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Military Loved Ones Converging on Crawford

Institute for Public Accuracy

CINDY SHEEHAN,, 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."

CELESTE ZAPPALA,, Celeste Zappala's oldest son, Pennsylvania National Guardsman Sgt. Sherwood Baker, was killed in Baghdad in April 2004. She is a co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace and will be leaving for Crawford tomorrow morning. She said today: "George Bush talks about caring about the troops who get killed in Iraq. Sherwood was killed protecting the people looking for weapons of mass destruction on April 26, 2004. This was one month after Bush was joking [at the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner, on March 24] about looking for weapons of mass destruction. And then my Sherwood is dead trying to protect people looking for them because Bush said it was so important to the safety of our country. Don't talk to me about Bush caring for the troops; we had to pay for equipment for Sherwood because the military wasn't providing him with things he needed. ... I don't want anyone else to go through this, not an American, not an Iraqi, no one. As a person of Faith, I firmly believe we have the ability to provide better answers on how to resolve conflict than what Bush is offering us. I've tried to meet with Rumsfeld at the Pentagon, I was turned away by armed guards. It's incumbent upon everybody to take responsibility about what is happening in our country. I have no recourse but to go to Crawford to do what I can to change the disastrous course we are currently on and to bear witness to the true costs of this war."

ANN WRIGHT,, Wright is in Crawford, with many other veterans and others supporting Sheehan. Wright spent 26 years in the U.S. Army/Army Reserves and was a diplomat in the State Department for 15 years before resigning in March 2003, protesting the then-impending invasion of Iraq. She wrote in her letter of resignation: "I strongly believe that going to war now will make the world more dangerous, not safer." She asked today: "Is the president interested in real dialogue with people who disagree with him?"

Protestors in Crawford can also be contacted via:

* HADI JAWAD, Jawad is spokesperson for the Crawford Peace House.

* DIANE WILSON,, Wilson is a co-founder of the women's peace group CodePink.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Institute for Public Accuracy 915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045 (202) 347-0020 * *


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