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War on Iran Authorization bill - 'Kyl-Lieberman' amendment


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The U.S. Senate today adopted a measure authored by U.S. Senators Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) that calls on the U.S. State Department to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization. The measure was adopted as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill by a vote of 76 to 22.


Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) called the amendment "Dick Cheney's fondest pipe dream," as "it could be read as a backdoor method of gaining Congressional validation for military action, without one hearing and without serious debate." "Iran is a threat...but it needs to be dealt with strategically and diplomatically," said Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE). Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) called the amendment's language "dangerous" and called it an "effort to put us on the record for the use of military force in Iran."


The measure comes on the heels of mounting evidence that through proxy organizations, Iran is waging a proxy war against the United States in Iraq, providing weapons, training, funding, and direction to radical Shi'a militias who are responsible in turn for the murder of hundreds of American soldiers. Also today, in response to concern that the measure was a possible declaration of war, the amendment was modified to clarify its intent.


"Our military leaders, diplomats, and intelligence reports say that there is clear evidence Iran is exerting negative influence in Iraq," said Kyl. "I believe that the Senate's adoption of this measure sends a message to Iran that the U.S. will not tolerate any interference to progress in Iraq. It is now incumbent upon the State Department to add the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to the list of terrorist organizations."


"It is vital to the national security interests of the United States that the Iranian government not be allowed to prevail in its proxy war against us in Iraq," said Lieberman. "This amendment makes it clear - both to our enemies and our friends - that the United States will not retreat in the face of Iranian terrorism."


In Congressional testimony before the House and Senate earlier this month, General David Petraeus, the commander of Multi-National Forces-Iraq, stated that, "it is increasingly apparent to both collation and Iraqi leaders that Iran, through the use of Iranian Republican Guard Corps Qods Force, seeks to turn the Shi'a militia extremists into a Hezbollah-like force to serve its interests and fight a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq."


United States Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker stated in the same hearing: "Iran plays a harmful role in Iraq. While claiming to support Iraq in its transition, Iran has actively undermined it by providing lethal capabilities to the enemies of the Iraqi state."


U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), John Ensign (R-Nev.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), and John Thune (R-N.D.) are also co-sponsors of the amendment.


"The Webb amendment was one of the more ill-advised approaches to fighting the War on Terror. It was a historic constitutional infringement on the power of the Commander in Chief allowing Congress to micromanage troop rotations and deployments," said Graham.



“The evidence of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard carrying out terrorist attacks at the cost of American lives is indisputable,” said Ensign. “Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is a well-funded and highly trained terrorist organization. Our troops are attempting to carry out a mission in Iraq, and their efforts are being hindered by Iran.”

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Guest Marcy Winograd

Leading Americans Ask U.S. Military to Refuse Orders to Attack Iran


Country music legend Willie Nelson, literary icon Gore Vidal, Gold Star Mother Cindy Sheehan, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, retired U.S. Army Colonel Ann Wright, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega, author and radio host Thom Hartmann, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Rabbi Steven Jacobs, and dozens of other prominent Americans have signed a letter asking the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all U.S. military personnel to refuse orders to launch an aggressive war on Iran.


The letter has been posted as a petition for others to sign at http://www.dontattackiran.org


The text of the letter follows:


ATTENTION: Joint Chiefs of Staff and all U.S. Military Personnel:


Do not attack Iran.

Any preemptive U.S. attack on Iran would be illegal.

Any preemptive U.S. attack on Iran would be criminal.


We, the citizens of the United States, respectfully urge you, courageous men and women of our military, to refuse any order to preemptively attack Iran, a nation that represents no serious or immediate threat to the United States. To attack Iran, a sovereign nation of 70-million people, would be a crime of the highest magnitude.


Legal basis for our Request – Do not attack Iran:


The Nuremberg Principles, which are part of US law, provide that all military personnel have the obligation not to obey illegal orders. The Army Field Manual 27-10, sec. 609 and UCMJ, art. 92, incorporate this principle. Article 92 says: "A general order or regulation is lawful unless it is contrary to the Constitution, the law of the United States …"


Any provision of an international treaty ratified by the United States becomes the law of the United States. The United States is a party and signatory to the United Nations Charter, of which Article II, Section 4 states, "All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state…" As Iran has not attacked the United States, and as the U.S. is a party and signatory to the Charter, any attack on Iran by the U.S. would be illegal under not only international law but under the U.S. Constitution which recognizes our treaties as the Supreme Law of the Land. When you joined the military, you took an oath to defend our Constitution.


Following the orders of your government or superior does not relieve you from responsibility under international law. Under the Principles of International Law recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal, complicity in the commission of war crime is a crime under international law.




The Bush Administration's charges against Iran have not been proven. Neither the development of nuclear weapons, nor providing assistance to Iraq would, if proven, constitute justification for an illegal war.


An attack on Iran might prompt the formidable Iranian military to attack U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. Thousands of our soldiers might be killed or captured as prisoners of war. A U.S. attack against Iranian nuclear facilities could also mean the deaths, from radiation poisoning, of tens of thousands of innocent Iranian civilians. The people of Iran have little control over their government, yet would suffer tremendously should the U.S. attack. Bombing raids would amount to collective punishment, a violation of the Geneva Convention, and would surely sow the seeds of hatred for generations to come. Children make up a quarter of Iran's population.


Above all, we ask you to look at the record of our actions in Iraq, which U.S. intelligence admits is “a cause celebre for jihadists” – a situation that did not exist before we attacked. We must face the fact that our rash use of military solutions has created more enemies, and made American families less safe. Diplomacy, not war, is the answer.


Know the Risks Involved in Refusing an Illegal Order or Signing This Statement:


We knowingly and willingly make this plea, aware of the risk that, in violation of our First Amendment rights, we could be charged under remaining sections of the unconstitutional Espionage Act or other unconstitutional statute, and that we could be fined, imprisoned, or barred from government employment.


We make this plea, also aware that you have no easy options. If you obey an illegal order to participate in an aggressive attack on Iran, you could potentially be charged with war crimes. If you heed our call and disobey an illegal order you could be falsely charged with crimes including treason. You could be falsely court martialed. You could be imprisoned. (To talk to a lawyer or to learn more about possible consequences, contact The Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, Courage to Resist, Center on Conscience and War, Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild 415-566-3732, or the GI Rights Hotline at 877-447-4487.) **


Final request:


Our leaders often say that military force should be a last resort. We beg you to make that policy a reality, and refuse illegal orders to attack Iran. We promise to support you for protecting the American public and innocent civilians abroad.


Our future, the future of our children and their children, rests in your hands.


You know the horrors of war. You can stop the next one.




Daniel Ellsberg, Thom Hartmann, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Rabbi Steven Jacobs, Cynthia McKinney, Willie Nelson, Cindy Sheehan, Norman Solomon, Elizabeth de la Vega, Gore Vidal, Ann Wright,

James Abourezk, former U.S. Senator, (D) South Dakota

Stacy Bannerman, Author, "When the War Came Home", Military Families Speak Out Charter Board member

John Bonifaz, constitutional attorney and author of "Warrior-King: The Case for Impeaching George W. Bush."

Amy Branham, Gold Star Mother of

Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith, US Army Reserves, Nov. 1981-Feb. 2004

Blase Bonpane, Ph.d, Director OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS

David Clennon, Actor/activist

Tim Carpenter, Executive Director, Progressive Democrats of America

Daniel Ellsberg, author of "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers."

David Cobb, 2004 Green Party Presidential Candidate

Jeff Cohen, author/media critic

Elizabeth de la Vega, former federal prosecutor and author of U.S. v. George W. Bush

Karen Dolan, Director, Cities for Progress/Cities for Peace

Anne Feeney, activist/folksinger or Local 1000, AFM

Mike Ferner, Navy corpsman; Secretary, Veterans for Peace

Bob Fertik, President Democrats.com

Laura Flanders, Radio Host on Air America

Bruce K. Gagnon, Coordinator Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

Lila Garrett, KPFK Host of “Connect the Dots”

Liberty Godshall, writer, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council

Hon. Jackie Goldberg, California Assembly Member (AD 45), retired.

Kevin Alexander Gray, writer, and organizer with the Harriet Tubman Freedom House Project

Representative Betty Hall, Hillsborough District 5, New Hampshire General Court

David L. Harris, MD

Tom Hayden

Thom Hartmann, author and Air America radio host

Valerie Heinonen, o.s.u., Ursulines of Tildonk for Justice and Peace

Jenny Heinz , member of CodePink, member of Granny Peace Brigade Rabbi Steven Jacobs, Los Angeles


Michael Jay, Steering Committee, Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles

Charles Jenks, co-founder and editor of traprockpeace.org

Justice Through Music

Antonia Juhasz, author, The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time

Jerry Kass, playwright and professor at Columbia University

Dr, Nazir Khaja ,Chairman, Islamic Information Service, Los Angeles, CA.

Mimi Kennedy, National Chair, Progressive Democrats of America

Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun and Chair, the Network of Spiritual Progressives

Summer Lipford, Gold Star Mother,NC 28677

David Lindorff, Author, The Case for Impeachment

Alice Lynn, Delegate, California Democratic Party (41st AD)

Ben Manski, Executive Director, Liberty Tree

Ray McGovern, Army infantry/intelligence officer, 1962-64; CIA analyst 1964-90.

Cynthia Mckinney, former Congresswoman

Barbara Mills-Bria, Be The Change-USA

Bill Moyer, Executive Director, Backbone Campaign

Willie Nelson, Entertainer, Peace Activist Annie Nelson, Sustainable Biodiesel/Peace Activist

Honorable Eric Oemig – Washington State Senator

Geov Parrish, Executive Director Peace Action of Washington

Jacob Park, Founder, A28.

Brad Parker, Officer of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party

Bill Perry, Director, Delaware Valley Veterans For America

Gareth Porter, investigative journalist and historian

Marcus Raskin, member of National Security Council Staff under President Kennedy

Dorothy Reik, President, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains

Coleen Rowley, retired FBI Agent and former Chief Division Counsel of Minneapolis Division of the FBI

Bill Scheurer, Editor, PeaceMajority Report

Randi Scheurer, IL-Dist. 8, Congressional Candidate

Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Families for Peace

Alice Slater, Abolition 2000 New York

Norman Solomon, Author and syndicated columnist

David Swanson, Afterdowningstreet.org

John Stauber, Co-author, "Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq"

Jonathan Tasini, PDA NY

Ethel Tobach, Ph. D., member of Psychologists for Social Responsibility

Tina Richards CEO Grassroots Americaredith, Gold Star Mother, Proud Mom of Lt Ken Ballard- KIA 5.30.04

Gore Vidal, Author

Marcy Winograd, President, Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles

Ann Wright, US Army Colonel (Retired) and US diplomat who resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to the Iraq war.

Kevin Zeese on behalf of Voters for Peace and Democracy Rising

Velvet Revolution

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