T.he Honorable Charles E. Schumer
U.S. Senator, State of New York
The Senate of the United States
Washington, D.C.

Schumer mug

January 8, 2008

Dear Senator:

We have met on numerous occasions, and I have followed your career since you joined Congress as a U.S. representative. We are both from the same hometown, Brooklyn, N.Y. I grew up in Park Slope, the neighborhood where you now reside.

You have often made yourself accessible to the public, and it is this quality, along with the position you occupy as a representative of the people of New York State in the U.S. Sentate, that has prompted me to submit the following inquiry and request.

It is said that our nation is at war, but no declaration of war has been made. It is Congress that has the power and responsibility to declare war (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8). The United States have initiated and persisted in engaging in acts of war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Balkans and other countries since the 1990s without a declaration of war. I am wondering if your office is dedicated to upholding the U.S. Constitution, as you pledged to do in your oath of office, which you have taken many times now as a U.S. representative and a U.S. senator. Congress cannot cede the war-making power to the executive without a constitutional amendment. I deserve an explanation as to why the United States is involved in acts of war in sovereign nations without a formal declaration of war by the U.S. Congress.

You are my senator. I respectfully request a full explanation. If it is found that the current sitting congress and past congresses have violated the constitution by ceding to the executive, powers that the executive is not entitled to under the constitution, such as using the U.S. armed forces and/or various surrogates to engage in acts of war absent a formal declaration of war by the U.S. Congress, an investigation of this matter should be initiated by your office.

I ask your immediate attention on this matter, as the invasions of two countries by U.S. troops may constitute illegal acts of war. The United States may be involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity as defined in U.S. domestic law and international treaties of which they are a signatory. I therefore ask that you clarify our status as to

1. the constitutionality of acts of war the United States have been, or are currently, engaged in, since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, including the invasion and occupation of Iraq beginning in 2003;

2. the current status of the United States with respect to war crimes and crimes against humanity that the U.S. armed forces and/or surrogates under its direction, and/or U.S. intelligence agencies, may have committed since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

I respectfully request that this information be sent promptly, as I wish to disseminate it to the public in my capacity as a journalist.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in this important matter.

Kindest regards,

Peter Duveen
cc: U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Representative Scott Murphy