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Argument: Libya war expands imperial presidency farther than ever

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Bruce Ackerman and Oona Hathaway. "Death of the War Powers Act." Washington Post. May 17th, 2011: "Make no mistake: Obama is breaking new ground, moving decisively beyond his predecessors. George W. Bush gained congressional approval for his wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bill Clinton acted unilaterally when he committed American forces to NATO's bombing campaign in Kosovo, but he persuaded Congress to approve special funding for his initiative within 60 days. And the entire operation ended on its 78th day. In contrast, Congress has not granted special funds for Libya since the bombing began, and the campaign is likely to continue beyond the 30-day limit set for termination of all operations."


Bruce Ackerman. "Obama's Unconstitutional War." Foreign Policy. March 24th, 2011: "In cutting out Congress, Obama has overstepped even the dubious precedent set when President Bill Clinton bombed Kosovo in 1999. Then, the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel asserted that Congress had given its consent by appropriating funds for the Kosovo campaign. It was a big stretch, given the actual facts -- but Obama can't even take advantage of this same desperate expedient, since Congress has appropriated no funds for the Libyan war. The president is simply using money appropriated to the Pentagon for general purposes to conduct the current air campaign."

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