Lack of Congressional approval could make Obama’s Libya attack an impeachable offense
from Democracy Now!, this interview with Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich:
“Simply put, the President has no constitutional authority to do what he’s done. He has changed the Constitution, in effect, by saying that he has an executive privilege to wage war. He’s ignored Article I, Section 8. He’s ignored the War Powers Act. He’s even exceeded the U.N. mandate. And so, this administration has taken this country on a path that is profoundly anti-democratic, and it needs to be challenged….
“Look, there’s not going to be an impeachment, but someone has to say that what the President is doing is fundamentally wrong, if we have any understanding of the way this country was founded. The founders did not want to create, in the executive, another British king who could wage war at his whim and caprice.
“This president has assumed power that no president, not even President Bush, has assumed. And I think that we need to focus on this, not as a matter of whether we like President Obama or not, not as a matter of whether we are Democrats or not, but whether or not we understand the basic constitutional principles of the separation of power, of the separation of the war power, and that the president’s role as commander-in-chief has nothing to do with an ability to make war. He just simply doesn’t have that power…
“[W]hat other presidents have done, you know, frankly, that’s neither here nor there. If there’s an argument that, well, Congress didn’t assert its authority before, and so what’s happened is that we—as I think Glenn Greenwald argued this, as well, in a recent column—it doesn’t follow that the consistent acquiescence to an executive usurpation of congressional power nullifies the founding document. It doesn’t. At some point you have to say, “Wait a minute here.” And so, that’s what I’m doing.
“Now, to look at the Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 8 firmly defined the war power. You read the sense of Washington and Jefferson, you read The Federalist Papers, Number 69, what Hamilton wrote about it, it makes it clear. That’s where the war powers is. Now, the War Powers Act was an attempt to define better the relationship between Congress and the presidency by, you know, carving out circumstances under which the president can take action before going to Congress and providing for notification later on.
“The President has not met the requirements of the War Powers Act with respect to that, in terms of the definition of there being an attack on the United States, or the threat of one. So, this is a circumstance where this administration is redefining the presidency in the same way that John Yoo, the attorney for President Bush, redefined it. We’ve got a presidency here that is becoming to be—is beginning to be indistinguishable from that of the Bush White House with respect with its use of war power, with respect to its interpretation of executive power, with respect to the role of the president in defining all national security issues without consulting with Congress at all….”
Check out the entire interview, concerning any intervention on supposed “humanitarian” grounds.