MESSAGE FROM DOT MAVER [PEACE ALLIANCE] TO ALL THE WONDERFUL VOLUNTEERS OF THE DEPT OF PEACE CAMPAIGN
Thank you for being one of the thousands of imaginal cells working for nonviolent solutions to conflict in our world. [Duchess is proud to be part of the NYC Chapter DoP & the whole DoP campaign.]
Thank you for helping to birth a more peaceful world.
Your dedication, your devotion and your determination have energized the Peace Alliance and the campaign for a US Department of Peace and Nonviolence! As 2006 begins, we celebrate our accomplishments in 2005 and look forward to ongoing and new possibilities with resolute hearts. In the past year your enthusiasm and support has made the following possible:
1] Introduction of the Department of Peace and Nonviolence Legislation in the U.S. Senate by Senator Mark Dayton S. 1756, and a reintroduction of the legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Dennis Kucinich HR 3760
2] An increase in congressional support for the legislation with 62 co-sponsors in the House and now 2 in the Senate
3] Over 5,800 emails/faxes written to members of congress through our new online congressional contact system along with many more phone calls, letters and postcards throughout the country
4] Activity in all fifty states plus the District of Columbia and Guam
5] Almost 300 congressional district team leaders [Duchess is DTL in NY's District 12]
6] 28 states with state coordinators
7] An increase in supporters throughout the country, as we continue to make it clear that this is a non-partisan, all-inclusive campaign
8] A city council endorsement campaign with 12 cities now supporting
9] An international presence through participation in the International People's Initiative for Departments of Peace
10] Affiliation with the United Nation's civil society
11] Active strategic partnering with Challenge Day, Center for Nonviolent Communication, United Religions Initiative, Pathways to Peace, Friends of Reconciliation, Peace Action, Chat the Planet, Global Youth Action Network, Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, Association for Global New Thought, World Peace Prayer Society, The Peace Company, Peacethroughart, Opening of the Heart, and other endorsements including Alliance for the New Humanity and other organizational attendees at their annual conference
12] A volunteer national press team comprised of two professionals and one graduate student
Marked increase around the country with press interviews (radio &TV), articles, op-eds and letters to the editor
13] More effective web-based tools for political activism
14] Large increase in traffic to our website, now averaging 1.1 million hits and over 67,000 visitors per month!
15] A successful DC Conference, including a statement of support from Walter Cronkite and others, and a peacepod dedicated to our campaign [Duchess attended this amazing event back in September]
16] A monthly donor campaign that continues to attract new contributors Visit: www.thepeacealliance.org/donate
17] A staff of six paid plus four volunteers and two interns, including a newly expanded intern program.
You have done so much already and there is so much more to do. We know we can count on you. Please continue to call and write your Representative and Senators and encourage them to support a Department of Peace and Nonviolence, HR 3760; S.1756, and if they are already a co-sponsor ask them to ask their colleagues to co-sponsor. Learn more at:www.thepeacealliance.org/action.htm
Please become a Peace Alliance Partner: a sustaining monthly donor to the campaign. Visit: www.thepeacealliance.org/donate
Please call three friends and offer them an opportunity to participate in this movement by asking them to contact their representatives and to engage in their community to support this historic campaign. Invite them to be a part of building an infrastructure for peace that will help to create a Culture of Peace for our children and generations to come!
Your participation and your ideas have supported a year of exciting and hopeful forward movement. Click here (or read below) to find information about The Peace Alliance Initiatives for 2006 and beyond. Please share it with your friends, contribute your ideas, and let us hear from you!
There are moments in life when we are presented with the opportunity to choose to participate in something that we know will make a difference regardless of the outcome. This historic campaign presents one of those moments - a moment when all of us can choose to give our energy to an initiative that will surely bend history.
Heartfelt gratitude for all you do. I look forward to our continued cooperation on behalf of the common good. May this New Year bring the realization of a focus on peace-building in all areas of our life together in this country and around the world.Statement of September 11th Advocates Regarding NSA Surveillance
by The 9/11 "Jersey Girls"http://www.opednews.com
As a group of women whose husbands were killed by terrorists on 9/11, we strongly believe that all available means should be utilized to stop terrorists in their tracks. It is for this reason that we lobbied and fought for the creation of a 9/11 Independent Commission. While fighting for this Commission, we learned that prior to September 11th our intelligence apparatus held all of the puzzle pieces (the proverbial dots) needed to prevent 9/11. The problem was not that we didn't have and use enough of the right tools, but rather that our intelligence community failed to connect the dots and puzzle pieces that it already had.
Therefore, the terrorists were able to achieve their goal by murdering 3,000 innocent people on 9/11. Recently, President Bush has stated that his NSA surveillance program is a tool that was lacking in our government's arsenal prior to 9/11. He repeatedly argues that such a program will prevent another 9/11. Moreover, President Bush justifies his breach of our constitutional laws by arguing that following the FISA law would cause our intelligence community to be too clumsy and slow while dealing with a nimble enemy. Respectfully, we call President Bush's attention to two points of fact that negate his position.
One: Our government intercepted two al Qaeda communications, during routine monitoring, on September 10, 2001 - "tomorrow is zero hour" and "the match begins tomorrow." Unfortunately, those crucial intercepts were reportedly not translated until September 12, 2001. It was certainly not any FISA court issue that delayed such translation. Rather, the delay was ostensibly due to NSA's overwhelming workload created by its voluminous influx of information that needed to be translated and analyzed on a daily basis. Nevertheless, our government was able to routinely and effortlessly gather such sensitive communications well before the 9/11 attacks.
Two: The "need for speed" with regard to eavesdropping on potential terrorists is already built into the FISA court system, as it currently exists. For example, the President can start eavesdropping immediately on anyone he deems it necessary to eavesdrop on and take 72 hours to subsequently ask for a FISA warrant. Moreover, in a time of war, the President is given a full fifteen days to retroactively ask for such a warrant. Thus, why is there any need for the President to circumvent the law?
Additionally, with no formalized FISA court approval, there is no paper trail as to what our government knows and when it knows it. In truth, the FISA court provides an excellent repository that not only provides the necessary "checks and balances" with regard to civil liberties, but it also yields accountability that can be borne out in the days after the next terrorist attack. Such circumvention of our nation's laws by our very own President raises grave concerns.His action is unfounded, illegal and unnecessary. Moreover, it threatens the very principles of democracy that our military is so courageously defending overseas
. Our nation must not, under the guise of national security and protecting citizens, allow any person holding the office of President of the United States to trample the sacred Constitution that this great country was founded on.Retaining our civil liberties and our cherished democracy in the face of a looming terrorist threat is the only way we will win this "war on terror".