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... supports Professor William Snyder's sections of National Security Law, Counterterrorism Law, and Prosecuting Terrorists at the Syracuse University College of Law.

Attack Renews Debate Over Congressional Consent

Charlie Savage reports in The New York Times Tuesday, in an article entitled "Attack Renews Debate Over Congressional Consent," that President Obama is facing criticism that crosses the political divide for not seeking Congressional authorization before ordering the American military to join in attacks of Libyan air defenses and government forces.

According to the NYTimes, 

"On Monday, Mr. Obama sent Congress a two-page letter saying that as commander in chief, he had constitutional authority to authorize the strikes, which were undertaken with French, British and other allies. He wrote that the strikes would be limited in scope and duration, and that preventing a humanitarian disaster in Libya was in the best interest of American foreign policy and national security goals. 

The White House also noted that Mr. Obama had met with Congressional leaders to consult about the Libya situation on Friday. On March 1, the Senate unanimously approved a resolution calling for the UN Security Counsel to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. The Security Council approved such a measure Thursday night."

The Time reports that the administration’s legal team appears to be distinguishing between a full war and a more limited military operation, on the theory that the Libyan intervention falls short of what would prompt any Congressional authority to control decisions about whether to initiate hostilities. When asked about Mr. Obama’s 2007 statement, Tom Donilon, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, said Monday that the administration “welcomes the support of Congress in whatever form that they want to express that support.” But, Mr. Donilon added, Mr. Obama could authorize the operation on his own.

For the full text of the article, click here

 

 

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