News Release

Libya and War Powers


Naiman is policy director of Just Foreign Policy. He just wrote the piece “Congress Must Debate the Libya War,” which states: “To put it crudely: as a matter of logic, if President Obama can bomb Libya without Congressional authorization, then President Palin can bomb Iran without Congressional authorization. If, God forbid, we ever get to that fork in the road, you can bet your bottom dollar that the advocates of bombing Iran will invoke Congressional silence now as justification for their claims of unilateral presidential authority to bomb anywhere, anytime.”

Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and just wrote the piece “Stop Bombing Libya,” which states: “The resolution authorizes UN Member States ‘to take all necessary measures … to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.’ The military action taken exceeds the bounds of the ‘all necessary measures’ authorization.

“‘All necessary measures’ should first have been peaceful measures to settle the conflict. But peaceful means were not exhausted before Obama began bombing Libya. A high level international team — consisting of representatives from the Arab League, the Organization of African Unity, and the UN Secretary General — should have been dispatched to Tripoli to attempt to negotiate a real cease-fire, and set up a mechanism for elections and for protecting civilians.”

Cohn’s latest book is The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167