Andy Jacobs, Jr. was born in Indianapolis in 1932, served in the House of Representatives for 15 terms, and as a result knows how Washington, DC operate. Mr. Jacobs served in Congress with President Bush I. He is a former Marine and saw heavy combat in Korea. He has written three books, “The 1600 Killers: A Wake-up Call for Congress,” “The Powell Affair, Freedom Minus One” and “Slander and Sweet Judgment - The Memoir of an Indiana Congressman.”

Kevin Zeese: Does the decision making process, particularly the decision to go to war, adhere to the requirements of the U.S. Constitution? Is Congress fulfilling its Constitutional duties - standing up for the Constitution and in the Congressional responsibility of providing a check and balance to the president?

Andy Jacobs: NO. Listen to Congressman Abe Lincoln. In a letter dated February 15th 1848, the congressman said, in part, “...The provision in the Constitution giving the War-making power to Congress, was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons. Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This our convention understood to be the most oppressive of kingly oppressions: and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one [person] should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us, but your view destroys the whole matter, and places our President where Kings have always stood...”

I cast the Indianapolis vote in the U.S. House against the "War Powers Act" because, in effect, it purported to give the president part of the exclusive Congressional authority and responsibility to decide about war and was therefore unconstitutional (dare I say) as Hell. Referring to reports that U.S. bombing of Iran was being considered by this Administration (a rumor that is already helping the current Iran government become popular with its public), our fearless - at a safe distance - Sec. of Defense recently said, “It is the President's decision.” It most emphatically is not. The Constitution gives a president no role in deciding if we go to war. He or she can ask the Congress for a Declaration, as Roosevelt found time to do the day after Pearl Harbor. Moreover, any sensible interpretation would mean that the Executive, through the Military, certainly would have the authority to shoot back on the spot if such an attack against our country would take place or were clearly about to take place.

To say that Article Two, Section Two, making the President Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, means the President can decide whether we start a war is as ridiculous as saying that the title, “chief of police” gives that official authority to enact criminal law. In both cases, the executive's duties are to execute the policies established by the legislative branches, except that, in the case of the President, there isn't even a presidential signature mentioned in the Constitution with regard to a declaration of war. We're talking about the Constitution presidents swear to God they will "preserve, protect and defend." How many President's have even read it?

KZ: What are your views on whether impeachment is appropriate for President Bush and Vice President Cheney?

AJ: Ambivalent. Mr. Bush's father and I are friends; I'm very fond of him. Nevertheless, here is the case for impeachment proceedings: Despite the 2002 congressional resolution purporting to delegate congressional authority to the President to decide WHETHER the U.S. would start a war against Iraq, under Article One, Section Eight, clause eleven, it remained quite unconstitutional for him to do so. But the President additionally violated another Article of the Constitution by ordering our Armed Forces to invade. Article Six provides, "...and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land;..."

The United Nations Charter is a multilateral treaty to which the United States is a signatory. It is a treaty "made under the authority of the United States." The Charter provides that no member state may initiate war against another country unless that country has attacked or is clearly about to attack the first country OR unless the initiating country obtains the UNANIMOUS and specific consent of the Security Council to star war. Neither of those conditions was met when President Bush told our military to start the war. I believe he said the U.N. was becoming "irrelevant." His "search and seizure" without warrant (the '79 law, perhaps constitutionally, gives him three days, after the fact, to get the warrant) suggests that he thinks the same of the Constitution. I don't know whether it's accurate, but he President has been quoted by one columnist as saying of the sacred American document, "It's just a G-- D----- piece of paper."

Now, make your own conclusion: Does a presidential violation of Article One, Section Eight plus violation of Article Six, justify impeachment and removal? Let's see, the Constitution says such action is in order for “high crimes.” Would violation of "the supreme Law of the Land" (Art. 6) possibly be a “high crime?”

KZ: You are from Indiana, what are your views of Senator Lugar's leadership?

AJ: I admire and am very fond of Sen. Lugar. He has made many sensible statements about the Iraq fiasco, especially before the obscenity started. I would feel better if his lawyers had given him better legal advice about that 2002 resolution

KZ: How should Democrats distinguish themselves from the president and from Congressional Republicans?

AJ: Well, here we must call on the immortal humorist Will Rogers who said, "I am a member of no organized political party; I am a Democrat." Of course, some congressional Democrats are pretty much indistinguishable from the President and congressional Republicans (a few Republicans are, too). But I must say that there are too many public officials in both parties who are scared of things that aren't scary. I believe the phenomenon is sometimes called, "goosy." My Democratic Congressional friends might look up the dogma of Popeye, "I yam what I yam."

KZ: You were replaced by Rep. Julia Carson. How is she on the Iraq war?

AJ: She is my little sister. I love, admire and am profoundly proud of her. Shortly before casting the Indianapolis House vote against the 2002 Iraq resolution, she told me that, in view of the jingoism of the hysterical moment where emotions took precedence over reason, she expected to lose the next election. Her decision to cast the vote in opposition not only reflected wisdom, but also courage. When I was a teenage Marine in infantry combat, my mother wrote to me, “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” Julia Carson obviously says her prayers and also says, “political death, be not proud.” P.S. She won the 2004 election, a Profile in Courage. Let's let Kipling say a few words: “Then it is the brave [one] chooses, while the coward stands aside, doubting in his abject spirit while his Christ is crucified.”

KZ: What are your thoughts regarding Rep. Pete McCloskey (D-CA) coming out of retirement to challenge Rep. Richard Pombo, who wants to sell public lands?

AJ: Pete McCloskey may not be one of a kind, but is among very few of a kind. As is the case with my little sister Julia, he is wise and stunningly courageous - as a Marine infantry combat platoon leader in Korea, he was awarded the Navy Cross. He was the first member of Congress to file the initially unpopular impeachment resolution in connection with Watergate, reflecting the words of the old spiritual, "I have to live with my truth whether you like it or not." Manny more grew to like it. My thoughts about Pete's run for Congress this year are that I sent him a NON-PAC contribution. The gutsy Hoosier broadcaster, Elmer Davis surely was thinking about the likes of Julia Carson and Pete McCloskey when he said, "This country was not created by cowards and it will not be maintained by them either." (emphasis added)

KZ: Regarding the Iraq war, what is next, what needs to be done?

AJ: It was reported this morning (4-12-06) that Newt Gingrich essentially advocates orderly and speedy withdrawal of our forces from Iraq. Perhaps he's had lunch with Jack Murtha (another Marine combat veteran). Some say that continued slaughter of our young Americans in Iraq honors those whose “lives, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” have already been illegally confiscated by their rogue government. Others, including me, say throwing good money after bad in Vegas is irrational, even, you might say, stupid. The latter logic applies to the can of worms, nay, the drum of snakes our government has gratuitously opened in Iraq, except that in Iraq, the three hundred billion dollars borrowed on our kids' credit cards is a mere pittance compared with the beings of those patriotic young military Americans who were forced to become political props for unworthy politicians, yclep War Wimps ("all too willing to send others, but never get around to going themselves")

When we had the 1969 all-night U.S. House debate on Vietnam, I was asked if I favored withdrawal of our forces from Vietnam without “any quid pro quo.” My answer: “I don't know what the Gentleman means by 'quid pro quo,' but if I were the father of a kid who was spared being shot dead there for no reason involving the defense or even well-being of our country, that would be 'quid pro quo' enough for me.”

The only Americans in any danger from Hussein Iraq - an enemy of al Qaeda because of Hussein's secularism - were the ones sent there to be crushed to death. So far As I can see, the only ones helped by this blunder, are al Qaeda and its ilk who tell the Arab world, “You see, we told you the West is up to its old ways: Crusades of Western expeditionary armies against the Moslem world.” We should stop helping that grisly gang.

Kevin Zeese, Director of DemocracyRising.US and a candidate for US Senate see