The Laws of Unintended Consequences
The Washington Post has this article
about the Bush administration drawing conclusions not supported by the intelligence and analysis they were given. Let's play a game, kids:
- After the Gulf of Tonkin incident, Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin resolution authorizing the president to escalate the war in VietNam.
- Result: A protracted war, civil unrest, and the War Powers Act, which was intended to regain control over the powers Congress had ceded to the executive, but instead provided a legal basis for almost all subsequent military interventions and effectively legitimated the kind of extra-legal warfare it was designed to check.
- After the CIA mines a Nicaraguan harbor, Congress passes the Boland Ammendment restricting the level and types of aid to the Contras.
- Result: Lt. Col. Ollie North and Adm. Poindexter conspire, on behalf of the Reagan Administration, to circumvent the Boland Ammendment and finance the Contras even more so.
- The Bush Administration pushes for a war in Iraq based on geopolitical objectives (e.g., moving US bases out of Saudi Arabia and into Iraq) rather than the specific threats to the U.S. it outlined to Congress. Congress passes an authorization to use force against Iraq.
It will be curious to see what ineffective Congressional legislation will be passed as a result of this deception (and the lack of WMD evidence). It also will be curious to see if the Democrats can make any hay out of this. I'm not holding my breath.