On a Sunday morning more than two weeks after four U.S. soldiers were ambushed and killed in Niger, Rep. Walter Jones sat at the desk in his North Carolina office, doing what he’s done more than 11,000 times in 14 years: signing letters to families of the dead troops.
That is how Martha Waggoner begins her Monday Associated Press article relating the regret United States House of Representatives Member Walter Jones (R-NC) feels for voting in 2002 for the US invasion of Iraq and how he has channeled that regret into actions Jones calls “penance” that include sending letters to families of troops killed in the Iraq War and other US military actions overseas.
In addition to sending these letters, Jones, who is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board, has pushed for Congress to undertake its constitutional responsibility of debating and voting on the starting or continuing of US military actions overseas, such as the Afghanistan War that Jones has worked hard to end, instead of leaving the decision to use military force to the executive branch.
Media Matters published an article Wednesday with the provocative title “How Matt Drudge became the pipeline for Russian propaganda.” The explanation offered in the article for the title’s grand claim, however, would be convincing only to someone who has no familiarity with what the Drudge Report, founded and edited by Matt Drudge, is.
Here is the argument made in the article for how the Drudge Report is a Russian propaganda pipeline:
Drudge has for years used his site as a web traffic pipeline for Russian propaganda sites, directing his massive audience to nearly 400 stories from RT.com and fellow Russian-government-run English-language news sites SputnikNews.com and TASS.com since the beginning of 2012, according to a Media Matters review. Those numbers spiked in 2016, when Drudge collectively linked to the three sites 122 times.
It may seem like the people at Media Matters are onto something until you consider how the Drudge Report website works. It is a news aggregating website that, on its homepage, presents many phrases or even single words in hypertext. Click on one of the hypertext items and you immediately access a linked article, video, image, or other information at its own website. Also, these hypertext items, and the information linked from them, at the Drudge Report change frequently so the website can maintain its popularity as a source for breaking and up-to-date information.
The Senate Intelligence Authorization Act (SB 1761), introduced Friday by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and already approved by the committee, concludes with a one sentence section – Section 623 – that appears to threaten WikiLeaks with potential harsh actions. The section categorizes the news organization, which helps expose information obtained from whistleblowers, as resembling “a non-state hostile intelligence service.”
“Senior leaders” of WikiLeaks, such as Julian Assange who will not leave the Ecuador Embassy in London for fear of being arrested and sent to the United States for detention or prosecution, are also included in the categorization.
Section 623 of the bill reads in full:
SEC. 623. Sense of Congress on WikiLeaks.
It is the sense of Congress that WikiLeaks and the senior leadership of WikiLeaks resemble a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors and should be treated as such a service by the United States.
Writing Tuesday at the Daily Beast, Spencer Ackerman noted the section’s language “echoes almost exactly CIA director Mike Pompeo’s scathing April speech calling WikiLeaks a ‘non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,’ a departure from the ‘I love WikiLeaks‘ rhetoric from then-candidate Trump.”
United States House of Representatives Member Walter Jones (R-NC) has for years ardently advocated terminating US involvement in the Afghanistan War. Jones’ efforts in this regard include his legislation introduced in the House, letters to US presidents and congressional leaders, interviews, and House floor speeches.
What often most surprises people is that this prominent proponent of ending the war represents a district with a population largely composed of current and retired US military members and their families. In such a district, people may suppose that advocating for peace would be unpopular. Yet, Jones has continued winning reelection despite well-funded efforts to defeat him.
Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) announced on Monday that he will not seek reelection in 2018 to the United States House of Representatives. In addition to being one of the longest-serving Republican members of the House (representing the second district of Tennessee since 1988), Duncan, who argues that being antiwar is a conservative position, is also one of the House’s strongest proponents for peace.
In his April of 2015 editorial “A Return to The Peace Party,” Duncan lamented the Republican Party drifting toward being a war-supporting party and argued that it should revert to its past position as the peace party. “When I was a teenager,” Duncan wrote, “I remember reading a publication from the Republican National Committee that said, ‘Democrats start wars, Republicans end them.’” Duncan wrote in the editorial that he not only thought the party’s shift toward hawkishness is wrong but also declared, “I think it is a recipe for defeat if my Republican party becomes known as a party favoring permanent, forever wars – war without end.”
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) and his legislation (HR 1666) to end the US government’s war in Afghanistan were the subject of a short and informative report on WNCT-TV in Greenville, North Carolina this week. “Here we are sworn by the Constitution to have the responsibility to debate to send our young men and women to die in war, and we don’t do it,” Jones states in the television report. Jones further notes that the costs of America’s longest war continue to increase despite the Congress failing to even debate the war since 2001, stating that, 16 years after the Afghanistan War began, “we’ve spent almost a trillion dollars, 2,000 Americans have been killed, 20,000 wounded.”
Watch the report here:
Jones and HR 1666 cosponsor Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) spoke in more depth about their legislation and the Afghanistan War in a joint interview on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal in March.
Jones is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board.