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Submitted by Robert Naiman on 8 July 2013 - 11:58am
On Friday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced that Venezuela would offer political asylum to NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
Regardless of what happens next, President Maduro's announcement was world-historical. With his announcement, Maduro has invited Americans to live in a new world: a "multi-polar" world in which the U.S. government's power is limited, not by a single "superpower adversary," but by the actions of many independent countries which are not U.S. "adversaries"; countries which agree with the U.S. on some things and disagree with the U.S. on other things, as is their right; countries which do not always accede to U.S. demands, as is their right. The day after Snowden claims political asylum in Venezuela, the U.S. and Venezuela will continue their robust economic trade; in particular, Venezuela will continue to be one of the top four suppliers of foreign oil to the United States.
It's a general constant in human affairs that no-one likes to be told that they have too much power for the general welfare. Nonetheless, we're all capable, when we want, of seeing things from the other guy's point of view.
And from the point of view of most people in the world, it's not a good thing for the United States to have too much power in world affairs; from the point of view of most people in the world, it's not a good thing for any one country to have too much power in world affairs.
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 3 July 2013 - 4:33pm
Just Foreign Policy News, July 3, 2013
If They Can Lie About NSA/Snowden, They Can Lie About Syria & Iran
I) Actions and Featured Articles
If They Can Lie About NSA/Snowden, They Can Lie About Syria and Iran
If DNI Clapper can lie to Congress about the NSA’s data collection on millions of Americans and face no consequences, what’s to stop him from lying to Congress about military escalation in Syria or Iran?
**Action: Tell your Senators and Rep. to Assert Syria War Powers
The Obama Administration has announced that the U.S. would arm Syrian rebels and consider imposing a no-fly zone over Syria, which would mean bombing Syria. Congress has neither authorized arming Syrian rebels nor imposing a no-fly zone. A bipartisan group of Senators (Udall/Paul S. 1201) and Representatives (Gibson/Welch H.R. 2494) have introduced legislation that would prohibit U.S. military intervention in Syria without explicit Congressional authorization. Urge your Senators and Rep. to co-sponsor.
Guardian LiveBlog: Edward Snowden not on Bolivian president's diverted plane
Bolivia furious after president's plane diverts to Austria
Foreign minister: France and Portugal denied airspace permits
Snowden apparently not on board after Vienna landing
Bolivia accuses United States of 'hostile act'
Submitted by Megan Iorio on 2 July 2013 - 12:00am
The U.S. Constitution and the War Powers Resolution insist that absent an armed attack on the United States, Congress shall decide when to authorize the use of U.S. military force. But apparently the Obama Administration has different ideas.
The Administration has announced that the U.S. will arm rebels in Syria and is considering a "no fly zone," which would mean bombing Syria. Congress has authorized neither.
A bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives is standing up, led by Sens. Tom Udall and Rand Paul in the Senate, and Reps. Peter Welch and Chris Gibson in the House. They've introduced legislation that would expressly prohibit the Obama Administration intervening militarily in Syria's sectarian civil war without explicit Congressional authorization. Urge your Senators and Representative to stand up and support this legislation.
Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Rick Nolan (D-MN), and Walter Jones (R-NC) have introduced bipartisan legislation (H.R. 2494) to block U.S. military intervention in Syria without an affirmative vote of Congress.  Identical legislation (S. 1201) has been introduced in the Senate by Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT). 
Sending military assistance to Syrian rebels, or any direct military intervention, would lead to Americanization of Syria's sectarian civil war. Congress and the American people should be part of a vigorous debate before any such military escalation takes place.
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 1 July 2013 - 8:51pm
Just Foreign Policy News, July 1, 2013
Yemen May Ban Drone Strikes; Snowden Revelations Roil Europe
I) Actions and Featured Articles
Celebrities, Whistleblowers Lead Petition to Ecuador for Snowden's Political Asylum
Petition Has Over 23,000 Signers
Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, John Cusack, Amber Heard, Shia LaBeouf, Roseanne Barr, and musician Boots Riley have joined Vietnam War whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg and Iraq War whistle-blower Joe Wilson, author Noam Chomsky and many other prominent whistle-blowers, activists, former intelligence and military officers, academics and others in calling on Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa to grant whistle-blower Edward Snowden political asylum.
Yemen's "Schoolhouse Rock" vs. the "War on Terror": A Conversation With Baraa Shiban
Baraa Shiban says Yemen's National Dialogue Conference – Yemen's Constitutional Convention, as it were – may prohibit drone strikes in the country. This proposal may be voted on in the next few days. Baraa says he is confident that it will be approved. On Tuesday, June 25, I conducted the following interview with Baraa via Skype.
RootsAction/Just Foreign Policy: Hands Off Snowden!
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 1 July 2013 - 4:05pm
Celebrities, Whistleblowers, Lead Petition to Ecuador for Snowden's Political Asylum
Petition Has Over 23,000 Signers
For Immediate Release: July 1, 2013
Contact: Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy, (202) 448-2898
Washington, D.C. - Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, John Cusack, Amber Heard, Shia LaBeouf, Roseanne Barr, and musician Boots Riley have joined Vietnam War whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg and Iraq War whistleblower Joe Wilson, author Noam Chomsky and many other prominent whistle-blowers, activists, former intelligence and military officers, academics and others in calling on Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa to grant whistle-blower Edward Snowden political asylum. The full letter and list of prominent signers was circulated by the organization Just Foreign Policy and is posted on the group’s website.
The letter is here:
The petition is here:
"We're proud to stand with patriotic American whistleblowers like Dan Ellsberg, Coleen Rowley, Joe Wilson and Thomas Drake in appealing to President Correa to grant political asylum to Edward Snowden," said Robert Naiman, Policy Director of Just Foreign Policy. "For democracy to work, Americans have to be able to find out what our government is doing. Unprecedented government secrecy and an unprecedented crackdown on whistleblowers are threatening the ability of Americans to control their government. If President Correa grants asylum to Snowden, all Americans who love freedom will be in his debt."
Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, Tom Hayden le solicitan al Presidente Correa le conceda asilo político a Edward Snowden
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 1 July 2013 - 8:19am
Estimado Presidente Correa,
Le escribimos para urgirle a proporcionar asilo político a Edward Snowden, alertador norteamericano.
Las revelaciones hechas por Snowden han hecho mucho para revelar la escala alarmante de espionaje por parte del gobierno de los Estados Unidos hacia sus propios ciudadanos y otras personas alrededor del mundo. Las revelaciones han divulgado el sobrealcance desmesurado de la Agencia Nacional de seguridad (NSA) de Estados Unidos, la cual procura recopilar una abrumadora e invasiva cantidad de información sobre individuos dentro de los estados Unidos. Snowden también ha revelado como la constante vigilancia también aplica a millones de personas fuera de los Estados Unidos, cuyas llamadas telefónicas, correos electrónicos, y otras comunicaciones han sido indiscriminadamente asediadas.
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 26 June 2013 - 5:53pm
The U.S. government’s crackdown on whistleblowers is a direct threat to our efforts to reform U.S. foreign policy to make it more just. If we don't know for sure what the U.S. government is doing, we can’t have an effective democratic debate about what U.S. policy should be.
Faced with the threat of persecution by the U.S, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has applied to the government of Ecuador for political asylum. Join Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, and Tom Hayden in urging President Correa to grant Snowden’s asylum request.
Recently, as part of a CodePink peace delegation to Yemen, I met with the U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, Gerald Feierstein. We delivered a petition signed by over 18,000 people urging Ambassador Feierstein to work quickly to transfer the Yemenis at Guantanamo who have been cleared for release and to work quickly to curtail U.S. drone strikes in Yemen as President Obama as promised.
In the course of this conversation, Ambassador Feierstein claimed that there are no “signature strikes” in Yemen – no strikes in which the U.S. doesn’t know who it is targeting. This claim is completely at odds with press reports. When I told a British reporter that Ambassador Feierstein had said this, she said: “He wouldn’t dare say that to me, because he knows I’d laugh in his face.”
This disconnect between what U.S. government officials say about the drone strikes and the record of independent reporting is only possible because of official government secrecy around the drone strikes. This secrecy is enabled by the unprecedented crackdown on whistleblowers. This secrecy is a key obstacle to our efforts to reform U.S. foreign policy.
Submitted by Megan Iorio on 26 June 2013 - 3:12pm
To add your support for this letter, click here.
Dear President Correa,
We write to urge you to grant political asylum to whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
Snowden’s disclosures have already done much to unveil the alarming scale of U.S. government spying on its own citizens and on people around the world. They have revealed severe overreach by the U.S.’ National Security Agency (NSA), which seeks to gather an overwhelming and invasive amount of information on people within the United States. Snowden has also revealed that the constant NSA surveillance also applies to millions of people outside the U.S., whose phone calls, emails and other communications are also indiscriminately targeted.
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 14 June 2013 - 10:04am
On Wednesday, I met with family members of Yemenis detained at Guantanamo.
Personally, I think U.S. officials are working to try to repatriate the fifty-six Yemenis in Guantanamo who have been cleared for transfer.
But after President Obama’s promise to close Guantanamo didn’t come true, after waiting so long with little information, the families don’t know what to believe.
At this writing, Yemenis who have been cleared for transfer are on hunger strike.
Yemen’s human rights minister says that one of the Yemeni hunger strikers is near death.
It is a plausible danger that one of the Yemenis cleared for release will die on hunger strike, having lost faith that the U.S. will transfer him to Yemen any time in the near future.
If that happens, it would be a tragedy that could have been avoided.
That’s why we want President Obama to establish a public timetable for the transfer of the Yemenis cleared for release back to Yemen. The U.S. needs to communicate to the prisoners’ families that there is a clear horizon for sending their relatives home.
Will you join us in calling on President Obama to establish—and Members of Congress to support—a public timetable for the transfer of the Yemeni detainees cleared for release? You can sign our petition here:
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 4 June 2013 - 6:01pm
Just Foreign Policy News, June 4, 2013
Assad backers 43% of Syria dead; US cops sanctions hit Iran medicines
Go Straight to the News Summary
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I) Actions and Featured Articles
*Action: Tell Ambassador Feierstein: End Drone Strikes, Send Yeminis Home
Next week, Robert Naiman is heading to Yemen on a delegation of US peace advocates, where he'll be meeting Gerald Feierstein, the U.S. Ambassador to Yemen. He'll urge Ambassador Feierstein to use his influence to end US drone strikes in Yemen - especially "signature strikes" in which the US doesn't even know who it is targeting - and to ensure that Yemeni prisoners at Guantanamo who the US government has cleared for release are sent home without delay.
Add your voice! Sign our petition and Naiman will hand-deliver it - with your signature - to Ambassador Feierstein:
Help support my trip to Yemen!
Our delegation will help draw the media spotlight to the US's ongoing drone war in Yemen and put further pressure on the Administration to reform US drone strike policy.
Beverly Bell: Fault Lines: Views across Haiti's Divide