Who Decides About War?

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Leah Bolger 541-207-7761

Who Decides About War?

WASHINGTON - "Who Decides About War" will confront essential questions raised by the
U.S. invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. These questions
are timely, as the process that brought the United States into those
wars is widely recognized today as having been flawed at best,
dishonest at worst.

What:  National Conference on War Powers, Law and Democracy
Why:    To ask: Who decides about war and peace? Congress? The President? The Courts? The

              People? What kind of national defense should the U.S. have? What type of military?
When:  October 2-3, at the Georgetown Law School, Washington DC

Veterans For Peace draws on our collective experience as members of the
military to raise public awareness of the true costs and consequences
of militarism and war-and to seek peaceful, effective alternatives. 
Because VFP believes the cost of war to be so devastating and
encompassing, it finds that decisions to enter military conflict
without full concordance with the Constitution and law, to be
especially egregious.

The conference will bring together activists and academics, public
officials and veterans, lawyers and military families. We will use
facilitated discussions, panel presentations, and workshops to
accomplish two goals. First, to educate ourselves and each other about
the issues involved, the state of the law, and alternatives. Second, to
develop a statement of common principles leading to a more democratic,
comprehensive, and durable national defense policy - one that will
honor the Constitution and help keep the United States from entering
into unnecessary wars.

Confirmed speakers, as of September 18, 2009, include: 
Jean Athey, Peace Action, Montgomery County, MD, Phyllis Bennis,
Institute for Policy Studies, Leah Bolger, National Vice-President,
Veterans For Peace, John Bonifaz, Attorney at Law, Elaine Brower,
Military Families Speak Out, Prof. Marjorie Cohn, President, National
Lawyers Guild, Rep. Michael Fisher, State Representative, Lincoln,
Vermont, Bonnie Gorman, Military Families Speak Out, Boston, Mort
Halperin, Senior Adviser, Open Society Institute, Keynote Speaker, Sen.
Richard Madaleno, State Senator, Montgomery County, Maryland, Ben
Manski, Esq., Executive Director, Liberty Tree,Geoff Millard, Chair of
the Board of Directors, Iraq Veterans Against the War, John Nichols,
Esq., The Nation magazine, Sen. Jamin Raskin, Professor of Law,
American University, Caleb Rossiter, Professor, International Service,
American University, Jeremy Scahill, author, Blackwater, Keynote
Speaker, Benson Scotch, Senior Legal Counsel, Bring the Guard Home!
It's the Law, David Swanson, Founder, After Downing Street, Don
Wallace, Professor, Georgetown Law School

"Who Decides About War" is co-sponsored by the national campaign to
Bring the Guard Home! It's the Law and the Liberty Tree Foundation,
with hosts National Lawyers Guild at Georgetown Law School, and in
coordination with the Institute for Policy Studies, Democrats.com, and
Veterans For Peace, as well as After Downing Street, CODEPINK, Iraq
Veterans Against the War, National Coalition for Nonviolent Resistance,
Peace Action USA, and Progressive Democrats of America.

For more information, please visit www.veteransforpeace.org .

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Veterans For Peace is a national organization founded in 1985. It is structured around a national office in Saint Louis, MO and comprised of members across the country organized in chapters or as at-large members. The organization includes men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations including from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and current Iraq wars as well as other conflicts. Our collective experience tells us wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent. Thus, other means of problem solving are necessary.

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