(Article changed on August 31, 2013 at 15:06)
constitutional crisis by edwardmd.wordpress.com
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.
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?