The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Nathan White (202)225-5871

Possibilities for Circumventing Congress' Constitutional Role Include Temporarily 'Pausing' the War

New York Times Offers Rare View Inside the Legal Spin Zone over Libyan War


Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who will introduce a bill to end the war in Libya based on the War Powers Resolution when Congress returns on May 23, 2011, today made the following statement after the New York Times reported that "the Obama legal team is now trying to come up with a plausible theory for why continued participation by the United States [in the war in Libya] does not violate the law."

"The same legal minds that brought us the twisted logic that war against Libya did not require Congressional authorization because it was in our vital national interest, and that it is not really a war because it is a "humanitarian intervention," are now searching for a legal loophole to extend the war," said Kucinich.

According the War Powers Resolution of 1973, the President must terminate military operations within 60 days of submitting a report informing Congress of the military operation unless formal war is declared. The deadline for complying with this provision of the War Powers Resolution is May 20, 2011.

"Instead of applying the rule of law as it was intended, the Obama legal team is reportedly trying to distort the U.S. role in Libya to justify a continuation of our involvement absent a Congressional authorization, in violation of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution which places the power to declare or authorize war solely with Congress.

According to the New York Times, suggestions for squeezing a square peg into a round hole -- in this case the realities of war into the confines of the law -- include: stopping direct attacks on Libya and confining our involvement to intelligence, refueling and support, or possibly hitting 'pause' on the war in an attempt to restart the clock.

Dennis Kucinich is an American politician. A U.S. Representative from Ohio from 1997 to 2013, he was also a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States in 2004 and 2008.