AWOL Sergeant to Turn Himself in Today Resisting Illegal Iraq War

By David Swanson


SEATTLE — Ricky Clousing, a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, and a veteran of the Iraq War who has been AWOL for a year announced today at the Veterans for Peace convention in Seattle that he will turn himself in later today at the gates of Fort Lewis and face whatever punishment the military chooses to impose.

Clousing said he did not apply for conscientious objector status because he is not certain he would oppose every possible war, such as one fought read more

Containing the Military Industrial Complex

By David Swanson

Remarks at Democracy Fest, San Diego, July 15, 2006

More than any other weapons system, the chief products of the military industrial complex are lies. We just learned this week that Congress was cracking down on corruption by denying another contract to Halliburton. In reality, Halliburton has completed its main task of building five permanent bases and doesn’t care as much about more contracts for services for soldiers. And, in fact, last month the Senate rejected, nearly read more

Command Rape

By David Swanson

Suzanne Swift’s story begins in an all-too-familiar way. A dead-end job, a friendly military recruiter, a promise that signing-up as military police would mean no deployment to Iraq, a broken promise, and a trip to war. Then it takes a less commonly heard of turn, one involving a practice known as “command rape.” Suzanne is back in the U.S. and is refusing to return to Iraq. Until a couple of days ago she was confined by the military and threatened with prosecution. read more

Senators Finally Hold Hearing on Pre-War Intelligence

By David Swanson

Well, the Senate Intelligence Committee, under Republican control, and with very polite (OK, almost nonexistent) Democratic protest, has yet to hold hearings on the Iraq War lies, but today the Senate Democratic Policy Committee held a Hearing on the model of Rep. John Conyers’ Downing Street Memo hearing: no subpoena power, but great witnesses. And a Republican even came: Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina.

Here are the witnesses’ prepared statements.

Here are my notes read more

A Portrait of a Progressive Congressman

By David Swanson

Congressman Jim McDermott became involved in politics through his opposition to the Vietnam war. He came to Washington 17 years ago hoping to create national health coverage. Instead he’s spent much of his time opposing new wars and war crimes. McDermott’s record on matters of peace and war is unsurpassed in the Congress. On the matter of impeachment, however, he has lost all interest – as has every incumbent Democrat since Leader Nancy Pelosi decreed that impeachment read more

Will the Democrats Block Steps Toward Peace?

By David Swanson

An Associated Press story on Sunday carried a predictably militant headline: “Iraq amnesty offer upsets U.S. lawmakers.” But the story did something very atypical: it led with and focused on the views of Democrats, rather than Republicans. And the Democrats’ views were unusually straightforward and decisive, while the Republicans’ were peculiarly vague and noncommittal. While the story quoted more Republicans, their views had nothing to do with the headline read more

Congress Takes Steps Toward Peace

Congress Takes Steps Toward Peace

While both houses of Congress still lag dramatically behind the American and Iraqi people in support for ending the war, the past week has seen a sharp rise in Congressional willingness to talk about peace. The Republican leadership has been forced to hold public debates on the war; those debates and subsequent votes have forced Congress Members to go on the record on issues ranging from leaving Iraq this year, to constructing permanent military bases there, to read more

War Porn and Iraq

Tomgram: David Swanson on War Porn and Iraq

The history of war-atrocity snapshots did not start with the Abu Ghraib screen-savers from hell. After all, photography itself came into being as the industrializing West was imposing its rule on much of the planet. That imposition meant wars of conquest; and such colonial wars, in turn, meant slaughter.

From the moment the wooden sailing ship mounted with canons took to the high seas and Europeans began to seize the coasts read more

No Permanent Bases: Passed Both Houses, Removed in Conference Committee

By David Swanson

When the House and the Senate pass similar but not identical bills, they create a conference committee to work out the differences. When they both passed amendments to the “emergency supplemental” spending bill stipulating that none of the money could be used to build permanent bases in Iraq, the conference committee, behind closed doors this week, resolved that non-difference by deleting it.

This would appear to be a blatant violation of the rules of Congress and read more

Safe Passage on the Earth

By David Swanson

In 1975 Dorothy T. Samuel published “Safe Passage on City Streets,” a book that examined the state of mind and behavior of people who tended not to get attacked on city streets or tended to walk away unscathed. She found that the safest people were not those who focused on the danger, not those who walked in fear, and not those who carried weapons – which, as often as not, were turned against them. The safest people – though there was no guarantee – were people read more