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the legal authorization question

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Current sniping about the Saddam/terrorism connection seems to be missing the most salient point, as empasized by UnderReported: The actual legal basis for the war.

The authorization bill's text is pretty loose (UnderReported's link looks b0rken, try State Dept. version), but SEC. 3.b.2 is the important bit:

(2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
There's some other stuff in there among the "whereas" bits, referencing history and previous Congressional actions, but nobody's going to care about all that, knamean? Interestingly, the text of the bill speaks of the "continuing threat posed by Iraq" (3.b.1.A), rather than an immediate one. (This Presidential letter was published March 21.) There's also reporting requirements at every 60-day period, both before and after, and on planning for both war and aftermath.

If these have been received by Congress, and nobody raised any warning flags about postwar planning, how loud are they going to be able to squawk? I have to admit I don't know this part, but Congress has a responsibility here, even if they'd like to dodge it. Daily Howler readers will probably know better than to expect serious media examination of why this important legal problem is, well, underreported, but it's a serious question.

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