The Bush Administration continues its efforts to tie the next President’s hands and ensure that American troops will remain in the quagmire of Iraq well into the future. It is doing so by negotiating status of forces and strategic framework agreements with Iraq that it says will not have to be ratified by the Congress. Commitment of US forces to a war zone without such approval is unprecedented, unconstitutional, and illegal but this has never stopped Bush before. The current rationale is that the two AUMFs, the post-9/11one signed into law September 18, 2001 and the Iraq AUMF signed October 16, 2002 constitute sufficient authorization for Bush’s actions. This is, of course, ludicrous. Even if the wording of these AUMFs could be so construed as to give Bush the power to negotiate a treaty, that treaty would still have to approved by the Congress. Simply not calling it a treaty doesn’t mean it isn’t one. This is all reminiscent of the Administration’s defense of torture on the grounds that as long as they did not call it torture it somehow wasn’t torture. Finally, if anyone went back and read the AUMF against Iraq (item 128), it is clear that with the return of sovereignty to a US approved state on June 28, 2004 its conditions were fulfilled and it ceased to have effect. The Founders were incredibly wise in vesting the sole power to declare war with the Congress. The use of the AUMFs to justify extra-Consitutional power grabs and construct a unilateral Executive shows what pernicious instruments they truly are.