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article imageKucinich: Obama could be impeached over Libya action

By Michael Krebs     Mar 21, 2011 in Politics
President Obama faced increased scrutiny on the war in Libya over the weekend, with voices in his own political party expressing outrage over the military action. Ohio Rep Dennis Kucinich said the recent U.S. missiles attacks should be impeachable.
The conflict in Libya and the manner in which President Obama committed the US military has attracted fresh criticism to the White House from both parties. While it is not surprising that Obama would draw Republican protests to his actions, the Libyan decision was made without full congressional participation, and this has brought the ire of liberal Democrats who have been opposed to the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Ohio Democratic Rep Dennis Kucinich, who had asked for impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney over Iraq, has suggested that President Obama could face impeachment over the constitutionality of the decision to enter Libya militarily, according to a report in Politico.
Republican and Democratic congressional lawmakers said publicly that the Obama administration did not adequately consult with them, an issue that House Speaker John Boehner addressed over the weekend.
“They consulted the Arab League. They consulted the United Nations. They did not consult the United States Congress,” one Democrat lawmaker said of the Obama administration, according to Politico. “They’re creating wreckage, and they can’t obviate that by saying there are no boots on the ground. … There aren’t boots on the ground; there are Tomahawks in the air.”
The war in Libya, and the active criticism around it, come at the beginning stages of the president's re-election efforts. Any loss of support from the liberal wings of the Democratic Party could spell trouble in 2012.
The question of whether or not President Obama is operating outside of the Constitution appears to come down to how thoroughly he consulted with Congress. In the weeks and months prior to the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration made several presentations to Congress and shared scores of intelligence with congressional members.
"The Constitution's division of powers leaves the President with some exclusive powers as Commander-in-Chief (such as decisions on the field of battle), Congress with certain other exclusive powers (such as the ability to declare war and appropriate dollars to support the war effort), and a sort of 'twilight zone' of concurrent powers," the University of Missouri-Kansas City explains in a posting on their site. "In the zone of concurrent powers, the Congress might effectively limit presidential power, but in the absence of express congressional limitations the President is free to act. Although on paper it might appear that the powers of Congress with respect to war are more dominant, the reality is that Presidential power has been more important--in part due to the modern need for quick responses to foreign threats and in part due to the many-headed nature of Congress."
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