U.S. Prepares for Retaliatory Military Strike Into Libya
As I suggested earlier, the President has ample legal authority to strike back at those responsible for the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Libya. The NYT reports that the Pentagon is preparing to exercise this legal authority:
The American military’s top-secret Joint Special Operations Command is preparing detailed information that could be used to kill or capture some of the militants suspected in the attack last month in Libya that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, senior military and counterterrorism officials said on Tuesday.
There are a variety of international legal objections that might be raised to such a strike that depends on whether the Libyan government would consent to a strike. If no consent is forthcoming, there is the interesting problem of whether retaliation is a justified act of self-defense under the UN Charter’s Article 51. But putting aside these legal issues, I would not be surprised to see a strike go forward, even during election season (maybe especially during the U.S. election season).