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In October 2012 we added the names HumansForPeace.org and HumanBeingsForPeace.org because we think such a group is needed. Veterans For Peace and Code Pink Women For Peace and various nationalities for peace are all terrific efforts. Humans For Peace is a way to include everyone. Join by making yourself a username and password on this site!
In May 2010 we renamed AfterDowningStreet.org WarIsACrime.org.
Please read When the World Outlawed War.
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"all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land." --US Constitution.
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2009-2010 WarIsACrime.org is leading efforts to cut spending on wars and the military.
June 2010: WarIsACrime.org built a coalition of antiwar candidates for Congress.
After Downing Street is a nonpartisan coalition of over 200 veterans groups, peace groups, and political activist groups that has worked since May 2005 to pressure both Congress and the media in order to hold Bush, Cheney, and their aides accountable for crimes and abuses of power. The coalition takes its name from the emergence in May and June of 2005 of several documents that quickly came to be known as the Downing Street Memos.
Exposing Fraudulent Basis for War Key to Ending It
After Downing Street has worked closely with the peace movement in the U.S. and abroad, organizing national days on which events have been held in hundreds of cities, lobbying in Congress for investigations, censure, and impeachment, introducing and passing pro-impeachment resolutions at the local and state levels, and organizing the peace movement to address the issue of accountability for the war. In the process, we have seen the percentage of Americans who believe the war was based on lies climb and the percentage of Americans who want the troops brought home rise right behind it.
In November, 2005, the Christian Science Monitor published an article with the headline "Why Iraq War Support Fell So Fast," which speaks to how the work that After Downing Street is doing to expose the lies and demand accountability is key to ending the war. After some historical background, the article comes to the point: "John Mueller, an expert on war and public opinion at Ohio State University, links today's lower tolerance of casualties to a weaker public commitment to the cause than was felt during the two previous, cold war-era conflicts. The discounting of the main justifications for the Iraq war - alleged weapons of mass destruction and support for international terrorism - has left many Americans skeptical of the entire enterprise."
In May, 2006, Bloomberg News published an article that made the same point: "Some historians say Bush has met with such resistance because of the flawed intelligence he used to make the case for war. He began the effort focused on former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction; in October 2002, Bush warned of a 'smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.' No such stocks were ever found, and Defense Intelligence Agency and CIA reports have surfaced saying there was no evidence Iraq was reconstituting its weapons. Bush also sought to tie Hussein's government to the al-Qaeda terror network, a link that's never been substantiated. The closest parallel in Vietnam was the reports of unprovoked North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. Those alleged incidents eventually fueled an escalation of the war, with Johnson announcing air strikes in 1965. Compared with Iraq, 'there weren't such blatantly false assumptions exposed at so early a date,' Leuchtenburg said."
Creating Public Discussion of Bush's Crimes Boosts His Disapproval Rating
A state-by-state analysis suggests that the work that After Downing Street promotes, including town and city impeachment resolutions (see below), is effective in lowering Bush's approval rating and raising his disapproval rating. That is to say, we are educating the public about the President's performance and about the acceptability of public criticism.
After Downing Street Began With a Bang
After Downing Street was launched in May, 2005, when Co-Founder John Bonifaz sent a memo to Congressman John Conyers, and the coalition released a press release. Bonifaz's memo included this: "In light of the emergence of the Downing Street Memo, Members of Congress should introduce a Resolution of Inquiry directing the House Judiciary Committee to launch a formal investigation into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its constitutional power to impeach George W. Bush, President of the United States."
Within weeks, After Downing Street developed a highly trafficked website and a community of hundreds of bloggers intent on pressuring the corporate media to acknowledge the existence of the Downing Street Memos and report on their significance. The After Downing Street coalition organized massive media activism on a scale rarely seen, including Emailing, phoning, faxing, and protesting. Local groups even reenacted the Downing Street meeting at the offices of media outlets.
By mid-June 2005, the pressure had made the Downing Street Memos a front page story and a topic of conversation on the cable news shows. Some publications, notably the Washington Post, ran front page stories just days after editorializing that they would refuse to do so. Numerous media outlets, notably the USA Today, printed lists of excuses for their belated coverage. Others began coverage as if they had been covering the matter for weeks; an NBC talk show referred to "the famous Downing Street Memo" in that network's first mention of the matter. Pundits cited this phenomenon as the first clear example of the public's ability to appeal to the blogosphere to overrule editors and producers' decisions not to cover an important story.
On June 16, 2005, Congressman John Conyers and dozens of other Congress Members held an unofficial hearing on the Downing Street Memos in the basement of the U.S. Capitol. After Downing Street assisted in recruiting witnesses, alerting the media, organizing a rally at the White House, and collecting over 500,000 citizens' signatures and 120 Congress Members' signatures on a letter to the President. Witnesses at the hearing were Joe Wilson, Ray McGovern, John Bonifaz, and then-little-known Cindy Sheehan.
Congress Members joined a crowd of activists outside the White House following the hearing, and delivered the letter and signatures to the gate. This day of events galvanized a national community of activists and became a model for future rallies and hearings, not to mention thousands of house parties built around viewing videos produced on this day.
In late June, Newsday published this account of the After Downing Street movement:
"An online movement of bloggers and political activist groups is trying to keep the Downing Street memos in the public eye and stoking support for a congressional investigation. The memos, sent among top British foreign intelligence officials, state that President George W. Bush was predisposed to going to war with Iraq and 'intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.' The After Downing Street movement wants Congress to examine whether Bush's path to war is grounds for impeachment."
Organizing National Days of Action
July 23, 2005, was the three-year anniversary of the meeting on Downing Street for which the original "Memo" was actually the minutes. After Downing Street organized over 300 public events all over the country that day, including several town hall forums with Congress Members, including John Conyers, Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Jim McDermott, and Maurice Hinchey. We have organized several similar events with other members on other days. These events have not always generated national media interest, but have always worked well to organize local activists. In many cases, large halls have been packed to overflowing, and crowds have been turned away at the doors.
January 7, 2006, was a national day of hundreds of town hall forums on ending the war, organized by After Downing Street.
In July, 2006, After Downing Street will be assisting the Center for Constitutional Rights in organizing a National Impeachment Teach-In Day.
Launching Cindy Sheehan Online
In August, 2005, After Downing Street helped to promote Cindy Sheehan's efforts in Crawford, Texas, and launched a new website at MeetWithCindy.org, which served as the main website for Cindy's campaign. Cindy's work made the Downing Street Memo news again, as she told national media audiences that reading the Memo had angered her and convinced her that her son had been sent to die for a lie.
While meetwithcindy.org was in full swing, there was a tremendous symbiosis in the increasing web traffic with www.afterdowningstreet.org, which was useful to everyone involved in the antiwar effort. We were simultaneously reminding the public that the war was based on lies in the first place, and that the soldiers were still over there in Iraq, for no reason.
After Downing Street was involved, as were many other groups, in organizing hundreds of the candlelight vigils around the nation in August, in response to Cindy’s call for a nationwide show of support.
Providing a Source of News on the War and Accountability
The AfterDowningStreet.org website serves as a source, not only for quick access to key pieces of evidence against the Bush Administration, and not only for information on upcoming events and ways to take action, but also as a source of news about the war and the crimes of the Bush Administration. After Downing Street has published over 12,000 articles and numerous photos and videos, and has become a daily source of information for many following the war. Many of the articles are original publications by members and friends of the coalition, including numerous reports from protests and parades around the country, investigative analyses, releases from Congress Members, and images and accounts from Iraq that have not found outlets among the corporate media.
Recognition by The Nation
* MVP -- Watchdog Branch:
"The media did a slightly better job of monitoring political wrongdoing in 2005 than it did during the first four years of the Bush-Cheney presidency -- when it actually would have mattered. But the real work of exposing the misdeeds of the administration is still being done by activist groups. And the most inspired of these in 2005 was After Downing Street." Read more.
Promoting Legislation in Congress
After Downing Street has promoted several pieces of legislation in Congress (including various bills, resolutions of inquiry, and amendments in the House, pressure for an Intelligence Committee investigation in the Senate, and eventually bills in the Senate as well) and has worked with the wider anti-war movement to make exposure of the lies that launched the war an integral part of the fight to end it.
In September, 2005, After Downing Street organized a rally in front of the White House and assisted Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey in holding a hearing the same day on plans for an exit strategy for Iraq.
Prior to the hearing, we helped to build support for a people’s petition to end the war in Iraq.
In late September, After Downing Street worked with United for Peace & Justice, the largest antiwar grouping in the country, to include the question of the official (and false) pre-war claims as part of their grassroots challenge to the war. UFPJ organized a rally in Washington on Sept. 24th of hundreds of thousands of people. ADS worked with Progressive Democrats of America to hold a conference and training session in DC on the 25th, and participated on the 26th in a massive day of lobbying on Capitol Hill, which included promotion of a Resolution of Inquiry on which After Downing Street had advised.
This Resolution of Inquiry, H Res 375, was introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee in response to the Downing Street Memos. Her office worked very closely with ADS to build strong support for it, including over 80 co-sponsors. H Res 375 demanded of the White House documentation of communications with the UK about Iraq in 2002. It failed in committee by one vote and won the votes of all Democrats and one Republican present.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich in October introduced a Resolution of Inquiry into the White House Iraq Group, the group led by Karl Rove and Scooter Libby that had been tasked with marketing the war. ADS again took the lead in promoting the bill, which garnered over 100 cosponsors. H Res 505 failed in committee by two votes, in November, and won the votes of all Democrats and two Republicans present.
ADS work to build grassroots pressure for these and other bills almost certainly helped to produce the dramatic step taken by Senate Minority Leader Reid in early November when he shut the Senate down into closed session to demand that the Intelligence Committee do the investigation it had agreed to do two years earlier and never done into the Bush Administration's use of pre-war intelligence. This was immediately followed by House Minority Leader Pelosi introducing a Resolution if Inquiry on the floor of the House similar to those her progressive colleagues had been promoting in committee.
After Downing Street worked with its prominent member, Progressive Democrats of America, on preparing a briefing for the Congressional Progressive Caucus in December, 2005.
After Downing Street has promoted several pieces of legislation aimed at ending the war, including: Rep. Murtha's resolution for immediate withdrawal, Rep. Jim McGovern's bill to cut off war funding, Rep. Lee's bill to ban permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq, and a Discharge Petition on another bill (HJR55) which aims to force a debate on ending the war to the floor of the House, sidestepping the committee process.
After Downing Street has been an integral part of coalitions advancing these bills and has helped to organize national call-in days and lobby days. This work was instrumental in moving both houses of Congress to pass as amendments to a supplemental spending bill a ban on using the money for the construction of permanent bases in Iraq.
After Downing Street has helped to organize and publicize hearings on Iraq and Iran held by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, including serving as host to broadcast the hearings on the Pacifica Radio Network.
Since December of 2005, After Downing Street has focused its lobbying efforts on promoting House Resolution 635, introduced by Congressman John Conyers upon release of his report (on which After Downing Street consulted) "The Constitution in Crisis".
In May 2006, After Downing Street persuaded United for Peace and Justice to include this bill in its list of bills to lobby for and helped prepare citizens organized by UFPJ to lobby on the topic.
Promoting Coverage in the Media
As each new smoking gun has appeared, After Downing Street has collected them on the left side of the website and worked to promote them into the U.S. media, often with good success. The White House Memo, from January 2003, received almost no coverage until After Downing Street activists demanded it.
After Downing Street has also taken the lead in persuading (and paying) polling companies to poll the public on the questions of censure and impeachment, an effort that has proved an enormous boost to the movement for accountability.
ADS has worked with numerous authors, contributing to books and magazines, and promoting new books addressing evidence of crimes by Bush and Cheney.
But the radio has been, for the entire life of the After Downing Street movement, its chief means of reaching the public, even more so than through the internet. After Downing Street co-founders and leaders have appeared on countless radio programs and have produced public service announcements that have also helped to spread the word.
Building an International Peace Movement
After Downing Street has participated in peace conferences abroad and around the United States and helped to integrate groups from various countries, many of which send regular reports and announcements for posting on the AfterDowningStreet.org website.
Here's a video of After Downing Street Co-Founder David Swanson speaking at a peace conference.
Leading Opposition to an Attack on Iran
After Downing Street collected 43,000 signatures and approximately 20,000 comments on a petition urging the President not to attack Iran. On May 18, 2006, we held a rally with allies in front of the White House and delivered the petition. We then marched to Donald Rumsfeld's home, together with our friend Ray McGovern, and delivered a letter through his mail slot asking for an explanation of his pre-war lies. Four activists from Code Pink and the DC Antiwar Network were arrested.
ADS has also helped to call attention to the launch, by two of our founders, of ImpeachPAC, a new political action committee aimed at supporting pro-impeachment candidates. And After Downing Street has worked to promote other pro-impeachment candidates around the country.
While After Downing Street maintains that the need for justice and impeachment should come ahead of electoral concerns, our polling evidence suggests that impeachment is a winning issue for Democrats. We have been a leading voice in making that case in the media.
Passing Local and State Impeachment Resolutions
Bloggers working with After Downing Street discovered that the rules of the House of Representatives allow a state legislature to initiate impeachment proceedings by submitting a petition. After Downing Street is organizing activists around the country to pass resolutions to create those petitions at both the state and local levels.
We have created a resource center that is assisting local groups and individuals around the country in lobbying Congress to pursue an investigation into grounds for impeachment, and in lobbying local and state governments to pass impeachment resolutions, as well as in promoting to local media outlets our demand for a return to the rule of law.
What People Say About After Downing Street
"I was just on a 10-day speaking tour in England, Wales and Scotland. While there, during the Q & A's after my talks, people would ask me what is going on in the U.S. They would say they hear nothing about the peace movement in their country. I told them to check your web site. I told them it was the best place to find out what is going on at the grassroots level in the U.S. I told them I check it 3 times a day. It was good to have your site as a resource to refer to. Best wishes.
Bruce K. Gagnon, Coordinator, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
"AfterDowningStreet is courageously teaching us Constitutional process. Clinton's tawdry impeachment, a transparent punishment for sex, the right-wing's constant preoccupation, has made our nation wary of further disruptive inquiry, especially while we're at war. But war is precisely the matter; Congressional inquiry into the Downing Street memo is mandated by checks and balances constructed by our Founders to preserve government by the people in the face of a president who would, for example, engage us, by covert means, in a war of choice, like a divine-right king."
Mimi Kennedy, Progressive Democrats of America National Board Chair
"David Swanson, Tim Carpenter, and friends took the evidence of deliberate pre-war intelligence manipulation and made it their mission for truth and accountability. While the mainstream first helped lead us into war and then ignored stories of the blatant lies of this administration, ADS kept the pressure on and in doing so grew into a movement of conscience. I am proud to lend my name and my time in support of this wonderful group of people who through their hard work took the facts and fixed them into open debate - something of a rare commodity these days."
Larisa Alexandrovna, journalist, writer
"AfterDowningStreet.org has has been the movement hub for Executive Branch accounability. David Swanson and all the folks associated with the ADS coalition have modelled a spirit of collaboration, intelligent analysis, and strategic action. In our collective effort to pull this country out of a Constitutional crisis, brought on by an administration infected with a blatant disregard for the balance of powers, not to mention the truth, we could ask for no better partner than AfterDowningStreet.org."
Bill Moyer, Executive Director, Backbone Campaign
"The folks at AfterDowningStreet.org are doing vital, important work, and need all of our support!"
Thom Hartmann, bestselling author and nationally syndicated host on Air America Radio
"The founders of AfterDowningStreet.org have remained true to their ideals and that’s why I can trust what I read there. We not only need a source for the news not being reported by the MSM, we also need a soapbox for the thoughts and ideas of ordinary citizens who have found their voice and their spine. That’s why a visit to AfterDowningStreet.org is an important part of my daily routine."
Jeeni Criscenzo, Candidate for U.S. Congress, CA Dist 49
"After Downing Street is a vital player in the UFPJ Legislative Working Group. In addition, AfterDowningStreet.org is one of the best sources on the web for up-to-the-minute news on Congressional action on the war."
Sue Udry, Legislative Coordinator, United for Peace and Justice.
"AfterDowningStreet.org is one of the most dynamic 'movers and shakers' around. This coalition brings constant attention to the fact that a country like ours does not just slip into wars of aggression -- we have to be carefully led into this behavior by a steady stream of lies and manipulations. With the steady drumbeat for new wars always in our ears, AfterDowningStreet.org will remain relevant long after the Iraq War comes to an end."
Bill Scheurer, Editor of the Peace Majority Report, Independent candidate for Congress
John Nichols in the Nation Magazine in 2005:
* MVP -- Watchdog Branch:
The media did a slightly better job of monitoring political wrongdoing in 2005 than it did during the first four years of the Bush-Cheney presidency -- when it actually would have mattered. But the real work of exposing the misdeeds of the administration is still being done by activist groups. And the most inspired of these in 2005 was After Downing Street, the coalition of groups that describes itself as "working to expose the lies that launched the war and to hold accountable its architects, including through censure and impeachment." In conjunction with Progressive Democrats of America, the able activist group that seeks to create an actual opposition party in America, After Downing Street is pushing the political envelope in exactly the direction it needs to go. Check out their website at www.afterdowningstreet.org website and keep ahead of the action in 2006.
John Nichols in the Nation Magazine in 2006:
* MVP – ACCOUNTABILITY BRANCH
When Russ Feingold moved to censure Bush, the activists of the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition – who had been pushing for the better part of a year for a congressional inquiry into the administration's warping of intelligence to fit its Iraq War goals – adjusted their focus to promote an even broader and more aggressive critique of the Bush presidency. Nancy Pelosi may have tried to take impeachment off the table, but the AfterDowningStreet.org crew, led by the indomitable David Swanson, kept forcing it back on. Their coalition's website remains the "go-to" place for the latest on investigations, inquiries, subpoenas, legal actions and every other move to hold this president and vice president to account. And their passion for empowering citizens to promote "impeachment from below" and other accountability initiatives has forged a loose-knit but very real national movement. Watch for this movement to get a lot more attention in March, when a drive organized by Newfane, Vermont, town selectman and impeachment impresario Dan DeWalt and others will see dozens of town meetings endorse articles of impeachment.
John Nichols in the Nation Magazine in 2007:
* Most Valuable Internet Site: When people ask about how and where to follow what is happening with the movements to end the war in Iraq, to prevent a war with Iran and to hold to account those who launched one mad war and now seek to initiate another, the answer is always www.AFTERDOWNINGSTREET.org site. Constantly updated by the indefatigable DAVID SWANSON, the site is fresh -- there were even six posts on Christmas Day -- and it features local actions (via YouTube) as well as national interventions. Because it is so thorough and so engaged with local and regional protests and events, the AfterDowningStreet site provides the best illustration of the extent to which mainstream media has neglected the most vital movements of the moment.