Video: Impeachment Debate — at the New York Times

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

Serious discussion of impeachment has reached the most influential publication in the United States. The New York Times recently featured a Bloggingheads discussion under the headline, “Libya and Impeachment.”
The 70-minute discussion pitted Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com against Ilya Somin of George Mason University Law School. (Somin also blogs at The Volokh Conspiracy.) Last month, Greenwald told Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now!” he believed Obama’s Libyan war is an impeachable offense. Somin has stated the Libyan war violates the Constitution. Although the conversation winds over such topics as the War Powers Resolution, the debt ceiling, and drug legalization, the first 40 percent of the video focuses on Libya. The impeachment talk begins at 25 minutes in.

Since this is a New York Times debate, it means the option is discarded out of hand. Both agree it is “the most extreme” remedy and argue it is not “practical, or even…desirable.” Besides, it “would cause more harm than good.”

Instead, the conservative, Somin, argues House Republicans should just authorize the war. “A less drastic measure would be for Congress to pass a resolution that does authorize a continuation of U.S. military force in Libya, at least for some time,” Somin said. As David Frum recently wrote on the debt ceiling, apparently the Beltway thinking is when Obama violates the Constitution, conservatives should just cave.

Some of us have another solution, which we wish would have gotten a more serious airing in the Old Gray Lady.

Click here to learn more about the Impeach Obama Campaign.

Golfing While the Constitution Burns

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

When Barack Obama and John Boehner played golf this weekend, they played on the same team. How appropriate.

Barack Obama has violated the Constitution’s war-making power – reserved by Article I, Section 8, to Congress – from the moment he sent American troops into harm’s way without Congressional approval. He has been violating the War Powers Resolution since at least the 60th day of that campaign. And he has violated the most liberal reading of that act – the one Boehner has adopted as his own – since this weekend. Yet despite the letter Boehner authored last week, which the media presented as an “ultimatum,” Obama has neither obtained Congressional authorization nor removed our troops. Boehner’s letter weakly supplicated “I sincerely hope the Administration will faithfully comply with the War Powers Resolution,” but at least it seemed to set this weekend as a definitive cut-off point.

The “deadline” has come and gone, and Obama has not answered the most burning questions of the mission’s legality to anyone’s satisfaction. Instead, the president has thumbed his nose at Congress in general, Boehner in particular, and the American people at large, and the Speaker-cum-caddy has made no meaningful response whatsoever.

Obama insists the American role in Libya is too diminutive to constitute “hostilities,” so his action is perfectly legal. White House spokesman Jay Carney repeated his boss’s party line at Monday’s press conference, stating, “the War Powers Resolution does not need to be involved because the ‘hostilities’ clause of that resolution is not met.” However, soldiers in Libya are receiving an additional $25 a month in “imminent danger pay.” American drones still rain missiles down upon military targets. NATO is alternately bombing Muammar Qaddafi’s home and killing the innocent Libyan civilians they are purportedly protecting. (We had to kill the civilians in order to save them?) NATO admitted (at least) one of its bombs went off target on Sunday, killing nine civilians in Tripoli, while allied bombs allegedly killed 15 civilians in Sorman on Monday.

Not to worry, though; Defense Secretary Robert Gates said over the weekend, in a confidence-builder worthy of Churchill, “I think this is going to end OK.” Gates, who once opposed the Libyan adventure, has pulled a 180 on the matter.

Even Obama’s short-term fellow Illinois Senator, Dick Durbin, agrees Libya more than rises to the level of hostilities.

So, too, we have learned, do the best legal minds of Obama’s administration (not a coveted nor much-contested title, I assure you). In overruling his own lawyers, Obama rejected the considered conclusions of Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon’s general counsel, and Caroline Krass, the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). The New York Times reported it is “extraordinarily rare” for any president to overrule the OLC. “Under normal circumstances, the office’s interpretation of the law is legally binding on the executive branch.”

But then, nothing in the Obama administration transpires under “normal circumstances.”

Two former OLC lawyers outlined precisely how unusual the dismissal was….

Read more.

Video: Liberal Columnist Admits, Obama Could Be Impeached Over Libya

Reality is sometimes non-partisan. Although a liberal himself, influential columnist Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com has been consistent in saying Barack Obama is violating the Constitution with his undeclared war in Libya. Greenwald is interviewed by Amy Goodman, the producer of the far-Left radio and television “news” program “Democracy Now!” With the growing Right-Left coalition against Libya, why is impeachment not even considered by the Inside-the-Beltway elites in Washington? What kind of precedent does this set for future imperial presidents? Click here to Sign the Petition to Impeach Barack Obama.

Congress Ignores Obama’s War-by-Fiat

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

When Barack Obama updated Congress on the war in Libya last Friday, he claimed our role is so limited it does not require Congressional authorization. However, on Monday Hillary Clinton told the European press, “Even today, the United States continues to fly 25 percent of all sorties,” and Obama has promised there will be “no let-up.”

Apparently Congress will have no vote on the matter, either. This week, leaders in the House and Senate have refused to vote for or against the authorization of the war, as the Constitution requires.

Although the Founding Fathers vested Congress alone with the power to make war, Obama launched Operation Odyssey Dawn on the approval of the United Nations and the Arab League. Some interpret the 1973 War Powers Resolution to say the president may send soldiers into harm’s way for 60 days before getting Congressional approval, but Congress has passed no authorization 66 days into the war.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Tuesday that the Senate will not vote on the measure before the end of this month.

A spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner told CNN, “No decisions have been made about how to proceed.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was equally passive on Fox News Sunday, saying, “The administration is going to have to decide whether it thinks [the War Powers Resolution] was triggered and we’ll have to respond to that.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday….

Read more.