Why did we go to war in Iraq?

A few days ago, I wrote a post thanking Former President George W. Bush for his unwavering support for doing what was right in our fight against terror.  Commenter hdhouse objected on the grounds that he believed that we were misled into the war:

No one disagrees that Saddam was one of the worst of the lot and justice caught up with him. That we trumped up all the other hoopla to invade Iraq when if Mr. Bush had just said, “hey..I wanna get that guy so we are going in” then it would have been something for an up and down vote.

But what Mr. Bush did was borrow the family car to go to the library and instead went out drinking.

I responded that I believed that removing Saddam and his regime was not only a valid reason for the war, but that it was a valid reason given for the war at the time as well. 

 I guess we all have different memories of our impressions at any given time, but I distinctly remember having discussions w/ my husband about getting rid of Saddam and his regime being the main, and clearly justifying, reason that we should go in during the time leading up to the invasion. WMD was still being debated at that time, but we agreed that, even if there were no WMD, it was still the right thing to do (I recall comparing it to a bodybuilder witnessing an old lady being beaten- although not perhaps required, it would be morally correct to intervene, and a moral failing not to).So, in other words, I don’t feel that I was misled that that was the plan and the goal, in the way you seem to. But memories are faulty things, and we all read them in our own ways.

I also commented that it would be an interesting project to do a media survey of the time before the war in an effort to understand what the public was told were the reasons for going.  Well, I can’t do that, exactly, but I can link to the Congressional Resolution on Iraq, which authorized the use of force.  It’s too long and legislative to really excerpt, but it clearly shows a number of reasons that the U.S. decided to go to war, only a few of which involve weapons of mass destruction. 

Of course, that was the law.  What the media actually said about it may be another story all together.

In what kind of world is this an excuse?

Hot Air (via Instapundit), in discussing Attorney General Eric Holder’s admission that he has not read the Arizona law that he is claiming may warrant a constitutional challenge, asks the following:

 Here’s the money question, prompted not just by Holder’s ignorance but the fact that Hillary criticized the statute without having read it either: Are they deliberately not reading it so that they have an excuse to walk back their criticisms later if this gets too hot politically?

So, I ask in response: The bill is 18 pages long.  This man is the attorney general of the United States; he is our highest ranked legal authority.  Hillary Clinton, while not serving in a law based position, is also a trained attorney.  Will the public really accept “I didn’t read the bill before I criticized it” as any sort of excuse whatsoever?  Really? 

My town has been in the mist of a very controversial criminal trial which included frequent complaints that the defendant was getting a raw deal.  One of my friends, who is not an attorney, asked me what my thoughts were on it.  I answered her, but made sure to state very clearly that I was only basing my opinion on what had been offered in some of the main media outlets, and that I had not examined the evidence or studied the proceedings unfiltered.  I specifically said that my answer was only applicable if the coverage I was reading was accurate and complete. 

Now, I don’t get paid to answer legal questions to facebook friends, and she was in no way relying on my answer other than to satisfy her own curiosity, so I can do that without all of the facts.  But, even so, I am an attorney, and she asked me because of my experience; I felt that I owed it to her to answer with the caveats or to give a completely informed answer.  Attorney General Holder owes us a lot more, and he is not following through.

Related: NRO is also outraged, calling this “the most transparently irresponsible administration in history.”

What do vitamins have to do with the financial crisis?

Like the apparent connection between the financial crisis and internet regulation, we are expected to simply trust congress to do what’s best for us, hiding and burying provisions into bills that seem unrelated to us mere mortals.  Financial regulations also include vitamin regulations. 

While no one was looking, he injected amendment language into the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 (H.R. 4173) that would expand the powers of the FTC (not the FDA, but the FTC) to terrorize nutritional supplement companies by greatly expanding the power of the FTC to make its own laws that target dietary supplement companies.

Once again, maybe this is a good law, maybe it’s not.  But, if it is, then it should be able to stand on its own.

What does internet regulation have to do with the financial crisis?

Nothing.  And yet (via Instapundit),

Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported on another little Easter egg in a bill cruising through Congress that would normally have followed Nancy Pelosi’s policy of discovery ex post facto. Democrats have pushed hard to get the financial-regulation reform bill unstuck in the Senate, mainly playing on class-warfare themes in painting the GOP as the party of eeeeeeevil Wall Street robber barons. However, the House version of the bill contains provisions that would put the Federal Trade Commission in position to start issuing rules on Internet transactions that would not only slow down business growth but also have no relevance at all to the financial collapse that prompted the bill. 

I’m not trying to argue that these hidden gems are in any way meaningful.  I’d note that this is about trade (although that’s not a problem that should need a solution at this time), and in no way threatens communication.  But it’s puzzling, none the less. 

This is just another example of something that can be avoided if we were to limit federal bills to only the topic at hand, as I wrote about here.  If this aspect of the legislation is necessary, and I think that’s a big if, let it stand on its own.

Are you ready for the healthcare gulags?

According to the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation, (via Ann Althouse) failure to purchase health insurance that the government deems acceptable will result in a tax penalty.  Failure to pay that penalty will result in prison time. 

H.R. 3962 provides that an individual (or a husband and wife in the case of a joint return) who does not, at any time during the taxable year, maintain acceptable health insurance coverage for himself or herself and each of his or her qualifying children is subject to an additional tax.” [page 1]
                                                         – – – – – – – – – –                                                   

If the government determines that the taxpayer’s unpaid tax liability results from willful behavior, the following penalties could apply…” [page 2]

                                                         – – – – – – – – – –                                                  

Criminal penalties

Prosecution is authorized under the Code for a variety of offenses.  Depending on the level of the noncompliance, the following penalties could apply to an individual:

• Section 7203 – misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.

• Section 7201 – felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.” [page 3]

Was this what you were hoping for?

72 Hours for the Public to View New Legislation

This resolution, which would allow for new legislation to be posted on the internet for 72 hours before a House of Representatives vote,  is currently stalled in the House.  I just emailed my representative to request that he support it.  Please consider doing the same.