Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

My Photo
Name:
Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Saturday, December 09, 2006

IMPEACHMENT RESOLUTION FILED IN HOUSE


"No American is above the law"

Rep. McKinney's floor statement on the impeachment of George W. Bush

By Cynthia McKinney

Published: Friday December 8th, 2006

Mr. Speaker: I come before this body today as a proud American and as a servant of the American people, sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

Throughout my tenure, I’ve always tried to speak the truth. It’s that commitment that brings me here today.

We have a President who has misgoverned and a Congress that has refused to hold him accountable. It is a grave situation and I believe the stakes for our country are high.

No American is above the law, and if we allow a President to violate, at the most basic and fundamental level, the trust of the people and then continue to govern, without a process for holding him accountable —what does that say about our commitment to the truth? To the Constitution? To our democracy?

The trust of the American people has been broken. And a process must be undertaken to repair this trust. This process must begin with honesty and accountability.

Leading up to our invasion of Iraq, the American people supported this Administration’s actions because they believed in our President. They believed he was acting in good faith. They believed that American laws and American values would be respected. That in the weightiness of everything being considered, two values were rock solid —trust and truth.

From mushroom clouds to African yellow cake to aluminum tubes, the American people and this Congress were not presented the facts, but rather were presented a string of untruths, to justify the invasion of Iraq.

President Bush, along with Vice President Cheney and then-National Security Advisor Rice, portrayed to the Congress and to the American people that Iraq represented an imminent threat, culminating with President Bush’s claim that Iraq was six months away from developing a nuclear weapon. Having used false fear to buy consent—the President then took our country to war.

This has grave consequences for the health of our democracy, for our standing with our allies, and most of all, for the lives of our men and women in the military and their families—who have been asked to make sacrifices—including the ultimate sacrifice—to keep us safe.

Just as we expect our leaders to be truthful, we expect them to abide by the law and respect our courts and judges. Here again, the President failed the American people.

When President Bush signed an executive order authorizing unlawful spying on American citizens, he circumvented the courts, the law, and he violated the separation of powers provided by the Constitution. Once the program was revealed, he then tried to hide the scope of his offense from the American people by making contradictory, untrue statements.

President George W. Bush has failed to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States; he has failed to ensure that senior members of his administration do the same; and he has betrayed the trust of the American people.

With a heavy heart and in the deepest spirit of patriotism, I exercise my duty and responsibility to speak truthfully about what is before us. To shy away from this responsibility would be easier. But I have not been one to travel the easy road. I believe in this country, and in the power of our democracy. I feel the steely conviction of one who will not let the country I love descend into shame; for the fabric of our democracy is at stake.

Some will call this a partisan vendetta, others will say this is an unimportant distraction to the plans of the incoming Congress. But this is not about political gamesmanship.

I am not willing to put any political party before my principles.This, instead, is about beginning the long road back to regaining the high standards of truth and democracy upon which our great country was founded.

Mr. Speaker: Under the standards set by the United States Constitution, President Bush—along with Vice President Cheney, and Secretary of State Rice— should be subject to the process of impeachment, and I have filed H. Res. _ in the House of Representatives.

To my fellow Americans, as I leave this Congress, it is in your hands— to hold your representatives accountable, and to show those with the courage to stand for what is right, that they do not stand alone.

Thank you.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

IRAQ OPTIONS RANGE FROM BAD TO WORSE

The Iraq Study Group (sounds like a bible study class or something - which might be a good name because you have to have alot of "faith" to believe in their conclusions) today released their recommendations to the nation on how Bush should proceed on Iraq.

Commenting on the report, William Hartung at the World Policy Institute said, “Despite some early headlines suggesting that the Iraq Study Group would be calling for a withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq by the beginning of 2008, a look at the fine print suggests otherwise. The group's recommendations look more like an exercise in ‘bait and switch’ than an actual commitment to U.S. withdrawal.”

“By offering the prospect of some change - even if it leaves tens of thousands of combat troops and trainers in Iraq in 2008 and beyond - the Baker-Hamilton report could take pressure off Republicans and Democrats alike. Major figures in both parties could be relieved of the demand to push for a genuine withdrawal prior to the 2008 presidential elections. Citizens who want a quicker timeline for U.S. withdrawal and a genuine military disengagement from Iraq will need to make their voices heard if U.S. policy is to go beyond the half-measures set out by the Baker-Hamilton panel.”

The Democrats in Congress held a secret meeting yesterday in Washington to figure out their position on Iraq. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker-designate and a frequent critic of George W. Bush, announced the forum to flush out fresh ideas. Afterward, she said: "What we heard today is that there are no easy answers in Iraq."

Watching Robert Gates, nominated to replace Rumsfeld as Secretary of War, on TV yesterday while in Congressional hearings was no encouragement either. Then today I read reports on his testimony and a couple things stuck out like a sore thumb. Gates said his “greatest worry” about Iraq is that if U.S. forces leave the country “in chaos,” a variety of regional powers will become involved, “and we will have a regional conflict on our hands.” Gates said he wants to “forge that kind of bipartisan approach going forward” so that those who want to harm the U.S. “know we’re in it for the long haul.”

It’s the Vietnam-era domino theory making a comeback. Gates is invoking the fear that if the U.S. leaves, the region will be taken over by terrorists and other bad guys like Syria and Iran. So we are now seeing the justification shifting to a new excuse for keeping the occupation alive.

Then this morning I read a piece from Newsweek that interviewed the soon-to-be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee – Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) who was just appointed by Nancy Pelosi to head that post. Rep. Reyes, like so many other Democrats, says he is against the war. Reyes says now though, “We could not allow Iraq to become a safe haven for Al Qaeda, for Hamas, for Hizbullah, or anybody else. We cannot allow Iran or Syria to have a free hand in there to further destabilize the Middle East.”

Reyes continues, “We’re all interested in getting out of Iraq. That’s the common goal. How we do it, I think, is the tough part. There are those that say, they don’t care what Iraq looks like once we leave there. Let’s just leave there. And I argue against that. I don’t think that’s responsible. And I think it plays right into the hands of Syria and Iran.”

Do you notice the similarity between the words from Gates and Reyes? The administration’s talking points are making the rounds and are being picked up by the Democrats as well as the Republicans. Who said the Democrats are the opposition party?

Rep. Reyes is also calling for more troops in Iraq, from 20,000 – 30,000, so the U.S. can “dismantle the militias.” Isn’t it interesting that Nancy Pelosi appoints a guy to head the Intelligence Committee that wants more troops in Iraq and wants to expand the fighting? Do you think she didn’t know his thinking on Iraq?

Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst who is active in the anti-war movement said this in response to Rep. Reyes, “I think he needs a course in Insurgency 101. Have they learned nothing from Vietnam? If he pushes this and gets some support for it, and with McCain in the Senate, it could become more respectable…I think Reyes has got a lot to learn.”

I was at a meeting last night and learned that a friend's son, who was in Iraq for a year with the Army, is being called back to active duty. Their son had been discharged over a year ago and has been attending the University of Maine. He is now being made to go back into the Army and will probably be sent back to Iraq. That is a draft. His parents, who severely suffered during his whole time in Iraq, are devastated at the thought.

Don’t think for a moment that this occupation is going to end anytime soon. The U.S. government is now playing with our heads and setting in motion the shell-game to keep this thing going for a long, long time.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

GN'S SPACE CONFAB TO BE HELD IN GERMANY



The Global Network will hold its 15th annual international membership meeting and conference in Darmstadt, Germany, on March 23-24, 2007. The theme of the conference will be: The Role of the European Union in the Militarization of Space.

Darmstadt, located close to Frankfurt am Main, hosts two major European and one US space facilities: the European Space Operation Centre (ESOC), which plans and conducts satellite operations for the European Space Agency; the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), which delivers weather and climate-related satellite data and images; and on the outskirts of the town a US spy station, which is part of the global Echelon surveillance system.

Two days of discussion, strategizing, planning, and protest will inform us all about the increasing role of space in the European Security and Defense Policy, about NATO and European missile defense plans, how these are related to US plans to dominate space in order to control the Earth, and what we can do about it.

To inquire about registration, contact globalnet@mindspring.com. For more information, see http://www.space4peace.org/ or send mail to gn_darmstadt2007@yahoo.de

Sunday, December 03, 2006

LOTS OF LAUGHS


Click on the cartoon to enlarge it so you can read it. You gotta laugh or you go nuts these days.

In the end one key reason I think they infiltrate groups is in order to create fear in the mind's of the public. The hidden message is - "Hey you don't want to associate with these people! If you do you will get on a list and like in the old Soviet Union you will find it harder to get a job if you have been identified as a dissident! So keep your nose clean. Don't rock the boat. You can't beat city hall anyway."

This way the power structure can help to limit the growth of the opposition movements. They obviously also expose themselves as the public ultimately learns that the government does not believe in true democracy.