How did the Obama administration authorize military action in Libya without congressional approval? Via a novel redefining of “war”, the Nation reports:
American planes are entering Libyan air space, they are dropping bombs, and the bombs are killing and injuring people and destroying things. It is war. Some say it is a good war and some say it is a bad war, but surely it is a war.
Nonetheless, the Obama administration insists it is not a war. Why? Because the balance of forces is so lopsided in favor of the United States. War is only war, it seems, when Americans are dying, when we die. When only they, the Libyans, die, it is something else for which there is as yet apparently no name. When they attack, it is war. When we attack, it is not.
According to “United States Activities in Libya,” a thirty-two-page report that the administration released last week, “U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve the presence of U.S. ground troops, U.S. casualties or a serious threat thereof, or any significant chance of escalation into a conflict characterized by those factors.”
[It's] a remarkable justification for going to war against Libya without the Congressional approval required by the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973.