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Campaign Press Release 1 May 2013

AMVETS Blinded Veterans Association Global Campaign

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
May 1, 2013

UPDATE (21 July 2013): 42 Representatives have now agreed to co-sponsor H. Res. 190.  In addition the Global Campaign has new endorsements from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Rolling Thunder, Inc., and the St. Louis Fire Department.

Principal Contact (Global Campaign against IEDs):

Robert C. Morris, Jr.
Phone (U.S): (757) 869-6770
FAX: (U.S.): (270) 477-7087
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.CampaignAgainstIEDs.org

Press Packet and Contacts for Media Interviews at:
[ http://www.CampaignAgainstIEDs.org/press-pack-4.pdf ]

 

Ground Breaking Congressional Action Condemns Improvised Explosive Devices and the Boston Marathon Bombing

House Resolution 190 condemning the IED attack at the Boston Marathon calls for unified international action against IEDs and makes the U.S. the first country to renounce those devices. 

Washington, D.C. –Representative Richard Hanna (R-NY) has introduced a bill to set the United States on the path to being the leader in reducing the global threat from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) such as those used in the Boston Marathon Bombing.

House Resolution (H. Res) 190 formally condemns the April 15, 2013, IED attack in Boston, Massachusetts and calls upon the United States Government, the governments of all nations, the United Nations, and other international organizations to renounce the use of IEDs, as well as take actions to stop their proliferation and control the trafficking of IED production techniques.

COL (Ret) Bob Morris, of the Global Campaign against IEDs calls H. Res 190 ground breaking and historic.

“This culminates over two years of hard work by the participating organizations and others in the Global Campaign. The U.S. will become the first nation to formally condemn IEDs and call for unified holistic action against them by the Global Community. That will put the needed pressure on other countries and international organizations to take action against this threat and not sit idly by.”

While expressing condolences to the families of those who lost their lives or were injured in the Boston Marathon Bombing, the proposed Resolution “unequivocally condemns the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)”; calls for the full prosecution of those responsible for the IED terrorist attack in Boston; and praises the active duty service members, first responders, and others who face the threat of IEDs and put their lives on the line to defeat them.

“What makes this Resolution particularly important is that it is ‘actionable’” says Morris, “It calls for concrete, reasonable actions by all parties beyond the traditional military focus.” These include international action against IEDs; trafficking in IED components and techniques; support to IED victims; and sharing IED related event and blast-trauma information.

Other actions Morris points to in the Resolution include: calling on all relevant agencies of the United States Government to coordinate with international partners and other responsible entities to reduce the use of IEDs and curb their proliferation; governments of all nations, the United Nations, and other international organizations, to formally renounce IEDs and assist in securing and monitoring IED components and techniques.

According to the Global Campaign against IEDs, the IED is the weapon of choice for armed groups who seek to achieve their goals through violence. There are over 500 IED events per month globally if thwarted attempts are counted according to the Department of Defense’s Joint IED Defeat Organization. In cases where IED incidents occurred in populated areas, 90% of reported casualties were civilians. These numbers point to a global epidemic of IED use.

Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) strongly support H. Res 190 and its call for all relevant agencies of the U.S. Government to support the care of active duty servicemembers, veterans, and first responders who are victims of IEDs by facilitating the exchange of blast trauma research data among law enforcement agencies, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Congressionally chartered Veterans Service Organizations, and other responsible entities.

IED attacks are the leading cause of casualties and injuries for American servicemembers and are anticipated to remain the leading cause of such casualties for the foreseeable future;

“The Blinded Veterans Association fully supports H. Res. 190 and Congressman Hanna for his leadership on this effort.” Stated Thomas Zampieri, Director Government Relations. “While the vast majority of our wounded warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan come from IED blasts that cause both visible and invisible injuries, the IED event in Boston demonstrates that every country is now at high risk of these weapons being used on civilians and First Responders are at high risk” Zampieri said, “We must share blast related defense medical research between federal agencies to facilitate improved care and management of those wounded by IED’s.”

Lieutenant General (Ret.) Frank Kearney, former Deputy Director, Strategic Operational Planning at the National Counter-Terrorism Center in Washington DC and former Deputy Commander of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) states “H. Res. 190 is a long overdue and much needed piece of legislation for its support to veterans, servicemembers, first responders and civilian victims of IEDs. More importantly,” says Kearney. “Its condemnation of IEDs and call for specific actions that will have a positive impact in reducing the proliferation of these devices by all nations sends a very clear message and a challenge to all nations to take responsibility for the solution. It should be pushed through the various Committees and approved by the House without delay.”

"AMVETS applauds the initiative of the Global Campaign against Improvised Explosive Devices, and the leadership of Representative Hanna in bringing the critical issue of IEDs to the forefront of our national political discourse," said AMVETS National Commander Cleve Geer. "With H. Res.190, Congress has the opportunity to curb the use of the signature weapon of terrorists around the world and to spare countless lives, military and civilian."

H. Res. 190 advances a previous call by a group of 92 Members of the House of Representatives in their May 3, 2012 Letter to President Obama urging the U.S. to develop a strategy partnered with the Global Campaign, Veterans Service Organizations, Military Service Organizations, and other public-private partners to identify the long term physical and psycho-social effects of IED related injuries; share findings and best practices with appropriate agencies and the private sector; and ensure adequate programs and benefits are available to affected veterans and their care-givers. Such findings will directly support treatment of civilians injured in the Boston IED attack. The Group is awaiting a full response.

Morris credits Representative Hanna for building support for this important legislation: “Simply put, if Congressman Hanna and his staff had not taken the initiative to lead in offering this Resolution, nothing would have happened.” Morris added: “Great credit is owed to all Members of Congress who will now come forward to take the lead on this important issue”, says Morris. “In this Resolution Members of Congress have a simple and easy choice to condemn IEDs; events such as 9/11 and Boston; and take action; or to decline to do so. IEDs are not a partisan issue. They, and the impact on veterans, servicemembers, and innocent civilians are a National issue.”

"Improvised Explosive Devices are the leading cause of injuries for American men and women in the military, and one can look to the Boston Marathon bombings to see the damage these weapons can cause to civilians," Rep. Hanna said. "It is my hope that people all over the world will join in condemning the manufacture and use of IEDs to cause harm, inflict pain and promote terror."

Those wishing to support the Global Campaign against IEDs can visit its website at www.CampaignAgainstIEDs.org.

A press packet (updated 13 May 2013) with supporting materials is available for download at: [ www.CampaignAgainstIEDs.org/press-pack-4.pdf ].