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Obama Seeking Loopholes to Continue Bombing Libya

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TEHRAN, May 15 (ICANA) – As the 60-day Congressional deadline for terminating U.S. combat operations in Libya gets closer, the Obama administration and its legal advisors are said to be discussing loopholes that would provide them a legal platform to circumvent the War Powers Resolution of 1973.
Sunday, May 15, 2011 10:47:47 AM
Obama Seeking Loopholes to Continue Bombing Libya

U.S. President Barack Obama and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen agreed at a White House meeting on Friday to continue with the air strikes against dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The confirmation sounds final, but the legal basis for the Libyan war in the United States is about to become far more dubious than it already was. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 sets a 60 day limit for wars that weren't authorized. This would require President Obama to end the war next Friday. Antiwar

White House officials have emphatically denied that the goal in Libya is one of regime change, but member nations have agreed that Gaddafi should leave power. The Hill

A variety of Pentagon and military officials said the issue was in the hands of lawyers, not commanders. Several officials described a few of the ideas under consideration. NYT

One concept being discussed is for the United States to halt the use of its Predator drones in attacking targets in Libya, and restrict them solely to a role gathering surveillance over targets. NYT

Meanwhile, the U.S. has stopped short of recognizing Libya's National Transitional Council as the country's legitimate government. BBC

The statement comes after the first visit to the White House by a senior member of the opposition council, which is pushing for international support. BBC

Adopting UNSC Resolution 1973 by a vote of 10 in favor to none against, with 5 abstentions the Council authorized Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in Libya. The resolution does not authorize regime change. Guardian

The United States led the bombing campaign in its first week, but has since then taken a back seat, putting NATO in command with the British and French responsible for most strikes on Gaddafi's forces. President Obama made clear Washington was not planning to resume to a more active military role. Huffington Post

The stated mission of the U.S. has been to protect Libyan civilians from Gaddafi's military forces but not to attack Gaddafi directly. Obama has said the goal is to give Libyan fighters the opportunity to gain enough strength to oust Gaddafi themselves. Still, Obama and other American officials have called for Gaddafi to step down from power. The Hill

U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledged on April 15 that there was a "stalemate" on the ground in Libya. Gulf News

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has said the United States should take a more aggressive approach in Libya to oust Dictator Muammar Gaddafi, bombing the capitol city so members of Gaddafi's inner circle "wake up every day wondering, 'will this be my last?' "' Huffington Post

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