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Defense Secretary Panetta: We’d Seek “International Permission” and Then Come to Congress (VIDEO)

March 9, 2012

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What do you get when a Senator from Alabama questions the Secretary of Defense on matters of war, Congressional approval, the War Powers Act, and “international law”? A head-scratcher for the ages, no doubt.

Watch the video I’ve posted below. It’s a clip from the Senate Armed Services Committee of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) asking Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about the “legal basis” for initiating a no-fly-zone over Syria and military action, generally. I think you’ll be more than surprised by his response.

Via Breitbart:

“International Permission”…?  I’m sure that’s the line that troubled you in there.  It’s certainly the line that’s making headlines.  Is it problematic?  Absolutely.  Does that kind of mindset threaten the sovereignty of the United States of America?  Of course it does.  Even still, I’m more troubled that Secretary Panetta spoke of such things so casually.
Let’s just be real about a few things.  The “international coalition” model for justifying armed conflict around the globe has brought us here.  Spineless twits feeling the need to justify or legitimize US action is the reason we’re having this discussion.  The idea that two or three nations joining our side somehow makes a mission acceptable, just, or legitimate is why Panetta could feel so comfortably saying that his analysis would have been acceptable even under Republican administrations.
What Senator Sessions was (albeit slowly and painfully) getting to here was the fact that Congress has seemingly been taken out of the equation for “going to war”; and folks like Panetta and those that share his view are now taking the next step by ignoring altogether the Constitution as a rational basis for said action.  Perhaps, because said action wouldn’t pass constitutional muster?
We will save the War Powers Act discussion for another day.  I will, however, say that I’m certain Congressman Paul will be all over this.  Frankly, it’s one of the few areas where I believe he and I are close to being on the same page.  While I wholeheartedly support, under the WPA, the President’s right as Commander-in-Chief to take action for a limited time without Congressional approval; police actions, quasi-wars, and war-wars that go on for years without action from the Legislative Branch are completely unacceptable.  Secretary Panetta apparently disagrees.
And for the record, I mean no disrespect to our “coalition” partners over the years and the men and women they have lost serving alongside American troops.  I simply meant to make the point that a coalition that is 95% American, is hardly a coalition.
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