Democrats in Congress Get Your Priorities Straight NOW!

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capitol_400Stop using Impeachment as a distraction to raise funds and End the Wars NOW!

A few days ago I got this Legislative Action Alert from Congressman Robert Wexler of Florida (D.FL). Keep in mind that I’m a resident of Ohio. I intially sent out a response to Congressman Robert Wexler of California, because somehow I got him mixed up with Congressman Waxman, I could blame my secretary if I had one. Regardless, I got it right before posting on VT. Here’s what Congressman Wexler had to say. BTW, his office contacted me, I didn’t contact him with this fund raising come on. Frankly, both political parties do it.

Dear Major Robert L. Hanafin,

Since the nation overwhelmingly rejected the policies of the Bush-Cheney Administration and elected Barack Obama President, former Vice President Dick Cheney has been a ubiquitous presence on national television defending the all-but-indefensible policies he helped implement during the past eight years. Again and again, Cheney defends his outrageous policies – including the torture of prisoners, warrantless wiretapping, the abandonment of the Geneva Convention, and the rendition of prisoners to foreign nations who are known for torture.     

The recent arguments he’s articulated to defend the reputation of the Bush-Cheney Administration once again strain credibility and misinform the public. His conspicuous defense of torture, for example, strains even Republican stalwarts, as we all know perfectly well that President Bush himself put a stop to waterboarding (after he had previously authorized it) in 2005. Yet suddenly Cheney claims that President Obama’s more permanent end to torture makes us less safe? Never mind the evidence that torture leads to false confessions, provides propaganda help to our enemies, and damages our international reputation.

Even General Petraeus said to Fox News, "When we have taken steps that have violated the Geneva Conventions we rightly have been criticized, so as we move forward I think it’s important to again live our values, to live the agreements that we have made in the international justice arena and to practice those."

General Ricardo Sanchez has called for a truth commission to investigate the abuses and torture and stated, "during my time in Iraq there was not one instance of actionable intelligence that came out of these interrogation techniques."

There are countless unanswered questions regarding the Bush Administration’s policy on prisoner abuse. To this end, I remain an adamant supporter of a vigorous, independent investigation. I have written to Attorney General Holder asking for the appointment of a special counsel and I have introduced legislation that would establish a special select House Committee to reauthorize our national security laws, including the Patriot Act, after a full examination of the practices and policies of the Bush Administration.

I have been pushing for accountability for quite a while now… and while I’m heartened by the recent attention to these issues, we have an opportunity to use this moment to establish a lasting legal and legislative commitment to both national security and constitutional rights. My push last year to hold impeachment hearings for Vice President Cheney wasn’t simply about removing him from office – it was to make it clear that we must have fairness and accountability in this country when significant issues and accusations are made that go to the heart of our rights and constitutional guarantees.

Investigating whether we were misled into an unnecessary war, whether intelligence was manipulated, and how and why we tortured prisoners is not a partisan endeavor.
It’s an American one.

Congressman Robert Wexler

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Since the Congressman’s staff used words from my previous articles on this, and I have no problem with impeachment as such, but that should not be a priority of the Democratic Party right now. This was my response to Congressman Wexler’s staff,

Robert L. Hanafin
Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired
Member, Editorial Board of Directors
VT News Network


 

Stop with the Impeachment distractions for Political Fund Raising and End the War(s)

impeachCongressman Wexler and staff,

What’s the point in BSing military families about impeaching Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/the Joint Chiefs of Staff or anyone else in G.W. Bush’s former chain of command right down to the Concentration Camp guards (who happen to be young enlisted troops, mostly Marines) when WE Democrats continue funding the mess they started, continue to run concentration camps, and saber rattle and bomb the Muslim world as we simultaneously hand them a Olive Branch? What WE are doing makes no sense no sense at all, and I’m a rehabilitated NEOCON.

Below you will find a reliable list of the Democrat members of Congress in Florida who have voted against continuing to fund the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and beyond (What’s next North Korea? Do you realize how many ground troops would be needed to come to the aid of South Korea and Japan if the North Korean screwball loses it? Not even THE DRAFT would provide the numbers needed when we piss off the People’s Republic of China. That said, U.S. troops operating anywhere near the Chinese border will invite the same reception we got in the 1950s our one sided trade relations with China be damned.)

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To the point, why the heck is your name Congressman Wexler nowhere to be found as you raise funds in the name of Impeachment? Why are you AWOL? At least Alan Grayson and James Oberstar have some Democratic Party guts. They have courage to resist Democratic ultra-conservative party leadership. Not to mention (and I don’t) Republicans in Florida voting against War funding for fiscal conservative reasons.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL)
Rep. James L. Oberstar (D-FL)

In addition, Congressman Wexler at least two so-called progressive Democrats in Southern, California representing the Hollywood Hills area (well Beverly Hills) are taking part in a Veterans’ land grab of property that could be put to better use expanding Department of Veterans Affairs ill fated ability to take care of California Veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

As an Editor on the Board of Directors of two Veteran and Military Family News Networks with an expanding readership within the progressive community, and as a parent who lost a child to Bush’s/Obama’s War(s), Congressman let us remind you that those wars NOW belong to OUR POLITICAL PARTY!

When we ran the above article on behalf of Veteran advocate Bob Handy out in California our readership at the national level, much less Florida increased by leaps and bounds. Though that article focused on California, we know for a fact that Veterans in my homestate of Ohio and yours of Florida are also not too happy about how Congress is treating us.

I strongly advise your office to stop with the Impeachment distractions just so you can raise funds for your next campaign, and end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan NOW! Then do what you can to stop the Veterans’ land grab in Southern, California for I know it’s just a matter of time before some Vets in Florida raise the same land grab concerns.

Despite California not being your turf, we assume Congressional Representatives talk to each other, especially those sitting in the same isle. When you’ve accomplished those few priorities for America’s Veterans, then let’s talk Impeachment of anyone. Not that these criminals don’t warrant impeachment or imprisonment, heck they warrant dragging before the UN, Hague, or Nuremberg (had this been the 1940s).

henrywaxman_01filnerI’d also advise you to have a heart to heart sit down talk with Representatives Henry Waxman (D CA-30), in whose district the property falls, and Representative Bob Filner (D CA-51), the Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, post haste about coming up with more thoughtful and humanitarian use for the prime California Veterans’ land they are trying to grab, because when the Dems come hat in hand begging for Veterans and Military Family support the next Congressional election cycle, we will not vote for Republicans but we sure as hell can STAY Home. Congressman, we all know who that will benefit don’t we?

No, sir we will not buy nor support distractions about impeachment, flag amendments, or whatever patriotic sales pitch comes our way until you people end the wars by cutting the funding for anything related to war – except our victorious troops.

Pentagon or State Department funding and contracts to corporate mercenary armies come to mind that are deploying from Iraq to Afghanistan faster than our troops can get there and could one day out number our troops. May the Lord have mercy on what’s left of our democracy and you civilian politicians if these defense corporations ever seriously consider bringing their mercenary Legions home to Washington, DC or Tallahassee, Florida? (WINK)

Robert L.Hanafin
Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired
Military Families Speak Out (MFSO)
Member, Editorial Board of Directors
VT News Network

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Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I've posted on Veterans Today, I've had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner. My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me. Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000. I've been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I'm now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house. I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.