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GOP Challenger To Robert Byrd: The Cindy Sheehan Charade

Posted by Balletshooz on August 29, 2005 06:21 PM (See all posts by Balletshooz)
Filed under: Politics - Scroll down to read comments on this story and/or add one of your own.

Hiram Lewis IV, GOP challenger for Robert Byrd's US Senate seat, is publicly embarrassing himself and/or disqualifying himself from becoming a serious contender to unseat Byrd in West Virginia. He has announced a new "Meet With Hiram" campaign targeting anti-Bush and anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan.

Together with the conservative activist organization, he will travel to Crawford, Texas, to demand a meeting with Cindy Sheehan. "If she refuses to meet with me there, I will follow her on her bus tour and continue to demand a meeting until she agrees to talk with me face-to-face." said Lewis. He further pledged to "dog her steps" until she meets with him.

For several reasons, this charade takes Mr. Lewis out of serious contention for the US Senate. First and foremost, he has little understanding of the First Amendment. Whether you agree or disagree with Cindy Sheehan, she has every right to protest the President's war policy. Only a thug would "dog" her or harass her because she is speaking out. For a citizen to follow her and harass her for her speech would be contemptible, but for someone running for the US Senate to do so as a political stunt, is outrageous and over-the-top.

Secondly, from a public relations point of view, this will be a disaster for Lewis. Why would this man, who is trying to convince the public in West Virginia that he has the temperament to be a US Senator, hound and "dog" a woman distraught with grief over her son dying in the Iraq war? Moreover, Mr. Lewis has been bought and paid for by He is performing a political stunt to counter Cindy Sheehan's spontaneous protest and that is obvious on its face.

What does this man stand for? Does he believe it is appropriate to protest against another American citizen who is exercising their right to protest? What is his goal? To silence Sheehan? Is he pro-war or anti-free speech? Does he define himself as being anti-Sheehan? Why is interfering with this woman, who is protesting in a lawful manner, an important issue that is pertinent to West Virginia?

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Sounds like Hiram Lewis IV, needs a job.

There are many JOBS available in all the countries surrounding the CAPSIAN SEA for OIL DRILLING; RIGS; STATION PLATFORMS; OIL PIPELINE DEVELOPMENT. The newly developed BTC PIPELINE (we had a grand opening sponsered by the US GOVERNMENT in May 2005) is still seeking employees.

Also the TAPS PIPELINE in Afghanistan is seeking employees by the 1000's.

And all the export oil stations in IRAQ are seeking employees. There is even JOBS available at every footing of the IRAQ OIL PIPELINES throughout the country. Just contect up with one of our US MILITARY SOLDIERS or any US NAVY VESSEL there..........they would be happy to given me the TRUTH.

Post the Army RANGER dates (
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 2005-08-30 11:34.
Post the Army RANGER dates ( to and from) and times of service.

Post what BAT he was with.

Where stationed?

Post what title he had in army ranger?

OTHERS of TITLE would like to know

ยป reply

How silly. Is this the best he has? Cindy should meet with him,disarm him with truth and kindness. The stupidity of this ploy will be obvious to everyone.

He saw through the Bush-PNAC bullsh*t from the beginning and showed incredible courage in speaking out against it in the Senate and elsewhere.

If Hiram Lewis IV wants some examples of real courage, he need only look to the man he wants to replace. By insulting the anti-war efforts, he insults that brave and true Republican as well.

Thank you for link to Byrd's speeches. Folks should view Byrd's speeches on the eve of the Iraq war in Feb and March 2003. Byrd spoke the TRUTH again and again and was attacked again and again... just like Cindy has is example of one of his speeches:

February 26, 2003
Speech by Senator Robert Byrd

"Tell the World the True Cost of War"

Since last August, the Administration has worked aggressively to convince the American public that Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator who directly threatens the United States. The President has been unambiguous, and often dangerously blunt, about his passion to use force to destroy Saddam's regime.

The Bush Administration has promoted a vision of Saddam's removal from power quickly, easily, and bloodlessly. Indeed, part of the rationale for support for this war is that America's tremendous military superiority over Iraq will confine a military conflict to a relatively painless contest between the United States' awesome military forces and the relatively weak, conventional military machine of Saddam Hussein.

A swift and simple military victory certainly is one possibility, but in our democratic-Republic the Administration also has a responsibility to inform the American people that much less pleasant scenarios are also possible and even likely. The Congress has a responsibility to explore all possible scenarios with an eye to the eventual costs of this war. We must not just accept the rosy projections so far offered by the Administration. Frankly, I have seen little effort by either the Administration or the Congress to inform the taxpayer about the likely costs of this war.

In both dollars and human lives, the Administration has been ominously quiet about its internal calculations and estimates. What is even worse is that the Congress has barely bothered to ask about them.

Earlier this month, the President unveiled his budget for the Fiscal Year 2004. Even assuming the most primitive and loose definition of the term "fiscal responsibility," that budget request should certainly have included some rough cost estimate for a war with Iraq. Even a range of costs would have been somewhat illuminating.

But no cost estimate was included in the President's budget. Let me repeat that. There is no estimate of the cost of the looming war with Iraq in the President's budget. The possible war has dominated the airwaves for months, yet there is no cost estimate in the President's budget. President Bush mentions the looming conflict in nearly every public pronouncement, yet no cost estimate to fight this war appears in his '04 budget. Is the Administration trying to tell the people of this nation it is for free?

When the Defense Secretary presented the President's defense budget to the Senate Armed Services Committee, and was asked what the Administration projected that a war in Iraq would cost, he would only say that such costs are "not knowable." Let us contemplate that answer "not knowable." Does the Secretary of Defense mean to say that this great nation does not yet know what its plans include for a war with Iraq? Is that why the costs are "not knowable?" Does he mean to say that we do not yet know exactly what we are going to try to achieve in Iraq? Is that why the costs are "not knowable?" Or does he simply mean to indicate that he does not want to divulge the potential costs, therefore to us they are "not knowable."

One must presume that by now the Administration would have made several internal forecasts of the military cost of the war using various scenarios, and that the White House Council of Economic Advisors would have prepared for the President a classified study of the projected economic impact of the war. Reportedly OMB Director Daniels has been working on war estimates for months, yet we are told that these costs are "not knowable." None of this information has been made available to the public, nor, I suspect, is it likely to be released in the near future. Congress has a responsibility to demand that information. Congress must not accept the answer, "not knowable." The American people deserve to know the truth.

There was one cost estimate provided by the Administration which came from an interview last fall with Larry Lindsey, the President's former economic advisor, who said that a war with Iraq could cost between $100 billion and $200 billion. He went on to opine that that was "nothing."

Yet, the White House quickly distanced itself from that comment, and the director of the Office of Management and Budget rebuked that estimate, saying that Lindsey's estimate was "very, very high."

The OMB Director suggested that the cost of the war would be closer to $60 billion or $70 billion. The Pentagon recently stretched that estimate to $95 billion. I wonder just what we are to make of these conflicting estimates. How are we to gauge the validity of such widely varying numbers. Do these figures contemplate other complications?

What if casualty estimates grow into the thousands? What if oil prices skyrocket, sparking inflation and lines at the gas pump, and costing the U.S. economy thousands of American jobs? Suppose the Middle East erupts in a tornado of violence, toppling regime after regime in the region?

Even a rudimentary list of the possible contingencies shows that costs may grossly exceed what the Administration wants the public to believe.

The Congressional Budget Office reported last September that the incremental costs of just deploying a force to the Persian Gulf -- that is, those costs incurred above those budgeted for routine operations -- could be between $9 billion and $13 billion. Prosecuting a war, according to the CBO, could cost between $6 billion and $9 billion per month. And after hostilities ended, the costs just to return U.S. forces to their home bases could range between $5 billion and $7 billion.

Regardless of the swiftness of a military victory, there remains the cost of a post-war occupation of Iraq, which the Administration says could last for up to two years and could mean another $1 billion to $4 billion or more per month during that period. On top of that, the United States might face a humanitarian crisis including rampant disease and starvation if Saddam Hussein employs a scorched earth strategy in defending his regime. What about the need for a cleanup of biological and chemical weapons if the Iraqi Republican Guard employs them against U.S. soldiers?

Reconstruction and nation-building costs resulting from installing a democratic government in Iraq have to also be thought about. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences projected that the minimum reconstruction and nation-building costs for Iraq could be as high as $30 billion, and that's under the very best of circumstances. Will the Administration propose something similar to a Marshall Plan for Iraq? The Academy reported that U.S. investments in Western Europe after World War II under the Marshall Plan cost a total of $13.3 billion over a four-year period. That is the equivalent of $450 billion over four years if measured as a percentage of GDP in 2002.

No one likes to talk about putting a price tag on national security, but these costs simply cannot be ignored in light of our current sagging economy and given a projected budget deficit of $307 billion for the fiscal year 2004. Remember, this government is going to have to borrow the money to finance this war. The total price of a war in Iraq could easily add up to hundreds of billions of dollars - - even a trillion or more - - overwhelming a federal budget which is already sliding into deep deficits and warping the U.S. economy and impacting the economies of other nations for years to come.

And unlike the Gulf War in 1991, many of our allies are unlikely to want to help much in defraying these costs. Right now, the Administration is trying to coax nations to join the "coalition of the willing" by paying them, not by asking them to help us pay for the war. "Coalition of the willing" or "COW" for short. It appears to me that the U.S. is the "cow" - - the cash cow in this case. We are the ones being milked.

The Administration reportedly has negotiated a multi-billion package of grants and loans for the Republic of Turkey for use of its bases to open a possible northern front against Iraq. The Administration is negotiating similar multi-billion packages with Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and other allies in the Middle East. I wonder if members are aware of the details of any of these deals in the works or their projected costs over time?

I believe that the costs of this war will be staggering. We know that our nation's most precious treasure, the lives of our young men and women in uniform, will certainly be threatened. But we do not know how great the risk is because the Administration will not talk about its plans. In addition, the cost, in terms of taxpayer dollars, will be enormous. We hear of negotiations ongoing with Turkey that are in the area of $30 billion. We learn of requests from Israel for $12 billion. In addition, Jordan wants to be compensated. We read that negotiations are underway to provide economic assistance to Mexico, Chile, and various African nations -- all of which are members of the United Nations Security Council.

Where will this all end? How many nations will be promised American economic assistance just for their tacit support? And how strong is support that can be bought with promises of American dollars?

This is no way to operate. If the case against Saddam Hussein were strong enough on its merits, the United States would not have to buy the support of the international community. If the world truly believes that Saddam Hussein poses an imminent threat, then let the world say so clearly. But do not taint that decision, do not taint the possible sacrifice of American soldiers, sailors, and airmen, by prying open the door to war with a blank check from the taxpayers.

If war is undertaken without UN sanction or broad international support, the United States taxpayer can expect to pay the costs of the war for decades and pay the interest costs for decades more.

And that's to say nothing about the larger macroeconomic costs to the economy. The economic ripples of a war could spread beyond direct budgetary costs into international energy markets through higher oil prices. The psychological effects of a war in Iraq, especially if it initiates new terrorist attacks around the globe, could further scare the already jittery financial markets and rattle consumers.

If the war goes badly, either through heavier than expected causalities, protracted bloody urban warfare, massive foreign denunciations, chemical and biological warfare, or major terrorist attacks here and abroad, we may be plunging our economy into unfathomable debt which this nation cannot easily sustain.

But even if one discounts these scenarios as unlikely, and sets them all aside, the potential costs of a limited war in Iraq could continue to pile up for years, depending on the total damage to Iraq, the civilian casualties, and the possibility that the war's effects could spread into other countries.

This is a dangerous and damaging game the Administration is playing with the American public. Glossing over the cost of a war with Iraq may make it easier to win short-term support. But without any serious attention to costs, the American people cannot be engaged in a fulsome public discussion about the eventual wisdom of undertaking this war. Public support cannot be sustained to accomplish our post-war goals in Iraq if the nation has been misled about the duration and difficulty of such a conflict. We cannot treat the citizens of this nation as if they are children who must be fed a fairy tale about fighting a glorious war of "liberation" which will be cheap, short and bloodless. If the President is going to force this nation to engage in this unwise, potentially disastrous, and alarmingly expensive commitment, he must lay out all of the costs and risks to the nation.

What is particularly worrisome is how naively the idea of establishing a perfect democracy in Iraq is being tossed around by this Administration. If the Administration engages in such a massive undertaking without the American people understanding the real costs and long-term commitment that will be required to achieve this bucolic vision, our efforts in Iraq could end with chaos in the region. Chaos, poverty, hopelessness, hatred - - that's exactly the kind of environment that becomes a fertile breeding ground for terrorists.

The Administration is asking the American public and the international community to support this war. The Administration must also put all of its cards on the table. A list of real risks and downsides do the nation no good locked in Donald Rumsfeld's desk drawer. They must be brought into the sunshine for the people to assess.

The American people are willing to embrace a cause when they judge it to be noble and both its risks and its benefits are explained honestly to them. But if information is withheld, long-term political support can never be sustained. Once the order is given and the bombs start falling, the lives of American troops and innocent civilians on the ground hang in the balance. Once "boots are on the ground," concerns about the monetary cost of war necessarily take a back seat. This nation will not shortchange the safety of our fighting men and women once they are in harms way.

But our people and this Congress should not have to wait until our troops are sent to fight to know what we are facing, including the painful costs of this war in dollars, political turmoil, and blood.

In a democratic-Republic, secrecy has no place. Hiding information from the public to rally support behind a war, at the very time when the government should be striving for maximum trust will eventually undermine our nation's strength. This conflict will be paid for with the people's treasure and the people's blood. This is no time to affront that sacrifice with beltway spin and secrecy.

Hiram Lewis is running for political office, and that's ok. Except he's exploiting his time on the fringe of the Iraq war to falsely portray himself as identifiable with those who actually fought in it, in order to further his political ambitions.

A note from an earlier post on this site (of 8/30--Hiram NOT a "decorated combat veteran") sets things straight:
Checking out the illustrious Hiram Lewis' (political) web site, his "decorations", as it appears, don't include anything deriving from combat whatsoever. He lists things like the Commendation Medal and Achievement Awards, which are good things, but you can get them working in an office; the Good Conduct Medal and National Defense Service Medal, which any dud can get just by being in the service; expeditionary medals you get by being in the territory over 30 days, and as someone else pointed out, unit citations.

Pointedly, there is no COMBAT ACTION BADGE (CAB)which you now get for being in close combat or just being fired at. This badge was instituted in June 05 and is retroactive to 9/01 for any army mos, not just infantry, under fire from 9/01 forward. It approximates the "Combat Infantry Badge" that is still around and only for (infantrymen) taking fire. The "expert infantryman's badge" is a different thing and not derived from combat, and attempts to make it seem so are misleading.

A photo on his site of an obviously safe area in Iraq at "Camp Bucca" shows Hiram with clean gear; white hands and arms from the office, and the sweat you can get in the middle east just by stepping outside.

According to his bio, he got his commission by a "DIRECT COMMISSION" in the WV NG by virtue of being a lawyer, in 9/02, i.e.-->>Hiram never went through officer training the hard way by Officer Candidate School(OCS, 21 weeks when I was in in 1966),or even the easy way by college ROTC. He just stepped into it. (After graduating college in 1994 in "business" he was in the army in a ranger battalion in Ft. Benning thru 1997, then got out and went to law school, getting a law degree in 5/01, then the direct commission in 9/02). All per his web site.

He was not a ranger in Iraq, as might be confused by his bio. He served as a Judge Advocate General (JAG)officer for the 111 Engineer Group. A lawyer, office guy. His bio on his site only says he was in the "Gulf" for 9 mos, which could be Kuwait, with a "short stint" in Baghdad. If there is more, it isn't shown.

Guaranteed his routine wasn't to go out on patrols and search and destroy, or even drive through a danger area, or he'd be braggin' about it. As a JAG with a direct commission, that may impress some, but a lot of us know better. As a JAG, he was not a "line officer" who would command a unit of men, not even a squad, but was a "staff officer" and paper shuffler who likely had clerks working for him in the office, and who may have, nevertheless, been involved in policy, admin., etc.--but nothing, on a routine basis, even remotely close to combat or danger.

This doesn't make him a bad guy, as long as he doesn't deceptively try to portray himself as more than he is. He may be a veteran of the Iraq war, but not a "decorated combat veteran", as his use of "decorated" misleadingly implies.

The point is that Hiram cannot claim to speak for, or identify with, those involved in combat actions or routinely jeopardized by hostile fire. He has nothing in common with those killed or maimed through the Iraq war, or their families, and cannot shine Casey or Cindy Sheehans boots. He should refrain from exploiting any time he spent on the fringe of the Iraq war as a deceptive and misleading platform to launch his political agenda, because a lot of us know better, are not impressed, and will call him on it.

A note on the above was sent to Cindy for her info if and when she might meet up with Hiram.

When Cindy Sheehan wanted answers involving our illegal invasion of a sovereign nation, she went to the top- to the very doorstep of the man directly responsible. the man who (at least in title) set the invasion in motion and has the authority to alter our course. When this guy can't handle a little dose of truth, he sets out to "dog the heels" of a middle-class suburban housewife?! what does he hope to accomplish?

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