Sunday, June 19, 2011

Obama overruled lawyers on Libya war

US President Barak Obama

Source: Press TV

President Obama reportedly overruled top White House lawyers by deciding to argue that US military operations in Libya do not require congressional approval.

Obama rejected the legal advice of Pentagon general counsel lawyer, Jeh Johnson, and the head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, Caroline Krass, in concluding that his administration was not in violation of the 1973 War Powers Resolution by continuing its operation in Libya beyond 90 days The New York Times reported on Friday.

According to the War Powers Resolution (WPR), a US president has a maximum of 60 days to maintain armed forces in military action, with an additional 30-day withdrawal period, without requiring authorization from Congress.

Obama's current underlying argument is that the US military in Libya is only active in support roles and its actions do not amount to "hostilities,” therefore it is not in violation of the WPR despite having extended US operations in Libya to more than 90 days without seeking congress's approval.

Earlier this month, the US House voted to censure Obama for not seeking congressional approval and accused the US president of not providing a “compelling rationale” for the military campaign in Libya.

The US plays a significant role in the Western coalition operations in Libya by carrying out airstrikes, refueling warplanes and providing intelligence.

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