Congressman Dennis Kucinich said on Friday that he is working with Congressman Jim McGovern, a member of the Rules Committee, who has drafted a letter asking that the upcoming war supplemental be a clean vote not muddied by the inclusion of unrelated measures, such as aid to Haiti. I asked Kucinich if that request for a clean vote included a commitment by McGovern not to propose his own amendments, and Kucinich clearly did not know or did not want to speak for his colleague, but he expressed his own support for McGovern's exit timetable proposal. Kucinich said he expected the vote on $33 billion to escalate the war in Afghanistan to come up in the next two weeks.

Kucinich is, thus far, the only member of Congress who, to my knowledge, has publicly urged his colleagues to vote No. I asked him if he would urge them to join him in publicly committing to vote No ahead of time and in urging others to do the same. Kucinich said he was writing letters urging them to vote No, but did not reply on the matter of urging them to go public and whip.

Kucinich shared with me two letters he sent in February, one to Attorney General Eric Holder (PDF), the other to Secretary of So-Called Defense Robert Gates (PDF), on the topic of extrajudicial killings, a.k.a. assassinations, a.k.a. murder.

Kucinich writes that "killings of U.S. citizens by the U.S. government or its agents are by definition outside the law." In the current White House policy, he writes, "the government becomes policeman, prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner all in one. This suspension of basic constitutional protections for U.S. citizens puts in jeopardy our Constitution and the rule of law."

-- David Swanson is the author of the new book Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union by Seven Stories Press.