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Discrediting People for Peace

By Missy Comley Beattie,

"We invited her to discuss her concerns with a US Mission employee. She chose not to come in but to lay down in front of the building and block the entrance. It was clearly designed to be a media stunt, not aimed at rational discussion."

This is the statement of Richard Grenell, spokesperson for the United States Mission to the UN. And it's a lie. I know because I was arrested with Cindy Sheehan, Medea Benjamin, and Rev. Patti Ackerman as an attempt was made to deliver a petition signed by more than 100,000 women who are calling for peace. ( ) If you haven't signed, please do this immediately.

This is a spokesman for our government and he blatantly misrepresented our efforts. We did not lie down and we did not block entry. That would be impossible since there are so many doors on both sides of the building.

Medea worked to negotiate with the security agents. She told them we didn't want to be arrested. She and Cindy were to accompany the Iraqi Women's Delegation to Washington that same day. Medea asked one of the guards to take the petition inside for us. He went in, came back out, and told us this was denied.

It is they who designed a 'media stunt,' orchestrated to intimidate. Why? Because they can. They are at liberty to call the NYPD to rush in and arrest anybody who tries to assemble and enter a government building, our building. They are at liberty to tell us we can't march peacefully on a public sidewalk. As they assume more power, we're given less. Every single day this administration remains in office, ordinary citizens lose more liberties. Apparently the First Amendment no longer applies.

Furthermore, the government is at liberty to make false statements to media outlets--statements printed in newspapers that lose their credibility each time they publish an article without a commitment to accurate reporting. These papers should have asked the many people and the press who witnessed the event and could testify to the treatment we received.

This is also the kind of propaganda spewed by the Bush pompom shakers, O'Reilly, Coulter, and Hannity who try to undermine Cindy Sheehan and say that she is no longer grieving the loss of her son Casey--that her agenda is ego-craving media attention. They are so wrong. Cindy is one of the most dignified women I've ever known. The 16 women who shared our cell at the Criminal Courthouse in Manhattan would attest to this. A force for peace and truth, Cindy must be a frightening threat to George W. Bush. That's one of the reasons his administration is trying to discredit her and anyone else who attempts to hold BushCo. accountable for its many crimes.

Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,'05, she has been writing political articles.

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