Let's have it out about the AUMF, once and for all
Crossposted at Democratic Underground.
Many Democrats who will play key roles in the new administration voted for the AUMF.
In another thread, someone posted this scathing view of the Clintons' history re: Iraq, from Scott Ritter who was outspokenly correct about the lack of justification for the war.
Biden's history of hawkishness on Iraq is described here.
John Kerry, Evan Bayh, and others who voted for the AUMF have been suggested for possible roles in the Obama administration.
Obama, spoke out against the war, but acknowledged that he doesn't know how he would have voted if he were in the shoes of those Senators:
...I’m always careful to say that I was not in the Senate, so perhaps the reason I thought it was such a bad idea was that I didn’t have the benefit of U.S. intelligence. And, for those who did, it might have led to a different set of choices.
Questions that might be illuminating to share thoughts about include...
How did it look to you at the time?
How does it look to you in hindsight (not whether the vote was a good idea, obviously, but whether their rationales were reasonable, forgivable, etc.?)
When all is said and done, what should we think about those who supported it?
What are the best explanations you've heard from these Senators and others for their votes? I recall that John Edwards was just plain contrite about it, but were any of the others?
Why did so many of us know that handing Bush the authorization to start a war would be abused, but these folks who represented us didn't?
Did any of these Senators say "hey, wait a minute, I gave Bush the big stick to enforce inspections, but why is he kicking out inspectors now... especially when they're not finding anything"?
Any and all thoughtful thoughts and links to illuminating source material would be welcome.