A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Ray McGovern
Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC, and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. On Wednesday, he arrived home in Arlington, VA, after five days in Crawford, and shared these remarks with 300 neighbors at the close of a candlelight observance in honor of Cindy Sheehan.
President Bush still refuses to meet with Cindy Sheehan, the Rosa Parks of Crawford, Texas, but there is some good news. While Crawford's Camp Casey (named after Cindy's son killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004) continues to be short on amenities, a sympathetic neighbor has given the hundred or so friends I left there on Wednesday a field in which they can pitch their tents. No longer will they have to try to sleep in the seven-foot wide ditch alongside the road, with local pick-up trucks and Secret Service SUVs whizzing by honking reveille at 5:00 AM. In addition, newly donated tarps are providing some protection from fire ants by night and the 105-degree sun by day.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Cindy Sheehan
The media are wrong. The people who have come out to Camp Casey to help coordinate the press and events with me are not putting words in my mouth, they are taking words out of my mouth. I have been known for sometime as a person who speaks the truth and speaks it strongly. I have always called a liar a liar and a hypocrite a hypocrite. Now I am urged to use softer language to appeal to a wider audience. Why do my friends at Camp Casey think they are there? Why did such a big movement occur from such a small action on August 6, 2005?
I haven't had much time to analyze the Camp Casey phenomena. I just read that I gave 250 interviews in less than a week's time. I believe it. I would go to bed with a raw throat every night. I got pretty tired of answering some questions, like: "What do you want to say to the President?" and "Do you really think he will meet with you?" However, since my mom has been sick, I have had a chance to step back and ponder the flood gates that I opened in Crawford, Tx.
Words spoken to crowd at the vigil for Cindy in front of White House:
"My name is Gilda, I am a member of MFSO and I have a son who is an active duty Marine. He was deployed to Iraq during the bloody assault on Fallujah in November. One hundred thirty-seven of our sons and daughters and countless Iraqis died in that assault.
We are gathered here to support Cindy Sheehan in her quest for truthful answers from President Bush about Iraq. This is a call to conscience!!! This is about supporting our troops who have served honorably and bravely under impossible conditions. They went under orders of their Commander- in-Chief to a war of choice unprepared and under equiped. President Bush…you owe us an explanation!!!! The only noble thing in this rotten war has been our noble sons and daughters who answered the call to serve their country, something you could not have understood or valued.
By C.W. Nevius
San Francisco Chronicle
Before the war in Iraq, Cindy Sheehan was no rebel. The mother of four was a youth minister at St. Mary's Catholic Church, in quiet, conservative Vacaville.
But when Sheehan's son Casey, 24, was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004, her world lurched out of orbit. In the sleepless days and nights that followed, Sheehan tapped into the anti-war movement on the Internet, looking for answers.
"Sometimes I get up in the mornings and I turn on my computer,'' she told me when I met her in February at a peace vigil in Benicia, "and my husband comes home at 5, and I'm still there in my pajamas.''
By Greg Moses http://peacefile.org/wordpress/?p=233
Not having Cindy Sheehan in Crawford Friday turned out okay. Her absence didn't stop the media from crowding around a noon prayer vigil. And nobody I talked to was planning to cut short their stay on account of her absence. In fact, as usual, folks were sort of falling in love with the land and each other, wondering how many days more could they squeeze in.
Take the example of Katie Sterling of Fort Worth and her traveling companion Pam Humphrey of Burleson, Texas. In the sweltering afternoon heat across Cedar Rock Parkway from the Crawford Peace House, they were tending to a field of 40 cars parked in neat rows, talking with big smiles about last night's sleepover in the network of bar ditches that has become Camp Casey. "We planned to stay in Waco with relatives, but we couldn't leave, so we slept in a ditch and it was great!" And why couldn't they leave? Because they were having too much fun.
By Congressman John Conyers
With Cindy back in California attending to her mother's illness, it is more important than ever that we think of ways to support her cause and push back against the right wing smear campaign she is facing.
Last week, we sent a letter signed by 40 Members of Congress supporting Cindy, and sought contributions to support her. This week, I am organizing a campaign to encourage supporters to write letters and guest editorials supporting Cindy to submit to their local papers. My initial goal of 1,000 letters was met today, so with the help of the Kos community, I would like to expand the goal to 2,000. If you would like to write a letter and have it automatically submitted to your local paper, click here. I have also created a Crawford Action Center on my web site which includes a variety of video and audio clips, talking points and other materials.
While I, thankfully have not become a member of the Gold Star ranks, I am a blue star mom, twice over, soon to be thrice. And here is why I'm going:
As the mother of a son who was perched on the berms of the Kuwaiti-Iraqi border in the run-up to the war, I ingested every single living breathing detail about Iraq and it's threat to the United States that I could, from when the president first hinted at going to war there, after his multi-week vacation in the summer of 2002.
My mind told me it was not a good move, this "war of choice", this "pre-emptive war" stuff, conducted in a country that was cobbled together of three different regions and cultures and religions.
I spent a majority of the day in the hospital with my mom. She seems to be getting stronger by the minute thanks to all the prayers and well wishes from the world. I am so grateful for all of the love and support we are getting right now.
My mom is still in ICU and I don't know if she will ever be able to come home, but I know she knows we are there and we even made her laugh a couple of times today even though she can't speak.
I hear things are going great at Camp Casey and more Gold Star Families for Peace members are arriving every day. They want to say..."we want to speak to the President, too. He killed our sons, brothers, and dads, too. We are tired of being disrespected and lied to. We deserve the truth and we deserve respect."
August 19th, 2005
Dear Mr. President,
Cindy Sheehan, a Gold Star mother who has been camped outside your ranch asking you to take one hour out of your five week vacation to meet with her, left Camp Casey yesterday when her mother had a stroke.
While Cindy Sheehan is temporarily not in Crawford, we want to be clear that we, Gold Star and Military Families and Veterans who've stood by Cindy these past 11 days, remain encamped outside your ranch and will stay here until you meet with us and answer ours and Cindy's questions about the "noble cause" for which our loved ones have been killed or placed in harm's way; Cindy Sheehan may have started this, but we are committed to carrying it on, on behalf of Cindy and the thousands of Gold Star and Military Families acorss the country who have the very same questions and concerns.
By Arthur Ruger
So did I ... in 1968 five months after the Tet offensive. I dropped out of college and enlisted.
And like the current volunteers who are described by worn-out conservative flag-wearers, I had a rough idea of what I was getting into. That "rough idea" was based on trust ... trust in a system and, ultimately, trust in a specific leader and a specific governing political party.
The specific leader of course was LBJ, the specific party was the Democratic Party and the specific system was and is the system that allows us to hang our political opinions on buttons and sanctimonious drapery of stars and stripes from which we belch our prejudices.
By Sidney Blumenthal
While the president worries about restoring "balance" to his life, Americans are worried by stratospheric gas prices and growing fed up with the war in Iraq.
Now is the summer of our discontent, made lowering winter by this sun of Crawford.
President Bush capers nimbly through his bicycle rides, fishing, brush clearing, attending a Little League baseball game and holding a merry meeting with his adoring and adored Rangers and Pioneers, his largest political contributors. His national security team comes and goes praising the nonexistent Iraqi constitution. He bestows souvenir pens on congressional leaders festively gathered around him, signing an energy bill that provides new loopholes for oil companies awash in windfall profits and drastically scales back measures for conservation as the price of petroleum skyrockets to near-record levels.
Los Angeles Times
Cindy Sheehan deserves to meet with the president as much as those forking over the big bucks.
LAST WEEK, the Bush motorcade sped by Cindy Sheehan on the way to a Republican National Committee fundraiser, literally leaving her and her fellow protesters in the Crawford dust. Sheehan, whose soldier son was killed in Iraq, was left wanly waving her hand-lettered sign: "Why do you make time for donors and not for me?"
She should have known that this is how it works in America. Only those who fork over the big bucks can count on getting an invitation to President Bush's Texas ranch. That's why Republican donors struggle to raise the $200,000 needed to gain the coveted RNC honorific of "Ranger."
Waco Tribune Herald
By Thaddeus DeJesus Tribune-Herald staff writer
Saturday, August 20, 2005
CRAWFORD – Standing on what has been called sacred ground, a group of clergy and military families worshipped together at an interfaith service under the noontime sun Friday at a protest site near the Western White House.
“We shall not any longer mourn alone and grieve alone,
By Cindy Sheehan
(one day late)
The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford
Today started out okay. I did my usual stint with Mark and Mark on the Morning Sedition on Air America Radio. I always love talking to them because they are so funny and smart. We have a 7:10am time. Nightline was also following me to do a “Day in the Life of Cindy Sheehan
By Tabassum Zakaria
Friday, August 19, 2005; 6:07 PM
CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - Supporters of anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan on Friday vowed to stay near U.S. President George W. Bush's Texas ranch in her absence, while opponents of her campaign displayed sheets filled with messages of support for the president.
Sheehan, whose son was killed in the Iraq war, returned to California on Thursday after her mother had a stroke. She had been camped out near the ranch in Crawford since August 6 seeking a meeting with Bush to ask him what "noble cause" her 24-year-old son, Casey, died for last year.
By Jim Lobe
Inter Press Service
Friday 19 August 2005
Washington - Has the US public lost so much confidence in the George W. Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war that its current strategy - to the extent one actually exists - is unsustainable?
With Pres. Bush himself besieged by anti-war protesters on his seemingly endless and ill-timed vacation at his Texas ranch, that appears to be The Big Question, just two weeks before the resumption of official business back in Washington.
Both Republican lawmakers, who face mid-term elections in 15 months from now, and the military itself, which, as a result of the Vietnam debacle, has taken as an article of faith that the loss of civilian support must be avoided at all costs, appear increasingly restive and unhappy with the course of events.
Here is an article from "The Nation" in Kenya. Some of the facts are incorrect, such as stating that Casey is Cindy Sheehan's only child; perhaps they meant "only son". However, the opinions expressed in the article are valid and poignant.
At Least, Our Leaders Shun War
The Nation (Nairobi)
August 20, 2005
By Ambrose Murunga
Kenyan leaders may routinely line up their pockets at our expense, or occasionally impose a suspect public educational system while their children benefit from first-rate education elsewhere.
But looking at events beyond our borders, I'm grateful that our leaders, in spite of their exceptional insatiability, have at least shunned external aggression.
I find that a remarkable achievement in a region where practically all our neighbours have been to wars.
No Kenyan parent would want to be in the position of a mother called Cindy Sheehan. For the past few weeks, Cindy has been publicly mourning her son, Casey.
Not in Our Name, national staff
August 19, 2005
Crawford, Texas: The stand off continues in Central Texas as about 200 folks from across Texas and the country hold vigil along the road leading to the Bush vacation ranch. Every day Cindy Sheehan has greeted newly arriving Gold Star Families for Peace and other military family members -- and yesterday was no different. Over and over again, this ongoing vigil has grown far larger than the grief of one mother, but that of “the pain of a nation
Arianna Huffington has a post up about the MSM (Mainstream Media, sometimes called the Lamestream Media) and their coverage of Cindy Sheehan. She makes a number of very good points about the state of our media today. One that caught my eye, that I have wondered about for sometime now, is what the MSM chooses to report, based on some bizarre reshaping of the need to present the "other side".
It’s one thing for the O’Reillys and the Limbaughs to spew anti-Cindy venom. The problem arises when, under the pretense of offering both sides, MSM figures regurgitate the GOP attack machine’s most contemptible hits (“she’s a puppet,
This article is two years old but still cries out...
Is lying about the reason for a war an impeachable offense?
By John W. Dean
Special to CNN.com
(FindLaw) --President George W. Bush has got a very serious problem. Before asking Congress for a joint resolution authorizing the use of U.S. military forces in Iraq, he made a number of unequivocal statements about the reason the United States needed to pursue the most radical actions any nation can undertake -- acts of war against another nation.
Now it is clear that many of his statements appear to be false. In the past, Bush's White House has been very good at sweeping ugly issues like this under the carpet, and out of sight. But it is not clear that they will be able to make the question of what happened to Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) go away -- unless, perhaps, they start another war.
Les Visible composed and sang this touching song titled:
"God Bless you Cindy Sheehan"
MR. BUSH, TEAR DOWN THAT STONE WALL!
A daily service of the DNC, "Mr. Bush, Tear Down That Stone Wall!" will highlight a specific fact that has been revealed and what Americans deserve to know about the White House's involvement in the improper and possibly illegal disclosure of an undercover CIA agent's identity for political gain.
WHAT'S BEEN UNCOVERED
Fitzgerald Had History of Pursuing Perjury In Previous Investigations. According to individuals familiar with his case history, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has pursued perjury charges in a significant portion of the cases he has investigated. The Los Angeles Times reported, "Fitzgerald's tendency to invoke the laws against lying comes from two things, colleagues say: the particular way he uses grand jury testimony when he conducts an investigation, and his deep-seated aversion to being lied to." [Los Angeles Times, 8/15/05 ]
Crawford Update Blog
Friday, August 19, 2005
There is nothing on this earth more moving than seeing a group of military families standing together in solidarity. When they speak, it is doubly so. Today's press conference under the blazing sun (yes, still complaining about the sun) was devoted to all of the Gold Star Families for Peace and members of Military Families Speak Out that had come to join Cindy in her stand against the war. Mimi Evans, whose son is deploying to Iraq within days, opened the conference saying, "Mr. President, we are here outside your ranch, and we are staying here. We Gold Star Families, MFSO and Iraq vets will remain encamped here until you meet with us-- because we ALL deserve answers. Tell us-- what exactly IS this noble cause?" Representatives from the other families as well as the Iraq vets added their messages to the President.
by Tony Norman
Madonna broke her hand and several ribs when she fell from her horse on her 47th birthday, but Cindy Sheehan would not be moved from her vigil outside a ranch in Crawford, Texas.
Fox News' Greta Van Susteren temporarily abandoned her ratings-rich search for Natalee Holloway of Alabama in the nightclubs of Aruba to spend a few days looking for LaToyia Figueroa, a pregnant black Latina missing in Philadelphia, but Cindy Sheehan would not be moved from her vigil.
Copperhead snakes are converging on Chuck Miller's secluded mountaintop home in Yellville, Arkansas, spooking scientists who have never seen anything like it, but Cindy Sheehan would not be moved from her vigil.
Published on Friday, August 19, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
by Jerry Lanson
For the most part, the people sacrificing for this war are the troops and their families, and very few of them are coming from the privileged economic classes.
-- Bob Herbert, New York Times
One of my neighbors apppears to take his responsibility of raising a family in this affluent birthplace of the American revolution awfully seriously. He has draped an oversized American flag over his front door. It hangs there day and night, in sunshine and in rain, about 15 feet from the SUV parked in the driveway.
I've been tempted to ask him about his definition of patriotism; to ask him why, if he believes so much in America, he drives a car that guzzles gas, helps push its price sky high, and makes all of us that much more dependent on foreign oil. I want to know how many of his relatives have fought and died in Iraq. And I'd like to remind him that the American flag is supposed to be folded at night and taken down in the rain.
Published on Friday, August 19, 2005 by the Seattle Times
The daily image of a grieving mother protesting the death of her soldier son by standing in the withering sun outside President Bush's Texas ranch is a poignant symbol. Bush would do well to pay attention to the image and the woman behind it.
Cindy Sheehan is not a foreign-policy expert. She does not hold the key to an Iraq war exit strategy. Sheehan is a mother driven to act by the death last year of her son, Casey, who was stationed in Iraq. What Sheehan has done is use her grief to fuel a passionate, visible anti-war movement.
If you can stand watching Chris Matthews, tonights the night to do it.
Mark Green will be on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews tonight at 7 PM and 11 PM. Mark will be discussing Cindy Sheehan and Iraq.
Programming Note: " 'Dead Wrong' -- Inside an Intelligence Meltdown" airs Sunday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET on CNN.
(CNN) -- A former top aide to Colin Powell says his involvement in the former secretary of state's presentation to the United Nations on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was "the lowest point" in his life.
"I wish I had not been involved in it," says Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, a longtime Powell adviser who served as his chief of staff from 2002 through 2005. "I look back on it, and I still say it was the lowest point in my life."
Wilkerson is one of several insiders interviewed for the CNN Presents documentary "Dead Wrong -- Inside an Intelligence Meltdown." The program, which airs Sunday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET, pieces together the events leading up to the mistaken WMD intelligence that was presented to the public. A presidential commission that investigated the pre-war WMD intelligence found much of it to be "dead wrong."