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Syria: My letter to Congressional Representative urging NO

From: Mike C.
Sent on: Sunday, September 8, 2013 2:21 PM
Dear DFA & PDA members, 
I miss you all. I am now a student studying to become a teacher, and a part time nanny to my young nephews. I am sharing my NO ON SYRIA letter with you, to encourage you to send your own, and to view the subject from the point of view of Act of War / Illegality -- which, in y view, adds to the great reasons already proposed which you've taken to Davis, Peters, et al. Alter the text as you see fiit and send to the very SMART Scott Peters. We need to give them GOOD REASONS to vote no, in the face of bullying and very powerful lobbyists. -- Mike Copass PDA San Diego[masked]

Subject: No to Syria force authorization -- it is llegal!

Dear Congressmen Kilmer, 

Thank you for your service to Washington State and now in the House of Representatives representing Washington's 6th District.

 Urgent message: The Syrian question is before the House. I urge you Nay vote. 

Allow me to present a simple argument, to which I welcome a response, rebuttal, or refutation.  

 Ordering a military strike of any kind on Syria, whether approved by Congress or not, 

1) would constitute an Act of War.

(Thought experiment: would a Syrian "one day limited surgical strike

Washington DC or the Pentagon be construed by americans as an act of war?" Probably.)

2) An attack on Syria would be illegal under international law under the UN Security Charter.

3) An attack would be illegal under US law of Article VI of Constitution, since treaties signed by the US are, under the Constitution, the "law of the land."


4) An attack on Syria would represent a "high crime or misdemeanor" under Article II, Section 4 and

 5) An attack on Syria would be grounds to begin impeachment of the Executive. 

Legal versus Illegal.  It's not about whether a missile strike 

 would "degrade and deter" or a proper response to an outrage, or war-gaming the military outcomes of missile strikes. It's simply about what the Executive may and may NOT do, and the role of the Legislative branch in keeping the Executive sailing on a proper course. Before committing to a vote which would place the Representative on the side of endorsing an arguable War Crime, and that would potentially steer the President in a position where he is vulnerable to impeachment, I would hope my Representative would be able to articulate the reasons, under the law, backed by the law, for such a vote.

 I, too, am appalled at the ongoing Syrian destabilization, and the players who are doing the funding and training of the destabilization, and the Syrian government's shelling of neighborhoods to take back rebel-won territory, displacing hundreds of thousands as refugees. I am still more appalled to hear of evidence that chemical or gas weapons have been used, killing hundreds. I want to ask you to share with me the evidence of chemical weapons used by Syria which Congress has been briefed on, for independent review. (This is after all The People's business.) Congressman Grayson informs me that much of the "compelling evidence" is marked classified, and thus even an intelligent and careful legislator such as yourself cannot independently scrutinize and verify this evidence.  Still, if you are absolutely convinced by the evidence that the Syrian Government employed chemical weapons, I urge you to refer this to the appropriate UN Security Council for Chemical Weapons for investigation, and if necessary, to the International Criminal Court for prosecution for use of said weapons. That is effective legal body  established for this process. 

I urge you, again, not to endorse by vote what would be an illegal act, and not to violate the intent and legal meaning of the US Constitution. Not only do I urge you loudly to vote Nay on this resolution, but to help whip your intelligent colleagues in the House to do likewise, and, holding hearings if need be, to review the legality of military proceedings against Syria on CSPAN, featuring all points of view, so that the American public can be critically educated. 

Let me state I do not champion impeachment as a remedy to an Executive's willful violation of law;  it is however sufficient to point out that these are serious acts by an Executive  -- acts serious enough that the constitutional framers thought it imperative to remove from office an Executive Branch who would use the armed forces for his own purposes. 

Need we mention the absolutely sketchy but "compelling" evidence, all later proven to be a fraud, which took the US to Iraq? That evidence, too, was referred to as "slam dunk" yet was later found out to a cut and paste job. US servicemembers died over those lies, but the Executive got the war they wanted. I hope you will not be a silent bystander in the case of similar misleading propaganda, even if the mouthpiece is an eminent former Senator from Massachusetts. When good men and women were bystanders in middle Europe in the 1930s, terrible things happened.

If I am at all mistaken in the legal argument presented above, or if in your legal understanding the Executive does, in fact, have written authority to initiate military action absent a UN authorization or declaration of war by Congress due to threat of imminent attack, please inform me posthaste.  

Michael Copass, 
Port Angeles, WA

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