I finallly have received responses to my open letter to Congress from my senators and representatives. No word from the White House, but what can you really expect from the most ineffective administration of our time? Below are the three responses received. Though that from Keith Ellison is the newest, I thought it pertinent to place it at the top to show the lack of interest of this representative. Notice that though my email was concerning US involvement in Pakistan, he chose to only respond to US involvement in Iraq. It clearly shows that he did not read the mail and has no concern for the opinions of his constituents.
I have only replaced my name in the emails with no further editing. I merely copied and pasted from the email responses which accounts for the strange fonts.
Click the Congressional member's name in the article index to the right to see each letter as well as my response this evening to Representative Ellison.
January 17, 2008
Dear Mr. Antimidas,
Thank you for contacting me regarding the war in Iraq. I appreciate hearing from you, and I am proud to represent you in the United States Congress.
Last year, the American public sent a clear message demanding change in Iraq. They want us to support our troops by ending the war and bringing them home.
The first of many steps to end the war occurred on March 23, 2007 when I, along with 217 of my colleagues, voted for the Iraq Veterans' Health & Iraq War Accountability Supplementalbill. While this bill was far from ideal, I resolved that voting for this bill was a vote to end this war. However, this initial measure to end the war was vetoed by President Bush on May 2, 2007.
On May 10, 2007, I voted in support of H.R. 2237, the Iraq Redeployment Act sponsored by Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts. H.R. 2237 required the Department of Defense to begin redeployment of military forces no later than 90 days after the date of enactment of the legislation and shall be completed within 180 days of the start of redeployment. Additionally, no funds could be obligated or expanded to increase the number of American troops serving in Iraqas of January 1, 2007. Although the Iraq Redeployment Act failed, the votes that were gathered expressed that Congress is progressing toward ending the occupation of Iraq. The 171 votes garnered through the bill showed President Bush and Iraqi leaders that Congress is willing to significantly reduce the American military presence in Iraq.
On May 24, 2007, I voted against the final bill providing emergency supplemental appropriations for the Iraq War fiscal year through September 2007. I voted against the supplemental appropriations bill because the legislation did not contain concrete timelines for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Although I opposed the supplemental war appropriations, the measure passed by a vote of 280-142.
Most recently, I voted in favor of the Orderly and Responsible Iraq Redeployment Appropriations Act (H.R. 4156), which prohibited deployment of any U.S. military unit to Iraq unless the President has certified such unit as "fully mission capable," directed defense funds towards returning troops home, and expressed the sense of Congress that the war in Iraq should end as safely and quickly as possible. Though this bill passed the House 218 - 203 on November 14, 2007, the Republicans blocked its consideration and the bill stalled in the Senate.
As we head into the fifth year of the Iraq War, I am convinced more than ever that it is time to get our troops safely home. Americans believed it was a mistake to get into this war, and they were right. Please know that I will continue to be a tireless advocate in Congress to end this senseless war.
United States House of Representatives
This is an unmonitored email account. Please use our webform at http://ellison.house.gov to contact our office. Replies to this email will not be read.
You obviously did not read my email of November 9, 2007 concerning Pakistan as your belated reply of January 17th only referenced Iraq - a topic that was only used as a reference in the email, but was not the subject of the email.
I have made my original email and your unsatisfactory reply available on my blog at www.antimidas.net in the hopes that other constituents of yours see your disconnect with the people that elected you to office.
America was founded on the principal of "no taxation without representation." I humbly submit that your lack of interest in the concerns of your constituents exhibits that lack of representation to which to colonists fought against.
I would appreciate a response to my email in the context of the original that was sent. I am appalled that my elected representative would be so dismissive as to send me a form letter on a topic entirely different from my initial concern that was addressed to you. It is because of this that I am making this information public on my blog and addressing it to all local media outlets in your district.
The voting public should be aware of your apathy. I intend to make it my raison d'etre to disseminate this information to all of your constituents.
From Senator Amy Klobuchar on January 14, 2008:
Thank you for sharing with me your concern over the assassination of Pakistan Peoples Party leader, Benazir Bhutto, and U.S. policy towards Pakistan. I appreciate hearing from you.
I was deeply saddened by the tragic assassination of Bhutto. The Pakistani people have lost a beloved leader, the American people have lost a dear friend, and the world community has lost one of its strongest proponents of peace and democracy.
The current situation in Pakistan poses a significant threat to regional and international stability. I believe the U.S. must demonstrate to President Musharraf that his present course of action is undermining his ability to lead his country and is not in either his own interest or the interests of the Pakistani people. It is imperative that the Pakistani government fully restores the rule of law, releases all Pakistani citizens who have been unlawfully detained, and allows independent media to resume operating. These steps must be taken as soon as possible in order to allow free and fair elections now scheduled for February.
One of the most important parts of my job is listening to what the people of Minnesota have to say to me. I am here in our nation’s capital to do the public’s business and to do right by the people of our state. With that in mind, please do not hesitate to contact me again about matters of concern to you.
United States Senator
From Senator Norm Coleman on January 4, 2008:
Dear Mr. Antimidas :
Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding events in Pakistan . As the Ranking member of the Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Subcommittee, I am extremely concerned about events in Pakistan and am monitoring them closely.
As you know, in the wake of growing protests and a clash with the Pakistani judiciary, President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in October 2007 and lifted it six weeks later. He resigned his position as head of the army, replaced the Supreme Court, and announced elections for January 8.
Sadly the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has led to increased violence and instability in Pakistan . The perpetrators of this murder must be brought to justice, and Pakistan must continue a path back to democratic rule. The best way to honor Benazir Bhutto's memory is to continue advancing the democratic process, and the international community will be monitoring Pakistan 's February 18 elections closely.
I traveled to Pakistan in 2005 as part of a Senate delegation. During that visit, President Musharraf voiced to us a commitment to stepping out of his military role in order to bolster civilian rule in Pakistan . It is crucial that this commitment be upheld and that Pakistan return to democracy and the rule of law.
Please know that I consider Pakistan an extremely important country, and it will remain a focus of our work in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the months and years ahead.
Thank you once again for contacting me. If I can be of further assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me again.
United States Senate