Gates Contradicts Bush, Says ‘I Don’t Know’ If 2002 War Authorization Is Still Valid
‘During today’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he doesn’t know whether the 2002 resolution authorizing force in Iraq is still valid, acknowledging that his view differs with that of President Bush.
During his questioning of Gates, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) noted that the authorization listed two purposes for the use of force: 1) to defend the United States against Saddam Hussein and 2) enforce U.N. resolutions against Hussein’s government. Byrd asked Gates, since Hussein’s government no longer exists, “do you agree that this authorization no longer applies to the ongoing conflict in Iraq?”
Gates responded: “I think the honest answer, Senator Byrd, is that I don’t know the answer to that question.” Gates admitted that his answer contradicts that of the President, who believes the resolution “still continues to authorize the actions that we are taking in Iraq.”’