Petraeus and their respective medals. It tells me everything I need to know about both men.
    I notice that just above Petraeus’ name plate is a medal shaped like the state of Idaho. Must be for quelling an insurgency at the University of Idaho.
    Ike didn’t need any medals. Everyone knew what he accomplished during WWII and beyond. He could have run against God in 1952 and won easily.

  5. gbk,

    If you have read this blawg long enough you know that I post an abundance of music videos and often reference lyrics. Somehow in my 60+ years of life I do not recall hearing Desolation Row, although I own many of Dylan’s songs on vinyl, tapes, CDs, and digital tracks. Therefore, I learned a new song (for me) yesterday that has some very powerful lyrics.

    Thanks Dredd, but no thanks to gbk.

  6. “gbk: ” @Dredd, Desolation Row must be the only Dylan tune you know as this is your third reference to it since June 13th.””

    I am so with LK on this. “Desolation Row” is a magnificent song and each use of it by Dredd has been pitch perfect. It’s one of the best that Dylan’s written and that goes a long way considering the breadth of his work.

  7. Book recommendation:

    Invisible Victims, The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America’s Wars
    by John Tirman
    Oxford University Press

    (Reviewed in the July issue of The Progressive by Amitabh Pal)

    “When in February 2007, the American people were asked, for the first and only time, how many Iraqis they thought had died in the war, the response was both disheartening and unsurprising: 9,890 was the median answer, a figure that was likely low by several hundred thousands, ” reports Tirman.

    In addressing “public indifference” to the horrors of war, “Tirman “offers a number of reasons: racism, the frontier mentality, and something he calls “just world theory” — the delusional denial that everything is right with the world.”

    He continues: “The combination of these explanations forms a structure, an architecture of indifference, accounting for the silence and the animus the American public displays toward the civilian victims of U.S. wars. It is a sturdy forbidding structure, a fortress that protects it denizens from the chaos outside.”

    Pal, the reviewer writes: “This indifference leads to the absence of necessary checks on U.S. atrocities. An added consequence is the anti-American sentiment this attitude inflames in the rest of the world.”

  8. From Swarthmore mom’s Taibbi link:


    The recent conversions to the cause of foreign-policy prudence by people like Douthat would be obnoxious even if they were believable. It’s easy to respect the position of someone like Ron Paul – he’s been against the war from the start, and for the same reasons throughout.

    But people like Douthat didn’t start becoming pacifists until a) the occupation of Iraq went south, helping derail the Bush presidency, and b) Barack Obama became president and started taking ownership of new adventures in places like Libya. Before then, he was just another jingoistic twit doing the “Gooble, gooble, one of us!”chant on the march to war.

    And let’s be honest. Even a child could have seen, back then, that the whole WMD thing was, transparently, total bullshit and a canard – that they were going in to Iraq anyway, for other reasons, no matter what the intelligence said or didn’t say. I mean, for God’s sake, Bush was trying to convince us that Saddam was going to use unmanned drones to spray poison gas over American cities – drones that would have been launched from Saddam’s giant secret fleet of aircraft carriers, apparently. What adult person actually believed this stuff?

    All of this was obviously ridiculous at the time, but when anyone tried to point that out, people like Douthat put us on “Kumbaya watch,” questioned our allegiances, called us Muslim collaborators, etc., etc. Now they want to talk about prudence and the “long-term consequences” of war? Bite me. (end of Taibbi excerpt)

    Gooble, gooble SB Gooble gobble….

    (As always, thanks for the links, Swarthmore mom.)

    And Blouise, it sounds like you’re having a great vacation. I miss your insights on the blog….

  9. If there is enough support or the Kerry/McCain bill retroactively supporting the US involvement in Libya would it not render the case moot?

  10. Swarthmore,
    nice link to the Robinson article. I agree with most of what he says. Obama needs to show Congress the respect that they have not earned.

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