Comment: If the action is to defend the United States, the only

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If the action is to defend the United States, the only

permission needed or even acceptable is a Declaration of War issued by the Congress.

If the action is NOT to defend the United States, as Mr. Panetta seems to have indirectly indicated (as an alternative to a defensive operation) then HE HAS NOT THE AUTHORITY TO CARRY IT OUT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

There can be NO "legal basis" issued by ANYONE for a non-defensive military action. Period.

Such an action is an "illegal aggressive war" and is punishable by both our own laws and international law. It opens the United States up to attack in response as a "defensive measure" by whomever we attacked first.

What the hell are these people smoking?

NO ONE, not the Congress, nor the President, nor the Joint Chiefs, nor the Defense Secretary has the authority to START a war, or conduct ANY military operation, much less one overseas and consisting of combat that is NOT defensive in nature to protect the several United States and that is not pursuant to either a Declaration of War issued by Congress, or to repress insurrection or repel invasion.

If those three conditions are not met, ANY such operation is entirely ILLEGAL and anyone following any orders in the carrying out of such action is subject to arrest, imprisonment and prosecution for murder and other crimes.

And yes, by definition, without further legislation, STARTING a war, is an impeachable offense.