NEW YORK – Based on their firm declarations as members of the U.S Senate, Barack Obama would be among the first to call for the impeachment of President Barack H. Obama, with the concurrence and enthusiastic support of Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton, should Obama attack Syria without congressional authorization.
With the Parliament’s decision to give a red light to Britain’s participation in military action against the Assad regime in Syria, the Obama administration must either go ahead unilaterally or back down, exposing Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to international ridicule for a rush-to-judgment accusing Assad of “a cowardly crime” and “a moral obscenity” on murky evidence.
As WND reported, President Obama Saturday pledged to await congressional approval before launching a military strike on Syria, but also insisted he had the authority to attack with or without such approval. As he walked away after the speech, a shouting reporter asked if he would still launch the attack should Congress deny authorization, but Obama refused to answer.
On Dec. 20, 2007, then-Sen. Obama was asked by the Boston Globe whether President George W. Bush had the constitutional authority to bomb Iran without specific authorization from Congress. Obama answered:
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.
As commander in chief, the president does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.
Obama specified he had then introduced Senate Joint Resolution 23, stating in part that “any offensive military action taken by the United States against Iran must be explicitly authorized by Congress.”
In other words, unless President Obama can show that the Assad regime authorized a chemical attack and that the use of chemical weapons represented a direct threat to the defense of the United States, then former Sen. Obama apparently would have been willing to support an impeachment resolution in the House against the current president.
In 2007, on the Chris Matthews MSNBC show “Hardball,” then-Sen. Joe Biden said in unequivocal terms that President George W. Bush should be impeached if he dared authorize a unilateral military attack on Iran.
Matthews: You said that if the President of the United States had launched an attack on Iran without congressional approval that would have been an impeachable offense. Do you want to review that comment you made? Well how do you stand on that now?
Biden: Yes I do. I want to stand by the comment I made. The reason I made the comment was as a warning. I don’t say those things lightly, Chris, you’ve known me for a long time. I was chairman of the judiciary committee for 17 years or its ranking member. I teach separation of powers and constitutional law. This is something I know. So I got together and brought a group of constitutional scholars together to write a piece that I’m going to deliver to the whole United States Senate pointing out the president has no constitutional authority to take this nation to war against a county of 70 million people unless we’re attacked or unless there is proof we are about to be attacked.
And if he does, if he does, I would move to impeach him. The House obviously has to do that, but I would lead an effort to impeach him. The reason for my doing that, I don’t say it lightly, I don’t say it lightly. I say it because they should understand that what they were threatening, what they were saying, what it was adding up to be, what it looked like to the rest of the world we were about to do would be the most disastrous thing that could be done at this moment in our history that I could think of.
Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton joined Obama and Biden in arguing George W. Bush had no constitutional authority to attack Iran without congressional approval.
In 2007, Clinton sponsoring a resolution with Democratic Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia that prohibited President George W. Bush from using funds for military operations against Iran without explicit congressional authorization.
In a speech on the Senate floor Feb. 14, 2007, Clinton said President George W. Bush must not be allowed to attack Iran without the specific approval of Congress.
“It would be a mistake of historical proportion if the administration (of President George W. Bush) thought that the 2002 resolution authorizing force against Iraq was a blank check authorizing force against Iran without further congressional authorization,” Clinton said.
“Nor should the president think that the 2001 resolution authorizing force after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in any way authorizes force against Iran. If the administration believes that any use of force against Iran is necessary, the president must come to Congress to seek that authority.”
On Dec. 20, 2007, in response to questions posed by the Boston Globe, Clinton repeated her insistence President Bush did not have the authority to attack Iran without specific congressional approval:
Boston Globe: In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites – a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)
Sen. Hillary Clinton: The President has the solemn duty to defend our Nation. If the country is under truly imminent threat of attack, of course the President must take appropriate action to defend us. At the same time, the Constitution requires Congress to authorize war. I do not believe that the President can take military action – including any kind of strategic bombing – against Iran without congressional authorization. That is why I have supported legislation to bar President Bush from doing so and that is also why I think it is irresponsible to suggest, as some have recently, that anything Congress already has enacted provides that authority.