Watch Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey argue, in response to questions from Alabama’s Senator Jeff Sessions, that “international permission” provides the “legal basis” for military action by the United States.
The whole clip is worth listening to. But if you’re short on time, listen to 2:40 through 4:40. Sessions asks if Panetta thinks the Administration could act militarily in Syria without Congressional approval. “[The Administration's] goal,” says Panetta, “would be to seek international permission, and we would come to the Congress and inform you. . . .”
Informing Congress: How thoughtful of them! At least the poor dear don’t have to just hear it on the news with the rest of us.
Remember when Congressional approval used to be the legal basis? Remember the Constitution?
This isn’t just a Democratic problem, of course. World War II was our last declared war. But it’s getting worse. President Bush at least got Congressional approval for Afghanistan and Iraq. President Obama, on the other hand, claimed he didn’t have time to meet with members of Congress before taking military action in Libya. And now Secretary Panetta tells Senator Sessions that the Administration would seek permission from NATO or the UN before intervening in Syria, but not from the United States Congress.
(And a tip of the hat to North Carolina Renegade)