The New York Times' Maureen Dowd captured the moment last weekend when she referred to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as "the midwife to chaos" in Libya. Ms. Dowd apparently came to that conclusion after watching Mrs. Clinton bobbing and weaving and admitting and denying as she was confronted with the partial record of her failures and obfuscations as secretary of state, particularly with respect to Libya.
The public record is fairly well-known. In March 2011, President Obama declared war on Libya. He did this at the urging of Mrs. Clinton, who wanted to overthrow Libyan strongman Col. Moammar Gadhafi so she could boast of having brought "democracy" to the region.
She and Mr. Obama conspired to do this even though former President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair had publicly praised Gadhafi as an ally in the war against terrorist groups and even though the United States was giving the Gadhafi government more than $100 million a year in foreign aid.
Mr. Obama did his best to avoid constitutional norms. He deployed American intelligence agents on the ground, not troops, so he could plausibly deny he had put "boots" on the ground. He did not seek an American national consensus for war because Libya presented no threat whatsoever to the United States. He did not obtain a congressional declaration of war as the Constitution requires because he couldn't get one. And he did not seek United Nations permission, which is required to attack a fellow U.N. member.
He did obtain a U.N. embargo of the shipment of weapons into Libya, and he secured a NATO-enforced no-fly zone over portions of Libya. In order to enforce the no-fly zone, NATO sent jet fighters over the skies of Libya. The jets were guided and directed by American intelligence agents on the ground to bomb Libyan planes on the ground, which had been paid for by American taxpayers.