Commentary | Based upon General Petraeus testifying that the CIA knew the Benghazi consulate attack was in fact known to be a terrorist attack from the beginning, Republicans have already started claiming that the Obama administration was purposefully lying and attempting to cover up the situation for political reasons before the November elections.
This new revelation about the Benghazi attacks by Petraeus comes amid allegations that Obama himself watched the Benghazi attack in real-time. The fathers of the slain NAVY Seals have repeatedly called for an investigation into why their sons died. Various sources allege that despite three urgent requests from the CIA annex, no military backup was sent by Obama for the besieged personnel of the Consulate. Other unconfirmed allegations include that Obama ordered an AC-130U gunship to stand down and that Obama chose to go to bed early in order to be ready for his Las Vegas fundraiser the next day.
I spoke to a retired military officer who has experience with military law, specifically the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). My source will remain unnamed in order to protect his identity. This retired military officer believes that articles of impeachment may possibly be served against President Obama if these allegations are proven to be true. The reasons for impeachments are treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors. And Congress can define what “high crimes or misdemeanors” means.
By definition, an impeachment is a formal process in which an official is accused of unlawful activity, the outcome of which, depending on the country, may include the removal of that official from office as well as criminal or civil punishment. A commander-in-chief can be indited for watching troops die, while having the capability do prevent those actions, but then purposefully taking no action.
But Congress has to be the one to call for impeachment. That can be done if in fact Obama watched the troops die and did nothing about it due to political reasons. Which, at the time, would be the then-upcoming election because Obama would not want the appearance or perception of being weak on national security at such a critical time. Obama then used his influence to modify reports to the public to contradict what Petraeus reportedly calls a “mountain of evidence” that it was known during the attack that it was a terrorist attack.
The checks and balances with Congress come in that the House of Representatives have sole power of impeachment, but the Senate has the sole power to try impeachments. This is Article 1 of the United States Constitution. The majority of the House of Representatives is Republican, while the majority of the Senate is Democratic. So it’s possible an impeachment might be fought along party lines. A two-thirds vote in the Senate is necessary for a President to be removed from office. There is precedent for this: Andrew Johnson in 1868 was impeached by the House due to violating the newly created Tenure of Office Act, but then acquitted by the Senate. In 1998, President Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice but the Senate rejected the articles sent from the House.
What do you think: does President Obama deserve impeachment for failing to act to prevent the deaths in the Benghazi terrorist attacks? Did the Obama administration purposefully attempt to cover up the mishandling of the situation by covering it up before the November election?