In response to a comment by Hillary Clinton’s communications director Howard Wolfson, Atrios said that “it’s wrong to suggest that, you know, most people thought that war wasn’t inevitable”, then points to Pollster.com, where the video of Wolfson is juxtaposed with data from November 2002 showing that 58% of the sample through that Bush had already decided to invade Iraq.
That should hardly have been news to anyone who presumably was paying attention to the situation, as you might expect a United States Senator to do.
I know everyone likes to laugh at Dennis Kucinich because he’s funny-looking, has a wife half his age and a foot taller, and sang “Sixteen Tons” on camera, but boy would I like to be able to go back into the record of one of the current crop of “serious” candidates for the Democratic nomination and find pre-Iraq statement like this one:
Kucinich: Time For Administration To Show its Evidence
Washington, Dec 19, 2002 – It is time for the Administration to end its war rhetoric and present evidence to justify their claims that Iraq has usable weapons of mass destruction, stated Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) today.
Kucinich, Ranking Member of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs and International Relations issued the following statement:
“Thus far, the Administration has failed to show any evidence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs to the U.S. Congress, to the inspectors at the United Nations (UN), or to the American people.
“Any information the Administration has that counters the Iraqi disclosure should be provided to the United Nations immediately. Iraq has made its disclosure and now is the appropriate time for the Administration to present its evidence.
“Any intelligence information that the Administration may have can only assist the United Nation Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in filling the ‘gaps and omissions’ that the Administration claims are in the Iraqi report to the UN. In doing so, the Administration can only assist the UN weapons inspectors disarm Iraq, which it claims it is committed to doing.
“If the Administration plans to preempt the UN weapons inspections process, and begin a war early next year, as recent news reports have indicated, then they owe it to the UN and the American people to present evidence to justify a war. Despite their recent increase in rhetoric and ‘war talk’, the fact remains that to this date they have not provided evidence for a war.”
Kucinich: New Intelligence Reports Raises Substantial Questions Helps Growing Opposition To War In House
Washington, Oct 9, 2002 – A CIA letter, released yesterday, has raised serious and substantial questions about the rush to war Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) said, today, at a press conference. The letter, sent by CIA Director Tenet on Tuesday, states that unprovoked by the US, Iraq is unlikely to initiate a chemical or biological attack against the United States.
“With less than twenty-four to go before the vote, this report raises substantial questions,” stated Kucinich. “Less than twenty-four hours after the president addressed the nation, on Monday, the CIA communicated to the Senate information which is directly contradictory. You have to wonder whether the President is getting all the information he needs from his advisors.”
Yesterday, Kucinich, who has been leading opposition to the war in the House, released a whip count that stated that 100 Members of Congress will vote against the war resolution.
“These contradictions have raised questions in the minds of Members of Congress and stopped the momentum which the Administration has tried to build,” continued Kucinich. “I believe today, in light of these new findings, the number opposed to war will grow.”
Statement of Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich on War Resolution
Washington, Oct 3, 2002 – This resolution gives authority to the President to act prior to and even without a UN resolution, and it authorizes the President to use US troops to enforce UN resolutions even without UN request for it. This is a violation of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which reserves the ability to authorize force for that purpose to the Security Council, alone.
This resolution is the same authorization that the President originally sought. Many members of Congress in both parties objected to previous language, which is still present in this resolution.
Further, the UN resolutions, which could be cited by the President to justify sending US troops to Iraq, go far beyond addressing weapons of mass destruction. These could include, at the President’s discretion, such “relevant” resolutions “regarding Iraq” including resolutions to enforce human rights and the recovery of Kuwaiti property.
While these changes are represented as a compromise or a new material development, the effects of this resolution are largely the same as the previous White House proposal.
In conclusion, this resolution does not represent a genuine multilateral approach to solving the conflict in Iraq. It authorizes a unilateral, go-it-alone military attack. Furthermore, it violates international law and U.S. obligations under the UN charter. Lastly, it does not put any reasonable limitations on the use of military force against Iraq. Rather, it gives the President broad discretion to send troops to Iraq.
Senator Clinton’s news release page for 2002 has nothing dealing with the Iraq AUMF.