Report from Crawford

By Amy Branham

Thank you, America!

This morning I sit at my keyboard in awe of the events of this past weekend. Cindy Sheehan's trip to Crawford to talk to President Bush started out as just a small idea Wednesday evening. None of us thought for even a minute that it would snowball into the media and historic event that it has now become. Cindy, Dede and I thought the journey would be made by the three of us and maybe some veterans from the Veterans for Peace convention we were attending.

Saturday morning we boarded the VFP Impeach Bush bus, along with a platoon of vets sent by VFP to go with us. A caravan of cars followed behind, filled with vets and others who had come to support us. The vets on that bus are some of the most inspiring, honorable and heroic men I have ever met. They inspired me and helped to heal my broken heart. These are people I had to explain nothing to because they know how I feel. They've been there. They've buried their buddies and seen the worst of humanity. I will forever have a warm spot in my heart for them.

T-Shirts for Cindy

Cindy Sheehan Videos

Watch them here.
Credit: DriveDemocracy.org

Austin Press Conf. for Sheehan Wednesday at Noon

A BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT

IN AUSTIN - SUPPORT CINDY SHEEHAN'S COURAGEOUS VIGIL!

VIGIL AND PRESS CONFERENCE
Wednesday, August 10 at noon
Federal Building, 8th and San Jacinto

By now you probably already know about Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside George Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. Cindy's son Army Spc. Casey Sheehan was killed in Iraq in April 2004. Since then Cindy has been working to end the war and bring the troops home, telling her story and speaking out at every opportunity. This past Saturday she went to Crawford, marched as close to the president's ranch as the police would allow, and has not moved since. She is demanding that Bush meet with her and that be bring the troops home from Iraq now. Cindy is prepared to stay in Crawford until the president meets with her, or until he ends his vacation and returns to Washington, DC.

Cindy Sheehan Gives BuzzFlash the Latest from Crawford

Direct from the drainage ditch, the intrepid protester says "Our spirits are great," but Bush "doesn't have enough courage to face someone who actually disagrees with him ..."

A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW

Cindy Sheehan and others are at Bush's Crawford, Texas, vacation location, bringing a message to Bush that it's time to bring the troops home. She is a cofounder of Gold Star Families for Peace and the mother of Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, killed in Baghdad April 4, 2004.

Intrepid, courageous, and effective. Cindy Sheehan has brought the war against war to George Bush during his frustratingly insensitive 5-week-long vacation in Crawford, Texas. BuzzFlash emailed her today, and is happy to share her responses with our readers and the world.

Thank you, America!

A Report from the Vigil in Crawford.

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Amy Branham

This morning I sit at my keyboard in awe of the events of this past weekend. Cindy Sheehan's trip to Crawford to talk to President Bush started out as just a small idea Wednesday evening. None of us thought for even a minute that it would snowball into the media and historic event that it has now become. Cindy, Dede and I thought the journey would be made by the three of us and maybe some veterans from the Veterans for Peace convention we were attending.

Saturday morning we boarded the VFP [Veterans for Peace] Impeach Bush bus, along with a platoon of vets sent by VFP to go with us. A caravan of cars followed behind, filled with vets and others who had come to support us. The vets on that bus are some of the most inspiring, honorable and heroic men I have ever met. They inspired me and helped to heal my broken heart. These are people I had to explain nothing to because they know how I feel. They've been there. They've buried their buddies and seen the worst of humanity. I will forever have a warm spot in my heart for them.

Bush in Aurora, IL on Wednesday.

Bush in Aurora, IL on Wednesday. Cindy Sheehan Asks That You Keep Pressure on Him to Meet with Her.

A BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT

George will be in Aurora Illinois tomorrow at 11am at the Caterpillar Plant. He is signing the energy bill.

We need to keep pressure on him to meet with me. We would like any GSFP or MFSO families to be there at the protest rally.

Contact Tiffany at Code Pink (Tiffany@codepinkalert.org) if anyone can make it.

We could pay for travel if someone can make it. Ben Cohen from Ben and Jerry's is funding this "Keep the Pressure on tour."

Cindy Sheehan

A BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT

Report from Cindy - Day 3

Where do I begin?

Today was a highly eventful day. This entry won’t be artful, but utilitarian.

I conservatively got 3 to 5 phone calls a minute. I did about 25 phone interviews and several TV interviews. I did several right-wing radio interviews. I was supposed to do: The Today Show, MSNBC live interview, Connected Coast to Coast (MSNBC) and Hardball (MSNBC). The Today Show just never showed up and the other 3 MSNBC shows cancelled for no reason.

Another big story that was going on today was about my first meeting with Bush in June of 2004. For you all I would like to clarify a few things. First of all, I did meet with George, and that is not a secret. I have written about it and been interviewed about it. I will stand by my recounting of the meeting. His behavior was rude and inappropriate. My behavior in June of 2004 is irrelevant to what is going on in 2005. I was in deep shock and deep grief. The grief is still there, but the shock has worn off and the deep anger has set in. And to remind everybody, a few things have happened since June of 2004: The 9/11 commission report; the Senate Intelligence report; the Duelfer WMD report; and most damaging and criminal: the Downing Street Memos. The VERY LAST THING I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THIS IS: Why do the right wing media so assiduously scrutinize the words of a grief filled mother and ignore the words of a lying president?

President Bush Ditches Mother Of Slain Soldier

By Nathan Diebenow
Associate Editor

CRAWFORD — The mother of a U.S. soldier slain in Iraq was denied a face-to-face meeting with President Bush here Saturday after she walked through a ditch-like path in the August heat to the President’s Prairie Chapel Ranch.

“I didn’t come all this way from California to stand here in a ditch,

Steve Cobble: Casey's Mom at the Bat

Huffington Post

Cindy Sheehan is a one-woman antiwar movement.

Cindy wants to ask George W. Bush exactly what was the "noble cause" that her son Casey died for.

She's camping in a ditch near George W. Bush's fake ranch--built as a stage set when Bush ran for President, so he could pretend to be a cowboy, instead of an oil man--because more Americans like cowboys...

Cindy wants to ask Bush about the Downing Street Memo. Even though the elite media never really put it on the front page, Cindy knows that it proves that Bush & Blair had decided to go to war long before they told the rest of us, that the reasons they gave out to the public were false.

MFSO

To: Pac NW MFSO families and supporters

Re: Lietta's going to Crawford in support of Cindy Sheehan

Group and friends,

Very, very active and busy day today regarding arrangements for MFSO rep to fly down to Crawford, Texas, support Cindy Sheehan. And Cindy's own day today has been active with changes rapidly in the situation down there in Crawford; too much to try to detail the progression of Cindy in this email. Internet is full of info, and likely most of you are following already. As of 10pm this evening; these are how the arrangements stand.

1) Per conversation with Charley Richardson, twice today, MFSO headquarters agrees to fund airfare for me to fly down to Texas. Code Pink also agreed to fundraise airfare for me and can coordinate with MFSO Nancy and Charley re: sharing or exchaning funds. I will be calling MFSO travel coordinator tomorrow to make arrangements for flight. I will be going to Crawford, representing MFSO, in support of Cindy's Vigil.

Cindy on July 11 on BuzzFlash

Stories From the Front

The only way to support our troops is to bring them home from this mess -- now.

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
By Cindy Sheehan, Cofounder of Gold Star Families for Peace

Lisa from Washington State writes:

My son-in-law in Iraq said they are being pressured round the clock to re-enlist or face stop loss. They are being offering $30,000 signing bonus, tax free and told if they don't re-enlist, they are going to be stop lossed and get zero dollars. They are pushing the troops round the clock and Mark only got 3 hours sleep in 48 hours and when they get back, they are faced yet again with re-enlisting. Mark said many guys are scared and signing up and their families at home are very upset. (with good reason) We really need to push our media and congressmen to expose the horrible way our troops are being treated.

Cindy on August 3rd on Buzzflash

Taking the Message to Bush: "Honor" Our Soldiers by Bringing Them All Home Now; If Cause is "Noble," Send Jenna and Barbara

Gold Star Families for Peace, Veteran's for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Code Pink, and Crawford Peace House Will Hold Protest in Crawford on Saturday, August 6th.

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Cindy Sheehan, Co-Founder of Gold Star Families for Peace

Dear Friends and Supporters,

George Bush said speaking about the dreadful loss of life in Iraq in August: (08/03/05): "We have to honor the sacrifices of the fallen by completing the mission." "The families of the fallen can be assured that they died for a noble cause."

Cindy on Jan. 24 on BuzzFlash

The Dangerous Gold Star Families

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Cindy Sheehan

Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld continues to astound us Gold Star Families with his heartlessness, callousness and disrespect in the faces of our children who are being killed in the mindless invasion and occupation of Iraq.

I am one of the founding members of a group called Gold Star Families for Peace. Some of us families who have lost loved ones in this illegal and immoral war in Iraq have organized to use our collective voices to bring the tragedy of war to the fore front of America's hearts and souls like it so tragically is in ours. We families are amazed that so few of our fellow citizens are touched by the horrors of the invasion and occupation of a sovereign country. It seems to us like the only people who are asked to sacrifice anything for the war effort are our brave young men and women fighting this so-called war and their families. There are some families in our nation like us, that have paid the ultimate price for the lies and betrayals of this current administration.

Frameshop: Stolen Honor

On Wednesday August 3, President Bush issued a statement in which he made the deaths of American soldiers a key reason for remaining in Iraq:

"We have to honor the sacrifices of the fallen by completing the mission. [So that] the families of the fallen can be assured that they died for a noble cause."

Within minutes, Cindy Sheehan responded:

"We want our loved ones' sacrifices to be honored by bringing our nation's sons and daughters home from the travesty that is Iraq IMMEDIATELY, since this war is based on horrendous lies and deceptions. Just because our children are dead, why would we want any more families to suffer the same pain and devastation that we are? We would like for him to explain this 'noble cause' to us, and plan to ask him why Jenna and Barbara are not in harm's way, if the cause is so noble. If he is not ready to send the twins, then he should bring our troops home immediately. We will demand a speedy withdrawal." (for the full account of this exchange, go here)

Cindy, Crawford, and the Bush Smear Machine

It's truly amazing what the human spirit can accomplish. From Gandhi's Salt March to Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham Jail, a single person can fight a corrupt establishment and win -- when truth and justice is on his or her side.

Now, in 2005, along comes Cindy Sheehan, the California woman whose altar-boy son Casey was killed in Iraq last year. As you may have heard, Sheehan and some supporters have been camping out outside the Bush ranch in Crawford, Tex., refusing to leave until she gets a meeting with the president. Already, her plight has drawn media attention and could mark a turning point in public resistance to the war in Iraq.

Talking with Cindy

Just off the call with Cindy Sheehan--as I sit here on vacation, I am struck by the contrast--repose vs. activism--that separates this remarkable woman from me and my ilk.

For one thing, she is enduring thunderstorms and sleeping in a tent--I am resting after a tumultuous few years. Yet, she is on my mind today--and her mission.

She bgan by thanking the bloggers for helping to get the truth out there--the MSM is simply not doing the job. We know this whenever we turn on the tv or get online--until we got to the blogs.

She endures intimidation and threats, weather, and denial. But she speaks up nevertheless. Bill O'Reilly has been courting her to appear on his show but she refuses to dignify it--she called his form of news an obscenity to the truth and humanity.

Mr. Bush, let's talk

By Joan Vennochi, Boston Globe Columnist | August 9, 2005

AMERICA HAS a president, not a king. But just like royalty, the nation's commander in chief can keep his distance from the common man or woman.

Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a son who died in Iraq, is camped out in Crawford, Texas, trying to get a face-to-face meeting with the vacationing George W. Bush. She wants to tell the president that he should pull all American troops out of Iraq. Her son, Casey, was killed at age 24 in the Sadr City section of Baghdad on April 4, 2004.
The police blocked her a few miles from the Bush ranch. On Saturday, two Bush administration officials were dispatched to speak to her. But Sheehan says she will not leave until she sees the president. ''I plan on staying here the entire month of August or until he comes out to talk to me," she told USA Today.

Note from Crawford

By Sharon Wilson

Please emphasize the part in my account of Saturday where the rancher said he was afraid that, if he helped Cindy by letting her camp on his land, he would be declared a national security threat and his land would be seized under eminent domain. We are truly a nation held hostage!

Let me know how I can help you. I am going there again this weekend.

My LTE (I will write one every day)
Accountability

My children learned accountability early in life. I allowed them to make age appropriate choices and allowed them to experience the consequences for their choices. What a shame for our country that Barbara did not teach those same lessons to her son, George.

Our absent leader

Brattleboro Reformer (Vermont)

Last week was the deadliest for U.S. forces in Iraq since the war began.
The scene in Iraq remains unsettled and chaotic.

And where was our president?

On vacation, again.

George W. Bush, who has frequently spoke about how hard it is to be a "wartime president," is on his 49th vacation since taking office in 2001.

He is on a five-week vacation on his ranch in Crawford, Texas, the longest presidential vacation in nearly four decades.

As of today, our president has spent 325 days of his presidency on vacation -- more than 20 percent of his time in office.

New York Times Editorial - August 9

One Mother in Crawford

Summertime often produces unexpected media figures, and this is Cindy Sheehan's season. Ms. Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq last year, is camping out near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Tex., and says she won't leave until Mr. Bush agrees to meet with her to discuss the war. There are many reasons for the flood of media attention she is attracting: she has a poignant personal story and she is articulate - and, let's face it, August is a slow news month. But most of all, she is tapping into a growing popular feeling that the Bush administration is out of touch with the realities, and the costs, of the Iraq war.

CBS Evening News, NBC Sunday Today and CNN Sunday Morning Cover Cindy's Protest

CBS Evening News 6:30 AM EST
Saturday, August 6, 2005

THALIA ASSURAS, anchor:

While President Bush has heralded the sacrifices of the fallen, his words were met with anger today and questions about the politics of syntax. Here's Mark Knoller.

Group of Protesters: (Chanting in unison) W. killed her son. W. killed her son.

MARK KNOLLER reporting:

Led by the mother of a US soldier killed in Iraq, some 50 protesters today tried to take their pain and anger to the president at his ranch.

Ms. CINDY SHEEHAN (Gold Star Families For Peace): He took something away from me that's irreplaceable. He's going on a five-week vacation when we're in the middle of war, and I'm never going to be able to enjoy another vacation because he killed my oldest son.

Mother of Fallen Soldier Becomes Victim of Smear Campaign

Stephen Elliott
Huffington Post

There's an interesting thing happening in Crawford, Texas. Cindy Sheehan is camped out on a road near the President's ranch. She wants to talk Mr. Bush. She's upset because her child was killed in the Iraq war.

Her campout has generated a lot of attention. The press core with the president doesn't have much else to do. It's not like the president is having a bunch of question and answer sessions. So there's this woman and she has this incredible loss in her life, and she blames the president and wants him to bring the troops home right away.

This leads to stories in the New York Times, CNN, the Chicago Tribune, and many more. In fact, there's so much press covering Cindy Sheehan that the president sends two high level advisors -- Joe Hagin and Stephen Hadley -- to meet with Ms. Sheehan.

Whom Will Bush Arrest First: Sheehan or Bin Laden?

Can you spot the real threat to national security?
BobHarris.com

Let's see... there's this guy.

Turns out Bush could have nailed him years ago.

According to the CIA field commander at Tora Bora, U.S. intelligence absolutely knew that Osama Bin Laden was not only present, but virtually trapped. All the CIA and Special Forces guys needed was additional conventional support to cut off his escape, and Bin Laden would have been arrested.

This was in December of 2001.

Rally in DC on August 10

DEMAND THAT BUSH MEET WITH CINDY!

Cindy Sheehan of Gold Star Families for Peace, is waiting for George Bush to come out of his Crawford,Texas vacation home to explain what is the "noble cause" her son died for! She has been holding a vigil outside the Bush ranch since Saturday, August 6,to demand an explanation now and to insist that the only way to honor the sacrifices of the veterans is to bring the troops home NOW!

Please join the Hip Hop Caucus, partnering with Clergy and Laity Concerned about Iraq, Code Pink, Progressive Democrats of America, United for Peace and Justice, UP (United Progressives) for Democracy, and other allies:

Interview with Cindy Sheehan on Laura Flanders

DailyKos
By Renee in Ohio

Last night I turned on The Laura Flanders Show on Air America Radio just in time to hear that Cindy Sheehan would be interviewed after the break. I recorded most of the show--only missed about the first half minute. Below the fold you can see what Cindy had to say (if you missed it last night) and how you can help.

We were setting up our little camp and all of a sudden like 6 secret service SUVs come pulling up and screeching to a halt, and they all jump out and kind of surround us, and I'm like "Oh my gosh, what did we do?" You know? And then these two men get out and walk over. It was Steve Hadley and Joe Hagin. They sat down with me and were talking with me asking "What do you want to do?" I said I want the president to explain what was the noble cause that my son died in, because that's what he said the other day when those 14 marines were killed. He said their families can rest assured that their sons and daughters died for a noble cause. And I said, "What is that noble cause?"

Military Loved Ones Converging on Crawford

Institute for Public Accuracy

CINDY SHEEHAN, scindy121@aol.com, http://www.gsfp.org Cindy Sheehan, co-founder of the group Gold Star Families for Peace, is the mother of Casey Sheehan, a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004. Cindy Sheehan is in Crawford and is determined to meet with President Bush. She said today: "I met with Bush two and a half months after Casey was killed and I was still in shock at that time. We had decided not to criticize the president then because during that meeting, he assured us 'this is not political.' And I believed him. Then, during the Republican National Convention, he exploited those meetings to justify what he was doing. It's now clear to me that what I had feared is true: Bush lied us into war, and Casey, more than 1,800 other Americans and thousands and thousands of Iraqis are dead because of what he did. ... While Bush is comfortable in his ranch, we are here in a ditch in the heat because we want answers. But the troops and the Iraqi people are suffering way more than we are and we want that to end."

Congressman Conyers Circulates Letter

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

August 8, 2005

SIGN-ON LETTER: Urge the President to Meet with the Parent of a Fallen Soldier!

DEADLINE: COB TUESDAY, AUGUST 9

Dear Democratic Colleague:

You probably have heard that since this past Saturday, Cindy Sheehan, the mother of Army Specialist Casey A. Sheehan who perished in Iraq on April 24, 2004, has been attempting to meet with the President in Crawford to discuss the loss of her son and the status of the war in Iraq.

Unfortunately, the President has refused to meet with her and, instead, sent two of his aides in his place.

Every Mother's Son

By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
- Stephen King

George W. Bush hauled stakes for Texas and a vacation a few days ago. Cindy Sheehan followed. She got off a bus Saturday afternoon and started walking to the Crawford ranch. She wanted some answers and was going to get them.

Sheehan had met Mr. Bush once before. On April 4, 2004, just shy of a year after Bush stood on an aircraft carrier beneath a banner that read "Mission Accomplished," Cindy Sheehan's son, Army Specialist Casey A. Sheehan, was killed in Iraq when his unit was attacked by rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire. He was 24 years old.

Soldier's Mom "Digs In" Near Bush Ranch

CNN News

Senator sees 'echoes of Vietnam' in vigil to meet president.

Crawford, TX - A mother whose son was killed in Iraq says she is prepared to continue her protest outside President Bush's ranch through August until she is granted an opportunity to speak with him.

Later, in a TV interview, a Democratic senator from California said the episode evokes images that were commonplace during the Vietnam War.

Cindy Sheehan's 24-year-old son -- Army Spc. Casey Sheehan of Vacaville, California -- was killed in Baghdad's Sadr City on April 4, 2004. The Humvee mechanic was one of eight U.S. soldiers killed there that day by rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. (Full story)

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August 27, Chicago

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