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2011-06-21
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Are Drones Hostile?

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It's been over 60 days since commencing the attacks on Libya under Resolution 1973 that imposed a "No Fly Zone" in response to Muammar Gaddafi's reactionary violence to protests. Shortly after the UN passed the resolution, American President Obama declared:

"All attacks against civilians must stop. Gaddafi must stop his troops from advancing on Benghazi, pull them back from Ajdabiya, Misrata and Zawiya, and establish water, electricity and gas supplies to all areas.
Humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach the people of Libya.
Let me be clear, these terms are not negotiable. If Gaddafi does not comply, the international community will impose consequences, and the resolution will be enforced through military action."

That's all well and good as it briefs well to the press. Skeptics were already wondering what the point of it all was when the operation began considering the same uprisings and violence were occurring in other states across the region. But now the skeptics can really begin bashing into the Obama Administration's intent considering his decision to "opt out" of adhering to the 1973 War Powers Resolution. In a nutshell, "Section 4(a)(1) requires the President to report to Congress any introduction of U.S. forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities. When such a report is submitted, or is required to be submitted, section 5(b) requires that the use of forces must be terminated within 60 to 90 days unless Congress authorizes such use or extends the time period." This little legal requirement was deftly sidestepped by determining that American drone activity was not hostile and therefore exempt from the rule. The President chose the White House legal team's opinion over the legal recommendations from the Pentagon and Justice Department to continue operations in Libya.



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