Bring the Massachusetts' National Guard Home Fact Sheet

April 22, 2009

BACKGROUND

There are 8000 Soldiers and Airmen in the Massachusetts National Guard, serving in Air Force and Army units, in both combat and support roles.

Deployments: More than 6,500 Massachusetts National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have been mobilized into federal service since 9/11/2001, and more than 5,300 of those served overseas.

Six Massachusetts National Guard soldiers were killed in action in this period.

Countless numbers of Massachusetts National Guard soldiers were wounded in action or sustained injuries, many requiring life-long treatment.

There will be countless Hidden Wounds of War i.e. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the years ahead. (see Mass. report)

These dead and wounded Massachusetts National Guard soldiers all have Families who will endure life-long suffering.

The stress of continued deployments on Massachusetts National Guard Soldiers and Families should not be taken lightly by those who send them into multiple combat situations.

Massachusetts National Guard deployments to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan result in employment loss, and a loss to the communities where they live and work, often as first responders. Many of them are police officers, fire fighters, medical providers, teachers or other civil servants.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

The Congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq (Public Law 107-243-OCT. 16, 2002-HJ Res 114) is based in part on Iraq being in possession of weapons of mass destruction, harboring Al Quaida members responsible for the 9/11/01 attacks, and enforcing UN resolutions against Saddam Hussein's regime, reasons which were never or are no longer valid;

The Congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force of 9/18/01 (Public Law 107-40- SJ Res. 23), which launched the "War on Terror," is overly broad and has allowed the United States to occupy Afghanistan and attack Somalia, Pakistan, and elsewhere, as well as enabling the establishment of the prison camp at Guantanamo, unknown military holding sites around the world, the patriot act, military tribunals, and other affronts to human, civil and constitutional rights.

STATEMENT OF FINDINGS

(1) Under Article I, Section 8, Clause 15 of the United States Constitution, Congress may call forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions. Assuming for the sake of argument that the war was lawful when commenced, the presence of the Guard members in Iraq is not now lawful.

(2) Since 1933, federal law has provided that persons enlisting in a state National Guard unit simultaneously enlist in the National Guard of the United States, a part of the U.S. Army. The enlistees retain their status as State Guard members unless and until ordered to active federal duty and then revert to state status upon being relieved from federal service.

(3) In 1986, Congress passed and the President signed the "Montgomery Amendment," which provides that a Governor cannot withhold consent with regard to active duty outside the United States because of any objection to the location, purpose, type, or schedule of such duty.

(4) Under the U.S. Constitution, each state's National Guard unit is controlled by the Governor in time of peace, but can be called up for federal duty by the President, provided that the President is acting pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the United States.

(5) The War Powers Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-148) specifically limits the power of the President of the United States to wage war without the approval of Congress.

(6) In October 2002, the U.S. Congress authorized military force under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq (AUMF) resolution in response to a presidential request under the War Powers Act. The resolution stated in part that: the President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to [1] defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and [2] enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.

(7) If the Congressional intent of the 2002 AUMF was to enforce then-current and all future UN Security Council resolutions about Iraq, then the AUMF is too broad and the National Guard could remain federalized indefinitely.

(8) The Authorization for Use of Military Force of 9/11/01, similarly is overly broad and could be construed to allow the President to call up the National Guard to go to Iraq, Afghanistan or any other country deemed part of the "war on terror."

(9) The AUMF resolutions contained neither a termination date nor a process or procedure to determine when the authorization should terminate.

(10) U.S. forces, including members of the Massachusetts National Guard and Guard members from other states, have long since addressed the purposes recited under the Iraq AUMF resolution, and Iraq does not pose a continuing threat to the national security of the United States, nor is there an extant United Nations Security Council Resolution to be implemented.

(11) The President may not maintain U.S. forces, and in particular members of Massachusetts National Guard, in Iraq other than for the purposes set forth by Congress in the AUMF resolutions. Without a specific date for withdrawal of U.S. Forces the AUMF resolutions, or a method or formula for determining the time for withdrawal, and in the absence of congressional legislation curing these omissions, the President is required to order the withdrawal of troops within a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner. The President has taken no such action.

(12) Other than the AUMF resolutions, there is no authority under the Constitution or the laws of the United States for the continued presence of Massachusetts National Guard members in Iraq and Afghanistan.

(13) The maintenance of Massachusetts National Guard members in Iraq and Afghanistan beyond the time and scope set forth in the AUMF resolution has resulted, and continues to result, in significant harm to Guard members and their families, including death and injury, loss of time together, and financial hardship.

(14) The General Court finds that Congress should revisit the 1986 Montgomery Amendment and adopt legislation that restores the powers of the Governors to withhold consent to federalization of their National Guards, except where a declaration of war has been adopted or where the United States faces attack or invasion, and the President has invoked powers authorized by an act of Congress to address those circumstances.

MASSACHUSETTS ORGANIZATIONAL ENDORSEMENTS (to Date)

Dorchester People for Peace

Iraq Veterans Against the War

Mass Peace Action

Military Families Speak Out & Gold Star Families Speak Out

United for Justice with Peace

Veterans for Peace

PARTICIPATING NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS:

After Downing Street, Cities for Peace, CODEPINK, Courage to Resist, Iraq Veterans Against the War, LIBERTY TREE Foundation for the Democratic Revolution, Military Families Speak Out, Peace Action, Progressive Democrats of America, United for Peace and Justice, Veterans for Peace, U.S. Labor Against the War, Women Legislator's Lobby, Women's Action for New Directions

Additional Information: 

Mass. info: bonniegorman1@yahoo.com, nateg@pobox.com

This campaign is part of a national Bring the Guard Home campaign involving 22 states to date. For more information: www.bringtheGuardHome.org