Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Democrat Calls Obama's Actions in Libya "Impeachable"

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Dennis KucinichDespite President Obama’s present flip-flopping stance on issues that were critical during his campaign, including the closing of Guantanamo Bay prison and embarking on illegal wars, the media and Democrats had been relatively silent. Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich broke the silence on Monday, however, when he declared that President Obama’s approval of air strikes against Libya is an “impeachable offense.”

Over the weekend, the Ohio legislator told Raw Story, “President Obama moved forward without Congress approving. He didn’t have congressional authorization[;] he has gone against the Constitution, and that’s got to be said.”

Kucinich then told Politico on Monday that Obama’s decision to go forward with the Libya strikes “would appear on its face to be an impeachable offense,” but added that it is unlikely that Congress would act in such an endeavor.

Kucinich has been consistent on the issue of unconstitutional wars, as he earlier indicated his desire to impeach both then-President George W. Bush and then-Vice President Dick Cheney for similar actions in leading the United States into war against Iraq.

Ironically, in 2007 then-Senator Obama adhered to a philosophy similar to that of Kucinich, when he declared,

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

Since moving into the Oval Office, however, President Obama’s views of the war on terror seem to have changed dramatically. The Associated Content observes:

Barack Obama has been obliged to renege on a number of his campaign promises surround[ing] the War on Terror. Besides keeping the prison at Guantanamo open, he has not made a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, has actually increased troop levels in Afghanistan, and has stepped up drone strikes in the Waziristan region of Pakistan. The joke is that Obama has killed more terrorists in the two years of his presidency than George W. Bush did in all eight years of his.

President Obama's changing stance was acknowledged by former Vice President Dick Cheney, even drawing praise from the neo-conservative leader:

I think he's learned that what we did was far more appropriate than he ever gave us credit for while he was a candidate. So I think he's learned from experience. And part of that experience was the Democrats having a terrible showing last election.

According to The Hill, "Cheney also asserted that Obama has learned that the prison at Guantanamo Bay simply cannot be closed, despite the promises he made while campaigning for the White House.” The Hill quoted Cheney as follows:

I think [Obama's] learned that he's not going to be able to close Guantanamo. That it's — if you didn't have it, you'd have to create one like that. You've got to have some place to put terrorists who are combatants who are bound and determined to try to kill Americans.

The relative quiet on the Left about Obama's failure to fulfill his campaign promises made Kucinich’s remarks even more surprising. However, even though Kucinich has spoken out against President Obama's unconstitutional war, he has a more nuanced position regarding Obama's "impeachable offense" than the position he took against George W. Bush's unconstitutional war in Iraq. When Bush was President, Kucinich sought impeachment proceedings, though he was blocked by Democratic leadership. But in the case of Obama, Kucinich told Politico:

Now, it doesn’t necessarily apply that simply because a president has committed an impeachable offense, that the process should start to impeach and remove him. That’s a whole separate question. But we have to clearly understand what this Constitution is about.

The difference could be explained by the fact that Obama is a Democrat and Bush a Republican.

Photo: Dennis Kucinich

Related articles:

Obama, Clinton, and Biden Agree: War on Libya Is Unconstitutional

UN Trumps Constitution, Congress in President's Undeclared War on Libya

Rep. Amash Calls Libya Action Unconstitutional

A Real Cost/Benefit Analysis of Libyan Intervention

Libya: One Quagmire Too Far?

On Libya, It's the Beltway Interventionists vs. Ron Paul and the Founders

Proper Use of the U.S. Military

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