News and campaigns related to the occupation of Iraq.

Latest News fom the Department of Defense

June 2, 2009

For the latest news regarding deployments, activation numbers, casualties, and more, direct from the horse's mouth, see:

Latest News fom the Department of Defense

June 2, 2009

For the latest news regarding deployments, activation numbers, casualties, and more, direct from the horse's mouth, see:

STUDY GUIDE: Benson Scotch on war powers, defense policy, and the National Guard

March 22, 2009


The new debate over war powers, defense policy,
and the National Guard

This study memo–maybe more dependent on computer literacy than on a knowledge of Latin legal maxims–consists of three features: The author’s narrative, documents or parts of documents integrated into the syllabus for easy reference, and links to the full texts of these documents as well as to other documents.

Many, many thanks to Ben Manski of the Liberty Tree Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Law School for creating this opportunity for dialogue.

FIRST VIDEO: Who Decides About War?

October 3, 2009

Georgetown Law School

You don't have to wait any longer: The initial video is in from Who Decides About War?, the National Conference on War Powers, Law, and Democracy. This exciting conference took place on October 2nd and 3rd at the Georgetown School of Law, and featured over one hundred participants from 18 states.

Participants included veterans, military family members, journalists, lawyers, law students, professors, and other advocates of a more democratic, peaceful system of national defense.

Antiwar Radio interviews Ben Manski

June 18, 2009's Scott Horton interviews Ben Manski, Executive Director of Liberty Tree. They discuss the Bring the Guard Home! campaign that, "seeks to end the illegal use of national guard units deployed abroad, the historical U.S. change from a republican system of state militias to an imperial army, and the reassertion of state control over the guard."

Additional Information: 

To listen to the interview, go to

Update on Efforts to Block Deployment of National Guard Troops to Iraq and Afghanistan

May 29, 2009

KBOO's public affairs host William Seaman interviews Dan Handelman about the campaign to keep Oregon's National Guard troops from deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan ... how close is the vote in the Oregon House and Senate on legislation aimed at challenging the federalization of the Oregon Guard? Also in the conversation by telephone is national campaign coordinator, Ben Manski, with an update on other state campaigns challenging guard deployments.

Additional Information: 

The interview can also be found at

Democratizing Defense: A Discussion from the Liberty Tree Journal

May 1, 2009

A former congresswoman, a radio host, a military spouse, and a historian make up the participants of this Forum’s discussion on “Democratizing Defense.”

Stacy Bannerman is a prominent contemporary anti-war activist whose husband is an active duty member of the National Guard. We connected with Bannerman on the Troops Home Now! Tour of 2006, which Liberty Tree co-sponsored.

Paul Buhle is a historian, a veteran of the 1960s era SDS, and a mentor to the new SDS. Buhle is also known as a widely published cartoonist and author.

CCR: Restore. Protect. Expand The Constitution: Amend the War Powers Resolution

April 9, 2009

Executive Summary

At the heart of American constitutional democracy is the concept of checks and balances: limits on the reach of each branch of government so that none can act unilaterally or exercise power without accountability. The power to initiate warfare, because of its grave and potentially long-term consequences for the entire republic, is rightly assigned to the entire Congress under the American system, rather than to the President, a single individual. Wisely, the Constitution provides that the decision to go to war should be debated thoroughly and openly in Congress, rather than carried out by a secretive order, on the judgment of one person.

Additional Information: 

666 Broadway, 7th floor, New York, NY 10012
Phone (212) 614-6489 Fax (212) 614-6422

Manski: From Liberty to Empire -- The Demise of American Defense

April 1, 2009
Ben Manski

All you have to do is remember that anti-imperialism is only another name for old-fashioned Americanism, and all will be clear to you. An American who has a settled body of convictions . . . who with his inherited ideas has an inherited courage, an inherited love of equality and justice . . . why, he is a natural born anti-imperialist, and it is simply his Americanism that makes him think and act as he does . . . .
~ New York Evening Post, May 3, 1902

Additional Information: 

Ben Manski is a Wisconsin attorney and the editor of the Liberty Tree Journal.

Your Time Is Up, Mr. President -- the National Guard Is Coming Home

February 5, 2008
Karen Dolan and Ben Manski

Guess what, Mr. President? Your authority to keep state National Guard troops in Iraq has expired. So says a new bill introduced this week to the Vermont Legislature by Rep. Michael Fisher and Sen. Peter Shumlin. It is supported by 30 of their colleagues.

"It is clear that the mission that Congress authorized no longer exists," said Fisher. "Unless Congress grants a new authorization, the Vermont Guard should revert back to state control." The Vermont bill states:

Additional Information: 

Karen Dolan is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus. Ben Manski is a Wisconsin attorney and the executive director of the Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution.

April 29th March for Peace, Justice & Democracy

April 29th Organizing Committee
What's happening: 

Too much is too wrong in this country. We have a foreign policy that is foreign to our core values, and domestic policies wreaking havoc at home. It's time for a change:

  • No more never-ending oil wars!
  • Protect our civil liberties & immigrant rights.
  • End illegal spying, government corruption and the subversion of our democracy.
  • Rebuild our communities, starting with the Gulf Coast.
  • Stop corporate subsidies and tax cuts for the wealthy while ignoring our basic needs.
  • Act quickly to address the climate crisis and the accelerating destruction of our environment.

Bring the Guard Home!

Liberty Tree
What's happening: 

The debate over the Iraq War changed last week in a simple, but profound way. A bill introduced on Tuesday in the Vermont State Legislature declares that the 2002 federal authorization to call up the State National Guard has expired, and would set in motion steps to recall members of the Vermont Guard. Rep. Michael Fisher, lead sponsor of the Vermont bill says that:

It is clear that the mission that Congress authorized no longer exists. The President has no current or permanent legal authority to keep Guard members in Iraq. The Governor as Commander-in-Chief of the Vermont National Guard should take necessary steps to bring them home.

In addition to the Vermont legislation, sponsored by Rep. Michael Fisher and Senate President Pro-Tempore Peter Shumlin, legislators in Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island plan to sponsor similar National Guard legislation in the current legislative session.Legislators in six other states, notably Maryland, Maine, and Wisconsin are working on the issue and considering following suit.

In recent years, twelve state legislatures and over 300 communities have passed resolutions protesting the Iraq War and calling withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. This new legislation is something very different. This legislation actually ends the deployment of the Guard from Iraq.

News media from public radio, to CBS News, to Pacifica and AlterNet have already picked up the story. This new campaign to inject some democracy into our system of national defense is building.

  • Intrigued?

Please take a moment to read more. We've provided you with a copy of the Vermont legislation itself, an FAQ, media reports, and several articles by Liberty Tree's Ben Manski and IPS' Karen Dolan. Just go to our resources page at:

  • Compelled?

Once you are done reading, it's time for action. Please see below for what you should do.

Take the Voters Pledge for Peace

What's happening: 

It is important for elected officials to know that a large number of Americans are no longer willing to vote for candidates who support wars of aggression and who fail to take active leadership to end the occupation of Iraq. Across the political spectrum, independents, Democrats, Greens, Republicans, and Libertarians, are increasingly saying, 'Bring the Troops Home Now!'

The Voters Peace Pledge is an effort to count, organize and make visible this emerging anti-war voting block and to speak with a united voice of conviction which candidates and incumbent politicians CANNOT AFFORD TO IGNORE. Imagine headlines saying 2 million have pledged to vote for peace candidates in 2006! A March, 2006 poll showed that tens of millions of Americans agree with the Peace Pledge. Voters For Peace is committed to get the word out to legislators, the media and the general public that peace voters will not be taken for granted in future elections. Voters For Peace urges you to take a clear stand and let politicians know they cannot take your vote for granted but instead have to earn your vote. Please sign the following pledge.

"I will not vote for or support any candidate for Congress or President who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq, and preventing any future war of aggression a public position in his or her campaign."

Urge on Vermont: Bring the Guard home!

Democratizing Defense Network
What's happening: 

The movement to bring home the National Guard is growing.  State representatives and senators in Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island have joined Vermonters in drafting and introducing legislation to keep their state Guard units where they belong.  With the latest news out of Iraq and Washington D.C. -- that the troop escalation has failed to end the violence and that the Bush administration will attempt to issue additional call up orders for Guard units this summer and fall -- the time is ripe for state action to keep the Guard in the United States.

This campaign began earliest in Vermont, and it is in Vermont that the effort has made the most progress.  The Vermont Senate held hearings on the legislation last month.  The Vermont public is debating the issue.  Media outlets from the Topeka Capital Journal to CBS national news to the Houston Chronicle have covered the debate.  For the first time, Americans are becoming aware of the illegality of National Guard deployments to Iraq.  The Vermont debate is educating all of us; we are learning that:

  • The President may only call the Guard into National Service after Congress has granted him/her that authority; otherwise, the Guard remain under the command of state officials.
  • The 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Iraq (2002 AUMF) was the act of Congress under which National Guard call ups for deployment to Iraq have occurred until now.
  • The 2002 AUMF set a clear mission for the invasion of Iraq, and that mission is over.  Saddam Hussein and Iraq are no long a threat to the United States or the region (if they ever were), and the UN Security Council resolutions on which the 2002 AUMF was based are no longer relevant.
  • Some state elected officials are willing to stand up and defend the constitutional guarantee of a federal government of limited and enumerated powers, a military designed for national defense and not empire, and a government of laws and not of men!

All of this is already coming to light with a simple legislative push that doesn't even challenge the unconstitutionality of the war itself, or challenge the deployment of the Guard for purposes other than those spelled out in the Constitution.  All this legislation says is, "Federal government, we're not even telling you that your laws are unconstitutional, we're just insisting that you to obey your own laws."  Is that such a radical thing to ask?  Let's find out.

Voters For Peace 'Cancelled Check' Campaign

Voters for Peace
What's happening: 

The purpose of the Cancelled Check Campaign is to divert votes and dollars from pro-war candidates. We want to send a message to candidates and incumbents that peace voters will not be taken for granted. At the same time, we want those dollars that could have gone to a pro-war candidate to instead go to a person or organization that is working for peace.

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