Sunday, April 18, 2004

Woodward's book

There has been lots of talk over the weekend about Bob Woodward's new book, Plan of Attack. Several of the charges are sure to raise some concern over the coming week, but the one I find most troubling is the claim that President Bush diverted some funds that were allocated for the Afghanistan military efforts to start the build-up for an Iraq invasion in July 2002, unbeknownst to Congress.

I have been trying to research this point, but I have been unable to locate the specific appropriation that Woodward refers to. The Bush administration's early response is that the money was not tied down to specific activity (see this article discussing the Bush team's response to many of the charges) [USAT]. Also, see the transcript of Condi Rice's appearance on Face the Nation Sunday where she discusses the charges (thanks, Joe).

This is a most serious charge. Article II, Sec. 8 sub.7 provides:
No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

I imagine that members of Congress (particularly those with a "D" next to their name) will be screaming bloody murder about this over the course of the week. And as well they should. President Bush will have to provide a better answer than he has come up with so far.

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