March 13, 2012
An American military attack on Syria could effectively lead to the impeachment of President Barack Obama. Congressmen say that any war without congressional authorization would be “unconstitutional”.
Republican Representative Walter B. Jones Jr. has come up with the resolution demanding Obama’s impeachment in case his administration starts another military action without the approval of Congress. This came as a reaction to the American Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announcing that in order to carry out the offensive, the US military needs permission from the UN and NATO alone.
Jones’s resolution states that the prime authority to rule on the attack is the US Congress, but not international bodies be it NATO or UN.
“Expressing the sense of congress that the use of offensive military force by a president without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under Article II, Section 4 of the constitution,” Jones’s resolution said.
In an exchange which occurred at the session of the Senate Armed Services Committee, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that in case Obama administration decides to strike Syria, it would merely “inform” Congress after the decision has been made.
“Our goal would be to seek international permission and we would come to the Congress and inform you and determine how best to approach this,” Panetta said. “Whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress, I think those are issues I think we would have to discuss as we decide what to do here.”
Responding to Panetta, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions said he was “breathless” to hear the statement.
“I am all for having international support, but I am really baffled by the idea that somehow an international assembly provides a legal basis for the United States military to be deployed in combat,” Sessions said. “They can provide no legal authority. The only legal authority that is required to deploy the United States military is of the Congress and the president and the law and the constitution.”
The Obama administration has allegedly started a fresh discussion on a possible military strike on Syria with its allies, the Washington Post reports. American officials have yet to confirm the report, saying that at this point they rule out military involvement in Syria’s internal conflict. There are reports that British and Qatari troops, as well as the CIA and Mossad, are already covertly involved with the Syrian conflict.
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