Thank you for your statement as our country enters the fifth year in the illegal war and occupation in
Over this past weekend, many soldiers and former soldiers, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, held the Winter Soldier Hearings in
"I tried to be proud of my service, but all I could feel was shame…. These were people, these were human beings…. We are told we are fighting terrorists. The real terrorist was me, and the real terrorism is this occupation."
I consider myself a pacifist. Certainly a pre-emptive, aggressive war, based on complete falsification of evidence and deliberate lies to the American people, with the aim of arousing fear and aggression in the general population, is a high crime and a clearly impeachable offense. From the start of our current adventures abroad, I have opposed the invasion and occupation of
Today I am writing you in protest to the criminal and neglectful acts of the federal government towards people both inside and outside of the
Disturbing things continue to happen. In October of last year, the United States House of Representatives approved a piece of repressive legislation called the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007." Many critics of this bill fear that, even with its language assuring that the civil liberties of American citizens will be protected, this Act would severely curtail free speech and dissent in this country. Its passage would affect a wide range of activists and political groups, from anti-abortion activists and libertarians to vociferous anti-war protesters, anti-globalization activists, and anarchists. The Act has been read twice in the Senate and has been referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. I realize that you are on the Homeland Security Subcommittee, and I imagine that you are familiar with this Act.
If this Act were to pass in the Senate, do you think dissenting soldiers of conscience like Mike Prysner and his fellow Iraq Veterans Against the War would be monitored more closely, questioned, or perhaps labeled as a subversive, even "radical" group? Would respected and active citizens like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who has recently been put under intensive media scrutiny, be scrutinized further for exercising freedom of speech? Would I, for objecting to the Act itself, for opposing war and the ideology of "us versus them," for opposing the simplistic and criminal self-serving drivel that festers from the White House and drives young men and women in this country to commit war crimes and participate in a martial occupation on citizens of a sovereign country that they were supposedly sent to "liberate"? Where would the Act take us as a country? I don’t think that the answer to that question is "towards freedom." Some may argue that it takes us towards security, but I think that is a flawed argument. Neither freedom nor security can be obtained through force of arms or repressive laws.
I close with a few famous quotes:
from Thomas Jefferson:
"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that the people preserve the spirit of resistance?"
"The spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may become persecutor, and better men be his victims."
"Those willing to give up a little liberty for a little security deserve neither security nor liberty."
and, perhaps most relevant to the questionable constitutionality of the proposed Act, the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated."
Thank you, Senator, for your time, and I look forward to your response.