March 10, 2012
On Wednesday, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Obama administration would seek “international permission” before engaging in war in Syria. Besides the possibility that it is merely a ruse — as there is growing evidence that the United States may already be covertly involved in Syria’s war — for the United States to seek permission from other nations to go to war is unconstitutional. For that reason, Representative Walter Jones (R-N.C., left) has just introduced House Concurrent Resolution 107, calling for the impeachment of the President if he declares war without congressional approval.
Jones’s resolution, which calls upon the U.S. House — with the Senate concurring — to prevent President Obama from starting yet another war without Congress declaring war. HCR 107 states:
Expressing the sense of Congress that the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.
Whereas the cornerstone of the Republic is honoring Congress’s exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that, except in response to an actual or imminent attack against the territory of the United States, the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress violates Congress’s exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution and therefore constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.
The Obama administration has openly rejected the constitutional requirement of seeking congressional approval for U.S. military engagement.
“Our goal would be to seek international permission and we would come to the Congress and inform you and determine how best to approach this,” Panetta replied. “Whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress, I think those are issues I think we would have to discuss as we decide what to do here.”
The Obama administration has previously violated the Constitution in electing to involve the United States in an attack on Libya without congressional consent, prompting some members of the U.S. House to issue a resolution demanding that the President explain his reasons for such a decision. The resolution was ignored.
The Ohio Democrat told Raw Story, “President Obama moved forward [militarily against Libya] without Congress approving. He didn’t have congressional authorization, he has gone against the Constitution, and that’s got to be said.”