Friday, May 22, 2015

Hillary Clinton Never Supported the Bush/Cheney Invasion of Iraq

"She voted for the war!"
"She's an unapologetic hawk!"
"She's just another Dick Cheney when it comes to foreign policy!"


These are the charges I've heard over and over again for years...and as a longtime Hillary Clinton supporter who was against the Iraq War from the beginning, it never ceases to bug the hell out of me. My normal reply, which often starts with an audible sigh followed by "Well, actually..." usually does nothing to change these opinions.

But as tiring as it may be, I will keep defending her on this issue because the record and her statements over the past 14 years clearly undermine the misconception that Hillary was "for the war". So brace yourselves, because here is again...the actual truth of the matter:

Hillary Clinton never voted to go to war in Iraq, nor did she support the Bush/Cheney decision to kick out the UN weapons inspectors and invade.

Since some may find that statement to be controversial, let's be crystal clear: Clinton could not have voted to go to war because the United States Congress hasn't officially declared war on any country since 1942. Her vote was on the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002", which many other "war as last resort" Democrats like John Kerry, Harry Reid and Tom Harkin also voted for.

Clinton herself has explained the reasoning several times, including during the very speech she gave when casting that vote. Here are a few excerpts from her October 2002 speech in Congress:
If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us.
...this course is fraught with danger.
...a unilateral attack...on the present facts is not a good option.
Because bipartisan support for this resolution makes success in the United Nations more likely, and therefore, war less likely, and because a good faith effort by the United States, even if it fails, will bring more allies and legitimacy to our cause, I have concluded, after careful and serious consideration, that a vote for the resolution best serves the security of our nation.
My vote is not, however, a vote for any new doctrine of preemption, or for unilateralism, or for the arrogance of American power or purpose -- all of which carry grave dangers for our nation, for the rule of international law and for the peace and security of people throughout the world.
...
So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interests of our nation. A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him - use these powers wisely and as a last resort.
Does this sound like someone who was standing behind the Oval Office desk with pom-poms cheering on President Bush (or let's be honest, President Cheney) as the decision was being made to kick out the UN weapons inspectors and invade Iraq? No, of course not.

Since that vote, she has further clarified the reasoning behind her decision. On Meet the Press in September 2007, she said:
"I cast a sincere vote based on my assessment at the time, and I take responsibility for that vote. I also said on the floor that day that this was not a vote for pre-emptive war. ... Now, obviously, if I had known then what I know now about what the president would do with the authority that was given him, I would not have voted the way that I did."
As you can see, not only did she ace the answer which tripped up Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio in their recent campaigns, but she did it nine years ago.

On a follow-up appearance on that show in January 2008, she went further by saying that the Bush White House actually lied to her:
Moderator Tim Russert pointed out that the title of the resolution was the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002."
Clinton responded saying, "We can have this Jesuitical argument about what exactly was meant. But when Chuck Hagel, who helped to draft the resolution said, 'It was not a vote for war,' What I was told directly by the White House in response to my question, 'If you are given this authority, will you put the inspectors in and permit them to finish their job?' I was told that's exactly what we intended to do."
So if Hillary didn't want to go to war, why did she vote for a resolution with that title? The answer, despite being possibly counter-intuitive at first blush, is that she didn't want to go to war. That same month, during a debate with Barack Obama in California, Clinton explained:
I did an enormous amount of investigation and due diligence to try to determine what if any threat could flow from the history of Saddam Hussein being both an owner of and a seeker of weapons of mass destruction.
The idea of putting inspectors back in -- that was a credible idea. I believe in coercive diplomacy. I think that you try to figure out how to move bad actors in a direction that you prefer in order to avoid more dire consequences.
And if you took it on the face of it and if you took it on the basis of what we hoped would happen with the inspectors going in, that in and of itself was a policy that we've used before. We have used the threat of force to try to make somebody change their behavior.
I think what no one could have fully appreciated is how obsessed this president was with this particular mission. And unfortunately, I and others who warned at the time, who said, let the inspectors finish their work, you know, do not wage a preemptive war, use diplomacy, were just talking to a brick wall.
But you know, it's clear that if I had been president, we would have never diverted our attention from Afghanistan.


As recently as July 2014 during a CNN interview with Fareed Zakaria, Hillary again made the reasoning for her Iraq vote very clear:
ZAKARIA: You've said that you felt that your vote on Iraq was a mistake. What did you learn from that mistake? You know, when you look back at that whole episode.
CLINTON: Yeah.
ZAKARIA: What do you look at and say, gosh, you know, this -- going into the future, here's what I want to have learned.
CLINTON: Well, I've learned to be far more skeptical of what I'm told by presidents, no matter who the presidents are, and also to be much more cautious always in any action or vote that could lead to the use of American military power and most particularly what we call boots on the ground. With respect to that vote, I've thought a lot about it obviously over the years. I had worked closely with President Bush after the attack on 9/11. I supported his efforts to go after bin Laden and al Qaeda and, by extension, the Taliban, which were sheltering them in Afghanistan. And I, frankly, gave him too much of the benefit of the doubt. My view at the time -- and this is still true today -- is that the threat of force can often create conditions to resolve matters, and sometimes what we call coercive diplomacy is necessary. And I thought that that's what the president would do. It turned out not to be the case. And then following the invasion, the decisions that were made, everything from disbanding the military and disbanding, you know, the political structure turned out to be very ill-advised and we ended up with a dangerous situation."
Indeed, "coercive diplomacy" is not at odds with the idea of "smart power" and can be very effective in reaching peaceful solutions with some potentially dangerous countries. However, it only works if you use the threat of military action to get what you want without actually resorting to force. This is precisely what Hillary wanted and thought she was getting in 2003 when it came to dealing with the Saddam Hussein regime.

Unfortunately...very unfortunately...at that time we had an absolutely disastrous administration that went back on their word to a United States Senator and kicked out the UN weapons inspectors before starting a preemptive war of choice. It remains an unforgivable decision that we are still paying for to this day, and it's clear that they would have done it whether Hillary voted for that resolution or not.

Hillary Clinton certainly made a mistake, but it wasn't voting to go to war. Her mistake was believing that George W. Bush didn't want to go to war.

45 comments:

  1. Factual. Well written. It would be significant for anyone wanting to know what really happened, and for those questioning, there is source citations. The article gives a clearer picture than anything published to-date in the now discredited New York Times.

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    1. thank you for this much needed clarification, of a sticking point for the conservative, anti-Hillary press and media.

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    2. See Recommendation: How to talk about your Iraq vote (advice to Hillary Clinton). Also see the answer to "Did Bush allow enough time for the inspections?".

      On January 28, 2004, David Kay, who preceded Charles Duelfer as head of the Iraq Survey Group, reported to the Senate Armed Services Committee:
      In my judgment, based on the work that has been done to this point of the Iraq Survey Group, and in fact, that I reported to you in October, Iraq was in clear violation of the terms of [U.N.] Resolution 1441. Resolution 1441 required that Iraq report all of its activities -- one last chance to come clean about what it had. We have discovered hundreds of cases, based on both documents, physical evidence and the testimony of Iraqis, of activities that were prohibited under the initial U.N. Resolution 687 and that should have been reported under 1441, with Iraqi testimony that not only did they not tell the U.N. about this, they were instructed not to do it and they hid material.

      UNSCR 1441 (2002):
      Recognizing the threat Iraq’s non-compliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security,
      … Recalling that its resolution 678 (1990) authorized Member States to use all necessary means to uphold and implement its resolution 660 (1990) of 2 August 1990 and all relevant resolutions subsequent to resolution 660 (1990) and to restore international peace and security in the area,
      ... Recalling that in its resolution 687 (1991) the Council declared that a ceasefire would be based on acceptance by Iraq of the provisions of that resolution, including the obligations on Iraq contained therein,
      ... Determined to ensure full and immediate compliance by Iraq without conditions or restrictions with its obligations under resolution 687 (1991) and other relevant resolutions and recalling that the resolutions of the Council constitute the governing standard of Iraqi compliance,
      ...
      Determined to secure full compliance with its decisions,
      Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
      1. Decides that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687 (1991), in particular through Iraq’s failure to cooperate with United Nations inspectors and the IAEA, and to complete the actions required under paragraphs 8 to 13 of resolution 687 (1991);
      2. Decides, while acknowledging paragraph 1 above, to afford Iraq, by this resolution, a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations under relevant resolutions of the Council; and accordingly decides to set up an enhanced inspection regime with the aim of bringing to full and verified completion the disarmament process established by resolution 687 (1991) and subsequent resolutions of the Council;

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  2. I have total faith in Hillary and am happy to have some ammunition to use against those who would try and discredit her and her intentions.

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  3. You have to be smarter than the average bear... Yes, she can make all the excuses she wants, but she voted to give the President a Blank check to do with as Bush wanted. You would think that someone who had already been in and around the Oval Office, who knew the Character of President Bush Personnally would have had second thoughts of Voting for Military Action.

    Her excuse for why she voted for that bill is an example of how slick she thinks she is. She may actually have has campagin donor reasons to support that bill, but those you will never hear about.... Her excuses are naive to think that way about Military Action... So, you and the person who wrote this article would like us to believe that she is naive, why would this be a good trait for a President to have?

    Bernie Sanders is not Naive, and he did not vote for that Military Action. He did not give President Bush a blank check.... HE KNEW BETTER!

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    1. Instead of spouting your stupid opinions whay don't don't yo go to C-Span and look up the video of the vote on that bill and you will see and hear the whole thing for yourself!

      Anyone that is not just a hater of Hillary and a supporter of Bernies would at least go and see if the article is true and not just an excuse. That's what I did years ago and guess what that is actually what happened! Bernie has been feeding you a load of crap on his voting record also. He voted against most of the family protection acts, like the Amber Alert, the Child Protection Act, voted for the most vile Gun Law, voted for the Milita, and all kinds of crap, but to you he is Honest, straight forward, has intergity, can't be bought, etc., etc., etc. You listen to his firey angry speech that he has been giving for 40 years, yet he hasn't done anything in those 40 years about the things he talks about. Hillary on the other habd has talked about and fought for these same things and done more about them in just 8 years as a Senator and 4 years as SOS than Bernie has in 24 years. So why don't you look up their actual records and get the real facts before you start mouthing!!

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    2. Watch out, FiestyE...you've just criticized Saint Bernie of Sanders, the man who everyone should know has 100% awesome indie cred and can do no wrong!

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    3. Your comments are so idiotically silly, you sound like a child.

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    4. My comment, made on Aug. 31st, were intended for JAMES, who made his comments on
      Aug. 26th.

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    5. "You have to be smarter than the average bear."
      Really? You don't appear to be smarter than the average bear. Are you prepared to say, that all the high government, democrat officials were also "slick," like Hillary, or did you mean "slick Willie?" You gave yourself away, in less than two sentences.
      You don't care about Hillary's vote, you just want to hurt her, anyway you can, you simpleton. That you have the audacity to come to a democratic site, devoted to Hillary's efforts, is breathtaking. It's another example of the truism, that people that are stupid, think that other people are as stupid as they are. It didn't occur to you, that nearly all the democrats here, have read the authentic Hillary, in her own words, instead of the lies deliberately printed by media, media that are fierce antagonists against her, to hurt her chances, just as they did in 2007. If anything, and these are my words, not Hillary's, it shows her cooperativeness, her willingness to give, even the most treacherous, the most evil republican, a chance to redeem himself. But, no, Bush lied, not just to Hillary, but to all the other dems that voted Yes, to his request. Since you want, desperately to prevent her nomination, you single her out for abuse.
      This is one more chance for me, to ask, all democrats, to come, not only to Hillary's defense, but to the defense of all democratic candidates, and, once and for all, confront media for the vileness of their bitter hatred for democracy, democrats, etc.
      Why the hell should we be "forced" to live with the garbage inflicted on our party, by these media liars, these media conservatives, that will do anything but admit to their cowardly treachery. Americans of all political stripes, have a right to the News, not just the news, as interpreted by republicans, and against democrats. If there is a single republican who had the backbone and the sense of fairness, that he'd want media to be anything but a singular instrument of propaganda for the Right, and would want a fair fight between the parties, I'd like to see him come forward. Instead of faulting Bush for his hateful criminality, the horror of the consequences of his lies to everyone, even republicans, in pursuit of his adolescent war fantasies, you come here and attack Hillary for placing trust in a republican president? This vileness, directed against Hillary for her willingness to trust, even a political opponent, is being made, gasp!, with 99% certainty, by a REPUBLICAN.
      The cowardly way, in which republicans refuse to accept responsibility for the deaths of thousands of American soldiers, leaves any human being thunderstruck. No wonder you want to nitpick Hillary's involvement, in search of an error here or there. It's because of the guilt that haunts you over Bush's madness.

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    6. See the answers to "Did Bush lie his way to war with Iraq?" and "Was Operation Iraqi Freedom legal?".

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    7. Did you read the QUOTES from Clinton? She absolutely DID NOT give Bushit a "blank check". To assert that she did is either to completely ignore the facts, or to knowingly lie. And this is as important a fact:

      Neither Clinton nor the Congress invaded Iraq.

      As for your "answers": those are all AFTER the fact -- correct?

      Stop rewriting the history, Mr. Orwell.

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    8. JNagarya,

      Mrs. Clinton's latter position is that she voted for the 2002 AUMF (Public Law 107-243) to provide the President the necessary leverage for "coercive diplomacy" to enforce Iraq's compliance with the UN inspections, which is partially correct.

      However, as her latter position 'evolved' under partisan pressure, Clinton subsequently misrepresented the operative enforcement procedure that defined the decision for Operation Iraqi Freedom in order to disclaim her Senate vote with accusation that the decision for OIF abused the 2002 AUMF. That accusation is incorrect on the law and facts. The evidence shows that the decision for OIF hewed to Congressional instruction in the 2002 AUMF.

      The essential defect(s) of Mrs. Clinton's latter position is she mischaracterized the operative historical context for the UNSCR 1441 inspections, the "governing standard of Iraqi compliance" (UNSCR 1441) that was enforced under the 2002 AUMF, the Congressional instruction to "ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq" (P.L. 107-243), the UNMOVIC findings in the UNSCR 1441 inspections, the UN Security Council consideration of the UNMOVIC findings, and the standard for the determination to use force in section 3(b) of the 2002 AUMF by which President Bush determined to use force with OIF.

      While mischaracterizing the UNMOVIC findings that confirmed "Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687" (UNSCR 1441), which were the principal trigger for OIF, Clinton ignores the various other fact findings that also confirmed Saddam was in material breach of the Gulf War ceasefire mandates enforced under the 2002 AUMF.

      For example, the Iraq Survey Group reported, "ISG judges that Iraq failed to comply with UNSCRs" and "the Iraqis never intended to meet the spirit of the UNSC’s resolutions" in breach of UNSCR 687 et al, the Iraqi Perspectives Project reported, "evidence shows that Saddam's use of terrorist tactics and his support for terrorist groups remained strong up until the collapse of the regime" in breach of UNSCR 687, and the UN Commission on Human Rights reported, "systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law by the Government of Iraq" in breach of UNSCR 688.

      In addition, Clinton's later claim that her Senate vote for the 2002 AUMF opposed Iraqi regime change elides section 4 of the 2002 AUMF, which invoked section 7 of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 and "expected" regime change would result from Saddam's "final opportunity to comply" (UNSCR 1441).

      Clinton's prevarication bears on assessing her as a candidate for Commander in Chief. To properly assess Clinton's latter position on her Senate vote for the 2002 AUMF and the decision for OIF, see the explanation of the law and policy, fact basis of the decision for OIF. The scope of Clinton's misrepresentations are wide enough that I can only recommend reviewing all the answers in the explanation for a sufficient understanding of the 2002 AUMF and the decision for OIF to judge her.

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  4. Hindsight is 20-20 & this is very self- serving, TRUSTING George W and Dick Cheney & co.? Sounds like a serious lack of judgement from an aspiring Pres. to me, or at the very least political negligence..

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    1. Bush and Cheney were going to war in Iraq no matter what her vote was, and lied to Clinton and other Democrats about their intentions. At least she can admit that she made the mistake of believing them.

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    2. Are you aware, that nearly all the democrats here, have read Hillary's actual comments. I think she didn't need to apologize for her vote. Countless other high government official democrats, voted go give Bush "discretion," to deal with Iraq. It isn't that Hillary and her dem cohorts, were mistaken in trusting your president, it's that your president was a brainless liar. It's revolting to watch republicans like yourself, coming here to annoy us. What the hell is wrong with you? You can also go back to your republican friends, where stupidity passes for intelligence,

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    3. Sorry Joe, you make no sense. She didn't "trust" W or Cheney, she voted to allow for the the "use of discretion, in dealing with Iraq." If she, as you say, "trusted" them, she would have excluded all the conditions and restraints she placed on their conduct.
      In fact, regarding trust, I don't, by any means, trust that you're a democrat. Everything you've said here, is outrageous nonsense to any true democrat. Numerous democrats voted YES to allow Bush discretion. Even Scan, whose observations are more sensitive to Hillary's aims, stated that he thought that she should be credited for, at least, admitting "that she made the mistake of 'believing' them" But, there's no reason for us to suppose that she "believed" them; only that she would wait and see if they could be given discretion to be used, thoughtfully, wisely, in their approach to Iraq. How peculiar for you to say, that it was mindless of Hillary to take a wait and see attitude, inasmuch, as Bush and Cheney would be our Pres and VP for 4 to 8 years. If you have as little hope for your leaders as you appear to, why did you vote for them in the first place? It shows "a lack of judgement, or political negligence.."

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    4. Actually, language in the operative section of the 2002 AUMF (Public Law 107-243) shows the law was enacted with Congress' expectation that an effect of enforcing Saddam's "final opportunity to comply" (UNSCR 1441) would include Iraqi regime change.

      See the answers to "The reasons for OIF seemed to change. Was it about WMD or democracy?" and "Was the invasion of Iraq perceived to be a nation-building effort?". Note especially the reference to section 4 of Public Law 107-243 (2002) which raisess section 7 of Public Law 105-338 (1998).

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    5. In other words, johncp, she didn't hand them a blank check for war. They broke their own rules on the matter. The old pasttime of blaming the liberals for the actions of the CONservatives is one that needs to die.

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    6. Your hatred of Clinton is based on nothing. That is why you have to lie in order to have a false basis for hating her.

      In fact, the Bushit criminal enterprise gave Congress only the intelligence that supported the drive to war. There was no certainty that the Administration withheld intelligence that would properly have been withheld.

      But the simple and obvious fact is undeniable: the AUMF was an effort to PREVENT war, therefore those who voted for it voted AGAINST war.

      Sanders? He voted AGAINST the AUMF, and therefore voted FOR war.

      Only by lying can one get around those simple and conclusively obvious facts.

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  6. Hillary "knew" Bush? He had barely been in Office a year when the Towers came down. Most of the time after was spent gearing for and getting into Afghanistan. I don't know why you think Hillary had a crystal ball or perhaps you just believe in the Vulcan "mind meld." It is easy in retrospect to see why it was a bad vote but Hillary Clinton was very clear at the time, not later, that she expected Diplomacy to work. It might be that her knowledge of how Hussein would react to pressure, experienced during Bill Clinton's Presidency, that informed her decision. Either way, I'm really tired of people buying into the "slick" media-propagated slander that Hillary has had to endure for the past 25 years. It just shows that fear of a powerful intelligence, when you have nothing of substance, will cause your opponents to use the most under-handed tactics to undermine a person's credibility. It would be a shame to lose such talent because the Media makes a game out of Politics and Moneyed interests have bought the Media. I

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    1. It might be that her knowledge of how Hussein would react to pressure, experienced during Bill Clinton's Presidency, that informed her decision.

      There's the nub. Senator Clinton and President Bush's enforcement with Iraq followed from President Clinton's administration-long struggle with Saddam to "bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations" (Public Law 105-235). Senator Clinton and President Bush's enforcement procedure for Saddam's "final opportunity to comply" (UNSCR 1441) with the Gulf War ceasefire carried forward President Clinton's enforcement procedure for Iraq, updated from Operation Desert Fox, the penultimate military enforcement step.

      With that perspective, see the answer to "Why did Bush leave the ‘containment’ (status quo)?" and the answer to "Did Iraq failing its compliance test justify the regime change?".

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    2. actually she did have reason to trust him, he had promised funds to rebuild after 9/11, but after he made that promise Republicans in congress tried to scale it back, and Bush insisted on keeping his word to Hillary, it was his personal promise, and this was another personal promise.

      But the important thing is the country had nothing to lose by her trusting him, she only risked her own standing, knowing smears would surely follow if he broke his word. She knew it would go south, she knew how important it was to prevent it if at all possible.

      Because Bush had decided, and that vote set back the invasion, they would have been even less prepared if there hadn't been that vote.

      No one thought Bush could be stopped, as he'd planned to use the Afghanistan authorization that covered terror (and that Obama has used to go after ISIS). The Iraq authorization put some limits on that.

      In the end he went back to the Afghanistan one for his legal authority and the House then passed a resolution allowing for that, by admitting the bogus claimed WMD and bogus terrorism connection, which made it that he could not be impeached for violating the terms of the Iraq one. And thanking Bush for his resolve, on behalf of the American people.

      And guess who was in the House at that time and voted yes? The same guy who voted for regime change in the first Iraq invasion voted for the resolution that gave Bush apres coup authority under the Afghanistan one, and so protected him from being held accountable for violating the terms of the Iraq one.

      And now the same Bernie Sanders is using her vote to claim she favored invasion and claim his no vote was a sign of good judgement.

      Bernie Sanders, a future we sure can believe in.

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    3. Don't confuse the right-wingers -- who are lying that they are leftist progressives in order to falsely pretend to be attacking Clinton from the left.

      Committed liars refuse to accept facts, because the facts refute their agenda -- which is to advance corruption and hate.

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  7. excellent summation of her reasoning and vote. thanks for posting this.

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  8. You mean she couldn't lie? What you've presented is disingenuous, and not entirely true. In fact, the AUMF was the vote for how the US conducts wars, with multilateral support. Further, she ignored evidence that showed the Bush administration had been lying to congress during the run-up to the war.

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    1. What evidence was there that Congress knew Bushit was lying? The front page of the "New York Times"? The presumably-proper limitation of the intelligence provided Congress?

      It is obvious from Clinton's own words that she was voting AGAINST war. Despite Sanders' lying on the point, the actual record is clear: it was SANDERS who voted FOR war.

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  9. And, what about you bettermsnbc, couldn't you lie? Couldn't you, for example, lie about your identity (bettermsnbc ?)? What about your political affiiliations: you're not a republican, are you? And, your implication, that she "could," be lying, something which is always a certainty, said about anyone, is cowardly, devious, and typically republican.

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    1. Nice reply! You've saved me the trouble of having to respond to a closet Republican- those people are typically about as dense as a brick.

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    2. They aren't "dense". But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt: you accidentally (or diplomatically?) misspelled --

      Deceitful.

      In other words: knowingly, deliberately LYING.

      Yes: there is a slew of purported "Leftists"/"progressives" who are actually Republicans/right-wingers.

      As for Sanders -- the leftist progressive? He sided and voted with right-wingers/Republicans and the NRA to protect the gun corporations from accountability -- while at the same time lying that he is "ANTI"-corporation.

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  10. Lies are as likely as the truth, to become ingrained in our brains. This lie, about Hillary's YES vote in the Iraq debacle, has gotten entrenched over the years. Hillary has been unwilling to extract this lie from the brains of believers, perhaps because the issue fraught with complexities and Clinton would prefer to take the hit than try to unravel it, and expose it.

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  11. For the record, on the law and the facts, the decision for OIF was correct; see:
    1. Explanation (link) of the law and policy, fact basis for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
    2. Saddam: What We Now Know (link) by Jim Lacey* draws from the Iraq Survey Group (re WMD) and Iraqi Perspectives Project (re terrorism). * Dr. Lacey was a researcher and author for the Iraqi Perspectives Project (link).
    3. UN Recognizes 'Major Changes' In Iraq (link) by VP Joe Biden on behalf of the UN Security Council.
    4. Withdrawal Symptoms: The Bungling of the Iraq Exit (link) by OIF senior advisor Rick Brennan.
    5. How Obama Abandoned Democracy in Iraq (link) by OIF official and senior advisor Emma Sky.

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    1. For the record, don't link to National Review and blame Obama for Iraq not having democracy, and then call it facts.

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  12. If you know of a reliable way to reach such media denseheads as Bill Maher, or others, perhaps you would be willing to send this Hillary text to them, published above by Bill Scott. It's not enough to advertise among ourselves on this issue of Hillary's Yes vote on Iraq.

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  13. The most amazing part I find of this article and the supporters is that you somehow in your hearts believe that Hillary is a good person, and that she is being picked on. Then you go as far as to say the Saint Bernie of Sanders people say he can do no wrong. He didn't vote for 'The Use of Military Force' and she did. It's that simple. Maybe you're right he just smarter and more principle centered, but then again some people look for that in a politician. Weirdos I know. Part of that damn Bernie cult. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax37YjymKAM

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    1. See answers to "Did Bush lie his way to war with Iraq?" & "Was Operation Iraqi Freedom legal?".

      Actually, Secretary Clinton is basically correct about the purpose of the 2002 AUMF. The Congressional authorization was to "enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq" (Public Law 107-243) and "bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations" (Public Law 105-235) and "ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq" (Public Law 107-243).

      At the same time, UN Security Council Resolution 1441 (2002) was "Determined to ensure full and immediate compliance by Iraq without conditions or restrictions with its obligations under resolution 687 (1991) and other relevant resolutions and recalling that the resolutions of the Council constitute the governing standard of Iraqi compliance". UNSCR 1441 mandated a "final opportunity to comply [and] ... in that context, that the Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations".

      The 2002 AUMF authorized the President to enforce the full range of UNSCR 660-series, Gulf War ceasefire mandates for Iraq, whereas UNSCR 1441 recalled the full range of ceasefire mandates while it was focused specifically on verifying whether Iraq proved "full and immediate compliance" with the UNSCR 687 (WMD) disarmament mandates.

      However, Clinton's criticism of President Bush is highly misleading. Operation Iraqi Freedom was in fact the US-led, UN-mandated compliance process in the event that Saddam failed his "final opportunity to comply"; see UNSCRs 1483, 1511, et al. OIF did not curtail the UN inspections; UNMOVIC concluded its mandate in 2007 with UNSCR 1762.

      Clinton relies on her supporters fundamentally misunderstanding the operative enforcement procedure for the "governing standard of Iraqi compliance" (UNSCR 1441) according to UNSCRs and US law and policy, including the 2002 AUMF.

      First, by procedure, the pre-war intelligence estimates could not trigger enforcement because they did not constitute the "governing standard of Iraq compliance" (UNSCR 1441). Rather, Saddam's guilt was established at the outset of the Gulf War ceasefire and presumed until Iraq cured it with the mandated compliance - ie, "Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687" (UNSCR 1441).

      From the outset in 1990-1991, by procedure, the burden of proof was on Iraq to prove the mandated compliance and the trigger for enforcement was the confirmation that "Iraq has been and remains in material breach" (UNSCR 1441).

      In order to switch off enforcement according to UNSCR 1441, Saddam was required to "promptly and strictly" (PL 107-243) prove "full and immediate compliance by Iraq without conditions or restrictions with its obligations under resolution 687 (1991) and other relevant resolutions ... bringing to full and verified completion the disarmament process established by resolution 687 (1991) and subsequent resolutions of the Council" (UNSCR 1441).

      In the UNSCR 1441 inspections, Saddam evidentially failed to meet the "governing standard of Iraqi compliance" (UNSCR 1441) required to switch off enforcement.

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  14. And voting for 'The Use of Military Force' is voting for war. What else could 'Use of Military Force' mean? You really can't believe that's not a vote for war. No one capable of writing the article is actually that naive.

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    1. See answers to "Did Bush allow enough time for the inspections?" & "Did Iraq failing its compliance test justify the regime change?".

      While Public Law 107-243 was legally equivalent to a Congressional declaration of war according to the War Powers Resolution (see section 3(c) of PL 107-243), the 2002 AUMF was not a direct vote for war with Iraq.

      As Mrs. Clinton partially explains in a misleading manner, the 2002 AUMF authorized Iraqi regime change for the purpose of bringing Iraq into compliance with the Gulf War ceasefire "governing standard of Iraqi compliance" (UNSCR 1441) in the event that Saddam fell short of Congress's instruction "to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq" (PL 107-243).

      Saddam activated the 2002 AUMF authorization for enforcement by failing to meet Iraq's burden to prove the mandated compliance with the "governing standard of Iraqi compliance" (UNSCR 1441) for disarmament in the UNSCR 1441 inspections.

      The UNSCR 1441 inspection results that triggered Operation Iraqi Freedom were reported to the UN Security Council on March 7, 2003: "about 100 unresolved disarmament ... on 7 December 2002, Iraq provided a further declaration that in essence repeated the information in the earlier declarations.
      Little of the detail in these declarations
      , such as production quantities, dates of events and unilateral destruction activities, can be confirmed. Such information is critical to an assessment of the status of disarmament. Furthermore, in some instances, UNMOVIC has information that conflicts with the information in the declaration."

      In other words, in Saddam's "final opportunity to comply" with "full and immediate compliance by Iraq without conditions or restrictions with its obligations" (UNSCR 1441), Iraq instead failed to satisfy even the baseline-setting step of the UNSCR 687 declare/yield/eliminate-under-international-supervision disarmament process, a verified total declaration that accounted for Iraq's entire WMD-related program, which Iraq was required to provide within 15 days - in 1991.

      The result of the UNSCR 1441 inspections in 2002-2003 was substantially equivalent to the result of the UNSCR 1205 inspections in 1998 that triggered President Clinton's determination for Operation Desert Fox.

      Post hoc, the Iraq Survey Group investigation found Iraq rife with violations of UNSCR 687 - for example, "The IIS [Iraq Intelligence Service] ran a large covert procurement program, undeclared chemical laboratories, and supported denial and deception operations." The IIS also managed Saddam's "regional and global terrorism" (Iraqi Perspectives Project), which also breached UNSCR 687. ISG found "clear evidence of his [Saddam's] intent to resume WMD" and the "Iraqis never intended to meet the spirit of the UNSC’s resolutions. Outward acts of compliance belied a covert desire to resume WMD activities."

      The President's determination to use force with Operation Iraqi Freedom was justified in accordance with the standard set out by Congress in section 3(b) of Public Law 107-243. Per the authorization to "enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq" (Public Law 107-243), Saddam was evidentially in material breach across the board of the "governing standard of Iraqi compliance" (UNSCR 1441) - including and especially the (WMD) disarmament mandates of UNSCR 687, terrorism mandates of UNSCR 687, and humanitarian mandates of UNSCR 688.

      On the law and the facts, Senator Clinton's vote for Public Law 107-243 and President Bush's decision for Operation Iraqi Freedom were correct.

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    2. * Correction:
      The UNSCR 1441 inspection results that triggered Operation Iraqi Freedom were reported to the UN Security Council on March 7, 2003: "about 100 unresolved disarmament issues ... on 7 December 2002, Iraq provided a further declaration that in essence repeated the information in the earlier declarations.
      Little of the detail in these declarations, such as production quantities, dates of events and unilateral destruction activities, can be confirmed. Such information is critical to an assessment of the status of disarmament. Furthermore, in some instances, UNMOVIC has information that conflicts with the information in the declaration."

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  15. Excerpt from the answer to "Was Operation Iraqi Freedom legal?":

    __Congress set the bar for the President's determination to use force in section 3(b) of Public Law 107-243:
    "SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
    ... (b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION.—In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that
    (1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and
    (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 ..."

    Accordingly, President Bush's determination for Operation Iraqi Freedom, transmitted to Congress on March 18, 2003, responded primarily to Saddam's "regional and global terrorism" (IPP) and the UNMOVIC confirmation that “Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687” (UNSCR 1441):
    "UNMOVIC evaluated and assessed this material as it has became [sic] available and ... produced an internal working document covering about 100 unresolved disarmament issues ...
    ... As earlier mentioned, after the defection of Lieutenant-General Hussein Kamal in August 1995, Iraq provided new chemical, biological and missile declarations. And on 7 December 2002, Iraq provided a further declaration that in essence repeated the information in the earlier declarations.
    Little of the detail in these declarations, such as production quantities, dates of events and unilateral destruction activities, can be confirmed. Such information is critical to an assessment of the status of disarmament. Furthermore, in some instances, UNMOVIC has information that conflicts with the information in the declaration. ... These uncertainties and consequent outstanding issues are discussed in the section on Clusters of Unresolved Disarmament Issues."

    In other words, instead of "full and immediate compliance by Iraq without conditions or restrictions with its obligations ... bringing to full and verified completion the disarmament process established by resolution 687" (UNSCR 1441), Iraq's declarations for the UNSCR 1441 inspections "in essence repeated" (UNMOVIC) their deficiency of "information [that] is critical to an assessment of the status of disarmament" (UNMOVIC) from the UNSCR 1205 inspections that had triggered Operation Desert Fox in 1998.
    ...
    The subsequent Iraq Survey Group findings, including "we have clear evidence of his [Saddam's] intent to resume WMD", "the Iraqis never intended to meet the spirit of the UNSC’s resolutions ... [o]utward acts of compliance belied a covert desire to resume WMD activities", and "it has become evident to ISG that [Iraqi] officials were involved in concealment and deception activities", together with the numerous non-WMD-related findings of Iraq's noncompliance, support President Bush's determination that "further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone ... is [sic] not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq" (P.L. 107-243).__

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