As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, March 06, 2008

L'Etat, C'est Moi

Another day, another novel legal imterpretation to evade Congression input:

The Bush administration yesterday advanced a new argument for why it does not require congressional approval to strike a long-term security agreement with Iraq, stating that Congress had already endorsed such an initiative through its 2002 resolution authorizing the use of force against Saddam Hussein.

The 2002 measure, along with the congressional resolution passed one week after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks authorizing military action "to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States," permits indefinite combat operations in Iraq, according to a statement by the State Department's Bureau of Legislative Affairs.

Of course an authorization to use force against Saddam Hussein still applies! Haven't you ever seen Dawn of the Dead?

They're really grasping at any straw they can, and considering that Congress has failed to hold them accountable for this whatsoever, they'll probably get away with it. And by the way, this is not just about Iraq; this is about making sure that any other potential war doesn't need Congressional oversight or authorization, either. If they need an October surprise to win the election, they don't want to have to mess with any pesky "laws" in order to make it happen. So the precedent of using the 2002 AUMF is also about a pretext to use the September 20, 2001 AUMF for Afghanistan to strike any "terrorist" anywhere in the world. And we know who comes up with the definition of a terrorist.

(Of course, it's also a problem to allow a status of forces agreement to pass without Congressional authorization, as it makes it very difficult for the next President to unentangle an Iraq commitment.)

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