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Voices from Crawford

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

PM Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Voices from Crawford

Interviews Available

Celeste Zappala and her son Dante have just returned from Crawford to
their home in Philadelphia. Celeste's eldest son, Sgt. Sherwood Baker, was
the first Pennsylvania National Guardsman to die in combat since World War
II. He was killed in action in Baghdad on April 26, 2004, while searching
for weapons of mass destruction. She and Dante had an op-ed in Sunday's
edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer titled "Dust Devils and Grief in
Crawford." Video of
Celeste Zappala and Cindy Sheehan, who are co-founders of Gold Star
Families for Peace, is available at: and

[They are among the military families opposing the war who have
joined the protests in Crawford. They can be reached via Ryan Fletcher,
(202) 641-0277,, or Nancy Lessin (founder of Military
Families Speak Out), (617) 320-5301),]
Porchia is from Arkansas. Her son, Army Reservist Private 1st Class
Jonathan Cheatham, was killed in action in Baghdad on July 26, 2003. More
information is available at:
Georgia residents Linda and Phil Waste have three sons and two
grandchildren (a grandson and a granddaughter) who are active-duty
military. Together, they have already spent a total of over 57 months on
tours of duty in Iraq. Several of these children and grandchildren are
currently serving in Iraq, and have served extended and multiple
deployments. Linda Waste said: "When this war started, we supported it. And
we are here to support our troops. But our feeling is our troops are in
Iraq under false pretense and they need to come home." Statements from them
and other families are available at: .

CHARLIE ANDERSON, cell: (757) 943-2887,,
Currently in Crawford, Anderson is a veteran of the Iraq war and is
now Southeast regional coordinator for Iraq Veterans Against the War. He
said today about the destruction of the small, white wooden crosses
hand-painted with the names of soldiers killed in Iraq: "Five of my friends
are represented by these crosses." [Background:
Anderson added: "We should not be calling it 'Operation Iraqi
Freedom.' We did displace a brutal dictator, but now women have less
freedom than before. The child malnutrition rate has doubled, 60 percent of
Iraqis don't have clean drinking water. We've been awarding contracts to
U.S. companies when clearly the Iraqis could have done the job right
themselves. They could have been employed, but we chose instead to make
U.S. companies rich off Iraqi misfortune."

TALAT HAMDANI, cell: (917) 579-5416,,
Hamdani is the mother of Mohammad Salman Hamdani, who was a New York
City police cadet killed in the World Trade Center attack on 9/11. Now in
Crawford, she said: "When I heard about Cindy Sheehan and her experience, I
said to myself: Here is another mother who is traveling the road I have
been traveling since 9/11/2001. I could feel her anguish and the agony of a
son being snatched from her by the bloody hands of an immoral war. I wanted
to be there to comfort and also support, since we have a mutual cause.
Violence, revenge and murder are not a solution to violence. I lost my son
at the hands of the terrorists' attacks; Cindy lost her son in the line of
duty. Cindy is expressing concerns I had expressed after 9/11 happened. Our
loss is mutual: we both lost our eldest son in the name of liberty. ... I
feel as though Cindy's son's blood is on my hands, since that's what the
policy makers are saying: we went to war to avenge 9/11 terrorist attacks.
We all know this is a lie."

JOHN GRANT, cell: (610) 564-7628,,
A veteran of the Vietnam War and spokesperson for Veterans for Peace,
Grant is currently in Crawford. He said today: "I've been to Iraq twice --
so I have a sense of the place, I think it's an absolute disaster what
we're doing there, we're a provocative force. ... The reason I respect
Cindy so much is that she doesn't care about those trying to diminish her
and what she's doing. She's a mother who lost her son and she wants real
answers -- we all want answers."

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

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You don't impress me Mr. Swanson!

enough to make you afraid to use your name

but, you know, we're not trying to impress people. We're not waddling around on flight decks in dress-up fighter-pilot gear and declaring eveil ones vanquished

i would, however, like to talk to you about a war based on lies

I think that was our visiting 16-year-old Republican again who sometimes signs himself (herself?) "yours truly". At that age, they're still easily impressed by fake macho characters in flight suits. :-)

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