Has Harold Koh flip-flopped? The former Yale Law School dean, now serving as the State Department legal adviser, is defending U.S. involvement in Libya without Congress’s approval. On Tuesday, he will appear in front of the Senate Foreign Relations to argue the White House’s actions are lawful.
President Barack Obama has been criticized by Republicans in Congress who argue he has overstepped executive powers by allowing the Libya operation.
Koh’s defense of the White House might come as a surprise to some who view him a prominent defender of human rights who harshly criticized the Bush administration. Koh also said the killing of Osama bin Laden and the use of American drones in Pakistan and Yemen are lawful.
But in an interview with NPR, Koh said he does not think his legal positions are inconsistent. He said, “I never say anything I don’t believe. Why should I? I have tenure.”
Earlier this month, Koh told the New York Times that he thinks U.S. actions in Libya are “not the kind of ‘hostilities’ envisioned by the War Powers Resolution.”