April 27, 2012. Chaos and violence continue, the prosecution says
they don't have to establish that Bradley Manning's actions resulted in
any harm to go after him, the political crisis continues in Iraq, a
State of Law flunky disses Biden, and more.
in the US where perceived whistle blower Bradley Manning and his
defense have been in pre-court martial hearings this week. The judge
has issued a ruling. AP reports
Col Denise Lind announced yesterday that she would not toss "aiding the
enemy" allegation the government has made against Bradley.
Monday April 5, 2010
, WikiLeaks released US military video
of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters
journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010
, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported
in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the
Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of
violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his
personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized
software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight
counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified
information." In March, 2011, David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) reported
that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges
including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could
result in the death penalty if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took
place in December. At the start of this year, there was an Article 32
hearing and, February 3rd, it was announced that the government would be
moving forward with a court-martial.
attorney, David Coombs, argued that the charge should be dropped for
two reasons. First, the prosecution failed to show intent in the way the
charge is worded, he argued. Second, Coombs said, the charge is so
vague and broad that it's unconstitutional.
argued the charge is "alarming in its scope." He told the judge that if
he accepted the government's argument, "no soldier would ever be
comfortable saying anything to any news reporter." Coombs said they
could even be charged after posting something on a family member's
Trent Nouveau (TG Daily) notes
that Maj Ashden Fein, prosecutor for the United States government,
states that the government isn't required to prove that any damage took
place, "Just because a damage assessment might say damage did occur or
didn't occur, it's completely irrelevant to the charges. That
tomorrow's effect is somehow relevant to the charges on the crime sheet
That's certainly a curious
take on the law. If there's no injury, what's the point? If Bradley
Manning is guilty -- he's thus far entered no plea -- and there were
huge damages, the judge would certainly be encouraged by the prosecution
to keep that in mind. The government has not only declared him guilty
-- that includes US President Barack Obama who truly does not know the
law if he thought pronouncing the accused guilty before a trial was how a
president conducts themselves -- they've insisted repeatedly that
tremendous damage was done.
Having used that
to drive the press coverage, the government now wants to claim that the
level of damage -- if any -- doesn't matter? The court-martial has been
set for September 21st. The Center for Constitutional Rights Michael Ratner
In Iraq, violence continues. Erik West (Australian Eye) reports
an Abu Garma home invasion in which 3 children (ages ten to fifteen)
were shot dead along with their mother when a killer or killers broke
into the home around three in the morning.
that Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States, met with Hussein
al-Shahristani, deputy prime minister for energy, yesterday at the White
House and that Biden "reaffirmed U.S. commitment to work with Iraqi
leaders from across the spectrum to support the continued development of
Iraq's energy sector." While Joe was making nice, al-Shahristani was
showing his ass. Alister Bull (Reuters) explains
simmering dispute between Iraq's central government and the
semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan is an internal affair, a top Baghdad
official said on Thursday, in an implicit rebuff of U.S. efforts to
broker a compromise between the two sides.
Thursday Erbil witnessed what some news outlets are calling a historic moment. Press TV reports
on Moqtada al-Sadr's visit to the KRG to meet with KRG President
Massoud Barzani and the press conference Moqtada held in Erbil. They
quote him stating, "I came here to listen to their (Kurds') points of
view (on issues related to Iraq's political situation). In fact, I
adovcate getting closer to the Iraqi people and protecting the Iraqi
people before protecting our parties and blocs. All sides have to pay
attention to the public interest and the Iraqi people. The oil of Iraq
is for the people and no one has the right to claim it for himself and
exclude others. . . . Dialogue is the only solution to end former and
current political disputes and all other issues." Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) notes
, "During talks with Kurdish President Massoud Barzani yesterday, Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr mandate insisted
that there would be no support for an overthrow of the government, but
he did suggest the possibility of not renewing Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki's mandate as premier. Barzani and Sadr have both called Maliki
a dictator in recent weeks, and the increasingly marginalized Sunnis
mostly agree with them." At Foreign Policy, journalist James Traub examines
al-Maliki, the prime minister of Iraq, has a remarkable ability to make
enemies. As Joost Hiltermann of the International Crisis Group puts it,
"Personal relations between everyone and Maliki are terrible." This
gift was vividly displayed in March, when the annual meeting of the Arab
League was held in Baghdad. Although the event was meant to signal
Iraq's re-emergence as a respectable country after decades of tyranny
and bloodshed, leaders of 10 of the 22 states, including virtually the
entire Gulf, refused
to attend out of pique at Maliki's perceived hostility to Sunnis both
at home and abroad, turning the summit into a vapid ritual. The only
friend Iraq has left in the neighborhood is Shiite Iran, which seems
intent on reducing its neighbor to a state of subservience.
[. . .]
one can be agnostic about Maliki's motivations and still conclude that
he is doing harm to Iraq's own interests. No sensible Iraqi leader would
pick a fight with Turkey, as he has done. Back in January, when
Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, suggested that Maliki
should not be waging war against the Sunni opposition at home, Maliki accused
Turkey of "unjustified interferences in Iraqi internal affairs," adding
for good measure that Erdogan was seeking to restore Turkey's Ottoman
hegemony over the region. This in turn led to another escalating round
of insults and a mutual summoning of ambassadors.
was attempting to address the ongoing political crisis. Briefly, March
2010 saw parlimentary elections. State of Law (Nouri al-Maliki's slate)
came in second to Iraqiya (led by Ayad Allawi). Nouri did not want to
honor the vote or the Constitution and refused to allow the process to
move forward (selecting a new prime minister). Parliament was unable to
meet, nothing could take place. This is Political Stalemate I and it
lasted for over eight months. In November 2010, Political Stalemate I
finally ended. What ended it?
The US-brokered Erbil Agreement.
This was a written document where everyone made concessions and everyone
got something out of it. Nouri got to be prime minister. He was
loving the Erbil Agreement then. And as soon as he was named prime
minister-designate, he began demonstrating he wouldn't honor the Erbil
Agreement. He had called for a referendum and census on Kirkuk for
December 2010. He was supposed to have done that by the end of 2007.
But he refused to even though Article 140 of the Constitution demanded
it. But as he was trying to get everyone to agree to the Erbil
Agreement, he was trying to appear resonable and scheduled the
referendum and census. After being named prime minister desisngate, he
called off the census and referndum. It's still not taken place all
this time later. He was also fully on board with the idea of an
independent national security commission and it being headed by Ayad
Allawi. But then he got named prime minister-deisgnate and suddenly
that was something that couldn't be created overnight but would take
time. 17 months later, it's still not happened.
the Erbil Agreement to get a second term as prime minister and then
trashed the agreement. He used everyone's concession to him but refused
to honor his concessions to them.
This is Political
Stalemate II, the ongoing political crisis in Iraq and, no, the
political crisis in Iraq did not start December 19th or 21st as Nouri
went after political rivals from Iraqiya (Iraqiya came in first in the
2010 elections). From Marina Ottaway and Danial Kaysi's [PDF format
warning] "The State Of Iraq
" (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace):
days of the official ceremonies marking the end of the U.S. mission in
Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki moved to indict Vice President
Tariq al-Hashemi on terrorism charges and sought to remove Deputy Prime
Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq from his position, triggering a major political
crisis that fully revealed Iraq as an unstable, undemocractic country
governed by raw competition for power and barely affected by
institutional arrangements. Large-scale violence immediately flared up
again, with a series of terrorist attacks against mostly Shi'i targets
reminiscent of the worst days of 2006.
But there is
more to the crisis than an escalation of violence. The tenuous
political agreement among parties and factions reached at the end of
2010 has collapsed. The government of national unity has stopped
functioning, and provinces that want to become regions with autonomous
power comparable to Kurdistan's are putting increasing pressure on the
central government. Unless a new political agreement is reached soon,
Iraq may plunge into civil war or split apart.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani declared today in Karbala that the Erbil
Agreement should be published. The Ayatollah noted that there are
disputes about whether or not it was implemented. He says the way to
end the dispute is to publish the agreement and that the people can then
decide for themselves whether the agreement was carried out, whether or
not it was Constitutional*, whether or not it represented the best
interests of Iraq. The agreement and the Constitution? There's nothing
in the Constitution that allows for the Erbil Agreement. There's also
nothing in the Constitution that bars the Erbil Agreement. The White
House and the State Dept examined that at length before it was put into
writing. They brokered the agreement and did so to end the
eight-month-plus gridlock (Political Stalemate I). The agreement is
clearly extra-constitutional and we warned about that in real time. But
it is not forbidden by the Constitution. After getting what he wanted
from the agreement, Nouri and his lackeys began to insist that it
couldn't be honored because it was unconstitutional. It's not. If it
is unconstitutional then the Parliament needs to vote on a PM because
they haven't freely done that, they've allowed Nouri to become prime
minister-designate (and then prime minister) in spite of the
Constitution. An argument can be made that the only known aspect of the
Erbil Agreement that might be unconstitutional would be Nouri being PM
since the Constitution is specific on how you become prime minister
designate (Nouri didn't meet those qualifications and he knows it,
that's why he implemented the eight month stalemate) and since it is
specific on how you then move to prime minister.
who've forgotten, a prime minster-designate is judged to be competent
to be prime minister by forming a Cabinet in 30 days. That is
nominating the people and get the Parliament to vote on each one. A
Cabinet is a Cabinet. The Constitution doesn't allow for half Cabinets
or partials. Nouri was unable to name a full Cabinet in 30 days
(actually more than 30 -- as usual Jalal Talabani broke the Constitution
for Nouri thereby allowing him more than 30 days). The Constitution is
clear that if you do not form a Cabinet in 30 days, a new person is
picked to be prime minister-designate.
Nouri failed. Among the
posts empty when he was wrongly and unconstitutionally moved to prime
minister were all three of the security posts. He had no Minister of
the Interior, no Minister of Defense and no Minister of Natioanl
For those who want to claim that a full Cabinet
wasn't what was intended, that's a flat out lie. The Constitutionw as
written in 2005, not 80 years ago, not 100. There is only one
requirement to move from prime minister-designate to prime minister:
building your Cabinet.
And for those who still can't grasp that
this means every seat, every post, then at least have the brains -- if
not the integrity -- to grasp that there is no way in hell that the
Constitution ever intended for Minister of the Defense (army) or
Minister of Interior (police) to be empty posts.
refused to announce them in December 2010, "critics" (so labeled by the
press) turned out to be prophets. They stated that Nouri wouldn't fill
them in the next few weeks (as the press claimed), they siad it was a
power grab. All this time later, these posts are still not filled.
Which is why Jason Ditz (Antiwar.com), reporting on Moqtada's visit to Erbil, observes
"Removing Maliki could be harder than it seems, however, as he is not
only the prime minister but the acting Interior Minister, Defense
Minister, National Security Minister and chief of military staff. This
gives him de facto control over the entire national army and police
Massoud Barzani has stated that a
solution must be arrived at by the start of September (or the Kurds may
include choices on the ballots of their provincial elections). Barzani,
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Speaker of Parliament Osama
al-Nujaifi are calling for a national conference to address the
political crisis. Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi tells AFP
"We could enjoy a prime minister from the Shiite national alliance on
the ground that he is committed to power sharing ... and he keeps all
Iraqis equally according to the constitution. This is all what we are
dreaming, this is all what we are looking for."
Turning to the United States . . .
Senator Jon Tester: There is a stigma in this country -- and probably in the world
-- but definitely in America, in the United States, attached to mental health
issues -- injuires. There are -- I have multiple stories about folks who won't
go get treatment because they're afraid it wll be on their record, of afraid they
won't be able to get a job, afraid it might impact the job they do have,
perception by family, friends, colleagues. Does the VA have an active education
pogram to try to reach out to those folks, to let them now that this part of --
this is -- as Major General [Thomas S.] Jones says, it's increasing, it's present,
it's growing and it's not uncommon. Is there -- Is there some kind of education or
outreach going on?
William Schoenhard: Yeah. Yes, Senator. There's Make The Connection
Initiative that has just been undertaken. I think it gets back to the primary
care integration of mental health where we're able to screen for PTSD. And
the other aspect of care that we haven't mentioned today is the vet centers --
Senator Jon Tester: Yes.
William Scoenhard: -- who are also ways veterans can approach for help if they
have -- for whatever reasons -- reluctance to access the traditional system.
from Wednesday's Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing. Appearing
before the Committee was the Dept of Veterans Affairs' William
Schoenhard and Mary Schoh, Iraq War veteran Nick Tolentino who testified
about what he observed while working for the VA, Outdoor Odyssey
retired Major General Thomas Jones and VA's Office of Inspector General
was represented by Linda Halliday and John Diagh. Four senators
participated including Committee Chair Patty Murray, acting Ranking
Member Scott Brown, Senator Jon Tester and Senator Jerry Moran. What
was the hearing about?
Patty Murray: Today's hearing builds upon two hearings held last year.
At each of the previous hearings, the Committee heard from the VA how
accessible mental health care services were. This was inconsistent with
what we heard from veterans and the VA mental health care providers.
So last year, following the July hearing, I asked the Department to
survey its own health care providers to get a better assessment of the
situation. The results as we all now know were less than satisfactory.
Among the findings, we learned that nearly 40% of the providers
surveyed could not schedule an appointment in their own clinic for a new
patient within the 14 days. Over 40% could not schedule an established
patient within 14 days of their desired appointment. And 70% reported
inadequate staffing or space to meet the mental health care needs. The
second hearing, held in November, looked at the discrepancy between
what the VA was telling us and what the providers were saying. We heard
from a VA provider and other experts about the critical importance of
access to the right type of care delivered timely by qualified mental
health professionals. At last November's hearing, I announced that I
would be asking VA's Office of Inspector General to investigate the true
availability of mental health care services at VA facilities. I want to
thank the IG for their tremendous efforts in addressing such an
enormous request. The findings of this first phase of the investigation
are at once substantial and troubling. We have heard frequently about
how long it takes for veterans to get into treatment and I'm glad the IG
has brought those concerns to light.
If there's any confusion, McClatchy Newspapers are featuring an editorial by the editorial board of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (one of the newspapers McClatchy owns).
It notes the VA problems that were addressed in the hearing. Excerpt:
though the Veterans Health Administration reported in 2011 that 95
percent of veterans received a comprehensive mental exam within 14 days
of requesting one (the time frame in agency policy), the actual number
was 49 percent, the inspector general reported this week. It took an
average of 50 days to provide a full evaluation for the rest, the report
said. "VHA does not have a reliable and accurate method of
determining whether they are providing patients timely access to mental
health care services," the inspector general said.Part of
the problem is with the way records are kept: Schedulers don't always
follow the rules, and the lag between referral by a primary care
physician and the evaluation might not be reflected properly.Part
of the problem is a shortage of personnel, particularly psychiatrists.
Officials knew the data-keeping was problematic; the inspector general
pointed it out in reports in 2005 and 2007.They also knew of
the growing staffing needs and, in fact, increased personnel 46 percent
from 2005 to 2010, the report said. But in an informal survey of VA
mental-health professionals, requested by Congress, 71 percent of those
responding said their centers didn't have enough people to keep up. A
veteran seeking treatment at the VA medical center in Salisbury, N.C.,
for instance, had to wait 86 days to see a psychiatrist, the IG said.
We covered the hearing in Wednesday's snapshot
offered her take and conclusions in "Fire everyone at the VA
covered it at Trina
's site with "Scott Brown: It's clearly not working (Ava)
and what she emphasized was the exchange between Brown and Schoenhard
with Brown growing more and more irritated at Schoenhard who did not
want to answer questions and did not want to own the problem. From
Ava's report, this is when Brown tried to get answers as to why there
were delays in care but referrals outside the VA were not being
Again, it had
long ago been established that only 2% had been referred out last year.
But Schoenhard wanted to insist on top of the referral issue that the
VA was providing veterans with immediate care.
Before we go further, grasp that the IG report already demonstrated that Schoenhard's claim was false. Grasp that.
Senator Scott Brown: But they're not. But they're not.
William Schoenhard: They should be.
Senator Scott Brown: But they're not. But they're not!
William Schoenhard: We have an obligation to be sure that they are.
Senator Scott Brown: But they're not!Then Schoenhard wanted to argue that the VA can provide the best care.
Brown responded, "Sir, with all due respect, that's not happening. That's why we're here. It's clearly not working." Wally
covered the hearing at Rebecca
's site with "VA paid out nearly $200 million in bonuses last year (Wally)
" and he emphasized Brown's shock over the vast amount of money VA's paying out in bonuses. Excerpt.
other big issue was that the country's in a fiscal nightmare. And yet
the VA -- which has had one scandal after another -- is handing out
There's been the failure to send
out the GI Bill checks. There's the alarming suicide rate of veterans.
There's lying about the time wait for appointments. We could go on and
on. So the point is, bonuses are being handed out.
You might not think it's a big deal. Do you know how much the VA gave out last year in bonuses?
this is on top of the salary and wages they paid. In 2011, Brown noted
that the VA paid out $194 million in bonuses. Nearly $200 million
dollars. Brown asked what the average salary was for someone receiving a
bonus and the VA's William Schoenhard wanted to take that for the
On top of that, Schoenhard felt the
VA deserved credit for keeping the number so low. Brown was shocked
and asked if Schoenhard was saying that in years prior to 2011 over $200
million was paid in bonuses? Yep.
only four Committee members were present. Moran used his time mainly,
as he noted, to allow someone to talk about a program that was working
-- a non-VA program. Since I didn't note Moran Wednesday, we're going to
include a little of that today.
Jerry Moran: Part of my interest in this topic is coming from a state
as rural as Kansas in which our access to mental health professionals is
perhaps even more limited than more urban and suburban states. And we
need to take advantage of the wide array of professional services that
are available at every opportunity. And so I'm here to encourage you --
now that you've made that announcement, let's bring it to fruition. And
thank you for reaching the conclusion and getting us to this point. I
want to direct my question to General Jones. I thank you very much for
your Semper Fi Odyssey
efforts. I had a Kansan visit with me in the last month who has
organized a program -- I don't know whether it's modeled after what
you're doing -- it's the same kind of focus and effort. And it's
somewhat related to the conversations and questions of Senator Tester
about the stigma or lack of willingness to admit that one needs help,
the lack of knowledge of what programs are available, how to connect the
veteran with what's there. I wanted to give you the opportunity to
educate me and perhaps others on what it is that you've been able to do
to bring that veteran who is not likely to know of the existence of your
program or programs like yours. And, secondly, what can be done to
overcome the reluctance of military men and women and veterans to access
what is available -- such as your program.
General Thomas Jones: Thank you, sir. Well first off, I think that
the Semper Fi Fund that I've been a board member of is -- provides the
ability for these veterans to come. Admittedly, most of the veterans
that come back to the case workers of Sempre Fi Fund have some problems
or they wouldn't be there. I mean, they've had a difficult time making
the transition. So when they arrive in western Pennsylvania for one of
the weeklong sessions, they arrive with a major degree of skepticism and
very tentative and we try to restore them to what was really the
strength of their experience in the Marine Corps: the team, the
cohesion, team building and basially restoring their trust. I would say
-- trust in the system and trust in others. I think my work through
the Semper Fi Odyssey because of the mental health professionals that
have come in and really bought into the program and really advertised
the program and allowed me to speak to other groups led me to a project
I'm doing with the Institute of Defense Analysis, sponsored by OSD, that
looks at best practices. So, you know, I was a Marine for a long time,
we never talked much about mental health issues until recently. As a
Vietnam platoon commander, we never talked about it. But now there are
programs in the Marine Corps and I would say the army too --
Comprehensive Soldier Fitness in the army; Marine Corps' program is
Operational Stress Control and Readiness. It's a great program. But
it's not easy to overcome the stigma and the program really rests on the
strength of the NCO. No Major General's going to ride into a Marine
Corps squad or platoon or company and build immediate trust. It's going
to come from the NCO. So overcoming that skepticism, that chasm of
trust, is difficult but it's happening -- especially those units that
have deployed four and five times, young NCOs, young officers are
seeing the power of what a squad leader or a platoon commander can do to
identify problems when they're still in the category of combat stress
injuries and haven't migrated to combat stress illnesses. I think that's
the strength of the Marine Corps program. I think the problem -- this
is only my opinion now -- of the army program is that it's very well
built, the application is not focused on the young NCO as is the Marine
Corps program. And I don't say it because I'm a Marine. I just sense
that the NCO identifying in Iraq or Afghanistan, if there's a problem,
you can start the dialogue right then, you can start the reconciliation
process right then. You don't have to wait six months after he returns
and he's got this problem in his mental wall locker and he pulls out
then when he's by himself. So we try to restore and very successfuly
restore because all these veterans have come in and actually
volunteered their services.
in one form or another, the above and the work by Kat, Ava, Wally and
the Wednesday snapshot have covered the bulk of the points raised in the
The things that I have done that I regret
The things I seen, I won't forget
For this life and so many more
And I'm trying to find my way home
Child inside me is long dead and gone
Somewhere between lost and alone
Trying to find my way home
Iraq War veteran Rick Collier (with No Soldier Left Behind) shares his PTSD story at The Oregonian
time in country left me with traumas and exposures no human should see
or be a part of. It also created an environment in which hazing and
death threats were part of my ritual coming from my NCO. Without knowing
it, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) soon became my reality and at 18 I started to lose control of my life. Shortly
after my return my best friend Daniel Parker died in Iraq. I was the
lead pallbearer for his military funeral. After losing Daniel, I felt I
lost everything. I struggled with lack of family and support upon my
return and found Daniel's death, combined with my PTSD, set me over
the edge. I tried getting help from my command. I spoke with
my NCOs in charge and even a Sgt from another platoon. I couldn't take
the harassment from my NCO both in country and at home, topped with PTSD
and the loss of my best friend. With lack of help I began to drink and
numb my pain. My suicidal ideation grew and I began to lose sight of who
I was. I ended up going UA (unauthorized absence) with suicide in mind.When
I was brought back to base by Marine Corps Chasers I soon found myself
in the brig again with no help from my command. I was left to deal with
PTSD in a cell, like a POW. After a couple months in the brig I was
court martialed and given a Bad Conduct Discharge. All I needed was
help, I never wanted out.After being discharged, I was
released from duty and sent on my way. Here I was a combat vet, a kid,
just left out on the street to fend for myself. Not once did I get
mental health treatment. It took me two years after my discharge to
finally figure out I had PTSD. It took me doing my own research, trying
to help myself, to put all the pieces together from symptoms I was
showing. It hurt having to do it alone.
And then Collier got
help, right? Wrong. That's when he begins a long struggle to get the
treatment he needs. That involved the VA, getting a discharge upgrade
and much more. His experience and wanting to assist in others in the
same situation led to his founding No Soldier Left Behind
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2012
Feminist Majority Board Member Dolores Huerta to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom
Majority President Eleanor Smeal, Executive Vice President Kathy
Spillar, and Chair of the Board Peg Yorkin issued the following joint
statement on the announcement that Board Member Dolores Huerta will be
awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom:
Majority Foundation and its board salutes our colleague and friend
Dolores Huerta for all of her historic achievements for social justice
and equality. We are very proud that she will be awarded by President
Barack Obama the highest civilian award.
In response to the
announcement, Chair of the Board Peg Yorkin said, "No one deserves this
honor more than Dolores Huerta. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of
those who work the farm fields of this country and has been an
incredible advocate for women and girls' empowerment."
Eleanor Smeal said, "For some 25 years, we have worked very closely with
Dolores Huerta in our fight for women's equality, civil rights, and
worker's rights. Dolores is an inspiration to all of us at all times.
She is dedicated to win equality for women in the state house and
Congress and she has significantly increased the number of Latina women
running for office."
Executive Vice President Kathy Spillar
praised Dolores' work, saying, "It has been my great honor to work with
Dolores for nearly 25 years to empower women and girls and secure our
fundamental rights. I have learned enormously through her example.
Despite the hardship she has seen and the difficulties she has endured,
she is the single most optimistic person I have ever known. There is
nothing that can't be done when Dolores Huerta is involved."