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The Antiwar Movement's Case for Preemption and Profiling By: Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, April 18, 2008

CODE PINK MAY HAVE UNWITTINGLY BECOME THE BEST EXPONENTS of the policies of preemption and profiling in the War on Terror.

Last Tuesday, Sen. Joseph Biden ejected Code Pink protesters set to interrupt General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker's testimony on the state of Iraq. Biden instructed security to eject "the people making noise," and the Capitol police quickly responded, expelling the full Code Pink delegation. The latter stood out from the Hill staffers and military attachés listening respectfully to the hearings for a number of reasons: not least, they were wearing black robes, white skeleton or ghost masks, and gray grease paint. (You can see a video of the whole encouraging incident here. The best part is when the police refuse to entertain their arguments and make them march back out to the street.) Apparently unfamiliar with the word hubris, Medea Benjamin complained, repeatedly and bitterly, that Sen. Biden called for order to be restored but "the police arbitrarily pulled out people." Her final words, as the police forced the pro-terrorists out of the hallway, were, "Why did I get pulled out?"

Arbitrarily? Why, whatever could have made the police think the professional protesters in Halloween costumes might be up to mischief? Unless the fifth column leftists had been called to testify about the Scream film series, their garb was inappropriate and suspect.

The chamber's action contrasted greatly with that of the hapless House chairman Ike Skelton, D-MO, during the Petraeus hearings last fall. Then, too, Code Pink demonstrators in full apparel burst out screaming at regular intervals. Skelton gravely intoned, "Let me make this announcement: that those who have caused unlawful conduct and improper conduct, who have, who are, and who will throughout the remainder of this hearing will be prosecuted...under the law. This is untolerable. We will not allow it." Yawn. He repeated this mantra every few minutes, only to be greeted by more howling.

Urging a wiser course, Rep. Dan Burton, R-IN, had tried to have the protesters expelled preemptively:

Burton: I see a number of people in the audience that I anticipate will be making a disturbance, and if this occurs during the testimony by our honored guest, I hope you will be very firm and get them out of here.
Skelton: You don't have to lecture me. They'll be gone. Don't -
Burton: Well, I still see them out there.
Skelton: Don't worry about them. We've done this before. Alright, those who are displaying a sign, out they go.

Duncan Hunter, seated to Skelton's immediate left, tried to clue him in:

Hunter: Here's their strategy...There's about ten of them, so they're going to sacrifice one about every five minutes. If they do that, I'd remove the whole identifiable group out.
Skelton (testily): How do you do that?
Hunter: Well, because they're all in the same dress, the pink people. They're an association...I'd say have people take their group out.

(Another reason Duncan Hunter would have made a great president.)
Skelton somehow proved unable to spot the group. Perhaps you could look for the dozen or so wastrels who entered in a cluster, all wearing plastic pink crowns and matching outfits, who keep interrupting the hearings every quarter-hour? Maybe that would be a tip-off, Sherlock?

Skelton failed to follow Hunter's advice. Ultimately, the Missouri Democrat unwittingly groused into an open mic, "That really pisses me off down there. Those a--holes."

This year, the leftists got no such benefit of the doubt: Congress kicked them all out en masse. Some did not even get the opportunity to screech before being herded onto the street. They were ejected preemptively. And, to no one's great shock, the intrusions ceased.

Sure, it may be that a few of the protesters removed by the police did not intend to rise at an appointed time and scream, "No blood for oil, you Baby killers!" or rush the stage and try to rub fake blood on the witnesses. But they undeniably have a history of such behavior; no one was harmed by their absence; and stopping them in their tracks may act as a deterrent to others thinking about following in their footsteps.

If one sees a group of nationally known leftists with a history of:
  • shouting down the State of the Union Address;
  • physically intimidating Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and coming dangerously close to her;
  • crashing the president's speech at the 2004 RNC with no press credentials;
  • delivering $600,000 in cash and medical supplies to "the other side" in Fallujah, referring to jihadists as "freedom fighters";
  • working with Iraqi political leaders who praise anti-American terrorism;
  • referring to jihadists as "freedom fighters";
  • screaming at Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki;
  • interrupting the former Defense Secretary;
  • accosting a Congressman and calling him a "Douchebag"; and
  • generally interrupting every event at which they have ever been present
...perhaps one might consider banning them from further attendance at official hearings. At a minimum, Congressional chairmen might be wise to suspect them of an impending outburst.

One may go further and say such people fit a profile of individuals likely to throw tantrums in the midst of important public events, even to the point of physical confrontation. One would be wise to ponder whether they shouldn't be barred from entering our most cherished national institutions altogether.

Code Pink's behavior is no laughing matter, even if their belated comeuppance is. When hate-filled extremists with ties to foreign terrorists charge within inches of Cabinet members and Congressmen, no one should be smiling. At the least, their continual harassment may cause national leaders to let down their guard when approached by truly dangerous people, assuming, "It's just another one of those Code Pink nuts." At the worst, the leftists' hassling of Capitol Hill security during high-profile Congressional hearings may provide just the distraction a terrorist or assassin needs to spring into action.

The greatest opponents of the war demonstrate, by their behavior, the wisdom in preemption and profiling. And if one can say the policy is appropriate for irritants their foes derisively dismiss as "a--holes," one may more effectively apply this principle to those with ties to more pernicious organizations, whose aim is not merely to annoy but to destroy Western civilization as we know it.

Party of Defeat is available from the FrontPage Magazine Bookstore for $15, a 30 percent discount and less than Amazon.com. Autographed and personalized copies are also available; details are on the Bookstore webpage. Please call your local bookstores and ask them to stock the new book Party of Defeat by David Horowitz and Ben Johnson, if they don't already have it in stock.

Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and co-author, with David Horowitz, of the book Party of Defeat. He is also the author of the books Teresa Heinz Kerry's Radical Gifts (2009) and 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry's Charitable Giving (2004).

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