Wes Clark on the Iraq War

March 1, 2007

The Levin Amendment reprised

Filed under: Iraq War Resolution (IWR), Levin Amendment — faithinwes @ 8:22 pm

The Senate’s Forgotten Iraq Choice

By LINCOLN D. CHAFEE

Providence, R.I.

AS the presidential primary campaigns begin in earnest, the Iraq war is overshadowing all other issues, as it did during the midterm elections. Presidential candidates who were in the Senate in October 2002 are particularly under the microscope, as they are being called upon to justify their votes for going to war.

As someone who was in the Senate at the time, I have been struck by the contours of the debate. The situation facing the candidates who cast war votes has, to my surprise, often been presented as a binary one — they could either vote for the war, or not. There was no middle ground.

On the contrary. There was indeed a third way, which Senator James Jeffords, independent of Vermont, hailed at the time as “one of the most important votes we will cast in this process.” And it was opposed by every single senator at the time who now seeks higher office.

A mere 10 hours before the roll was called on the administration-backed Iraq war resolution, the Senate had an opportunity to prevent the current catastrophe in Iraq and to salvage the United States’ international standing. Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, offered a substitute to the war resolution, the Multilateral Use of Force Authorization Act of 2002.

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New York Times, 3/1/07

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June 26, 2005

Clark and Iraq war resolution

Which Iraq war resolution in the Senate did Clark say he supported? There were five that were proposed: the one that passed 75-25, proposed by Lieberman; the Byrd amendment that would provide a termination date for the use of force authorization, which failed 31-66; the second Byrd amendment that would limit Bush’s authority to Iraq (the Lieberman version mentions a number of terrorist organizations that force was also authorized against), which failed 14-86; the Levin amendment that would limit the authority to destroying or removing WMDs and require a new UN Security Council resolution, which failed 24-75; and the Durbin amendment that would limit the authority to any imminent threat posed by Iraqi WMDs not a continuing threat, which failed 30-70 (see a discussion of these amendments (Google cache)).

Levin’s speech cited the testimony of Clark, along with Generals Shalikashvili and Hoar in favor of UNSC resolutions.

Here’s what Clark had to say about which resolution he supported:

Well, what I said in testimony repeatedly was that I believed that Congress should empower the president to go forward with a resolution to the United Nations. But I warned against giving him a blank check. I would never have supported the resolution as it ultimately emerged.

The only amendment or resolution that mentioned the UN was the Levin amendment. He also mentions it by name in this video.

More in general on Clark’s Iraq war stance here.

Clark Blog, June 26, 2005

November 16, 2003

“The resolution I would have supported is a resolution that required the president to return to the United States Congress before he took any military action”

Filed under: Iraq War Resolution (IWR), Levin Amendment, WMD — faithinwes @ 8:37 pm

A month later you went up to New Hampshire, campaigning for Katrina Swett, a candidate for Congress in the 2nd District, and said this: “Clark endorsed Democratic Katrina Swett in the 2nd District in New Hampshire.” And “He said if she were in Congress this week, he would advise her to vote for the resolution.” And as recently as September of this year, in response to a question of the press, “On balance, I probably would have voted for it.”

This was the resolution that the president asked for, giving him the authority to go to war. And the record’s pretty clear, General, that you were supporting the president.

GEN. CLARK: Well, I don’t think the record’s clear, that I was supporting the president, Tim. I think the record’s pretty clear in the opposite direction. What I would have supported was taking the problem to the United Nations. I wanted to see the problem of Saddam Hussein taken to the United Nations. Yes, I believe Saddam Hussein was a challenge and a threat but I did not see an imminent threat. I’ve written thousands of words, I’ve spoken dozens of times on CNN and you’ve simply got to pull the whole record out to see this. I even said on the 16th of September on CNN, “Don’t give the president a blank check.”

The resolution I would have supported is a resolution that required the president to return to the United States Congress before he took any military action. I supported a resolution that would have given him leverage with the United Nations but not a resolution that would have authorized war at that time. So I want to make it…

MR. RUSSERT: But you did say, “Our president has emphasized the urgency of eliminating these weapons. I support his efforts.”

GEN. CLARK: I do support the effort to eliminate those weapons and I did then, but I did not see it as a threat that required us to go to war at the time. And I’ve made that very clear, too.

Meet the Press 11/16/03

October 10, 2002

Levin Amendment roll call vote: October 10 2002

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 107th Congress – 2nd Session

as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate

Vote Summary

Question: On the Amendment (Levin Amdt. No. 4862 )
Vote Number: 235 Vote Date: October 10, 2002, 03:08 PM
Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result: Amendment Rejected
Amendment Number: S.Amdt. 4862 to S.Amdt. 4856 to S.J.Res. 45
Statement of Purpose: To authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces, pursuant to a new resolution of the United Nations Security Council, to destroy, remove, or render harmless Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons-usable material, long-range ballistic missiles, and related facilities, and for other purposes.
Vote Counts: YEAs 24
  NAYs 75
  Not Voting 1

(more…)

October 9, 2002

Levin Amendment; #4856 modified–>#4862; October 9, 2002

Filed under: Congress, Iraq War Resolution (IWR), Levin Amendment — faithinwes @ 9:21 pm

Congressional Record: October 9, 2002 (Senate) – Pages S10191-S10195
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access – DOCID:cr09oc02-79

AUTHORIZATION OF THE USE OF
UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES AGAINST IRAQ– Continued

The Presiding Officer: Under the previous order, the Senator from Michigan is recognized for a period of 30 minutes. The Senator from Michigan.

Amendment No. 4862 to Amendment No. 4856, As Modified

Mr. Levin: Mr. President, on behalf of myself, Senator Reed, Senator Bingaman, Senator Boxer, Senator Mikulski, and Senator Stabenow, I call up amendment No. 4862, which is at the desk.

The Presiding Officer: Is there objection to laying aside the pending amendment?

Mr. Byrd: I have no objection.

The Presiding Officer: Without objection, it is so ordered. The clerk will report.

The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

The Senator from Michigan [Mr. Levin], for himself, Mr. Reed, Mr. Bingaman, Mrs. Boxer, Ms. Mikulski, and Ms. Stabenow, proposes an amendment numbered 4862 to amendment No. 4856, as modified.

Mr. Levin: Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading of the amendment be dispensed with.

The Presiding Officer: Without objection, it is so ordered.

The amendment is as follows: (more…)

Levin Amendment text; October 9, 2002

Filed under: Levin Amendment — faithinwes @ 8:42 pm
Congressional Record: October 9, 2002 (Senate) – Pages S10191-S10195
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access – DOCID:cr09oc02-79

AUTHORIZATION OF THE USE OF
UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES AGAINST IRAQ

-snip

(Purpose: To authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces, pursuant to a new resolution of the United Nations Security Council, to destroy, remove, or render harmless Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons-usable material, long-range ballistic missiles, and related facilities, and for other purposes)

In lieu of the matter proposed to be inserted by the amendment, insert the following:

SECTION. 1. SHORT TITLE.

This joint resolution may be cited as the “Multilateral Use of Force Authorization Act of 2002”.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) In accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 (1991), Iraq made a commitment–

(A) to destroy, remove, or render harmless all chemical and biological weapons and stocks of agents and all related subsystems and components and all research, development, support, and manufacturing facilities related thereto;

(B) to destroy, remove, or render harmless all ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometers, and related major parts and production facilities;

(C) not to acquire or develop any nuclear weapons, nuclear- weapons-usable material, nuclear-related subsystems or components, or nuclear-related research, development, support, or manufacturing facilities; and

(D) to permit immediate on-site inspection of Iraq’s biological, chemical, and missile capabilities, and assist the International Atomic Energy Agency in carrying out the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless of all nuclear- related items and in developing a plan for ongoing monitoring and verification of Iraq’s compliance.

(2) The regime of Saddam Hussein consistently refused to cooperate with United Nations Special Commission weapons inspectors in Iraq between 1991 and 1998 by denying them access to crucial people, sites, and documents.

(3) On October 31, 1998, Iraq banned the United Nations weapons inspectors despite its agreement and obligation to comply with United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 (1991).

(4) Iraq continues to develop weapons of mass destruction, in violation of its commitments under United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 (1991) and subsequent resolutions, and the regime of Saddam Hussein has used weapons of mass destruction against its own people and other nations.

(5) The development of weapons of mass destruction by Iraq is a threat to the United States, to the friends and allies of the United States in the Middle East, and to international peace and security.

SEC. 3. CONGRESSIONAL POLICY FOR UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION ON IRAQ.

Congress–

(1) supports the President’s call for the United Nations to address the threat to international peace and security posed by Saddam Hussein’s continued refusal to meet Iraq’s obligations under resolutions of the United Nations Security Council to accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless of its weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons- usable material, ballistic missiles with a range in excess of 150 kilometers, and related facilities, and to cease the development, production, or acquisition of such weapons, materials, and missiles;

(2) urges the United Nations Security Council to adopt promptly a resolution that–

(A) demands that Iraq provide immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access of the United Nations weapons inspectors so that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons- usable material, ballistic missiles with a range in excess of 150 kilometers, and related facilities are destroyed, removed, or rendered harmless; and

(B) authorizes the use of necessary and appropriate military force by member states of the United Nations to enforce such resolution in the event that the Government of Iraq refuses to comply;

(3) affirms that, under international law and the United Nations Charter, the United States has at all times the inherent right to use military force in self-defense; and

(4) will not adjourn sine die this year and will return to session at any time before the next Congress convenes to consider promptly proposals relative to Iraq if in the judgment of the President the United Nations Security Council fails to adopt or enforce the resolution described in paragraph (2).

SEC. 4. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES PURSUANT TO A NEW UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION.

(a) Authorization.–Pursuant to a resolution of the United Nations Security Council described in section 3(2) that is adopted after the enactment of this joint resolution, and subject to subsection (b), the President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States to destroy, remove, or render harmless Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons-usable material, ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometers, and related facilities, if Iraq fails to comply with the terms of the Security Council resolution.

(b) Requirements.–Before the authority granted in subsection (a) is exercised, the President shall make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that the United States has used appropriate diplomatic and other peaceful means to obtain compliance by Iraq with a resolution of the United Nations Security Council described in section 3(2) and that those efforts have not been and are not likely to be successful in obtaining such compliance.

(c) War Powers Resolution Requirements.–

(1) Specific statutory authorization.–Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution (22 U.S.C. 1544(b)).

(2) Applicability of other requirements.–Nothing in this joint resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.

SEC. 5. REPORTS TO CONGRESS.

Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this joint resolution, and at least once during every 60-day period thereafter, the President shall submit to Congress a report containing a summary of the status of efforts–

(1) to have the United Nations Security Council adopt the resolution described in section 3(2); or

(2) in the case of the adoption of such resolution, to obtain compliance by Iraq with the resolution.

 Liberated Text

Biden-Lugar, Levin and Lieberman Amendments

Filed under: Biden-Lugar Amendment, Congress, Levin Amendment, Lieberman Amendment — faithinwes @ 4:54 pm

Senate
If Sen. Daschle and Senate Democratic leaders cannot come to an agreement on the rules for debate by the end of today, then a cloture vote is likely. Cloture is a method of limiting debate or ending a filibuster in the Senate which takes at least 60 Senators. If a cloture vote carries, then it will deny Senators like Sen. Robert Byrd from filibustering. Thirty hours of floor debate is expected in the Senate, making an actual vote likely on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

The BUSH-LIEBERMAN WAR RESOLUTION is the Senate version of the Bush-Gephardt War Resolution.

The BIDEN-LUGAR AMENDMENT would authorize the use of force only to disarm Saddam Hussein, not depose him.

The LEVIN AMENDMENT, introduced by Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), would curtail the broad powers provided by the Bush-Lieberman War Resolution by requiring the President to first secure a UN Security Council authorization of the use of force in Iraq.
It would require a second vote in the Senate pending action or inaction by the UN Security Council.

Senators should be urged to vote for the only resolution that would mandate a 2nd vote be taken before the President can launch a war against Iraq. Thus, implore your Senators to vote YES to the Levin Amendment and vote NO to the Bush-Lieberman War Resolution – S.J.Res.46.

Source: Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC)

Levin Amendment: October 9, 2002

Filed under: Congress, Iraq War Resolution (IWR), Levin Amendment — faithinwes @ 3:53 pm

S.AMDT.4862
Amends: S.J.RES.45 , S.AMDT.4856
Sponsor: Sen Levin, Carl [MI] (submitted 10/9/2002) (proposed 10/9/2002)AMENDMENT PURPOSE:
To authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces, pursuant to a new resolution of the United Nations Security Council, to destroy, remove, or render harmless Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons-usable material, long-range ballistic missiles, and related facilities, and for other purposes.

TEXT OF AMENDMENT AS SUBMITTED: CR S10227-10228

STATUS:

    10/9/2002:
    Amendment SA 4862 proposed by Senator Levin to Amendment SA 4856. (consideration: CR S10191-10217; text: CR S10191)
    10/10/2002:
    Considered by Senate. (consideration: CR S10233, S10250-10264)
    10/10/2002:
    Amendment SA 4862 not agreed to in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 24 – 75. Record Vote Number: 235.

COSPONSORS(8):

Source: Library of Congress THOMAS

    October 4, 2002

    Senator Levin: Iraq War Debate, October 4, 2002

    Filed under: Congress, Iraq War Resolution (IWR), Levin Amendment — faithinwes @ 1:31 am

    In Support of Levin Amendement on Iraq

    Friday, 4 October, 2002

    “Mr. President, I rise today to speak in support of my alternative resolution and to explain why I believe it is the right way to go, rather than the White House resolution.

    At the outset, it must be noted that, whatever differences there may be among us, the one thing on which we can all agree upon is that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the Middle East. He has used weapons of mass destruction against his own people and against Iran; he has launched invasions of Iran and Kuwait; and for the last eleven years he has defied the will of the entire world as expressed in United Nations Security Council resolutions by refusing to destroy his weapons of mass destruction and prohibited ballistic missiles.

    Another point on which I believe there is consensus among the Members of the Senate is the fact that confronting the threat posed by Saddam Hussein could ultimately lead to committing U.S. military forces, including ground forces, into combat and that the vote we take on a resolution relating to Iraq may be the most important vote we make this year.

    Whether we commit our forces to attack Iraq as part of a United Nations authorized coalition or whether we go it alone could have immense consequences for our security and for future peace and stability in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East and beyond.

    And that’s why I am introducing this alternative resolution. The resolution that was agreed between the White House and the House leadership fails to address the two main problems with the original White House discussion draft. Those problems are:

    * The White House compromise still specifically authorizes at this time the use of force on a unilateral, “go it alone” basis, that is – without U.N. Security Council authorization; and

    * It authorizes the use of force beyond dealing with Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.

    My resolution is consistent with how I think Americans want us to proceed. It emphasizes the importance of dealing with Iraq on a multilateral basis, and withholds judgment at this time on the question of whether the United States should “go it alone” unilaterally against Iraq, should the United Nations fail to act.

    What my alternative resolution does is as follows:

    1) It urges the U.N. Security Council to adopt promptly a resolution that:

    * Demands unconditional access for U.N. inspectors so that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and prohibited ballistic missiles may be destroyed; and

    * Within the same U.N. resolution, authorizes the use of necessary and appropriate force by U.N. member states to enforce such resolution in the event Iraq refuses to comply.

    2) It also specifically authorizes the use of United States Armed Forces pursuant to that U.N. Security Council resolution if Iraq fails to comply with its terms, provided the President informs the Congress of his determination that the United States has used appropriate diplomatic and other peaceful means to obtain compliance by Iraq with such U.N. resolution.

    3) My resolution affirms that, under international law and the U.N. Charter, the United States has at all times the inherent right to use military force in self-defense, affirming the fact that there is no U.N. veto over U.S. military action.

    4) My resolution affirms that Congress will not adjourn sine die so that Congress can return to session to consider promptly proposals relative to Iraq if, in the judgment of the President, the U.N. Security Council does not adopt the resolution mentioned earlier.

    5) Finally, my resolution provides that the President report to Congress every 60 days on the status of efforts to have the U.N. Security Council adopt such a resolution and, if such a resolution is adopted, to obtain compliance by Iraq with the resolution. (more…)

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