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Libya, Obama, and the authorization debate

Msnbc.com's Tom Curry takes a look today at President Barack Obama's justification for going forward with a military operation in Libya without authorization from Congress.

In the case of Libya, President Barack Obama has consulted with congressional leaders, but sought no authorization for his military operation against Col. Moammar Gadhafi's regime.

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Obama’s stance is striking: not only hasn’t he addressed the question of congressional authorization, but acting without it appears to be at odds with what he stood for when he ran for president.

“The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” Obama told the Boston Globe in 2007.

Obama has not argued that Gadhafi is “an actual or imminent threat” to the United States, only to the Libyans who oppose him.