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AP Covers Cindy Sheehan Protest
Mom of Slain Soldier Stages Bush Protest
Saturday August 6, 2005 8:31 PM
By DEB RIECHMANN
Associated Press Writer
CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - The angry mother of a fallen U.S. soldier staged a protest near President Bush's ranch on Saturday, demanding an accounting from the president of how he has conducted the war in Iraq.
Supported by more than 50 shouting demonstrators, Cindy Sheehan, 48, told reporters, "I want to ask George Bush: Why did my son die?"
Sheehan arrived in Crawford aboard a bus painted red, white and blue and emblazoned with the words, "Impeachment Tour."
Her son, Casey, 24, was killed in Sadr City, Iraq, on April 4, 2004. He was an Army specialist, a Humvee mechanic.
Sheehan, from Vacaville, Calif., had been attending a Veterans for Peace Convention in Dallas. She vowed she would camp out as close as she could get to the president's ranch until Bush comes out and talks to her.
Local law enforcement officials were keeping Sheehan four to five away from the ranch's entrance.
Sheehan said she decided to come to Crawford a few days ago after Bush said that fallen U.S. troops had died for a noble cause and that the mission must be completed.
"I don't want him to use my son's name or my family name to justify any more killing," she said.
Sheehan said Bush administration officials "don't have a mission and they don't even ever plan on completing it." She said she fears that the United States plans to keep a U.S. military presence in Iraq indefinitely.
Sheehan's bus pulled up at a house run by peace activists a few hundred feet from the town's only stoplight. There, she met up with other demonstrators and then led a caravan of about 20 vehicles down a winding road toward Bush's ranch.
The group stopped along the way and sheriff's deputies in McLennan County advised them that if they wanted to go farther toward the ranch, they would have to walk in a ditch along the road.
The marchers walked about half a mile until the deputies stopped them, saying that they had violated their instructions by walking on the road itself instead of staying in the adjacent ditch.
Sheehan protested, saying she had not walked on the road. The deputies refused to let her go farther.
The protesters then began chanting, "W killed her son."