'Gollum of Foggy Bottom' comes to the Hill 

"It’s the Senate’s turn to beat up on Obama’s Libya intervention," at a Foreign Relations Committee hearing today, Josh Rogin reports in Foreign Policy. This could be fun, especially since State Department Legal Advisor Harold Koh is scheduled to testify this morning (streaming video here).

Koh, you may recall, is the guy who came up with Team Obama's too-clever-by-half rationalization for why the war doesn't violate the War Powers Resolution. To wit: if you're hitting the other guy, and he can't hit you back, you're not engaged in "hostilities."

As George Orwell put it once (funny how he keeps coming up when you're discussing the administration's legal positions), you'd have to "belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool." As I explained in a recent Examiner column, in a former life, Harold Koh was a leading opponent of the Imperial Presidency, and a defender of the War Powers Resolution. Tufts University's Michael J. Glennon has gathered some of details on Koh's record here.

If committee staffers have done their homework, Koh could be in for some embarassing questions. After you're done watching Koh squirm and obfuscate, if you'd like a little historical perspective on how we got here, check out this great new video from Reason.tv, "All the President's Wars: How Foreign Policy Became One Man's Prerogative," starring Professor Michael Ramsey of the University of San Diego Law School and myself. Professor Ramsey has a somewhat broader view of the president's retaliatory war powers than I do, but there's no daylight between us on the question of Libya. Obama's War violates the Constitution.

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Gene Healy

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