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Washington Update

United For Peace and Justice
Washington Update – November 22, 2005

Members of Congress are home for the holidays, we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to visit them in their district offices, or question them about the war in Iraq at public events in the district. For updated lobbying materials – including talking points, bills and actions to ask for and more, please check the legislative page on the UFPJ website:

It was a busy week in Congress, the upshot is that we have many vehicles to press members on to show their support for an end to the war.

She'll get you, Rep. Murtha, you little pretty

She'll get you, Rep. Murtha, you little pretty
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Gen. JC Christian, patriot
Patriot Boy. Blogspot

Rep. Jean Schmidt
US House of Representatives

Dear Representative Schmidt,

It's about time someone called Rep. Murtha to account for the cowardice he's shown during America's darkest times. When Sen. McCarthy needed him to fight the war of ideas by exposing the communist professors on our campuses, Murtha left his college and slunk off to hide out with the Marines. When Strom Thurmond needed him to beat up the uppity brown people holding sit-ins at our finest drug store lunch counters, Murtha wormed his way over to Vietnam. And while you were voting to cut the taxes of our best Americans and take away food stamps and health benefits from the un-moneyed rabble who don't deserve America's bounty, he was calling for us to abandon the fledgling Islamic theocracy we're building in Iraq.


U.S. Tour of Duty presents
Featuring in person: SCOTT RITTER

Monday, December 5, 7:30-9:00 PM at Venice United Methodist Church, 1020 Victoria Avenue, Venice (1 block north of Venice Blvd. at Lincoln Blvd.)

Join Scott Ritter, former UN Weapons Inspector and author of Iraq Confidential (Nation Books), and Lila Garrett, host of KPFK's "Connect the Dots," for an incisive discussion on how to extract ourselves from the Iraq quagmire.

A book sale and signing will follow the event.

Doors open 6:30 PM. Seating is first-come, first-served.

Suggested donation: $10 (nobody turned away)

"No Permanent Bases in Iraq" -- It's the Least Congress Can Do

Please urge your Congress Member to co-sponsor H. Con. Res. 197, sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

Ask Congress to End the War

Current Cosponsors

H. CON. RES. 197

Associated Press Claims Falsely That Friday's Vote Was on Murtha's Bill

Murtha says Americans agree with his call for Iraq withdrawal
By DAN LOVERING, Associated Press

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - U.S. Rep. John Murtha, a key Democrat on military issues, on Monday defended his call to pull U.S. troops from Iraq, saying he was reflecting Americans' sentiment.

"The public turned against this war before I said it," Murtha said. "The public is emotionally tied into finding a solution to this thing, and that's what I hope this administration is going to find out."

Murtha, 73, a decorated Vietnam veteran and the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriates defense subcommittee, said he has received support from the public since calling for the troop pullout on Thursday. He said he has gotten e-mails from World War II veterans and parents of American soldiers in Iraq.

DNC December Meeting Update

By Progressive Democrats of America

PDA plans to be meeting with Democratic National Committee (DNC) members at their next meeting in Phoenix, AZ. Our goal will be simple: to message that the progressive movement within the Democratic Party is organized and in force!

We also plan to host an evening reception for attendees of the Young Democrats of America (YDA) and DNC events. This event will be open to the public and a place for folks to network with DNC members. There is a possibility of having some very progressive, well-known musicians there. Stay tuned as we firm that up. The details of this event are linked below.

Iraqis Hold Sit-In to Demand Withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Workplace

By Falah Alwan, President, Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq

Our federation will hold a sit in protest in the station of electrecity in Musayab, calling for withdrawal of the US troops from the station.

A number of workers in the thermal power station in the city Musayeb have submitted complain to the Federation of worker councils and unions in Iraq regarding the current situations in the station. Therefore we write this memorandum a according to these demands, and our commitment as a union to reject the transformation of the workplace into military barracks.

Thank Murtha

From U.S. Labor Against the War

We encourage all USLAW affiliates, members and contacts to follow the lead of this initiative by USLAW affiliate SEIU District 1199P. Many Democrats are running scared away from Murtha. It is important to contact your local Democratic members of Congress to tell them they should not just support Murtha, they too should demand an immediate end to the war and occupation of Iraq.

Brothers and Sisters,

In coordination with US Labor Against the War (USLAW), we are asking key leaders of important labor organizations in PA to join us in making calls to PA Congressman John Murtha to offer our support and encouragement for the courageous position he announced yesterday calling for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. Below is a link to his speech:

Congressman McGovern Talks About Ending the War

By Progressive Democrats of America

November 16, 2005--Watch exclusive online video of Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) being interviewed regarding his bill H. Res. 4232, which would cut off funding for the Iraq war. See links below to select a clip appropriate for your Internet connection speed. Then take action to support the resolution!

Rep. McGovern Video Clips (requires free RealPlayer software): [56k Modem] [Broadband]

Back Murtha's Redeployment Resolution

On November 18, Congressman John Murtha introduced H.J.Res. 73, a resolution that:

"The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.

"A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S. Marines shall be deployed in the region.

"The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy."

PDF of bill.

Withdrawal Is Not Retreat

By William M. Arkin
The Washington Post

How to get out of Iraq.

Congressman John Murtha's speech on Iraq yesterday is another turning point in the Iraq debate. The President and Vice President may argue that politicians are playing politics and their feelings may be hurt that their competence and motives are called into question, but when one of the Pentagon's best friends speaks out against continuing the Iraq enterprise, the voices at the White House seem ever more puny and defensive.

So it isn't surprising that all White House spokesman Scott McClellan could say yesterday was that Murtha was "endorsing the policy positions of ... the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party."

Cindy Sheehan, the book

Eli Stephens, Left I on the News

Serendipity. Driving from one place to another with a bit of time on my hands, I was sucked into a passing bookstore, and what did I find on the shelves but Not One More Mother's Child by Cindy Sheehan, the just-published first book from Koa Books. The book features a prominent picture of Sheehan, Martin Sheen, and a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War standing behind a striking IVAW banner on the cover. I'm sure I've read many of the writings inside, all of which have been on the web somewhere or other, but I'm sure it will still be a worthwhile purchase.

LA Times Dumps Liberal Columnist

Scheer out as Bush attacks Iraq War critics

Action Alert

Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Scheer was fired on November 11 after nearly 30 years at the paper, the last 13 as one of its most progressive political columnists.

In a published statement announcing op-ed page changes (11/10/05), the Times insisted that it is dedicated to "provid[ing] readers with a wide range of voices and perspectives," but in dumping Scheer, the paper has gotten rid of one of the few prominent progressive columnists in the country.

Scheer's forceful and independent commentary has often placed him in the middle of national debates. He has been one of the strongest critics of the White House over the Iraq War. For instance, in a pre-war column (8/6/02) that undercuts the current notion that everyone got the WMD story wrong, Scheer wrote that “a consensus of experts

Reject Torture

(Editor's note: Sent to my mailbox...)

Dear Sussel,

»Click here to take action to reject torture, no exceptions.

»Click here to tell 10 friends.

President Bush says, "We don't torture," but his actions speak otherwise. He has threatened to veto bills that contain amendments sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would definitively ban torture by U.S. forces [1]. His vice president, Dick Cheney, has repeatedly pushed to exempt the CIA from McCain's bill. Cheney's tune hasn't changed in the four years since he said, "A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence it's going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal, basically, to achieve our objective" (emphasis added) [2].

The World Can't Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime National Meeting

Drown out Bush's State of the Union speech in January with protest

Saturday/Sunday November 19/20, 2005
The Law School of Columbia University
116th Street at Amsterdam Avenue, New York City

sliding scale: $25 - $100

(working agenda)

Saturday 19 10 am-9:30 pm

9:30 Registration

10:30 Open the conference

11:00 Presentations on what we accomplished with our launch from Steering Committee members. Further Proposals presented on State of the Union, Funds, national mobilization

Call Congress About the Anti-Torture Amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill

By Global Exchange

In the name of the “war on terrorism,

Protest Cnn's negotiations with Robert Novak

This just in from Media Matters:

Last August, CNN suspended syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak, a frequent contributor to the cable news channel's programs, for uttering an obscenity and storming off the set. He has not been reinstated but is currently in negotiations with CNN to renew his contract (which is set to expire in 2006).
Please click here and urge CNN not to renew his contract!

Oppose Torture!

By 20-20 Vision

It was one of the most overwhelming votes in recent memory. By a vote of 90-9, the Senate voted for the so-called McCain Amendment. The Amendment was simple. It stated that, "No individual in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment." In short, it promised the world that the US would not commit acts of torture.

It's amazing that it has come to this. It's outrageous that Vice President Richard Cheney went to the Congress to lobby against this simple statement. It's inconceivable, yet true, that nine US Senators voted in favor of condoning torture. But the Senate put aside its partisan differences and overwhelmingly voted in favor of the amendment. It seemed that simple decency would be affirmed.

"Impeach Bush" Signs in China

"In a sign of the unpopularity of the Iraq war, Bush's presence prompted a demonstration by about 100 protesters who banged drums and carried signs that said 'Impeach Bush.' He is expected to face larger protests in South Korea."

Woodward Wanders Further from Journalism

So the news is out from the Post now -- both in a statement from Bob Woodward and in an article from the Post.

The details still seem sketchy and I suspect we're going to find out a lot more in the next few days. But it now seems that Woodward -- who has long been publicly critical of the Fitzgerald investigation -- has been part of it from the beginning. Literally, the beginning.

From the Post account it appears that Woodward was told of Valerie Plame's identity before any other journalist by an as-yet-unnamed senior administration official who is not Karl Rove or Scooter Libby.

White House Iraq Group Must be Investigated

By U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA)

Was the White House truthful with the American people and with Congress in making their case to go to war in Iraq? This is a critical question that demands a clear answer and it is long past time for the United States Congress to properly ask it and investigate the matter.

A group of top White House advisors, including Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the now-indicted former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, formed the White House Iraq Group(WHIG) in August 2002 with the task to make the case for going to war in Iraq and to convince Congress and the American public to support that policy.

Motion in Parliament finds Butler Report's Conclusion Untenable

Cohen, Harry

That this House recalls the forged documents suggesting Iraq was seeking to procure uranium from Niger in 1999 exposed by Mohammed El Baradei at the United Nations on 7th March 2003, and the statements of retired US Ambassador Joseph Wilson and Italian reporter Elisabetta Burba, who was herself supplied with false documents by Italian military intelligence, that they found no evidence of any transaction; notes the passage in Seymour Hersh's recent book Chain of Command that a former Clinton official told Hersh that the UK spread false information about Iraq and one member of the UN inspection team assisted by supplying unverified material presented as intelligence; therefore considers that the 2004 Butler Report maintaining there was further evidence from additional sources for the uranium ore being sought, and so the intelligence was credible, is seriously undermined by Hersh's revelations that much of the material was generated by the UK, Italy and the US; and concludes that the Butler Committee's conclusion is now untenable.

Video of Joe Wilson Speaking Out

By William Hughes

On Nov. 14, 2005, Ex-Ambassador Joe Wilson, in a speech at the U. of Balitmore, made a scathing attack on columnist Robert Novak; indicted White House aide, Irv "Scooter" Libby; and the Brownshirts.
Watch Video.

Counter Recruitment December 6th


ENDORSED BY: Pablo Paredes, war resister; David Airhart, Iraq War vet
and Kent State student facing expulsion for peaceful counter-
recruitment; Tariq Khan, George Mason University student assaulted for
peaceful counter-recruitment; Charles Peterson, Holyoke Community
College student assaulted for peaceful counter-recruitment; Traprock
Peace Center; Anthony Arnove, editor, Iraq Under Siege and co-editor
with Howard Zinn, Voices of a People's History of the United States

* Say No to the Solomon Amendment!

Campus Anti-War Network is calling for actions around the country to
show the federal government that they cannot intimidate schools for
kicking out military recruiters. On December 6, the Supreme Court will
hear the FAIR v Rumsfeld case (brought by several universities), which
will decide whether schools can ban military recruiters wihout losing
federal funding. Currently, the Solomon Amendment allows the government
to cut off federal funding from schools that ban military recruiters.
This policy forces schools to accept military recruitment, even though
the military's anti-gay "don't ask, don't tell" policy violates
university anti-discrimination policies.

LA Times Readers/Subscribers to Picket Outside Times Building

Contact: Marcy Winograd 310. 795-2322; Karen Pomer 310.463.7025

To Protest Controversial Firing of Popular Columnist Robert Scheer

"I've been a punching bag for Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh for years and I think the paper finally collapsed" -- Robert Scheer, Friday, Nov. 11th

WHAT: Readers to Picket LA Times to Protest Firing of Columnist
Robert Scheer and Limited Coverage of Local Anti-War Movement

WHO: LA Times Readers and Grassroots Peace Activists from Across Los Angeles

WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 15, Noon

WHERE: Outside LA Times Building
First Street Entrance
202 W. 1st St. (at Spring St.)

Call Your Senator And Urge A Yes Vote For The Bingaman Amendment

By Armando, Dailykos

Please call your Senators and urge them to vote for the Bingaman Amendment regarding habeas corpus at Guantanamo Bay. If you agree, please call your senators, and ask them to vote for Jeff Bingaman's S. AMDT 2517 to bill S. 1042.

Hilzoy and Katherine at Obsidian Wings have a long series explaining why.

I also agree with the New York Times:

It certainly is a relief that the Senate is finally getting around to doing the job it so shamefully refused to do four years ago, after the 9/11 attacks: requiring the administration to follow the law and the Geneva Conventions in dealing with prisoners taken by the military and intelligence operatives.

Senator Graham Pulls A FAST ONE To Abort Habeas Corpus

Urgent Action Alert
By thepen,

With virtually no advance notice the Republican majority in the Senate (with the shameful complicity of Democrats Conrad, Landrieu, Lieberman, Nelson [Ben], and Wyden) approved a last minute amendment to the Defense Authorization Act to deny U.S. courts jurisdiction to examine the legality of detainee detention in Guantanamo and elsewhere. They did this in defiance of the not yet completely packed Supreme Court (another reason to reject Alito), whose authority they would annul. This is all despite the well-known FACT that many scooped up into these hell holes of torture are not terrorists at all, some even having been sold for bounty. Senator Bingaman immediately responded with a proposed corrective amendment (S.AMDT.2517) to restore jurisdiction.

Impeachment in Seven Reasons

By Stirling Newberry,

Kos has said that impeachment talk is silly. With all due respect, it is deadly serious and completely necessary. The constellation of impeachment is rising.

First let me set the terms of debate. No President has ever been removed through conviction in the Senate. Only one has come close, and he almost had to side with the defeated South after a bloody war. No, no one seriously expects Bush to be removed. For the same reason, talk of "President Cheney" is also irrelevant, because Bush isn't going to resign. He won't even listen to people who contradict him on small matters, let alone large ones. Resignation is not in the cards for King George.

Anti-War Showing in Sacramento Veteran’s Day Parade

By Gary Zimmerman

Sacramento, Calif. – Nov. 12, 2005. Anti-war veterans, military families and
supporters demonstrated the courage of their convictions by marching in
the Sacramento Veteran’s Day Parade. About 30 people representing
Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Gold Star Families
for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, and their supporters
participated in the parade. The Veteran’s Day event organizers showed

Backbone Campaign 'Thank and Spank' Actions on H. Res. 505

SPANK: 2 Democrats are "No Shows" on H. Res. 505

THANK: H. Res. 505 Spine Thank You Cards:

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