Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 06, 2005

"I determine that ..."

The Left Coaster is up to something here and it is big trouble for Bush.

There now may be legal proof that Bush did lie to congress - an impeachable offense.

We have to look a bit into the background to follow the reasoning.

In Section 3a of the October 2002 ‘‘Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002’’, Public Law 107-243 (PDF), Congress gave the President the authority to use US armed forces under specific conditions laid out in Section 3b (emph. mine).

To use the conditional authority given under that law, the President had to determine:

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and

(2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

The president did send Congress his determination in a Presidential Letter on  March 18, 2003.

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

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.

Sincerely,

GEORGE W. BUSH

Part (1) is too vague to be seen as a breach of law or a lie. But part (2) is quite specific. To meet the condition sine qua non of part (2), to wage war on Iraq, Bush had to determine that Iraq, which is a nation, not a terrorist organization, had "planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."

Bush, by law, had to have some information of a connection between Iraq and Al Qeada to be authorized to wage this war. Without any information there can not be a determination. So what was Bush's information? 

As the NYT article today documents, the intelligence community said about the only available witness of any AlQaeda-Iraq connection, specifically of training of AlQaeda in Iraq, it was "more likely this individual is intentionally misleading the debriefers".

I have yet to find the document enclosed with Bush´s letter to Congress, but in a press briefing on the same day the letter was written, there is this exchange.

Q And one other question, which is, can the President present any show-and-tell evidence of ties to al Qaeda with Saddam, and also a nuclear potential immediately or imminently?

MR. FLEISCHER: You heard what Secretary Powell talked about when he went to the United Nations and has reiterated on a regular basis since then, as well as others in the administration, about the presence in Baghdad of al Qaeda operatives, about the involvement of al Qaeda trained in Iraq involved in the assassination of AID worker Foley in Jordan. So this has been something that has been discussed very publicly.

Q Why is the -- the CIA and FBI have never said that, backed that up.

MR. FLEISCHER: Don't think it would have been said if it hadn't been supported by them.

Fleischer asserts here, that the CIA and FBI had supported the claims.

If this is proven to be wrong, and the NYT article is the first of more such reports that I am sure will come up, Bush's determination was not based on facts and/or even contrary to facts and assessments available to him. Then, he indeed did lie to Congress.

Maybe Fitzmas was just the foreplay to the coming impeachment debate.

Posted by b on November 6, 2005 at 20:29 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Yes, the smoking guns is out. Maybe that's why the I word is hitting the airways. Impeach, impeach, impeach. Man that feels goods coming off my finger tips to my keyboard.

Posted by: jdp | Nov 6 2005 21:35 utc | 1

Maybe Fitzmas was just the foreplay to the coming impeachment debate.

thank you for a great post b. fitz is foreplay. the investigation has seduced certain leaders to have the courage to attempt to flush out the truth. the preening of the public for impeachment has begun. you can see the press starting in on the talking points trying to steer focus away from bush as more and more headings start circling around him. i remember months ago when the DSM website was raising money to run another zolgby poll about impeachment and there was much doubt about the possibility. but the left has been slowly methodically moving in this direction for a long time during which fitz has been investigating. like a tempest in a teapot the rage that have been brewing for years has finally found it's voice and i think they are ready for a fight.
forplay can only last so long before any hotblooded society
demands closure.

Posted by: annie | Nov 6 2005 21:37 utc | 2

.. someone around here pointed out at some stage that impeachment is a political process, not a legal process. Never hoppen !

Posted by: DM | Nov 6 2005 22:05 utc | 3

b, the intel community never established a connection, direct or indirect, between 9/11 and regime elements. Further, the intel community never estabished a connection between al Qaeda and regime elements independent of 9/11. In comparison to the WMD claims, there was never even any "bad" intel circulating and recirculating through the system upon which to rest the claim.

The authorization doesn't say that there had to be a connection between Iraq and 9/11 or between Iraq and al Qaeda, but that the use of force against Iraq be consistent with "necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, INCLUDING" BUT NOT LIMITED TO blah, blah, blah. I can almost guarantee that what was offered and accepted wrt the "consistent with necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations" part of the Authorization was mainly Saddam's support of the Palestinian intifada (interesting, that) and the possibility of some kind of operational relationship developing at some later date between al Qaeda and the regime. (And that's where WMD enters the scene.) They never called it the War on Al Qaeda, b. They called it The War on Terror.

With language as broad as that of the second requirement, Congress could have authorized the use of force against Syria or Iran, for heaven's sake.

Did Congress and the WH have an interest in making it seem, to those who don't read carefully, as though some connection existed between Iraq and 9/11? Absolutely. That's why the damn thing's written the way it is.

Posted by: Pat | Nov 6 2005 22:18 utc | 4

Also take notice, in Fleischer's sum-up of Powell, that each and every one of those things can be true, and yet none requires an operational relationship or even casual acquaintance between AQ and the regime. What they were meant to suggest to an audience is that such a relationship existed or might exist.

Posted by: Pat | Nov 6 2005 22:42 utc | 5

i imagine the perameters of their language are sufficient open that you could drive a troop train right through it

Posted by: r'giap | Nov 6 2005 22:56 utc | 6

@Pat - INCLUDING" BUT NOT LIMITED TO blah, blah, blah.

Where are those words in the law?

Posted by: b | Nov 6 2005 23:40 utc | 7

@pat - the law: "to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations," does not include nations in that part sentence, but it does include nations and thereby distinguish them in the next part: "including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."

This limits actions against NATIONS to those included in 9/11. At least that is what a judge would conclude. "but not limited to" is NOT part of the text and as there is no superseding law that would let one to assume that, I do not know how any legal reasoning could end up with "not limited to".

If the senate gets some backbone that is a real opening.

yet none requires an operational relationship or even casual acquaintance between AQ and the regime

The law requires the President to "determine", not to guess or act on hearsay. Law language is very precise and needs to be understood in that way.

Of course Bush may get away with this, but not until today, not until I found the precise words I thought he would be in real trouble.

He determined something to reach an authorization from law that was restricted by Congress. The determination was based on what?

Posted by: b | Nov 7 2005 0:02 utc | 8

There is no way in hell the GOP House of Representatives will vote to impeach its own party president. The prerequisite for impeachment is an economically enraged middle class electorate gone sour on Republicans enough to send them a message in November 2006.

Could happen.

Posted by: gylangirl | Nov 7 2005 0:24 utc | 9

b

american jurisprudence when it relates to those with power - especially those with political power - can be very fluid

to be crude the powerful make the rules of jurisprudence & the poor are the victims of it

what bush has lost & i believe he has lost it irrevocably with the american people - is trust

that absence of trust wull make the rest of his term hell. unfortunately he has the power to make it hell for the world too

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 7 2005 0:27 utc | 10

american jurisprudence when it relates to those with power - especially those with political power - can be very fluid

And even moreso after events this weekend in Argentina. Here's one art. link

Easiest route to pressure cheney's resignation is via "unindicted co-conspirator", allowing him to resign "for health reasons".

Beyond that, we're simply wayy too far removed from the levers of power, to know anything, so it's futile to speculate on paths of removal. I suspect the events of this weekend could begin serious discussions among the business elites. And political elites concerned Democracy Rising down South could even, god forbid, blow back to America itself. If SOP is allowed to prevail, it would mean that idiot-boy, referred to as "Human Trash" at a Major Rally by a Latin American Idol, would be Face of America for another ~3 yrs. & 3mos. I don't see that being very feasible, or healthy for anyone. (And god knows georgie is guilty of many crimes, and there's infinite blackmail beyond that, so if they really want to get rid of him, there's no shortage of possibilities.)

On the upside, if they left him in, democracy could become irreversible in Latin America 'cuz idiots too busy having fun turning even more of ME into a Slaughterhouse to have time to divert to destroying freedom in the hemisphere.

Posted by: jj | Nov 7 2005 2:02 utc | 11

@gylangirl:

Yes, but what if 2006 is like 2000 and 2004? Even the GAO is now saying that the electronic vote-count in Ohio is bogus.

In essence, the GAO study makes it clear that no bank, grocery store or mom & pop chop shop would dare operate its business on a computer system as flimsy, fragile and easily manipulated as the one on which the 2004 election turned.

The GAO findings are particularly damning when set in the context of an election run in Ohio by a Secretary of State simultaneously working as co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign. Far from what election theft skeptics have long asserted, the GAO findings confirm that the electronic network on which 800,000 Ohio votes were cast was vulnerable enough to allow a a tiny handful of operatives -- or less -- to turn the whole vote count using personal computers operating on relatively simple software.

Until the enraged middle class starts insisting on a reliable paper trail for their votes, 2006 ain't gonna get us any closer to impeachment.

Posted by: catlady | Nov 7 2005 2:22 utc | 12

only in a close election, catlady. the machine tinkerers cannot cover their tracks if voters overwhelmingly attempt to oust congressional incumbents. the fraud would be too obvious.

in my opinion, the theft of both the 2000 and the 2004 election more likely occurred at the voter registration stages, ie purging eligible voter names from the rolls and setting up police sobriety checks to block access in florida... and preventing voters from registering a vote at all due to long lines. many in ohio walked away because they had to get to work or had to get home.

Posted by: gylangirl | Nov 7 2005 2:40 utc | 13

For the republicans to steal the vote in Florida and Ohio in a close presidential election they only have to turn small margins of votes to make a difference. The blog that no longer connects here had a great piece about this in the special Ohio representative election a few months ago where he included the anecdote about LBJ blowing his special votes too early in the day. For a shifty vote suppression/vote fraud, you can use all those methods, vote purge, police road blocks, and voting machine tampering. Half a dozen here, a dozen there is all that you need to add up to make that difference. The republican vote fraud effort can be a shadowy non-hierarchical structure like Al Queda. We can all agree that the Ohio state republican structure is corrupt where they steal public pension money and divert it to the committee to re-elect the president Bush, divert what they don't keep for themselves.

Posted by: christofay | Nov 7 2005 3:42 utc | 14

These thieves and torturers will not go quietly.

Scenario:
Israel bombs Esfahan to delay Iran's nuclear ambitions,

Iran blames us (rightly so, since nothing flies over there without our permission),

Iran makes moves to invade Iraq or shoots missiles at our ships in the Strait of Hormuz or Israel --

and we have no choice but to nuke Tehran.

There we are, up to our necks in it. Pardons all around, no further problems.

Posted by: Antifa | Nov 7 2005 4:57 utc | 15

No, b. He didn't have to determine that an operational relationship existed. All he - and Congress - had to determine was that the use of force in Iraq is consistent with taking "the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations".

This "includes" those entities, national and otherwise, who planned, authorized, committed, or aided 9/11. This language does not exclude those who didn't.

(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.


Posted by: Pat | Nov 7 2005 5:05 utc | 16

i imagine the perameters of their language are sufficient open that you could drive a troop train right through it

Posted by: r'giap | Nov 6, 2005 5:56:09 PM | #

Exactly.

Posted by: Pat | Nov 7 2005 5:33 utc | 17

Uh, the statute just doesn't seem to say what you think it does. Basically it simply requires the hunt for 9-11 baddies to continue even if Bushco starts a war with Iraq.

Posted by: SqueakyRat | Nov 7 2005 21:40 utc | 18

The other day on another site somebody observed that, if the election were held today, Kerry would beat Bush; a commentator remarked that Kerry wouldn't beat Bush, the difference between the exit polls and that official results would be greater. So true.

Posted by: Brian Boru | Nov 9 2005 7:03 utc | 19

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