August 08, 2005

The Cindy Sheehan Circus

A mother of a soldier killed in Iraq is now protesting the Iraq war at George Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. The Drudge Report notes some huge inconsistencies in Cindy Sheehan's recollection of her meeting with President Bush:
CINDY 2004
THE REPORTER of Vacaville, CA published an account of Cindy Sheehan's visit with the president at Fort Lewis near Seattle on June 24, 2004: "'I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis,' Cindy said after their meeting. 'I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith.' "The meeting didn't last long, but in their time with Bush, Cindy spoke about Casey and asked the president to make her son's sacrifice count for something. They also spoke of their faith. "The trip had one benefit that none of the Sheehans expected. "For a moment, life returned to the way it was before Casey died. They laughed, joked and bickered playfully as they briefly toured Seattle. For the first time in 11 weeks, they felt whole again. "'That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together,' Cindy said.
INDY 2005
Sheehan's current comments are a striking departure. She vowed on Sunday to continue her protest until she can personally ask Bush: "Why did you kill my son?" In an interview on CNN, she claimed Bush "acted like it was party" when she met him last year..."He wouldn't look at the pictures of Casey. He didn't even know Casey's name. He came in the room and the very first thing he said is, 'So who are we honoring here?' He didn't even know Casey's name. He didn't want to hear it. He didn't want to hear anything about Casey. He wouldn't even call him 'him' or 'he.' He called him 'your loved one.' Every time we tried to talk about Casey and how much we missed him, he would change the subject. And he acted like it was a party.
The 2004 article from The Reporter can be found here. While The Reporter alleges that Drudge took a statement out of context (i.e., the President giving them a gift), Cindy Sheehan's other statements in the previous article and similar statements from Pat Sheehan in the previous article appear to corroborate Cindy's 2004 account of the meeting:
"I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis," Cindy said after their meeting. "I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith."..."Pat noted that Bush wasn't stumping for votes or trying to gain a political edge for the upcoming election."

We have a lot of respect for the office of the president, and I have a new respect for him because he was sincere and he didn't have to take the time to meet with us", Pat said.
Ms. Sheehan has every right to be upset at the loss of her son. I, quite frankly, would not know how in the world I could handle it if in her shoes. Certainly, she can come to the conclusion that the Iraq war was a mistake and that her son may have died in vain. She has every right to protest the Iraq war.

However, I draw the line when she clearly changed her story in an attempt at character assassination. Was Bush caring or uncaring? The pictures that her own words paint could not be more different. I tend to give more weight to her recollection after the event-before she became involved with anti-war groups with an agenda.

No matter how much you hate George Bush, do you think he would really "act like it was a party"? Give me a break. He was meeting with someone who just lost their son in a war. To believe this, you would have to believe that George Bush had no common sense or social grace. Hell. The man is a politician - a politician that had the political skill to convince 51 million Americans that he was a good enough person to be president - wouldn't you think that he would be able to show caring and concern for this woman (even if, as most Democrats I believe wrongfully assume, that he is "evil" and does not actually care). That statement strains any bit of credibility she may have.

According to the National Review, Cindy Sheehan defended the discrepancy in her two very different accounts of the meeting with George Bush during an Air America radio broadcast:
Besides, why is my meeting in June of 2004 relevant? Over 1100 more soldiers are dead since then, the Downing Street Memo report came out, the Senate intelligence report has come out, and the 9/11 Commission report has come out. Saddam is gone, they've had free democratic elections in Iraq, and our troops are still there.
The June 2004 meeting is relevant because they go to your credibility Ms. Sheehan. In your efforts to campaign against the war, you have made allegations against President Bush that go beyond mere policy differences. You have alleged that President Bush dishonored the death of your son and showed neither sympathy nor compassion to you or your family.

Her backers even prepared a script for her. Just in case there was anyone doubting that Ms. Sheehan is now a mere mouthpiece for left-wing anti-war groups, she continues during her Air America interview:
We need more people here. We're getting a lot of press attention and it would be nice for as many people to come whenever they can come. To show them that, truly, 61% of American people want this war over and believe it was a mistake to begin with. So lets show them that. There's also vigils and protests and demonstrations being organized around the country. People should go to the Progressive Democrats of America site, or After Downing Street . Daily Kos is posting a lot of events that are happening and ways to support us.
Michelle Malkin writes, "Cindy Sheehan has surrounded herself with a group of anti-American, anti-military, terrorist-sympathizing agitators, including Code Pink, the Crawford Peace House, and the crackpot crowd. It's a sad spectacle. President Bush should continue to treat Mrs. Sheehan with the same compassion and sympathy he showed her when they first met--before her heart and mind were poisoned by the professional grievance-mongers who claim to be her friends."

The Anchoress writes, "A vacationing president being called-out by a grieving mother, while operatives from Code Pink and other leftist organizations surround her with signs detailing their agendas. It is a Bush-Haters wet dream. The Fourth Estate’s, too."

Update: Daily Kos was previously alleging that "Cindy Sheehan phoned me from Texas a few minutes ago to say that she's been informed that beginning Thursday, she and her companions will be considered a threat to national security and will be arrested. Coincidentally, Thursday is the day that Rice and Rumsfeld visit the ranch, and Friday is a fundraiser event for the haves and the have mores. Cindy said that she and others plan to be arrested." However, Daily Kos soon retracted this allegation:
I got Cindy on the phone and she continued to maintain that the threat of arrest was real, but said that it came to her via Diane Wilson. I spoke to Diane, who said that it came from Texas State Rep Lon Burman, a Democrat. She said that he was not speaking on behalf of or communicating any information from the Bush Administration or the Secret Service or the Sheriff's Department. But she maintained that what he had predicted was already starting.

Both Sheehan and Wilson said that the County Sherrif's deputies on Saturday identified several areas as county property on which they could stand. Now they claim that most of these area are private property, and that they had not known that. So, this afternoon the deputies forced Cindy and about 25 people with her onto one small area on one side of a road.
I see. So, not only did Bush or any governmental official not threaten to arrest her, but they in fact gave her a place to continue her protest. Evidently, Ms. Sheehan pulled a publicity stunt to promote her protest. How many anti-war/anti-Bush nutjobs fell for that one??
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