Defense Secretary Leon Panetta appeared at a Senate Armed Services Committee congressional hearing on March 7, and told Sen. Jeff Sessions that it was optional for the White House to seek and receive congressional approval to, say, initiate a no-fly zone over Syria.
Sen. Jeff Sessions to Panetta: “Do you think you can act without Congress and initiate a no-fly zone in Syria without congressional approval?”
Panetta: “Our goal would be to seek international permission. … Whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress — I think those are issues we would have to discuss as we decide what to do here.”
Sessions: “Well I am almost breathless about that."
I am, too! Since when does the president, or the White House administration, hold the constitututional authority to initiate acts of aggression against another nation absent congressional approval? Oh, I forgot ... Clinton initiated air strikes over Kosovo without permission from Congress, citing the War Powers Act -- which he then violated, by continuing strikes past the allowed number of days. And Obama took out U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, an assassination that was later argued as justified by his own Justice Department. What's up with Democrats and the Constitution, especially where it gives Congress the power to declare war (Article One, Section Eight)?
Why do they take political potshots at Republicans and label them warmongers, yet justify their own unconstitutional military actions as ethical, necessary for the security of our nation?
Panetta's cavalier dismissal of Congress should not be taken lightly. Haughty put-downs of America's duly elected as a means of bolstering the political image and influence of the global community -- including the very nations who seek to harm our country -- come very close to the dictionary definition of treachery.