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Rowley, Lourey to join demonstration at Bush ranch

Patrick Condon, Associated Press
August 17, 2005 MOM0817

Former FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley, along with a state senator whose son died in Iraq, are headed to Texas this week to join a growing anti-war demonstration near President Bush's ranch.

Rowley, now a Democratic candidate for Congress, and Sen. Becky Lourey will join a protest initiated by Cindy Sheehan, whose own son died in Iraq last year. Sheehan started the vigil Aug. 6, coinciding with Bush's summer vacation. She has said she won't leave until the president meets with her.

Rowley said Tuesday that she and Lourey would leave Thursday and stay at least through Sunday, sleeping in a tent at the site. They are paying their own way, she said.

Lourey's son, Matt Lourey, died May 26 when the Army helicopter he was piloting was shot down. A Democrat from northern Minnesota, Lourey was a consistent critic of the Iraq war — she authored a state Senate petition against it in 2003 — but was also supportive of her son's military career.

Lourey didn't return a call seeking comment Tuesday. She was a Democratic candidate for governor in 2002.

Rowley, a former special agent in the FBI's Minneapolis office, gained fame in 2002 for her criticism of FBI leadership. She said officials failed to act on information that cast suspicion on some Sept. 11 hijackers in the months before they carried out their attacks, and was later named one of Time magazine's people of the year for her efforts.

Now challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. John Kline, a Republican, Rowley has emerged as a harsh critic of the war in Iraq.

"It puts a human face on this issue,'' Rowley said, who mentioned the trip briefly in a campaign appearance here and then elaborated afterward in an interview with The Associated Press. "Many people, if they don't have a personal connection to the troops, it's so easy for this to become a discussion that lacks seriousness and urgency. I think it's good to show that there are real people that are being affected.''

Rowley met Sheehan earlier this month at a Veterans for Peace convention in Dallas, where both women spoke. At that meeting, Sheehan shared her plans to stake out Bush's ranch.

A few days later, Rowley said, she called Lourey — whom she'd never met — and suggested a trip to Crawford to lend support to Sheehan. Rowley said Lourey had already considered making the trip.

Rowley said she wants to "stay in the background'' and offer moral support to Lourey, especially since the vigil has drawn critics and counter-demonstrations in recent days.

"You have to have compassion for folks like Becky Lourey and Cindy Sheehan, who have lost sons in the war,'' said Bill Walsh, executive director of the Minnesota Republican Party. "I don't need to question their motives, but I don't think you should question the president's motives either. He's fully aware of the ramifications of sending people's children into battle, but he has to balance that with the question of how do we best address the serious problems facing our world.''

Walsh was less kind to Rowley.

"You can't ignore the fact that Coleen Rowley is running for Congress right now,'' he said. "That has to be part of this equation.''

Rowley said her opposition to the Iraq war stems from a conviction that the war in Iraq has actually incited more terrorism around the world while purporting to fight it.

"This is not the right path,'' she said.


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Attached is something I had sent to several members of Congress, and the media back in February of this year. Sen. Feingold now has introduced legeslation dealing with the base causes of of this countries woes; and one of the major causes of the Iraqi war- Greed. If indeed, our young men and women need to defend democracy, perhaps the most important battle we all face lies within our own borders. Democracy can no more be based upon lies than can it be forcefed to a people. Our actions always speak louder than words- but the message need be consistant in both word and deed. 4 Branches of Government

Many of us within these borders have become disillusioned with our government. This dissatisfaction stems from the choices of issues dealt with, to the lop-sided way with which our elected representatives choose to rectify them.
Granted, issues of government are indeed complex. But our legislative bodies are repeatedly sidetracked from their true purpose; often times forgetting by whom they were elected.
Corporate interests, which have been mistakenly been categorized as ‘American’, have held sway over governing bodies long before the time of the kings of Egypt. The only thing we as Americans have is one of the finest, fairest constitutions that our planet has ever seen. True democracy equalizes a people; embracing our individual identities, while working for the common goals of the masses. Our modified form of democracy seems somehow based on a class separation strikingly similar to the old European kingdoms of the dark ages.
Lobbyists from the large corporations- insurance, credit, drug, oil, etc., directly attempt to influence our representatives through financial perks. Large political contributions are available for co-operative individuals. Do not such monetary rewards constitute a tremendous conflict of interest? After all, these elected individuals are supposed to be our lobbyists- not the corporations.
It becomes apparent that corrections need be made. Jefferson said that America needed a revolution every score of years- not an armed revolt- but an honest re-assessment of our nations situation. As it stands at present, the sanctity of our legislative halls are corrupted by the same types of money-changers that Christ drove from the temple 2000 years ago. Our constitutional democracy cannot survive in a brothel, people.
Solutions to this problem appear simple. Here are but two;

1) Stand Alone Legislation- This is one of the most obvious actions that need to occur. It alone could eliminate much of the pork barrel waste of our government spending; and clear up each representatives voting record for accountability purposes.
2) Removal of all lobbyists from the law makers halls- In this, perhaps our representatives would be better able to remember whom they represent
Environmental issues, social programs and individual rights require much attention. Justice and prudence should never be compromised.

Within this great country, the principles of freedom and justice have become a distant memory. However, remember this; there are four branches of government in our founding fathers constitution: Judicial, Legislative, Executive and the most often forgotten –We The People. In this, perhaps we will no longer waste human life in profit-based, selfish and unjustifed wars.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kevyn Paul Eisenman

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