'NY Times': Obama ignored top legal advice on Libya

By REUTERS
June 18, 2011 06:06

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama ignored legal advice from top Pentagon and US Justice Department lawyers, siding with other advisers who said he had legal authority to continue air strikes against Libya without congressional approval, the New York Times reported on Friday.

Citing officials familiar with the administration's deliberations, the newspaper reported the Pentagon and Justice Department lawyers argued that the US bombing runs over Libya, under NATO command, were "hostilities."

As such, Obama would have had to end or pull back the military flights after May 20 since he did not get backing from Congress for them under the War Powers Resolution.

The Times reported that Obama instead latched onto legal advice from inside the White House and the State Department that the bombing missions fell short of "hostilities" and that they could continue without the green light from Congress.


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