House Votes Down Amendments To Cut ‘Outrageous’ Military Budget

Progressive campaigners rebuked members of Congress who on Wednesday night voted down a pair of amendments to the latest National Defense Authorization Act that would have significantly limited the U.S. military budget.

With the US House of Representatives set to vote this week on the NDAA for fiscal year 2023, progressive Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) sought to include two amendments in $839 billion bill.

One of the measures would have reduced the overall Pentagon budget by $100 billion, while the other would have rescinded the $37 billion in additional Pentagon funding added in committee to President Joe Biden’s topline request. The former measure was defeated by a vote of 78-350, while the latter was voted down 151-277.

“We are racing toward a trillion-dollar military budget that tolerates and encourages mind-blowing waste, rewards military-industrial complex political spending with unfathomably large contracts – and fails to address priority national security needs,” Robert Weissman, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, said in a statement.

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‘You Don’t Got This’: Peace Group Blasts NYC’s New Nuclear Survival PSA

Peace advocates on Tuesday derided a New York City public service announcement meant to prepare residents for a nuclear attack as a 21st-century version of the absurd Duck and Cover civil defense film of the early Cold War era.

“So, there’s been a nuclear attack,” the narrator of the NYC Emergency Management video begins. “Don’t ask me how or why, just know the big one has hit.”

“So what do we do?” she continues before instructing viewers to “get inside, fast,” “stay inside… and get clean immediately,” and “stay tuned; follow media for more information.”

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‘Sad Day for Western Democracy’: Chomsky, Ellsberg, Others Denounce Assange Extradition

As supporters of Julian Assange held a news conference Friday at the United Kingdom’s consulate in New York to demand freedom for the jailed WikiLeaks founder, a trio of leading leftist figures decried the British government’s approval of the ailing Australian’s extradition to the United States.

In a statement published ahead of Friday’s press conference, the three chairs of the Assange Defense Committee – linguist and political dissident Noam Chomsky, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker – blasted U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel’s greenlighting of Assange’s transfer to the U.S. earlier in the day. Assange plans to appeal the decision.

“It’s a sad day for Western democracy. The UK’s decision to extradite Julian Assange to the nation that plotted to assassinate him – the nation that wants to imprison him for 175 years for publishing truthful information in the public interest – is an abomination,” the trio said, referring to an alleged 2017 CIA scheme to kidnap or kill the WikiLeaks founder.

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Israeli Cops Won’t Be Punished for Attack on Shireen Abu Akleh’s Funeral

No Israeli police officers will be punished, despite brutally assaulting mourners at last month’s funeral procession for slain Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a leading newspaper in Israel reported Thursday.

According toHaaretz, the decision to not hold any police commanders or officers accountable for their misconduct during Abu Akleh’s May 13 funeral was made in advance of the official investigation.

As thousands of mourners made their way through occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli police attacked the cortege with batons, stun grenades, and tear gas, while stealing Palestinian flags from mourners and smashing the window of the hearse carrying Abu Akleh’s coffin. At one point, officers assaulted pallbearers carrying the casket, nearly causing them to drop it to the ground.

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US Asks Israel to Dial Back Oppression of Palestinians – But Just During Biden’s Visit

The United States is asking Israel to refrain from certain violations of international law in Palestine during President Joe Biden’s visit to the apartheid state next month, according to a report published Wednesday.

Axios reports U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Barbara Leaf has asked the Israeli government to stop evicting Palestinians and demolishing their homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem – actions condemned as ethnic cleansing by human rights advocates.

Leaf also asked Israel to not make any decisions on building or expanding its exclusively Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, and to reduce military operations in the West Bank, until after Biden’s visit. Like the occupation, settlements are illegal under international law and constitute a form of apartheid, according to United Nations officials and human rights groups.

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New Demands for Yemen War Powers Resolution as Report Reveals Depth of US Complicity in Airstrike

A leading peace group on Monday said a new report detailing the depth of US support for Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen – hundreds of which have been called war crimes by international legal experts – shows the need for Congress to pass a recently introduced measure to end American complicity in the one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

According to The Washington Post – which along with the Security Force Monitor (SFM) at Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute analyzed thousands of news reports and images to identify warplanes from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that have attacked Yemen – “a substantial portion of the air raids were carried out by jets developed, maintained, and sold by US companies, and by pilots who were trained by the US military.”

This, despite a February 2021 pledge by President Joe Biden to end US support for “offensive operations” in the Saudi-led war – a promise that has been repeatedly sidestepped via arms sales and a $500 million maintenance contract.

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