Thursday :: Dec 15, 2005

So Much For That Congressional Authorization

by Steve

Bush, yesterday:

BUSH: I said I made the right decision. Knowing what I know today, I would have still made that decision.
HUME: So, if you had had this — if the weapons had been out of the equation because the intelligence did not conclude that he had them, it was still the right call?
BUSH: Absolutely.

Ari Fleischer press briefing, March 19, 2003:

Q: The subsequent question I have for you is, the President in his speech two nights ago described the Iraqi threat as one that could be one to five years into the future to obtain either a nuclear weapon or something that could strike us, a non-imminent threat. In the President's mind, is he in this action, setting a precedent that the United States could now act, either preemptively or preventively, depending on how you define it, against a threat that is not an imminent one against the United States?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, here's how the President approaches this. He believes, number one, based on the reviews conducted by the attorneys, that there already exists a legal basis both in international law, as well as in domestic law, for the use of force to disarm Saddam Hussein. And that is also found in Security Council Resolution 678 and 687, as well as 1441. The President also believes that there is a gathering threat from Iraq that with the failure by Saddam Hussein to disarm of his weapons of mass destruction presents a threat to the security of the United States. And therefore, he has come to the conclusion that after exhausting the diplomacy, that military force must be used if Saddam Hussein does not get out of the country.

Bush, certifying to Congress why the invasion needed to start March 19, 2003:

Consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), and based on information available to me, including that in the enclosed document, I determine that:
(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither (A) adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and
(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

So if Bush now says he would have invaded anyway even if WMDs had been out of the equation based on the intelligence, then what does that say about this certification to Congress, and the alleged continuing threat posed by Iraq?

Bush, yesterday:

"Some of the most irresponsible comments - about manipulating intelligence - have come from politicians who saw the same intelligence I saw and then voted to authorize the use of force against Saddam Hussein. These charges are pure politics."

Knight-Ridder, today:

President Bush and top administration officials have access to a much broader ranger of intelligence reports than members of Congress do, a nonpartisan congressional research agency said in a report Thursday, raising questions about recent assertions by the president.
Feinstein asserted that the report's findings underscored how critical it is for the Republican-controlled intelligence committee to complete a long-delayed inquiry into the intelligence used by the White House to make its case for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
"This report goes to show that members of Congress were not seeing the same picture as the administration," she said. "When the Senate voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq in 2002, it was based on a more limited scope of prewar intelligence than was available to the administration."

Which means that Bush is a lying sack of shit.

Steve :: 9:15 PM :: Comments (5) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!