The transcript shows that Bush consciously intended to go to war without a United Nations Security Council resolution. The United Nations Charter, to which the United States is a treaty signatory (so that it has the force of American law), forbids any nation to launch an aggressive war on another country. ~Prof. Cole
This is all true, but then we have known this to be true since the spring of 2003. Of course he intended to go to war without a U.N. Security Council resolution that authorised it. He and his supporters essentially admitted as much at the time (all those pro-administration pundits spinning far-fetched theories about “punishing” Iraq for violating the Gulf War ceasefire and 17 or however many U.N. resolutions weren’t just talking for their health), and they bragged about their steely-eyed resolve when they said it. I suppose it doesn’t hurt to have the war’s illegality confirmed for all to see. Still, if the spineless Congress can’t bring itself to defend the Constitution, what makes us believe that it will hold the executive accountable for breaking other laws?
Prof. Cole also points to a story about how the war could have been avoided with Hussein going into exile. He is rightly angry that Mr. Bush launched the war anyway when it might have been avoided, but then the war was always unnecessary. It wasn’t just unnecessary because Hussein was apparently willing to go into exile. It was unnecessary because there was no cause for war.