Ohio congressman to introduce bills calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops (video)
From Larry Johnson’ blog: Looking for Trouble.
Despite mounting public protests across the United States against sending more troops to Afghanistan, there has been little reaction from Congress. Now, there seems to be some rumblings of opposition. Yesterday, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), following a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, released this statement:
“Today, I will begin circulating two privileged resolutions which will trigger debate and votes on a timely withdrawal of U.S troops from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States makes it Congress’ responsibility to determine whether or not we go to war or stay at war. Consistent with Article 1, Section 8, the privileged resolutions will invoke the War Powers Resolution of 1973. I ask for your support of these resolutions, which will be introduced in the House in January.
“Yesterday, with the US Secretary of Defense at his side, the President of Afghanistan declared that his country’s security forces will need financial and training assistance from the United States for the next 15-20 years.
“We cannot afford these wars. We cannot afford the loss of lives. We cannot afford the cost to taxpayers. We cannot afford to fail to exercise our constitutional right to end the wars.
“Please sign onto the privileged resolutions to end the wars and to bring our troops home.
Stand up for the troops. Stand up for the truth. Stand up for the Constitution and Congress’ responsibility.”
Kucinich also sent the following letter to his colleagues under the heading, Require the President to Withdraw from Afghanistan and Pakistan:
“According to ABC News, Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, in a joint press conference with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, remarked that his country’s security forces will need financial and training assistance from the United States for the next 15-20 years. This is especially disturbing since the Administration is already sliding back the timeline the President established only last week. What Mr. Karzai did not say is that would cost U.S. taxpayers an additional $2-3 trillion.
“As President Obama prepares to escalate military operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, we must reassert our Constitutional prerogative as it relates to war. The United States has been involved in military action both in Afghanistan and Pakistan since the inception of the Obama Administration, despite the fact that the President has never submitted a report to Congress pursuant to Section 4(a) (I) of the War Powers Resolution.
“When Congress returns in 2010, I intend to bring to the floor of the House privileged resolutions reasserting this prerogative. My bills, which would trigger a timeline for a timely withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Pakistan, invoke the War Powers Resolution of 1973 and are intended to secure the Constitutional role of Congress, as directly elected representatives of the people, under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, to decide whether or not America enters into war, continues a war, or otherwise introduces armed forces or materiel into combat zones.
“Despite the President’s assertion that previous Congressional action gives him the authority to respond to the attacks of September 11, 2001, a careful reading of the Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) makes clear that the AUMF did not supersede ‘any requirement of the War Powers Resolution’ and therefore did not undermine Congress’ ability to revisit the constitutional question of war powers at a later date.
“I invite you to join in reasserting Congress’ Constitutional right and obligation in these matters…”