Jen Psaki: U.S. agencies to report on sending lethal weapons to Ukraine

Now’s the time to get fact-based information to the U.S. Senate and House oversight committees, as well as individual officials in Congress. The Quaker website has an action center, including contacting officials. They also have a way to easily send letters to newspapers such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune.

http://www.fclca.org/take-action.html
http://fclca.capwiz.com/fclca/dbq/media/ — News media

The website for the U.S. Congress https://www.congress.gov/

The photo of Jen Psaki and her sign below is just begging for some creative and honest correction.

Ukrinform
March 11, 2015

Psaki says when U.S. government reports on providing weapons to Ukraine

KYIV: The United States plans to submit a report to Congress on possible providing defense lethal assistance to Ukraine, envisaged by the requirements of Ukraine Freedom Support Act “as soon as possible”.

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said this during a daily press briefing on Tuesday, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.

“The reports are currently undergoing an interagency review. We’re committed to delivering these reports to Congress as soon as possible,” she said.

According Psaki, the delay in submitting the report is due to the “extremely volatile” situation in Ukraine, which is discussed on a daily basis. “We want to ensure that Congress has the most complete and up-to-date information,” she assured.

The Speaker added that the U.S. President delegated to the State Department certain reporting requirements in the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, but there are several agencies who weigh in on the content.

As reported, one of the sections of Ukraine Freedom Support Act, adopted in mid-December, provides reporting by the President of the United States on possible deliveries of defensive weapons to Ukraine, conducting exercises and training of military personnel. The deadline set by this law passed on February 15.

https://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/jenpsak-u-s-to-report-on-sending-lethal-weapons-to-ukraine/

“America on a War Footing”– Dennis Kucinich condemns HR 5859 and its late night approval by just three members of Congress

The three members of Congress who did this:
Rep. Ed Royce (California)
Rep. Eliot Engel (New  York)
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio)

Rep. Jim Gerlach (Pennsylvania) wrote HR 5859.
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America on a War Footing: Three Members of Congress Just Reignited the Cold War While No One Was Looking
By former Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Posted at Global Research, December 16, 2014
http://www.globalresearch.ca/america-on-a-war-footing-three-members-of-congress-just-reignited-the-cold-war-while-no-one-was-looking/5420146
Truth Dig

Late Thursday night, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a far-reaching Russia sanctions bill, a hydra-headed incubator of poisonous conflict. The second provocative anti-Russian legislation in a week, it further polarizes our relations with Russia, helping to cement a Russia-China alliance against Western hegemony, and undermines long-term America’s financial and physical security by handing the national treasury over to war profiteers.

Here’s how the House’s touted “unanimity” was achieved: Under a parliamentary motion termed “unanimous consent,” legislative rules can be suspended and any bill can be called up. If any member of Congress objects, the motion is blocked and the bill dies.

At 10:23:54 p.m. on Thursday, a member rose to ask “unanimous consent” for four committees to be relieved of a Russia sanctions bill. At this point the motion, and the legislation, could have been blocked by a single member who would say “I object.”  No one objected, because no one was watching for last-minute bills to be slipped through.

Most of the House and the media had emptied out of the chambers after passage of the $1.1 trillion government spending package.

The Congressional Record will show only three of 425 members were present on the floor to consider the sanctions bill. Two of the three feigned objection, creating the legislative equivalent of a ‘time out.’ They entered a few words of support, withdrew their “objections” and the clock resumed.

According to the clerk’s records, once the bill was considered under unanimous consent, it was passed, at 10:23:55 p.m., without objection, in one recorded, time-stamped second, unanimously.

Then the House adjourned.

I discovered, in my 16 years in Congress, that many members seldom read the legislation on which they vote. On Oct. 24, 2001, House committees spent long hours debating the Patriot Act. At the last minute, the old bill was swapped out for a version with draconian provisions. I voted against that version of the Patriot Act, because I read it. The legislative process requires attention.

Legislation brought before Congress under “unanimous consent” is not read by most members simply because copies of the bill are generally not available. During the closing sessions of Congress I would often camp out in the House chamber, near the clerk’s desk, prepared to say “I object” when something of consequence appeared out of the blue. Dec. 11, 2014, is one of the few times I regret not being in Congress to have the ability to oversee the process.

The Russia Sanctions bill that passed “unanimously,” with no scheduled debate, at 10:23:55 p.m. on Dec. 11, 2014, includes: 1. Sanctions of Russia’s energy industry, including Rosoboronexport and Gazprom.

  1. Sanctions of Russia’s defense industry, with respect to arms sales to Syria.
  2. Broad sanctions on Russians’ banking and investments.
  3. Provisions for privatization of Ukrainian infrastructure, electricity, oil, gas and renewables, with the help of the World Bank and USAID.
  4. Fifty million dollars to assist in a corporate takeover of Ukraine’s oil and gas sectors.
  5. Three hundred and fifty million dollars for military assistance to Ukraine, including anti-tank, anti-armor, optical, and guidance and control equipment, as well as drones.
  6. Thirty million dollars for an intensive radio, television and Internet propaganda campaign throughout the countries of the former Soviet Union.
  7. Twenty million dollars for “democratic organizing” in Ukraine.
  8. Sixty million dollars, spent through groups like the National Endowment for Democracy, “to improve democratic governance, and transparency, accountability [and] rule of law” in Russia. What brilliant hyperbole to pass such a provision the same week the Senate’s CIA torture report was released.
  9. An unverified declaration that Russia has violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, is a nuclear “threat to the United States” and should be held “accountable.”
  10. A path for the U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty, which went into force in 1988. The implications of this are immense. An entire series of arms agreements are at risk of unraveling. It may not be long before NATO pushes its newest client state, Ukraine, to abrogate the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Ukraine signed when it gave up its nuclear weapons, and establish a renewed nuclear missile capability, 300 miles from Moscow.
  11. A demand that Russia verifiably dismantle “any ground launched cruise missiles or ballistic missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers …”—i.e., 300 and 3,300 miles.

Read the legislation, which Congress apparently didn’t.

As reported on GlobalSecurity.org, earlier that same day in Kiev, the Ukrainian parliament approved a security plan that will:

  1. Declare that Ukraine should become a “military state.”
  2. Reallocate more of its approved 2014 budget for military purposes.
  3. Put all military operating units on alert.
  4. Mobilize military and national guard units.
  5. Increase military spending in Ukraine from 1 percent of GDP to 5 percent, increasing military spending by $3 billion over the next few years.
  6. Join NATO and switch to NATO military standards.

Under the guise of democratizing, the West stripped Ukraine of its sovereignty with a U.S.-backed coup, employed it as a foil to advance NATO to the Russian border and reignited the Cold War, complete with another nuclear showdown.

The people of Ukraine will be less free, as their country becomes a “military state,” goes into hock to international banks, faces structural readjustments, privatization of its public assets, decline of social services, higher prices and an even more severe decline in its standard of living.

In its dealings with the European Union, Ukraine could not even get concessions for its citizens to find work throughout Europe. The West does not care about Ukraine, or its people, except for using them to seize a strategic advantage against Russia in the geopolitical game of nations.

Once, with the help of the West, Ukraine fully weighs in as a “military state” and joins the NATO gun club, its annual defense budget will be around $3 billion, compared with the current defense budget of Russia, which is over $70 billion.

Each Western incitement creates a Russian response, which is then given as further proof that the West must prepare for the very conflict it has created, war as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

That the recent Russia sanctions bill was advanced, “unanimously,” without debate in the House, portends that our nation is sleepwalking through the graveyards of history, toward an abyss where controlling factors reside in the realm of chance, what Thomas Hardy termed “crass casualty.” Such are the perils of unanimity.

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Here is the chain of events and the speeches made:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/R?r113:FLD001:H60307

UKRAINE FREEDOM SUPPORT ACT OF 2014 — (House of Representatives – December 11, 2014)

[Page: H10305] GPO’s PDF

Mr. ROYCE. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, Oversight and Government Reform, and the Judiciary be discharged from further consideration of the bill (H.R. 5859) to impose sanctions with respect to the Russian Federation, to provide additional assistance to Ukraine, and for other purposes, and ask for its immediate consideration in the House.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Wagner). Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from California?

Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, reserving the right to object, although I don’t intend to object, this is a very important measure. We need to send this measure to the President’s desk, and we need to do so tonight. I am delighted that we are doing so.

It is clear that Russia is not only fomenting separatism in Ukraine, it is actively supporting the uprising and sending troops to back it up. This is an invasion, plain and simple.

I am concerned that the Kremlin’s designs don’t stop with Ukraine. Putin is already putting substantial pressure on our NATO allies and our European friends. We must not bow to his aggression.

If we don’t act now, where will we be in 6 months? Where will we be in 2 years? Where will we be in a decade?

Since the Cold War, a vision has emerged of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. That reality is within reach. Putin’s aggression puts that future in dire jeopardy. We cannot let that hope die.

We need to let President Putin know loudly and clearly we will not stand for his blatant disregard of international law, we will not abandon our friends, and, as the United States, we remain the world’s champion of freedom, democracy, and the dignity of all people.

Madam Speaker, I would like to commend the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for sending the House this bill so that we can stand as one in the face of Russia’s aggression. In the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Chairman Royce and I, as ranking member, have worked together to say that we will not stand for Putin’s aggression.

I think this is a very, very important thing to do, very important bill to pass.

With that, I withdraw my reservation of objection.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from California?

Ms. KAPTUR. Madam Speaker, reserving the right to object, though I don’t intend to object, I would like to stand this evening and say, as cochair of the Ukranian Caucus, along with my dear colleagues, Jim Gerlach of Pennsylvania, and the ranking member of the full committee, Congressman Eliot Engel of New York, I stand in strong support of H.R. 5859, a measure that allows America to shine the hope of liberty to the distant land of Ukraine, a measure that we hope to send to the President’s desk very soon, and we need to move it tonight.

It is clear that Russia is actively fomenting upheaval and propagandizing in the West about its illegal invasion. It is an invasion, plain and simple, of a sovereign nation. The Kremlin’s designs don’t stop with Ukraine, and we see substantial pressure being placed on our NATO allies and other European friends. Liberty cannot bow to Putin’s aggression.

Six months ago, when Russia invaded Ukraine, 4,000 more Ukrainian lives were existing and have been taken. Just according to the U.N. 1,000 additional lives have been lost since the cease-fire that was negotiated in September, and approximately 13 lives per day are being lost.

Since the cold war, a vision has emerged of a Europe whole, free, and at peace, and that reality is within reach. Putin’s reckless aggression cannot stand. The United States cannot let the hope of liberty die, surely, in a land where its people have historically suffered more than any other place on Earth. The ravages of World War II still sting their memory and ours, and motivate our actions here tonight.

By approving H.R. 5859, America sends a clear signal to the world that we are the standard bearer of liberty at home and abroad. I am very pleased to join my colleagues this evening.

I thank the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for sending the House this bill.

With that, I withdraw my reservation of objection.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from California?

There was no objection.

US-NATO delivering arms to Ukraine; the planning of aggression against Russia

From Global Research, December 15, 2014
By Stephen Lendman
http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-nato-delivering-arms-to-ukraine-the-planning-of-aggression-against-russia/5419850

Despite claiming otherwise. Big Lies substituting for hard truths. Longstanding US-controlled NATO policy. Ignored by media pundits reporting nothing.

Kiev wants Donbas democracy crushed. Hardline rule replacing it. Naked aggression waged to force-feed policy.

Illegitimate oligarch president Petro Poroshenko’s so-called “day(s) of silence” are meaningless. Subterfuge. Quiet before the storm.

Poroshenko threatened “total war” on Russia. “(F)ull-scale war” on Donbas. “Better prepared than” earlier.

Armed with covertly supplied US weapons and munitions. Unanimously passed identical House and Senate legislation makes it easier.

The Ukraine Freedom Support Act (UFSA) of 2014 authorizes lethal and non-lethal aid. Besides what’s already being supplied.

Including communications equipment. Body armor. Night vision goggles. Humvees. Radar. Counter-mortar detection units. Binoculars. Small boats. Various other gear.

Sniper and assault rifles. Hand grenade launchers. Mortars and shells. Stingers. Anti-tank missiles. What’s known may be the tip of the iceberg.

UFSA legislation “authoriz(ing) (Obama) to provide defense articles, defense services, and training to the Government of Ukraine for the purpose of countering offensive weapons and reestablishing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine…”

“(I)ncluding anti-tank and anti-armor weapons, crew weapons and ammunition, counter-artillery radars to identify and target artillery batteries, fire control, range finder, and optical and guidance and control equipment, tactical troop-operated surveillance drones, and secure command and communications equipment.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia “will not be able to leave this without a response.” Especially if new US sanctions are imposed.

Ryabkov blamed US “anti-Russian moods.” Trying “to dictate decisions to us that for us are categorically unacceptable.” Destroying chances for cooperation.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich responded to hostile US legislation, saying:

“Both houses of the US Congress have approved the Ukraine Freedom Support Act bypassing debates and proper voting. The overtly confrontational message of the new law cannot but evoke profound regret.”

“Once again Washington is leveling baseless sweeping accusations against Russia and threatening more sanctions. At the same time it is muddling together the Ukrainian and Syrian conflicts, which the United States has been instrumental in inflating. It even refers to the INF Treaty although American compliance with it is questionable, to put it mildly. At the same time, it promises to Kiev to arm its military operation in Donbass and openly admits that it intends to use NGOs for an impact on Russia’s domestic processes.”

“Though it appears that major challenges to international security demand pooled Russian and American efforts, US legislators follow President Obama’s administration destroying the very foundation of partnership. Bilateral relations are being torpedoed no less powerfully than by the notorious Jackson-Vanik amendment, endorsed in 1974 to obstruct cooperation for several decades. We cannot but conclude that, blinded by outdated phobias, the United States is anxious to reverse time. As the US Congress instigates anti-Russian sanctions, it should part with the illusion of their effect. Russia will not be intimidated into giving up its interests and tolerating interference in its internal affairs.”

Washington is directly involved in planning and directing Kiev’s naked aggression. Covertly since conflict began last April.

UFSA legislation does more than authorize arming Ukraine. It directs John Kerry to work with Ukrainian officials. Helping them reduce Russian gas imports.

Instructs Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) overseeing all US civilian and international media to submit an action plan to Congress. Continue reading