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Posted by Jeff from LTU-207-73-65-124.LTU.EDU ( on Monday, August 26, 2002 at 11:23AM :

Bush Lawyers Say No Vote Needed to Attack Iraq
Mon Aug 26, 7:25 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House lawyers have concluded that President Bush ( news - web sites) does not need congressional consent to launch an attack on Iraq, The Washington Post reported Monday, citing administration officials.

U.N. Official Pushes More Weapons Inspections in Iraq

Although some administration officials are adamant that no authorization is required, others are arguing it might be desirable to seek congressional support anyway as a matter of statesmanship and to build public support, the newspaper said.

White House officials told the newspaper that Bush could move without new congressional approval, in part, because the 1991 resolution giving the first President Bush authority to wage war in the Persian Gulf remains in force.

"We don't want to be in the legal position of asking Congress to authorize the use of force when the president already has that full authority," a senior administration official told the Post. "We don't want, in getting a resolution, to have conceded that one was constitutionally necessary."

Asked about the report, a White House spokesman reiterated that President Bush would consult Congress on any decision regarding war on Iraq.

The newspaper quoted officials as saying that a legal review of questions about a war with Iraq was largely complete and the consensus emerging was that the president would not be legally bound to obtain approval for action against Iraq.

"The legal question and the practical question may be very different," one administration official said. "There is a view that while there is not a legal necessity to seek anything further, as a matter of statesmanship and politics and practicality, it's necessary -- or at a minimum, strongly advisable -- to do it."

-- Jeff
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