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Target: 2002 War Authorization

In “Dems Move to Limit Bush’s War Authority,? published in the Guardian Unlimited this week, the first paragraph gives background both for the story and tells what the current focus is: “Four years ago, Congress passed legislation authorizing President Bush to go to war in Iraq. Now Senate Democrats want to take it back.?

The reporter gives more detail on the current movement and disagreements among Democrats over the options in subsequent paragraphs. In the eighth paragraph he includes the White House reaction to the debate, that it will “wait until legislation is completed before taking a stand?:

“I’m not going to talk about hypothetical legislation,? White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. “Obviously, the president intends, and his focus in on, having the resources and flexibility to carry out our operations on the ground. We don’t know where they’re going. The Democrats seem clearly divided on what they’re going to do.?

Two paragraphs of analysis are followed by comparisons between the Senate and House proposals. At long last, we are given the actual wording of the original resolution in paragraph 17:

That measure authorized the president to use the armed forces “as he determines to be necessary and appropriate . . . to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq? and to enforce relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The article then includes more specific information about individual Senator’s contributions to the debate.

A Washington Post article entitled “Democrats Seek to Repeal 2002 War Authorization? is not as circuitous as the Guardian piece. It starts with the Senate plan, how it compares to the House proposals, then goes on to explain the disagreements between Democrats. We get background in paragraph seven, at which time we also get discussion about why the resolution is no longer appropriate, and what actions from Democrats are possible.

The Post article is more direct and easier to follow.



Good comparison. May want to talk about what kind of challenge they are facing in covering such news, and how you may handle the story if you were a reporter.