Saturday, February 17, 2007

Inconvenient Details. . .

Of his intriguing monograph, The Footnote: A Curious History, Anthony Grafton writes,
The Footnote brings what is so often relegated to afterthought and marginalia to its rightful place in the center of the literary life of the mind.
Messenger and Wizard were commenting the other day about the original terms of the Iraq War Authorization vote. I don't think it is a trivial point.

Known as H.J.Res. 114, it passed the House on October 10, 2002 by a vote of 296-133, and passed the Senate on October 11 by a vote of 77-23. It was signed into law by President Bush on October 16.

Let the record show:
  • No one was on record voting the use of U.S. Military to occupy Iraq for four years.
  • No one was on record voting the use of U.S. Military to referee in the predicted sectarian civil war that would ensue in the wake of invasion.
  • No one was on record voting to sacrifice any U.S. Military resources and assets needed in the retaliation against Afghanistan and the apprehension of Osama bin Laden in order to invade Iraq.
I submit it's germane to review what was 'authorized':
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

"Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002".
[[Page 116 STAT. 1501]]

SEC. 2. SUPPORT FOR UNITED STATES DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS.

The Congress of the United States supports the efforts by the President to--
  1. strictly enforce through the United Nations Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq and encourages him in those efforts; and
  2. obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
    The record shows:
    1. In the end, the U.N. Security Council never authorized the Anglo-American invasion to enforce its resolutions.
    2. Iraq no longer has any capacity to delay, evade and otherwise be noncompliant with any relevant Security Council resolutions.
    SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

    (a) Authorization.--The President is authorized to use the ArmedForces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to--
    1. defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
    2. enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
    The record shows:
    1. There never was any continuing threat against the national security of the United States posed by Iraq.
    2. The U.N. Security Council never passed any resolutions authorizing or mandating an Anglo-American occupation or Iraq.
    (b) Presidential Determination.--[etc., etc.]

    (c) War Powers Resolution Requirements.--[etc., etc.]
    Conclusion: the current use of the United States Military by the Bush-Cheney administration exceeds that authorized by Congress.

    25 comments:

    1. See Gary Hart on the misuse of the National Guard for the occupation of a foreign land.

      ReplyDelete
    2. Gary Hart's recent testimony:

      "We all know where the National Guard is today. It's not securing the homeland.

      ReplyDelete
    3. Since you were kind enough to post a comment on my blog, I thought I'd return the favor. I posted your comment. It is only fair you do the same:

      The reasons we invaded Iraq.

      The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to


      (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
      (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.

      (b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION.

      In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon there after as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that

      (1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq

      In other words, this legislation authorized the President to invade Iraq on a determination BY THE PRESIDENT ALONE that the UN would not enforce its own resolutions.

      Howabout that, huh? Congress wrote the President a BLANK CHECK. Your moonbat determination of the facts is irrelevant. ONLY the President's determination counts.

      Also, congress made the following determinations in support of going to war:

      1. Iraq entered into a cease-fire agreement in which Saddam agreed to:
      a) cease fire
      b) eliminate its i.) nuclear, ii.)biological, and iii.)chemical weapons programs and
      c) the means to deliver and
      d) develop them and
      e) end its support for international terrorism. (Saddam didn't cease fire, didn't eliminate his programs, continued developing means to develope weapons, continued developing means to deliver them, and continued support of Hamas AND offered support to Al Qaeda)

      2. Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Saddam had been hiding his weapons and ongoing weapons programs.

      3. Iraq threw out UN inspectors in 1998, violating the cease-fire agreement.

      4. In 1998 Congress passed a law specifically requesting the President to bring Iraq into compliance with the UN resolutions

      5. Iraq posed a continuing threat to US national security, international peace, and security in the Persian Gulf.

      6. Iraq, in violation of UN resolutions, continued in the brutal repression of its people.

      7. Iraq's failure to return people wrongfully detained, including a US serviceman.

      8. Iraq's failure to return property wrongfully seized from Kuwait.

      9. Iraq's demonstrated willingness to use WMDs against other nations and its own people.

      10. Iraq's continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including a 1993 attempt to assassinate former President Bush, and attacks on nations enforcing the No-Fly zone.

      11. Members of Al Qaeda were known to be in Iraq

      12. Iraq's continued support of international terrorism

      13. The risk Saddam's WMDs posed to the United States in Saddam's hands or in the hands of international terrorists

      14. The established US policy towards Iraq was for regime change

      (These are all supported in the "whereas" sections of the bill).

      ReplyDelete
    4. "Your moonbat determination of the facts is irrelevant. ONLY the President's determination counts."

      Making a note, Fabulinus, the next time I visit your fabulous site, I will not attempt to confuse or distract you with facts. As for the
      "president's determinations", I, for one, have had my fill of them. But you have not, clearly. So help yourself to another glass of Kool-Aide, on the house.

      In the meantime, you will wear out your welcome in my pages with another long-winded rendition of whereas statements, which could have been accomplished with a link, and required less space.

      ReplyDelete
    5. I really need to comment here.... but I'm just not sure what to say....

      First vigilante is no "moonbat." and I'm actually getting tired of the name calling here in the blogosphere, but it will go on whether I like it or not. Still, such characterizations hinder the free flow of ideas and conversations.

      On the other hand, I found fabulinus' recitation of the factors included in the original justification of war to be helpful. I appreciate he took the time to comment.

      We must periodically look back to get a clear picture of the direction forward. And, we must remember, that many, many people agree with the views presented by fabulinus. At one time this was the vast majority view. Only recently has it become the minority view.

      Oh, and by the way, I still think messenger's original point about occupation, now amplified by vigilante, is right on target.

      the Wizard.....

      ReplyDelete
    6. It's fascinating how much the rightwing armchair warmongers want to own this historical and tragic American misjudgement by making sure we know that its control has been usurped by the Decider President. I guess they'll blame Congress and Clinton later when the the consequences of this horrendous tactical error become impossible to ignore by the koolaiders--by the Ides of March?.

      ReplyDelete
    7. Reading fabulinus' comment I'm reminded of what someone, Frank Rich I believe, said concerning the "Decider's" performance as Commander-In-Chief in Operation Iraqi Freedom. If you concede the point that the invasion of Iraq was a vital part on the "War On Terror", which I am not, it has been blundered so badly by incompetent political hacks appointed by the Bush administration on both the military and reconstruction aspects that those are reasons alone to impeach him and Cheney along with criminal indictments for Rummy and many others for endangering national security.
      The current people still calling for a military victory in Iraq are unbelievably still ignoring how stretched OUR ground forces are with many being sent on their FOURTH combat tour. Even the most reactionary military officer knows that you can not repeatably send the same people into combat time and time again. And fabulinus as a 21 years in service vet myself I have yet to see any evidence of you neocon types being gung-ho enough to put your lives on the line for the war you support so much in numbers enough so the troops already serving could have some relief. In fact its been well documented that the military has substantially lowered standards to give recruiters a chance to make their quota.
      You can applaud all you want about the building of cinder block high schools and the discovery weapons caches, dear god we had to leave so many captured caches unguarded because we did not have enough troops going in to be pillaged at will by the insurgents, but the fact remains that the average Iraqi has less of the things like electricity, medical care, and simple safety than they had under Saddam.
      Yeah, the Mad Master Ferret was given a blank check by a the last congress but hopefully this one will call it back because no matter the Ferret's "determination" he and his kin have screwed the pooch so badly that if you do want to win this war you and a bunch others need to sign up and join the fun over there before we are kicked out. Of course you might make it there just in time for the pending fun in Iran. Sorry Vigil, to long again. Delete it if you want.

      ReplyDelete
    8. Not a word of that would I think of deleting, Beach. None of it has a 'whereas' in it; it's all shock & awe. A great rant, on point and point on, and I have nothing to add. Of course it, doesn't mean it will get by Pekka's red pencil though: just that I will fold on what I was going to say.

      ReplyDelete
    9. Wasn't it not too long ago that Vigilante denounced Wizard for his Byzantine Symmetry?

      Doesn't it seem that Wizard now brings his 'good offices' in here to offer his diplomatic services to soften debate and facilitate consensus?

      Has he become the MODERATOR?

      ReplyDelete
    10. Pinks, the right wing vendetta now has Murtha at the top of their *hit list. They'll get around to Clinton later, for sure.

      Cooper, I don't take back much I've said about Wizard, (or to him). With him, I have acquired a love-hate taste. He's such a smart guy, it's an unending puzzle to me why he thinks the way he does, and why he reads Michelle Malkin everyday. He's definitely not kicked his Kool-Aide habit yet! The struggle to recover Wizard's soul is the struggle for Everyman's Soul, writ small, I guess. He's a delight, I grudgingly concede.

      ReplyDelete
    11. db cooper, This place is a lot more engaging when there are multiple points of view to consider. If we have only Skip and vigilante's faithful dozen, there is little real discussion.

      But you are right, I'm not the moderator. I certainly apologize if I've stepped on vigilante's toes.

      vigilante, You are right. I read The Huffington Post, the Daily Kos and The Vigil every day. I also read Michelle Malkin, the Gay Patriot and LGF.

      The real question in my mind, is why don't all of you?

      ReplyDelete
    12. Please excuse this interuption. I want all of my friends to know that I have been locked out of my own Humble Opinions by Google's upgrading process. I am now posting on Paws de Deux. If Google ever works it out, I may return to Humble Opinions, or maybe not. Who knows? In the meantime, please come and vist?

      ReplyDelete
    13. Fabulinus is an unusual name. I suspect it is from the latin "Fabulin" which means "I am a right wing neo conservative nut job who has no clue as to what is going on in the real world.

      It could also be an extension of "fabul" which means "I have no children, or other family members fighting in BushCo's war."

      Wow! That latin is really something isn't it???

      Great post here Vigil, but I got distracted by the comments:-)

      ReplyDelete
    14. Why do I read Michelle Malkin? Because of stories like this one about Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman.

      Kareem is on trial for his life. He has committed the ultimate sin. He was a blogger for Women's Rights and Freedom of Speech in Egypt.

      His case has become a world wide cause with Amnesty International, the United Nations and virtually the entire Italian Government attemping to intercede on his behalf.

      Rep. Barney Franks has also issued a personal plea for the Egyptian government to spare Kareen's life.

      With over 100 bloggers writing over at The Huffington Post, guess how many have even bothered to write a single sentence about this case? None.

      And how many times has The Daily Kos protested on behalf of this crusader for Women's Rights and Free Speech? Not once, not ever.

      There was a time, before Bush, when I could depend on the Liberal Journals to keep me informed about issues involving both Women's RIghts and Free Speech.

      Now, I have to rely on Michelle Malkin.

      ReplyDelete
    15. vigilante, I apologize for being so off topic on your site with my above post. But the situation with Kareem really pissed me off.

      Delete it if you wish. I will be writing about this late on my site.

      the Wizard....

      ReplyDelete
    16. Vigilante, this may not be an appropriate post here, but I found the link to the pictures of the wounded marine: hardly marginalia.

      Here is what war is about as Tony Snowjob rants about "benchmarks."

      Please note that this site portrays the savage effects of the war; not to mention those scary megachurches.

      Hi madmike and beachbum...

      ReplyDelete
    17. ... defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq;

      This give the President the authority he needs to stay in Iraq as long as he wants.

      Big mistake. They never should have let that "continuing threat" language stand. It's an open-ended invitation to ongoing war.

      ReplyDelete
    18. I'm not computer bright enough to do the research, but I seem to remember that the weapons inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq at the behest of the Bush administration shortly before we invaded. Am I wrong about that?

      ReplyDelete
    19. Wizard, I'm speaking as an accused member of 'Vigilante's faithful dozen':

      As far as I am concerned, you can come around all you want and moderate. Moderation sums you up. You shed your moderation when your moderate sensibilities are offended in faraway lands, such as Afghanistan, Darfur, Iran, and Egypt. When it comes to the evils perpetrated by your homies in the GOP, that's when you regain your 'moderation'.

      You are moderate in all things, moderate and myopic, not to mention presumptuous. What makes you so sure that I don't look at Michelle Malkin? Maybe I find nothing sufficiently noteworthy, huh?

      And while you're moderating in here, if some beef with Huffington bloggers comes to you, why do you piss it out all over us, instead of taking it up with Huffington bloggers?

      ReplyDelete
    20. Don't you get it, Wizard? As Greg Sargent puts it:

      Malkin and her compadres are trying to accomplish one thing, and one thing only: They want to staunch the flow of images back to America of President Bush's disastrous war in Iraq. With public opinion turning against the war, the demonization of the news orgs represents a desperate and flailing last-ditch effort to discredit the people bringing the awful carnage of the war to American audiences.

      It's Malkin's mission to stop the honest kind of reporting done by BBC.

      My attention was drawn to this by M.D. at Swiftspeech. If I had M.D.'s time, energy, etc., I'd try to produce a Malkin-flavored
      kool-aid drink for you. (I definitely need to hire staff around here.)

      ReplyDelete
    21. Hey, Wiz, the next time you see her, ask Michelle about Capt. Jamil Gholaiem Hussein, okay?

      ReplyDelete
    22. Thanks for all the input and advice.

      I find it useful and enlightening to consider a wide variety of viewpoints.

      I'll continue to drop by. I consider vigilante's writings to be among the most valuable.

      ReplyDelete
    23. So, where are we?

      Senator Biden agrees with me:

      "We gave the President that power to destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and, if necessary, to depose Saddam Hussein.

      The WMD were not there. Saddam Hussein is no longer there. The 2002 authorization is no longer relevant to the situation in Iraq.
      "

      No need to re-write the original Oct 2002 authorization of the use of force on Iraq. Ever since Saddam was captured in December of ‘03, that authorization has been exceeded by our unauthorized occupation. So, ip so facto, Bush-Cheney’s policies have violated the limits of that constitutional authority, and should be awarded no further funding.

      ReplyDelete
    24. Fabulinus: Brevity is a virtue. PS: they drank Flavor-Aide at Jonestown.

      ReplyDelete