Congressman: Impeach Obama if US Fights in Syria

A Congressman introduces a resolution calling for impeaching Obama if he sends US troops into Syria without Congressional approval.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu,

Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Reuters

A North Carolina Representative Walter B. Jones Jr. Congressman has introduced a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Barack Obama if he sends US troops into Syria without Congressional approval.

Republican Representative Walter B. Jones Jr. said he composed the resolution after testimony of U.S. Secretary Leon Panetta, who said the United States could send American troops into Syria if the United Nations or NATO authorized an international force to stop Syrian President Bashar Assad’s massacre of civilians.

“Expressing the sense of congress that the use of offensive military force by a president without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under Article II, Section 4 of the constitution,” Jones’ resolution said.

“Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that, except in response to an actual or imminent attack against the territory of the United States, the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress violates Congress’s exclusive power to declare war…therefore constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor,” it concluded.

The Obama administration previously has rejected the need for Congressional approval for sending soldiers into another country.

Asked by Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions under what circumstances the Obama administration might send soldiers into Syria, Sec. of Defense Panetta, visibly uncomfortable, replied, "Our goal would be to seek international permission and we would come to the Congress and inform you and determine how best to approach this. Whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress, I think those are issues I think we would have to discuss as we decide what to do here."

Sen. Sessions told Panetta, “We spend our time worrying about the U.N., the Arab League, NATO and too little time, in my opinion, worrying about the elected representatives of the United States. As you go forward, will you consult with the United States Congress?”

The Defense Secretary responded “You know, our goal would be to seek international permission. And we would come to the Congress and inform you and determine how best to approach this, whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress.”

Several Congressmen have charged President Obama with violating the Constitution by authorizing American air strikes on military positions of Muammar Qaddafi in last year’s rebellion, although there was no formal declaration of war.

Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich (said President Obama’s approval was an “impeachable offense.”

The impeachment charged surfaces again after the targeted killing of American-born al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki last September without his being charged and tried in court.


Under the War Powers Resolution of 1973 (50 U.S.C. 1541-1548) requires a sitting US President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action.

It also forbids the US armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days once the president has committed them to armed conflict – with a further 30 day withdrawal period – without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war.

Impeachment is not, however, strictly restricted to questions of law – but can also be an expression of Congress’ disapproval over moral turpitude or unbecoming conduct by a president.






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