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October 20, 2011, Volume 18 Nr. 2, Issue 260
    
Impeach Obama. 
What Controversy?  There is none.

Jozef Hand-Boniakowski, PhD

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.

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 Barack Obama 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."

By exercising the unconstitutional prerogative of killing U.S. citizens Barack Obama further flames anti-American sentiment both abroad and at home.  

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 Barack Obama for his actions are acting just like the president himself.  By arguing that Barack 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 conspirator 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
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

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.

2011 Jozef Hand-Boniakowski  

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 rights states:

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.

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