WASHINGTON - August 26 - The lead
headline in this morning's Washington Post is: "Bush Aides Say Iraq War
Needs No Hill Vote." In contrast, Wayne Morse -- one of only two Senators who
voted against the Gulf of Tonkin resolution used by the Johnson administration
to escalate the Vietnam War -- argued that declaring war is the responsibility
of Congress. Audio of his 1964 statements is available:
Morse: "No war has been declared
in Southeast Asia and until a war is declared it is my position that it is unconstitutional
to send American boys to their death in South Vietnam or anywhere else in Southeast
Asia... I don't know why we think, just because we're mighty, that we have the
right to try to substitute might for right. And that's the American policy in
Southeast Asia -- it's just as unsound when we do it as when Russia does it."
Morse: "Since when do we have
to back our president -- or should we -- when the president is proposing an unconstitutional
act?" Audio at:
Reporter: "Senator, the Constitution
gives to the president of the United States the sole responsibility for the conduct
of foreign policy."
Morse: "Couldn't be more wrong. You couldn't make a more unsound legal
statement than the one you have just made. This is the promulgation of an old
fallacy that foreign policy belongs to the president of the United States -- that's
nonsense -- it belongs to the American people, and the Constitution of our fathers
has made that very, very clear..."
Reporter: "You know that the American people cannot formulate and execute
Morse: "Why do you say that? Why, you're a man of little faith in democracy
if you make that kind of an -- I have complete faith in the ability of the American
people to follow the facts if you'll give them. And my charge against my government
is we're not giving the American people the facts." Audio:
The following are
among those available for interviews:
MIKE GRAVEL, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Gravel, currently president of Direct Democracy and sponsor of the National Initiative
for Democracy, was a noted critic of the Vietnam War while in the Senate. He entered
the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record.
PAUL ROGAT LOEB, email@example.com,
Author of Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in a Cynical Time and
Hope in Hard Times: America's Peace Movement and the Reagan Era, Loeb said
today: "As during the Vietnam War, we're being asked to accept whatever the president
does as wise and justified. By ceding our right to have a full national debate
over whether we should go to war with Iraq, we're setting the stage for similarly
damaging potential consequences..."
NORMAN SOLOMON, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, Solomon recently wrote
a Los Angeles Times article headlined: "Where Is the Voice of Dissent?
As we weigh an attack on Iraq, we need someone like the Vietnam era's Wayne Morse."
He said today: "Transfixed with tactical issues, none of the senators on television
in recent days would dream of acknowledging the present relevance of a statement
made by Senator [Wayne] Morse a third of a century ago: 'We're going to become
guilty, in my judgment, of being the greatest threat to the peace of the world.
It's an ugly reality, and we Americans don't like to face up to it.'"