Iraq, Senate, Croke discussed on The Majority Report with Sam Seder


That's it. I'm not going to do. I mean but i i. It's hard. I think for people around the outside to sort of say like how is it that you were able to look at this. And what were the reasons. Why other senators. Who i imagine there were some at least who had some sensitivity to this. Was it just purely like from a political standpoint. If i don't do this. I'm not back here in two thousand and three i think probably what First of all. I would say twenty years later and certainly even ten years after i it was fine to name names in. History is more important than protecting people's feelings at this point and So what i can tell you is that people would say would have said to me at the time while you don't. You're not up for reelection. Two thousand four and you come from a different kind of state centered cetera. You're not running for president but you know the truth is is that i heard. Every one of those presidential candidates get up and close carcass and say this is not a good idea we should not be going into this war and then the political pitch was made by the leader others saying what will we be able to do to stop there were. They're doing if we lose the majority right. Also so that became the pitch this sort of pragmatic and then you have this tragedy of good people in arab perfectly. They are good people. Some of them People were very appropriate presidential candidates who managed to accept that notion out of political fear after saying those words in croke close caucus walked onto. The floor voted for this war. That set so many of our people to their doom in iraq and that was to me was one of the saddest things i never seen in politics to. Somebody would do this. The guy that really had a terrible time was paul. Wellstone was writhing over this. He was saying you know i. I understand the argument that we need to vote for it in. It was a very hard time you got in front of the caucus and he thought he loses reelection if he voted For a against the war in the end he did vote against the war. And last time i ever saw paul was i was coming to the senate chamber and he was leaving the senate chamber a few days before he was killed in plane crash and As i said. Paul you're up by nine points of the pulse you're gonna win. And he got this big smile on his face like you knew he had done the right thing and he was going to win. That's the last time i ever saw it. Does the rain thing. What from and i wanna talk about some of the lessons that that that that clearly weren't learned In many respects but when you look back at the patriot act. Or i mean obviously we just literally finished a twenty year war in afghanistan and You know the the what we did in iraq is going to resonate for generations and generations when when you look back in the wake of nine eleven in terms of like the the most problematic Things that were done by our government and the legacy that they will have. I mean you know. I mean i guess. The question is on some level like their stuff that we can't put the toothpaste back into the tube as it were on a lot of these things. What are those things that are the most sort of toxic. I guess toothpaste. That's out of those tubes. Well y would be of course is idea military authority in the part on part of the president. That's on completely limited. This idea that article two of constitutionalism president to do whatever he wants. And that the idea of the congress's supposed to declare war is sort of a dead letter that is has gotten worse and worse throughout the twentieth century in the first part of the twenty first century and this made it even worse with john. You over the office of legal counsel writing opinions. It really had no basis in constitutional law so this was a very bad period for this for congress was very docile did not stand up for authorities under the constitution under article one to to be involved in decisions about whether declared war whether to get out of a war and only now recently are some groups. Bipartisan senators led by people like tim. Kaine virginia trying to come together. Reasserted congressional forty this year. They're talking about undoing. The authorization for use of military force vis-a-vis iraq and making some progress less so with regard to the afghanistan authority which needs to be repealed and the same thing goes for the patriot where they made some changes A couple years ago were able to get a couple of things modified but basically those authorities for the government to simply go to the foreign intelligence surveillance court which is a secret court and asked to see personal records of people really haven't been changed. And and so these legacies continuing intimidators things going on one is whenever you have a crisis. There's gonna be some overreact. Doesn't make it right. you have to guard against it. And and and mistakes have been made in that regard for example famous internment of japanese german of deaths. Japanese-americans decorum case. That's one thing. The second thing that is even more sinister is the conscious decision to exploit the moment to exploit the opportunity to get something else to get more cracking down on people's civil liberties and that's the danger posed january six. I wrote a piece for the wall street. Journal said look. We have to have accountability for these people. That did this thing on january. Six twenty twenty one but let's not create authorities that are used against black lives matter. People are protesting. Need the the the the pipeline. Which is what has happened too often so you. This is a moment of vigilance because people will take this opportunity cynically to further restrict people's freedoms further enhance executive power over the power. And even if they're not aware that they're doing right. I mean you're you're setting up an apparatus that in many instances you know kerr you never know who could be the next president. Donald trump. i think we have enough. Love lessons like what was done with using the hallway insecurity by trump in portland and others to see that there are plenty of people. Were doing it conscious as well as people that are doing it in good faith but really there is a way to be more careful about the way. These things are written and and interpret. Were you what. What was your sense of the obama presidency in terms of some of these things. I mean during the obama presidency. I mean you you mentioned john. You who was in the office legal counsel wrote many of the documents that basically argued for the authority for president to do all sorts of things from tortured to other unilateral measures. During the obama years. We had things like the a the establishment sort of like bringing in from the cold almost the legal authority to assassinate american citizens. We have on wall walkie Has one. I think there were others. There was a. I think a tuesday meeting when they were looking at targets We still have a secretive..

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