This Thursday, May 15th, for the first time since the Iraq war began, boots-on-the-ground veterans will testify, under oath, before Congress about the effects of the occupation. Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War will present their testimony to the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Why May 15th matters: House and Senate voting on war funding
This testimony comes at a critical time – on the same day as IVAW members will be describing the true costs of the war, Congress is likely to vote on the next appropriations bill to extend funding for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan into 2009.
What you can do: connect the dots
Congress has heard from the Generals, and they've heard from the politicians, but before they vote to continue the occupation of Iraq, tell them that they need to hear from the eyewitnesses who have seen the results first hand.
Call your congressional representatives right now and tell them to listen to Thursday's testimony before they vote. More information is available on the Winter Soldier on the Hill page.
House contact information and Senate contact information.
IVAW Members Testify At Whistleblower Hearing
On Wednesday, May 14th, four members of IVAW will testify about retaliatory harassment they have experienced as members of the military during the Congressional No Fear Tribunal, which is being sponsored by the No Fear Institute, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and Senator Charles Grassley. There will be two hearings on May 14th: one in the morning at the Rayburn House Office Building, and one in the afternoon at the Hart Senate Office Building. The goal of the hearings is to gather information about discrimination and reprisal against whistleblowers.
IVAW members will be sharing their personal stories and advocating for legislation that would prevent and/or hold accountable military commands that punish members of the military for speaking out within their rights. Adam Kokesh will discuss the downgrading of discharges and harassment of members of the Marine Corps IRR (Individual Ready Reserve) who have spoken out, including his story, and those of Cloy Richards and Liam Madden. Geoff Millard will testify to threats and harassment he received as a member of the New York National Guard. Mark Wilkerson will discuss the harassment he received while attempting to get his CO (Conscientious Objector) status approved. Thomas J Buonomo will testify about being involuntarily discharged from the Army after sending letters to his Congressional representatives. These four IVAW members will be joined by attorney Mike Lebowitz, a reserve JAG officer and Iraq veteran who specializes in military free speech issues.
For more information, please see w3conference.org.
For more info & IVAW updates see http://www.ivaw.org