In Split With Clinton, Sen. Kaine Sees No Legal Authority for New Libya War

Allies Expect Kaine to Back Down as Clinton Insists 9/11 AUMF Sufficient for New War

When the US attacked the Libyan city of Sirte last week, they did so without any explicit Congressional authorization. This was unsurprising, of course, as they never got Congressional authorization for the last Libya war either, nor for the ongoing ISIS wars in Syria and Libya.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D – VA) tried and failed to get war authorizations passed before, and on Sunday was quick to warn that he doesn’t believe there is any legal authorization for this new war, cautioning it sets a dangerous precedent. With no White House intentions to seek such authorization, this would be a non-story, except Sen. Kaine is the Democratic nominee for Vice President.

His running-mate, Hillary Clinton,was quick to disagree with him public, insisting that she has no doubt that the 2001 authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) after 9/11 covers the Libya War, even though it only authorizes force against those involved in 9/11, which ISIS obviously was not.

Still, Sen. Chris Murphy (D – CT), a close Kaine ally, was quick to predict that Kaine would knuckle under and start echoing Clinton’s position, saying Hillary “is signaling that she’s serious” and that Kaine is obliged to support her position, even if it’s the exact opposite of his.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of