Open Letter to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney Regarding the AFL-CIO's Support for Organizations Opposing a Military Response to Terrorist Attacks

(For more information about this issue, see National Policy Analysis #366: Leading Institutions Support Groups Opposing a U.S. Military Response by Amy Ridenour. If a response to this letter is received, information about it will be posted here. As of February 2002, no courtesy of a reply had yet been received.)


October 5, 2001

Mr. John J. Sweeney
815--16th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20006

Dear Mr. Sweeney:

Allow us to express our condolences for the very many members of the AFL-CIO who lost their lives in the recent terrorist attacks upon the United States, and to express as well our heartfelt admiration and appreciation for those who died working to save the lives of others. We will never forget their sacrifice. They will be an inspiration to many generations of Americans.

We also appreciate your strong statement of September 12 offering support and "any and all assistance from the labor movement" to President Bush. We are sure you are aware that President Bush plans a military response, as well as other measures, to these attacks.

We wish to bring to your attention a situation involving your union about which you might not be personally aware.

Three organizations working jointly, the Institute for Policy Studies, the Interhemispheric Resource Center and their joint offshoot, Foreign Policy in Focus, are circulating among policymakers a petition opposing a major military response to the terrorist acts. It also opposes needed immediate changes within our U.S. intelligence agencies pending time-consuming further studies and counsels that changing U.S. international policies to conform to the wishes of the terrorist groups is the key way to deter future terrorist attacks.

These groups each advertise, to various extents, connections to and support from the AFL-CIO and AFSCME. An AFL-CIO representative is listed as a member of the board of directors of one and on the Advisory Committee of another. Both the AFL-CIO and AFSCME are listed as donors.

Given the literal life and death importance of this issue, and given that the AFL-CIO, based on recent public statements, does not appear to share these views, we are writing to you today to ask you to repudiate these views and indicate publicly that the AFL-CIO does not support this petition. We further ask that the AFL-CIO and its member unions discontinue all support for and formal connection with the aforementioned groups as long as they and the AFL-CIO continue to disagree on this very critical U.S. national security issue.

Sincerely yours,


Amy Ridenour
The National Center for Public Policy Research

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
Center for Security Policy

Paul M. Weyrich
National Chairman
Coalitions for America

James C. Miller III
Citizens for a Sound Economy

Christian Josi
Executive Director
American Conservative Union

Elizabeth Kilbride
National Defense Forum

Jim Martin
60 Plus Association

David W. Almasi
American Criminal Justice Center

Edmund Peterson
Project 21

Peter Huessy
GeoStrategic Analysis

Dr. Alveda King Tookes
King for America

William J. Murray
Religious Freedom Coalition

Jerris Leonard

Kenneth Timmerman
Maryland Taxpayers Association

A. Mike Green
Committee to Restore America Foundation

Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson
Founder and President
Brotherhood Organization for a New Destiny

Jeffrey B. Gayner
Americans for Sovereignty

Lorraine Boothby
Assistant to the President
Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation

Joan L. Hueter
American Council for Immigration Reform

Laszlo Pasztor
National President Emeritus
National Federation of American Hungarians, Inc.

Henry A. Hough
Executive Vice President
60 Plus Association

Gary Aldrich
Patrick Henry Center

(Titles and affiliations for identification only)

The National Center for Public Policy Research
501 Capitol Court, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 543-4110 Fax (202) 543-5975

The National Center for Public Policy Research
501 Capitol Court, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 543-4110
Fax (202) 543-5975
E-Mail: [email protected]