The 2002 Downing Street Memo is sometimes known as the "smoking gun" which shows that President Bush pre-fabricated the case for invading Iraq. It reads in part:
It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.
In October 2002, only 23 Senators and 133 Representatives did NOT vote to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq. As Thomas R. Eddlem wrote:
The president has no powers to order the military to do anything, unless Congress first orders it. Only Congress has the power "to make rules for the regulation and government of the land and naval forces" under the Constitution. Only Congress can "declare war," and only Congress can declare "enemy combatants" under its exclusive power to "make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water."
Later, in 2003, Donald Rumsfeld's advisor, Richard Perle admitted the Iraq invasion was illegal. Mr. Pearle said,
international law ... would have required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone
So am I placing the blame on Bush for leading the charge? Or placing blame on Congress for authorizing and supporting him? The answer is both!
The vast majority in 2002 and the new, 2007 Democratic Congress continue to support the President's illegal occupation of Iraq. Helen Thomas asks tougher questions than most congressmen!
But here is the real question: Will Americans research the issues before voting in 2008? Or just read the polls?