Friday, August 12, 2011

'Nuff said

(Taking context-optional note of thought-provoking quotes)

'I am not in a position where I feel I am choosing between my principles and my service.'

-- Our colleague Harold Hongju Koh, the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State, in a New York Times commentary by journalist Paul Starobin. (credit for 2010 photo of Koh) We've posted frequently about former Yale Law Dean Koh, both before and since his 2009 confirmation to his present position. In Starobin's article, Koh defended the legal interpretation undergirding the deployment by the U.S. Executive Branch of military force to support the NATO-led and Security-Council-sanctioned intervention in Libya. Starobin nevertheless quoted other intlaw colleagues -- among them IntLawGrrls guest/alumna Mary Ellen O'Connell and AJIL Co-Editor-in-Chief Lori Damrosch -- who took issue with that interpretation, by which the Libya action is deemed not to constitute "hostilities" within the meaning of the 1973 War Powers Resolution, and thus not to require authorization by Congress. A letter to the editor in support of Koh, by Michael Posner, who now holds Koh's former post as Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights, Democracy, and Labor, appears in today's New York Times and is available here.

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