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Two amendments failed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday: Barbara Lee's to defund the Afghanistan War and Dennis Kucinich's to defund the Libya War.
Someday the House Clerk will get around to posting the roll calls here http://clerk.house.gov/floorsummary/floor.aspx
The vote on the Lee Amendment was 97-322, with Democrats 87-94, and Republicans 10-228.
The vote on the Kucinich Amendment was 199-229. That's the kind of vote you get when congress members in both parties are going against their parties' leadership.
By Dave Lindorff
In ways little and huge, it is clear that we live in a nation, a culture and a society that is terminally ill.
The latest outrage -- the likely execution of a Mexican convicted in Texas of the brutal slaying of a 16-year-old girl in blatant violation of a universally adopted international treaty that requires that as a foreigner he be able to notify his home country’s consulate of his case -- is evidence of this sickness, which appears to have both physical and mental aspects.
As a journalist I have traveled widely in the world, often in police states like China or Laos, and I have always trusted in the fact that if I ran afoul of those police, at least I could count on the fact that the authorities would be legally bound to notify my embassy, so that I could get international attention and, hopefully, legal assistance.
NATO Using Nuclear Weapons in Libya - by Stephen Lendman
As part of a Libya international observer team, Middle East analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya headlined his July 5 Global Research.ca article, "NATO War Crimes: Depleted Uranium Found in Libya by Scientists," saying:
Sites targeted include "civilians and civilian infrastructure." Scientists from the Surveying and Collecting Specimens and Laboratory Measuring Group confirmed "radioactive isotopes (radioisotopes) at bombed sites" from field surveys conducted. Scientific analysis was conducted at the Nuclear Energy Institution of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
It showed that "several sites contain even higher than expected doses of uranium," including holes from NATO missiles and ordnance fragments. In interviews, Nazemroaya also said cluster bombs and other weapons are used freely in civilian neighborhoods targeting non-military sites.
Washington and NATO allies are using illegal "dirty bombs."
An interview with Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International's chief investigator for the Middle East and Africa, who has just spent three months in Libya, in the French newspaper Liberation on June 22nd 2011. See also Patrick Cockburn's report on Amnesty's and other human rights groups' investigations of Western claims about Libya at:
Q: There have been serious war crimes by forces loyal to Kadhafi, we know less about what has happened in zones controlled by the opposition...
Vote on Bipartisan Amendment Expected Thursday Morning
Washington D.C. (July 6, 2011) – A bipartisan amendment to end the war in Libya, cosponsored by Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Justin Amash (R-MI), Tim Johnson (R-IL), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Richard Nugent (R-FL), is expected to be debated tonight or tomorrow. The vote is likely to happen Thursday. The amendment is expected to come up towards the end of consideration of amendments to the FY 2012 Department of Defense Appropriations Act, H.R. 2219.
Congressman Kucinich today took to the House floor to encourage his colleagues to vote to end cut off funds and end the war in Libya. See the video here. The full text of his remarks follows:
“Within the next 24 hours the House will have the opportunity to end U.S. military involvement in Libya, and we should do so for the following reasons:
By Kevin Zeese
A new anti-war movement that can really challenge U.S. militarism is being born. People from across the political spectrum joined together opposing U.S. war and empire. In a letter organized by, Come Home America, they cite a combination of events that present a “historic opportunity to redirect U.S. foreign policy down the pathways of peace, liberty, justice, respect for community, obedience to the rule of law and fiscal responsibility.”
For too long Americans who oppose wars have felt powerless to stop the war machine. Not since the early part of the 20th Century has there been a strong anti-war movement that Americans from across the political spectrum could participate in. The Come Home America letter shows the beginning of such a broad-based movement.
Libya: Flashpoint for Global Conflict - by Stephen Lendman
On July 3, Peter Dale Scott told Progressive Radio News Hour listeners what he fears most. He repeated it in a July 4 email, citing a Paul Joseph Watson Infowars.com article, accessed through the following link:
Using information from DEBKAfile, a Jerusalem-based intelligence site with close Mossad ties (providing commentary and analysis on regional terrorism, intelligence, security, military and political affairs), he discussed a frightening prospect. More on it below.
Founded in June 2000, DEBKA calls itself independent, "pioneer(ing) intensive news coverage and analysis of global (Islamic, not Israeli, US, or other Western) terror before it hits" front pages.
Libyan rebels hire Washington’s No. 1 lobby firm for 'advice and assistance'
By Rachel Leven, The Hill
Washington’s No. 1 lobbying firm is going to work for the Libyan rebels who are fighting to unseat Moammar Gadhafi.
Patton Boggs, perennially the top-earning K Street firm, is lobbying for the rebels to be accepted as the “legitimate government of the sovereign nation of Libya,” according to documents filed this week with the Justice Department.
The firm signed a contract with the Interim Transitional National Council of Libya to provide “advice and assistance on U.S.-Libya bilateral relations,” according to the documents.
Patton Boggs signed the agreement with Ali Suleiman Aujali, the Council’s representative to the United States. Aujali resigned as ambassador to Libya after Gadhafi tried to quell the uprising and started to advocate for the opposition group, which is based in Benghazi, Libya.
Colonizing Libya by Military, Financial, Political and Propaganda Terrorism - by Stephen Lendman
After three and a half terror bombing months and counting, destroying Libya for wealth and power continues, each imperial nation playing its part in this sinister dirty game, masquerading as liberation.
France finally admitted what's already known, that it's been supplying mercenary cutthroats with automatic weapons, rocket launchers, assault rifles, anti-tank missiles, and who knows what else. So have Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, perhaps other US imperial allies, and the Pentagon itself. In mid-April, The New York Times said Benghazi-based rebels got weapons from abroad without naming names.
Pack Journalism Anti-Gaddafi Propaganda - by Stephen Lendman
Western media, especially America's, mostly ignore multiple Obama wars (including against Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia), focusing mainly on promoting terror bombing Libya, slaughtering civilians to save them.
Ongoing since March 19, killing and destruction continue daily. NATO's second in command, US Admiral Samuel Locklear, told Congress that Washington wants Gaddafi assassinated. Earlier, one of his sons and three grandchildren were murdered, as well as around 40 Libyan imans, attending a peace conference to end the carnage. Ruthlessly, Obama, the peace candidate, wants it continued, claiming lawless executive privilege to do it.
On the Progressive Radio News Hour, live Tripoli reports discussed hospitals, schools, residential homes, and other non-military targets bombed, civilians killed, anti-NATO anger, and growing popular Gaddafi support, including a million Libyans rallying in Tripoli on his behalf.
WASHINGTON — More than 100 days after the United States and NATO allies launched what was supposed to be a quick air campaign in Libya, Pentagon officials concede that the effort has little strategic value for the U.S., and the alliance's desired outcome there remains unclear.
Here's the roll call as the House voted not to "authorize" Libya war.
And here's the roll call as the House voted against restricting the funding of the Libya War.
Thus do "war opponents" fund wars.
We should not, however, that the only truly decent vote was against restricting the funding of an illegal war, and a handful of principled members probably voted No but will vote Yes on Kucinich's resolution to block all funding.
Attention Now Turns to Kucinich-Amash Amendment for Total Cutoff of Funds
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 24, 2011) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement after the House of Representatives rejected a measure offered by Representative Rooney that would have limited the U.S. involvement in the war in Libya. The Rooney bill was defeated after a bill authorizing the war in Libya was soundly defeated by 295 to 123.
“Congress today voted overwhelmingly against authorizing the war. The Rooney resolution was defeated because many Members felt that it did not go far enough in that it wasn’t a total cutoff of funding. But that condition is soon to be resolved.
“The most powerful opportunity to end the war in Libya now becomes the bipartisan Kucinich-Amash amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill that would fully cut off all funds for the war," said Kucinich.
“The American people do not support this war. Congress does not support this war.”
From USA Today:
The U.S. House rebuked President Obama over Libya policy today, voting down a resolution that would granted him authority for the military operation against Moammar Gadhafi.
Members are now considering a resolution that would cut off some funds for the military operation, in protest of Obama's refusal to seek congressional approval for the action.
Constitution Must Not be a Doormat, Congress Must not Be a Rubber Stamp
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 24, 2011) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who has led bipartisan opposition to the war in Libya, today addressed the House, urging his colleagues to take a two-step approach to ending the U.S. involvement in the war in Libya.
Congressman Kucinich will also be sending messages encouraging his colleagues to end the war with two votes. Step 1; Vote YES for H.R. 2278, which ends U.S. direct hostilities immediately, and Step 2; Vote YES for the Kucinich-Amash resolution to the FY 2012 Department of Defense Appropriations bill to end all involvement in the war by October 1, 2011.
The full text of Congressman Kucinich’s address follows:
“We have been in Afghanistan for ten years at a cost of over a half trillion dollars, in Iraq for eight years at a long term cost of at least three trillion.
Washington D.C. (June 23, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who has led House opposition to the war in Libya, is today urging Members of Congress to support a two-step process to end the war in Libya and to promote a political solution. He sent the following letter to colleagues:
June 23, 2011
End the War in Two Steps
The war in Libya is illegal, unconstitutional and unwarranted. It must end. Congress must use the power of the purse to cut off funds for the war and reassert its Constitutional authority over war as enshrined in Article 1, Section 8.
Washington D.C. – The co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Peace and Security Taskforce call on Congress and the president to immediately end our war in Libya. The U.S. has been engaged in hostilities for over 90 days without congressional approval, which undermines not only the powers of the legislative branch but also the legal checks and balances put in place nearly 40 years ago to avoid abuse by any single branch of government.
By Mike Ferner, Interim Director, Veterans for Peace
Begging your forbearance, I just had to take a break from ongoing administrative duties here at the VFP office to respond to the most recent in a long string of grotesque outrages.
I'm referring to the Obama administration's response to a federal lawsuit filed by Rep. Dennis Kucinich and 9 other Members of Congress contending the Libyan adventure is unconstitutional, as well as a letter from House Speaker Boehner warning the President to observe a deadline in the War Powers Act and get Congressional approval for invading Libya.
The administration's response to Congress -- and I am not joking or borrowing a line from the Daily Show -- is that Mr. Obama can spend a billion dollars bombing the daylights out of Libya based on nothing more than his own authority because:
· it falls short of a “war” in the constitutional sense.
Here's what Congress members should back:
Ten Cosponsors for Kucinich-Amash Libya Defund Amendment
Washington D.C. (June 22, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who has led House opposition to the war in Libya, and Michigan Republican Justin Amash who has also been a vocal opponent to the war, are officially introducing an amendment to the FY 2012 Defense Appropriations bill to cut off funds for the war in Libya.
Other cosponsors include Congresspersons Barbara Lee (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA) Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Peter Stark (D-CA) and Ron Paul (R-TX).
“The war in Libya is illegal, unconstitutional and unwarranted. It is critical that Congress move forward to exercise its power of the purse and cut off funds for the war,” said Kucinich.
Prior to consideration of HR 1540, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 in May, 2011, Kucinich offered an amendment to end the war, but it was blocked from floor consideration. Since then, appropriations bills have been thus far considered under a rule that allows all amendments.
The following is a dangerous position taken by Congressman Kucinich in that, by choosing the lesser of two evils, he nonetheless would help Congress go on record as agreeing that certain military actions are not "hostilities" or subject to Congressional authorization. In contrast, the worse of the two evils, the resolution authorizing the war, fails to establish any precedents other than the usual one of an irrelevant Congress pretending to matter and endorsing crimes after the fact.
Washington D.C. (June 22, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who has led House opposition to the war in Libya, is today urging Members of Congress to support a resolution modeled from a Kucinich resolution to end the war in Libya. He sent the following letter to colleagues:
June 22, 2011
This week, pursuant to resolutions crafted by Speaker Boehner, you will be given two options on Libya. One would continue the war in Libya. The other would withdraw U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities.
The first resolution would authorize the war to continue for at least another year, at a potential cost of billions.
The second resolution is not perfect, but represents our best chance of creating conditions that lead to the end of the war. While it is modeled after my resolution calling for full withdrawal, it allows the United States to provide “non-kinetic” intelligence and operational support for NATO, while making it clear that the United States will not take over the war as European support continues to diminish.
The second resolution will not end the war immediately, but it will prohibit the Administration from expanding U.S. involvement in the war.
Other nations lack the United States’ capabilities to continue the war. Other nations are losing support for the war from their public. The withdrawal resolution would prevent this Administration from causing the U.S. to take over the war in Libya as other nations step back.
I urge you to vote NO on the resolution which authorizes the war in Libya and continues the war for another year. I urge you to vote YES on the resolution which orders the withdrawal of U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in Libya. This is a defining moment. Let us use our constitutional authority to bring an end to a war.
Dennis J. Kucinich
Member of Congress
Washington D.C. (June 21, 2011) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who has led House opposition to the illegal, unconstitutional and unwarranted war in Libya, today distributed the following leaflet to his colleagues ahead of the consideration of the Fiscal Year 2012 Department of Defense Appropriations bill:
1. It is unconstitutional. Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution gives Congress the war power. The President has made it clear he believes he does not need Congressional consent to conduct this war. If Congress does not challenge this war, there will be more wars to follow.
Dave Crouch looks at War is a Lie by David Swanson, a new book about the stories our rulers tell to sell their imperial projects
Does this sound familiar? A dictator is massacring his own people. He is a threat not only to the region, but also to us here in Britain.
He has weapons of mass destruction.
Something must be done—urgently. While we hesitate, children are dying. People are being hideously tortured. They are defenceless. They are pleading for us to act.
We have the technology to ensure swift and clean victory. The choice is civilisation or barbarism.
With overwhelming firepower and precision bombing, we can stop this tyrant. There is no alternative.
These were the lies peddled to the British public in 2003 when Tony Blair dragged us into the disastrous war in Iraq.
NATO Bomb Kills Civilians in Tripoli
“A Political Settlement May Be the Only Way to Truly Protect Libyan Civilians”
Washington D.C. (June 20, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today wrote to Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, and Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, urging accountability for NATO’s recent attacks which resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians.
“In light of this event, I reiterate my request that the United Nations (U.N.) take immediate steps to ensure that member states, acting in Libya under NATO and pursuant to a U.N. mandate to protect civilians, are held accountable for possible violations of international law and pertinent U.N. Security Council resolutions,” wrote Kucinich.
Kucinich also enclosed a copy of a blueprint for peace and self-determination in Libya as a proposal to begin negotiations on a political settlement that would end the conflict which continues to put civilians at risk in Libya.
“It is vital that NATO work with the U.N., its member states and the international community toward a politically negotiated end to the conflict. Indeed, a political settlement may be the only way to truly protect Libyan civilians from harm and bring an end to a protracted conflict. To that end, I have enclosed a structured series of steps patterned after the African Union effort which can serve to end the conflict,” wrote Kucinich.
See a signed copy of the letter here.
And least we not forget the millions of refugee's created in our names, the U.S., over the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as area's of Pakistan!
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) - NATO said Saturday it mistakenly struck a column of Libyan rebel vehicles in an airstrike near an eastern oil town two days earlier and expressed regret for any casualties that might have resulted.
The alliance has accidentally hit rebel forces before in its air campaign to protect civilians in the civil war between Moammar Gadhafi's military and the fighters trying to end his more than four decades in power. The rebels have also complained that NATO's strikes have not helped them gain decisive momentum against the Libyan leader's better trained and equipped military, which still has firm control over most of western Libya. The rebels control much of the east.
The alliance statement gave no figures on casualties from Thursday's airstrike, but said it regretted "any possible loss of life or injuries caused by this unfortunate incident."
For years there was debate on Capitol Hill over whether or not Congress could end a war by cutting off the funding. Despite the Constitution's clarity, and the clarity of numerous precedents, Senator Russ Feingold was obliged to hold hearings to explain to his colleagues what the power of the purse is. That debate is over.
Those who pretended for years they didn't have the power to cut off the dollar spigot have dropped the pretense. Now it's purely about whether they have the will. The reason for this shift, of course, is that they are actually close to having the will.
On May 26th the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 416 to 5 an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act of 2012 sponsored by John Conyers and 17 other congress members that (if left in by the Senate) blocks the use of any funds in that act to put US troops or contractors on the ground in Libya.
Weaknesses of this move include: