Judge Napolitano: Obama could be considered a war criminal if US attacks Syria

Fox News Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said Monday that President Obama could be considered a war criminal under international law if the U.S. launches a military strike against Syria.

According to Napolitano, the use of military force in Syria does not meet the standards called for in any of the treaties that the U.S. has entered into since WWII.

“Looking at the treaties, we can distill some basic principles of when an attacking country may attack,” said Napolitano. “An attacking country can use military force against another country to repel an attack that has already started, or to prevent an attack that is ‘dangerously imminent’ … neither of those situations applies here. An attacking country can come to the aid of an ally with which it has a treaty when the ally has been attacked – not the case here.”

Napolitano also looked at broader spectrum: “An attacking country can attack another country in order to enforce an international norm, like shalt not use chemical weapons, when authorized to do so by the United Nations – which is not the case here.”

Napolitano says a strike in Syria would not be lawful under any of the aforementioned generic ways to wage war.

“This is potentially treacherous for Barack Obama because if he bombs Syria, he could be considered a war criminal; perhaps not by you or by me … but by an indicting magistrate in the EU, which will prevent him from ever going to the EU for the rest of his life,” Napolitano told Fox News’ KT McFarland on FoxNews.com LIVE. “There’s no statute of limitations of a charge of committing a war crime.”

Obama could face equally treacherous consequences back in the United States if he orders a military strike without congressional approval, according to Napolitano.

“What happens if Congress doesn’t go along with [the strike]?” asked Fox News Live Host KT McFarland.

“Then he’d have a very serious political problem on his hands, which might rise to the level of impeachment,” answered Napolitano. “He’d be acting against the express will of Congress. … I think he’s in a no-win situation, KT. I don’t think he’s going to get this resolution from both houses and he needs it from both houses. That will be the first time in American history that a president of the United States has sought a war-making power from the Congress and Congress has said no.”

Watch Judge Napolitano’s full analysis in the video above and for more on this topic watch Foxnews.com LIVE weekdays at 12 p.m. ET.  Read more stories from KT McFarland here and watch more interviews here