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Sheehan decries "media circus," steers focus to anti-war message
By G. Robert Hillman
The Dallas Morning News
CRAWFORD, Texas — Bothered by what she laments as mounting "distractions," Cindy Sheehan sought yesterday to refocus her peace vigil near President Bush's ranch on her central anti-war message.
Since she "came out here and sat down on a lawn chair" 10 days ago, Sheehan, 48, said it's "got out of hand and just turned into a media circus."
For instance, she cited calls for the president's impeachment as "another distraction off of our original cause."
On Sunday, she faced reports that she was not paying her federal income taxes. "They killed my son in an illegal and immoral war," the Vacaville, Calif., woman told a reporter who asked, "and I don't feel like I owe them anything."
And yesterday, Reuters news service reported that her husband, Patrick Sheehan, filed to dissolve his marriage on Friday in Solano County Superior Court, according to records on the Web site of the local court in Northern California. Neither could be reached for comment.
Cindy Sheehan has been besieged not only by burgeoning numbers of her own supporters with all sorts of agendas of their own, but also by counter-demonstrators over the weekend — and on Sunday by an angry neighbor who fired a shotgun into the air near her camp.
"The media attention has been fabulous," she said at a news conference to introduce other military families opposing the war in Iraq. "We have finally gotten this war back on the front page and back in the headline news where it belongs."
Still, she said, she had stayed awake all night reviewing recent events and wished now to get back to the basics of her vigil — and her demand to meet with the president.
"I don't want to be distracted," she said. "Our message is to bring the troops home."
Sheehan lost her son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, in Iraq last year, and has spent much of her time since then crisscrossing the country, demanding that Bush withdraw U.S. forces there.
Tomorrow, supporters are planning candlelight vigils across the country.