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A U.S. President Defies Congress, the Constitution and the Will of the People; Will Impeachment Follow?

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(Article changed on August 31, 2013 at 15:06)

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Just today President Obama stepped back somewhat from his previously announced decision to launch an immediate strike against Syria and informed Americans that he will delay any action until Congress returns from recess and initiates a debate and in-depth discussions prior to a vote to authorize or reject that action.

However, it was noteworthy that he said, as a kind of veiled threat to the Congress should it vote no to an attack, that he still possesses the presidential power to unleash the military strike. And that's just why this situation remains highly dangerous.

Polls indicate that at least 2/3 or more of the American people disagree with the stated intention of this president to launch this attack and simply don't buy into his argument for going forward. Huge questions exist and should be answered before such an attack is launched and it certainly should be delayed at least until the UN chemical experts have made their on the ground determinations.

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The people vividly remember the blatant lies and misrepresentation of the Bush administration when it laid down the reasons for attacking Iraq in 2003 and what they hear from Mr. Obama fills them with great apprehension. They are fed up with endless war and do not want to go through any more military debacles such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of them are fully cognizant of the fact that such an attack could ignite a Middle East war.

So we'll just have to wait and see what Congress will do. If Congress doesn't vote in the affirmative and he decides to defy it as well as the will of the American people by following through with the attack then the issue of possible impeachment will immediately rise to the surface. So let's review exactly what the Constitution has to say about this entire issue:

Impeachment: The Constitution, Article II, Section 4 states that The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

The Constitution, Article I, Section 3 further states that The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.  When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation.  When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside:  And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

And, as we know, the U.S. House of Representatives has the authority to initiate articles of impeachment by a simple majority vote of those present and voting, all of which constitute the formal allegations.

If this is an American president who believes that he has unlimited, unrestricted powers, that his decisions cannot be disputed or challenged, then the Congress has no other recourse than to go ahead with impeachment because such actions cannot and must not be tolerated. The laws of this country relating to this matter are very explicit and, therefore, any president, vice-president or any civil officer of the United States who commits an act that violates specific sections of Articles I and II of the Constitution may be subject to impeachment.

Without question, this issue has now brought this country to a very critical crossroads. We're going to find out the direction America will take into the future. Will it be one in which military hubris will dominate or, rather, one in which the will of the people and democratic principles will prevail? Will the Constitution prevail or will the power of the U.S. presidency make this brilliant creation of the Founding Fathers meaningless and irrelevant?

The next several days are going to be very dynamic and anything can happen. We'll have to wait and see what exactly transpires and, if an attack is launched by President Obama, what this Congress, after appropriate discussions and investigations, will do. Will its members once again bow down to the imperial powers of the presidency or will they follow the Constitution and initiate impeachment proceedings?

Michael Payne


Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)

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Without question, this issue has now brought... by michael payne on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 11:59:42 AM
The military has a lot of wrong and blood on its h... by Scott Baker on Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 8:44:39 AM
Since the U.S. has already committed belligerent a... by Peter Duveen on Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 2:39:28 PM
Willy, I said nothing about treason. Undermining t... by Peter Duveen on Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 11:56:48 PM
International treaties !Like the UN charter's (A/R... by Arend Rietkerk on Monday, Sep 2, 2013 at 6:49:40 PM
Reality is that international law is whatever we s... by pig killer on Monday, Sep 2, 2013 at 9:52:46 AM
Sounds like you may have read accounts of like... by michael payne on Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 3:54:51 PM
Please share with us who you think the powers that... by Peter Duveen on Monday, Sep 2, 2013 at 9:12:49 AM
but one I find very difficult to answer. There are... by michael payne on Monday, Sep 2, 2013 at 11:41:31 AM
I'll let Scott answer for himself but I also w... by michael payne on Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 6:36:07 PM
Mr. Scanlon:   Thanks for the info ... by michael payne on Monday, Sep 2, 2013 at 11:26:02 AM
Mr. Payne you are an astute writer and offer excel... by Hosea McAdoo on Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 4:45:39 PM
Your statements about Obama's confrontation with t... by Hosea McAdoo on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 2:20:55 PM
your points are well taken. The Constitution is be... by michael payne on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 2:42:26 PM
I am afraid what you have stated is just around th... by JenniferNY on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 3:53:07 PM
RIGHT__Not being elected these leaders are now mor... by jean labrek on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 8:27:01 PM
  It's a far journey between a mewl and an im... by Howard Lewis on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 6:15:56 PM
McCain and the Ditz?  Willard?  Are you ... by Floridatexan on Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 9:33:25 AM
America has created thew ultimate "Catch 22"; if y... by Hosea McAdoo on Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 4:16:59 PM
The Constitution may have lost yet another fight b... by michael payne on Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 5:47:16 PM
Your article is interesting but flawed in its conc... by Dan Cooper on Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 12:56:12 PM
You know, we can use any excuses that we want to i... by michael payne on Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 2:12:35 PM
There is a caveat that there be an imminent thre... by Hosea McAdoo on Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 7:16:45 PM
Here's why he is wrong and why his assessment ... by michael payne on Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 8:26:04 PM
Congress does exactly what they were bought to do.... by Textynn N on Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 6:21:06 PM
The people of the U.S.A. need to not only impeach ... by Deborah Dills on Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 7:24:51 PM
The United States has no authority to attack Syria... by Peter Duveen on Monday, Sep 2, 2013 at 9:45:12 AM
I supplied the first link to the Mint Press story ... by Scott Baker on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 at 5:14:41 AM
I think that this was meant as an answer for Willy... by michael payne on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 at 10:10:36 AM