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Could This Lead to Impeachment?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Lawmakers SUE the President over Libya war: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/57032.html

Quote:
A bipartisan group of House members announced on Wednesday that it is filing a lawsuit charging that President Obama made an illegal end-run around Congress when he approved U.S military action against Libya.

I really must say I didn't see this one coming...at least filing an actual lawsuit. My question is this: If a court of law determined that Obama broke the law, wouldn't that be grounds for impeachment?

Another member and I were discussing this in the Libya thread. Historically, it wouldn't seem like this was enough. Then again, it seems pretty clear to me that Obama will be in violation of the law within 4 days. So what's the remedy? And why has the administration not gone to Congress for a resolution? Do they think it would fail? According to some Senators, they'd pretty much rubber-stamp what the Admin wanted to do, at least initially.
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post #2 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

According to some Senators, they'd pretty much rubber-stamp what the Admin wanted to do, at least initially.

Then, I guess, there's no real point in going to Congress.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Then, I guess, there's no real point in going to Congress.

"Imagine, if you will, that I am an idiot.
Then, imagine that I am also a Congressman.
But, alas, I repeat myself."

-- Mark Twain

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #4 of 22
I think that the war powers act of 1973 will be declared unconstitutional, so no impeachment. If congress does not want Obama to do something, they need to cut off funding for it.

The whole idea that the president needs to get approval before doing something with the military is bad, imho - Obama's mistake in Libya was in taking too long in the beginning getting Arab league and NATO approval, he should have just marched in without asking anybody.
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post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I think that the war powers act of 1973 will be declared unconstitutional, so no impeachment. If congress does not want Obama to do something, they need to cut off funding for it.

The whole idea that the president needs to get approval before doing something with the military is bad, imho - Obama's mistake in Libya was in taking too long in the beginning getting Arab league and NATO approval, he should have just marched in without asking anybody.

He still needs to abide by the law. It clearly states that he needs approval within 90 days. Given the circumstances during that time, we've got to assume that he thought he either didn't need approval or he thought he might not get it. It seems he's just flat-out ignoring it now, however.
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post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I think that the war powers act of 1973 will be declared unconstitutional,

That would be nice. But you're dreaming.


Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

If congress does not want Obama to do something, they need to cut off funding for it.

Now you're really dreaming. I think Congress actually wants to approve this. They just want to go on record as being for the war. Until it goes bad then they'll claim they were misled and say they're really against it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

The whole idea that the president needs to get approval before doing something with the military is bad, imho - Obama's mistake in Libya was in taking too long in the beginning getting Arab league and NATO approval, he should have just marched in without asking anybody.

The whole idea that a president could do whatever he wanted with the military would erase one of the final distinctions between him and a king or dictator. Having the power you suggest is downright frightening.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

That would be nice. But you're dreaming.




Now you're really dreaming. I think Congress actually wants to approve this.

I think they did at the time, and maybe for a month or so. I'm thinking it would be a problem now.

Quote:
They just want to go on record as being for the war. Until it goes bad then they'll claim they were misled and say they're really against it.

True.

Quote:

The whole idea that a president could do whatever he wanted with the military would erase one of the final distinctions between him and a king or dictator. Having the power you suggest is downright frightening.

Point taken, though it's interesting that it took Congress 200 years to add the War Powers Resolution. I actually agree with most of it, except for the "imminent threat" language. The President is the Commander-in-Chief and must be free to command the military without announcing to the world he's going to get a permission slip. The good part of the Resolution is that it prevents the President from launching the armed forces into an extended conflict without Congressional approval. What we have here is a blatant disregard for it.
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post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Point taken, though it's interesting that it took Congress 200 years to add the War Powers Resolution. I actually agree with most of it, except for the "imminent threat" language.

As I understand the "imminent threat" language it should be inverted...giving the President the power to act if there is an imminent threat...not in the absence of one. That's where we get into trouble.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

The President is the Commander-in-Chief and must be free to command the military without announcing to the world he's going to get a permission slip.

First, the President should be getting a "permission slip" to go to war.

Second, there's nothing that says the declaration of war from Congress needs to happen publicly in advance of a military action. But it should be made public immediately afterwards if secrecy is a concern.

Third, why is there a need for secrecy here? We're not talking about actual military tactics and form of military action...merely the decision to use military action.

Fourth, once at war, yes he's the Commander-in-Chief and doesn't need to be micromanaged by Congress. Which I think was the whole point of this structure. Congress operates as a check to an imperial Presidency and his or her fetishes for military adventurism. The President, once authorized, doesn't have to deal with Congressional meddling and micromanaging.

I view the constitutional structure that was created as a declaration of what the rest of the world could expect from the US: 1) We will publicly declare war against an enemy as determined and deliberated by a wider deliberative body...rather than capriciously by a single individual (or small cabal of hawkish individuals)...but...2) when do decide to act, there will be one single person with the authority and responsibility for executing with success and decisiveness (individual character flaws aside.)

In my view the President today has way, way too much power. This is only one example (though it is a big one.)

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

As I understand the "imminent threat" language it should be inverted...giving the President the power to act if there is an imminent threat...not in the absence of one. That's where we get into trouble.

Technically, that is what it says: It is never really followed, and it's something I don't agree with.

Quote:
c) The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.


Quote:
First, the President should be getting a "permission slip" to go to war.

For a full-blown, extended conflict, yes.

Quote:

Second, there's nothing that says the declaration of war from Congress needs to happen publicly in advance of a military action. But it should be made public immediately afterwards if secrecy is a concern.

OK, but does it need to be a formal "Declaration of War?" Or, can it just be an authorization?

Quote:

Third, why is there a need for secrecy here? We're not talking about actual military tactics and form of military action...merely the decision to use military action.

What you're arguing is that the President can never conduct any operation without explicit approval to use the armed forces first. In some circumstances, it might even be desirable to let the enemy know about this approval. In some, it is a very bad idea. I'm not saying it should always be a secret, but the President should have leeway to use the armed forces and then go to Congress later. This is apparently what Obama is refusing to do.

Quote:

Fourth, once at war, yes he's the Commander-in-Chief and doesn't need to be micromanaged by Congress. Which I think was the whole point of this structure. Congress operates as a check to an imperial Presidency and his or her fetishes for military adventurism. The President, once authorized, doesn't have to deal with Congressional meddling and micromanaging.

I agree in principle. I don't think micromanaging is really an issue here.

Quote:

I view the constitutional structure that was created as a declaration of what the rest of the world could expect from the US: 1) We will publicly declare war against an enemy as determined and deliberated by a wider deliberative body...rather than capriciously by a single individual (or small cabal of hawkish individuals)...but...2) when do decide to act, there will be one single person with the authority and responsibility for executing with success and decisiveness (individual character flaws aside.)

The problem with this is it's based upon the geopolitics of 200 years ago. Wars are often asymmetrical now. Most military operations are not even really "wars." Launching a few cruise missiles, for example, does not constitute "a war." What does constitute it is really up to Congress.


Quote:
In my view the President today has way, way too much power. This is only one example (though it is a big one.)

We just disagree there. In fact, on a broader topic...there are some powers I would like to see the President have...such as a line-item veto. In terms of war powers, I think they are just about right. He can't just launch a sustained military operation....unless he's Barack Obama, apparently.
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post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Technically, that is what it says: It is never really followed, and it's something I don't agree with.

Would you clarify what you don't agree with exactly?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

For a full-blown, extended conflict, yes.

I disagree. non-"full blown", non-"extended" conflicts have a way of becoming full-blown, extended conflicts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

OK, but does it need to be a formal "Declaration of War?" Or, can it just be an authorization?

This might be a question of semantics more than anything.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

What you're arguing is that the President can never conduct any operation without explicit approval to use the armed forces first.

Yes. I would like to see the president's power much more limited, especially when committing to war.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

In some circumstances, it might even be desirable to let the enemy know about this approval. In some, it is a very bad idea.

Why? Where? When?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

The problem with this is it's based upon the geopolitics of 200 years ago.

Ahh an oldie but a goodie. The old "the world is different now" and the "constitution is antiquated and out of date" argument.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Launching a few cruise missiles, for example, does not constitute "a war."

I'll try to remember that if anyone starts raining down cruise missiles in my town.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

We just disagree there.

Apparently.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

In terms of war powers, I think they are just about right. He can't just launch a sustained military operation....unless he's Barack Obama, apparently.

Apparently.

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post #11 of 22
The checks and balances that existed to limit the power of any of the three branches of government were upset when the "war on terrorism" started, to the extent that the executive branch now has a severely overbearing influence. When Obama was inaugurated, there was hope (!) that these checks and balances would be returned, if not completely to normalcy, but trending towards that. But no, Obama has made a bad situation worse. Once power is assumed, it is never voluntarily given up. If this trend continues, how much more power could be assumed by the executive branch in order to qualify it as a quasi-dictatorship?

Anyway, re. impeachment. I have an acquaintance here who is a constitutional lawyer, and it is of his opinion that the Obama Administration's breach of the War Powers Act is an impeachable act. But in addition, so many legal technicalities would likely be heaped upon any impeachment attempt that it would probably fade away, even if the case was pretty solid.

But, hey, give it a go. I'd welcome impeachment proceedings.... it would mean that Obama would likely become a one term president.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

The checks and balances that existed to limit the power of any of the three branches of government were upset when the "war on terrorism" started, to the extent that the executive branch now has a severely overbearing influence. When Obama was inaugurated, there was hope (!) that these checks and balances would be returned, if not completely to normalcy, but trending towards that. But no, Obama has made a bad situation worse. Once power is assumed, it is never voluntarily given up. If this trend continues, how much more power could be assumed by the executive branch in order to qualify it as a quasi-dictatorship?

Anyway, re. impeachment. I have an acquaintance here who is a constitutional lawyer, and it is of his opinion that the Obama Administration's breach of the War Powers Act is an impeachable act. But in addition, so many legal technicalities would likely be heaped upon any impeachment attempt that it would probably fade away, even if the case was pretty solid.

But, hey, give it a go. I'd welcome impeachment proceedings.... it would mean that Obama would likely become a one term president.

Like Clinton was?
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

Like Clinton was?

Clinton had already been re-elected for his 2nd term in 1996. The Lewinsky episode was in 1998.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Clinton had already been re-elected for his 2nd term in 1996. The Lewinsky episode was in 1998.

You're right, my bad.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
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post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

You're right, my bad.

It's always been a mystery as to why sex "scandals" are given so much obsessive attention by the corporate media, and in contrast, other far worse and far reaching matters, re. administrations/politicians (regardless of party affiliation) are often roundly ignored. There's enough sex in the media to keep anyone distracted, from the soft pornographic staple of the advertising industry, to the hardcore smut which is ubiquitous on the internet(s).

Whats the big deal with with politicians' private personal indiscretions, and our out-of-control addiction to making these matters causes for public concern? In Europe, where the public tend to intuit what goes on in the "corridors of power" without making a big song and dance over it, here in the US, we're like school kids giggling while clandestinely poring over well thumbed copies of Playboy, in which some of the pages are stuck together.

It's almost as if we here are pretending that we are so to be oh so very moral, and when someone commits a sexual faux-pas, we pretend to be oh so shocked!

When will we ever grow up?
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

It's always been a mystery as to why sex "scandals" are given so much obsessive attention by the corporate media, and in contrast, other far worse and far reaching matters, re. administrations/politicians (regardless of party affiliation) are often roundly ignored.

Like Sarah Palin's emails?

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

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post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Like Sarah Palin's emails?

Yet another distraction... a storm in a teacup, of little more than zero *real world* significance.

Similarly, the so-called wikileaks data-dumps which so many politicians and the diplomatic community (!) were fretting about, over which the weasel media were getting their soggy panties all twisted. Everything in those "so-called leaks" by that TOOL known as Julian Assange, were in the public domain; anyone who had the time to do the research could have unearthed any of it.

The wikileaks affair was yet another case of "limited hangout", in which people were led to believe that these documents were secret, and great damage had been caused by their release. Nothing in those wikileaks has led to any outings, scandals, criminal proceedings, firings, or anything of significance.

It worked just as intended, to keep the public under some kind of illusion that the powers-that-be are generally well behaved and tend to stay within the law.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Yet another distraction... a storm in a teacup, of little more than zero *real world* significance.

Similarly, the so-called wikileaks data-dumps which so many politicians and the diplomatic community (!) were fretting about, over which the weasel media were getting their soggy panties all twisted. Everything in those "so-called leaks" by that TOOL known as Julian Assange, were in the public domain; anyone who had the time to do the research could have unearthed any of it.

So why is Bradley Manning being held without due process? If the information he gave to Wikileaks was in the public domain, why go after Manning and Assange?

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Would you clarify what you don't agree with exactly?




I disagree. non-"full blown", non-"extended" conflicts have a way of becoming full-blown, extended conflicts.




This might be a question of semantics more than anything.




Yes. I would like to see the president's power much more limited, especially when committing to war.




Why? Where? When?




Ahh an oldie but a goodie. The old "the world is different now" and the "constitution is antiquated and out of date" argument.




I'll try to remember that if anyone starts raining down cruise missiles in my town.




Apparently.




Apparently.



I don't have the time to go point by point. Suffice it to say that I think the LAW is not the problem. As for the Constitution, I'm not arguing it's outdated. In fact, I'm arguing the opposite. I'm saying that we had no War Powers Resolution for 200 years, and we got by just fine. Suddenly, Congress decided in 1973 that they wanted more control. If you favor the idea of original intent, then I'd think you'd oppose the WPR.

As for me, I think the law as written is fine except for the section limiting the President's power to use the military w/o consent (initially) except in cases of emergency, national threat, etc. I don't think that's necessary, and it's been ignored anyway.
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post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

So why is Bradley Manning being held without due process? If the information he gave to Wikileaks was in the public domain, why go after Manning and Assange?

That's exactly my point. Firstly... to create the false impression that Assange and Manning's actions were damaging, and secondly (re being held without due process): just because they can.

We could speculate ad nauseam, but if Assange wanted to do some damage resulting in some heads rolling, he would release material that warranted such punishment/action. But no... all his "leaks" are mere fluff... harmless, irrelevant, trivia.

My speculation: Whoever supplied (Assange) with this material appeared to have been careful to exclude anything of relevance... and Manning was probably an unfortunate fall guy/patsy. He now has no choice but to plead guilty.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #21 of 22
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/18/wo...wers.html?_r=1

Clinton was impeached for being forced into trying to save his marriage by telling a lie, after being set up.

This breach of the war powers act (imho) is far worse... but no sex scandal is involved, and both democrats and republicans are equally under the control/behest the "war party". Obama will probably get off.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/18/wo...wers.html?_r=1

Clinton was impeached for being forced into trying to save his marriage by telling a lie, after being set up.

This breach of the war powers act (imho) is far worse... but no sex scandal is involved, and both democrats and republicans are equally under the control/behest the "war party". Obama will probably get off.

Being set up? Clinton was impeached for obstruction of justice and and lying under oath.
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