Recommendation: Hon. Dick Armey

"There are too many of us that know we were wrong on that fateful day we failed to protect the Constitution of the United States and ceded to the president what our founding fathers clearly saw to be a congressional responsibility never to be trusted to a president: the right and the responsibility to make war. Unfortunately we labor under doubt and regret from not fully understanding why we were so wrong. Had we listened more carefully to John Hostettler at the time, we would live with fewer regrets today. Nobody who took a position that day is more vindicated by current understanding and by the liberty-devoted tenets of our republic than John Hostettler.

"Let's take the easy case first. In his book, Nothing for the Nation , Hostettler examines all the current arguments of the day for waging war on Iraq . And as we all now so painfully understand, he demonstrates them to be without foundation. We were not faced with an immediate threat to the nation as we were told. We are led to the only and most plausible conclusion. We waged war because the president wanted to do so for his own reasons. It is as simple as that and there is no way to get around it. And that is what our founding fathers feared the most.

"Now for the bigger case: Hostettler makes it clear it is against the basic constitutional tenets of our republic to allow such power to rest with one man or one office. Even if waging war against Iraq  had been the right and necessary thing to do, it should not have been done in the wrong way. Congress made an unconstitutional delegation of authority to the president and it was the most tragic such delegation ever made.

"Had we listened to Hostettler at the time, we would not have done it. If we listen to him now, we might save ourselves the pain, regret, and shame from doing it again.

"For years I have known I was wrong. Now I know why I was wrong. I'm sorry so many had to pay such a dear price for me to learn what I should have known before I took that office."

- Hon. Richard K. "Dick" Armey, Former Majority Leader (1995-2003), United States House of Representatives



October 8, 2002 Floor Speech by Honorable John N. Hostettler on the Iraq Resolution |

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