*scroll down for updates*
Anti-war activists and far-left organizations have been galvanized by Cindy Sheehan’s continuing protest outside President Bush’s Crawford, Texas, ranch. MoveOn.org has hopped on the bandwagon with a newspaper ad and Internet campaign. Air America hosts, all too happy to talk about something other than their own unpleasant political and financial woes, have embraced Sheehan. Dem activist Joe Trippi is plugging a “Meet with Cindy” website, which in turn plugs the Crawford Peace House. Even the “Hip Hop Caucus” has hitched a ride:
On Wednesday, a coalition of anti-war groups in Washington called on Bush to speak with Sheehan, who they say has helped to unify the peace movement.
“Cindy Sheehan has become the Rosa Parks of the anti-war movement,” said Rev. Lennox Yearwood, leader of the Hip Hop Caucus, an activist group. “She’s tired, fed up and she’s not going to take it anymore, and so now we stand with her.”
And they’ll follow her wherever the cameras take them. According to one Democrat blog report:
Cindy is scheduled to appear in Italy, Colorado, Louisiana, and Washington, DC for the September 24th mass rally. But for now, she seems content to make her stand in the Lone Star State. When we spoke this evening, she said that she has a few questions for the president and that she’s heading to Crawford to get the answers. “I am not leaving until George answers me or I am arrested. I may stay there the entire month of August.”
Mrs. Sheehan has made a splash with the far Left and in the MSM. Her tenacity is impressive. But the dishonesty and disingenuousness of her benefactors and cheerleaders is intolerable. David Brock’s Media Matters and others, for example, have attacked Bill O’Reilly and me for “lying” and “smearing” Mrs. Sheehan, when any sane person can see that’s not the case. I’m re-posting the link to the video of our discussion (here) and the full, un-Dowdified transcript below in the extended entry. [Update: Cindy Sheehan responds here and also posts on her good friend Michael Moore’s site.]
Meanwhile, MSM reporters continue to ignore the glaring contradiction in Mrs. Sheehan’s accounts of her meeting with President Bush. Reading comprehension-challenged leftists can’t seem to grasp that the issue is not whether Mrs. Sheehan was anti-war before her son died in Iraq (she was), but why she has completely changed and embellished her account of Bush’s behavior and her and her family’s impressions of him. Patterico spells it out for the slow wits at the Los Angeles Times.
Speaking of slow-wittedness, the Cindy Sheehan juggernaut has resulted in an uptick in profanity-laced moonbat hate mail from Bush Derangement Syndrome sufferers incapable of rational debate. Here’s just a sample. Excuse the language.
An e-mailer named Dan Opacki, whose name appears on this anti-war manifesto, writes:
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 03:54:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: dan opacki [email protected]
Subject: oriental dolls
Didn’t you pose for Oriental Dolls magazine a couple of years ago? You look just like one of those little fuck sluts with her wide open legs and sloppy cunt – Oh no excuse me, that’s your face.
[Update: A different Dan Opacki with a comcast account sent the following e-mail this afternoon to clarify…]
From: [email protected]
Subject: What’s going on?
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 22:35:51 +0000
X-Mailer: AT&T Message Center Version 1 (Dec 17 2004)
A friend of mine called me and told me that she was e-mailed by someone else telling of my name on your web-site. I’m not sure what’s going on but I can assure you that I did not write such crass words as what appears attributed to my name. I’m a real person with a real profession and a reputation and while yes, I singed a petition, I did not call you those nasty names. I have hardly little time to read ANY website, let alone yours, and I’d appreciate that you also post this letter too. Or, take my name off of your website immediately. I am tempted to seek legal recourse about this if you don’t. Any idiot can open a yahoo account free of charge and apprently someone did, using my name – why? I have no clue, but it was NOT the real Dan Opacki. While we disagree politically we share common decency. I hope you respond so. And I am not selling a sofa. I don’t know what’s going on here.
E-mailer Williams cuts to the chase:
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 13:42:24 -0700 (PDT)
From: William [email protected]
Here’s a tip for you, I hope your entire family perishes in a war of your liking. Fucking cunt.
And Patrick Mitchell, who
works [Update: he has been canned. Please don’t bother the company anymore. Thanks] at the Los Angeles office of Ogletree and Deakins, writes from work:
From: “Mitchell, Patrick” [email protected]
To: “‘[email protected]'”
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 11:41:22 -0400
X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2657.72)
YOU STINK you nasty CUNT! Eat Shit and DIE bitch!!
You tell me who the hate-mongers are.
Debra Saunders has a sane column available at Real Clear Politics.
Instapunk gets brutally candid.
More from Brainster’s Blog.
Update, 1:50 pm eastern time: I have just received an e-mail and phone call from
Gray L. Geddie of Ogletree Deakins. Here’s the e-mail…
Dear Ms. Malkin,
I am the Managing Shareholder of the law firm of Ogletree Deakins with offices located across the country. I was very disturbed to learn today that a legal secretary in our Los Angeles office sent you the vile e-mail referenced on your home page. Such remarks are clearly inappropriate in any context and an e-mail such as this certainly should not have been sent during working time using our firm’s equipment. The comments of this employee are not reflective of the views or opinions of the firm and are directly in violation of our e-mail policy. As Managing Shareholder, I wanted to extend to you our apologies and let you know that this serious violation of our firm’s work rules has resulted in the discharge of this employee.
Once again, let me offer you our deepest apologies for any discomfort that the referenced e-mail has caused. It will not happen again.
Thanks to Mr. Geddie and to all who wrote.
Update II: The New York Sun editorializes on Cindy Sheehan’s Crowd…
It’s easy to see why Cindy Sheehan, the 48-year-old mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, has become the new face of the anti-war movement, featured in a New York Times editorial on Tuesday and a Maureen Dowd column yesterday morning. Camped out in Crawford, Texas, near President Bush’s ranch, she’s a more sympathetic face than a lot of the alternatives. But as sad as Ms. Sheehan’s loss is – and we don’t belittle it – she has put herself in league with some extreme groups and individuals.
For starters, Ms. Sheehan has been posting on Michael Moore’s Web site, writing, “We have such a strong coalition of groups. GSFP, Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out and the Crawford Peace House. I talked with John Conyers today and he wrote a letter to George signed by about 18 other Congress members to request that he meet with me. I also talked to Maxine Waters tonight and she is probably going to be here tomorrow.”
It turns out that the Crawford Peace House Web site includes a photo depicting the entire state of Israel as “Palestine,” and it carries a link to a report that when Prime Minister Sharon visited Crawford, the “peace house” greeted him with an “800-foot-long banner containing all of the United Nations resolutions that Israel is in violation of.” The Crawford Peace House site also features a photo of Eugene Bird, who has suggested that Israeli intelligence was responsible for the abuses at Abu Ghraib.
Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, and Military Families Speak Out all have representatives on the steering committee of United for Peace and Justice, an anti-war umbrella group. They share that distinction with the Communist Party USA. UPJ organized the march during the 2004 Republican Convention in New York, at which a New York Sun poll of 253 of the protesters found that fully 67% of those surveyed said they agreed with the statement “Iraqi attacks on American troops occupying Iraq are legitimate resistance.” In other words, Ms. Sheehan’s “coalition” includes a lot of people who think the persons who killed her son were justified.
Read the whole thing.
Update III: More info on the Sheehan family’s dissenters here.
President Bush responds.
Greg at Deep Down in Texas photoblogs the protest site.
Paul at Power Line shares thoughts on the nation’s fortitude.
The Astute Blogger shines light on more insanity.
Jeff Goldstein spots a moonbat celebrity equating Mrs. Sheehan with the Chinese protester who ran in front of the tank at Tiananmen Square. Really.
The Vacaville Reporter files a new story on the split between Mrs. Sheehan and other members of the Sheehan family.
TRANSCRIPT FROM O’REILLY FACTOR, TUESDAY, AUGUST 9
Hi, I’m Bill O’Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight. The fascinating saga of Cindy Sheehan. That is the subject of this evening’s “Talking Points Memo”.
Mrs. Sheehan is protesting in Crawford, Texas, trying to convince Americans the Iraq War is wrong and the president should be impeached. She is doing so because her son Casey, an Army specialist, was killed last year in Iraq.
No one has the right to intrude on Mrs. Sheehan’s grief. That’s number one. She’s entitled to her opinion on a situation that has deeply affected her. And she’s angry at the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY SHEEHAN, SON DIED IN IRAQ: Because Joe Hagen, the deputy chief of staff said that I can tell you the president really cares. And I said you can’t tell me that because I met with him and I know that he doesn’t care. And I told them that I feel that my son didn’t die for a noble cause.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O’REILLY: Well, here’s something very strange. Two months after her son died, Cindy and her husband Patrick did meet with President Bush, as she said. After that meeting, Cindy was quoted by a California newspaper as saying, “I now know [President Bush] is sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis. I know he’s sorry and feels some pain for our loss.”
So Mrs. Sheehan has apparently changed her mind about the president. How did that happen? Well, for some reason she’s teamed up with Michael Moore and a man named Sam Husseini, both anti-war radicals. Husseini said this on “The Factor” just two days after 9/11.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAM HUSSEINI, INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC ACCURACY: What sickened me was the act of what happened and that people would kill so many innocent people. But now I hear a drumbeat of having our soldiers kill women and children.
Colin Powell advocated, apparently, during the build-up of the Gulf War of flooding Baghdad and killing possibly four million people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O’REILLY: Now that kind of lunacy is what Mrs. Sheehan is associating with. You would think the media would be cautious here with obvious inconsistencies and radicalism in play, but no.
In an editorial today in The New York Times, it says, “Mr. Bush obviously failed to comfort Ms. Sheehan when he met with her and her family. More important, he has not helped the nation give fallen soldiers like Casey Sheehan the honor they deserve.”
Well, let’s go back to the California article. Cindy Sheehan quoted as saying, “that was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together.” It sounds like comfort to me. What say you, New York Times?
Finally, honest people could disagree about the Iraq War. Most Americans now oppose it. That could turn around with some progress. And “Talking Points” hopes it does.
But remember this. For every Cindy Sheehan, there’s a Sergeant Leroy Scott who’s recovering from the terrible wounds he received, attempting to go save a soldier’s life while serving as a medic in Iraq. Sergeant Scott is proud of his service, proud of his country. I talked with him today. I sense no bitterness at all.
I don’t know what is driving Mrs. Sheehan, but I do know she’s being used. And maybe she knows it as well. And that’s the Memo.
Now for the top story tonight. Another take on this. Joining us from Washington, FOX News analyst Michelle Malkin. Cindy Sheehan says she will appear on “The Factor” tomorrow. We shall see, Michelle.
This is a tough one, because you know, a woman lost her son, can’t — you got to be sensitive to that. But now she’s — I think she has been hijacked by some very, very far left elements. What do you think?
MICHELLE MALKIN, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, I do want to emphasize what you said, Bill, which is that losing a child in any situation, whether it’s in a war, from an accident or disease, is one of the most painful of human experiences. And Mrs. Sheehan deserves compassion and sympathy.
And apparently, according to the accounts from last year when President Bush met with her, that’s exactly what she got. I don’t think that anybody should demonize her, but I do think that she has turned her private personal pain into a public circus.
And just look what it’s like down there in Crawford, Texas. You’ve got people surrounding her, people who are all too happy to help push her over the edge, yelling and screaming that the president was the one that killed her son.
No, it wasn’t. And it’s a shame that she doesn’t have anybody to help bring her back down to reality to remind her that it was Iraqi terrorists who ambushed her son on a roadside and killed him and many, many other of his colleagues in the military.
She has aligned herself now with Michael Moore, who considers those very Iraqi terrorists Minutemen. That’s what he calls them. He’s likening them to the American revolutionaries and considers them heroes. I can’t imagine that Casey Sheehan would approve of such behavior, conduct, and rhetoric.
O’REILLY: Well, I have to say that she obviously does because she’s the lead story on Michael Moore’s Web site on an almost daily basis. And she knows – I mean, Michael Moore isn’t a subtle guy. Everybody knows where he stands.
So I mean, I think Mrs. Sheehan bears some responsibility for this, and also for the responsibility of other American families who have lost sons and daughters in Iraq, who feel that this kind of behavior borders on treasonous.
You know, you got to think about those people as well. What about their feelings?
MALKIN: Of course.
O’REILLY: What about the sergeant I talked about? What about his feelings, you know, that this woman is now saying that the U.S. government are murderers and all this crazy stuff?
So I think we have to be compassionate, as you said, toward Mrs. Sheehan, but I do believe that she has to take responsibility for her actions.
MALKIN: No question.
O’REILLY: Now she’s being used by The New York Times and other, you know, people who have an agenda. Don’t you think she’s being used?
MALKIN: Well, it must be mutual exploitation, because clearly, I believe that she believes what she is saying now. And when she writes op- ed pieces for far left groups like the Common Dreams Web site, accusing the Bush administration of being the worst and biggest terrorist outfit in the world, I don’t think anybody is putting those words in her mouth.
I do think that there are a lot of free riders in the anti-war, anti-military left, who are getting a lot of mileage out of her grief. And I would hope that there are other members of her family who find this very unseemly.
You mentioned Sam Husseini, who’s with the Institute for Public Accuracy. This is the outfit that sent Sean Penn to do pro-Saddam propaganda before the invasion of Iraq. There’s a larger group involved here, a coalition called the United for Peace and Justice Coalition.
And among them are a group called Code Pink, which is headed by Madea Benjamin, who’s a terrorist sympathizer, dictator worshipping propagandist. And Mrs. Sheehan has hooked up with her at various counterdemonstrations. And these people have an agenda of basically undermining the military.
O’REILLY: She has thrown in — there is no question that she has thrown in with the most radical elements in this country. That is — now, it happened before. Some of the 9/11 families also took this road, you’ll remember, and are still active to this day. There’s a big controversy about the 9/11 Museum down at the World Trade Center.
And you know, there are some people who hate this government, hate their country right now, and blaming Bush for all the terrorism and all the horror in the world.
Here’s a question, Michelle. Do they have a right to this opinion without being scorned?
MALKIN: No, without being scorned, no. And I wouldn’t call it scorned. I would call it scrutiny. And the mainstream media is not doing it.
I mean, The New York Times editorial board is all too eager to prop her up as some sort of martyr and to buy her line when clearly her story hasn’t checked out.
O’REILLY: Yes, her story hasn’t changed.
MALKIN: And so I think – and I think that angle you’re emphasizing is absolutely right here, which is the mainstream media just lapping this up and perpetuating myths and inaccuracies when they know it’s not the truth.
O’REILLY: Yes. They don’t identify — in The New York Times editorial today, it was obvious they did not say her story has been inconsistent. And they did not pinpoint that she is in bed with the radical left.
Michelle, thanks very much as always.