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Warmonger Media Storm Against Saving Sgt. Bergdahl Shows Why We Have So Much War

 If you want to understand why it's the case that on the one hand the U.S. public and the majority of Congress turned against the war in Afghanistan a long time ago, and yet on the other hand, it's been so hard to end the war, this week's warmonger media storm against the diplomatic rescue of U.S. prisoner of war Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been very instructive.

It's been known for years that a key step towards ending the war would be exchanging five Taliban prisoners of war at Guantanamo for the release of Sgt. Bergdahl.

There has never been any serious dispute of the case that this would be a key step towards ending the war. I challenge anyone to find a counter-example to my claim.

Report your call telling your Senator to #StandWithReid on Bergdahl diplomacy

Tell us how your call to your Senator went using the form below.

19 Reps. led by Peter Welch urge Obama to reject transferring manpads to Syrian insurgents

On June 5, 19 Representatives led by Peter Welch of Vermont sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama, urging him to resist pressure to transfer manpads - shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, that can be used to shoot down civilian aircraft - to Syrian insurgents.

This letter was supported by the Friends Committee on National Legislation, United for Peace and Justice, and Just Foreign Policy.

The signers were:

Peter Welch (D)
Walter Jones (R)
Mick Mulvaney (R)
Rick Nolan (D)
Jim McGovern (D)
John Campbell (R)
Alan Grayson (D)
Mark Pocan (D)
Paul Broun (R)
Peter DeFazio (D)
John Garamendi (D)
Hank Johnson (D)
Eni Faleomavaega (D)
Steve Cohen (D)
Ted Yoho (R)
John Conyers (D)
Michael Capuano (D)
Danny Davis (D)
John Lewis (D)

Let us know what you thought of the Int'l Gaza Day Twitter Campaign

No matter whether you participated in our Twitter campaign or not, we want your input! Fill out this quick survey to let us know what we can improve in our next social media campaign.

Report your call on the Welch Manpads letter

Let us know how your call to your Rep went by filling out the form below.

Support the International Freedom for Gaza Day

Hashtag is #UnblockGazaMay31 but DO NOT START UNTIL 10AM ET! Sample tweets below. Countdown: http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/gazaday-countdown

On April 29, 2014, Gaza's Ark—a refurbished boat that was set to sail in June from the port of Gaza out to sea carrying Palestinian export goods—was sabotaged when explosive devices caused substantial damage to its hull. Repairing the boat will cost about $30,000. The attack is still under investigation.

Gaza's Ark can be ready to sail this fall—but we need your support to make it happen.

Human rights activists have called for an International Freedom for Gaza Day on May 31 to mark the fourth anniversary of the attack on the Mavi Marmara, which killed nine Turkish and a Turkish-American human rights activist—the tenth died this week after four years in a coma [2]—as they attempted to challenge the blockade of Gaza. Actions drawing attention to the siege will take place in Gaza, Turkey, and around the world.

If you participate in social media, you have a unique opportunity to help raise the profile of the International Freedom Day for Gaza and Gaza's Ark.

Find sample tweets in Pastebin below but DO NOT START UNTIL 10AM ET. Here's a countdown: http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/gazaday-countdown

Call Congress TODAY to Repeal 2001 AUMF

We have an opportunity this week to push for the repeal of the 2001 AUMF. The Schiff-Garamendi amendment (#21) to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would sunset the AUMF twelve months after the adoption of the bill.

Call your Representative TODAY at 1-855-686-6927 and say

I urge Rep. ____ to support the Schiff-Garamendi amendment #21 to the NDAA to repeal the 2001 authorization for the use of military force when the amendment comes to a vote on the House floor. The AUMF has been used as the legal justification for 13 years of war in Afghanistan, the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and an expanding drone war.

When you're done, report your call below.

[Note: the text of the amendment is here:
http://amendments-rules.house.gov/amendments/SCHIFF_051_xml5191409432743...
the amendment will be considered as "Amendment #21" on the House floor. It was listed as amendment #262 when it was considered by the Rules Committee. That list is here:
http://rules.house.gov/bill/113/hr-4435]

Letter on Drone Strike Transparency: Senator Paul: We Stand With You for the Rule of Law

May 20, 2014

Senator Paul: We Stand With You for the Rule of Law

Dear Senator Paul,

The undersigned groups stand with you in objecting to cloture on the nomination of David J. Barron to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. We share your concerns regarding Barron’s authorship of secret memos purporting to give legal justification for drone strikes against U.S. citizens and others outside of a legal armed conflict or imminent threat to the United States. We agree that before the Senate votes on Barron’s nomination, the Administration should share all of these memos with the Senate and the public, implementing the letter and spirit of the decision of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in its April 21 ruling.

As the American Civil Liberties Union noted in its statement on May 16 on the filing of the cloture petition: 

“No senator can meaningfully carry out his or her constitutional obligation of providing ‘advice and consent’ on the nomination without reading all of Mr. Barron’s opinions on the drone program. The White House has continued to play hide the ball by not providing all of the opinions written or signed by Mr. Barron on targeted killing, regardless of citizenship. The memos raise fundamental due process and rule of law issues, and no senator should agree to vote on the nomination without first getting each and every one of his memos on targeted killing.”

As you wrote in your New York Times op-ed on May 11,

Report Your Call On Barron Drone Strike Memo

Democratic Senator Mark Udall has said that he will oppose David Barron's nomination to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals unless the White House complies with a recent *court order* to release to the public a redacted version of its legal justification for killing a U.S. citizen with a drone strike – a justification that was written by David Barron when he was at the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel. [1]

Call your Senators' offices (the Congressional switchboard is 202-225-3121) and urge them to tand with Senators who are demanding that the Administration comply with a court order to share with the public its legal justification for drone strikes, written by David Barron, before a Senate vote on Barron’s confirmation. Report your call using the form below.

Senate: Block Barron Vote Until DoJ Shares Drone Memos

Petition Background

David Barron, formerly a lawyer in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, wrote a secret legal memo approving the September 2011 drone strike that killed two U.S. citizens. Now Barron has been nominated to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.

The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on Senators to delay consideration of Barron’s nomination until all Senators have the opportunity to read all of the memos Barron has written on government killing with drone strikes.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Justice Department must make public portions of its memos justifying the extra-judicial killing of U.S. citizens with drones. But the Administration has not yet complied with the ruling.

Join the ACLU in calling on the Senate to delay consideration of Barron’s nomination until the Administration has shared the drone strike memos by signing our petition.