White House: U.S. Invaded Iraq ‘Under U.N. Authorization’

In an effort to push back against congressional efforts to rescind the original 2002 Iraq War resolution, White House press spokesman Tony Fratto on Friday argued the United Nations had authorized the initial U.S. invasion of Iraq:

“The president said this isn’t the fight we entered in Iraq, but it’s the fight we’re in,” Fratto told reporters Friday. “We went in as a multinational force under U.N. authorization to take military action in Iraq. We were there as an occupying force, and now we’re there at the invitation of the sovereign, elected government of Iraq.”

Actually, the White House did not invade Iraq “under U.N. authorization.” President Bush had promised to take the issue to the U.N. Security Council “no matter what the whip count,” but never did. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan described the invasion of Iraq as “not in conformity with the UN charter…from the charter point of view, it was illegal.”

It’s one thing to spin history; it’s quite another to rewrite it from scratch.