Though one would have expected that the massive release of some 92,000 classified documents Sunday underscoring just how poorly the war is going would have changed some minds, the Obama Administration has gotten its way once again, with the House of Representatives approving the $59 billion emergency funding bill to keep the war going by a 308-114 vote. Some $33 billion of the bill was directly to pay for the Obama Administration’s December escalation of the Afghan War.
There was, at the very least, some vigorous debate in the House today, with Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D – OH) and Ron Paul (R – TX) at the center of the opposition to continuing the war. At the end of the day, however, all the new evidence about the disastrous war was ignored in favor of pumping tens of billions of dollars into the conflict.
The 308-114 vote was saw a majority from both parties supporting the war, with only 12 Republican and 102 Democrats opposing the conflict. A secondary vote calling for US troops to withdraw from Pakistan was voted down 38-372.
The House was forced into the direct vote last week after the Senate rejected a number of domestic spending amendments attached to the bill in a procedural effort by the House early in the month.
The Pentagon had been complaining about the delays in the funding and warned that it was running out of cash to continue the war. The “emergency” funds were intended to pay for the Obama Administration’s December escalation of the conflict.
The vote was a surprisingly major win for the Obama Administration, following evidence that a large number of Congressmen were already bristling at the expense of the war, and the dramatic release of the WikiLeaks War Logs just two days before the vote.
But pro-war Congressmen were quick to disregard the logs, insisting that the 92,000 documents detailing the war’s enormous shortcomings and massive civilian toll were “outdated” because they were from late 2009 and before. Though all of the evidence is that the situation has only worsened in the last seven months, it seems officials were able to shrug off the embarrassment with relatively little effort, and secure the funds to continue their ill-conceived conflict.