Cindy Sheehan became an antiwar activist after her son, Casey, was killed in Iraq last year. She wants to tell President Bush to pull American troops out of Iraq now, and she wants to tell him to his face. So she drove down to his ranch in Crawford, TX.
Blocked by police a few miles down the road from the ranch, she and growing number of supporters vow to camp out until Bush agrees to meet with her — or until police drag them away — whichever comes first. Apparently, it will most likely be the latter, as she has been warned that if she’s not gone by Thursday (the day Rice and Rumsfeld visit the ranch,) she and her companions will be arrested as a “national security threat.”
Interestingly, as the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, this would not be her first meeting with the President.
The White House has released few details of such sessions, which Mr. Bush holds regularly as he travels the country, but generally portrays them as emotional and an opportunity for the president to share the grief of the families. In Ms. Sheehan’s telling, though, Mr. Bush did not know her son’s name when she and her family met with him in June 2004 at Fort Lewis. Mr. Bush, she said, acted as if he were at a party and behaved disrespectfully toward her by referring to her as “Mom” throughout the meeting.
By Ms. Sheehan’s account, Mr. Bush said to her that he could not imagine losing a loved one like an aunt or uncle or cousin. Ms. Sheehan said she broke in and told Mr. Bush that Casey was her son, and that she thought he could imagine what it would be like since he has two daughters and that he should think about what it would be like sending them off to war.
“I said, ‘Trust me, you don’t want to go there’,” Ms. Sheehan said, recounting her exchange with the president. “He said, ‘You’re right, I don’t.’ I said, ‘Well, thanks for putting me there.’ “
Hmmm. Perhaps if President Bush could imagine losing a loved one, he might have thought twice before sending nearly 1,800 American soldiers to their deaths in Iraq.
Cindy Sheehan has posted a first-hand report to Daily Kos. Amongst the many interesting topics she touches upon, is this:
Another big story that was going on today was about my first meeting with Bush in June of 2004. For you all I would like to clarify a few things. First of all, I did meet with George, and that is not a secret. I have written about it and been interviewed about it. I will stand by my recounting of the meeting. His behavior was rude and inappropriate. My behavior in June of 2004 is irrelevant to what is going on in 2005. I was in deep shock and deep grief. The grief is still there, but the shock has worn off and the deep anger has set in. And to remind everybody, a few things have happened since June of 2004: The 9/11 commission report; the Senate Intelligence report; the Duelfer WMD report; and most damaging and criminal: the Downing Street Memos. The VERY LAST THING I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THIS IS: Why do the right wing media so assiduously scrutinize the words of a grief filled mother and ignore the words of a lying president?
And if you ask me, it’s the lying president who should be considered the national security threat, not Cindy.