By Ronald Brownstein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON -- The high-profile vigil near President Bush's Texas ranch by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq last year, could scramble the politics of the war as much for her allies as for the target of her protest.
The most immediate effect may be to increase the pressure on liberal activist groups and Democrats -- who have focused mostly this year on other issues -- to challenge Bush more persistently and forcefully on the war.
"It has gotten people back in the fight," said Eli Pariser, executive director of the political action committee associated with the liberal MoveOn.org. "What we're seeing is a lot of people ... recommitting themselves."
From Chuck Pennacchio:
Please join us in supporting Cindy Sheehan
August 16, 2005
On Wednesday, August 17 at 7:30 PM, activists across the country will gather for a candlelight peace vigil in support of Cindy Sheehan and her stand against the war. As you may know, Cindy Sheehan is co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace and the mother of Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, who was killed in Iraq in April 2004. For more than a week, Cindy has held a vigil outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, TX. Despite President Bush's refusal to meet, Cindy has vowed not to leave until the President agrees to discuss the war with her. Cindy has issued a call to action to the nation, asking supporters to join her in demanding an end to the war in Iraq. "Vigils for Cindy Sheehan" are being organized nation-wide by MoveOn, Democracy for America and True Majority.
Deborah Mathews reporting for The Iconoclast (Link to see photos)
Cindy Sheehan held a press conference a few minutes ago. Here is what she said:
"A kind gentleman from down the road offered us the use of his property. It's right by the barricade. He offered it because he heard about the shots fired. He didn't think that was right. He happens to be the third cousin of the person that fired the shots and so he came down and he said he supports us 100 percent. He offered us his land. We are in the middle of making that happen. We will be moving within the next few days and we are not being forced to move.
"You can ask the sheriff's department. We are cooperating fully with them and they are cooperating fully with us. This is going to be a better place. We can spread out. We don't have to lay in the ditch. We don't have to stay in a ditch. And we'll have plenty of room for parking and everything like that.
I saw a few passing references to "May Hasan Lamotte" yesterday in the print media. She was portrayed as "an Iraqi woman" who just had to drive to Crawford to tell Cindy Sheehan that her son died for a noble cause.
One news report yesterday said:
*"An Iraqi woman who moved recently to the United States, drove with her husband from Washington, D.C., to thank Sheehan for her sacrifice. But the woman, May Hasan Lamotte, 37, did not agree with Sheehan's call to pull the troops out of Iraq.
I came after reading about Miss Cindy. They think their children are dead for nothing, and I am one who got freedom. I am grateful for her son and American soldiers. Everybody thinks (Casey) died for nothing. He gave his life as many other brave soldiers have to give me and my country freedom, she said.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Cleveland family of Marine killed in Iraq says President Bush needs to create a plan that will bring the troops home.
The day after burying their son, parents of a fallen Marine stood on their front lawn and urged President Bush to either properly support the troops in Iraq or withdraw them.
"We feel you either have to fight this war right or get out," Rosemary Palmer, mother of Lance Cpl. Edward Schroeder II, said Tuesday.
Schroeder was buried Monday.
Schroeder died two weeks ago in a roadside explosion, one of 16 Ohio-based Marines killed recently in Iraq, including five Tri-state soldiers.
Mothers in the Nation's Capitol to President Bush: Meet with Mother Whose Son Was Killed In Iraq; Vigil in Front of White House
Distribution Source : U.S. Newswire
Date : Tuesday, August 16, 2005
To: Assignment Desk, Daybook Editor
Contact: Karen Bradley, 202-669-3927
Local mothers, family members of fallen soldiers, and other concerned citizens will hold a vigil in front of the White House in support of Cindy Sheehan, the mother camped out in Texas, demanding that President Bush explain why he sent her son Casey to die in Iraq.
Similar vigils will take place in 1,000 locations across the country on the same day at the same time.
OMAHA, Neb. -- A Nebraska woman is joining the war protest in Texas.
Virginia Walsh picked up a banner at the Nebraskans for Peace office on her way out of town.
Cindy Sheehan, of Vacaville, Calif., is camped out near President George W. Bush's ranch in the Crawford, Texas, area. She wants to meet with Bush over the April 2004 death of her soldier son in Iraq.
Walsh will join hundreds of others who are in Crawford calling for an end to the war.
"This is costing us dearly," Walsh said. "It's a mistake. It appears to be endless. Please help. I'm called to go. Literally, I hear a call."
By Caren Bohan
CRAWFORD, Texas, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan tried to calm tensions on Tuesday with area residents upset by her vigil but expressed outrage after a pickup truck driver ran over crosses at her campsite near U.S. President George W. Bush's ranch.
Some 800 white wooden crosses, bearing the names of soldiers killed in Iraq like her son, have lined the road near the area where Sheehan has pitched a tent. Witnesses said they saw a truck dragging a pipe and chains drive over some of the crosses on Monday night.
Larry Northern, 46, of nearby Waco, Texas, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief in connection with the incident, Crawford Police Chief Donnie Tidmore said.
Cindy Sheehan -- who's 24-year-old soldier son, Casey, died in Sadr City in 2004 -- started the vigil Aug. 6. She said she'll stay through Bush's month-long vacation unless he agrees to a meeting.
And now, a local elected official is joining her cause.
State Sen. Jim Ferlo booked a flight and took off for Crawford, Texas, this weekend. He's met with Sheehan. But she says she's not leaving the road outside the president's ranch until she gets to talk with him.
It's getting crowded. In fact, a circus-like atmosphere is beginning to appear in the news coverage of the demonstration.
By ANGELA K. BROWN / Associated Press
One of President Bush's neighbors on Tuesday offered the free use of his land to dozens of war protesters who have camped in roadside ditches the past 11 days.
The man sympathizes with the demonstrators and wants them to have more room, they said. Their makeshift camp off the winding, two-lane road leading to Bush's ranch has agitated residents complaining of traffic jams and blocked roads.
Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, Calif., started the vigil Aug. 6 to honor her son Casey, who died in Iraq last year. Sheehan vows to remain through Bush's monthlong ranch visit unless he meets with her and other grieving families.
Here is a portion of the transcript from Anderson Cooper's 360 Degrees show on CNN on August 16, 2005 about Cindy Sheehan & Camp Casey.
They also discussed a comment people claimed that she said that her son "died for Israel." On last night's show, Cooper asked Cindy Sheehan about this comment and she denied having said it. Here's what he said on tonight's show:
COOPER: Well, today, we've received numerous e-mails from viewers who saw that, and said, "Well, she lied. We read online that ABC News confirmed she sent them a letter saying exactly that."
So we contacted ABC News today about it. They said they had received a letter on behalf of Cindy back in March. They said took it seriously enough that they responded to it, but so far they cannot find the actual e-mail, they say. They say they're trying to find it, they're investigating.
Bottom line, ABC News right now does not seem to be confirming this is what Cindy Sheehan wrote to them, so stay tuned. We'll continue to follow.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 15, 2005
6:39 PM CONTACT: Military Families Speak Out / Gold Star Families for Peace
Ryan Fletcher 202-641-0277
Nancy Lessin 617-320-5301
More Gold Star and Military Families Join Cindy Sheehan in Crawford
Vow to Stand Vigil Until End of August; Call for Troops to be Brought Home Now
CRAWFORD, Texas - August 15 - More Members of Gold Star Families for Peace and Military
Families Speak Out from Georgia, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon and Ohio are arriving in Crawford, Texas to add their voices to Cindy Sheehan's, calling for a meeting with President Bush and for troops to be brought home now. Over 30 military family members have joined the vigil in Crawford, with more arriving daily.
By Larry C. Johnson
The clueless right wing is up in arms over the momentum of the Cindy Sheehan anti-war movement. There appears no depth they will not plumb, nor mudpit they will not enter in their effort to smear a mother who gave her son in service to our country. I cannot award a Chutzpah prize because there are too many deserving schmucks. Take wheelchair bound Charles Krauthammer's recent vicious attack:
She says she wants to ask the president why her son died. She already knows her own answer, and her answer is -- and she's said this openly -- to enrich the president's friends, meaning oil companies and contractors. There are a lot of honorable reasons and thoughtful reasons to oppose the war in Iraq. That's not one of them. And to advance the idea, as she has also, to the press of the entire world that we are in Iraq as a matter of imperialism is to demoralize our troops, encourage our enemies, and to encourage those who say that we are there as conquerors and not as liberators, which can only endanger our troops, which I think is a disgrace.
From Crawford Update Blog
Yesterday, we at Camp Casey had some unexpected yet much-appreciated guests. Wayne, Buddy and Larry, three farmers from Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas, respectively, wandered into the Crawford Peace House around 3 p.m. and my first thought was, "uh oh, these might be Bush supporters." But to our great relief, Wayne announced in his charming Okie accent, "Hello! We're here to see Cindy and tell her that we support her and her cause 100%." Goes to show it doesn't pay to stereotype, and even more importantly, that Cindy supporters and pro-peace people come from all different backgrounds.
From Crawford Update Blog
It was one of those defining moments of being here in Crawford: last week I was living a normal life, and at 9 this morning I was climbing the steps of the McLellan County Courthouse in Waco-- one of those classic Southern county courthouses--- to attend a hearing on land use at the Camp Casey site. I was frankly expecting a Camp Casey supporters v.s. angry landowner showdown, but to the credit of all involved, calm and reason prevailed. They aired their grievances, we discussed our need to protect our right to demonstrate, and the county commissioners listened to both sides. After the hearing, Ann Wright, a 29 year Army veteran and Camp Casey organizer, said she thought everything went really well. She commented, "The landowners have some very valid points about the traffic jams and space challenges. They spoke eloquently about their needs. We were able to discuss our need for free speech and area for dissent. It was very helpful to meet the landowners, and we look forward to working with them in the future. We want to be good neighbors to them." Ann also spoke personally with two of the landowners after the hearing (pictured above).
San Francisco Chronicle
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
IT WOULD be easy to dismiss Cindy Sheehan's protest in Crawford, Texas, against the U.S. invasion of Iraq as one woman's response to the death of her soldier son in Iraq.
But the scrappy protest of the Vacaville mother could be the catalytic event that might help build a significant movement against the war.
Opinion polls show widespread opposition to the war, and to Bush's conduct in promoting it. Peculiarly, this unhappiness has yet to translate into anything that could be called an anti-war "movement."
But remember that it took several years before opposition to the Vietnam War began to congeal into what we now call the "movement" against that disastrous war.
Americans in NZ support Bush anti-war camper
Concerned Americans in Auckland are holding an anti-war candlelight vigil tonight to support a woman camping in protest outside President George W. Bush's ranch in Texas.
Cindy Sheehan has been camping since August 6, demanding that the President explain why he sent her son Casey to die in Iraq. The President has so far refused to meet her.
The vigil will be held at 7.30pm in front of the American Consulate on Customs St East.
By Elisabeth Bumiller The New York Times
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 17, 2005
CRAWFORD, Texas Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq who has set up a vigil near President George W. Bush's ranch here, said Tuesday that she was "very disturbed" that a local resident had mowed down hundreds of small crosses bearing the names of other dead American troops, and that her now 10-day protest was "only the beginning" of what she described as a growing national movement to bring all American men and women home from the war.
In reaction to growing anger from many local residents, Sheehan's supporters said she would probably move "Camp Casey," her increasingly crowded roadside encampment named after her son, to a 300-acre, or 120-hectare, piece of property even closer to Bush's ranch. Her supporters said that the owner of the property was sympathetic to their cause, but that they could not release his name until a deal was complete.
Patrick Condon, Associated Press
August 17, 2005 MOM0817
Former FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley, along with a state senator whose son died in Iraq, are headed to Texas this week to join a growing anti-war demonstration near President Bush's ranch.
Rowley, now a Democratic candidate for Congress, and Sen. Becky Lourey will join a protest initiated by Cindy Sheehan, whose own son died in Iraq last year. Sheehan started the vigil Aug. 6, coinciding with Bush's summer vacation. She has said she won't leave until the president meets with her.
Rowley said Tuesday that she and Lourey would leave Thursday and stay at least through Sunday, sleeping in a tent at the site. They are paying their own way, she said.
Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:49 PM BST
By Caren Bohan
CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - Antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, is moving her camp closer to President George W. Bush's Texas ranch.
The piece of private property was offered by a relative of a man who had a fired shotgun in frustration over the protests, a source in the Sheehan camp said. The property owner is also a veteran.
"A neighbour of President Bush's has offered us his land," the source said. "It's got plenty of acreage for us, it's private land, we would have legal permission to be on it, it's much closer to the ranch -- in fact it's across the street from his (Bush's) church."
'Wash Post' Cuts Ties to Pentagon Event after Protests
Editor & Publisher
Monday 15 August 2005
New York - The Washington Post announced tonight that it will cease its co-sponsorship of the Pentagon-organized Freedom Walk next month. The paper's involvement had drawn heat from within and outside the paper, with a guild committee today calling for the link to end.
The newspaper told the Department of Defense that it was pulling back on its offer of free ads for the event - a march up the mall ending with a concert by pro-war country singer Clint Black.
"As it appears that this event could become politicized, The Post has decided to honor the Washington area victims of 9/11 by making a contribution directly to the Pentagon Memorial Fund," said Eric Grant, a Post spokesman. "It is The Post's practice to avoid activities that might lead readers to question the objectivity of The Post's news coverage."
Help afterdowningstreet.org raise money with a song!
US-THE BAND (from the S.F. Bay Area) has written a truly great protest song for modern times. It's called "How Did This Country Get So Bad? (I 1 2 NO!)", and it will make you smile, clap your hands, and stomp your feet (unless you are a Bush supporter, of course!).
The song is available for a $1.00 download (plus a 33-cent PayPal transaction fee) at www.ustheband.com
And from now through the end of September, 100 percent of all proceeds will be donated to afterdowningstreet.org to help spread the word about this VERY important doc
By Thomas Harrelson
Just another update on how things are progressing in
Fargo, ND. John Peterson and I had a radio interview last night with
the local college (NDSU) station to announce the planned rally this
coming Sunday and to explain why we are doing it. We had one
somewhat contentious caller, but the interview otherwise went great.
Even one of the hosts is going to join us at the rally now. I
haven't seen any mention of Cindy Sheehan on the local news at all in
this area. One must consider that Fargo, ND was Bush's second stop
(after Florida) on his post-election national itinerary. If a person
Posted by loudsue
I have to admit, I was always skeptical about the stories of soldiers being spit on. I was in college during the anti-war protests of the 60's and 70's, and everyone I knew in the "movement", still honored the soldiers.
A lot of people I knew in the movement wanted to spit on the POLITICIANS that supported letting our soldiers DIE. But everyone I came in contact with felt deep compassion for our soldiers, who were having to give up their youth and innocence in Vietnam. After all, they were our classmates in school, our brothers, our boyfriends, our cousins, our husbands, or our friends. We knew those guys!
t r u t h o u t | One Mother's Stand
By Scott Galindez
Tuesday 16 August 2005
Military Families Speak Out is growing rapidly. Family members with loved ones in Iraq have been arriving in bunches. Many of those coming are speaking out for the first time. A spokesperson for the group said that 30 to 40 people a day are signing up online.
On the Net:
Military Families Speak Out.
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Tuesday 16 August 2005
His name is Larry Northern, and he is a wretch.
The Arlington West cemetery has been growing for more than a year. Begun in California by activists seeking to honor those soldiers killed in Iraq, and also seeking to highlight in an unavoidably searing way the price we are paying for the invasion of Iraq, the cemetery is made up of small grave markers made of simple wood. There are crosses, and crescents, and stars of David. Each one represents a dead American soldier.
When word got out that the mother of a fallen soldier had camped herself out in front of the Bush "ranch" in Crawford with a demand to see the president, the Arlington West cemetery was packed up and sent to Texas. This was no small job, as there are now nearly 2,000 grave markers - each bearing a name - that make up the cemetery.
08.15.2005 Steve Cobble
Well, it's official. Yesterday the AP certified W as reeling in the polls.
Here's the Yahoo News online headline on Will Lester's AP story:
"Bush Approval a Low for Recent 2-Termers".
Here's my favorite line in the story:
"His ratings on everything from handling Iraq to the economy to Social Security and other domestic issues are at their lowest levels so far."
And that's before the indictments...
Although I would never make a medical diagnosis without examining a patient, I feel confident in my observation that George W. Bush is a new kind of bi-polar: the poles being indifference and destructive violence. His indifference to families who lost their sons and daughters in Iraq is now writ large – thanks to Cindy Sheehan and an ever-increasing group of parents who demand that Bush explain the "noble cause" for which their sons and daughters continue to be maimed and killed in Iraq. As Sheehan told the press on August 12, Bush has more time for Republican donors than for talking with bereaved families camped outside his Crawford fortress.
08.16.2005 Eric Boehlert
For those keeping score at home, Cindy Sheehan is a "crazy," "anti-Semite" "peacenik" "kook." An "exploited," "left-wing moonbat" "crackpot" whose behavior borders on "treasonous" and is nothing more than one of the "hysterical noncombatants" camped outside Crawford, Texas. It's telling that when this story first broke, GOP pundits at least had the decency to preface their smears with obligatory nods to Sheehan's sacrifice. No more. It's war.
I don't think we've seen the right wing this collectively unhinged since the Florida recount, when the mere thought of four more years of Democratic rule drove even mild mannered pundits like George Will off the cliff. Back then it was Will who spotted Al Gore's "serial mendacity," "corrupting hunger for power," and a selfish attempt to create "post-election chaos" and "delegitimize the election."
Here is the opening exchange from Monday’s Lou Dobbs interview with Judy Miller’s lawyer, Floyd Abrams:
DOBBS: Let's begin with 40 days in jail. How much longer is this going to go on?
ABRAMS: Well, the order of confinement by the judge was that she would stay in jail until she revealed her confidential sources, or until the grand jury expired, which is right now scheduled for October 28th. So it would be until then, unless there was -- there were additional legal steps taken against her. [emphasis added]
Was the fear of additional legal steps being taken against Judy Miller the reason for Monday's preemptive PR campaign? Was this why Floyd Abrams went on Lou Dobbs and the New York Times did a glowing pro-Judy editorial?