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By David Swanson
We've all heard the line. "That would make us look weak on national security." That line is supposed to be based on public opinion, not just the opinions of media corporations and pundits working for Pentagon-funded think tanks. That line is supposed to have something to do with the general American public. But it does not.
President Bush has said over 100 times (documented below by Sentor Edward Kennedy) that Congress was shown the same pre-war intelligence he was. While we could take the President's word for that, Senator Kennedy thought he would just check to make sure. He submitted an amendment in December to an intelligence bill asking the White House to turn over to the Senate Intelligence Committee the President's daily briefings, beginning with the last term of the Clinton Administration and ending on first day of the war in Iraq in 2003. In response, an anonymous Republican Senator afraid of the truth, and afraid even to reveal his name, blocked the bill and is still blocking it. For the first time since 1978, the Senate recessed with this national security legislation left undone.
Email and phone these three members of the Republican leadership and demand that they have the hold taken off the bill:
By Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, who has shunned public forums on the war for the past year, finally held a town hall meeting in San Francisco on January 14. Despite her public criticism of the war and her recent support of Cong. John Murtha’s call to bring the troops home, Pelosi has not used her position as Minority leader to lead her party to adopt an anti-war stance. She has also refused to support other anti-war measures, such as Cong. Barbara Lee’s bill to prohibit permanent bases in Iraq and Cong. Jim McGovern’s bill to stop funding for new deployment.
By Congressman John Murtha, Huffington Post
According to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Second Edition, the definition of a civil war is a "war between political factions or regions within the same country." That is exactly what is going on in Iraq, not a global war on terrorism, as the President continues to portray it.
By Jon Williams,
Thought you all would be interested to see that after our Jan. 7 action, Lois Capps, CA-23, was inspired to send a letter to the SB News-Press expressing her anti-war feelings. I’ve responded with a letter (cc’d to our groups) commending her and asking readers—progressive, moderate and conservative—to let her know they supporter her voting no on any upcoming supplemental funding bill as that truly is the way to support our troops.
Congressperson McKinney (D-GA) gave the following speech before the Georgia Black Chamber of Commerce, January 7, 2006.
I have been given a most unenviable task.
Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Michigan, 14th District
Ranking Member, U.S. House Judiciary Committee
Dean, Congressional Black Caucus
Contact: Dena Graziano 202-225-1294
By Kevin Zeese
Below is a useful analysis of where the Iraq War is in Congress. It is an interview I published with Kevin Martin the Executive Director of Peace Action.
Another interesting article published earlier this week describes how active duty military are turning against the Iraq War. This is based on a poll of Military News readership released on January 3. See: http://democracyrising.us/content/view/399/151/. Also on DemocracyRising this week, an article by Professor Michael Schwartz " The New Iraq War Strategy: More Bombings, More Civilian Deaths and Less Likelihood of Success" http://democracyrising.us/content/view/398/164/.
"Santorum wants non-partisan panel to evaluate Iraq war"
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - January 06, 2006 - By Maeve Reston, Post-Gazette National Bureau
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Rick Santorum yesterday wrote a letter to President Bush asking him to create an independent, non-partisan commission to objectively evaluate progress in Iraq.
Public Opinion and Grassroots Pressure Prove Key
By Ted Lewis, Global Exchange Newsletter, Winter 2006
The week before Thanksgiving, while President Bush was out of the country, the Congressional debate over the US occupation of Iraq finally broke into the open. It started with a Senate vote of 79 to 19 to call 2006 a year of “transition
By Eric Schmeltzer
As soon as Congress reconvenes, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) should introduce this resolution and find someone in the House to introduce the same. Explanation following:
Congresswoman Waters Denounces the President's Decision to Permit the NSA to Spy On the American Public
Contact: Mikael Moore (202) 225-2201
Washington, DC - Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) expressed outrage and concern about President Bush's decision to bypass the US Constitution and laws to permit the National Security Agency ("NSA") to spy on American citizens.
By Edward M. Kennedy, The Boston Globe
The president is not above the law; he is not King George. Yet, with sorrow, we are now learning that in this great land we have an administration that has refused to follow well-crafted, longstanding procedures that require the president to get a court order before spying on people within the United States. With outrage, we learn that this administration believes that it does not have to follow the law of the land.
Contact: Dena Graziano 202-226-6888
Conyers and 26 Other Members Submit Resolution of Inquiry in House; Members Seek Documents from Attorney General Authorizing Secret Surveillance
Representative John Conyers, Jr., (D-MI) House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, along with 26 other Members today submitted a comprehensive resolution of inquiry regarding the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program on U.S. soil. If reported favorably, the resolution would instruct the Attorney General to turn over documents in his possession authorizing the warrantless electronic surveillance and the legal recommendations to do so within 14 days, subject to any necessary redactions or security classifications.
The Associated Press
Washington - Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter said Wednesday he remains skeptical about a government surveillance program despite an explanation from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
U.S. Congressional Candidate John L. Wolfe Endorses Congressman Conyers' Resolutions to Censure Bush
Ohio attorney stands behind effort to investigate wrongdoing by Bush Administration
In a statement made today, U.S. Congressional Candidate John L. Wolfe (OH-13) has endorsed House Resolutions 635, 636 and 637, as introduced by U.S. Congressman John Conyers (MI-14) earlier this week.
In 1968, Martin Luther King told us: “If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess ... strength without sight.
When Richard Nixon abused power, Congress held a serious, bi-partisan investigation that resulted in articles of impeachment. Strong evidence suggests that George Bush and Dick Cheney launched an illegal war and lied to Congress, spied on Americans without court approval, leaked classified information, produced phony news reports, imprisoned without charge and tortured, targeted civilians and used illegal weapons. Ask your Congress Member to cosponsor House Resolution 635 for an investigation.
Published on Monday, December 19, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
By US Senator Robert C. Byrd
December 19, 2005
Senator Byrd on Monday expressed his strong concerns about possible violations of the Constitution in the Bush Administration's admitted practice of spying on American citizens:
Tuesday, December 6, 2005
1. Neil Abercrombie
2. Henry A. Waxman
3. William D. Delahunt
4. Martin T. Meehan
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter has posted a petition demanding hearings on Bush's spying here:
Contact: Reid Cherlin 202-225-5635
“Neither the President himself, nor anyone else in the White House can authorize an
order to spy on Americans without a warrant
News from U.S. Representatives Zoe Lofgren and Rick Boucher
CONTACT:Kyra Jennings, 202-225-3072 (Lofgren); Amanda Potter, 202-225-3861 (Boucher)
Washington, DC – Seventeen Members of the House Judiciary Committee today called on House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner to convene hearings to investigate the President ordering the National Security Agency (NSA) to engage in espionage of persons inside the United States without obtaining court-ordered warrants. Below is the text of the letter:
Democrats plan sharp rebuke of pre-war intelligence, Iraq war in massive new congressional report
By Larisa Alexandrovna and John Byrne, www.RawStory.com
House Judiciary Committee Democrats, spearheaded by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), are set to release possibly the sharpest congressional critique to date surrounding Iraq, RAW STORY has learned.
The report, titled "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution and Coverups in the Iraq War," is slotted to be made available to the public Tuesday. RAW STORY acquired a copy of the book’s cover and some additional information about the document today.
According to Democratic aides, the report will focus on alleged manipulation of pre-war intelligence by the White House, specifically covering such topics as the Downing Street Minutes as well as the White House position on the Geneva Conventions and international law as regards its policies toward prisoners of war.
Senate Turns Down Patriot Act Extension
POSTED: 12:46 pm EST December 16, 2005
UPDATED: 2:37 pm EST December 16, 2005
WASHINGTON -- The Senate on Friday refused to reauthorize major portions of the USA Patriot Act after critics complained they infringed too much on Americans' privacy and liberty, dealing a huge defeat to the Bush administration and Republican leaders.
By Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey
"Americans and Iraqis continue to die while House Republicans play political games," said Rep. Woolsey.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) led 17 Members of Congress in protesting today's Republican measure, H.Res.612, because it calls for a continued, open-ended presence of American troops in Iraq. "I congratulate the Iraqis for their successful election, but we must have an open debate on Iraq on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, said Woolsey. "Americans and Iraqis continue to die while House Republicans play political games."
Kucinich Introduces Bipartisan Legislation To Allow Iraqi Parliament To Vote On The Future Of US Occupation
Kucinich Introduces Bipartisan Legislation To Allow Iraqi Parliament - Not US House of Representatives - To Vote On The Future Of US Occupation
Kucinich/Paul Legislation Would Have Sovereign Iraq Vote On The Future Of US Occupation
Rumor has it Congressman Dennis Kucinich will introduce this resolution:
Expressing the sense of Congress that the new permanent Council of Representatives of Iraq should debate and vote on whether or not the continued U.S. military presence in Iraq is desired by the Government of Iraq.
By David Swanson
The CRS report for Feinstein about whether or not Congress had access to the same intelligence on Iraq as the Bush administration, comes to a surprising answer: No.
But, Jonathan Schwartz points out that a section of the report says