Microwave Biscuit

Letter to Congress

Posted in Politics by microwavebiscuit on February 21, 2007

Today we have the power to easily contact our congress people via the internet. A few weeks ago I wrote an email to several members of congress including my own state senators. The purpose of my note was to comment on the treatment of our armed forces men and women. You see, I travel quite a bit for work and I see tons of service people in uniform being treated terribly by the TSA and the Airlines. Regardless of your opinion on the war in Iraq, there is no excuse for what I see on a weekly basis. I have seen airlines charging military personnel extra baggage charges for their military duffles, I see the TSA confiscating deodorant from them because it’s more than 3 ounces, etc. It’s just ridiculous to me to see this happen. In my opinion, men and women of the armed forces who have a valid military ID and are traveling with orders should be exempted from extraordinary searches and policies. Seriously, if we can’t trust them who can we trust? If someone in the army is going to Iraq and wants to have a little extra mouth wash or deodorant I have no problem with it.

In any case, that’s the gist of the note that I sent to the various members or congress. Here are the two responses received so far:

1. Senator John Cornyn – R – Texas:

Dear Mr. Biscuit:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the United States’ policy toward Iraq. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this matter.

Liberation from Saddam Hussein’s oppressive rule was Iraq’s first step on the long road to democracy. Although there were real disagreements over how to deal with the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, we all agree that a democratic, stable, and prosperous Iraq is in the best interest of its citizens, the region, and the international community. Indeed, the world is safer because this brutal dictator was removed from power.

I remain deeply concerned about the level of sectarian violence in Iraq. Despite the successful 2005 elections and constitutional referendum, in which large numbers of Iraqis participated, violence between Shiites and Sunnis increased dramatically in 2006—due primarily to the Al Qaeda bombing of a sacred Shiite mosque in Samarra in February 2006. Unfortunately, the nascent Iraqi government has been unable to end this wave of sectarian violence.

It is critical that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Iraqi government work aggressively to broker a political settlement among Shiites, Kurds, and Sunnis that ends the violence. Though the United States can help improve Iraq’s short-term security situation with additional military personnel, in the end, it is up to the Iraqis to determine the success of their democracy.

I appreciate the efforts of the Iraq Study Group (ISG) to provide recommendations for success in Iraq, and I agree with the ISG assessment that a premature withdrawal of American forces from Iraq would not be in our national security interests. The consequences of failure in Iraq are severe. Indeed, failure to lay the foundation for a stable Iraq would result in a greater terrorist threat to our nation—especially as Iran seeks to extend its influence in the region and Al Qaeda tries to establish an Islamic caliphate that would serve as a base of terrorist operations. Unfortunately, Iran and Syria continue to pursue policies that undermine stability in Iraq, allowing foreign fighters to cross their borders and providing insurgents with weaponry that has been used to kill American military personnel.

We all want our troops home as soon as possible, but our military strategy in Iraq must be based on clear national security considerations. We owe it to all Americans to establish a strategy for victory, and to support it—with one voice. I look forward to working with President Bush and my congressional colleagues in a bipartisan manner to establish a way forward in Iraq that will lead to a safer world for us all.

I appreciate having the opportunity to represent the interests of Texans in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.

Sincerely,

JOHN CORNYN
United States Senator

517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856
http://www.cornyn.senate.gov

At least he addressed me by name…

2. Senator Joe Lieberman – D – Connecticut

Dear Friend:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me. I appreciate the opportunity to know your opinions on the pressing issues facing our nation. Regrettably, due to the huge volume of mail that I receive, I am only able to research and address comments sent to me from Connecticut residents. If you are not from Connecticut, you may want to consider sending a message to the Senators from your state of residence. You can do so by visiting http://www.senate.gov/ for a link to the web sites of each member of the United State Senate. If you are currently residing out of state, but are still a Connecticut resident or have a connection to Connecticut, please be certain to use your Connecticut address or indicate your Connecticut connection in the first paragraph of your email.

I value having the benefit of your thoughtful concerns, since I do receive detailed weekly reports from my staff providing a sampling of comments from across the country on timely issues before Congress.

My official Senate web site is an excellent source of information about my work here. As you know, you can access the site at http://lieberman.senate.gov. I encourage you to visit my web site, or if you have already done so, to return to it often. I am also pleased to let you know that I have launched an email news update service through my web site. You can sign up for that service by visiting http://lieberman.senate.gov and clicking on the “Subscribe Email News Updates” button at the bottom of the home page. I hope these are informative and useful.

Thank you again for letting me know your views and concerns.

Sincerely,

Joseph I. Lieberman

UNITED STATES SENATOR

So, as you can see contacting your senator with your views is responded to in a favorable way (sarcasm).

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4 Responses

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  1. Eduardo Gonzalez said, on February 22, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    Dear Senator,

    I belive that we should change America from a society where all people have equal rights to one with two classes the “Warrior” class and the “Normal” class. The Warrior class would inherently have more “trust” than the normal class so that they can get through airport security without the same restrictions everyone else has becase obviously people with classified knowledge of terrorist weapons and explosives can be trusted. And of course no terrorist sleeper cells would ever think about having a member join the army to explot this trust.

    Sincerely,
    Eduardo Gonzalez

  2. microwavebiscuit said, on February 22, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    That’s pretty funny. I guess the reason for my post was not so much to justify my feelings on the issue as to expose the futility of contacting the senate. As a further response, I’m not suggesting that the “warriors” get completely exempted from searches. There have been proposals and some implementations of a “registered traveler” program where people like you and me can pay a fee to have our background’s checked, etc. to get expedited clearance through security at the airports. As someone who flies every week that seems like a great idea. However, shouldn’t our soldiers get the same benefit? Aren’t they already “cleared” from terrorist lists and such? If the terrorists have “infiltrated” our military we have way bigger issues…

  3. Michael Heukels said, on February 22, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    Take the senator responses & respond with a request for clarification re: how their letter to you addresses your concern. If you thought round 1 was funny.

  4. microwavebiscuit said, on February 22, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Excellent idea. Done.


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