Mayor, council members, good morning.
Here's some information you might not hear from the mainstream media:
More Americans have died in Iraq than in all US conflicts put together since Vietnam.
Following a long tradition in America's wars, most of those who have given their lives came from poor, rural areas.
More than 15,500 US Soldiers have been wounded.
The number of Iraq Veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is 300,000. Many veterans complaining of battlefield stress are now being given antidepressants, such as prosac and zoloft by army doctors and thrown back to the battlefield.
The number of troops stop-lossed: 58,000.
The number of troops deployed after being declared medically unfit: 43,000.
The Iraq War is costing about $4,500 per second. Per second.
The direct cost of US military operations, not including long-term costs such as taking care of wounded veterans, already exceeds the cost of the 12-year war in Vietnam and is more than double the cost of the Korean War.
The projected total bill for the Iraq war is estimated at 3 trillion dollars. This is just the cost for the US. It does not include the cost to Iraq or the rest of the world. This figure comes from Joseph Stiglitz, the chief economist at the World Bank, winner of the Nobel Prize for economics.
Of the total Iraq War spending approved to date, our share, Fort Worth's share, is about 1 billion dollars. For that amount of money we could have built 12,210 affordable housing units.
So as we think about helping the homeless in this community, perhaps we should consider the fortune we've thrown away on a war based on lies. And how much more we stand to lose every day, every second, that it continues.
The percentage of U.S. Combat troops who are Latino: 17.5.
The percentage of the US population that is Latino: 14.8.
The pay per day for a US Army sergeant in Iraq: $71.53.
The pay per day for General Petraeus: $493.15.
The pay per day for a Blackwater “Protective security specialist”: $1,221.62. Taxpayer's money for mercenaries.
As of January 1, of this year, George W. Bush, during a time of war, spent all or part of 908 days—36% of his time—on vacation or at retreat places. That's two-and-a-half years of his presidency spent kicking back.
Can anyone imagine Franklin Roosevelt spending two-and-a-half years of his presidency vacationing during World War II?
The question is why is it so unthinkable to send a simple request to Congress asking for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney?
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Kucinich continued in the statement. “President Bush was principally responsible for directing the United States Armed Forces to attack Iraq.(Mike Sheehan/Raw Story)
“I believe that there is sufficient evidence in the articles to support the charge that President Bush allowed, authorized and sanctioned the manipulation of intelligence by those acting under his direction and control, misleading Congress to approve a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq.
“As a result over 4,000 United States soldiers have died in combat in Iraq, with tens of thousands injured, many of them permanently impaired,” explained Kucinich. “Over a million innocent Iraqis have perished in a war which was based on lies, a war which will cost the American taxpayers as much as three trillion dollars.
The Ohio lawmaker said that it is now “incumbent” for the Judiciary Committee to review evidence he presented. He promised that if the committee failed to hold any hearings on the resolution within thirty days, he would repeat his efforts. He told one reporter Wednesday, “Leadership wants to bury it, but this is one resolution that will be coming back from the dead. … I will be bringing the resolution up again, and I won’t be the only one reading it.”
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Mayor, council members, good evening.
We have a major insider, now, Scott McClellan, revealing what he knew and witnessed first-hand as the President's press secretary.
Most of what he has to say in his new book basically confirms what we already know—that there was a “political propaganda machine” that misled the public on the reasons for war with Iraq.
On the outing of a CIA agent, he reveals that not only did Bush and Cheney know that Rove and Libby were involved in the scheme, but they were actively engaged in preventing the truth from coming out. Acts which are themselves felonies.
Of course, the smear machine is now turned up high in an attempt to discredit McClellan and drown out what he's trying to say. So far, the attacks are mostly personal; hardly anyone disputes him on the facts.
So we continue to bring before you what we know, still hoping to persuade you to pass this impeachment resolution. Hoping that you will finally allow Congress to hear our city's voice alongside 96 other cities and towns who have courageously lifted their voices in defense of the rule of law and the Constitution.
By asking you to pass this resolution, we're not asking you to attack the President and Vice President. We're asking you to condemn illegal wiretapping; to condemn the use of lies and propaganda to launch wars that cause the needless destruction of human life. We're asking you to uphold the U.N. Charter that makes it a war crime to launch unprovoked attacks on other countries.
We're asking you to stand by the Geneva Conventions and the U.S. Army Field Manual that brands the use of torture as illegal and immoral.
We're asking you to stand for the law that makes the casual exposure of our government agents an act of treason.
We're asking you to stand for the time-honored right of due-process, the principle that no one should be locked up for years without legal council, or a fair trial in a court of law.
We simply ask you to make a principled stand for the traditions and values of our
In recent news, we learn that the Pentagon urged interrogators at Guantanamo to destroy handwritten notes in case they were called to testify about potentially harsh treatment of detainees.
We further learn that the U.S. deliberately thwarted evidence that could help terror suspects defend themselves at trial.
So? I hear you say. Why should we care what happens to them? Because we're better than that, aren't we? Because we believe in the rule of law which says that a person is innocent until proven guilty?
And if we don't believe in that. . . if—as the President says—the Constitution does not apply at Guantanamo, then what have we become?
Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
"Resolved," Kucinich then began, "that President George W. Bush be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate. ...Raw Story also reports that Florida's Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler has become the first to co-sponsor the Articles. Wexler offered these comments:
"In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and to the best of his ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has committed the following abuses of power..." (Raw Story, which links to CSPAN video)
"President Bush deliberately created a massive propaganda campaign to sell the war in Iraq to the American people and the charges detailed in this impeachment resolution indicate an unprecedented abuse of executive power," Wexler said in a news release. "A decision by Congress to pursue impeachment is not an option, it is a sworn duty. It is time for Congress to stand up and defend the Constitution against the blatant violations and illegalities of this Administration. Our Founding Fathers bestowed upon Congress the power of impeachment, and it is now time that we use it to defend the rule of law from this corrupt Administration."Here in Fort Worth, our friend Grayson Harper has been speaking regularly before the City Council and urging them to adopt a resolution for Impeachment of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney, a resolution that has passed in several cities and towns across this country. "Thinking globally and acting locally," our friend Grayson offers this poster for a peaceful, July 8th assembly of concerned citizens in this city.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
That morning they lifted above their heads
what appeared to be a doll in a christening gown
and we stood in the blasted haze waiting for long white
plumes to stanch the fires quickening through
carpets and bedclothes, a tea service, a tender curtain,
and we did not turn away, nor did we photograph the child,
—except at the moment of its being raised—
but later we walked to the Place des Martyrs
where a stillness had been created entirely
by small arms-fire that had blistered walls, blackened shops
and taken from the movie-house all but its blank screen,
where once all manner of figures had shone,
wavering, composed of light through what was
now nothing: a country. Or such was the hope.
American poet, Carolyn Forché
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Diane and I spoke, without incident. The Mayor basically ignored us and blathered most of the time with his cohorts.
Mayor, council members, good evening. This is my seventeenth appearance here in behalf of this resolution.
There are those who try to portray what we say here as mostly opinions, rather than matters of fact. I can only respond by saying that simply isn't true.
I will tell you that if I can write one of these little talks in under three hours, I've done amazingly well. One reason for that is due to the time I take reading and researching the facts. I've always believed that facts would hold more sway here than mere opinions.
So, it is not simply my opinion that the Bush Administration lied to get us into a war. That is a fact.
Nor is it my opinion that then Secretary of State Colin Powell presented an array of lies to the U.N. to justify the invasion, complete with fraudulently interpreted satellite photos. That, too, is a fact.
It is not mere opinion that we invaded a sovereign country. Nor that under the U.N. and the Nuremburg Charters, such an invasion constitutes a war of aggression and is therefore defined as a war crime.
Nor is it my opinion, but a fact, that these charters are treaties to which our country is a signatory, and that according to Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, all treaties made by us “shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”
That the U.S. has suspended the law of habeas corpus, that it has held people captive for years without due process, that people held by us have been brutalized, driven insane, and even murdered by the use of torture—these are facts, not my opinion.
It is not my opinion that in a memo of March 14, 2003, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo dismissed the Geneva Conventions, the Convention Against Torture, the Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Amendments, and the federal statutes against war crimes and torture. That is a fact.
The Bush Administration has flatly said that at Guantanamo, the Constitution does not apply. That, too, is a fact. And now, here comes an opinion, or maybe just a question.
If the Constitution does not apply at Guantanamo, then why on earth is our flag still flying over that place? If the Constitution has been effectively shredded and neutralized, what possible meaning could still exist in the flag of our country?
It was opinions that put thirty-three innocent men behind bars in Texas. It was facts that recently got them out. And it was opinions that got us into war in Iraq rather than the intelligence, which was ignored.
I understand the need some people have to portray what we say here as mere opinions. It's so much easier to say, “We don't share your opinion,” than it is to say, “We disagree with the facts.”
If all we have here is a difference of opinion, then it becomes easy for those in positions of power to ignore the elephant in the room and do nothing.
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