Defense Secretary re-affirms Obama administration’s unconstitutional stance
Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Following controversy over his assertion that seeking “international permission” from the UN to launch wars trumps the authority of Congress, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta re-affirmed this premise during recent testimony in which he again stated that Congress would play second fiddle to the international community.
Asked by Congressman Walter Jones, who has launched a resolution re-affirming the limits to Presidential power by making the launching of war without Congressional approval an impeachable offense, whether President Obama would seek authorization from Congress before attacking Iran or Syria, Panetta stopped short of answering in the affirmative.
“We will clearly work with Congress if it comes to the issue of the use of force,” said Panetta, backing away from comments made in March when he told a Senate Armed Services Committee, “Our goal would be to seek international permission. And we would come to the Congress and inform you and determine how best to approach this, whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress.”
However, Panetta later told Congressman Randy Forbes during the House Armed Services Committee meeting, “The commander in chief has the authority to take action that involves the vital interests of this country,” adding that the President would have to “take steps” to get Congressional approval under the War Powers Act.
“Would the approval be required before you could take military action against Syria?” asked Forbes.
“The President could in fact deploy forces if he had to if our vital interests were at stake,” said Panetta.
“So you get the support of Congress after you began military operations?” asked Forbes.
“In that particular situation, yes,” said Panetta, re-affirming that Congressional authorization would not be needed.
Asked by Forbes if the Obama administration’s position was that a consensus of opinion from the international community would be required before military action was taken, but that no such permission would be required from Congress, Panetta responded in the affirmative.
“In that situation if the international action is taken pursuant to a Security Council resolution or under our treaty obligations with regard to NATO that obviously we would participate with the international community,” said Panetta, adding that Congress would only have an influence later when it came to questions about funding the effort.
Although not as brazenly as in the first instance, Panetta’s testimony once again highlights the Obama administration’s unconstitutional position in believing it has the power to launch foreign military interventions without Congressional approval.
In June last year, President Obama arrogantly expressed his hostility to the rule of law when he dismissed the need to get congressional authorization to commit the United States to a military intervention in Libya, churlishly dismissing criticism and remarking, “I don’t even have to get to the Constitutional question.”
Obama tried to legitimize his failure to obtain Congressional approval for military involvement by sending a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner in which he said the military assault was “authorized by the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council.”
Watch yesterday’s interview with Rep. Walter Jones in which the Congressman discusses his resolution to make the launching of wars without Congressional approval an impeachable offense.