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ACLU: Bush Violates War Powers Act;
Congress Must Authorize Troops to Saudi Arabia
For Immediate Release
August 9, 1990
The American Civil Liberties Union said today that President
Bush has violated the U.S. Constitution by deploying troops
without Congressional authorization to Saudi Arabia to defend
against a possible Iraqi attack.
"The Constitution states that only Congress can declare war,"
said Ira Glasser, the executive director of the ACLU. "President
Bush should reconvene Congress immediately to get the legal
authorization necessary to use the military in the Middle East."
The ACLU emphasized that it takes no position on whether troops
should be sent to Saudi Arabia.
"This is a decision with major longterm consequences for the
American public," Mr. Glasser said. "A decision of such import
should not be made by the President alone but rather--as our
Constitution requires--in consultation with Congress."
Gary M. Stern, legislative counsel in the ACLU's Washington
national office, said the President's deployment has also
triggered the War Powers Resolution because American troops are
"in a situation where imminent involvement in hostilities" is a
"In this type of situation, Congress has clearly stated that
the President must formally report to it and must receive
Congressional authorization within 60 days," Mr. Stern said.
"Otherwise, the President must remove the troops."