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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.

Gaza's Ark Attacked: Show Your Support

In the last few days, we asked you to participate in efforts to support Gaza's Ark, a project to politically challenge the blockade of Gaza by bringing a boat out of the port of Gaza carrying Palestinian exports. Thanks to the many of you who signed the Gaza's Ark petition or participated in the Twitter storm!

Today, we have grim news. Gaza's Ark was attacked last night. [1]

At 3:45 AM Gaza time, the night guard on board Gaza's Ark received a call to leave the boat because it was going to be attacked. The guard left, but when nothing happened after about 5 minutes, he returned. A few minutes later, a large explosion rocked the boat, causing extensive damage. [2]

The boat sank part way and is now sitting on the shallow sea floor. The guard was not injured but was taken to the hospital for tests.

Investigations are underway, both to determine what happened and to determine whether the boat can be repaired.

Here's how you can help now:

1. Help us get the word out about what has happened to the boat. If you're on Twitter, share tweets from @GazaArk and @justfp about what happened. If you're on Facebook, share the Al Jazeera article.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/04/blast-damages-gaza-anti...

2. Sign and share the petition. If you haven't signed the petition to the UN against the blockade yet, please sign and share. If you have signed it, please share it again. The petition currently has 6,500 signatures. We'd like to get that to 10,000 in the next few days.
http://www.gazaark.org/2014/04/26/petition-to-the-un/

Thank you for all you do to challenge the siege of Gaza,

Robert Naiman, Chelsea Mozen and Megan Iorio
Just Foreign Policy

Please help us reach our April fundraising goal—make a $10 tax-deductible contribution today!

Call your Rep today to ban CIA from helping terrorists shoot down planes

Right now, Syrian insurgents that the U.S. is arming and their allies are pressing President Obama to approve the transfer of "manpads" to Syrian insurgents. These shoulder-fired anti-aircraft weapons that can be used to shoot down civilian aircraft. Their transfer would increase the risk of terrorism in the Middle East and beyond and violate international agreements to control these weapons that the U.S. helped put in place. These are key reasons that the Administration has not agreed to transfer manpads to Syria, and why the Obama Administration should resist pressure to change its position.

Rep. Peter Welch [D-VT] and Rep. John Conyers [D-MI] are leading efforts in Congress to push back against the dangerous demand to send manpads to Syria.

Rep. Welch is sending a letter to President Obama today urging him to resist pressure to send manpads to Syria. Rep. Conyers is introducing an amendment during the upcoming consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA] to explicitly bar the transfer of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles–“manpads”–to Syrian rebels.

Your Representative has been identified as crucial to the success of these efforts.Urge Rep. Rosa DeLauro to support Rep. Welch and Rep. Conyers in working to block the transfer of manpads to Syria.

Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121 and ask to be transferred to your Representative’s office. When you reach the office, say:

I urge you to support Congressional efforts led by Rep. Peter Welch and Rep. John Conyers to block the transfer of manpads to Syrian rebels. If transferred to Syria, these weapons are likely to fall into the hands of terrorists who will use them against civilian aircraft. I urge you to support Rep. Welch's letter to the President opposing the transfer of these weapons and I urge you to support Rep. Conyers' amendment on the NDAA to explicitly prohibit the transfer of these weapons.

U.S. Anti-Tank Rockets in Syria: Did Congress Approve?

 Reuters reports (emphasis mine):

Online videos show Syrian rebels using what appear to be U.S. anti-tank rockets, weapons experts say, the first significant American-built armaments in the country's civil war. ...

Schiff-Jones Drone Transparency Bill Call-In

A new documentary reveals that CIA drone strikes in Pakistan have been carried out by regular U.S. Air Force personnel. Former U.S. drone pilot Brandon Bryant says:

"... the lie is that it's always been the air force that has flown those missions. The CIA might be the customer but the air force has always flown it. A CIA label is just an excuse to not have to give up any information. That is all it has ever been."

Members of the House can do something very simple to address this. They can co-sponsor the Schiff-Jones bill, which would require the government to report on who is being killed by drone strikes.

Call the Congressional switchboard at 202-225-3121, ask to be connected to your Representative’s office, and say:

I’m calling to ask Rep. ____ to co-sponsor H.R.4372, the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act. This bipartisan bill would require the government to report on who is being killed by U.S. drone strikes, including how many civilians. The American people have the right to know what is being done in our name. You can co-sponsor the bill by contacting Rep. Adam Schiff’s office or Rep. Walter Jones’ office.