Politico has the very interesting story: apparently, a conservative lawyer working in the Justice Department has drafted Articles of Impeachment for President Obama over his treatment of the “kinetic action” in Libya.
A lot of things could be (and have been) said about the Bush administration’s arguments and actions in the lead-up to the war in Iraq, but one thing is for certain: President Bush had approval from Congress to send US troops to war. I know the Left’s mantra has been that President Bush lied to get us into the Iraq War (because Saddam tried to kill his dad, as if having a sitting head of state attempt the assassination of a former President wasn’t an act of war), but the intel for years prior to our commitment of troops showed that Saddam’s regime had weapons of mass destruction…and Saddam consciously played into that perception by monkeying with the UN inspection process. And the truth is, Saddam did have WMD programs, he just didn’t have the stockpiles everyone thought he did.
But at this point, that’s neither here nor there – the question is, did President Obama violate his Presidential Oath of Office when he sent troops to war without approval from Congress? Some have argued that President Obama met with Congressional leadership before committing US forces in Libya, but is that really enough?
After all, the US Constitution is quite explicit:
Article I Section 8:
The Congress shall have Power…To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.
So, what standard do we set when sending troops to war? President Bush had Congressional approval, though a Congressional authorization to use force falls well short of a declaration of war…and a meeting with Congressional leadership falls well short of a Congressional authorization to use force. If we no longer have a standard criteria for when a president can send troops into combat, then it’s time we amended the Constitution to reflect that.
Personally, I think it’s time to put an end to military action without explicit Congressional approval. Since World War II, we have been progressively moving away from the Constitution’s mandate, and if things continue down the current path, our system of checks and balances will inevitably die a painful death. I’m no fan of President Obama anyway, and that may well be informing my opinion here, but if we need to impeach a president in order to ensure that the Constitution is followed by future presidents, then it will be well worth it.
The problem is, it will be impossible to extricate any impeachment proceedings against President Obama from the inescapable partisan war the action will incite…but that’s politics. Ensuring the rule of law for the future of our nation is much more important, no matter what politics you ascribe to.