Greens challenge Congress on Bush's
power to attack Iran, FBI abuses and the USA Patriot Act, Halliburton, and
withdrawal from Iraq
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party
leaders called on Congress to reverse course and take positive action to (1)
limit President Bush's power to attack Iran; (2) prevent future abuses by
repealing the USA Patriot Act; (3) hold Halliburton responsible for wartime
profiteering; and (4) force an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by
cutting off funding for the war.
Greens strongly criticized a
decision by Democrats in Congress not to limit President Bush's power to take
military action against Iran. On March 12, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and
other members of the leadership decided to strip from a major military
spending bill a requirement for Bush to gain approval from Congress before
moving against Iran.
"The decision of Democratic leaders
not to restrict President Bush's power to attack Iran shows that they learned
nothing from the Iraq War," said Sarah 'Echo' Steiner, co-chair of the Green
Party of the United States. "This decision is consistent with the failure of
many Democrats to acknowledge their own responsibility for the Iraq disaster.
When Democrats voted with Republicans in October, 2002, to transfer war power
from Congress to the White House -- which was in violation of the U.S.
Constitution -- they gave President Bush a license for launching a war based on
deception. We call on Congress to curtail President Bush's ambition to attack
Iran, and head off an even worse disaster."
Greens called on Congress to repeal
the USA Patriot Act immediately, in the wake of revelations that FBI abused
its power by collecting personal information without court approval in
"It's not enough just to demand the
resignations or firings of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI director
Robert Mueller 3rd," said Holly Hart, secretary of the Green Party. "The USA
Patriot Act itself violates civil liberties, weakening habeas corpus and
allowing warrantless surveillance. Passed with bipartisan support, it was an
invitation to the kind of abuses that we're learning about right now. If
Congress doesn't repeal it or at least amend it extensively, more abuses are
Green leaders demanded that Congress
act immediately to cancel all contracts with Halliburton and its subsidiaries
and launch an investigation into illegal profiteering from the Iraq War, as
Halliburton announced that it will move its headquarters from Texas to Dubai.
Relocation in Dubai may make it possible for Halliburton to evade U.S. taxes
and avoid prosecution for various crimes.
"Halliburton is a war profiteer in the
worst way, with a no-bid $2.4 billion contract for war-related services, secret
and improper contracts to provide security in Iraq, and a cozy relationship with
top White House officials, including Vice President Cheney, former CEO of
Halliburton," said Green Party co-chair Jim Coplen. "Halliburton's recent
business deals with Tehran, at a time when the Bush Administration is
threatening an attack on Iran, recall its business deals with Iraq during the
late 1990s, when a trade embargo was in effect. In case after case, Halliburton
has skirted the law and made enormous profits -- with President Bush's blessing.
Meanwhile, ordinary Americans have been asked to sacrifice."
Greens sharply criticized Democratic
leaders on their 'timetable' for the U.S. to remove all troops from Iraq by
September, 2008, and reiterated the Green Party's call for immediate
withdrawal and a cut-off of funding for the war.
"Nothing will be gained by keeping
American forces in Iraq even a single day -- except for more dead and wounded
U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians, and the daily loss of billions of dollars in
U.S. taxpayers' money," said Liz Arnone, also a national co-chair of the Green
"General Petraeus has acknowledged
that the war is unwinnable (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/...) by military means, the Iraqi civil war has grown more
intense, and President Bush's insistence that the war will turn around if we
send 21,500 more troops is completely implausible. The very idea of 'mission
accomplished' in a war based on lies, illegal 'preemptive invasion,' and vague
and unrealistic objectives is obscene. The only morally valid actions now are to
save as many lives as possible, which requires an immediate pullout, and to hold
President Bush and other officials responsible, which requires impeachment and
criminal charges." (see http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article1487615.ece)