October 20, 2011, Volume
18 Nr. 2, Issue 260
What Controversy? There is none.
Various activist organizations including Veterans For Peace
have brought forth the proposition that President Barack Obama
should be impeached. Some have passed resolutions to
that effect at their national conventions. This has caused
some divisions between members. Those objecting reject what they perceive to be a
controversial measure counter-productive to the progressive
cause. Impeachment is, however, neither controversial nor
counter-productive. It is necessary by virtue of the chief
executive blatantly violating the United States Constitution.
The founding document deals with the subject of
impeachment in six different places.¹
On September 30, 2011, president
Barack Obama publicly,
proudly, and boldly announced killing U.S. citizen, Anwar
al-Aliaki. Another U.S. citizen traveling with him, Samir Khan,
was also killed. Both were eliminated during a CIA drone missile attack. Anwar al-Aliaki
was on a wanted list as a notorious Al Qaeda leader. President
thus ordered and oversaw the execution without trial of two
United States Citizens. He personally ordered the killing
via a signed directive. Such an extra-judicial execution
violates the United States Constitution. It sets the
public precedent that the
president of United States can order the death of a United
States citizen without a
trial by a jury of their peers and without a guilty conviction.
- President Barack Obama's extra-judicial murder of a United
States citizen sends a signal to the people of the USA that they live in a
country no different than any other authoritarian
dictatorship that eliminates people they do not approve of. This sets up the horrible conclusion
for many throughout the world that living under the
protections of the United States Constitution is
more rhetoric than fact. Without legal proceedings in court
how can a sentence of death and its execution be
legal? It cannot.
Barack Obama, in the killing of these two U.S. citizens, has
reserved for himself the role of jury and judge issuing the sentence of death by drone
missile - no appeals allowed. By his
actions, Obama declared to the enemies of the United States that
we do like you do while telling the world that we are better than you,
ours is a country where the system
of justice and laws prevail. This hypocrisy does not go
unnoticed. On the contrary, it becomes fodder for the
critics looking to exploit the obvious contradictions
inherent within American exceptionalism.
Andrew Kohut and Bruce Stokes, The
Problem of American Exceptionalism, define
American Exceptionalism as,
"America's problem, not so much because Americans are
that different from others, but because any dissimilarity in
attitudes or values is magnified by the United States' place
in the world, and others often resent those differences."
- Kohut and Stokes refer to Minxin Pei of the Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace. Minxin Pei writes,
"Today's strident anti-Americanism represents much
more than a wimpy reaction to U.S. resolve or generic fears of
a hegemon running amok. Rather, the growing unease with the
United States should be seen as a powerful global backlash
against the spirit of American nationalism that shapes and
animates U.S. foreign policy."
the unconstitutional prerogative of killing U.S. citizens Barack Obama
further flames anti-American sentiment both abroad and at
- The national organization, Veterans For Peace (VFP), is a
well respected anti-war and social justice organization
comprised of dedicated veteran activists. During the
2011 VFP national convention General Assembly held during
August in Portland, Oregon, a resolution was passed to
impeach Barack Obama. In recent weeks, VFP Chapter 27,
Minnesota Veterans For Peace, voted to refrain from joining
the impeach Obama resolution. This action has set off
debate, introspection and accusations, including the
suspicion of agent provocateurs.
- Those that argue against the impeachment of
for his actions are acting
just like the president himself. By arguing that
Obama should not be held accountable for his
unconstitutional act of murder they are claiming for
themselves a similar exception to the law that Barack Obama
claims for himself. They are, in-fact, co-conspirators acting alongside the
himself. Just like Barack Obama, opponents of
impeachment are placing expediency over and above the
Constitution. Barack Obama's expediency is
obvious. The president's priority places the elimination of an Al
Qaeda leader over the U.S. Constitution.
Opponents of impeachment place the priority of the re-election of
their Democratic president over holding him accountable for
violating the Constitution. Like Barack Obama
they are supporters of American Exceptionalism.
- Ralph Nader was heard saying that when you choose the
lesser of two evils you get both. Voting for the
lesser of two evils has been an electoral paradigm for
many decades. It is high time that anti-war activists end the practice
of encouraging it. It is high time that we refuse to
succumb to the control and manipulation of elections that
produce opposing candidates within the orchestrated dichotomy of one Corporate Party politics.
- When we
veterans joined the military we swore to uphold the U.S.
Constitution and defend it from all enemies foreign and
domestic. I find it reprehensible that veterans,
especially those within an organization such as
Veterans For Peace, refuse to do so when Barack Obama
violates and attacks the Constitution. Not condemning
Barack Obama for obvious
high crimes and misdemeanors mocks our status as both
veterans and workers for peace. As members of Veterans
For Peace, not supporting the impeachment of Barack Obama
has us violating the organization's mission statement.
Veterans For Peace
We, having dutifully served our nation, do hereby affirm
our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace.
To this end we will work, with others
(a) To increase public awareness of the costs of war
(b) To restrain our government from intervening, overtly
and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations
(c) To end the arms race and to reduce and eventually
eliminate nuclear weapons
(d) To seek justice for veterans and victims of war
(e) To abolish war as an instrument of national policy.
To achieve these goals, members of Veterans For Peace
pledge to use non-violent means and to maintain an
organization that is both democratic and open with the
understanding that all members are trusted to act in the best
interests of the group for the larger purpose of world peace.
David Lindorf, The
Case for Impeachment of Barack Obama, written well before
the execution of U.S. citizens in Yemen without trial, lists
sufficient grounds for impeachment. These include
escalating the war in Afghanistan, authorizing Predator drones
in Pakistan, blocking prosecution of those committing torture
against captives in Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terror,
authorizing attacks that kill more civilians than combatants in
Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Unlike Bill Clinton, there exists clear
evidence for Barack Obama's high crimes. In 2005,
Veterans For Peace called for the impeachment President
George W. Bush. Those who were
rightly so eager to impeach George W. Bush for violating the
Constitution are today opposed to impeaching Barack
Obama. We should not tolerate the crimes of Barack Obama nor
the opposition to impeachment. Impeach Obama because the Constitution requires it.
Impeach Barack Obama, and let us,
unlike him, follow the due process of law.
- Alexander Hamilton called impeachment "a method of
National Inquest into the conduct of public men".
If there was ever a time for such an "inquest"
then it is now. Impeaching
Barack Obama is not controversial. It is
a duty and an obligation of the United States
Congress. Supporting impeachment is a duty and
obligation of Veterans For Peace members. The
House of Representatives has initiated Impeachment
proceedings a total of 62 times since 1789. It's time to
make that 63.
- ¹ The authority for
impeachment comes from Article II, Section 4, where its states:
- "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"
Amendment VII of the United States Constitution, contained
within the Bill of Rights states:
"In Suits at common law, where the value in
controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by
jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be
otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than
according to the rules of the common law."
Amendment XIV of the United States Constitution, also contained
within the Bill of Rights regarding citizen's civil
- All persons born or naturalized in the United States and
subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the
United States and of the State wherein they reside. No
State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge
the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United
States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life,
liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny
to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection
of the laws.