Thursday, January 27, 2005


WMD, only?

Loyal Opposition: Boxer on the Floor: Impeachment Rehearsal?

A question from the blogosphere for the Boxer crowd...

What exactly was Boxer talking about last week when she told Rice that the Congress authorized war based on "WMD, period?" Read Joint Resolution 114 (a copy is included in the post linked above). The resolution explicitly cites "the whole package" as cause. Are we missing something here?

It reminds me of a situation surrounding Kerry's rhetoric on voting for authorizing war.

As a resident of Massachusetts, I was infuriated with Kerry for voting to authorize war. I saw his vote as the spineless political posturing of somebody who was planning on running for president. I remember sending him a scathing letter to that effect the day he voted.

Towards the end of the presidential campaign, Kerry started saying that when he voted he did so in order to give Bush leverage ONLY - that his vote still meant that the inspectors were to complete their jobs, we would carry the issue through the UN, etc.

This didn't sit right with me... "No you didn't, Kerry. You voted to appease the Freedom Fry eaters."

But then right before the election there was a documentary on television (Frontline, perhaps?) that compared the careers of Kerry and Bush and they had a long clip of Kerry giving a press conference the day of the vote, in front of a large group of people (it wasn't delivered at 2:00AM to an empty Senate floor or otherwise phony) where he conscientiously spelled out that he was voting for this because of the WMDs, ONLY for Bush to have the additional leverage he needed to help move this process through the proper procedures at the UN. And I have to say - because while I gleefully cast my vote for Kerry in November I was never a very enthusiastic supporter of his - that this was the most open, straightforward and honest recitation of the reasons behind voting that I had heard to date. I was flying at half-mast when it was over, if you know what I mean.

I wonder if Boxer's statement ties in with this somehow... We were supposed to be voting to give Bush leverage in order to solve the WMD problem in Iraq, and look what became of it...

So, what do you think?

What exactly was Barbara talking about last week?

Babs wasn't actually talking about anything in particular. It was just another attack on Bush. I'm waiting for the traffic report to blame the daily traffic jam on I-94 on Bush's policies. They attack him for EVERYTHING!
"Babs wasn't actually talking about anything in particular."

Actually, it's quite particular. Go to the c-span website. To see the footage, you need to go through some gyrations.
thisis the c-span page.
click on
"Confirmation Hearing for Condoleezza Rice to be Secretary of State - Part 1"
It will start playing (in realplayer) at the beginning of the hearings click on the ">|" button to go all the way to the end. Wait. It will start playing a second piece that has some of Boxer's questions.
Skip ahead to about 9:30 to see the whole exchange.
Then at 11:02, Boxer says
"You should read what we voted on when we voted to support the War. It was WMD, period. That was the reason and the causation for that particular vote."

So again, that's not what the joint resolution that passed in Congress says. I'm not calling her a liar, I'd just like to know what she was talking about. Does anyone out there know? I'm going to call her office tomorrow and if I get a straight answer, I'll post it here.
hehe. What he said!
Boxer, who?
"You should read what we voted on when we voted to support the War. It was WMD, period."

The answer should be easily found by reading the text of what she voted for. "Read what we voted on... WMD, period." She's saying the thing she voted on was WMD, period. That means one of the following:

1) she wasn't aware what it said in the first place
2) she's forgotten
3) she's lying

Or, if you're extremely pro-Boxer, you can do your best to twist her words until they no longer refer to "what we voted on", and instead refer to some mythical hypothetical bill that never existed. And maybe when she told Condi to read it, she really meant to tell Condi to read her mind and telepathically infer that Boxer's motivation was "WMD, period."

Seriously... you have to twist a LOT of words to make what she said there anything other than "the resolution we voted on was WMD, period."
I agree, LotharBot.

I am looking forward to seeing what Loyopp gets from Boxer's office tomorrow.
The intern answering the phone wasn't much help, I'm afraid.
This is what I was talking about with Kerry:

When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security and that of our allies in the Persian Gulf region. I will vote yes because I believe it is the best way to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. And the administration, I believe, is now committed to a recognition that war must be the last option to address this threat, not the first, and that we must act in concert with allies around the globe to make the world's case against Saddam Hussein.

Let me be clear, the vote I will give to the President is for one reason and one reason only: To disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, if we cannot accomplish that objective through new, tough weapons inspections in joint concert with our allies.

In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days — to work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force. If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out.

If we do wind up going to war with Iraq, it is imperative that we do so with others in the international community, unless there is a showing of a grave, imminent — and I emphasize "imminent" — threat to this country which requires the President to respond in a way that protects our immediate national security needs.

Prime Minister Tony Blair has recognized a similar need to distinguish how we approach this. He has said that he believes we should move in concert with allies, and he has promised his own party that he will not do so otherwise. The administration may not be in the habit of building coalitions, but that is what they need to do. And it is what can be done. If we go it alone without reason, we risk inflaming an entire region, breeding a new generation of terrorists, a new cadre of anti-American zealots, and we will be less secure, not more secure, at the end of the day, even with Saddam Hussein disarmed.

Let there be no doubt or confusion about where we stand on this. I will support a multilateral effort to disarm him by force, if we ever exhaust those other options, as the President has promised, but I will not support a unilateral U.S. war against Iraq unless that threat is imminent and the multilateral effort has not proven possible under any circumstances.

In voting to grant the President the authority, I am not giving him carte blanche to run roughshod over every country that poses or may pose some kind of potential threat to the United States. Every nation has the right to act preemptively, if it faces an imminent and grave threat, for its self-defense under the standards of law. The threat we face today with Iraq does not meet that test yet. I emphasize "yet." Yes, it is grave because of the deadliness of Saddam Hussein's arsenal and the very high probability that he might use these weapons one day if not disarmed. But it is not imminent, and no one in the CIA, no intelligence briefing we have had suggests it is imminent. None of our intelligence reports suggest that he is about to launch an attack.

The argument for going to war against Iraq is rooted in enforcement of the international community's demand that he disarm. It is not rooted in the doctrine of preemption. Nor is the grant of authority in this resolution an acknowledgment that Congress accepts or agrees with the President's new strategic doctrine of preemption. Just the opposite. This resolution clearly limits the authority given to the President to use force in Iraq, and Iraq only, and for the specific purpose of defending the United States against the threat posed by Iraq and enforcing relevant Security Council resolutions.

The definition of purpose circumscribes the authority given to the President to the use of force to disarm Iraq because only Iraq's weapons of mass destruction meet the two criteria laid out in this resolution.
Straddling or struggling to do the right thing? The eternal question about Kerry. Anyway, this thread is well off the radar over here, but I posted a follow up over at my place. loyopp
hehe. I loved the post Chez toi. (I am going to try to incorporate as much French as possible into my blogging from now on - just to spite the Freedom Fry eaters).

"President Boxer" the blog appeared in an AP story today.
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