Contacting elected officials

Today in Google News I saw the scariest thing I've seen in the news... ever.

A PRESIDENT of the United States would be able to launch pre-emptive nuclear strikes against enemies planning to use weapons of mass destruction under a revised "nuclear operations" doctrine to be signed in the next few weeks. - Giles Whittell
found via Google links for this story

At this point in my life, the news related to the previous statement is scarier than the threat of terrorism, our inability to support the citizens of New Orleans after Katrina, or our official government policy stating that there is no such thing as global warming. I decided to inform my elected officials of my concern. It turned out to be surprisingly easy.

Here'’s how I contacted my elected officials:

  1. Visit It has a "Find Your Representative" feature.
  2. Enter in your 9 digit zip code.

  3. Click "“Go"
  4. The resulting page give you a list of each of your elected representatives. Click on a name to get a web page with their bio.
  5. On each elected officials bio page is a link to their Web Mail Address which is usually a web form where you can type a letter and submit it.

The websites for the senators I contacted stated that they would contact me. The House of Representative site was a generic site for all representatives and made no such promise. Hopefully the preemptive nuclear strike policy will blow over without getting adopted. In the mean time, it will be interesting to see what response and possible action my letters elicit.

Update 2005-09-13 because a firend asked... Here's the text of the letter I sent. By publishing this I guess it becomes an open letter... I always thought my first open letter would be about technology not politics... oh well... Anyway, on each website, they asked for my contact info, so there was no need to include it in the letter.

Representative McGovern,

Senator Kerry,

Senator Kennedy,

(I addressed each of them seperately)

I’m asking for your support in stopping the United States doctrine of pre-emption and specifically the proposed policy of pre-emptive nuclear strikes.

I was extremely disturbed by the news that our government is investigating plans to deter other countries from using weapons of mass destruction (WMD) through the use or threat of pre-emptive nuclear strikes. As a country we have already demonstrated our inability to distinguish between a country with WMDs and one without, before taking military action.

As horrible as recent events have been (Iraq, government response to Katrina, and the falling standing of the US on the world stage), the possibility of our country pursuing a further aggressive pre-emptive strategy is downright terrifying.

I do not want my children growing up in a world where they are hated and hunted because they grew up in a country where their government terrorized the world. For the last few years we have been behaving like a bully in a schoolyard. Our aggressive behavior has to stop. Acting aggressively, sooner or later we’re going to lose one of these confrontations.

I’ve attempted to keep my comments brief as you have many issues on your plate. Please feel free to contact me via email or phone at any time if you would like to discuss this issue further.


Paul Russell