Sunday morning, before dawn, I read in the New York Times that "the Pentagon is planning to add more than 20,000 troops to Afghanistan" within the next 18 months – "raising American force levels to about 58,000" in that country. Then I scraped ice off a windshield and drove to the C-SPAN studios, where a picture window showed a serene daybreak over the Capitol dome.
While I was on C-SPAN's Washington Journal for a live interview, the program aired some rarely seen footage with the voices of two courageous politicians who challenged the warfare state.
So, on Sunday morning, viewers across the country saw Barbara Lee speaking on the House floor three days after 9/11 – just before she became the only member of Congress to vote against the president's green-light resolution to begin the U.S. military attack on Afghanistan.
"However difficult this vote may be, some of us must urge the use of restraint," she said. The date was Sept. 14, 2001. Congresswoman Lee continued: "Our country is in a state of mourning. Some of us must say, 'Let's step back for a moment, let's just pause just for a minute, and think through the implications of our actions today so that this does not spiral out of control.'"
And she said: "As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore."