WASHINGTON -- November 30 -- A non-partisan veterans' organization focused on national security, veterans' care, civil liberties and energy policy announced its opposition to the nomination of Alberto Gonzales today, and launched a national campaign gathering the signatures of veterans and supporters who question the nomination.
In a cover letter written by retired Army Brigadier General Evelyn Foote, the group noted that one of the key responsibilities of U.S. forces in combat is "the absolute requirement [to] adhere strictly to the Geneva Convention in safeguarding the rights of American Forces' prisoners of war and in insuring that prisoners were treated humanely and appropriately in all instances.
The veterans' organization cited the controversial memos authored by Gonzales, one of which noted that the Geneva Conventions were "quaint" and "obsolete."
"The Geneva conventions protect our own troops in combat," said the group's executive director Charles Sheehan-Miles, a 1991 Gulf War veteran. "The professionalism and honor of the U.S. military is at stake when the strong guidelines for the protection of prisoners and civilians are twisted for the sake of expediency."
The sign-on letter has thus far attracted the signatures of 2,200 veterans and supporters and is available on-line at http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/attygen.cfm. The group intends to deliver the letters to the Senate before the confirmation hearings begin.
Interviews are available with:
Charles Sheehan-Miles, VCS Executive Director. Sheehan-Miles served as an Abrams tank crewman with the 24th Infantry Division during the 1991 Gulf War, and was decorated for valor for helping rescue fellow tank crewmen from a burning tank during the Battle at Rumayla. He was the founding Executive Director of the National Gulf War Resource Center from 1995-97.
Seth R. Pollack, VCS Chairman. Seth Pollack served eight years active duty with the United States Army, including four-years of overseas duty; front line action with the 1st Armored Division during the first Gulf War and participation with the International Forces in Bosnia in 1996.
About Veterans for Common Sense
Veterans for Common Sense was founded in 2002. It is a non-partisan, centrist veterans' organization focused on issues of national security, veterans' benefits, civil liberties and human rights, and U.S. energy independence. Its 9,000 members have served in every U.S. conflict since 1941.