December 12, 2012. Chaos and violence continue, Nancy Pelosi makes
ridiculous and revisionary statements on the Iraq War, Amnesty calls out
Iraq's forced 'confessions,' UNICEF explains the realities for Iraqi
children, a bomb goes off in an Iraqi prison, and more.
start in the US. We've got good Congress/bad Congress. In one
corner, a member who stays focused on the work and actually accomplishes
a great deal. In the other corner, a drama queen who thinks everything
in the world happens only to her.
reward good work by noting Senator Patty Murray, Chair of the Senate
Veterans Affairs Committee whose office issued the following today:
FOR PLANNING PURPOSES
Wednesday, December 12th, 2012
CONTACT: Murray Press Office
Tomorrow: Murray to Attempt to Pass Bill Allowing Catastrophically Wounded Veterans to Start Families
bill will end ban on in vitro fertilization at VA; provide needed
assistance to veterans with major reproductive injuries who are now
paying out-of-pocket for expensive fertility procedures
D.C.) -- Tomorrow, Thursday, December 13th, U.S. Senator Patty Murray,
Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs' Committee, will head to the
Senate floor to call for unanimous consent on her Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvement Act of 2012,
which builds upon previous law to improve VA services for women
veterans and veterans with families and ends the ban on in vitro
fertilization (IVF) services at VA to help severely wounded veterans
start families. Senator Murray will share the story of Tracy Keil, the
spouse of a severely wounded OIF veteran, and her family's experience
with VA's fertility services.
data shows that since 2003 nearly 2,000 veterans of the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan have suffered pelvic fractures and genitourinary injuries
that could affect their abilities to reproduce. In particular, the
reliance on foot patrols in Afghanistan and the use of improvised
explosive devices has left service members far more susceptible to these
injuries. Veterans who have severe reproductive and urinary tract
injuries and spinal cord injuries (SCI) often need highly specialized
treatments and procedures like IVF to conceive. However, under
regulations, IVF is expressly excluded from fertility services that are
provided by the VA to veterans or their spouses. This is a significant
barrier for veterans with SCI and genital and urinary tract injuries and
as a result they have to seek care outside of the VA. The Department
of Defense currently provides access to IVF services and coverage for
IVF and other fertility treatments at no charge to severely combat
wounded servicemembers. Senator Murray's bill would provide veterans
with the same access. Read more about Senator Murray's bill HERE.
WHO: U.S. Senator Patty Murray
WHAT: Senator Murray will give a speech in support of the Women Veterans and
Other Health Care Improvement Act of 2012, will seek unanimous consent
on the bill
WHEN: TOMORROW: Thursday, December 13th 2012
Approximately 10:15 AM ET/ 7:15 AM PT (this may change depending on floor
WHERE: Senate Floor
WATCH: Speech will air live on C-SPAN2
was the good. Now for the bad, my own House Rep, Nancy Pelosi.
Today's nonsense involved Iraq so we can just ignore her. Sabrina Siddiqui (Huffington Post) reports
on Nancy's latest bottle of sour whine. Pelosi uncorked the crazy to
try and give Speaker of the House John Boehner advice. From the
"The emotion in
the  election was about ending the war in Iraq … and people
thought that when the people had spoken, that something would happen to
that effect," Pelosi said. She went on to explain how Congress passed a
bill that continued to fund military operations in Iraq but included a
timetable for withdrawal, a measure that was vetoed by President George
"I as speaker had to make a
decision as a Democratic speaker in a new Democratic majority -- [that
was] very enthusiastic about ending the war in Iraq -- to bring a bill
to the floor that funded the troops," Pelosi recalled. She added that a
bifurcated strategy was enacted to split the legislation into two pieces
-- domestic spending and war appropriations. An overwhelming majority
of 348 members voted for the domestic piece of the bill, while the $100
billion in funding for wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan passed 280 to
142, with 140 Democrats -- including Pelosi herself -- voting against
People thought the
war would end because people were promised it would by . . . Nancy
Pelosi. She wants you to know today that the problem was they passed a
bill but Bully Boy Bush vetoed it.
Really because I do recall her little presentation to the San Francisco Chronicle
editorial board and staff. I do recall who Nance blamed them. It
wasn't Bush. It was Harry Reid. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. As
we noted in the May 29, 2008 Iraq snapshot
House has always voted to have the redeployment of the troops out. . . .
From the House we have always fought but the senate [let's voice trail
off into silence]" I'm not really sure the best way for the Speaker of
the House to conduct themselves is to declare war on the Senate
semi-privately. Maybe a war between the two houses of Congress is what
it will take to end the illegal war? If so, Pelosi needs to take her
comments to a very public forum which, apparently, this meeting was not
since it was not reported on. She further [insisted] of the
Democratically controlled Senate, "they are guarding the president's
In 2008, she was blaming the Senate -- Democratically controlled.
She's always got someone else to blame.
could have ended the war spending at any point by standing up and
filibustering. But Nancy made clear there would be hell to pay. And
that petty and vindictive streak is why she refused to restore Cynthia
McKinney's senority. It's why she threatened all sorts of punishments
against John Conyers (including losing his position as Chair of the
Judiciary Committee) if he went forward with attempts at impeachment.
Pelosi was a lousy Speaker of the House. In every way. We noted at
one point that she couldn't even handle a press conference on Iraq (Rahm
had to save her ass and the conference -- see the April 3, 2008 snapshot
if you need to refresh or catch up). She made up excuses, she blamed the Senate, she blamed this, she blamed that.
the end of the day, she is the one who told America that if the
Democrats got one house -- just control of one house of Congress -- the
war would come to an end. That's the promise she made. Voters gave
Democrats control of both houses of Congress in the November 2006
mid-term elections. She can lie all she wants but she didn't keep her
promise. She bullied members of Congress who actually tried to end the
war. And the vote Huffington Post is referring to? Nancy
pissed off two Democrats (against the war) with her strong arm tactics.
She made sure it would pass. And she made sure she'd be able to vote
against it without tanking it. She's a con artist. That's all she is.
She said, "Give me this and I will give you that." She didn't keep her
promise. That's on her. That's not on Harry Reid, that's not on John
Conyers, that's not on Cynthia McKinney or Maxine Waters or Lynn
Woolsey. That's on Nancy Pelosi. Part of leadership is taking
accountability for your failures.
can't do that and is quoted saying, "I had to do it as speaker -- do you
know what it was like for me to bring a bill to the floor to fund the
war in Iraq, a war predicated on a misrepresentation to the American
people? So it's tough, but you have to do it. Is the point that you
don't want to put your members on the spot? Figure it out -- we did.
Figure it out."
She's bragging about the
'tough' thing she had to do. She's bragging about breaking her promise
and continuing an illegal war. She's bragging about continuing to fund
an illegal war. That last brag? That could actually bring you up on
charges in a War Crimes court.
It was so
hard, Nancy I-Me-I,-as-Speaker- Pelosi wants us all to know, so hard for
her. I think it was harder, for example, for Lt Ehren Watada to stand
up to the US government and refuse to fight in an illegal war. Poor
Nancy's always mistaken a chipped nail for personal tragedy. Spare us
Nancy's not the only one serving up
Congressional Crazy. We've noted how, since 2009, Senator Jack Reed's
been rather inconsisten on Iraq in Senate hearings (repeatedly). Kori Schake (Foreign Policy) covers
his latest: Insisting that an Afghanistan drawdown won't be at all like
the Iraqi drawdown because that was Bully Boy Bush. Schake offers this
- An arbitrary end to
"combat" operations in Iraq in August 2010, confining U.S. forces to a
support role nowhere required in U.S.-Iraqi agreements made in the Bush
Administration and curtailing the effectiveness of our contribution.
- Not confronting Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as he used the courts and security forces against domestic political rivals.
expressed no interest in the importance of Parliament for the 18-month
stalemate after the shamefully manipulated outcome of Iraq's elections,
insisting that any agreement on future presence of U.S. military forces
must be approved by that Parliament, leading to the breakdown of
negotiations on any long-term stationing.
ridiculously extravagant and unexecutable plan for civilian presence
after our military withdrawal that conveyed the lack of seriousness in
- Not investing
any political capital in coalescing neighboring states into support of a
government emerging from international isolation.
having achieved "an end to the war in Iraq," President Obama seems not
to care whether that war continues, only that we not be participants in
Today UNICEF released the results of a survey. The UN News Centre hails
it as "the most comprehensive survey on the situation of women and children in Iraq" and it's findings include:
* 32% of Iraqis under the age of 18 lack basic services
only 10% of Iraqi children had "access to all basic services" and
rights while 32% did not -- that's 1.7 million had it, 5.3 million
* 1/4 of all Iraqi "children have stunted physical and intellectual development due to under-nutrition"
* 9 out of 10 Iraqi children are enrolled in primary school, only 4 out of 10 will complete primary school
* "1 in 3 children -- 3.3. million -- are subjected to severe violent discipline methods."
with the work with Iraqi children in Iraq, UNICEF is also working with
Syrian children who've come to Iraq as refugees (UNICEF is working
throughout the region, we're focusing on Iraq). In Iraq, the Syrian
refugees have been welcomed into the Kurdistan Regional Government
(Nouri sat up a problematic camp in Anbar Province -- we've covered its
problems before). While the KRG has been much more open armed to the
refugees, the KRG is also, because it's in northern Iraq, colder.
UNICEF has a Keep Them Warm Campaign right now for the 1.2 million
Syrian children who have been displaced in Syria and the 650,000
who have sought sanctuary in Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Click here for more on that
. It is the holidays and many people look for something charitable to donate to. If you would like to donate to UNICEF, click here
(you can donate online or you can print up the form and send it in via
regular e-mail). UNICEF is an organization I believe in and contribute
to. That doesn't mean you have to give. You may not have money to
give. You may not want to give. You may feel something else is a more
worthy cause. I'm not trying to guilt anyone but, due to the season, we
are noting worthy causes. The economy remains horrible. No one should
feel badly if they're unable to give to any organization or charity.
It's your business and it's your money. I'm just tossing it out here
for any who are interested.
UNICEF's not the
only visitor in the region. US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was in
Kuwait. He visited the US troops present. Remember them? Dropping
back to the June 19th snapshot
Today the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released [PDF format warning] "The Gulf Security Architecture: Partnership With The Gulf Co-Operation Council."
On page v., Senator John Kerry, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, notes, "Home to more than half of the world's oil reserves
and over a third of its natural gas, the stability of the Persian Gulf
is critical to the global economy." Chair John Kerry has stated of the report,
"The Gulf Region is strategically important to the United States
economically, politically, and for security reasons. This is a period
of historic, but turbulent change in the Middle East. We need to be
clear-eyed about what these interests are and how best to promote them.
This report provides a thoughtful set of recommendations designed to do
[. . .]
Further into the report, we get the point AP' was emphasizing this morning. AP:
"The United States is planning a significant military presence of
13,500 troops in Kuwait to give it the flexibility to respond to sudden
conflicts in the region as Iraq adjusts to the withdrawal of American
combat forces and the world nervously eyes Iran, according to a
congressional report." Page nine of the report:
residual American military presence in the Gulf and increased
burden-sharing with GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] states are
fundamental components of such a framework. However, the United States
must also carefully shape its military footprint to protect the
free-flow of critical natural resources and promote regional stability
while not creating a popular backlash.
is especially keen to maintain a significant U.S. military presence. In
fact, the Kuwaiti public perception of the United States is more
positive than any other Gulf country, dating back to the U.S.-led
liberation of Kuwait in 1991. Kuwait paid over $16 billion to compensate
coalition efforts for costs incurred during Desert Shield and Desert
Storm and $350 million for Operation Southern Watch. In 2004, the Bush
Administration designated Kuwait a major non-NATO ally.
U.S. Military Presence: A U.S.-Kuwaiti defense agreement signed in 1991
and extended in 2001 provides a framework that guards the legal rights
of American troops and promotes military cooperation. When U.S. troops
departed Iraq at the end of 2011, Kuwait welcomed a more enduring
American footprint. Currently, there are approximately 15,000 U.S.
forces in Kuwait, but the number is likely to decrease to 13,500.
Kuwaiti bases such as Camp Arifjan, Ali Al Salem Air Field, and Camp
Buehring offer the United States major staging hubs, training rages, and
logistical support for regional operations. U.S. forces also operate
Patriot missile batteries in Kuwait, which are vital to theater missile
in Kuwait City, Secretary Panetta met with Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad
Al-Jaber Al Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait. The secretary expressed
strong confidence in the long standing U.S.-Kuwaiti defense
relationship, and in the ability of both countries to work together to
address common security challenges in the Gulf region and beyond. The
secretary underscored the importance the U.S. defense strategy places on
the Middle East, and he commended the Amir for Kuwait's leadership role
in fostering peace and security in the region. The secretary and the
Amir also discussed the crisis in Syria, the problem of cyber threats,
and Kuwait's recently completed parliamentary elections and on-going
commitment to the rule of law.
The Pentagon notes
he also met with Amir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah and
"underscored the importance the U.S. defense strategy places on the
Middle East, and commended the emir for Kuwait's leadership role in
fostering peace and security in the region."
On the visit to Kuwait, AP's Robert Burns Tweeted:
ACTION DEATH SENTENCES AFTER COERCED 'CONFESSIONS' Four Iraqi men were
sentenced to death on 3 December following the broadcast of their
coerced "confessions", taken while they were held incommunicado in
pre-trial detention. Nabhan 'Adel Hamdi, Mu'ad Muhammad 'Abed, 'Amer
Ahmad Kassar and a fourth man, now known to be Shakir Mahmoud 'Anad,
were sentenced to death on 3 December on connection with
terrorism-related charges after an unfair trial before the Anbar
Criminal Court, in Anbar Province, western Iraq. Their case will now be
reviewed by Iraq's highest tribunal, the Court of Cassation. If the
sentences are upheld by this court and ratified by the presidency, the
four men will be at imminent risk of execution.
four men, aged in their late 20s to early 30s, were detained between
the end of March and early April 2012. They were reported to have been
tortured while held incommunicado for several weeks at the Directorate
of Counter-Crime in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province. Their
"confessions" were then broadcast on a local television channel,
al-Anbar, on 24 and 25 of April. When brought to trial, they told the
Anbar Criminal Court that they had been forced under torture to
"confess" to assisting murder. Witness testimony from fellow detainees
and photographs of some of the men's injuries seen by Amnesty
International support their torture allegations. The medical examination
of Mu'ad Muhammad 'Abed also revealed burns and other injuries
consistent with torture. No investigation into their torture allegations
is known to have been held.
Hamdi's father and his father's two brothers were arrested on 5 December
and are currently held at the Directorate of Counter-Crime, where they
are also at risk of torture (see UA 351/12, Index: MDE 14/016/2012,
write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language: ν Calling on
the Iraqi authorities to ensure that the death sentences against Nabhan
'Adel Hamdi, Mu'ad Muhammad 'Abed, 'Amer Ahmad Kassar and Shakir
Mahmoud 'Anad are not carried out; ν Expressing concerns that the men
did not receive a fair trial and calling for international standards for
fair trial to be respected in any further legal proceedings in their
case; ν Calling for their allegations of torture to be investigated
promptly and thoroughly by an independent body and for anyone found
responsible for abuses to be brought to justice; ν Urging the
authorities to declare an official moratorium on executions with a view
to abolishing the death penalty, and to commute without delay all death
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 23
JANUARY 2013 TO: Prime Minister His Excellency Nuri Kamil al-Maliki
Office of the Prime Minister Convention Centre (Qasr al-Ma'aridh)
Baghdad, Iraq Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (keep trying) Salutation: Your
of Human Rights His Excellency Mohammad Shayaa al- Sudani Ministry of
Human Rights Baghdad, Iraq Email: email@example.com Salutation:
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
In addition, Alsumaria reports
that the National Alliance's Jaafar al-Moussawi has demanded the arrest
of Minister of Justice Hassan Shammari and is calling for reform of the
All Iraq News
reports 1 National Intelligence Service (Muntasir Abdul Razzaq) officer was shot dead in Baghdad
. an Abu Ghraib bombing claimed the lives of 2 soldiers and left a third injured
, and 1 person was shot dead in Mosul
. But the news 'big enough' to interest news outlets outside of Iraq? Alsumaria reports
a bombing in cell number nine of Baghdad's Tasfirat Rusafa prison which
has claimed the lives of 1 guard and 1 prisoner and left four guards
and two prisoners injured. Citing an unnamed security source, All Iraq News reports
that the bomb was an explosive belt that had been brought into the
prison in parts by a prisoner who later assembled the belt. AP covers
. Alsumaria reports
that the National Alliance's Jaafar al-Moussawi has demanded the arrest
of Minister of Justice Hassan Shammari and is calling for reform of the
women's prisons. AAP reports
that 4 police officers were shot dead outside of Falluja and a Tikrit
sticky bombing claimed the life of 1 "department head [Sabah Bahaa
al-Din] in the College of Agriculture on the Tikrit University campus."
"Separately, gunmen stopped a bus carrying passengers in western Mosul
and shot dead a young man aboard, but a police force arrived and
exchanged fire with the attackers who killed one of the policemen before
they fled the scene, the source said." And on bombs, the Iraq Times reports
that contractors for the British embassy were caught entering the
country with bombs hidden in Korans (even if you don't read Arabic,
check out the photo of the bomb in the Koran).
In other dangers to the lives of the Iraqi people, All Iraq News explains
that Babylon's Department of Health has shut down work on the water
plant due to the fact that that toxins from too much cholrine are making
the people sick. I'm not doing links but we'll note it. Whispers
abound that 'terrorists' ('Ba'athists') met up in Anakara to plot
assassinations in Baghdad and they met with Iraqi Vice President Tareq
al-Hashemi. It's the sort of thing you expect from the whisper mill
especially when there's a move towards a retrial of Tareq (which he is
entitled to by law -- of course, if they're going to follow the law, the
verdict against him should be tossed aside for several reasons
including he can't be tried while he's in office). Again, it's the sort
of whispers State of Law excells in and I'm not in the mood to treat
it as news. They're trying to distract from a potential move for a
Let's turn to the political crises. We'll deal with
the most recent first. For six years, Nouri's refused to abide by the
Constitution and implement Article 140 to resolve disputed areas
(Article 140 calls for a census and referendum). Having refused to
follow the Constitution he took an oath to, a few months ago, he decided
to send his newly created Tigris Operation Command (in violation of the
Constitution, Parliament did not approve of the commander of these
forces) into disputed areas. The Kurds see this as an effort on Nouri's
part to illegally grab the disputed lands -- and, yes, it would be
illegal. Anything other than following Article 140 would be illegal.
Nouri's actions have led to a military stand-off -- one that continues
despite the lies of AP last week hailing it as over. Al Mada reports
today that the Peshmerga spokesperson Jabbar Yawar states the Peshmera
(Kurdish elite forces) remain in position and are not withdrawing until
an agreement can be worked out between Erbil (capital of the KRG) and
Baghdad. The Kurdistan Regional Government is a semi-autonomous
region. Part of the problem currently is that Nouri al-Maliki has
illegal seized control of the various military forces in Iraq. The only
forces he doesn't control are the Kurdish military. The crown jewel of
Iraq's forces is the Peshmerga. At one point, Nouri was 'offering'
that the problem could be solved by his taking control of the Peshmerga.Yesterday
, KRG President Massoud Barzani visited the Peshmerga stationed around Kirkuk. Rudaw reports
on the visit:
is not a nice thing. Throughout history the Kurdish nation has never
liked war, but they were always ready to protect their land and dignity.
They would rather die than live under oppression," Barzani said,
accompanied by the Peshmarga minister. "I say again that I
hope for this issue to be resolved through dialogue," Barzani said,
visiting oil-rich Kirkuk, which is part of the disputed areas, for the
first time since the tensions began. "However, if we have to face war
you have a just cause, because it is not you who went to occupy others
and kill them," Barzani added, speaking to the troops as it rained.
State of Law's getting desperate. Your first clue is the bluster boys
are falling silent and they're sending out women to speak for them. All Iraq News notes
State of Law MP Fatima Hamid is thundering that Barzani's visit yesterday creates the conditions for "sedition."Alsumaria reports
a splinter bloc from Iraqiya is proposing that the crisis be resolved
in the federal courts. This would be a mistake because it would set
another precedent where the Constitution states what has to be done and
the Constitution is again ignored. If the Constitution is going to mean
anything, it has to be followed. Article 140 could give Kirkuk, for
example, to the KRG or it could give it to Baghdad. If people are
unhappy about Article 140, the time to object was when the Constitution
was written. One of the people who sat in on the writing was, in fact,
Nouri al-Maliki. If the Constitution means anything, it is followed.
If it's a worthless piece of paper, by all means, ignore it and push for
a new way to address the problem.
At a time when Nouri's Iraq is falling apart, more bad news for him comes via Alsumaria which reports
Sahwa (also known as "Awakening" and "Sons Of Iraq" and "Daughters Of
Iraq") has announced Nouri has one month to address the salary issue or
they're hitting the streets. Payment for Sahwa was never a problem in
the first years -- that's because the US taxpayer footed the bill. When
Senator Barbara Boxer rightly pointed out that oil rich Iraq should
mean that Nouri was paying Sahwa, Ryan Crocker and David Petraeus agreed
to 'take a look at it.' Nouri's never paid on time when he has paid
them. If he thinks things are bad now, let the last of the Sahwa walk
and watch it get worse.
Yes. Turkey is negotiating, or already finished an oil deal with the
Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq. Are you encouraging Turkey not to
go along with this, since it will be a provocation to the central
government in Baghdad?
NULAND: Well, first of all, let me say as a general matter, once again,
Samir, that the United States supports a constitutional solution to the
dispute over the management of Iraq's hydrocarbon resources. This is
our longstanding position. We are continuing to urge the Iraqi
Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to reach an agreement
over legislation so that they can enhance investment so that everybody
knows what the fair legal basis is for this.
don't support oil exports from any part of Iraq without the appropriate
approval of the Iraqi Government, and we're calling on the Government
of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to continue to try to work
through their differences. We also call on neighboring states to
similarly avoid any action or comment that can contribute in any way to
that's cute. A constitutional solution. The same White House that
circumvented the Constitution to keep Nouri al-Maliki in power? That
White House? From John Barry's "'The Engame' Is A Well Researched, Highly Critical Look at U.S. Policy in Iraq
" (Daily Beast
Washington has little political and no military influence
over these developments [in Iraq]. As Michael Gordon and Bernard
Trainor charge in their ambitious new history of the Iraq war, The Endgame,
Obama's administration sacrificed political influence by failing in
2010 to insist that the results of Iraq's first proper election be
honored: "When the Obama administration acquiesced in the questionable
judicial opinion that prevented Ayad Allawi's bloc, after it had won the
most seats in 2010, from the first attempt at forming a new government,
it undermined the prospects, however slim, for a compromise that might
have led to a genuinely inclusive and cross-sectarian government."
Now suddenly the White House cares about Iraq's Constitution?
the only party in this conflict, a conflict that has the potential to
set the whole region ablaze? No, it isn't. It is only a belated party in
the game because of its chronic Kurdish problem. Is there any reference
in Nuland's statement regarding the stance of the big U.S. energy
companies there, which are the main players? No, there isn't. When
anyone asks, they always get the cliche saying: "the U.S. government
doesn't intervene in company affairs." This might be true, but it falls
short in giving a satisfactory explanation for the situation. Is this
statement only lip service to sooth down al-Maliki? Even that is
Joe Lieberman gave a speech this afternoon and CNN treated it like this
was England and Queen Elizabeth was announcing she was stepping down.
Lieberman thanked his wife, his family and his constituents and I'm not
bothered by his speech just bothered by the hushed awe and reverence
with which CNN -- especially reporter Dana Bash -- treated it. Will
they do the same for Dennis Kucinich? His term also ends next month.
Eight times he was elected to Congress, twice he ran for the Democratic
Party's presidential nomination. Will he get the same treatment from
the media? No. And it's not fair and I say that as someone who is
not a Kucinich fan. It's a shame Dennis couldn't back up his words.
It's a real shame he took an airplane ride with Barack and then caved on
his promise to oppose ObamaCare. That didn't pay off, it didn't help
him. It was stupid to change his vote. But if he disappointed in
votes and actions, he was always better with words and he continues that
in his last weeks in Congress. Today his office notes a resolution a
Committee will be considering tomorrow morning:
D.C. (December 12, 2012) -- The House Judiciary Committee is expected
to vote tomorrow on H. Res. 819, a Resolution of Inquiry, introduced by
Congressman Kucinich (D-OH), to finally compel the Administration to
release its legal justification for drones strikes which targets
American citizens and others abroad.
House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to meet at 10:00 AM tomorrow to
consider the resolution. This vote will determine whether the United
States Congress will stick up for the Constitution, Congressional
oversight, and for the rights of all Americans.
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, this Administration recently conducted its 300th drone strike. Drone strikes are estimated to have killed more than 1,000 innocent civilians. Recently it has been reported that the Administration conducts secondary strikes.
The so-called process of "double tapping" includes attacks on the
first-responders to the initial attack. The White House claims that
strikes against United States citizens abroad are legal and points to a
classified memo from the Office of Legal Counsel. The Administration
would be compelled to release that memo and supporting documents under
H. Res 819.
strikes are creating a dangerous legal precedent that the world will
emulate. From Iran to China, other nations are very close to developing
comparable technology. Congress must act to ensure proper oversight and
legal authority for the use of this technology.
strikes are legal only under a very narrow set of circumstances.
Strikes against United States citizens are in direct violation of the
Constitution, which guarantees due process rights and the right to a
fair trial. The volume of the strikes and the process of
'double-tapping' challenge the legality of these strikes. The Congress
and the American people have a right to know what laws the
Administration is relying on to conduct its drone program, and how they
are being interpreted, especially against U.S. citizens," said Kucinich.
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