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':

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


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.

    (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.

    Celebrating 17 Men Who Put Country Above Party

    Yesterday, in the United States House of Representatives, 17 Republicans crossed the aisle.

    By joining with the Democratic majority, they forged a bipartisan rejection of Bush's 'doubling down' on his illegal occupation of Iraq.

    Tom Davis, Tim Johnson, Thomas Petri, Steven LaTourette, Ron Paul, Ric Keller, Philip English, Michael Castle, Mark Kirk, John 'Jimmy' Duncan, Jim Ramstad, James Walsh, Howard Coble, Fred Upton, Bob Inglis, Walter Jones, and Wayne Gilchrest

    The inevitable peeling back of the Republican rubberstamp on militarism has begun. That's progress. And it's time to recognize it.

    Still along way to go, however, to placing George W. Bush in his reserved & deserved place in history.