Statement on War Powers for Bush
September 14, 2001
The horrendous tragedies of this week warrant a strong and judicious
response, however I'm concerned that the language of this resolution could
result in dangerous foreign policy.
The perpetrators of this crime must be dealt with. However, we must ensure
that when we strike back, we deliver a massive blow against those truly
responsible for this terrible crime.
We as a nation stand for the rule of law. Perpetrators of crimes, no matter
their size or scope, are afforded a trial through a judicial process. That
means that targeted assassinations and no death squads.
In the aftermath of this horrendous act, let us not forget that real
security and real peace come through justice. I too feel extreme pain and
outrage at the attack on America, but our nation must respond with a
commitment to justice or else we become all that we abhor.
The United States confronted this very same decision at the close of World
War II: that is the struggle for justice in the face of tyranny. There were
those who called for widespread executions of Nazis, Japanese leadership, and
their civilians. On the other side were those who urged reason and a return
to the rule of law. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, who led the
prosecution at Nuremberg said it best:
"That four great nations, flushed with victory and stung with injury stay the
hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the
judgment of the law is one of the most significant tributes that power has
ever paid to reason."
Thank you Mr. Speaker.