Leading to Iraq: high crimes and misdemeanors3
This blog continues from the previous ones on the same topic. As we now know, the White House and top administration figures launched a well organized and highly concerted campaign to exploit the six-month anniversary of 9/11 to get a war with Iraq.
Fanning out on March 11, the president held a ceremonial press opportunity at the White House, the vice president appeared jointly with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London, and the Secretary of Defense attacked Iraq at Arlington. Statements hyping Iraq concerns were made at the press daily briefing at State and in appearances by Senators McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lieberman (D-Conn.). Sympathetic stories appeared in media outlets, and rightwing Washington think tanks supported the whole effort, as did most Republicans in office with the honorable exception of Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas).
This operation exposes more than administration eagerness to invade Iraq. It also exposes how the current White House deputizes branches of U.S. government as branches of its own political operations. In an ugly continuing push, the Bush White House has engaged in the greatest enlargement of presidential power in the history of the United States, co-opting the other branches of government, the Republican Party, the press, the military, the intelligence community and even the states.
With a few heroic exceptions, there could be little resistance within the administration to inappropriate dominance by the White House or the unconstitutional invasion of a foreign country. Two weeks before March 11, Elizabeth Cheney, Vice President Cheney
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