Tag: Lieberman-Kyl

Condi says Congress did NOT authorize war on Iran!

It’s not often that serial liar Condoleezza Rice says something that merits approval and publicity, but miracles do happen.

According to the Associated Press:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday she does not believe a Senate resolution authorizes President Bush to take military action against Iran.

“There is nothing in this particular resolution that would suggest that from our point of view. And, clearly, the president has also made very clear that he’s on a diplomatic path where Iran comes into focus,” Rice said.

The latter part is, of course, what we expect from Rice. The administration’s attempts to drum up support for a war have been blatant and blatantly dishonest; but this statement needs to be publicized and emphasized:

There is nothing in this particular resolution that would suggest that from our point of view.

Meanwhile, the Guardian, yesterday, had yet more evidence of the insane efforts to find some rationale- any rationale- for attacking Iran:

US military officials are putting huge pressure on interrogators who question Iraqi insurgents to find incriminating evidence pointing to Iran, it was claimed last night.

Micah Brose, a privately contracted interrogator working for American forces in Iraq, near the Iranian border, told The Observer that information on Iran is ‘gold’. The claim comes after Washington imposed sanctions on Iran last month, citing both its nuclear ambitions and its Revolutionary Guards’ alleged support of Shia insurgents in Iraq. Last week the US military freed nine Iranians held in Iraq, including two it had accused of links to the Revolutionary Guards’ Qods Force.

Brose, 30, who extracts information from detainees in Iraq, said: ‘They push a lot for us to establish a link with Iran. They have pre-categories for us to go through, and by the sheer volume of categories there’s clearly a lot more for Iran than there is for other stuff. Of all the recent requests I’ve had, I’d say 60 to 70 per cent are about Iran.

Needless to say, if the evidence was there, the efforts to find it wouldn’t be quite so obsessive. Clearly, the administration wants war. Just as clearly, there’s an understanding that they’re getting neither the evidence to justify one nor the public support that would make it politically safe to launch one. In fact, a CNN/Opinion Research polll, last week, showed, in addition to record high opposition to the Iraq War:

The public also opposes U.S. military action against Iran. Sixty-three percent oppose air strikes on Iran, while 73 percent oppose using ground troops as well as air strikes in that country.

Does any of this mean the administration won’t launch a war? Of course not. But it does suggest that they do understand that this effort at warmongering is not working. And now, Condoleezza Rice has made clear that Congress did not, in fact, give the administration a green light to attack. Lieberman-Kyl was terrible and asinine, but it was not a war resolution. Condoleezza Rice even says so. We need to keep emphasizing that fact.

Cheney’s Plan to Bomb Iran

Oh for crap’s sakes. I assume since it’s a day old, most everyone has seen this article in the New Yorker by Seymour Hersh but I’m just seeing it today.

Note: All emphasis below mine. All curse words (mine also) removed before publishing

It begins:

In a series of public statements in recent months, President Bush and members of his Administration have redefined the war in Iraq, to an increasing degree, as a strategic battle between the United States and Iran. “Shia extremists, backed by Iran, are training Iraqis to carry out attacks on our forces and the Iraqi people,” Bush told the national convention of the American Legion in August. “The attacks on our bases and our troops by Iranian-supplied munitions have increased. . . . The Iranian regime must halt these actions. And, until it does, I will take actions necessary to protect our troops.” He then concluded, to applause, “I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran’s murderous activities.”

I am too discouraged for words.

Tit for tat

From the Associated Press:

Iran’s parliament on Saturday approved a nonbinding resolution labeling the CIA and the U.S. Army “terrorist organizations,” in apparent response to a Senate resolution seeking to give a similar designation to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The hard-line dominated parliament cited U.S. involvement in dropping nuclear bombs in Japan in World War II, using depleted uranium munitions in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq, supporting the killings of Palestinians by Israel, bombing and killing Iraqi civilians, and torturing terror suspects in prisons.

“The aggressor U.S. Army and the Central Intelligence Agency are terrorists and also nurture terror,” said a statement by the 215 lawmakers who signed the resolution at an open session of the Iranian parliament. The session was broadcast live on state-run radio.

The juvenility of our two national legislatures would be funny- if millions of people’s lives weren’t potentially threatened.

The Senate DID NOT Authorize Force Against Iran!

Before we all lose it over the Senate’s asinine Iran resolution, I thought we should all take deep breaths and calm down! The Senate did not authorize military action against Iran! The most dangerous wording in the Lieberman-Kyl resolution was removed before the vote!

With a hat tip to the reality-based Talking Points Memo, the National Security Advisors blog explains it thusly:

According to a staffer in Senator Lieberman’s office, due to objections from some colleagues, Lieberman and Kyl removed these two quoted sections regarding use of military force.  The remaining items, which the Senate did approve today, are pretty tame by comparison (though Senate moderates Biden, Hagel, Lugar, and Webb voted against it.  The revised amendment implies that the U.S. military should plan a future force structure in Iraq to help contain Iran; states that it is a vital interest of the U.S. to prevent Iran from creating a Hezbollah-like proxy army in Iraq; and recommends that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards be put on the Executive branch’s list of specially designated global terrorists.

The quoted sections that were deleted from the resolution? The Carpetbagger Report explains:

To be sure, the revised version is preferable to the original. Two offending paragraphs, in particular, were omitted entirely, including the notion that “it should be the policy of the United States to combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its foreign facilitators such as Lebanese Hezbollah, and its indigenous Iraqi proxies.”

Indeed, the original resolution also included language that the Senate would “support the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military instruments,” as part of our drive to “combat” Iran’s “destabilizing influence.”

Was it still a terrible resolution? Of course. Did it indicate Congress now backs a war with Iran? Not only is the answer no, but the National Security Advisors blog makes the point that the Democrats had already, twice this year, acted in ways that could be considered as supporting the use of force against Iran. In other words, by forcing the removal of the most inflammatory language from this resolution, the Democrats could be read as now being less supportive of using force against Iran! Or maybe not. We’ve all been doing way too much tea-leave reading, and far too little focusing on the facts.

Stick to Facts: Designating Iran Revolutionary Guard As Terrorists Does Not Authorize Force

A misunderstanding is leading to a good argument, that the Lieberman-Kyl Amendment sucks, being argued with bad facts. In essence, the argument goes that this language:

that the United States should designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and place the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists…

triggers the September 18, 2001 AUMF. It does not. Let’s check the text:


(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

Nowhere is there a finding that Iran was involved in the 9/11 attacks. No one can credibly argue that they were (after all, Saddam was behind 9/11 . . .)

Nothing in the Iran Amendment passed today authorizes the use of force (nor would it even if it was NOT a nonbinding “sense of the Senate” resolution.)

But what are the effects of having the IRG declared “Specially Designated Global Terrorists?” Let’s consider that question on the flip.

Gutted Lieberman-Kyl Iran Amendment Passes

Wasting time, good will and attempting to wreak havoc, the original Lieberman-Kyl Amendment on Iran was tantamount to granting President Bush the power to wage war against Iran. Still wasting time and attempting to wreak havoc, the Lieberman-Kyl Amendment was gutted of its war authorizing provisions, but remained provocative, unnecessary and stupid. It should have been voted down. It was not. It passed. Among the Ays was Senator Hillary Clinton. Among the Nays were Senators Chris Dodd and Joe Biden. Absent was Senator Barack Obama.