Perino: "Don’t Know" If White House Will Seek Congress' OK for Permanent Iraq Occupation

Earlier this week, State Dept. Coordinator for Iraq David Satterfield refused to say whether it was “a constitutional requirement” for the administration to “consult with Congress” on a long-term agreement with Iraq.

This morning on Fox News, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino echoed Satterfield, saying that “we don’t know” whether Congress has any constitutional role in authorizing such treaties:

The negotiations on it have just started. In fact, there was a hearing on Capitol Hill yesterday. And members will be fully briefed. We don’t know if this is going to result in something that Congress will need to approve or not. But they are going to be fully consulted all along the way.

But the administration does know it will bypass Congress. In a follow-up letter to Satterfield’s testimony obtained by ThinkProgress, Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Bergner said the President does have “constitutional authority” to “continue combat operations” in Iraq without Congress’s authorization.

As justification, Bergner cited the 2002 authorization of force against Saddam Hussein and the resolution passed after 9/11:

[T]he U.S. military has the authority to conduct operations in Iraq beyond the end of the year under the laws passed by Congress and the President’s authority as Commander in Chief under the Constitution.

“I don’t think anybody argues today that Saddam Hussein is a threat,” said Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) in response. “Is it the government of Iraq that’s a threat?”
#story_page_ below_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.