Open Letter From DNC Delegates to Joe Biden: Hire New Foreign Policy Advisors

(submitted to the Biden for President campaign on 8/10/20)

As delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, we urge you, the presumptive nominee for President, to ensure your top foreign policy advisors have a track record for advocating and implementing diplomatic solutions rather than disastrous military interventions involving invasions, occupations, torture and drone attacks.

We understand that your most trusted foreign policy advisors include former White House aides who have demonstrated poor judgment on national security issues:

• Antony Blinken, your longtime Senate foreign policy aide and former Deputy National Security Advisor, crafted your support for the horrific Iraq invasion. A co-founder of WestExec Advisors, Blinken’s company pitched the Pentagon on awarding military contracts to Silicon Valley companies to develop facial recognition software for drone warfare. In a briefing with the Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) last May, Blinken said Biden “would not tie military assistance to Israel to any political decisions that it makes. Period. Full stop.” Israel has threatened to annex the Jordan Valley in occupied Palestine.

• Nicholas Burns, a National Security Council staff member under Presidents H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, supported the invasion of Iraq, and called Edward Snowden a traitor after he blew the whistle on illegal government wiretapping of private U.S. citizens.

• Avril Haines, former Deputy Director of the CIA and Deputy National Security Advisor, drew up weekly kill lists for drone operations targeting multiple Middle Eastern countries. Haines was part of the team that redacted the Senate’s landmark report on Bush-era torture, and she subverted the CIA Inspector General by refusing to discipline CIA personnel who hacked the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computer network, including Committee staff’s email about the investigation of torture. Until recently Haines worked for Palantir, a tech company that partners with ICE to digitally profile immigrants for deportation.

• Samantha Power, a former United Nations ambassador, and Jake Sullivan, a former top aide to Hillary Clinton, helped persuade then President Obama to intervene militarily in Libya and to provide the Saudis with arms to go to war on Yemen, a country now in the grips of a humanitarian crisis.

• Michele Flournoy, former Undersecretary of Defense, senior advisor to the Boston Consulting Group that lobbies on behalf of arms merchants seeking government contracts. With Flournoy as senior advisor, the company’s military contracts ballooned from $1.6 million to $32 million in three years. After the House and Senate passed the War Powers Resolutions urging an end to United States involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, and weeks after the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist critical of Saudi leadership, Flournoy argued in January, 2019, to continue arming the Saudis. Flournoy is reportedly in line to become Secretary of Defense.

• Susan E. Rice, a former fellow at the Brookings Institution, argued for military intervention in Iraq, endorsing the Bush administration’s lies about weapons of mass destruction. She supported the Obama administration’s intervention in Libya and argued for intervention in Syria and presided over the CIA program ‘Operation Timber Sycamore’ that armed militants there; oversaw US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. She also asserted that ‘unwavering support for Israel’ — even as led by right-wing extremist Benjamin Netanyahu — was her imperative as UN Ambassador.”

• Amit Jani, your Asian American Pacific Islanders Outreach Coordinator, celebrated on Facebook India’s authoritarian Prime Minister Modi, long-shunned and once banned in the U.S., who oversees violent persecution of India’s minority Muslim population, stripping nearly 2-million of citizenship, overseeing the construction of mass detention centers; stripping Kashmir of statehood, imposing a communications blockade.

It is time to reject a foreign policy based on patronage of authoritarians, regime change, failed military interventions and world policing. The people of the United States are tired of squandering our resources on perpetual war and occupation that result in carnage, breed global resentment and drain our treasury of funds needed to address environmental sustainability, health care, housing and education at home.

As DNC delegates, we ask you not to rely on foreign policy advice from those who may have a conflict of interest as a result of their relationships and lobbying on behalf of merchants selling weapons and surveillance technology.

We ask you to appoint top foreign policy advisors whose records reflect good judgment and an understanding of the importance of diplomacy and international cooperation, particularly in the face of global climate catastrophe that poses an existential challenge. Going forward, we need to marshal our resources not to topple governments or to maintain 800 military bases overseas, but to ensure our planet survives the greatest environmental challenge of our time.

Thank you for listening,

2020 DNC Delegates

Marcy Winograd, CA CD-24
Hanieh Jodat Barnes, CA CD-45

Nadia Ahmad, FL CD-7
Sara W McCabe, FL CD-2
Stuart. Strickland, FL CD-26
Monica DePaul, FL CD-4
Larry Snider, FL CD-4
Jessica Cuellar, FL CD-25
Hillary Keyes, FL At-Large
Lenis Matias, FL CD-14
Nina Tatlock, FL CD-16
Christina Stewart, FL CD-9
Charlie Sunshine, FL CD-6
Elise Mysels, FL CD-12
Dakin Weekley, FL CD-26
James Langford, FL CD-7
Megan Carter, FL CD-9
Giancarlo Espinosa, FL CD-26
Michael Calderin, FL PLEO CD-22
Michele Brown, FL CD-18
Lisa Britto, FL-CD 10
Kristin Hoffman, FL CD-14
Lucinda Johnston, FL, CD-13
Gamal Gasser, FL, CD-15
Joseph Mullen, FL CD-23
William H. Davis, FL CD-5
Cavla Johnson, FL CD-15
Adraine Vanessa Lester, FL CD-15
Ricky Ly, FL CD-10
Ghazala Salam, FL CD-23

Magdalena Martinez, Georgia CD-13

Cody Hunter, SC CD-3

Cecile Crawford, NC CD-6
Duncan MacLeod, NC CD-4
Narissa Jimenez-Petchumrus, NC CD-4
Maya Ocean Wells, NC CD-12
Nazim Uddin, NC CD-12
Melody Pajak, NC CD-11
Italo Medelius, NC CD-4
Christopher Golding, NC CD-6
Walter Bolles, NC CD-2
Adrian Domenech Mercado, NC CD-7

Diego Jauregui, VA CD-10
Jennifer Ann Leister, VA CD-2
Zeina Hutchinson, VA CD-10
Leila T. Choudhury, VA CD-5
Iris Chadab, VA CD-8
Sandra J. Klassen, VA CD-11
Thomas Matthew Crews, VA CD-7
Joshua Elias Palmer, VA CD-7
Jonathan Tyler Kelly, VA CD-3
Josh Stanfield, VA CD-02
Aliyah Khan, VA CD-10

R Miller Wey, TN, CD-5
Erika Hastings, TN CD-8
Cassie Jackson, TN At-Large
Nathan Gentry, TN, CD-6
Erika Hastings, TN CD-8
Benjamin Smith, TN CD-2
Sam Bledsoe, TN CD-7
Sara Denny, TN CD-3

Ray Balaster, AR CD-3
Frank Klein, AR, CD-4
Veronica Jill Balaster, AR CD-3
Amanda Kennedy, AR CD-2

Katherine Rand, OK CD-4
Ann Marie Kennedy, OK CD-2
JoBeth Hamon, OK PLEO CD-5
Dex Johnson, OK CD-4
Bryan O’Brien, OK CD-1
Michael Smith, OK CD-4
Ann Marie Kennedy, OK CD-2
JoBeth Hamon, OK CD-5

Deborah Gressett, TX CD-15
Aftab.Siddiqui, TX PLEO CD-10
Chris Kutalik Cauthern, TX CD-14
Hatem Natsheh, TX
Hector Garza, TX CD-1
Marcos de R. Antuna, TX
Raquel Rojo, TX D-16
Jamie Mims, TX CD-1
Michelle Mitzi Rusk, TX CD-1
Michelle Kassel, TX
Vanessa Monique Sanchez, TX
Ariel Adolfo Gonzalez Jr., TX CD-15
Aaryaman Singhal, TX CD-23
Robin Derton, TX
CJ Cetina, TX CD-21
Pratyush Mallick, TX CD-8
Ernesto Gloria, TX CD-9
Ross Trivisonno, TX State Senate
CJ Cetina, TX CD-21
Jourdan Spence, TX PLEO CD-35
Lilith Brown, TX CD-31
Dayja Palma, TX CD-22
Linda Sandoval Foley, TX SD-12
Kailina Mills, TX SD-5
Prince E Winbush III, TX CD-2
Vanessa Monique Sanchez, TX SD-26
Chelsea Hernandez, TX CD-14
Robin Derton, TX PLEO CD-5
Tarah Taylor, TX CD-8
Xaq Webb, TX SD-05

Owen Goslin, MI CD-1
Duncan MacLeod, MI CD-3
Patrick MacLeod, MI CD-2
Janet Cannon, MI At-Large CD-12
Eli Pales, MI CD-8
Daniel B Moilanen, MI CD-5
Elizabeth Lancaster, MI CD-3
Huwaida Arraf-MI CD-10
Catherine Manigold, MI CD-2
Mark Ellis Bignell, MI CD-4
Matthew Kain, MI CD-14
Stephanie Terpening, MI CD-4
Susan Steigerwalt, MI CD-3
Sarah O’Brien, Elected DNC, MI CD-9
Peter Knox, MI CD-7
VICTORIA DOOLEY, MI CD-11
James Mitchell III, MI CD-14
Kyle Moxley, MI CD-8
Irina Cioaca, MI (alternate)
Julie Dye, MI CD-6
Megan E Kreger, MI CD-5

Adriana Barriga-Green, IL CD-8
Allan Max Axelrod, IL CD-13
Antonio Ibarra, IL CD-11
Jose Requena, IL CD-3
Miguel Bautista, IL CD-7
Dan Bailey, IL CD-6
Carolyn Townsend, IL CD-5
Joan Garnier, IL CD-16
Dan Bailey, IL CD-6
Georgia de la Garza, IL CD-12

Michael David Grom, OH Elected DNC
Patricia Blochowiak, OH, CD-11
Cathy Cowan Becker, OH CD-15
Samuel Caruso, OH CD-10
Cynthia Cox Ubaldo, OH CD-3
Quinn Gabriel Albright, OH CD-5
Coleman Alexander Williams, OH CD-2

Jack Cahill, PA CD-3
Anlin Wang, PA CD-3
Nelly Torres, PA CD-11
Karyn Hollis, PA CD-5
Jake Pawlak, PA CD-18
Taran Samarth, PA CD-12
Heather Pope, PA CD-3
Susan Caskey, PA CD-4
Anthony Downing, PA CD-7
Heather Pope, PA CD-3
Sergio Cea, PA CD-3
Amy Roat, PA CD-2

Maria Rinaldi, VT CD-1
Linda Gravell, VT

Rich Lyons, MA Elected DNC CD-3
Silvia Domi­nguez , MA CD-5
Melanie Brown-Lyons, MA Elected DNC CD-3
Sarah Rose Bookbinder Goldstein, MA CD-1
Sonya Bykofsky, MA CD-1
Robin L Bergman, MA CD-5
Jeannette Rivera, MA CD-1
Nelsie Yang, MA CD-2
Aimee j Dupont, MA CD-2
Tom Duke, MA CD-2
Isaac Bears, MA CD-5

Danny Markham, NJ CD-2

Pious Ali, ME AT LARGE CD-1

Jeff Cohen, NY CD-19
Jose Castillo, NY CD-9
Ryan McHugh, NY CD-23
Rachel J. .Bernstein, NY CD-7
Simran Nanda, NY CD-3
Robin Wilt, NY CD-25
Jared Trujillo, NY CD-10
Allen Roskoff, NY CD-10
Sonal Bhatia, NY CD-10
Maria Ordonez, NY CD-13

Chris Liquori, NH CD-1
Sebastian Fuentes, NH CD-2
Krishna Desai, NH CD-2

Jamie Moffa, MO CD-1
Natalie Vowell, MO PLEO CD-1
Jasnaam Grewal, MO CD-2
Philip Keisler, MO CD-1
Robert Cesario, MO CD-8
Matt Heskamp, MO CD-3
Brendan Ziebarth, MO At-Large
Gary Winston Apple, MO CD-5
Elise Carlson, MO CD05

Austin Wu, IA CD-2
Brian McLain, IA CD-3
Maria A. Juarez, IA CD-2

Sayan Grover, KS 3
Brendan Davison, KS 3
Avneet Sidhu, KS 3
LyLena Estabine, KS CD-3
Elise Fast, KS CD-2

Justice Peche, WI CD-8
Noel Ray, WI CD-4
Laura Cristina Valderrama, WI CD-2
Erin Ford, WI CD-3
Tommy Molina, WI CD-4
Jasmine Neosh, WI CD-8
William Walter, WI CD-5
Jeremy Gragert, WI CD-3
Isabel Klemmer, WI CD-16

Aimee J. Dupont, MN CD-2
Ben Baglio, MN CD-2
Briana Rose Lee, MN SD-46
Haaris Pasha, MN CD-2
Arlen Carey, MN CD-1
Duncan MacLeod, MN
Rachel Zhang, MN CD-1
Antonia Kidd, MN CD-5
Kate Lindgren, MN CD-7
Raquel Sidie-Wagner, MN CD-5

Judith Whitmer, NV PLEO, Delegation Chair
Mahalia Jaramillo, NV At-Large
Nathaniel Phillips, NV CD-4
Michelle M Miller, NV CD-4
Marcia Armstrong, NV CD-3
Eshaan Vakil, NV At-Large
John Day Solomon, NV CD-2
Leslie Sexton, NV CD-2
Massimo Balestra, NV CD-2
Isaac Chandler, NV CD-1
Michael Weiss, NV CD-3
Adam Berger, NV CD-3
Jacob Allen, NV CD-2
Yvette Williams, NV CD-1

Sam Bonge, AZ CD-8
Kassandra M Alvarez, AZ CD-7
Jana Rose Ochs, AZ CD-5
Sy Hargis, AZ CD-1
Kevin Loera, AZ CD-8
Will Lockhart, AZ CD-3
Heather Charles, AZ CD-3
Calli Jones, AZ CD-1
Leyna Negron, AZ CD-4
Kai Newkirk, AZ CD-9
Brianna Westbrook, AZ CD-8
Dan O’Neal, AZ CD-4
Martha (Patti) Serrano, AZ CD-5
Damian Preciado, AZ CD-7
Daniel Garcia, AZ CD-3
Jade Duran, AZ CD-9
Do Womack, AZ CD-2
LaDawn Stuben, AZ CD-9
Bryan Rasmussen, AZ CD-3
Casey Clowes, AZ
Veni Villalobos, AZ CD-3
Martin J. Quezada, AZ CD-3

Tim Johnson, NM CD-5
Samia Assed, NM, CD-1
Charles Powell, NM CD-1
Chris Larranaga, NM CD-1
Deborah Dapson, NM CD-3
Ricardo Damian Artalejo, NM CD-3
Kathleen McCord, NM CD-1

Giselle Diaz Campagna, CO CD-1
Jackie C Anderson, CO CD-6
Nita Lynch, CO CD-1
Samantha B Reynolds, CO CD-2
Jeri Shepherd, CO CD-4
Weston Roberts, CO CD-1
Noah Neumark, CO CD-6
Shaun Sindelman, CO CD-4
Bob McGrath, CO CD-7
Birrion Sondahl, CO CD-2
Elise Beall, CO CD-1
Jeeva Senthilnathan, CO CD-4
Anthony Maro, CO CD-5
Peter Abraham Fukuda Loewi, CO CD-1
Jeffry McKissack, CO CD-2
Leah Dinkin, CO CD-2
Dennis Obduskey, CO CD-3
Leah Dinkin, CO CD-2

Breanna Kirkbride UT CD-2
Barbara Babs Isak, UT CD-3
Daisy Thomas, UT CD-3

Kyle Cameron, WY

Will Thompson, ND CD-22

Heather Bishop, OR CD-4
K. Raina Studer, OR CD-2
Abigail Collins, OR CD-3
Angelique Orman, OR CD-4
Emily Gibson, OR CD-2
Lisa Stiller, OR CD-1
Jodi Zeisel, OR CD-3
Ira Erbs, OR CD-3
Ashley Pelton, OR At-Large
Lawrence Taylor, OR CD-1
Jim Cupples, OR CD-4
Valdez Bravo, OR CD-5
Lurelle Robbins, OR CD-1

Cory Alexander, ID CD-1
Ken Ward, ID CD-2
Logan Heflin, ID CD-1

Melissa Ann Dunbar, WA CD-6
Dinea Evans, WA-7
Drew Darsow, WA-6
Sharon Abreu, WA CD-2
Drew Darsow, WA CD-6
Chris Kutalik Cauthern, WA CD-9
Dan Santon, WA CD-9
Thomas Kuykendall, WA CD-6
Yaddi Ty, WA CD-2
Beth Martin, WA CD-9
Kate Moran, WA CD-4
Thomas Hernandez, WA CD-3
Steve Kirby, WA CD-5
Amy Hagopian, WA CD-9
Rachel Kay, WA CD-1
Robert O’Connell, WA CD-2
Dan Santon, WA CD-9

Jennifer Merecki, MT CD-1

Bart Dame, HI Elected DNC member
Jun Shin, HI CD-1
John Miller, HI CD-2
Jennifer Lum, HI CD-1
Phillip Eric Schrager, HI CD-1
Raymond Catania, HI CD-2
Amy Perruso, HI 2
Melodie Aduja, HI CD-2

Fay Herold, AK CD-1
Leon Jaimes, AK At-Large
Raymond O’Neill, AK

Ava Kennedy, CA CD-5
Francis Li, CA, CD-12
Troy Corley, CA CD-26
Dana Baker, CA CD-4
Tom Ammiano, CA CD-12
Paul Huntley, CA CD-19
Karen Bernal, CA CD-6
Aaron Bagheri, CA CD 24
Steven Gibson, CA CD27
Michael Wakcher, CA Ava CD-29
Amar Shergill, CA CD-7
Margaret Okuzumi, CA CD-17
Katy Roemer, CA CD-13
Christine Shimizu, CA CD-30
Kari Khoury, CA CD-9
Mindy Pfeiffer, CA CD-27
Susana Williams, CA CD-9
Roberto Alvarez, CA CD-38
Bryan Giardinelli, CA CD-42
Sudi Farokhnia, CA CD-45
Karen Stevens, CA CD-26
Zhenzhen Jiang, CA CD-14
William (Dr Bill) Honigman, CA CD-45
Katherine Huynh, CA CD-43
Norman Solomon, CA CD-2
Nieko Adan, CA CD-17
Elizabeth Sinai Gonzalez, CA CD-46
Alexander Hagen, CA CD-14
Mark Malouf, CA CD-5
Sameena Usman, CA CD-17
Juan Perez, CA CD-51
Faisal Qazi, CA CD-39
Mia Bromberg, CA CD-34
Stephanie Terrazas, CA CD-39
Carrie Scoville, CA CD-44
Jenny Chung, CA CD-40
Michelle Ching, CA CD-37
Audrey Wong, CA CD-33
Mani Kang, CA CD-46
Igor Tregub, CA CD-13
Dorothy Nygard, CA CD-10
Cipriano Vargas, CA CD-49
Asa Strout, CA CD-15
Deana Becker, CA CD-37
Mary Hsia-Coron, CA CD-20
Carol Coyote Cook, CA CD-13
Christian Thomas Shaughnessy CA CD-31
Isaac Lieberman, RN, CA CD-25
Shawnee Badger, CA CD-25
Ken Warfield, CA CD-39
Sebastian Cazares, CA CD-25
Lesley A Ester, CA CD-2
Vanndearlyn Vong, CA CD-47
Carol Turner, CA CD-1
Andrew Swetland, CA CD-47
Michelle Boley, CA CD-29
Paul Sasso, CA CD-52
Timothy Beyer, CA CD-43
David Paredes, CA CD-16
Margaret Finnstrom, CA CD-25
Christopher McClain, CA CD-31
Cesar Armendariz, CA CD-47
Murad Sarama, CA CD-6
Jeanna Harris, CA CD-37
Alfred Twu, CA CD-13
Victoria M Thompson, CA CD-7
Sam Hindi, CA CD-53
Josie Caballero, CA CD-53
Carolyn Bowden, CA CD-23
Nina Baldwin, CA CD-45
Juan Vazquez, CA CD-10
Rommy Joyce, CA CD-19
Jeanna Harris CA CD-37
Ron A Birnbaum, CA CD-28
Kyle Thayer, CA CD-49
Stacey Ramos, CA CD-35
Maha Rizvi, CA CD-47
Nazim Uddin, NC At-Large
William Moses Summerville, CA CD-48
Shirley Toy, CA CD-6
Denis P. Recendez, CA CD-32
Madeline Merritt, CA CD-27
Danielle Duryea, CA CD-44
Lauren Fialkow, CA CD-19
Michelle Parias, CA CD-32
Deborah Burger, CA CD-2
Melanie Liu, CA CD-18
Michael Palmieri, CA CD-28
Wendy Santamaria, CA CD-24
Heather Johnson, CA CD-31
Lex Taylor, CA CD-24 (alternate)
Ruscal Cayangyang, CA CD-5 (alternate)
Isaac Gudino, CA CD-22
Elisa Rivera, CA CD-21
Jaci Iannello, CA DC-48
Carolyn Templeton, CA CD-18
Cheng-Sim Lim, CA CD-28
Michael Lighty, CA CD-13
Alan Geraci, CA CD-50
Steven Marquardt, CA CD-1
Martha Alvarado, CA CD-49
Susie Shannon, Elected DNC member, CA CD-30
Evlyn Andrade, CA CD-53
Tisa Rodriguez, CA PLEO CD-41
Ivan Enriquez, CA CD-46
Neel B Sannappa, CA CD-23
Jovanka Beckles, CA CD-11
Manuel Zapata, CA CD-10
Margie Hoyt, CA CD-43
Lyndsey Lefebvre, CA CD-39
William Gregg Weeks, CA CD-44
Michelle Manos, CA CD-29
Elizabeth Lira, CA CD-16
Dale Axelrod, CA CD-2
Gloria Conejo, CA CD-50
Pesach Lubinsky, CA CD-31
Daniel Peeden, CA CD-35
Alexandria Ramos-O’Casey, CA CD-22
Maya Rodriguez, CA CD-41
Victor Frias, CA CD-40
Diane Trevizo-Ceja, CA CD-43
Melissa Shuen-Mallory, CA CD-15
Ramon Montano Marquez, CA 51
Riddhi S. Patel, CA CD-23
Janet Hurtado, CA CD-32
Peter Ortiz, CA CD-19
Jamie McDole, CA CD-6
Mary Hsia-Coron, CA CD-20
Andy Hsia-Coron, CA CD-20
Sarah Gonsalves, CA CD-2
Dallas Fowler, CA CD-37
Kris Rehl, CA CD-28
Tye Rush, CA CD-37
Jason Boxer, CA CD-33
Shawn Orgel-Olson, CA CD-20
Barisha Spriggs, CA PLEO CD-15
Alex Lee, CA CD-17
Christopher Copeland, CD-14
Daisun Cohn-Williams, CA CD-37
Faraz Rizvi, CA CD-42
Alan J Haffa, CA CD-20
Ken Hundzinski, CA CD-43
Danielle J Duryea, CA CD-44
Stephanie Terrazas, CA CD-39
JIA WU, CA CD-13

Guillermo Carrion, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Anya Leonhard, Democrats Abroad (Germany)
Tyler Cofield, Democrats Abroad (Poland)
Anne Dlugosz, Democrats Abroad (France)
Farid Ben Amor, Democrats Abroad (Switzerland)
Claire Lops, Democrats Abroad (Germany)
Timothy Ellis, Democrats Abroad (Canada)
Lissette Wright, Democrats Abroad (Canada)

Sources:

[1] Joe Biden’s New Foreign Policy Advisor Supported the Iraq War and Dubbed Edward Snowden a Traitor. The Intercept. Ryan Grim. 7/24/19

[2] Former Obama officials help Silicon Valley pitch the Pentagon for lucrative defense contracts, The Intercept. Lee Fang, 7/22/18

[3] Joe Biden’s New Foreign Policy Advisor Supported the Iraq War and Dubbed Edward Snowden a Traitor. The Intercept. Ryan Grim. 7/24/19

[4] Biden Advisor, an “Apologist for Torture, “ an Architect for Kill Lists. Jeffrey Kaye, Institute for Public Accuracy, 7/8/20

[5] The Proxy War Over a Top Biden Advisor. The Daily Beast. Spencer Ackerman, 7/7/20

[6] The war inside Palantir: Data-mining firm’s ties to ICE under attack by employees. The Washington Post. Douglass MacMillan and Elizabeth Dwoskin, 8/22/19.

[7] Meet Jake Sullivan, the man behind hawkish Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy. Vox. Jonathan Allen, 9/4/15

[8] How Dare Samantha Power scrub Yemen from her memoir. In These Times, Shireen Al-Adeimi, 9/18/19

[9] How Biden’s Foreign Policy Team Got So Rich. American Prospect. Jonathan Guyer, 7/6/20

[10] Susan Rice: the liberal case against her being secretary of state. The Guardian. Chris McGreal, 12/13/12

[11] A Top Joe Biden Staffer is a Supporter of India’s Authoritarian Leader Narendra Modi. The Intercept. Maryam Saleh, 9/16/19.

DNC Delegate Statements

“I am joining in solidarity, not only with all the delegates who have signed on to this letter, but with all the victims and nations that have been destabilized by U.S. foreign policy built by imperialists and hawks. We need leaders who are willing to think outside the status quo. Leaders who will not focus on military might as the solution to world problems, but will instead put in the hard work to build long lasting peace and consensus in the world. Not with the mindset of “America First”, but through actual international cooperation. It will be tough work, but this will allow us to defund the military to invest in the American people, break the hawkish orthodoxies of the foreign policy establishment in our party, hopefully begin a reconciliation process with our victims, and allow for us to unite in the larger (fight) against COVID-19 and the Climate Crisis. Give peace a chance!” Jun Shin, HI CD-1

“It has long been time for us as a nation to cease being the harbingers of terror and destruction around the world. Our interventionist policies have done nothing but increase the level of danger both at home and abroad. This could be our opportunity to start restoring America’’s reputation globally. Please seize it.” Jasmine Neosh, WI CD-8

“We have spent billions of dollars murdering people and inserting ourselves in foreign situations that we have no business being in. Our nation is in crisis economically, medically; with marginalized groups fighting every day to survive. We can’t even take care of the soldiers that have fought and sacrificed for us. We don’t need people in power who have been upholding the war machine for decades. We need radical change and we need it now.” Erin Ford, WI CD-3

“It’s time to provide a progressive alternative, a positive vision for foreign policy that includes friendship and diplomacy, not bombs and death. It’s time to invest funds in domestic priorities instead of the Pentagon.” Eli Pales, MI CD-8

“Joe Biden’s foreign policy record has been disastrous, and courting the support of Republicans gives progressives no confidence that he plans on changing his conservative views on foreign affairs in the White House. The only way to fix this image problem is to put serious opponents of war and imperialism on his foreign policy team.” Anlin Wang, PA

“If Black and brown lives truly matter, we have an obligation to reimagine our foreign policy. Beyond reeking havoc on far too many brown lives overseas, the Iraq war and recent occupations have sent thousands of Black and brown soldiers to fight for often unnecessary reasons. Many soldiers come from low-income backgrounds, and they’re disproportionately POC. I urge the Biden administration to drastically reconsider who their foreign policy advisors are, and choose fewer people that are adamant about foreign intervention”
Jared Trujillo, NY CD-10

“We should be putting forth policy that emphasizes the preservation of human life generally, not just the lives of Americans. The individuals who work to inform this policy must be those who have shown in their life’s work to value peace and equity. Endless violence perpetrated by the United States must end with this President.” Heather Pope, PA CD-3

“America must abandon its neoconservative foreign policy that has facilitated the deaths of millions of civilians and fueled refugee crises internationally. That step begins with ensuring that the party and the government are rid of the influence of defense contractors + lobbyists, trigger happy neocons and drone loving hawks. I urge the Biden campaign to assemble a new foreign policy team that is committed to diplomacy, human rights and non-intervention- central tenets of the United Nations Charter.” Lennis Matias, FL CD-4

“We’ve had too much war for too long. Please put an end to it and to these people who council it!” Karyn Hollis, PA CD-5

“I have consulted extensively for the United Nations, including serving as a negotiator for international disaster management policy. I have watched the USA, under multiple administrations, butcher policy that would make the world a better place. American foreign policy has always been America first, and Biden’s foreign policy team is dangerous to the safety of our world. It is based around doing everything it can to maintain a broken global hegemony, and I cannot conscientiously vote for any candidate who will contribute to the premature death of my constituents.” Peter Abrams, CO CD-4

“It’s imperative that the next Commander-in-Chief has foreign policy advisors who will work to dismantle Western Imperialism.’ Jack Cahill, PA CD-3

“Please hire policy advisors who are not part of a revolving door of former White House staffers in the service of the weapons and surveillance industry. Additionally, anyone who pushed for disastrous military interventions lacks the judgment we need in the White House. Here’s a link to the Progressive Cabinet Project’s recommendations for cabinet posts. Among the recommendations are Rep. Barbara Lee for Secretary of State and Rep Ro Khanna for Sec. of Defense.” http://filesforprogress.org/reports/progressive-cabinet-project-report.pdf Marcy Winograd, CA CD-24

“I support this action because endless wars and out of control military spending is destroying our country.” Lucinda Johnston, FL CD-13

“This is a war cabinet for a time when we must redirect resources towards solving the climate crisis, reversing corporate greed and wealth inequality, and restoring racial justice.” #NoMoreWar Paul Huntley, CA CD-19

“We must emphasize a model of foreign policy centered around diplomatic efforts, not militarism. These personnel have track records of hawkish policies that are unacceptable.” Weston Roberts, CO CD-1

“This group of foreign policy advisors represents a continuation of the same militaristic foreign policy that has destabilized entire regions, killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world, and produced widespread resentment against the United States. This has not only robbed our own people of trillions of dollars, but has come home to roost in the form of militarized police and surveillance being used against our own citizens. This is not just Donald Trump’s doing. As recently as this week, congressional Democrats have voted en masse to support these policies, so it is not a satisfying response to say things will be different once Trump is out of office.” Aaron Bagheri, CA CD-24

“As an Iraq War veteran in OIF III, I cannot fathom a Biden administration taking advice from folks who want more disastrous, never-ending wars. Our neighbors to the north and south are not our enemies, and the biggest threat to national security will be the Climate Crisis and economic inequality. The US should not be focused on war but instead on rebuilding international institutions like the United Nations to address the Climate Crisis, inequality, and preparing for the potential billions in climate refugees this century.” Kevin Chaves, MN CD-5

“Our foreign policy must take into account how our actions intersect with our environmental planetary crisis. Nita Lynch,” CO CD-1

“We need to stop the warmongering and the destruction of people and nations. We need to decrease the spending on our military and on weapons production, especially on the nuclear weapons upgrades, which is completely insane. We need healthcare not warfare.” Nina Tatlock, FL CD-16

“We have been at war for almost 20 years and have accomplished nothing. Time to change course and pursue peace.” James Langford, FL CD-7

“There are many excellent people to choose from, to create a foreign policy team of people who haves integrity, positive track records, deep knowledge, and a willingness to listen and learn. Yovanovitch and Vindman immediately come to mind.” Emily Gibson, OR CD-2

“Please Please Please.” Angelique Orman, OR CD-7

“Please choose a team whose members reflect a new respect for diplomacy, sovereignty of other nations and peace, over military aggression.” Karen Bernal, CA CD-6

“I am currently a Registered nurse, but before I was a nurse I was a student of Latin American studies, and the history of regime change that the U.S. has engaged in over the past century must end. We must move into an era of true diplomacy and peace and away from endless wars to maintain U.S. hegemony. We can no longer afford to police the world and must direct resources toward world cooperation, human rights, health care as a human right, housing as a human right, clean food and water as a human right, protecting the planet from the ravages of the climate crisis.” Katy Roemer, CA CD-13

“As a Veteran, I fully endorse more diplomacy and less war hawks in government.” Kristin Hoffman, FL CD-14

“We must be sure to correct the mistakes of the past. We can’t do that if we’re utilizing the same people who made the initial mistakes”. Deana Becker, CA CD-37

“We need a foreign policy that is based around diplomacy and ending our wars, not around enriching the military industrial complex.” Birrion Sondahl, CO CD-2

“Nostalgia for the warmongering of the past is not what we need. We need to look forward and look inward, then move forward.” Kathleen McCord, NM CD-1

“We need to ensure those advising leadership have no profitable interest in the areas in which they influence.” Daisy Thomas, UT CD-3

“It’s long past time that America commits itself to international justice, not violence. The platform and staff of the “most progressive candidate in history” should reflect this.” Eshaan Vakil, NV At-Large

“This time last month, temperatures in the Arctic soared above 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the first time in recorded history. At this critical moment, it’s clear that we need an unprecedented level of global cooperation and resource sharing to adequately address the climate crisis. For the survival of our species, we need a different approach to foreign policy and redirect our budget priorities away from war-mongering.” Margaret Okuzumi, CA CD-17

“We must remember the dire warning given by Pres. Eisenhower during his farewell address of the dangers posed by the military-industrial-complex. Mr. Biden’s current foreign policy team is the epitome of what Ike warned about. We can and must do better as the world of the 21st century cannot repeat the horrific legacy of war that humanity endured in the 20th century. I wholeheartedly endorse this letter of concern and appeal to Vice-President Biden to do the right thing by replacing the troubling members of his foreign policy team with more humane and ethical individuals.” Mani Kang, CA CD-46

“We must have a progressive foreign policy, not one that promotes regime change, war, and torture.” Tom Duke, MASS CD-2

“We must end the power struggle of Full Spectrum Dominance and World hegemony.” Ken Warfield, CA CD-39

“In order to have action on the Climate Emergency — we need to be nice. I haven’t seen nice in US Foreign Policy in a long time. The best guy who is still allowed on the networks for this is Jeffrey Sachs.” Alexander Hagen, CA CD-14 https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/the-democratization-of-us-foreign-policy/

“Reduce war supporters in the ranks of policy advisors.” Steve Gibson, CA CD-27

“We need foreign policy advisors who appreciate and publicly recognize that the United States of America has much to learn from our allies in other countries. Advisors should be as interested in the wellbeing of American citizens day-by-day as they are in their station and status. Also, the 2020 platform and Joe Biden’s running platform should include powerful and distinct efforts to transition with haste to a single-payer healthcare system not dependent on employment.” Nathan Gentry, TN CD-6

“As a fellow Registered Nurse, I want to echo Katy Roemer’s comments: …the history of regime change that the U.S. has engaged in … must end. We must move …. away from endless wars, and to diplomacy and peace, single payer universal health care as a human right, ending the climate crisis with the Green New Deal, & establishing reparations for our long history of unconstitutional racism. THESE must be our priorities, and a Democratic president must choose a team to match. This team ain’t it.” Isaac Lieberman, CA CD-25

“Please choose advisors that have a record of seeking peace and unity…if you want us to see you as someone who wants peace and unity.” Christine Shimizu, CA CD-30

“Foreign policy has never been more important. There is a global pandemic and there’s a lot of damage control to be done from the past 4 years. We need the very best and most diverse team possible. We also need fresh ideas and viewpoints in order to move forward in a meaningful and peaceful way.” Susana Williams, CA PLEO, CD-9

“The draft of the DNC platform has highlighted the need for demilitarization and ending endless wars. The team supporting the President must reflect those ideals and the current picks do not. It is time to reflect on the legacy of Foreign policy of the Obama era and change.” Sudi Farokhnia, CA CD-45

“Vice President Joe Biden must make a sharp turn away from his days of being complicit in a military drone program that killed up to 90% innocent bystanders, undermining the national security of the United States. He must not install these professional weapons salesmen and George W. Bush alumni into the Democratic administration for the next 4 years. We need to unwind our international conflicts and bring our troops home.” Andrew Swetland, CA CD-47

“We are living in a time where a new world will soon be born and our country needs foreign policy advisors with visionary ideals and a mindset that reflects our parties’ values. We can no longer refer to past strategies and accept them as an automatic means forward. This country, and this world, needs for our leadership to make bold mending moves to combat the bold divisive ones being made. Our fellow countries need to know we have a new commitment away from profiting off of wars, and in order to do this we need to ensure those in these positions of power do not have a history of such profiting.” Jeanette Rivera, MA CD-1

“As a newly recruited soldier in the early 2000s, I watched horrified as the US plunged into a needless war in Iraq. Several of my friends were deployed to the conflict; not all of them returned home in one piece. That event changed my politics overnight. I could not believe that the political establishment could be so out of touch as to put our soldiers on the line for a senseless invasion and war of choice, and yet that’s exactly what happened.” Timothy Ellis, Democrats Abroad

It’s been a long time, and I’ve come to terms with the knowledge that — like the Great Recession — the Iraq War is the kind of massive event for which none of the people responsible for it will ever be held accountable. I don’t like it, but I’m at peace with it.” Jasmine Neosh, WI CD-8

But I’ll be damned if I see the *Democrats* welcoming those same war criminals back into the halls of power but under OUR banner.”

“I believe in American leadership abroad. I believe in rebuilding our global alliances from the damage Trump is doing. And to do that, we must be forthright about our culpability for mistakes of the past and firm in our commitment not to repeat them. We cannot do that while the same people who turned us into armed invaders are given another platform of power. I have a simple ask: *hire the people who were RIGHT about Iraq, not the people who steered us wrong.*”

My friends already paid for these people’s mistakes. Don’t make my kids pay for new ones.”

“You can’t expect change when you keep doing the same things. War is a primitive way of conflict resolution and we should be smarter than that by now.” Jeanna Harris, CA CD-37

“As a Veteran For Peace who supports slashing the $740 billion U.S. defense budget, supports closing 800 military bases on foreign soil, opposes putting weapons in space, objects to producing more nuclear weapons and wants to end all occupations, drone attacks and bombing raids, of course I will sign this pro-peace delegate letter!” Charles Powell, NM CD-1

“We need to get out of the business of war. Our country and the world has so many problems in the last four years have not helped. I don’t believe that this team will help either. Please reconsider and choose wisely.” Stuart Strickland, FL CD-26

“Please hire a foreign advisor that will not be influenced by defense contractors and lobbyists.” Murad Sarama, CA CD-6

“As a veteran I think this is vital for peace in the world.” Josie Caballero, CA CD-53

“The military industrial complex has a monopoly on funds that could otherwise be diverted toward improving the lives of our own citizens such as health care, education and the environment. VP Biden must hire a progressive slate of foreign policy advisors that would champion a shift of our resources and focus away from foreign policy deeply invested in war and imperialism.” Yaddi Ty, WA CD-2

“Not only must we ensure we have a strong team of foreign policy advisors who will do the right thing and act with dignity and respect for human rights, we also need to ensure we openly support and aid our Kurdish allies. Too often we have turned our back on the Kurds, leaving them with “no friends but the mountains.” This has to be the Administration to change that.” Jade Duran, AZ CD-9

“We must stop wasting our money on war and help our people here within the United States.” Denis Recendez, CA CD-32

“We don’t need more of the same. Please consider elevating more of our State Department diplomats into the higher offices, who seek solutions of peace rather than further weaponization. Our country cannot afford to continue floating the military industrial complex at the expense of our children’s future: education, our environment, our health and healthcare.” Samantha Reynolds, CO CD-2

“A country that invests more in violence than social safety nets has no business policing the world over.” Megan Carter, FL CD-9

“As a younger delegate, I have my entire future at stake. Joe Biden must take into account the grave impact his 4 years can have on young people and the environment. Our foreign policy must be that of peace not war. This world cannot sustain human violence any longer. “ Cali Jones, AZ CD-1

“As an Army Veteran who deployed to Afghanistan, and as someone who works at the VA and sees the damage wreaked upon Veterans every day, I implore you to surround yourself with advisers who will seek peaceful solutions whenever possible.” Valdez Bravo, OR CD-5

“Biden’s foreign policy stance is by far the most disagreeable thing about his overall platform. The people involved here have made world historically bad choices that have destroyed nations and cultures.” Sam Bledsoe, TN CD-61

“I support peacefully resolving conflicts here and all over the world.” Jodi Zeisel, OR CD-3

“Putting war profiteers in positions of authority indicates a continuation of endless wars, which I cannot support as it violates what I hold as democratic values.” Noah Neumark, CO CD-6

“The military-industrial complex has controlled America for far too long, and a better world is only possible with the end of American imperialism.” Lex Taylor, CA CD-24 (alternate)

“This is your chance to change the trajectory of things so that we have a bright beautiful peaceful and unified future. Please choose the American people over old buddies and big donors.” Christine Shimizu, CA CD-30

“If you choose to let war hawks influence your foreign policy, then you are choosing to turn your back on climate justice and on those right here in the US suffering from grossly underfunded social services. Which side are you on, Joe?” Steven Marquardt, CA CD-1

“This is a time for transformational change.” Alan Geraci, CA CD-50

“Quoting The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft President Andrew Bacevich, “Since the end of the Cold War, now three decades ago, the United States has lost its way in the world. Under President Trump, things have only gotten worse. Today, foreign policy defined as a principled and consistent pattern of behavior has ceased to exist. The existing architecture of U.S. foreign policy is nearing collapse; acting now to devise a replacement is imperative.” Re-appointing to a new Biden administration those who so badly misconstrued core US interests and created these failures will only perpetuate them. Sandra J. Klassen, VA CD-11

“It is imperative to halt and reverse the trend toward military solutions and the diminishing of the role of diplomacy. A military that is reserved for only the very specific moments and places where it is the only solution will be a military that is effective; the bloated structure and disproportionate resources it currently has are a danger to all.” Janet Cannon, MI At-Large, CD-12

“It’s time to provide a progressive alternative, a positive vision for foreign policy that includes friendship and diplomacy, not bombs and death. It’s time to invest funds in domestic priorities instead of the Pentagon.”
Eli Pales, MI CD-8

“Our top priority must be to elect Joe Biden to defeat Donald Trump. But many of us are doing so while continuing to have major concerns about the policies he, and his closest advisors, hold. For me, I am concerned about the influence of the hawkish, neo-Cold War Wing of the Democratic foreign policy establishment who appear determined to oppose needed changes in our policies towards China, Russia, Latin America, the greater Middle-East and the need to cut military spending.” Bart Dame, HI CD-1

“As a Veteran of 11 years of service, three deployments to the Middle East, and separated Honorably due to PTSD, I find it imperative that Biden’s advisors seek the very solutions that even the Top Pentagon Brass have echoed time and time again, that war efforts and cost are inversely proportional to our funding of, and diplomatic efforts of, the State Department. We pay for Peace through Diplomacy.” John Miller, HI CD-2

“We need a foreign policy team focused on peace and diplomacy, not regime change and war.” Philip Keisler, MO CD-1

“The history of United States foreign policy has been filled with decisions made to enrich the largest corporations in our country. From Dole to Halliburton, far too many of our wars and foreign actions have been decisions made not by the people, but by the interests of big business. We must make sure that, as Democrats, we stand in strict and unwavering opposition to military industrial complex, and military imperialism. Because of this, we cannot continue to allow those who have pushed forward or supported these past aggressions of military corporatism from the U.S. government to continue to craft our foreign policy. That is why I am signing this letter and calling for the foreign policy advisors of our next president to be ones that will not continue these horrid actions of our past, and ones who were not complicit and involved in making these actions happen in the first place.” Drew Darsow, WA CD-6

“Samantha Power and Susan Rice’s actions also allowed the continuation and worsening of war crimes and atrocities in the South Sudan Civil War during their time in the Obama administration. Susan Rice blocked an arms embargo, which allowed the SPLA to buy attack helicopters and kill even more civilians. This war was marked by horrific levels of sexual violence and ethnic cleansing, and it was prolonged by the U.S. policy towards the war at the time.” Anne Dlugosz, Democrats Abroad

“We must dismantle the American Empire and re-allocate our resources to address the existential threat of Climate Change. Appointing cabinet or senior leadership positions who will perpetuate endless war for the Defense Industry is the opposite of what our country and world needs. It’s long overdue.” Daniel Moilanen,
MI PLEO CD-1

“We want to help elect Joe Biden. Let’s get real @ the issues!” Michelle Mitzi Rusk, TX CD-1

“Eisenhower warned us about this.” Martha (Patti) Serrano, AZ CD-5

“With his current foreign policy advisors, Joe Biden will never be able to gather a larger chorus of brown voices on his stage, than the piles of brown bodies America leaves around the world. Every time President Obama fired off a drone missile that killed 50 civilians for every real target, Vice President Biden nodded in cheerful approval. In 2020, we cannot allow this same bombs-first mentality to guide our actions as a nation. We need a foreign policy team committed to de-escalation and ending endless wars.” Natalie Vowell, MO PLEO CD-1

“It is hypocritical and disgusting to perpetuate violence abroad while touting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The violence must end!” Vanndearlyn Vong, CA CD-47

“I will not support a president who supports war criminals.” Rachel Kay, WA CD-1

“It’s time to stop praising war criminals, and to stop committing war crimes.” Sarah Gonsalves, CA CD-2

“As someone born just after 9/11, America has been at war my whole life. It’s time to end the forever war, bring our troops home, and invest in an America and a world that works for the many, not just the powerful few.” Quinn Gabriel Albright, OH CD-5

“My father was born and grew up in Haiti, a country that has been victim of colonization and harmful intervention that has only further exacerbated internal issues. The attitude with which we’ve interacted with other countries must change, and this is the first step.” Lylena Estabine, KS CD-3

“For too long, American foreign policy has ignored a looming adversary: climate change. While we continue to ignore this problem, my generation will suffer from a global problem that lacks a multilateral policy solution. Instead of foreign policy advisors who focus on making war, we need to be focused on making peace and uniting the world against our common enemy of a looming climate disaster. Furthermore, as a South African citizen, I urge a new foreign policy approach that respects the independence and self determination of African nations, rather than continuing the interventionist policies that have created crisis over the continent and turned it into nothing more than a battleground for proxy war conflicts between global powers. A Biden administration foreign policy outlook should end the interventionism and predatory economy policy that has plagued our relationship with African nations.” Joseph Mullen, FL CD-23

“Less War = More Community Services — get our priorities right.” OK CD-1

“Your constituents don’t get to vote on your advisors even though your advisors have the power of life and death over our military and over the countries our military occupies. We depend on the president to represent us and not the those who profit off of war or those who would advise using U.S. military to protect private corporate interests. We want world peace. Choose good, not evil Mr. Biden. Choose compassion and love, not greed. Please.” Chyrstine Schimizu, CA CD-30

“We need peacemongers, not war mongers.” Kayrn Hollis, PA CD-5

“It’s long past time for our country to end endless war and reallocate much of the Pentagon budget to human and environmental needs.” Jeff Cohen, NY CD-19

“I am a veteran of several wars which the U.S. has been involved. The NeoCons and NeoLibs have betrayed the members of the military repeatedly in the past, sacrificing our lives and pimping our souls for the National interest aka corporate interests. The people on Biden’s short list are among the worst I could think of. We must fight only to save our planet now. Biden must find advisors who will not continue the hideous, disgraceful history of U.S. foreign aggression.” Phillip Sschrager, HI CD-1

I”I have serious reservations about the people Biden is close to, they seem to be neo-con George W Bush tthrowbacks who just want to feed the war machine. Our goal should be to stop the war machine, not add to it.” Briana Rose, MN SD-46

“No more Coups, just say NO to War Hawks” Ken Ward, ID CD-2

Written by

Co-Founder, Progressive Caucus, California Democratic Party; blogger at LA Progressive

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