Strongest Antiwar Statement Yet from a Congressional Candidate

In this local TV news interview (video), we see Virginia Fifth District Democratic nominee for Congress Lawrence Gaughan say, “We need to get back to the Constitution on the issue of war, and I will never authorize the executive to use force when there is no direct or imminent threat to our national security here on our soil.”

I’m not aware of a stronger statement from any candidate for Congress.

Virginia’s Fifth District is currently misrepresented by Republican Robert Hurt who on Thursday voted against blocking funds for a new war on Iraq:

Lee (D-CA) Amendment No. 31 – Prohibits funds from being used to conduct combat operations in Iraq. – REJECTED 165 – 250


Lee (D-CA) Amendment No. 33 – Prohibits funds from being used pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq Resolution of 2002. – REJECTED 182 – 231

Prior to Hurt, VA-05 was misrepresented by Democrat Tom Perriello, an enthusiastic warmonger who recently moved to the State Department from the Center for American Progress, which is advocating for missile strikes on Iraq.

Prior to Perriello, this district was embarrassed and disgraced by Democrat turned Republican Virgil Goode.

When people voted for Perriello (and Obama) in 2008, many blindly followed a party line, and many fantasized that they were electing an anti-war representative.

Many imagined Hurt was hopeless in this regard, although he did prove willing in the end to oppose missile strikes into Syria.

Now, as it happens, there appears to be an opportunity to vote for someone who is actually running on an antiwar platform, not just a platform of being from a different party than Bush and Cheney.  And what a platform!

It’s quite common to say you’ll only back wars when “U.S. national interests are at stake” or when the U.S. is threatened, but those phrases can usually be defined to mean anything at all, including U.S. troops halfway around the globe getting into a shoot out.  That’s not what Gaughan has said.  He has said there must be a threat to the United States in the United States.  That’s a rejection of at least the past 70 years of U.S. war making.

It’s also common to claim that one will take a decent position against wars if asked by the President.  That’s not what Gaughan has said.  He has said that he will abide by the Constitution, which does not allow presidents to make wars, and that he will not permit the executive to wage wars except under the narrow circumstances described.

We’re not going to find better than this around here for a long, long time to come, and I doubt anybody can find better elsewhere in the country.

I therefore suggest that wherever you live, you consider supporting putting this man in Congress.

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  • Carl_Herman

    Yeah, ok, given Congress is more than half lawyers and none of those people can say the wars are illegal, I guess Lawrence’s statement is some improvement. That is, if one wants to parse rhetoric.

    I’ll contact him and see if he can take what seems like a required step: the wars are unlawful. I’ll advise him such a step to state “emperor has no clothes” obviousness could get him killed, of course.

    David: your “We’re way beyond war weary” video is powerfully stated:

  • Carl_Herman

    So, readers, you may know that David has walked the walk in working with Congress and US government leaders (and so-called “leaders” who are Orwellian criminals). I worked with Congress and such leaders of both varieties for 18 years working to end poverty with the citizens’ lobby, RESULTS.

    Do you want to step-up to walking the walk with us? If so, all it takes is your voice. On this topic with Lawrence, if this among thousands of avenues is of interest, contact him. Have another topic that’s better for you? Go for it.

    I just did and wrote this (cc-d to David):

    Hi Lawrence (and receiving staff member),

    I’m a friend and colleague of David Swanson, who just published an article in your support on the influential Washington’s Blog.

    As you may know from David, a game-changing argument to end these lie-began US wars is that they are illegal. David is the leading writer to explain and document the fact that war law from two world wars is accurately summarized:

    Armed attack is unlawful War of Aggression unless attacked by another nation’s government.

    I’m among those in alternative media also communicating this fact. Please reach-out to David and/or me (and whatever other resources you find; we’re all willing to help) if you find we can be helpful in this strong statement. Please be aware that such a step is dangerous, and should be taken only if you truly wish to honor an Oath to the Constitution.

    Here’s some of my latest work to explain and document war law, and that US wars are tragic-comic unlawful (my background includes helping create and deliver ~300 briefs to Congress):

    Earth: 248 armed conflicts after WW2; US started 201 (81%), killing 30 million so far. Arrests are when now?

    US unlawful wars is ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ tragic-comedy: defining ‘clothes,’ ‘wear,’ ‘self-defense’

    US military legal argument for current wars: ‘Self-defense’ is whatever we say

    Best wishes,

    Carl Herman

    • Carl_Herman

      And Joshua, Lawrence’s campaign manager, just replied:


      I will be speaking to Lawrence at great lengths about this. He is of the same belief as far as the legality of these wars. We will speak soon, I am sure of that.


      Joshua Norris
      Campaign Manager

      ** Readers: if Lawrence will go for this issue, I’ll support and write on this topic 🙂

  • Rehmat

    Forget what Lawrence Gaughan says now. When, and if elected, he will have to dance to the tune of the AIPAC for his survival. American politicians are known for twisting their moral values once they’re in power. Remember how Sen. Chuck Hagel transformed himself from an “anti-Semite” to a “defender of Israel”.

  • Slavery 101, continued…

  • Undecider

    Then comes the “war on terror.” He’ll have his “emergency” that necessitates the deployment of troops. With a virtual gun in his back, he’ll deliver the speech stressing the urgent case for war.