Speaking to reporters during a trip to Indonesia on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry defended the kidnapping and rendition of suspected terrorist Anas al-Liby, 49, who was seized by armed gunmen in Libya on Saturday.
"He is a legal and appropriate target under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, passed in September of 2001," Kerry said of al-Liby, a longtime resident on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list for allegedly organizing attacks on U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. The federal law enforcement agency has offered a $5 million reward for his capture since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
That authorization, passed on Sept. 18, 2001, effectively makes the whole world a battlefield and gives the president broad authority to use force if its application is consistent with protecting national security. The Obama administration cited the same authorization in carrying out the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.
"Of course, we regularly consult with our friends in the region," Kerry added. "We consult regularly with the Libyan government on a range of security and counterterrorism issues. But we don't get into the specifics of our communications with foreign governments or on any kind of operation at this time."
The Libyan government has denied involvement in the Tripoli raid that captured al-Liby. "The Libyan government is following the news of the kidnapping of a Libyan citizen who is wanted by U.S. authorities," the Libyan prime minister's office said in prepared text. "The Libyan government has contacted to U.S. authorities to ask them to provide an explanation."
Despite the Obama administration's continued reliance on military force in countries the U.S. is not at war with, President Barack Obama said in May that he would "engage Congress" on the matter of repealing the AUMF so that "we can continue to fight terrorists without keeping America on a perpetual war-time footing."
"The USA's global war paradigm is an unacceptably unilateral and wholesale departure from the very concept of the international rule of law generally, and the limited scope of application of the law of armed conflict in particular," researchers with Amnesty International said in a prepared statement. "The USA should cease to invoke, and should publicly disavow, the 'global war' doctrine, and fully recognize and affirm the applicability of international human rights obligations to all US counter-terrorism measures."
This video is from BBC News, published Monday, October 7, 2013.