Dover Bitch

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Sen. Hagel confirms Dover Bitch

After President Bush upped the ante by threatening Iran and Syria while announcing his plans to escalate the war, DB pointed out that there was an earlier request for the AUMF that would have allowed the administration to expand the war to the entire region. DB noted that for this reason, the resolution was rejected without a vote.

Think Progress reports today that Senator Hagel confirms this to be true in an interview with GQ Magazine.

I'm just happy to hear that somebody in Congress remembers that. But Hagel actually made me even happier with this monologue today.

I knew the 2006 elections would have some excellent consequences, but I must say I never expected this kind of candor. It is quite refreshing.

UPDATE: Here is a part of what Hagel said to GQ:

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

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

Which they seem to say about a lot of things.

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.

It's incredible that you had to ask for that.

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.

It wasn't specific to Iraq?

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

They expected Congress to let them start a war anywhere in the Middle East?

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.

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