CNN AMERICAN MORNING 7:00 AM EST
Monday, August 8, 2005
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: The mother of a soldier killed in Iraq is demanding answers from the commander in chief. She wants U.S. troops to come home and she's holding a vigil at President Bush's Texas ranch to make her point. Here's Elaine Quijano.
ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): Her name is Cindy Sheehan and she is one voice in the emotional debate over the Iraq War.
CINDY SHEEHAN, ARMY SPECIALIST CASEY SHEEHAN'S MOTHER: I'm a mom. My heart was broken on April 4th when my son was killed.
QUIJANO: Her son, 24-year-old Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, died in Baghdad's Sadr City last year. She blames President Bush for his death.
SHEEHAN: George Bush said that the families can be can rest assured that their children died for a noble cause. And I want to ask him what is that noble cause?
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're laying the foundation of peace for generations to come. We're defeating the terrorists in a place like Iraq so we don't have to face them here at home.
QUIJANO: Recent polls show the public's support for the president's Iraq policy is falling below 40 percent. And while the president says he's determined to finish the job . . . BUSH: We will stay the course. We will complete the job in Iraq.
QUIJANO: Cindy Sheehan says she's determined to get answers from him.
SHEEHAN: I'm going to go see the president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, ma'am, you're going to stop.
QUIJANO: Sheehan has met the president before when he stopped at Ft. Lewis, Washington, to deliver a speech about the Iraq War.
SHEEHAN: My son had only been dead two months. I was in a deep state of shock. Since we met with George Bush in June of 2004, the Downing Street Memos have come out, the Dulfer weapons of mass destruction, or lack of weapons of mass destruction, report came out.
QUIJANO: She vows to camp out near the president's Texas ranch for the rest of his vacation until she sees him.
Two top White House officials, the national security adviser and the deputy chief of staff, did come out to talk to Sheehan on Saturday but she isn't satisfied.
SHEEHAN: And they said they'll pass on the concerns to the president. And I said, fine, but I'm not leaving until I talk to him.
QUIJANO: The White House says many of the hundreds of families the president has met with know their loved ones died for a noble cause and that the best way to honor their sacrifice is to complete the mission.
SHEEHAN: The only way he can honor my son's sacrifice and my family's sacrifice is by bringing the troops home in honor of my son's sacrifice.
QUIJANO: Elaine Quijano, CNN, Crawford, Texas.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: Cindy Sheehan is the co-founder of a group called Gold Star Families for Peace.
CNN THE SITUATION ROOM 3:00 PM EST
Monday, August 8, 2005
WOLF BLITZER: Today the blogs are a buzz about a mother who says she's very angry and wants the troops home from Iraq. Cindy Sheehan's son died in Iraq last year. Now the mother is camping near President Bush's Texas ranch, hoping to deliver a special message to them.
Our Internet reporters Jacki Schechner and Abbi Tatton are watching the story unfold on the blogs, on cyberspace, on the Internet. Jacki, what are we hearing.
JACKI SCHECHNER, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: Well, Wolf, she is also giving her message on-line. Cindy Sheehan is now posting on one of the giant liberal Web logs, DailyKos.com. This gets more than half a million hits a day.
She is posting at what she's calling "Camp Casey." You can see that right there, outside of President Bush's ranch in Crawford. It is her message about how she feels. By the way, she has now become affiliated with MoveOn.org, a liberal political action committee, but she is telling her personal story at Daily Kos, saying she was full of rage, feeling helpless. She was on her way to Dallas, instead decided to go to Crawford to confront George Bush.
ABBI TATTON, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: And just quickly, on the other side, an interesting military blogger who is weighing in on this story: C.J. Grisham, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, has posted an open message to Cindy Sheehan, responding to some of the questions that she raised. She asked, "Why did President Bush kill my son?" He responds, "President Bush did not kill your son. This was the work of Islamic militants." Interesting insight from a military blogger there, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, guys. We'll be checking back to you.