It's a stunning admission by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Watch the exchange above between Panetta and Sen. Jeff Sessions where Panetta matter-of-factly tells Sessions that he only has to obtain international legal authority to take military action in Syria in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution under which only Congress has the power to declare war. Congress has implemented the War Powers Act to carry out its constitutional role in deciding when the U.S. can go to war. Panetta admits that he answers to an international authority, not to Congress, and is under no obligation to obtain permission from Congress to act militarily in Syria.
Equally as alarming is the testimony FBI Director Robert Mueller gave during a separate congressional hearing where he could not answer with certainty whether President Obama can order the assassination of an American citizen on American soil who he deems to be a national security threat. Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley, a critic of the administration's policy of killing American citizens, writes:
On Wednesday Mueller was asked in a congressional hearing whether the current policy would allow the killing of citizens in the United States. Mueller said that he simply did not know whether he could order such an assassination. It was the perfect moment to capture the dangerous ambiguity introduced into our system by this claim of inherent authority. I can understand Mueller deferring to the Attorney General on the meaning of his remarks, but the question was whether Mueller understands that the same power exists within the United States. One would hope that the FBI Director would have a handle on a few details guiding his responsibilities, including whether he can kill citizens without a charge or court order.
Mueller was asked whether the same criteria used to kill Americans abroad also would apply in the United States and whether the President retained the “historical” right to order such assassination on U.S. land. When asked this basic question by Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), Mueller said that he was simply unsure where the President’s authority would end, if at all, in killing citizens: “I have to go back. Uh, I’m not certain whether that was addressed or not” and added I’m going to defer that to others in the Department of Justice.” He appeared unclear whether he had the power under the Obama Kill Doctrine or, in the very least, was unwilling to discuss that power. For civil libertarians, the answer should be easy: “Of course, I do not have that power under the Constitution.”This is particularly alarming and unsettling in light of Andrew Breitbart's untimely death. There is a growing rumble among some of Breitbart's closest friends and supporters that he was executed by our own government because of the perceived threat that he posed in his promised vetting of President Obama, which might undermine his role as the nation's commander-in-chief. Breitbart, who suffered from heart problems, was presumed by authorities to have died of a heart attack, although autopsy results are still being awaited. He died on the very day, March 1, that he was set to begin releasing the findings of his research of Obama, which he promised would prove to be a bombshell. Those arguing that he was assassinated point out a congressional disclosure during the Church investigations of the CIA back in the 1970s that produced testimony of a heart attack gun developed by the spy agency that fired poisonous darts which cause the victim to suffer sudden heart failure. The presence of the toxin in the vctim is difficult, if not impossible, to detect under forensic examination according to the testimony at the time. The dart that penetrates the victim's body dissolves and leaves behind nothing more than what might appear to be a mosquito bite.