Monday, September 7, 2015

A Veteran's Open Letter to Congress

Attorney Michael Connelly.jpg
by Michael Connelly
As a member of the U.S. Army I took an oath “that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” As a member of the United States Congress you took the same oath; you said the same words. No one ever told me that when I became a veteran that the oath expired or that I was excused from living by it. So who told any of you that you no longer had to abide by your oath?
            When were you absolved from being loyal to the Constitution, loyal to your country, and loyal to the American people? When did you decide that your oath of office doesn’t mean what it says and that your first duty is to be loyal to a political party, a special interest group, or an individual?
            Why have you decided that the very veterans who took the oath you took and continue to live by it can be relegated to second class citizenship and denied their Constitutional rights? Why are you allowing them to be denied the medical care they deserve, be declared to be potential terrorists because they served their nation, and be declared to be mentally defective without due process and denied their right to own a firearm?
            Why have 307,000 veterans died awaiting treatment at the VA? Do you realize or even care that that number is three times the total of all members of the U.S. military killed in the Korean war, the Vietnam war, the Gulf war, and the war on terror combined? In other words, our government is killing more American soldiers then all of our enemies.
            Now the Congress is taking the betrayal of our veterans, our active military, and our very country a step further. The President has entered into a treaty with one of our staunchest enemies, Iran. This is a country that is the most active sponsor of terrorism in the world. It is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as civilian deaths around the world. It has vowed to destroy our nation and the country of Israel.
            The treaty clears the way for Iran to develop nuclear weapons and will release over 1.5 billion dollars in seized assets for it to use to fund terrorism around the globe. This is a tremendous threat to the security of our country and clearly falls under the definition of a treaty and therefore is constitutionally required to be ratified by two thirds of the members of the United States Senate.
The vast majority of the people in the U.S. oppose this treaty yet; you the members of Congress have chosen to violate your oath of office and allow Obama to call this an Executive Agreement so it does not have to be ratified by the Senate. You also agreed to allow the President to submit the treaty to you for a vote in Congress that if against the treaty can be vetoed by him. Then a two thirds vote of both houses of Congress will be required to override the veto.
Every member of Congress who agreed to this has violated their oath of office. Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution requires Senate ratification of treaties. Article 1, Section 7 provides for the President to veto legislation passed by Congress. It does not allow the President to veto a negative vote by the Congress. By passing this legislation members of Congress who voted for it have effectively amended the Constitution without going through the process provided in Article V of the Constitution.
As members of Congress you should be aware of the fact that Federal statues provide for criminal penalties for violation of your oath of office. I contend that anyone who voted to allow this unconstitutional agreement with Obama falls directly under the provisions of these statutes. You have ignored your oath of office, ignored the Constitution, and ignored the wishes of the constituents that you work for.
Now 34 member of the United States Senate have declared that they will not vote to override a Presidential veto and are even trying to organize a filibuster to prevent a Senate vote on the treaty. By doing so you are sending a message to the American people that your loyalty is not to them or the Constitution, but to an American dictator.
As a veteran who refuses to violate my oath of office I can guarantee that you will be held accountable by me and other veterans who are fed up. What you are doing is a betrayal of all of the sacrifices of men and women who have served in the military. We are your constituents and your bosses, not your subjects.
Michael Connelly

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