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      Wednesday
      Aug242011

      Out of Iraq: Support Barbara Lee's Campaign

      To peace activists everywhere:

      The Obama Administration is currently negotiating with the government of Iraq on keeping potentially thousands of U.S. troops in country beyond the planned December 31, 2011 deadline. It is long past time to push back on the Pentagon’s outrageous insistence on delaying their return from Iraq.

      Please act now. Join me in calling for an end to the war in Iraq. Ask your congressional representatives to co-sponsor and support Rep. Barbara Lee’s legislation, H.R. 2757, the Iraq Withdrawal Accountability Act of 2011.

      Defense Secretary Panetta recently recycled the false claim that we are in Iraq because of 9/11. With the 10th anniversary of September 11 just weeks away, he should know better than to ressurect old disinformation. The bottom line:

      • Both U.S. presidents Bush and Obama agreed to remove all troops by December 2011;
      • The direct cost of the Iraq war is over $790.8 billion;
      • The withdrawal of 47,000 remaining troops would save $50 billion per year;
      • An additional combined 64,000 contractors in Iraq and those supporting Opperation New Dawn are currently on U.S. payroll;
      • The Senate Democrats included the $50 billion in their deficit reduction proposal last month;
      • Since March 2003, while serving in Iraq, nearly 4,500 U.S. troops have been killed, over 32,000 have been wounded, and another 42,000 have required medical evacuation due to serious illness or injury; over 1,600 contractors have been killed, and 48,000 wounded.

      It is long past time to bring our brave young men and women safely home. To support Rep. Barbara Lee:

      1. Call your Representatives at (888) 231-9276 and tell the receptionist that you live in the Representative's state, then ask to speak to the foreign policy staffer. Every Congressperson has a staff member assigned to the Iraq war and foreign policy. By talking directly to this staffer, you increase your chances of getting your Congressperson to support Rep. Lee's legislation.
      2. Once transfered, tell the staffer that you are concerned about the war in Iraq and that you are calling to urge your Congressperson to support H.R. 2757, the Iraq Withdrawal Accountability Act of 2011.
      3. Say that the bill was first introduced by Reps. Lee, Woolsey, Honda, Waters, Grijalva, Frank (MA), Ellison, and Jones.
      4. To co-sponsor the measure or for more information, tell them to contact Rep. Barbara Lee's staffer, Teddy Miller, at teddy.miller@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-2661.
      5. Offer to email a copy of the bill to the staff member, the text of which is provided below.
      6. It is unlikely that you will receive an immediate answer as to whether or not your Representative will agree to co-sponsor the bill. However, ask politely when you will know their final decision and how you may be informed.
      7. Please send an email to contacthayden@gmail.com and let us know what happened. Be as detailed as possible.

      It's time to make peace.

      TOM HAYDEN

       

      Text of the proposed legislation:

      112th CONGRESS

      1st Session 

      H. R. 2757

      To prohibit the use of funds to maintain United States Armed Forces and military contractors in Iraq after December 31, 2011, and for other purposes.

      IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

      August 1, 2011

      Ms. LEE of California (for herself, Ms. WOOLSEY, Mr. HONDA, Ms. WATERS, Mr. GRIJALVA, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, Mr. ELLISON, and Mr. JONES) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

      A BILL

      To prohibit the use of funds to maintain United States Armed Forces and military contractors in Iraq after December 31, 2011, and for other purposes. 

      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

      SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

      This Act may be cited as the `Iraq Withdrawal Accountability Act of 2011'. 

      SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

      Congress makes the following findings:

      (1) The Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq On the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities during Their Temporary Presence in Iraq states that the deadline for withdrawal of United States Armed Forces from Iraq is December 31, 2011.

      (2) The American people support the withdrawal of United States Armed Forces from Iraq by the agreed upon deadline of December 31, 2011, and during the campaign of then presidential candidate Barack Obama, the President stated that he would end the war in Iraq and bring our troops home.

      (3) It is estimated that the United States will save tens of billions of dollars by bringing all United States Armed Forces and military contractors safely home from Iraq by the agreed upon deadline of December 31, 2011.

      (4) Leaving United States Armed Forces and military contractors in Iraq beyond the deadline is not in United States security interests, strategic interests, and economic interests. 

      SEC. 3. STATEMENTS OF POLICY.

      (a) In General- It is the policy of the United States to withdraw all United States Armed Forces and military contractors from Iraq by December 31, 2011.

      (b) Amendment to Timeline- Furthermore, it is the policy of the United States that no provision of any agreement between the United States and Iraq that amends the timeline for such withdrawal in a manner that obligates the United States to a security commitment to respond to internal or external threats against Iraq after such date shall be in force with respect to the United States unless the agreement is in the form of a treaty requiring the advice and consent of the Senate (or is intended to take that form in the case of an agreement under negotiation) or is specifically authorized by an Act of Congress enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act. 

      SEC. 4. PROHIBITION ON USE OF FUNDS.

      (a) In General- No funds may be used as follows:

      (1) To maintain United States Armed Forces or military contractors in Iraq after December 31, 2011.

      (2) To establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq.

      (3) To exercise United States control over any oil resource of Iraq.

      (b) Exception- Paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) shall not apply to the use of funds to retain members of the United States Armed Forces in such numbers as the President considers required for protection of the United States Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.

      END

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