Monday, April 17, 2006

War powers discusion in Congress September 14 2001

And what about the congressional discussions over the president's war powers?

The Post reports: (Link gone)

"In the negotiations over a resolution to authorize military action against terrorists and the countries that harbor them, lawmakers sought to give their blessing to military strikes without resorting to a declaration of war, which was last issued after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. 'This situation is far different than Pearl Harbor' and should be treated as such, said Sen. John Warner (R.Va) of the Armed Services Committee...Others feared that, without carefully drawn restrictions, it could wind up resembling the Gulf of Tonkin resolution that President Lyndon Johnson used to expand the war in Vietnam.

Some especially objected to a provision proposed by the White House to allow force to 'deter and preempt any related future acts of terrorism and aggression against the United States,' arguing it gave the president far too much powers. Many lawmakers think president Bush already has the power to strike back at terrorists, but said the White House wanted a congressional authorization to strengthen the country's hand if force is used."

It doesn't sound like Congress was exactly falling over them selves to give W. the power to start wars whenever he felt like it.

In another article on dealing with terrorism and about the idea of setting up special tribunals for terrorists:

"Lawmakers were not prepared yesterday to grant Bush's initial request for unrestricted authority to wage war, fearing that such a resolution could return to haunt them if things turned sour." Boy, were they ever right! Again, it doesn't sound like there was a groundswell in Congress, despite the ongoing fear after 9/11, to give W. Cart Blanc to eavesdrop without warrants and all the rest. Certainly, they were asking for the moon, but Congress didn't give it to them.


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