Saturday, October 29, 2005

Fitzweekend Driveby...

Whatever falls out legally from the Fitzgerald investigation, it appears to have spurred at least one Democrat to renew demands for a congressional investigation. In a letter to Tom Davis, chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, ranking minority member Henry Waxman demands that a hearing be initiated to determine:
…(1) who should be held accountable for the leak of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, (2) why the White House failed to meet its obligations to revoke the security clearances of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Karl Rove, and (3) how the leak relates to the broader issue of whether the President and his top advisors used misleading intelligence to launch an unnecessary war in Iraq.

I'm glad to see Waxman taking this action. The "trial of the Iraq war" belongs in Congress, not in the courts.

The problem is that the GOP majority may prevent a Congressional investigation from taking place, as it has since Waxman first proposed one in October of 2003.


  1. One comment Jeff...
    Yes, it is good for Congress to have an interest in getting to the bottom of what has happened but I am always leary when Congress starts investigating. They sometimes have a way of stepping on the investigation by others by granting immunity to the wrong people. Fitzgerald is doing a good thorough job and I would hate to see some of these hamhanded Congressional types get in his way.

  2. Meribeth7:23 AM

    I agree with fallenmonk. What has our current Congress "investigated" recently that wasn't white washed to a great extent. I don't think there would be any honesty....not then, not now, not in the future.

    But I do hope that the pressure is kept high by using tactics like Waxman has done. Now is the time to get some spine. There are a lot of serious issues coming up and the Dems and the moderates must say enough.

    OK, I have a question, and I hope you can answer. The resolution that was passed that allowed W to declare war without Congressional approval...Was that just for Iraq? Was is for "The War On Terrorism"? Is it still in effect for whatever that ______ may want to do?? This really concerns me. With Syria and Iran in his gun sites, and a huge failure rate in his own country...I am afraid he will invade another country. Great way to keep the panic up.

  3. Monk,

    I agree that Congress should not get in Fitz's way. I think that may have been one of the excuses for postponing a Congressional Plame investigation.


    I believe the problems with prior Congress investigations have been due to the Republican majority. The WH wouldn't have been able to get away witholding so much evidence if Dems were in power.

    As to the "blank check": Public Law 107-243, "A Joint Resolution to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq."

    So I believe that's as far as the authority goes. However, they might call any expansion into, say, Syria part of the Iraq war.


  4. That's correct, Jeff. The authorization given by Congress in Public law 107-243 is directed specifically toward Iraq. Of course, now that we are in Iraq the admin could interpret it broadly to include, if necessary, action in countries meddling in Iraq. Also, the President could seek to rely on his own authority to use the armed forces under the Constitution, under the guise of some action outside of Iraq (such as in Iran or Syria) requiring immediate response (and it is fairly well-settled, I think, that when the President must act immediately he has the authority in use of the armed forces).

    The War Powers Act of 1973 purports to limit the ability of the President to use the armed forces without Congressional approval, but this law has never been Constitutionally tested (remember it is an action by one branch of government to constrain a coordinate branch, so it practically screams "constitutional crisis" if it ever came to a head. The Supreme Court would likely have to sort it out).

  5. Yes, Scott, that's how I've always understood it. He gets 60 days (and a 30 day extension under certain circumstances), then he needs Congressional permission.

    A not bad link on the '73 act is:

  6. Thanks...I'll check that out. Not one of the links I had.

  7. Meribeth12:57 PM

    Thank you all very much for your info and clarification.

    That man scares the shit out of me and I am afraid he may invade Syria.

    Hell, he already has...just like us going into Cambodia.

  8. I don't think he'll invade Syria. Tough position, though...I mean, if you're President how much do you let a foreign country interfere with a war where you have U.S. troops dying before you do something about it?

    I haven't seen the case made against either Syria or Iran, but if it could be shown that either of them was actively aiding the resistance in Iraq, then I think there would be little choice but to address it.

  9. Maybe, but I don't think invasion/occupation is a realistic option.


  10. No, I don't think that's a reasonable option either. And of course, if we weren't there in the first place we wouldn't be facing the problem. But since we are there I think, apart from arguing about why or how we got there, we have to at least try to approach things sensibly from a military perspective. Seems to me if those countries were interfering, something would have to be done about it. But invading and/or occupying either would be an extremely bad idea, in my view.

  11. DUDACKATTACK!!!4:49 PM

    Waxman has had a lot of good ideas but no one is listening...

    Not meaning to sound like a conspiracy nut but Waxman has been way out of the MSM limimelight since he pissed off Big Tobacco.


  12. Coincidence? I think not. But it looks like Waxman is getting some help on this issue from Harry Ried in the upper chamber.