Friday, April 16, 2004

This Could Get Dicey for our President

"Mr. President, is it true you funded Iraq war planning with money appropriated for the War in Afghanistan? Isn't it written into the Constitution that no money can be taken from the Treasury without Congressional approval?"

That's what I thought.

Thanks to Atrios for the link.

UPDATE: It looks as though the press is latching onto the planning aspect of the Iraq war, which isn't bad because it just confirms everything Snow/Suskind and Dick Clarke have said. They haven't grabbed the misappropriation of funding, yet.

From Friday's Gaggle:

Q Scott, the President said he couldn't recall whether it was in November, 2001 when he asked Secretary Rumsfeld to draw up war plans for Iraq, and he said he was going to check and try to refresh his memory. Do you know whether it was -- that's the correct date, November?

MR. McCLELLAN: First of all, I think what he was referring to was the September time period in the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks, and when he was meeting with his national security team. And at that point in September, all our focus was on Afghanistan and removing the Taliban regime from power and taking away the safe harbor for al Qaeda that existed in Afghanistan.

Certainly, late November it was becoming increasingly clear what direction things were headed in Afghanistan. It was clear that the Taliban was no longer going to have a hold on Afghanistan. We began combat operations in Afghanistan in the earlier period of October, and by November and early December things were winding down. And the President did talk to Secretary Rumsfeld about Iraq. But there is a difference between planning and making a decision. Emph. Added

Here's a link to an All Things Considered story from Friday's program, including a good, "I don't recall the date" quote from Bush. (Third audio link down: Woodward Book Details...) Don Gonyea, fresh off his stymying of Bush at the Presser, tries to get us some answers.

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