|This interview appears in the November 18, 2011 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
PROF. FRANCIS A. BOYLE
Legal Expert Says Impeach Obama;
Warns of War Danger
[PDF version of this article]
Francis Boyle was interviewed on The LaRouche Show, the weekly Internet radio program, on Nov. 12 by host Harley Schlanger. Professor Boyle is a lecturer on international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, and an author, scholar, and internationally recognized expert on international law and politics, specializing in human rights, war crimes, and genocide, as well as nuclear policy. He's been a legal advisor to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the provisional government for the State of Palestine; his latest book is United Ireland, Human Rights and International Law.
Harley Schlanger: As we reported on our program last week, in our interview with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, there's a growing likelihood of an Israeli attack against the Republic of Iran, one which could include the use of nuclear weapons. If there is a strike by Israel against Iran, even if Israel does not use its nuclear arsenal in the first strike, this action would, in all likelihood ignite World War III, and this would escalate very quickly to a nuclear confrontation, as the conflict would broaden.
Russian and Chinese officials have already warned against such an action, and they are well aware that they are targets, due to their opposition to an attack on either Iran or Syria, but also due to their unwillingness to submit to the financial warfare being run by the City of London and Wall Street.
At the center of this war drive is, ironically, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, U.S. President Barack Obama: In addition to secretly providing weapons to Israel, including so-called "bunker busters," his Administration, in collaboration with the Cameron regime in Great Britain, followed the illegal war against Libya and the murder of its leader Qaddafi, with a massive buildup of forces in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf, and the Indian Ocean. And now they're using a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which in itself is not all that conclusive ... as a pretext to escalate against Iran, and to create the context for an Israeli strike....
So, Professor Boyle, welcome to the program.
Francis A. Boyle: Thank you very much for having me on, and my best to your listening audience.
Grounds for Impeachment
Schlanger: Well, I'd like to start by getting right into this question of impeachment, because you stated that you're prepared to draft a bill of impeachment against President Barack Obama. What are the specific grounds for impeachment, for removing him from the Office of the Presidency?
Boyle: Well, of course, I've been trying to find a member of the United States House of Representatives to introduce a bill of impeachment, and in fact, if your listening audience can contact their members of the U.S. House and tell them to get in touch with me, I'd be happy to work with them as counsel, free of charge.
Of course, any bill of impeachment would have to be drafted in accordance with the wishes of that member of Congress. But, at the top of the list, I certainly would have: Obama drawing up a murder list, including United States citizens, and murdering now at least three U.S. citizens in Yemen, including [Anwar] al-Awlaki, in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, that clearly says that "no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law." I think that's clearly the worst thing he has done, so far, in my opinion, but not the only
Schlanger: It seems as thoughI'm sorry to interrupt you, but it seems as though the argument being presented by the President is that, well, there is due process, it's just that it's secret. Isn't that one of the arguments, one of the causes of our Founding Fathers putting the due process clause in the Constitution?
Boyle: Yes. They had a secret process there, the star chamber in Britain, when they would condemn people to death for treason, and then hang them. So we did fight a Revolution here, in the United States, against the British monarchy, which is the subject of my book, United Ireland.
But, putting that to one side; right, we have Obama here acting as if he were King George III, or something like that. "Due process of law" means in a United States Federal District Court, and not what he's doing here.
And, second on the list, of course, would be the clearly unconstitutional war he waged against Libya, for seven months, with absolutely no authorization by the United States Congress, and thus, in violation of the War Powers clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, and Congress's War Powers Resolution of 1973.
I was just saying, on those two issues, I would hope all loyal, patriotic Americans of any political party could agree that these are impeachable offenses for which there is no real defense. I'm a political independent myself; I want to make that clear. And indeed, it was my great honor and privilege to serve as counsel to the late Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez of Texas, on his impeachment resolution against [George H.W.] Bush Sr. for the [first] Gulf War. So this is not a partisan effort at all: I'm willing to work with Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Socialists, Communists, independentsit doesn't matter to me on this issue.
I think the very future of our Republic is at stake when the President asserts the right to murder U.S. citizens at his behest, and also to launch a clearly unconstitutional war against Libya, which he could very well replicate against Iran. And as you correctly pointed out, that could quickly degenerate into a massive regional war, that would set off World War III. We're sort of in a Balkans type situation prior to World War INov. 11 being Armistice Day, the end of the First World War.
So, it's a tinderbox here. Anything could set this off, and it's exactly what happened in the Balkans, in Sarajevo, the assassination there of the Archduke and his wife, by a Serbian terroristand 10 million people died as a result of that. So, the same could happen here.
It Only Takes One Member of Congress...
Schlanger: Let me get back to the Libya war for a moment. Because the argument that the President made was that this is not a war. Unfortunately, Sen. [John] Kerry [D-Mass.] and Sen. [John] McCain [R-Ariz.] carried water for him, and protected him in the Congress. And despite some fairly strong statements by Congressmen, nobody took up this cause, as you have said: a clear violation of the Constitutional principle as well as the War Powers Act. Do you think this serves as a precedent? Do you think they actually think they can get away with it now, in the case of Syria, or Iranthat regime change can now be carried out without going through the Congress?
Boyle: They got away with it in Libya; why would they not get away with it, as they see it, with Syria and Iran? I think that's why we have to get one member of Congress, right away, to put in a bill of impeachment on this issue, and to make it clear to try to deter Obama from attacking Syria and/or Iran.
I do know, that Bush Sr., in his memoirs, wrote that the reason he stopped the war just on the other side of the border of Kuwait, and did not proceed to Baghdad, was that he feared impeachment. And the reason he feared impeachment, was that Congressmen Gonzalez, [former U.S. Attorney General] Ramsey Clark, and I had set up a national campaign to impeach him, and Congressman Gonzalez had introduced a bill of Impeachment into the U.S. House of Representatives, of which I did the first draft. So there, we did deter Bush Sr., and I'm suggesting here, we need to do the same thing to Obama himself, to head off what could be a catastrophe there in the Gulf.
Schlanger: ... I would say that, as you well know, Henry B. Gonzalez was a different kind of Congressman, who did operate from the standpoint of principles, above party. And it appears as though we don't have much of that in the Congress.
Have you been in touch with any Congressmen yourself? Because there are some who have raised these issues, includinggranted he's a Presidential candidatebut Ron Paul [R-Tex.] has been very forceful in the aftermath of Libya on the question of the right of the President to declare that he can go in and take out the leader of a foreign country!
Boyle: Well, I'm afraid we're going to have to work with the Republican members of Congress. I personally don't see any of the Democrats having the courage, the integrity, and the principles to impeach Obama. In fact, when they were in the House of Representatives, and later controlled the House of Representatives, they refused my offer to draft the bill of impeachment against [George W.] Bush Jr. on the Iraq War.
Schlanger: Yes, they protected Bush Jr.!
Boyle: So, you have the Democrats basically running interference for Bush Jr.
Now, as for Ron Paul: Yes, he's made these statements, and in fact, he has hired on [Constitutional law expert] Bruce Fein, who has also called for the impeachment of President Obama. I think that's a good sign: I think people need to be contacting Ron Paul and telling him that it's urgent to put in that bill of impeachment right away, to head off a war against Iran and/or Syria, that could be a catastrophe.
In addition, then, people need to contact their own members of Congress. Members of Congress must respond to their own constituents. They do not need to respond to any other constituents if they don't want to. But if you are their constituent, they will respond to you, they will listen to you; and you need to buttonhole them personally, when they come back to their district, and demand that they put in a bill of impeachment. And you're free to tell them that I'm willing to serve as counsel to them, free of charge, on this matter.
I discussed this with my own member of Congress here, repeatedly, and so far, he isn't willing to go that far. I guess he's considering my latest offer, so we'll see what happens. I've done the best I can. But the truth is, none of these other members of Congress are going to respond to me; they will respond to their own constituents, personally pressuring them to put in that bill of impeachment....
And by the way, Obama, if we don't stop him, undoubtedly is going to murder more U.S. citizens. That's for sure. He has a list. We have no idea who's on there, or how they got on there.
Schlanger: Is there anything that can be done through the Freedom of Information Act, to force that out?
Boyle: You can try. But you know, these days, there are so many exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act, it's going to be hard to get some
Schlanger: So it's going to take impeachment to stop them from murdering American citizens?
Boyle: I think that's correct. I think if we put in a bill of impeachment on that issue, as well, that could have a deterrent effect....
Schlanger: I think one of the things we have to look at is that as a culture, we've gone away from the idea that citizens have a responsibility.
I'll just call your attention to an article that appeared in the Danish press, which compared the treatment of the Nazi leaders at Nuremberg to what we did to Qaddafi, and made the point that, unless you establish these higher principles of natural lawthat people are entitled to a trial, so that you can demonstrate the difference between their peremptory murder versus a civilization that tries to demonstrate that there's something different. We responded in precisely the way that we're accusing Qaddafi of having responded! And I think as a culture, we've lost this higher sense of principle.
Boyle: You're correct on that, in that Stalin wanted to take out the top Nazi leaders and shoot them; and also Churchill wanted to take out the top Nazi leaders and shoot them. And it was the United States government, President Roosevelt, who took the position that: No! What then, separates them from us? They're entitled to due process of law. And so we had the Nuremberg Tribunal. The Nazis were given more due process of law than Obama has now given to three U.S. citizens, just putting aside Qaddafi who was given no due process of law, but was murdered.
The Danger of a New World War
Schlanger: Now, I think this gets to the point I'm making of a cultural question, which is also related to an area where I think you've done a lot of work, which is historical precedent. From what I know from your most recent book on United Ireland, but also looking at some of your speeches, you raised the point on the Iran war, that anyone who knows the origins of World War I and World War II, could clearly see that this would set off World War III. And I think there are very few people who actually know what the Balkan cockpit was: Mr. LaRouche is referring to the area from Iran, Turkey, stretching into Pakistan, all the way to China, as a "new Balkans."
Boyle: Now, wait. On that point, let's go point by point: I do agree with that analysis. There were two Balkan wars, and then the third incident in the Balkans was Sarajevo, that led to World War I. We have now had two "Balkan wars" in the Gulf: Gulf War I, by Bush Sr., which I tried to impeach him for; Gulf War II, by Bush Jr., which I tried to impeach him for; and in both cases, tried to stop; and now, if we do not stop Obama, we will have Balkan War III, in the Gulf against Iran, that will result in World War III, eventually, given everything.
Indeed, it's very serious. You know, [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin visited Iran, came back, held a press conference and saidand you know, Putin's no angel; he's a KGB guybut, in any event, he came back and said, "I see no evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons." Whereupon President Bush Jr. called a press conference, and ranted and raved about World War III! (I have that cited in my book, Tackling America's Toughest Questions).
But World War III would not be fought against Iran; it would be fought against Russia. So basically, Bush was saying to Putin, "we are willing to risk World War III if we don't get our way against Iran." Likewise, Bush also instructed his neo-con ambassador to the UN [Kalmay] Khalilzad to threaten World War III at the UN Security Council, which he did.
Now, you know, in my lifetime, and even before, you would have to go back to the rantings and ravings of Hitler and Mussolini, and [Japanese Prime Minister Hideki] Tojowhere leaders were actually threatening world wars if they did not get their way. And that shows you how extremely dangerous this situation is!
'All Options Are on the Table'
Schlanger: Well, we just have a few more minutes, but I wanted to get to this deeper question of principle, where you made the point, that when someone says, "all options are on the table," as Bush said, and now, also, Obama has said, repeatedly.
Boyle: And Mrs. [Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton has said that, too.
Schlanger: Yes. And this is a justification of the use of force, including nuclear weapons, you also mentioned that the doctrine of "preventive self-defense" was used by the Nazis at Nuremberg. So, we're heading down a road where the current President of the United States is making threats and taking actions which are in violation of the Constitution, and threaten World War III: So it's from that standpoint, then, that you see the urgent need to get an impeachment motion going?
Boyle: That's correct. I think if we don't stop Obama, that seems to be the direction in which he is moving. Certainly that is what the U.S. news media is calling for, across the board, if you have a look at it. They're trying to manufacture consent for a war against Iran. Nothing could be clearer; indeed, this has been going on for quite some time; after Obama was elected, but before he was installed [as President], the neo-cons and Cheney pushed Bush Jr., to attack Iran. So a very heavy push was on at that time, during the interim between the election and the new administration. All the news media were heavily pushing for war against Iran. And basically, all that saved us was that Bush Jr. saidyou know, he already had started wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, and he was just going to leave this problem to his successor! That's all that saved us then.
So now, we're dealing with his successor. He is facing an election next year, and clearly he will be calculating, how will a war against Iran play in my Presidential election prospects, especially when the economy is down the toilet!
You know, Larry Summers stole everything, stole a trillion dollars, and gave it to the banks and insurance companies, and bailed out Wall Street; there is nothing to give to Main Street! So, it could be that Obama will conclude that the only card he can play to get reelected is war and rally 'round the flag, and he will then coopt all the U.S. news media on his behalf and all the neo-cons, and the right wing of the Republican Party will also salute and ship out! So, it's a very dangerous type of situation here, yes.
Schlanger: Yes, I saw that yesterday Mitt Romney, who seems to be heading toward the Republican nomination, was attacking Obama for "not being strong enough" in moving for war in the Middle East.
Boyle: Yeah, Romney and I were section mates at Harvard Law School in our first year. We took all our classes together for a year, and he's turned out to be a total disgrace. There's no question about it.
The Twenty-Fifth Amendment
Schlanger: Let me just conclude then, with this final question: You had said thatI guess it was in '91 or '92, when Bush Sr. pulled backin his autobiography, he said he was afraid of facing an impeachment hearing....
One of the things Mr. LaRouche has said is, we need to get an impeachment resolution in, for precisely the reasons you're saying; but he's also saying that you could make the case under Article 4 of the 25th Amendment, that the President is not competent, that he's making policy decisions which show that he's not capable of serving as President. And I was wondering if you had any thoughts on that?
Boyle: Well, I haven't read the 25th Amendment in a while, but I believe that would require the agreement by his Cabinet, and basically everyone in the Cabinet that I see are yes-men and yes-women. So I don't really see that happening there. I don't think that is going to happen, between you and me, with all due respect to Mr. LaRouche. I think, you know, the same argument was made on Bush Jr., and there was a lot of literature, even by psychiatrists, saying there was something seriously wrong with Bush Jr.
Schlanger: Justin Frank wrote a book, Bush on the Couch.
Boyle: Right, I read the book. So, if Bush Jr.'s Cabinet didn't do it; and I don't really see Obama's Cabinet doing it. So I think we need to put all of our effortswith all due respect there, to Mr. LaRouchewe need to put all of our efforts into getting one member of Congress, just one, like Henry B. Gonzalezcourage, integrity, principles, and guts, that Henry B. hadand put that bill of impeachment in right away, and then publicize it to send the strongest message we can, to Obama himself, personally.
Schlanger: You may not know this, but Henry B. Gonzalez was the one person in Congress who brought our organization in, in the person of John Hoefle, to testify against the financial derivatives legislation, that freed up the speculative markets that led to the collapse of 2008! So, Gonzalez was a very unique character.
Boyle: He chaired the House Banking Committee at that time, when I was counsel to him on the impeachment effort, and he was using his powers, as chair of the House Banking Committee, to get documents and arguments and everything else, that he could then funnel into the Bush Sr. impeachment campaign; yes, you're right.
Schlanger: I want to thank you for joining us. And you made the call out to our listeners to get on the Congress now. You know now that there's a prestigious attorney, Francis Boyle, who's prepared to draft the bill of impeachment. So, we need more pressure on the Congress, and the quicker, the better, because World War IIIthese kinds of things happen very quickly, and without much warning, and the warning is already there: The fuse has been lit.
So thank you very much for joining us today.
Boyle: Right. This is exactly how World War I started with a spark there in the Balkans: And 10 million people died. We commemorate that on Nov. 11, and it'll be worse, I'm afraid in the Gulf, if we don't act now. You know, this is supposed to be a democracy. We, the people, are supposed to be in control! So we need to get off our duffs and stop watching TV, and stop playing games on the Internet, and get into action for the sake of this democracy, our Republic, our Constitution, and now, for all humanity, that I think personally is at risk, if we don't do something immediately.
Schlanger: And if we do have listeners who want to contact you, is there an email address or something where they could reach you?
Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org; But they don't need to contact me! They need to contact their member of the U.S. House of Representatives! ...