Republican senator Chuck Hagel sounds off on the sorry state of Congress, the president’s lies, and the vote for war that he now regrets.
From GQ interview:
he says what I've been saying all along. Congress has already given Bush the go ahead to invade any country he wants.
Q:It’s incredible that you had to ask for that.
A:It is incredible. That’s what I said to Andy Card. Said it to Powell, said it to Rice. Might have even said it to the president. And finally, begrudgingly, they sent over a resolution for Congress to approve. Well, it was astounding. It said they could go anywhere in the region.
Q:It wasn’t specific to Iraq?
A:Oh no. It said the whole region! They could go into Greece or anywhere. I mean, is Central Asia in the region? I suppose! Sure as hell it was clear they meant the whole Middle East. It was anything they wanted. It was literally anything. No boundaries. No restrictions.
Q: They expected Congress to let them start a war anywhere they wanted in the Middle East?
A: Yes. Yes. Wide open. We had to rewrite it. Joe Biden, Dick Lugar, and I stripped the language that the White House had set up, and put our language in it.
Q: But that should also have triggered alarm bells about what they really wanted to do.
A: Well, it did. I’m not defending our votes; I’m just giving a little history of how this happened. You have to remember the context of when that resolution was passed. This was about a year after September 11. The country was still truly off balance. So the president comes out talking about “weapons of mass destruction” that this “madman dictator” Saddam Hussein has, and “our intelligence shows he’s got it,” and “he’s capable of weaponizing,” and so on.