Mike Gravel: "I took a risk so that Americans knew what our government did in Vietnam. Today’s elected representatives should do the same for Iraq and Afghanistan"
29 December 2014 - In 1971, I entered the full text of the top-secret Pentagon Papers – a history of how the US became mired in the swamp of the Vietnam War – into the Congressional Record, even as the Federal Bureau of Investigation was hunting for Daniel Ellsburg (who gave the papers to the New York Times) and President Richard Nixon and his Justice Department were filing injunctions against newspapers to prevent their publication. Subsequent case law affirmed that members of Congress may reveal any government “secret” to the public without fear of prosecution because of the “Speech and Debate” clause of the constitution, from which members derive their duty to inform the people about the actions of their government.
It’s time for some Senator or Congress member to do the same for the full torture report and its associated documents. There’s still too much we don’t know about what the government did in our name – and who they did it to.
It should be easy to get the entire report on the record: any information held by the Congress is technically already in the record, so no one need read it in its entirety on the floor of either congressional chamber or enter it in the committee or subcommittee record, the way I had to with the Pentagon Papers. A member of Congress may hand out the information to the press or the public, so long as the distribution occurs on property associated with the Senate or House of Representatives: the constitution does not qualify how “Speech and Debate ” is exercised, only that it occur “in either House”.
But why is it necessary? The torture report released to the public was incomplete – and only a full release of the Torture Report and the million or more documents in CIA possession but which the Intelligence Committee still has access can lay bare the full horrors of what the government perpetrated in our names. read more>>>
22 December 2014 - The ACLU and Human Rights Watch say the offences amount to ‘a vast criminal conspiracy’ and are ‘shocking and corrosive’ to US democracy and credibility read more>>>
The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014
December 22 2014 - American taxpayers have shelled out roughly $1.6 trillion on war spending since 9/11, according to a new report from Congress’ nonpartisan research arm. That’s roughly $337 million a day -- or nearly a quarter million dollars a minute -- every single day for 13 years. read more>>>
Chris Hayes MSNBC: "If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it" In response to Republican opposition to expanding Veterans' benefits on fiscal grounds
Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!