With U.S. Representative Robin Kelly of the 2nd Congressional District of Illinois declining to run for U.S. Senate, I am now endorsing Tammy Duckworth for the U.S. Senate seat that is currently held by right-wing Republican Mark Kirk.
Prior to being elected to the U.S. House, Duckworth served our country in the Illinois Army National Guard, losing both of her legs when a Black Hawk helicopter that she was co-piloting over Iraq in 2004 was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and shot down. Duckworth has served the people of the 8th Congressional District of our state, located in the western Chicago suburbs, with honor, having supported background checks on gun sales, supported reproductive rights, supported raising the minimum wage, and, best of all, sharply criticized a federal contractor for falsely claiming that he was a service-disabled veteran.
Duckworth currently has one primary opponent that I know of, Andrea Zopp. While Duckworth isn’t exactly an Illinois progressive’s dream candidate, Zopp represents most of what is wrong with Illinois politics. First off, Zopp has the backing of Bill Daley, who was a member of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner’s transition team prior to Rauner being sworn into office. As an appointed member of the Chicago school board, Zopp voted for Rahm Emanuel’s plan to close dozens of Chicago’s public schools. That means that Zopp is aligned with three of the most odious people in Illinois politics: Bill Daley, Rahm Emanuel, and Bruce Rauner. Additionally, State Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Flossmor) is considering running against Duckworth and Zopp. However, Harris refused to vote for the Illinois marriage equality bill, meaning that LGBT Illinoisans can’t trust Harris to fight for and protect their rights.
I encourage my fellow Illinois Democrats to cast a Democratic primary ballot for Tammy Duckworth next year.
The report by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the CIA’s program of torturing enemy combatants who were captured by the U.S. in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, which was active during the administration of former Republican President George W. Bush, has been declassified, and here is the executive summary of the report.
According to the report, the George W. Bush-era CIA’s detention and torture program, among other things:
- Didn’t help the CIA get intelligence from detainees
- Violated the human rights of detainees
- Put American national security at an even greater risk by impeding national security efforts at other federal agencies
- Wasted American taxpayers’ money
- Detained individuals who didn’t meet the legal standard for detention
- Was badly mismanaged and unaccountable
- Hurt our country’s standing in the world
Additionally, the George W. Bush-era CIA lied to Congress and the media about the detention and torture program’s activities, and had repeatedly impeded oversight by various government entities, including the Office of the CIA Inspector General.
Long story short, the CIA’s program of torturing enemy combatants in U.S. custody was one of the most disgusting things that the U.S. federal government has ever done and served no purpose whatsoever. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and other officials involved in the program should be charged with perjury, war crimes, and other applicable offenses.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who is trying to find a way to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate and run for president simultaneously despite being legally prohibited from doing so in his home state of Kentucky, tried to get an Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic militant group ISIS (also known as ISIL and Islamic State) attached to a completely unrelated bill pushed through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Paul pulled his proposal in exchange for a vote on an AUMF against ISIS before the new Congress is sworn into office next month:
A surprise move by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is driving action on an issue that many in Congress, and the White House, were hoping to punt into the next year: war.
Paul tried to force a vote on legislation declaring war against Islamic State militants during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Thursday. He offered his measure as an amendment to an unrelated water bill about to get voted out of the committee.
After hearing loud resistance from fellow Republicans, who urged more time for debate on the matter, the Kentucky senator pulled his proposal. But he had achieved what he actually wanted: a promise from the chairman, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), to schedule a broader debate on the issue next week, along with a vote on a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) on Wednesday.
This is the same Rand Paul who once criticized Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. Secretary of State who is one of several individuals who are considering running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, for being a war hawk. While it is an indisputable fact that Hillary is a war hawk, Rand Paul is a total hypocrite for complaining about Democrats being war hawks when he’s trying to declare war against ISIS.
In an official address to the nation, President Barack Obama announced that U.S. forces will carry out air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in Syria.
While President Obama promised that there will be no ground troops in Iraq or Syria, I seriously doubt that the president would hold to that promise for long. In fact, I think that the president just got this country into yet another Vietnam.
While I support humanitarian aid to those fleeing ISIS’s wrath and counterterrorism efforts to prevent ISIS from pulling off a terrorist attack on U.S. soil (so as long as said counterterrorism efforts don’t violate the U.S. Constitution), any kind of war with ISIS, whether it be an air war, a ground war, or a combination of both, is, more than likely, going to bog this country down in another long, drawn-out war, similar to the Vietnam War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I firmly believe that ISIS is an extremely dangerous organization that intends, through violence, to destroy everything they consider a enemy, including the United States of America, in fact, they are the most extreme Islamic fundamentalist organization that I’ve ever seen in my life. However, the U.S. becoming involved in a war with ISIS would, more than likely, be a big mistake.