LAKE JACKSON, Texas (BUSINESS WIRE) – Today Congressman and 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul issued the following statement in response to comments by Obama Defense Secretary Leon Panetta regarding military options in Syria. See comments below.
“Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s recent statements once again illustrate the Obama administration’s blatant disregard for the rule of law and our Constitution.
“For President Obama’s head of the Defense Department to state that international permission, rather than congressional approval, is what would be needed as a legal basis to initiate a no-fly zone over Syria flies in the face of the guidelines established by our Founders.
“There is no issue more serious than war. And make no mistake, establishing a ‘no-fly zone’ is in itself an act of war.
“Our Founders understood that waging war is not something that should be taken lightly, which is why Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution gives Congress – not the President – the authority to declare war.
“This was meant to be an important check on presidential power. The last thing the Founders wanted was an out-of-control Executive Branch engaging in unnecessary and unpopular wars without so much as a congressional debate.
“But such actions should no longer come as a surprise. During the conflict in Libya last year, we saw exactly what this President thinks of following the rule of law. President Obama consulted NATO, the United Nations, and the Arab League for permission and authorization to use U.S. military force against Libya. But he utterly ignored the one body that has the legal authority to grant that permission—the U.S. Congress. That was, and still is, unacceptable.
“This is a complete 180 from what we once heard when Obama was seeking the presidency, as he spoke passionately about the abuses of the Bush Administration in violating the War Powers Act. But, like many candidates, the rhetoric did not match the disappointing reality of what he would do as President.
“I have fought my entire political career for greater transparency, greater accountability, and strict adherence to the Constitution. If elected President, I pledge to always maintain the sovereignty of the United States and remain faithful to our rule of law.”