| I was listening to Colin McEnroe the other day on my way home from work. He had on a woman whose name I did not catch, but one of them commented that Joe Courtney had NOT heard from anybody who was against the Bush escalation in Iraq.
That shocked me, as I had written Courtney a lengthy email on Jan. 9 demanding that he do everything in his power to stop the escalation, even citing prior examples of Congress stopping wars, or preventing escalations.
However, the point is that Courtney has only heard from people who support the escalation and we need to do a better job getting our message out.
Courtney's email contact is:
|Some info you can add to your message, courtesy of a fantastic email from the Center for American Progress on January 9, 2007 that even cites Torture Man John Yoo:
Can Congress do anything about it? Some have claimed that anything other symbolic action is unconstitutional. That's false. A wide range of legal experts agree there are a range of legal options available to Congress to stop, or place conditions on, any escalation in the war in Iraq. For example, John Yoo, a former Bush administration lawyer and one of the staunchest defenders of executive power, noted that "the power of Congress over the budget was absolute, to such an extent that lawmakers could end the war altogether if they chose." On the other side of the political spectrum, Georgetown University Law Professor Marty Lederman agrees. A new report from the Center for American Progress illustrates that Congress has acted repeatedly over the last 35 years to ensure the conduct of military action would "strengthen American national security and reflect the concerns and will of the American people." Congress has passed bills, enacted into law, that capped the size of military deployments, prohibited funding for existing or prospective deployment, and placed limits and conditions on the timing and nature of deployments.
CAPPING TROOP LEVELS: Congress has historically exercised authority to cap U.S. troop levels in foreign conflicts. In 1974, the Foreign Assistance Act "established a personnel ceiling of 4000 Americans in Vietnam within 6 months of enactment and 3000 Americans within one year." In 1983, the Lebanon Emergency Assistance Act "required the president to return to seek statutory authorization if he sought to expand the size of the U.S. contingent of the Multinational Force in Lebanon." In 1984, the Defense Authorization Act "capped the end strength level of United States forces assigned to permanent duty in European NATO countries at 324,400." All of this legislation was enacted into law.
RESTRICTING FUNDING: Congress has also restricted funding for certain military operations for U.S. troops. In 1970, the Supplemental Foreign Assistance Law, "prohibited the use of any funds for the introduction of U.S. troops to Cambodia or provide military advisors to Cambodian forces." In 1982, the Defense Appropriation Act "prohibited covert military assistance for Nicaragua." In 1994, Congress restricted the use of funds "for United States military participation to continue Operations Restore Hope in or around Rwanda after October 7, 1994."All of these funding restrictions were enacted into law. Read the report for more examples.
CONDITIONING FUNDING: Alternatively, Congress has authorized military action subject to various conditions. In 1991, Congress authorized the use of force against Iraq but conditioned it on the President "certifying first that means other than war would not result in Iraqi compliance with UN Security Council resolutions." In 2001, President Bush sought authority to respond to the 9/11 attacks to "deter and pre-empt any future acts of terrorism or aggression against the United States." Instead, Congress limited the authority to "all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned authorized committed or aided" the 9/11 attacks.