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AP: "Peace Mom" Returns to Texas War Protest


By ANGELA K. BROWN
The Associated Press
Thursday, August 25, 2005; 7:21 AM

CRAWFORD, Texas -- Even when she was in California taking care of her mother, Cindy Sheehan said part of her remained at the protest campsite she had set up outside President Bush's ranch. On Wednesday, Sheehan returned to "Camp Casey," named after her 24-year-old son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, who was killed last year in Iraq.

"This is where I belong, until Aug. 31, like I told the president," Sheehan said at the Waco airport before driving about 20 miles to the Crawford site.

When Sheehan arrived at the campsite, she saw a large banner depicting her son's face. She sobbed and said she felt ill. Supporters brought her water and cold towels, and she recovered about 20 minutes later.

Sheehan began her vigil Aug. 6 on the road leading to Bush's ranch, vowing to stay through his monthlong vacation unless he met with her. She left last week to visit her 74-year-old mother in Los Angeles after the woman suffered a stroke. Sheehan said her mother has started physical therapy for paralysis on her right side.

Sheehan's protest in Crawford has encouraged anti-war activists to join her and prompted peace vigils nationwide. She also continues to draw harsh criticism.

Conservative activists and military families were en route to Crawford from California on a tour called "You don't speak for me, Cindy!" The caravan coordinated by Move America Forward plans to hold a pro-Bush rally in town Saturday.

Among those defending Sheehan are former U.S. ambassador Joseph Wilson, who believes his wife's identity as an undercover CIA operative was leaked in retaliation for his criticism of the Bush administration in a 2002 New York Times op-ed piece.

"The Bush White House and its right-wing allies are responding to Cindy Sheehan and the military families' vigil in central Texas in the same way that they always respond to bad news _ by unleashing personal attacks and smears against her," Wilson said in a statement released Wednesday.

Later Wednesday, Bush returned to Texas after a three-day trip to Idaho and Utah, where he gave speeches to rally support for the war. He said Tuesday that he recognizes Sheehan's right to protest and understands her anguish, although she does not represent the views of many families he has met with.

Sheehan and other grieving families met with Bush about two months after her son died last year, before reports of faulty prewar intelligence surfaced and caused her to become a vocal opponent of the war.

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This is part of my effort to get our Democratic Senator to act like a Democrat. Senator E. Ben Nelson,D-NE, often times seems to be a Republican in Democrats clothing. We Nebraskans,who actually have a conscience, are uncertain about Sen. Nelsons' stance on many issues. He voted for the Bankruptcy Bill and for CAFTA. Hereis my letter to after he responded to me about the Memos.
25 August 2005
The Honorable Senator
E. Benjamin Nelson
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510-2706

This is in response to your letter, dated August 12, 2005. First, I would like to bring your attention to your mailing list. I received two (2) letters from you, yesterday. One letter was addressed to Daniel
Mc Mullen the other was sent to Danny Mc Mullen. \This is a sobriquet I allow for my closest friends and family. In order to save money I suggest you drop Danny Mc Mullen from your list and send other form letters to Daniel alone.
I referred to this letter as a form letter because the letters were identical, which gives one the impression that the letter was written for the distinct purpose of creating the appearance that you are doing your job rather than actually caring about the subject.
I’d like to point out that I don’t write letters to you on a whim. I am very interested in the topics of which I write. Believe me; I need to overcome some very painful arthritis in my hands in order to send typed letters.
Moving on. I wrote you about the need to begin an impeachment of George W. Bush, for lying to Congress and the American Public about the reasons for this country to go to war with Iraq.
Please understand; I live here in Omaha, Nebraska, where most of the radio stations are owned by Clear Channel and the Omaha World Herald is rabidly Republican. I need to be astute in my surfing of the web to obtain factual information. I’m certainly not going to get it from corporately owned mass media.
This means I knew that Saddam Hussein did not have WMD’s before March of 2003. I knew about the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and how it has influenced George W. Bush’s take on foreign policy. I knew about the Presidents’ lies in his 2003 State of the Union address. I hope you can understand why I (a disabled American Veteran) am passionately interested in the misuse of American troops for political purposes.
I also wrote about my concerns to Congressman Lee Terry about the Downing Street Memos. His reply was the stock GOP answer along with saying that he has not read the memos. He did have an opinion, never-the-less.
This letter writing is touted as the best way to get action from your representatives in Washington. I’m not sure that I want to believe this any longer. Your form letter points out that you have an understanding of the Downing Street Memos. You stated that you knew H.R. 375 was an effort by the House to obtain the information needed to be properly informed of the situation. Then, you went on to say that no such legislation has been introduced to the Senate and if it comes up you will keep my thoughts in mind. How empty is that comment?
Perhaps I need to make my “thoughts

Thank you for that extra effort. You got a form letter. I got nothing, neither from my Democrat Senator, my Republican Senator, nor my Democratic Representative in the House of Representatives (he has troubles of his own with the FBI). With a few notable exceptions, they are not listening. They don't feel they have to. They have theirs, while the rest of us struggle to make ends meet. Screw that. If we can manage to keep Diebold out of the election process and demand a paper trail, they can retire on the proceeds of their terms in the Senate and House.

Well, now we have Shiites fighting Shiites in Iraq, as if they weren't enough factions already. The place seems destined to descend into total chaos before this is all over.

Does anyone besides me smell another (un)civil war coming to America, too?

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