Amid final vote counting, David Levitt has moved into 2nd place in San Francisco, in California's US Senate primary race.
Statewide it is clear the runner up will be party-endorsed Republican Elizabeth Emken, the best funded candidate after incumbent Senator Feinstein.
However in San Francisco, computer technologist Dr. David Levitt has received more votes than any Republican, third party candidate, or Democrat other than Senator Feinstein - more votes than any of her 22 other opponents, including much better funded and more experienced candidates. Levitt has received more than 71,000 votes statewide.
"Throughout this primary race, Senator Feinstein has consistently refused to participate in debates or to answer questions posed by citizens and opponents in public forums and online, even on her own Facebook page and Twitter feed," explains Dr. Levitt. "Instead she has been focussed on petitioning the Federal Election Commission in hope of obtaining an even greater financial advantage over her opponents. This just one aspect of what is widely known as 'the corrupting influence of money in politics,' and it has been a shame to see Senator Feinstein continue to embrace it."
"The policy questions Senator Feinstein has refused to address are more urgent than ever - particularly when just last week, the New York Times, CIA experts and others confirmed that the drone and secrecy policies she has embraced as Intelligence Committee Chair are helping and even driving Al Qaeda recruiting efforts. The Senator's secretive national security decisions are making America less safe. Independent of any election process, millions of Americans need answers to those questions and changes to those policies," says Dr. Levitt.
Levitt has proposed alternative policies that can make Al Qaeda recruiting harder rather than easier. These include:
- apologies and compensation, similar to Canada's apology, to Maher Arar, the innocent engineer whom the US rendered to Syria
- accountability for NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, who has overseen warrantless surveillance of thousands of Muslims in the New York area
- justice and transparency for abused Guantanamo prisoners who have never been found guilty of any terrorist activity
These alternatives to violence will exist long after the elections are over.
Leaving Afghanistan in 2013 can save thousand of lives, millions of needless injuries, and trillions of dollars.
Most Americans want the US out of Afghanistan. We live in a democracy, so let's make it happen.
The only problem: professional politicians who think they look Tough on Terror when they risk brave soldiers' and innocent civilians' lives in needless war. They've spent trillions of our tax dollars on them already. And it's a key reason we citizens need to take our government back.
The invasion of Afghanistan has never made Americans any safer.
As with the Iraq war, the Congress and the White House cruelly exploited our anger and fear over the 9-11 attacks, and took violent action overseas that didn't catch the planners of 9-11 and hasn't made us any safer.
There were no Iraqis, no Afghanis, and no Taliban on any of the 9-11 flights. There were none involved in the planning -- which took place in Hamburg, Germany, not Afghanistan. Thanks to our corrupt Congress, most of the US troops who volunteered to fight didn't know this when they risked their lives. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, one of the most relentless advocates of Middle East wars and war spending in the US Senate, has been a leader in this negligence and deception.
The Taliban government of Afghanistan had no foreknowledge of the 9-11 attacks; condemned them immediately; and offered to help prosecute Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan or in a third country if there was evidence he had a role.
The US president rejected the Taliban's offer answering, "There's no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he's guilty."
Almost a decade later -- after countless thousands of Afghanis and Americans had died in the longest war in US history, with still no US charge or indictment showing evidence of a bin Laden role in the 9-11 attacks -- bin Laden was located. In a different country.
Meanwhile, all the US military attacks, drone strikes and illegal prisons have made Americans less safe. The handful of attempted terrorist attacks since 9-11, like the underwear and Times Square bombers and the Fort Hood attack, were carried out by Americans angry over the way Muslims have been mistreated in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib -- and civilian deaths in our multiple Middle East wars.
This has been cruelest to the 9-11 families, and to US soldiers who risked their lives - believing war in Iraq and Afghanistan would bring the perpetrators of 9-11 to justice. Instead, bin Laden got just what he said he wanted: a US nearly bankrupted by Middle East wars costing over a trillion dollars. Over the past decade, this unaccountable US Congress has achieved bin Laden's dream – and tripled it.
That's just one reason the Democrats and Republicans who were complicit in starting these reckless wars won't end them now. Instead of re-thinking it, they plan to stay in Afghanistan for years to come, regardless of what the American people want.
If we want to save those precious lives and those trillions of dollars, we need to replace those politicians in November.
We need an honest new group that can say, "Maybe refusing to cooperate wasn't the fastest way to catch bin Laden. Maybe trying him in a third country in 2001 wasn't such a terrible idea. And actually, when we're not distracted by Terror, we Americans think asking for the evidence is a good idea. And probably bombing Afghani civilians and raiding their homes hasn't helped the cause of justice. Probably we'd all be safer if our soldiers came back to our own country."
A cease fire and pull out from Afghanistan in 2013 can save thousand of lives, millions of needless injuries, and trillions of dollars. We need those brave Americans and all that money back in the USA doing something much more worthwhile.
It all starts with replacing the advocates of these needless wars. Let's replace Senator Dianne Feinstein with a new California Senator who didn't help start the Afghanistan war and is ready to end it.
Let's make it happen.