SourceWatch citizen journalist Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a dogged and prolific investigator of the pro-war lobby. AI began digging into the pro-war front group Vets for Freedom in June 2006. AI's research exposing the neoconservative agenda and Republican operatives behind VFF has been used by scores of journalists. Just do a Google search for "Vets for Freedom" and you'll find AI's work in our SourceWatch article right at the top of your returns, next to the VFF's own website.
Pro-war funding appears plentiful for VFF as it gears up to lobby Congress in September. Here's some of the latest from AI and the VFF article on SourceWatch:
VFF's "Vets on the Hill" campaign, slated for September 17 and 18, 2007, is planned as a follow up—"on a much larger scale"—to its July 17, 2007, D.C. rally, where, it states, "Over 40 Vets for Freedom members joined together on Capitol Hill in July and helped stop Congress from voting to undercut the troops."
VFF is calling for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to sign up so that VFF can "Schedule meetings for you with your Senators and Representative. In July we had to 'walk in'. On September 18th we want participants to have appointments."
According to its call for action, VFF is also looking for "Reserve high-profile speakers to address all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans on Monday night (September 17)." and to "Raise money to support the travel and lodging for ALL veterans. We plan to cover all air and ground travel costs, and lodging for the evening of September 17."
VFF will be joining Move America Forward on its "national, cross-country 'Fight for Victory Tour' September 3-15, 2007, ending in Washington, D.C., where MAF will "have a rally with a collection of pro-troop groups" that includes VFF, Gathering of Eagles (GOE), Military Order of the Purple Heart, Free Republic, Protest Warrior, Eagles UP!, and Center for Vigilant Freedom.
In an August 8 2007, press release, VFF executive director Pete Hegseth said, "We will not let paid political partisans co-opt the Iraq war debate ... Members of Congress must hear from the silent majority of Iraq veterans-those who have been on the ground, who understand the stakes, and who are confident that under General Petraeus' leadership we can defeat al-Qaeda."
On August 9, 2007, Hegseth told the Washington Times' Eric Pfeiffer that VFF "will begin airing TV ads this weekend in four states: Kentucky, Nebraska, Virginia and Connecticut. The ads will target senators whose support of the war may be wavering. One of the ads, titled 'Thank You,' will commend Senators Norm Coleman, Minnesota Republican, and Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, for their support of the war."
"Another ad, titled 'Don't Surrender,' features veterans asking senators, including John W. Warner, Virginia Republican, and Ben Nelson, Nebraska Democrat, to vote against any legislation that sets a deadline for withdrawing American forces from Iraq," Pfeiffer wrote.
To keep track of the pro-war lobby, keep an eye on SourceWatch and the continuing investigations of Artificial Intelligence, citizen journalist.