Chuck Hegel on the 2002 Congressional "resolution" - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-29-2007, 12:47 PM   #1
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Chuck Hegel on the 2002 Congressional "resolution"

from GQ:

[q]Q: Do you wish you’d voted differently in October of 2002, when Congress had a chance to authorize or not authorize the invasion?
A: Have you read that resolution?

Q: I have.

A: It’s not quite the way it’s been framed by a lot of people, as a resolution to go to war. That’s not quite what the resolution said.

Q: It said, “to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq.”

A: In the event that all other options failed. So it’s not as simple as “I voted for the war.” That wasn’t the resolution.

Q:But there was a decision whether to grant the president that authority or not.

A: Exactly right. And if you recall, the White House had announced that they didn’t need that authority from Congress.

Q: Which they seem to say about a lot of things.

A: That’s right. Mr. [Alberto] Gonzales was the president’s counsel at that time, and he wrote a memo to the president saying, “You have all the powers that you need.” So I called Andy Card, who was then the chief of staff, and said, “Andy, I don’t think you have a shred of ground to stand on, but more to the point, why would a president seriously consider taking a nation to war without Congress being with him?” So a few of us—Joe Biden, Dick Lugar, and I—were invited into discussions with the White House.

Q: It’s incredible that you had to ask for that.

A: It is incredible. That’s what I said to Andy Card. Said it to Powell, said it to Rice. Might have even said it to the president. And finally, begrudgingly, they sent over a resolution for Congress to approve. Well, it was astounding. It said they could go anywhere in the region

Q: It wasn’t specific to Iraq?

A: Oh no. It said the whole region! They could go into Greece or anywhere. I mean, is Central Asia in the region? I suppose! Sure as hell it was clear they meant the whole Middle East. It was anything they wanted. It was literally anything. No boundaries. No restrictions.

Q: They expected Congress to let them start a war anywhere they wanted in the Middle East?

A: Yes. Yes. Wide open. We had to rewrite it. Joe Biden, Dick Lugar, and I stripped the language that the White House had set up, and put our language in it.


Q: But that should also have triggered alarm bells about what they really wanted to do.

A: Well, it did. I’m not defending our votes; I’m just giving a little history of how this happened. You have to remember the context of when that resolution was passed. This was about a year after September 11. The country was still truly off balance. So the president comes out talking about “weapons of mass destruction” that this “madman dictator” Saddam Hussein has, and “our intelligence shows he’s got it,” and “he’s capable of weaponizing,” and so on.

Q: And producing a National Intelligence Estimate that turned out to be doctored.

A: Oh yeah. All this stuff was doctored. Absolutely. But that’s what we were presented with. And I’m not dismissing our responsibility to look into the thing, because there were senators who said, “I don’t believe them.” But I was told by the president—we all were—that he would exhaust every diplomatic effort.


Q: You were told that personally?

A: I remember specifically bringing it up with the president. I said, “This has to be like your father did it in 1991. We had every Middle East nation except one with us in 1991. The United Nations was with us.”

Q: Did he give you that assurance, that he would do the same thing as his father?

Q: Yep. He said, “That’s what we’re going to do.” But the more I look back on this, the more I think that the administration knew there was some real hard question whether he really had any WMD. In January of 2003, if you recall, the inspectors at the IAEA, who knew more about what Saddam had than anybody, said, “Give us two more months before you go to war, because we don’t think there’s anything in there.” They were the only ones in Iraq. We hadn’t been in there. We didn’t know what the hell was in there. And the president wouldn’t do it! So to answer your question—Do I regret that vote? Yes, I do regret that vote.

[/b][/q]



astonishing. if Iraq hadn't been a disaster, they would have marched into Syria (or, heck, Greece) no matter what Congress or anyone else would say.
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Old 01-29-2007, 01:07 PM   #2
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Greece is considered Middle East?
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Old 01-29-2007, 02:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
Greece is considered Middle East?

this is George W. Bush we're talking about.
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Old 01-29-2007, 02:15 PM   #4
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One could almost think that there was some sort of election coming up
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Old 01-29-2007, 02:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511



this is George W. Bush we're talking about.

Yes, but this paper was made by more than just him.
Otherwise there wouldn't have been any written paper.
And no one complained?
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
One could almost think that there was some sort of election coming up

and that we're now finally far enough away from 9-11 that people can begin to speak truthfully again and not be called treasonous for daring to be "against us."
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:28 PM   #7
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The number of giant puppets seen over the last 5 years would disagree with that supposed crushing of dissent.
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
The number of giant puppets seen over the last 5 years would disagree with that supposed crushing of dissent.


giant puppets?

are we talking about effigies of Mr. Bush?

that is quite different than demanding political lockstep amogst members of Congress.
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:49 PM   #9
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http://www.spiegel.de/international/...462782,00.html

That's something.
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Old 01-29-2007, 06:54 PM   #10
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It's amazing how much Bush fooled us. People supported that war and they didn't have any evidence that Saddam had WMD's.
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