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Update: I noted below that it would be nice if folks could show up and show some support for the targeted recruitment office. Reader Sandy e-mails:
I called the USMC Officer Recruiting Office at Berkeley and expressed my support to one of the recruiters. H asked how I knew about the situation, and I told him your blog was my source. He said the Pinkos vowed they would be back on the weekends and during the week, every week, until the office is shut down. They went to the landlord of the building and have been harassing him, and he may complain to the city/mayor about it, as other building tenants do not appreciate their antics since it interferes with their businesses. The recruiter hoped that more support would come in and that the word would be spread. He said earlier this week, some Gold Star and Blue Star family members came to the office to show support. One of the family members was a father whose Marine son had died in Fallujah. A man with the Pinkos said to him, “How does it feel to have your son die for oil?” Tensions, of course, were very high and there was almost a fight. I know that I could not hold my temper (and tongue) as these Marines are doing. I despise what these harridans are doing. Question their patriotism? There’s no question about their patriotism.
Your daily dose of Bay Area troop hatred is brought to you this morning by Code Pink in Berkeley (via CBS 5; hat tip: Jim Hoft):
The least they could do is spellcheck their slander.
Like the MoveOn.org Democrats, the Code Pinkos are doing all they can to squelch free speech. Via STACLU from the Berkeley Planet:
“If there are to be no wars, there can be no warriors,” said Dianne Budd, one of the organizers.
“We found out a few days ago and decided to make their lives miserable,” she said, pinning up “RECRUITERS LIE, CHILDREN DIE” posters on the office windows. “We want people to know that it’s here and we want to shut them down. If people had been in there we were ready to hand out information about GI rights. We just want to speak the truth.”
They can’t handle the truth.
The brave recruiter, Capt. Richard Lund, who has to put up with this unhinged abuse, wrote an open letter to Berkeley:
While the protest that you staged in front of my office on Wednesday, Sept. 26th, was an exercise of your constitutional rights, the messages that you left behind were insulting, untrue, and ultimately misdirected. Additionally, from the comments quoted in the Berkeley Daily Planet article, it is clear that you have no idea what it is that I do here. Given that I was unaware of your planned protest, I was unable to contest your claims in person, so I will therefore address them here.
First, a little bit about who I am: I am a Marine captain with over eight years of service as a commissioned officer. I flew transport helicopters for most of my time in the Marine Corps before requesting orders to come here. Currently, I am the officer selection officer for the northern Bay Area. My job is to recruit, interview, screen, and evaluate college students and college graduates that show an interest in becoming officers in the Marine Corps. Once they’ve committed to pursuing this program, I help them apply, and if selected, I help them prepare for the rigors of Officer Candidate School and for the challenges of life as a Marine officer. To be eligible for my programs, you have to be either a full-time college student or a college graduate. I don’t pull anyone out of school, and high school students are not eligible.
I moved my office to Berkeley in December of last year. Previously, it was located in an old federal building in Alameda. That building was due to be torn down and I had to find a new location. I choose our new site because of its proximity to UC Berkeley and to the BART station. Most of the candidates in my program either go to Cal or to one of the schools in San Francisco, the East Bay, or the North Bay. Logistically, the Shattuck Square location was the most convenient for them.
Next, you claim that I lie. I have never, and will never, lie to any individual that shows an interest in my programs. I am upfront with everything that is involved at every step of the way and I go out of my way to ensure that they know what to expect when they apply. I tell them that this is not an easy path. I tell them that leading Marines requires a great deal of self-sacrifice. I tell them that, should they succeed in their quest to become a Marine officer, they will almost certainly go to Iraq. In the future, if you plan to attack my integrity, please have the courtesy to explain to me specifically the instances in which you think that I lied.
Next, scrawled across the doorway to my office, you wrote, “Recruiters are Traitors.” Please explain this one. How exactly am I a traitor? Was I a traitor when I joined the Marine Corps all those years ago? Is every Marine, therefore, a traitor? Was I a traitor during my two stints in Iraq? Was I a traitor when I was delivering humanitarian aid to the victims of the tsunami in Sumatra? Or do you only consider me a traitor while I am on this job? The fact is, recruitment is and always has been a part of maintaining any military organization. In fact, recruitment is a necessity of any large organization. Large corporations have employees that recruit full-time. Even you, I’m sure, must expend some effort to recruit for Code Pink. So what, exactly, is it that makes me a traitor?
The fact is this: any independent nation must maintain a military (or be allied with those who do) to ensure the safety and security of its citizens. Regardless of what your opinions are of the current administration or the current conflict in Iraq, the U.S. military will be needed again in the future. If your counter-recruitment efforts are ultimately successful, who will defend us if we are directly attacked again as we were at Pearl Harbor? Who would respond if a future terrorist attack targets the Golden Gate Bridge, the BART system, or the UC Berkeley clock tower? And, to address the most hypocritical stance that your organization takes on its website, where would the peace keeping force come from that you advocate sending to Darfur?
It would be nice if folks in the Bay Area could show up and counter-protest the Code Pinkos and show Capt. Lund some support. As they say: Eagles Up!
Dan Riehl has a flashback: Murtha and Pinkos, perfect together.