Monday, 24 October 2016

Impeaching Hillary

Written by  Patrick Krey

The Impeachment of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for High Crimes in Syria and Libya, by Michael Ostrowski and James Ostrowski, Cazenovia Books, Buffalo, New York, 2016, 90 pages, paperback.

The Impeachment of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for High Crimes in Syria and Libya makes a strong case that both the current president and the former secretary of state committed impeachable offenses in Syria and Libya. Jim Ostrowski, who co-wrote the book with his brother Michael, is a litigator accustomed to examining evidence from a legalistic point of view, and his time in the court system obviously served him well for this task as he, along with Michael, meticulously walks the reader through the case for impeachment.

Jim is a longtime LewRockwell.com contributor and has a written a series of books related to libertarianism and activism, but this book may be his most compelling. At just 90 pages long, The Impeachment of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for High Crimes in Syria and Libya is a quick read that will fascinate many who were unaware of disastrous U.S. foreign policy debacles in these countries. Impeachment lays out the evidence for Congress to hold impeachment hearings for both Obama and Hillary. Addressing the question of why the impeachment proceedings should include both Obama and Clinton, the authors explain that impeaching Obama would prevent him from taking on any future role in politics such as Supreme Court justice or secretary general of the United Nations, both of which have been rumored. And the impeachment proceeding would only be required on Hillary Clinton if she were to be elected president, which, at the time of this writing, seems more likely than not.

impeachmentAs the Ostrowski brothers explain, impeachment “is often compared to an indictment wherein the standard of proof is probable cause,” although the House of Representatives applied a higher standard of “clear and convincing evidence” when they mulled the decision to impeach Nixon, which was then followed in the impeachment of Bill Clinton. To impeach Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the House simply needs to decide whether there is clear and convincing evidence that they committed a “high crime” with their deadly foreign policy. As the Ostrowski brothers explain, “proof of a criminal act is not required for impeachment.” If what is alleged in the book is proven to be true, that would be enough to impeach.

So what does the book allege about the U.S. interventions in Libya and Syria? Impeachment breaks down its case chapter by chapter, leveling a series of charges, including one that Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy decisions were motivated by her desire to shore up political support for her eventual run for the presidency: “In return for her Israel First foreign policy, including illegally helping to start a war in Syria in part to help Israel, Hillary Clinton has received and will continue to receive massive support from pro-Israel donors and PACs.” And it’s not just Israeli special interests that Impeachment alleges Hillary might be engaged in a quid pro quo-type foreign policy with. Impeachment reveals that “two of the largest contributors to the Clinton Foundation are Saudi Arabia and Qatar.... The damning question then is why did these two countries give millions to the Clinton Foundation? Was it a thank you to Ms. Clinton for her foreign policy actions as Secretary of State that led to the advancement of the Saudi interests?”

Impeachment also explores how the two military misadventures in Libya and Syria lead directly to the creation of “a safe space for ISIS, a new killing field. Obama and Clinton have the blood of tens of thousands on their hands.” Indeed, Impeachment argues that the growth of ISIS is directly attributable to the interventions in Syria and Libya and resulted in increased terrorism both domestically within the United States as well as in Europe, and caused the worsening refugee crisis. Impeachment delves into how Obama’s foreign policy interventionism, with Hillary’s guidance, has brought us to the brink of war with nuclear-power Russia by covertly starting the Syrian civil war. “Turkey, a U.S. ally, has already shot down a Russian plane. Had Russia chosen to retaliate against Turkey, the United States would have faced pressure to join the fight and further escalation would have been likely. As of July, 2016, no one knows how any of this will end. What we do know is that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton helped it begin.”

Throughout the book, Impeachment refrains from drawing a legal conclusion in regards to Hillary’s guilt, but instead leaves it for the House of Representatives to decide during impeachment proceedings. “How much of the disaster is attributable to the actions of Obama and Clinton can be debated and surely their lawyers in any impeachment hearing will argue their incompetence and impotence in the matter as a defense.” At the very least, readers of Impeachment will likely agree that the book raises enough suspicion and casts enough doubt for a further review and that Congress should call an investigation into the allegations raised in the book to determine if impeachment proceedings are appropriate.

Constitutionalists will find much to like in Impeachment, especially the critique of President Obama engaging in these military excursions without a congressional declaration of war. My only criticism about Impeachment was the authors’ attempt to insert overt libertarian analysis into the book that I felt was outside the stated scope and only muddied the waters for the reader. It was fairly minimal, though, and did not take away from the book’s main theme, and if a reader is already libertarian or leaning that way, those parts of the book might be well received.

Impeachment freely admits that the current Congress is unlikely to pursue impeachment as its occupants “bear major responsibility for illegal and unwise American interventions into the Middle East.” It would be hypocritical of someone such as Paul Ryan to lead the effort to impeach Hillary for the charges in the book when he was a big supporter of George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. But, then again, as Trump’s nomination has shown, the wing of the GOP opposed to foreign adventurism is growing bigger by the day. Perhaps there is a chance that, if Hillary is elected, a grassroots network of activists could begin getting different members of the House to consider impeachment as an option for preventing Hillary from proceeding with any more of her destructive foreign policy.

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