Thursday, July 12, 2007

Modified Lieberman Amendment

Here is the modified version of the Lieberman (I-CT), McCain, Kly, Graham, Coleman, Collins, Sessions, Levin, Salazar and Craig amendment No. 2073 to the Fiscal Year 2008 National Defense Authorization Act, which passed 97-0 on July 11. As noted before, the amendment accuses Iran of assisting forces in Iraq that are contributing to the destabilization of Iraq and the murders of Americans, demanding that Iran cease those activities and requiring the Administration to report to Congress concerning Iran's activities there and responses to those activities. Most notably, the changed version closed with the sentence: “Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize or otherwise speak to the use of Armed Forces against Iran.”

Other modifications include requiring input of the Director of National Intelligence in producing reports; issuing the overdue National Intelligence Estimate on Iran (there hasn’t been one for more than 18 months, but rumor has it, one may be produced before the August recess); and supporting diplomacy to stop threats against the US.

Senator Levin insisted on striking the words “of hostility” from the following “Sense of Congress passage”: “the murder of members of the United States armed forces by a foreign government or its agents is an intolerable and unacceptable act of hostility against the United States.”

The amendment had the full support of the Senate and not a single Senator challenged any of the allegations presented in the resolution.

Click here for the original version of the amendment. Click here for the Bush administration’s Statement of Policy on amendments to the Defense Authorization Bill.

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