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By Erik Leaver, www.tompaine.com
Erik Leaver is a research fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and the policy outreach director for the Foreign Policy In Focus Project. He is the co-author of The Iraq Quagmire: The Mounting Costs of War and the Case for Bringing Home the Troops .
When George W. Bush casually let slip last month that the level of U.S. forces in Iraq would be decided “by future presidents and future governments of Iraq," he dispelled any illusions of presidential accountability for the ongoing management of the war. Before the Senate debates spending another $70 billion for the Iraq War this week, they should check in with the U.S. public to see if they support another three years of war without a plan for bringing the troops home.
By Council for a Livable World
Votes scheduled today on border security
At noon today, the Senate has scheduled a vote on the Gregg (R-NH) amendment No. 3594 and the Reid (D-NV) amendment No. 3604 to add $1.9 billion for border security. The Gregg amendment is co-sponsored by Sens. Frist, Byrd, Domenici, Ensign, Alexander and Sununu. The amendments would fund more helicopters, boats, unmanned surveillance airplanes and personnel for the Department of Homeland Security and Coast Guard border patrol efforts. The Gregg amendment would pay for the program by an across-the-board 3% cut in funds in the bill to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including cuts in military personnel, operations and maintenance, Iraqi security forces training, programs to combat Improvised Explosive Devices, the Defense Health Program and the Death Gratuity Fund. The Reid amendment, on the other hand, declares the new money “emergency funding” not needing an offset.
MEDIA ADVISORY FROM U.S. REPRESENTATIVES BARBARA LEE, LYNN WOOLSEY, MAURICE HINCHEY, AND MAXINE WATERS [contacts: Susannah Cernojevich (Woolsey at 202-225-5161); Nathan Britton at 202-225-2661), Jeffrey Lieberson (Hinchey at 202-225-6335); and (Michael Rose at 202-225-2201)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representatives Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), Maurice Hinchey (D-New York), and Maxine Waters will be co-chairing a second forum on ending U.S. military operations in Iraq and bringing U.S. troops home, while helping the Iraqis regain control over their country and their future.
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
The House version of the 2007 intelligence authorization bill would
grant CIA and NSA security personnel the authority to make arrests
for "any felony" committed in their presence, no matter how remote
from the foreign intelligence mission it might be, the Baltimore
Sun reported today.
Section 423 of H.R. 5020 "appears...to grant to CIA security
Here's a PDF of a Government Accounting Office report released today entitled:
Governance, Security, Reconstruction, and Financing Challenges
Statement of David M. Walker
Comptroller General of the United States
With about 60 amendments pending on the $106.5 billion fiscal 2006 supplemental bill to fund the Iraq war and hurricane relief, it is “highly likely” that Senate leaders will move later this week to limit debate.
The Senate began work on the bill this morning, and Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., could file a cloture petition as early as Thursday, aides said, leading to a vote next week on whether to curtail debate and block non-germane amendments.
From the Progressive Caucus
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representatives Lynn Woolsey (D-California), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Maurice Hinchey (D-New York), and Maxine Waters will be co-chairing a second forum on ending U.S. military operations in Iraq and bringing U.S. troops home, while helping the Iraqis regain control over their country and their future.
What: Bipartisan Congressional Forum on How to Bring the Troops Home
If You Don't Shape Up, We're Going to Stop Occupying Your Country, Killing Your People, and Stealing Your Oil
U.S. Senators Carl Levin (D-Mi), Susan Collins (R-Me) And Jack Reed (D-Ri) Hold A News Conference On The Next Steps In Iraq
April 25, 2006
SPEAKERS: U.S. SENATOR CARL LEVIN (D-MI)
U.S. SENATOR SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME)
U.S. SENATOR JACK REED (D-RI)
LEVIN: Good morning, everybody.
Senator Collins and Senator Reed and I are introducing an amendment today to the pending supplemental appropriations bill which
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) is calling on Members of Congress and the President to work together to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq, while helping the Iraqis regain control over their country and their future.
What: Congressional Forum on How to Bring the Troops Home
When: Thursday, April 27, 2006
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM ET
Where: 2325 Rayburn House Office Building
By David Swanson
I'll be co-hosting with Verna Avery-Brown of Pacifica Radio a live broadcast on Pacifica from 8:30-11 a.m. ET on Thursday, April 27, of a forum on Capitol Hill hosted by Congresswomen Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee.
The forum will take place in 2325 Rayburn House Office Building (with an overflow room planned for anyone wanting to attend who can't fit in). The two Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are continuing to do what the "leadership" of both parties does not, respond to the demands of the majority of Americans, who disapprove of current policy.
By Brad Freidman
(Okay, it was lunch, but the title didn't scan as well that way)
I Get a Chance to Talk to the Senator about [CENSURE and] Democrats in FOXholes and about our Electoral System Mess...
Arizona Republic (Phoenix) - April 22, 2006 - By Dennis Camire, Gannett News Service
WASHINGTON - While a majority of Americans say the Iraq invasion was a mistake, a majority of House members have indicated they'd rather not debate the war, or a U.S. troop pullout, on the floor of their chamber.
Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, says the debate he wants, on a resolution to call on President Bush to set a timetable for withdrawal, would be good for the country.
By Josh Marshall, http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com
By now you've probably seen or heard about the 60 Minutes segment with the interview with Tyler Drumheller, the now-retired CIA officer who was head of covert operations in Europe during the lead up to the Iraq War.
I just got off the phone with Drumheller. But before we get to that, let's run down the key points in the story.
First, Drumheller says that most folks in the intelligence community didn't think there was anything to the Niger-uranium story. We knew that in general terms; but we hadn't heard it yet from someone so closely involved in the case itself. Remember, the CIA Station Chief in Rome, the guy who first saw the documents when they were dropped off at the US Embassy in October 2002, worked for Drumheller.
On Tuesday, April 25, the Senate will take up the supplemental spending bill for 2006. The current proposal includes $67 billion more for the wars in Iraq and Afganistan. How many innocent Iraqis must die, how many young Americans? How much more destruction, pain and hatred before the Congress finds the will to end this war?
Tell your Senators: Not one penny more for the War!
There is growing support in the Senate for an amendment to the supplemental that will prohibit permanent U.S. bases in Iraq.
Tell your Senators: No permanent U.S. bases in Iraq!
Our "not one penny more for war" call-in day to the House of Representatives last month was a great success. The number of Representatives voting against the war funding rose to 71, AND the House approved an amendment against permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq. We want to repeat that success in the Senate. If we are unable to stop the funding request from passing, we can at least make sure that an amendment against permanent bases is attached.
The toll-free number we are using is graciously provided by the Friends Committee on National Legislation - a member group of UFPJ.
The Providence Journal
What about Carl Sheeler? The businessman and ex-Marine running for U.S. Senate has been dismissed by much of political Rhode Island for reasons that we understand but don't admire. The Democrat's chief negative, we are told, is his lack of money (what a country!). Another reason, we suspect, is establishment Democrats' lack of imagination: They just don't want to bother with a new face.
By Jon Hurdle | March 30, 2006
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Almost two years after the videotaped beheading of U.S. contractor Nick Berg in Iraq, his father is running a third-party race for the U.S. Congress on a platform seeking a complete withdrawal of American troops.
Michael Berg, a veteran anti-war activist and retired schoolteacher who campaigns in jeans and a T-shirt, is the Green Party candidate for the Delaware seat of seven-term Republican Rep. Michael Castle.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee says arrogance by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the Bush administration has hurt the U-S handling of the war in Iraq.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Chafee said the administration has a dismissive attitude and has been unwilling to listen to outsiders.
He calls it "the arrogance factor."
Chafee said he shares the concerns about Rumsfeld's management style raised by a half-dozen retired generals, and urged Bush to meet with them.
WASHINGTON Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton says the generals who have been calling for the removal of Donald Rumsfeld should testify before the Senate.
Clinton weighed in today on the growing effort to oust the Defense Secretary, but did not call for Rumsfeld's removal. She says it's more important to find out what did or did not go wrong in planning the war in Iraq.
Some fellow Democrats have criticized Clinton for voting for the war and not doing more now to bring the troops home.
Kerry accuses Bush of stifling dissent
ANDREW MIGA, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Invoking bitter memories of the public tumult over the Vietnam War three decades ago, Sen. John Kerry is accusing the Bush administration of stifling dissent about its failed Iraq policies by branding critics as unpatriotic.
"The spirit of intolerance for dissent has risen steadily, and the habit of labeling dissenters as unpatriotic has become the common currency of the politicians currently running our country," Kerry, D-Mass., said in remarks prepared for delivery Saturday at Boston's Faneuil Hall.
by JOHN NICHOLS, http://www.thenation.com
When Los Angeles teacher Marcy Winograd saw her Democratic representative in Congress making excuses for George W. Bush's warrantless wiretapping program on NBC's Meet the Press in February, she decided that someone had to challenge Jane Harman's acquiescence in Bush's reckless agenda. So Winograd, a veteran activist who had been instrumental in getting the California Democratic Party to take a firm stand against the war in Iraq, leapt into the June 6 primary. She quickly found that others shared her frustration with Harman; Winograd's been endorsed by Progressive Democrats of America, Southern California Americans for Democratic Action, the Western Region of the United Auto Workers union and a half-dozen presidents of local Democratic clubs. Recently her supporters blocked an early Harman endorsement by the state party after Winograd told a caucus: "When elected, I will have the courage to cut funding for the war in Iraq, to say no when the imperial George Bush wants to wiretap your home without a warrant and to immediately sign on to legislation for universal single-payer national healthcare."
By FREDERIC J. FROMMER
WASHINGTON Apr 20, 2006 (AP)— Sen. Russ Feingold's call for censuring President Bush appears to have paid dividends for the senator's political action committee.
Feingold's leadership PAC, the Progressive Patriots Fund, pulled in $282,000 last month, according to a report filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission. In February, the PAC raised $105,000.
Feingold, D-Wis., announced in March that he introduce a resolution to censure Bush over the administration's eavesdropping program.
Peace in Iraq Call-In Day
Monday, April 24
Tell the Senate -
Not one penny more for the War!
No permanent U.S. bases in Iraq!
On Tuesday, April 25, the Senate will take up the supplemental spending bill for 2006. The current proposal includes $67 billion more for the wars in Iraq and Afganistan. It is expected that the Senate will pass the spending bill easily.
How many innocent Iraqis must die, how many young Americans? How much more destruction, pain and hatred before the Congress finds the will to end this war?
By David Swanson
Congresswomen Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee will host a hearing on the Iraq War next Thursday, April 27, 8:30-11 a.m., in 2325 Rayburn House Office Building (with an overflow room planned for anyone wanting to attend who can't fit in). The two Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are continuing to do what the "leadership" of both parties does not, respond to the demands of the majority of Americans, who disapprove of current policy.
Congressman Continues FOIA Request Battle with Depts of Defense, State over Iraq War-Related Documents
Conyers Sends New Letters to Agencies, Continues to Amend Request by 52 Congressmen, Argues Fees Should be Waived as Agencies Keep Up Stonewall
DoD, State, Question House Members' Ability to 'Disseminate Info to Public'
Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) is continuing his negotation, on behalf of more than 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, for the release of documents related to the Bush Administration's plans for War in Iraq long prior to the beginning of hostilities, according to new letters written to the Departments of Defense and State by the ranking member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and obtained exclusively by The BRAD BLOG...
FULL STORY, COMPLETE TEXT OF LETTERS TO DoD, STATE:
Democratic senator wants SEC investigation of ExxonMobil's $400m 'retirement package'
By RAW STORY
Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) said ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond's $400 million retirement package is a "shameful display of greed" and said oil companies have "hooked their hose up to the pocketbooks of American citizens and are sucking money from ordinary Americans into the treasury of the giant oil companies," RAW STORY has learned.
By Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post
Senate to take up measure as military fights to keep guns, tanks working.
With the expected passage this spring of the largest emergency spending bill in history, annual war expenditures in Iraq will have nearly doubled since the U.S. invasion, as the military confronts the rapidly escalating cost of repairing, rebuilding and replacing equipment chewed up by three years of combat.
Rep. Peter DeFazio
April 12, 2006
Expressing the Sense of Congress that the President cannot initiate military action against Iran over its nuclear program without first obtaining authorization from Congress.
Whereas Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power "to declare war," to lay and collect taxes to "provide for the common defense" and general welfare of the United States, to "raise and support armies," to "provide and maintain a navy," to "make rules for the regulation for the land and naval forces," to "provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions," to "provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia," and to "make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution...all...powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States";
The Honorable George W. Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Bush:
We are concerned by the growing number of stories that your Administration is planning for military action against Iran. We are writing to remind you that you are constitutionally bound to seek congressional authorization before launching any preventive military strikes against Iran.
By Senator John Kerry
One general after another demanding Rumsfeld's resignation. More citizens every day joining in support of our May 15 deadline for Iraqi leaders to stop their squabbling and form a government.
In these and many other ways, because of citizens like you, the wheel is slowly, but surely, turning on the question of Iraq. Over the next ten days, we're going to give it another huge push. But, before I tell you more, please take a moment right now to sign in support of the Kerry Iraq plan:
By William Hughes
"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?" - Mahatma Gandhi
She looks like a liberal. Walks like a liberal. Talks like a liberal, but on the Iraqi War, she's, in fact, just another blood stained War Hawk. I'm referring to U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD)!