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Anti-Cindy Leader Lies About Casey's Death
This week, a right-wing group opposed to Cindy Sheehan has been getting a ton of media coverage, including extensive time to viciously attack Cindy and her supporters on MSNBC's Hardball.
MoveAmericaForward.org, which cloned its name from Moveon.org, is the creation of rightwing Republican Howard Kaloogian, a former California legislator who led the Recall Gray Davis effort. Its "chief strategist" is Sal Russo, a high-paid Republican media consultant. Its leading TV spokespeople are radio talk show hosts Melanie Morgan and Mark Williams, both of whom have filled the airwaves with lies.
MoveAmericaForward.org's latest project is an attempt to "SwiftBoat" Cindy Sheehan through a publicity campaign featuring TV ads and a "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy" Bus Tour. Yet the central claim of this tour is a lie.The leader of the San Francisco delegation is Deborah Johns of Marine Moms. Like Bush, Johns insists that the Iraq War is somehow part of the undefined "War on Terror." Parroting Bush, Johns says, "We understand the need to fight the terrorists overseas rather than face attack here at home," as though the terrorists who attacked the U.S. on September 11 came from Iraq.But Johns crosses the line from confusion to outright lie when she claims that Casey Sheehan was killed by Al Qaeda:
"We understand that it was the terrorists led by Al Qaeda in Iraq who are responsible for the deaths of U.S. service members, including Casey Sheehan," concluded Johns.
"Al Qaeda in Iraq" is the terrorist group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, which is comprised of Sunni fighters from outside Iraq.This group had nothing to do with Casey Sheehan's death.Casey Sheehan was killed on April 4, 2004 in Sadr City - the poor Shiite section of Iraq - by supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Journalist Aaron Glantzwas in Sadr City when U.S. occupation administrator Paul Bremer demanded Sadr's arrest for opposing the occupation:
"He's effectively attempting to establish his authority in place of the legitimate Iraqi government," US Administrator Paul Bremer told reporters. "We will not tolerate that."
That was the last straw. Until April 4, 2004 Muqtada Sadr had urged his followers to protest peacefully against American occupation. But the American assault lead him to urge his followers to "terrorize the enemy."
In the first 48 hours of fighting Sadr's followers seized police stations and government buildings across the country including the Governor's Office in Basra. At least 75 Iraqis and 10 American servicemen were killed, among them Army Specialist Casey Sheehan.