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Pelosi doubletalk costs US taxpayers
half-trillion dollars and counting

No laughing matter: U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) has supported
a half-trillion dollars in appropriations for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan
under the doubletalk guise of "no blank check for Iraq."
Photo by Luke Thomas

By John Han

August 19, 2007

Political action committee MoveOn.org released a report Thursday indicating U.S. taxpayers have coughed up almost half-trillion dollars for the war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Citing a vote by Congress last month that appropriated an additional $100 billion dollars for the war, the group estimates the total funding for the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan has reached a whopping $456 billion, nine times the $50 to $60 billion estimated in late 2002 by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, President George W. Bush's Budget Director at the time.

California taxpayers have contributed as much as $57.8 billion while Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco constituents have contributed $1.2 billion, according to the report.

The figures were announced at a San Francisco rally in Union Square Friday where members of MoveOn.org lit a Christmas tree decorated with photos of U.S service personnel. The protestors sang holiday carols urging Congress to "Bring the troops home for the holidays."

The report estimates the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan could ultimately cost U.S. taxpayers $1 trillion, 1/3 the annual federal budget.

Susan Gordon, a member of MoveOn.org, said Iraq war funding has forced congressional budgetary cuts in domestic spending for healthcare, education, infrastructure and the fight against global warming.

"With the $1.18 billion that the war has cost just California's 8th district, we here could have gotten healthcare for 483,200 people, " Gordon said. "A half-trillion dollars has been wasted on a war with no end in sight. Just think of what better things we could have done in our district with $1.18 billion."

Susan Gordon
Photo by John han

Congress is expected to vote in September for President Bush's request for an additional $145 billion in support of the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan through September of 2008.

It is also expected that Pelosi's "support for the troops" will result in her voting to support the appropriation, effectively continuing the U.S. occupation of Iraq and further placing U.S. troops in harms way for a war widely perceived to be based on lies and deception.

But according to former Surgical Assistant Joe Wheeler, who served in Iraq in 2003, as many as 90 percent of U.S. troops do not support the war.

"I'd say 90% of the people out there - the soldiers that are in Iraq - do not support the war," he said, "but it's illegal for them to speak out."

"In fact people who have even gotten out of the military and have been honorably discharged who are doing things like I'm doing here today - speaking to you and telling you the truth about what's going on - have been threatened by the military, have had their honorable discharges changed from honorable to dishonorable," Wheeler added.

Joe Wheeler
Photo by John han

To date, 3,706 U.S. service personnel have been killed in Iraq, 27,409 have been wounded or maimed for life, and as many as 655,000 Iraqis have lost their lives since hostilities began in March, 2003.

Pelosi refuses to call for articles of impeachment against Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for their crimes against humanity and for underminding the U.S. constitution with unconstitutional warrantless wiretapping. Pelosi also refuses to meet with her constituents who oppose Pelosi's support for the Bush administration's war.

Gordon announced a day of action will be held in San Francisco and nationwide on August 28 to show democrats that they need to fight harder to "force President Bush to agree to a timeline to bring our troops home."

Code Pink cofounder Medea Benjamin said she was glad to be at the rally with fellow citizens who understand the depth of their responsibility to help bring about a timeline for withdrawal.

"We know that the violence that we unleashed in Iraq is going to be very hard to stop. We know as long as we have our troops there, there will never be an end to the violence," Benjamin said.

"The only possibility of ending it is a timeline for withdrawal and a serious call to the international community to get on board and work with the Iraqis for a reconciliation project."

Code Pink cofounder Medea Benjamin
Photo by Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas contributed to this report.





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