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(Washington Post)   President Bush's opinion about a possible Iraqi attack? "Congress? I don't need no steenkin' congress"   ( washingtonpost.com) divider line
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6645 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Aug 2002 at 1:13 PM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2002-08-26 12:22:30 PM  
Okay, I'll start:
Why is President Bush concerned about getting Congressional support at all? If he is so sure he is right and that Congressional approval is unnecessary, why not just forge ahead?

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said at a July 30 news conference, "Are there al Qaeda in Iraq? Yes."
By that sort of reasoning, shouldn't the U.S. then invade the U.S. to depose its leader in his presidential palace in Washington?

Critics of the Bush administration's expansive view of presidential power include some leading conservatives. "George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt never claimed war powers close to what Bush is claiming," said Bruce Fein, a constitutional scholar who was associate deputy attorney general in the Reagan administration.
In this case, then, wouldn't President Bush's ideal Supreme Court of strict constructionists (purported to be Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas) in fact find the president's actions to be unconstitutional?

Here's a link to the Persian Gulf Resolution of January 12, 1991, which the story referred to but didn't link. Since most of the justification (the "whereas" clauses) was defense of Kuwait and ousting Iraq, it seems plausible to argue that the use of power under this resolution did in fact expire in April 1991.

The administration has been trying for months to build up its case against Iraq and to bring allies on board. It has had limited success. Is it then following the wisest policy if it has to resort to legalistic justifications to do so?
2002-08-26 12:50:09 PM  
Texas- I thought the really twisted groaping legalese logic was when some hawks said that given enough evidence the gov't might re-classify a downed airman from MIA/KIA (not sure which) to a sort or status "unknown" (hinting he might be alive) and that would be enough legal reason to invade Iraq.
As much as I don't like this, there isn't much new about a President saying that he doesn't need Congress's OK to do squat. Didn't Clinton "decide" to give testimony in order to avoid setting precidence regarding a grand jury's ability to compel a President to testify?
Any man who sits in the Oval Office is going to say "I'll be polite and give you a 'heads up' but it's only 'cuz I'm being nice and not because I have to."
2002-08-26 01:16:55 PM  
So lame. My headline was better.
2002-08-26 01:17:12 PM  
Bush? BUSH? We don't need no stinking Bush!

What a maroon. Can't wait till someone a little less evil takes over...
2002-08-26 01:17:26 PM  
and people still have the balls to say Bush isn't abusing the presidency and sidestepping the laws of the country? and especially asscroft who is gonna tell anyone the now is not the time to be asking whether what the president is doing is legal or not and spitting out his McCarthyish rhetoric. God I love this country.
2002-08-26 01:18:28 PM  
<grips bridge of nose with thumb and forefinger>

I will not vote for drunken idiots next time.
I will not vote for drunken idiots next time.

There. I've had my affirmation regarding El Presidente.
2002-08-26 01:19:44 PM  
can't wait to hear:

"We don't need just cause"
"We don't need reasonable doubt"
"We don't need due process"

I swear we'll hear these soon.
2002-08-26 01:20:23 PM  
And thats Bush Sr!
2002-08-26 01:20:26 PM  

All Hail Caesar! The powers we have given him shall end the barbarian terror and preserve our safety in these troubled days of the Republic!

And some people still say history doesn't repeat itself.
2002-08-26 01:20:42 PM  
The President must get approval for this war from congress. Sure it will make things more difficult than if he just went ahead and did it, but too damn bad. If a massive preemptive attack against a sovereign nation can be done without congressional approval, the Constitutional requirements should be repealed.
2002-08-26 01:21:13 PM  
If Farkistan leaned any further to the left it would be spinning in circles. Some of you guys are as bad as the right-wing wackos who wanted Clinton's head. I mean wanted to give Clinton the shaft. You know what I mean.
2002-08-26 01:22:00 PM  
I submitted an MSN article on this... similar headline about "We don't need no stinking Congress." Heh.
2002-08-26 01:22:35 PM  
I forgot to mention it had already been submitted. @.@
2002-08-26 01:22:48 PM  
I just scanned the article, but isn't the strongest part of the case against Iraq the fact that it simply has not complied with the terms of its cease-fire? If this is the case, it seems checking with congress would be a mere formality (as it often has been in the current administration), and the international community should be fully on board.

On a side note, I wonder why Europe gets so up in arms when Israel refuses UN inspections or ignores one of their petty "resolutions", but everything is A-OK with Saddam? A tad hypocritical, no?
2002-08-26 01:22:51 PM  
No, most of us also think Clinton was crap too. We're more anti-establishment than leftist.
2002-08-26 01:23:22 PM  
[image from photos.imageevent.com too old to be available]
2002-08-26 01:23:38 PM  
The leaders of Iraq might be making a mistake seeing how far Bush will go.
2002-08-26 01:23:49 PM  
you remember back in the beginning of his term when he was joking about how much easier it would be if we lived in a totalitarian/authoritarian regime. We all kinda chuckled. I don't know how much we're chuckling anymore.
Isn't there a line somewhere between doing what's right and fascist madman?
He's president of the US, not ruler of the world. I hope he only the last Bush in the WH, and not the last president...
2002-08-26 01:24:43 PM  
Begoggle: For me this isn't about Iraqi policy. This is about following the clearly set out guidelines for taking this country to war. The framers specifically required congress to approve a war so that it would be difficult. They had no intention of letting one man be able to send troops to war unchecked.

And before you bring up Vietnam or Korea, there should have been a declaration there too. History seems to point out that when we go to war without Congressional approval, things don't work out as well.
2002-08-26 01:25:04 PM  
"some House and Senate leaders appear determined to push resolutions of support for ousting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein when Congress returns after Labor Day because they consider the issue too grave for Congress to be sidestepped."

I'm I'm reading this correctly, the senate wants to rubber-stamp something the "president" is going to do anyway lest they appear impotent? Gee, that'll fool 'em. Heh.

"Certainly, son, you can take the car to--" as the t-bird screeches out of the driveway...
2002-08-26 01:25:21 PM  

It's time for Flame War!

Two Farkers enter, one farker leaves!

Bush is affronting the Constitution as we speak. Nader '04.

Shawn Pickrell
2002-08-26 01:25:38 PM  
in russia...........
2002-08-26 01:25:38 PM  
I hope he only the last Bush in the WH

Is that a Clinton reference?
2002-08-26 01:25:43 PM  
let me add that it seems the public doesnt support the probable attacks.. and if memory serves me semi-correctly.. this would be the first time the U.S would strike first against another nation without itself or its allies being struck first.
i do not at this time support an attack.. but then again, we dont know the whole story.

-and his sons are worse than him -btw.
2002-08-26 01:26:01 PM  
Why is President Bush concerned about getting Congressional support at all? If he is so sure he is right and that Congressional approval is unnecessary, why not just forge ahead?

Every, repeat Every president believes that it is his prerogative to initiate military action since he is the commander in chief. Presidents are usually smart enough to realize that if you completely piss of the congress then they will make it extremely difficult for you in the long run getting anything accomplished. So presidents are and have always been in the business of paying lip service to the War Powers Resolution to keep the congress quiet.(regardless of party).
2002-08-26 01:26:13 PM  
I don't think they have a legal leg to stand on.
That said, Bush isn't the one saying he can make the decision on his own. He has repeatedly said he will consult Congress.
This sounds like a bunch of his idiotic lawyer buddies (Wolfowitz) who are just dying to attack.
Putting their words in Bush's mouth is a bit unfair. He's kept Wolfowitz at a distance throughout much of this. Listened to him, sure...but that's what you're supposed to do with advisers.
2002-08-26 01:26:17 PM  
You say I always played the fool
Well I can't go on, if that's the rule
Better to jump than hesitate
I need a change and I can't wait

History never repeats
I tell myself before I go to sleep
And there's a light shining in the dark
Leading me on towards a change of heart
2002-08-26 01:26:29 PM  
Don't worry about Just Cause. We will bait Saddam into an incident that starts his destruction. Why else do we pay the CIA?
2002-08-26 01:27:24 PM  
The people don't want war, the military doesn't want war,
the GOP doesn't want war, our allies don't want war.

I guess they don't understand the oil business the way the Greedy Pinhead does.
2002-08-26 01:27:40 PM  
No, no. Nader's actually WINNING the presidency would be bad. Have you SEEN his proposed policies?

I'm voting for him as a protest vote. We need to get about 25% of the population to do so. Not everyone.
2002-08-26 01:28:10 PM  
"George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt never claimed war powers close to what Bush is claiming,"

Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt already had congressional support for what they wanted to do or an already-declared war.

Let's face it, if the commander-in-chief can't command his forces without Congressional approval, that makes him a pretty sad commander-in-chief. It does raise an interesting separation of powers question though.

Personally, I think, if Bush wants to get reelected, he's gonna have to get congressional approval.
2002-08-26 01:28:52 PM  
[image from salon.com too old to be available]
2002-08-26 01:29:06 PM  
The US,land of the Free !!
[image from mediaservice.photoisland.com too old to be available]
2002-08-26 01:29:31 PM  
08-26-02 01:25:43 PM The_USAF_sucks

-and his sons are worse than him -btw.

I thought the twins were female!
2002-08-26 01:29:32 PM  
It's almost like he doesn't want to be re-elected.
2002-08-26 01:29:51 PM  
"Don't worry about Just Cause. We will bait Saddam into an incident that starts his destruction. Why else do we pay the CIA?"

It's a shame that incident might involve a small-yield nuclear device in a major city.

Would Saddam have left us alone had we left him alone? I suppose we'll never know the answer to that question.

Each Empire is created and falls in its own manner. The Republic is an Empire to the outside world, certainly.

BTW: Jugoslavia never attacked the US.

Shawn Pickrell
2002-08-26 01:30:28 PM  
Methinks the right of primogenitor is being taken a bit far, here....

This administration grows more surreal by the day.
2002-08-26 01:30:49 PM  
"God Bless Facist America"
2002-08-26 01:31:00 PM  
Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos!
2002-08-26 01:31:19 PM  
and his sons are worse than him

so true.
2002-08-26 01:31:32 PM  
"No, no. Nader's actually WINNING the presidency would be bad. Have you SEEN his proposed policies?"

I am certainly not going to agree with everything he says. But would we agree with any Presidential candidate 100%?

Shawn Pickrell
2002-08-26 01:31:43 PM  
*President swinging elbows*

"Get outta the way, I can run this war."

GW in 2003? No, Lyndon Johnson in 1967. When civilians start telling the military how to do their job, the military winds up fighting two wars. And not doing very well with either of them.

You watch, GW will order troops into Iraq and then try to micro-manage the whole shebang just to keep is public image nice and shiny. This flaming asshat is scaring me to death. I have a brother in the Air Force and another one in the Navy, both career officers. If it comes to a war, I just pray that they get to go to war their way, not Washington's way.
2002-08-26 01:32:09 PM  
[image from apoc.saburovo.com too old to be available]
2002-08-26 01:32:47 PM  

So do you think the War Powers Act is unconstitutional?

Anyways, the point is moot. Everyone knows this. Of course the President is going to act like he doesn't need Congress. And of course Congress is going to put on an act too. But everyone knows that a war without the backing of Congress would go nowhere fast. I just think it's funny how fast people jump on the hate-Bush bandwagon at the mention of his name.
2002-08-26 01:32:54 PM  
You lefties kill me. Let some Iraqi terrorist blow himself up in your town and kill 20 or 30 people and you'll be posting here saying how Bush isn't doing his job letting Americans get killed when the Democraps have been saying all along how bad Saddam is and how he needs to go!

You know I'm right, it would happen.

That is all.
2002-08-26 01:32:56 PM  
Ebell, I sure as hell won't vote for his ass if he doesn't get approval. For that matter, I'll lead the damn charge for impeachment if he doesn't get approval.

Hey, assclown, the army isn't your personal junkyard dog. They're ostentiably MY EMPLOYEES I let YOU SUPERVISE. You ask ME FIRST.


McCain? Ooooh no, can't have someone who actually fought for his country, can we? Oh wait, what about Alan Keyes? Damn, he has a sound fiscal policy - nope, he's no good. Plus he's one of...you know...THEM.
Hey, what about the son of the former head of the CIA and the guy who put the stranglehold on the military and prevented them from helping the Kurds depose Saddam Hussein in '91?

Yeah! That guy! Let's put him up on the podium!
2002-08-26 01:33:08 PM  
He would only be able to wage war for 60-90 days with the war powers act. After that he would need congressional approval to continue with troops and such. Then again he may disband the senate and take out the rebel alliance.........oh wait wrong movie.
2002-08-26 01:33:12 PM  
[image from photos.imageevent.com too old to be available]
2002-08-26 01:35:29 PM  
I hope we don't attack Iraq simply because I am SO FARKIN sick of hearing Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" mixed with news reports and/or patriotic sound bites.

And to clear up the issue of GW being the last Bush in the White House, might I remind everyone that the last president even elected by the MAJORITY of Americans was Clinton?
2002-08-26 01:36:07 PM  
It seems Bush is doing the things that he is trying to "stop" by waging war...taking down a ruthless leader who has led his people to economic and personal ruin.

If he doesn't get Congressional approval, public support will go the way of Vietnam.
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