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Shouting Down the President By: Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, February 01, 2006

THOSE WHO TUNED IN EARLY TO THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS LAST NIGHT know Cindy Sheehan got herself arrested before the speech began. Unless they follow the Hate America Left closely, what they don’t know is that Sheehan was ejected because she and her cronies tried to hijack the president’s constitutionally mandated annual speech by shouting him down. And a “progressive” congresswoman may have been her enabler. And now shes going to sue for police brutality (see the update below).

Those who have looked for more information about Sheehans disturbance have learned she concealed a t-shirt that read “2,245 Dead – How Many More??” until she got inside the chamber. Capitol Police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider recalled, “She was asked to cover it up. She did not.” This is as far as most mainstream media sources go.


Some media outlets portrayed the arrest as groundless, burying any wrongdoing on her part. The leftist Reuters news service – which refuses to call terrorists “terrorists”reported:


A Reuters photographer said Sheehan entered the House gallery a few minutes before Bush was to speak and was directed to her seat. She had been seated for less than a minute when a plainclothes Capitol Police officer took her by the arm, said, “Youve got to leave,” and rushed her from the gallery.


It adds the cherubic “Sheehan did not resist and left with a smile.”


The New York Times recounted the t-shirt episode, emoting, “The episode sent the Capitol into a tizzy.” It also dreamed Sheehan’s presence “loomed large” over the speech.


Thus far, only the Washington Post has revealed, “She was also vocal, said U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer, and after she ignored instructions to close her jacket and quiet down, she was led out and arrested. Demonstrating in the House gallery is prohibited.” (Emphasis added.)


Why was she vocal enough to get ejected from her seat – in Gallery 5, seat 7, row A? Because she was following the orders of a pillar of the radical Left. In addition to the t-shirt, Sheehan wore a pink scarf, in solidarity with Code Pink, the far-Left organization that donated $600,000 in cash and supplies to “the other side” in Fallujah in 2004. This radical organization, founded by supporters of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas, has been the most vocal section of Sheehan’s “amen corner” since before she rose to national prominence. This weekend, Sheehan returned from a trip to meet Venezuela’s dictator Hugo Chavez with Code Pink leaders Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans. Earlier yesterday, Sheehan joined the Code Pink brigades and another leftists in front of the White House chanting, “You’re evicted! Get out of our house!”


Code Pink made public its intention to shout down the president last night in every venue it could. A typical “Action Alert” on its website advertises a State of the Union get-together: “The only way to stomach the prez without pepto-dismal [sic.] is among lots of hot pink sistahs shouting ‘bull shit’ simultaneously as he sputters!”


Other action alerts encourage Code Pinkos from Pittsburgh to San Francisco to meet in public places and:

  • BRING ON THE NOISE!!! bring drums, pots, pans, noisemakers”;
  • “[We] welcome you to bring music, drums, pots, pans, horns, and your voice to drown him out.”;
  • “Bring on the Noise! Drown Out Bush’s Lies.”;
  • Our plan is to make a lot of noise & shoot nerf toys at the TV every time we hear BS”;
  • We want to give everybody a chance to drown out the State of the Union with our own noise!!!

The D.C. group Sheehan protested with before leaving for the State of the Union, organized under the banner of the new radical leftist front organization World Can’t Wait, followed suit. Again, the Washington Post reports:


Earlier last night, a band of banner-waving antiwar demonstrators clustered outside the Capitol and took the start of Bush's speech as a cue to let loose with an ear-splitting outburst of noise…At the moment when a nearby TV set showed Bush beginning his address in the House chamber, the protesters responded with bongo drums, maracas and whistles…As the president concluded, the noise reached a peak as protesters banged pots and pans, shouting “Bush step down, people rise up.”


Previously, Code Pink activists have been arrested in front of the White House. Co-founder, Medea Benjamin, takes pride in setting up the violent 1999 World Trade Organization riots in Seattle. Another co-founder, Gael Murphy, disrupted Dick Cheney’s speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention and interrupted Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as he was apologizing for isolated abuses at Abu Ghraib prison.


Now Code Pink’s most visible partisan had the opportunity to bring home the big game trophy: interrupting the president’s State of the Union Address live on national television. But before the street theater could begin inside the joint session of Congress, Sheehan blew it and started bellowing too early, discovering the Capitol police do not tolerate juvenile antics during the hallowed moments of Constitutionally mandated proceedings.


Police originally charged her with demonstrating in the Capitol building, but the charge was reduced to unlawful conduct, both misdemeanors. Fifty leftists instantly demonstrated outside the police station where Sheehan was held; one was arrested. According to MichaelMoore.com, which houses Sheehan’s blog, “A civil suit will be filed against the federal government first thing tomorrow [Wednesday] morning for violation of first amendment rights.


One may ask how a raving leftist long associated with disruptive protestors ended up inside the nations most watched presidential speech. Far-Left Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, D-CA, invited Cindy Sheehan to become one of the few Americans privileged to hear the annual address in person. Woolsey, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus – the ideological home of such notables as Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders – told reporters just before the arrest, “I'm proud that Cindy's my guest tonight. She has made a difference in the debate to bring our troops home from Iraq.” She also deadpanned, “I didn't see this as a political statement at all.”


Rep. Woolsey introduced an immediate withdrawal, unilateral surrender resolution a year before John Murtha did so. She and fellow California Democrat and Progressive Caucus Co-Chair, Rep. Barbara Lee – the only house member to vote against invading Afghanistan after 9/11– recently gave the Progressive State of the Union at a forum co-sponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies and Nation magazine, in conjunction with its February 6 issue. Woolsey exhorted the president to “Join us in promoting global peace and security.” Her concrete suggestion? Work with our allies to “combat HIV/AIDS and other deadly diseases.” In the accompanying issue of Nation, she and Rep. Lee demanded antiwar candidates must not only demand immediate withdrawal; they must also oppose taking any strategic security gain whatever from the Iraq invasion. They wrote, “Let's insist that candidates – even if they claim to support troop reductions – say whether they support permanent military bases in Iraq.


Rep. Woolsey is, in other words, a highly partisan radical of the political Left. This begs the question: was she aware of Cindy Sheehan’s shenanigans? Was she complicit in Sheehan’s plan to shout the president down during the State of the Union? It’s not unprecedented; Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA, wrote a letter permitting Code Pink to distribute supplies in Fallujah. Either way, Sheehan’s planned disturbance during the speech would have been impossible without the Congresswoman’s kind invitation.


Frustrated by the voters’ perpetual rejection at the polls, the political Left – especially the fringe represented by Sheehan and Woolsey – has increasingly turned to “direct action.” In 2004, radical antiwar protestors tried to block the Oakland seaport, home to ships taking supplies to the troops in Iraq; staked out military bases; stormed military recruiting centers; and shut down traffic intersections from San Francisco to New York. They threatened to “Bring Najaf to New York” during the GOP convention. No one cognizant of this history could expect a radical like Sheehan to do anything but interrupt the State of the Union.


Still, Woolsey invited Sheehan, who has parlayed her 15 minutes of exploitative fame into an international platform, Capitol Hill influence, and a budding political career. She has met with several Congressional leftists, including Hillary Clinton; is gearing up to challenge Dianne Feinstein for her California senate seat in the 2006 Democratic primaries; and hopes to lead a “peace candidate” insurgency within the Democratic Party, targeting anyone who does not endorse unilateral surrender in Iraq.


All this after the Berkley-based leftist called foreign jihadists who murder U.S. troops “freedom fighters”; branded President Bush “the biggest terrorist in the world”; hypothesized “9/11 was their Pearl Harbor to get their neo-con agenda through”; told Chris Matthews it was wrong to topple the Taliban; accused perfidious Jewish neo-cons of killing her son “for Israel,” then lied about it; met with Stormfront.org neo-Nazis; deemed America “not worth dying for”; and penned a few hundredweight more Hate America inanities.


…And after Capitol police forcibly removed Sheehan herself from an illegal sit-in in front of the White House last September. Lynn Woolsey addressed the D.C. rally sponsored by International ANSWER and United for Peace and Justice before that arrest, along with Al Sharpton, hatemonger Amiri Baraka, a keffiyah-clad George Galloway, convicted terrorist lawyer Lynne Stewart, Rep. Cynthia McKinney, Saddam’s lawyer Ramsey Clark, and others.

Sheehan is not only setting the Democratic Party’s agenda – she is doing so from the floor of Congress. Last night, that agenda consisted of desecrating the president’s annual report to the American people, an American tradition since George Washington. And one left-wing Congresswoman may have been her accomplice.

UPDATE: Cindy Sheehan blogged this morning to tell the world Ive gotten it all wrong. She didnt wear the shirt to protest; it just happened to be what she had on when she was given the ticket. In fact, she didn't even want to be there, heavens no!

I didnt feel comfortable going. I knew George Bush would say things that would hurt me and anger me and I knew that I couldn't disrupt the address because Lynn had given me the ticket and I didn't want to be disruptive out of respect for her. I, in fact, had given the ticket to John Bruhns who is in Iraq Veterans Against the War.

BUT Rep. Woolsey had alerted the media, and Cindy decided to be a good sport. Then the fascist pigs jumped her for no reason:

I was never told that I couldn't wear that shirt into the Congress. I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up. If I had been asked to do any of those things...I would have, and written about the suppression of my freedom of speech later. I was immediately, and roughly (I have the bruises and muscle spasms to prove it) hauled off and arrested for “unlawful conduct.”

She also reveals the name of her guard (Mike Weight), who should get a promotion for expelling this troublemaker from these historic proceedings.

Oh, that whole thing about her being “vocal”? Evidently, that’s another damnable lie. The Capitol police are part of the vast neo-con conspiracy, along with Hillary Clinton, NPR, and the producers of Nightline. Sheehan remains silent about being vocal.

But in typical fashion, Cindy quickly contradicts herself in the same message, writing: “I wore the shirt to make a statement. The press knew I was going to be there and I thought every once in awhile they would show me and I would have the shirt on.”

Now, shes not taking this expulsion lying down. Shes going to sue:

I have some lawyers looking into filing a First Amendment lawsuit against the government for what happened tonight. I will file it. It is time to take our freedoms and our country back.

Another great argument for tort reform. Sheehan concluded, “I am so upset and sore it is hard to think straight.”

Finally, something we can believe.

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Cindy Sheehan faking a smile.

Cindy, looking less than chipper when she thinks she’s off-camera.

Cindy Sheehan’s last grinning arrest in September 2005.

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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