Past and present Congresspersons from across the
political spectrum insist that if they had known then, what they know now, they
would never have allowed President Bush to use the conditional authority they
had provided him to launch a pre-emptive war against Iraq.
Of course, they should have known when they gave him that authority in October,
2002 that their basic presumption
"Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United
States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains
in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among
other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological
weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting
and harboring terrorist organizations"
Should have known, because in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm, the
International Atomic Energy Agency Action Team on Iraq was established by UN
Security Council Resolution 687 and was charged with overseeing the destruction
[or removal from Iraq] of all nuclear-weapons-usable materials, components and
subsystems, plus any and all related research, development, support or manufacturing
In what amounted to his final report as Director-General, Hans Blix concluded
in 1997 that;
"Most of the IAEA activities involving the destruction, removal and
rendering harmless of the components of Iraq's nuclear weapons programme, which
to date have been revealed and destroyed, were completed by the end of 1992."
Of course, when Bush got Congress to give him that conditional authority to
use force, he assured them he was committed to seeking a diplomatic solution.
He got the UN
Security Council to pass Resolution 1441, which required Iraq to provide
the IAEA and other UN inspectors "immediate, unimpeded, unconditional and
unrestricted access" to any and all "areas, facilities, buildings,
equipment, records and means of transport," as well as "private access"
to all pertinent officials.
Consequently, IAEA Director-General was able to report to the Security Council
7, 2003 that
"Since the resumption of inspection a little over three months ago, and
particularly during the three weeks since my last ordered report to the council,
the IAEA has made important progress in identifying what nuclear-related capabilities
remain in Iraq and in its assessment of whether Iraq has made any effort to
revive its past nuclear program during the intervening four years since inspections
were brought to a halt.
"At this stage, the following can be stated:
"One, there is no indication of resumed nuclear activities in those buildings
that were identified through the use of satellite imagery as being reconstructed
or newly erected since 1998, nor any indication of nuclear-related prohibited
activities at any inspected sites.
"Second, there is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import uranium
"Three, there is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import aluminum
tubes for use in centrifuge enrichment."
Hans Blix, since 1998 the Chairman of the UN Monitoring,
Verification and Inspection Commission, gave a similar, although less
conclusive, null report about Iraq's chemical, biological and ballistic
In other words, the Congressional presumptions of October 2002 and
the Cheney Cabal allegations of 2002 and 2003 about Iraq's weapons
programs were all wrong! Saddam Hussein was not a threat even to his
neighbors, much less to the United States.
Well, we all certainly had a close call. If Congresspersons hadn't made their
authorization conditional, namely –
"In connection with the exercise of the authority … to use force, the
President shall … make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives
and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that … reliance
… on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone will not adequately protect
the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed
then Bush could have ignored the null reports of ElBaradei and Blix,
could have defied the UN Security Council and the UN Charter, could
have launched a pre-emptive war of aggression against Iraq.
But Congress had made his authority conditional, and the Congressional
conditions had clearly not been met. Hence, Bush hadn't been authorized
by Congress to use US Armed Forces against Iraq.
So, where has Congress been since March 20, 2003?
Why haven't they impeached Bush? And Cheney?
If not immediately, in 2003, then why not in the years since, as the gravity of their crime has become more and more apparent?
Or, at a minimum, have hearings on how Bush was allowed to "exercise authority" he didn't have?
But Congress didn't even do that. So, is that why their baffled and
betrayed constituents threw many of those Congresspersons out of office
Did they intend to elect a Congress that would truly provide "oversight" on the President and his vigilante posse?
Were they truly alarmed about the resolutions Congress passed last
year about Iran that read almost verbatim like the resolutions Congress
passed in the years immediately preceding Bush's pre-emptive war of
aggression against Iraq?
Did they expect House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid
to place enforceable conditions on Bush's authority to launch a
pre-emptive war of aggression on Iran?
Well, if they did, then they've been fooled again.
According to the Associated
Press, Pelosi and "other members of the leadership" decided to
remove from a "major military spending bill" a requirement that the
President get prior approval from Congress before launching a pre-emptive attack
Well, for one thing, after putting the requirement in, Pelosi was reportedly
loudly "booed" when she appeared before an American Israel Public
Affairs Committee hoohah.