Pay Now, War Later

The Congressional Research Service on Bush’s war spending

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Every junior high civics student hears that Congress holds “the power of the purse,” but it turns out this is just another constitutional stop sign the Bush administration has blown past without even slowing down. Bob Woodward first reported in his book Plan of Attack that in the summer of 2002 President Bush took $700 million from funds appropriated for other military uses, including the war in Afghanistan, and spent it on preparations to invade Iraq. Now the Congressional Research Service has issued a report demonstrating that Woodward got it wrong—it wasn’t $700 million the administration disbursed without authorization, but $2.5 billion. The report notes mournfully that Congress “could not obtain details on this spending.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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