Camp Casey Day 3: Per Cindy Sheehan and the New York Times Print E-mail
Camp Casey Day 3- The Peaceful Occupation of Camp Crawford

Cindy Sheehan's diary 

08/09/05 "
Daily Kos" -- -- Where do I begin?

Today was a highly eventful day. This entry won’t be artful, but utilitarian.

I conservatively got 3 to 5 phone calls a minute. I did about 25 phone interviews and several TV interviews. I did several right-wing radio interviews. I was supposed to do: The Today Show, MSNBC live interview, Connected Coast to Coast (MSNBC) and Hardball (MSNBC). The Today Show just never showed up and the other 3 MSNBC shows cancelled for no reason. Could it be because NBC is owned by General Electric, a major defense contractor??

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 and 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?

In the early afternoon, we got word that if we were still there by Thursday, we were going to be deemed a "security threat" to the president. Condi and Rummy are coning in on Thursday for a "policy" meeting. Don’t they mean conspiracy to commit crimes meeting? I just don’t understand why we will be a security threat on Thursday when we aren’t now? If we don’t leave on Thursday, we will be arrested. Well, I am not leaving. There are only three things that would make me leave: if George comes out and talks to me; if August comes to an end, or if I am arrested.

People are heading here from all over the country. I have some more Gold Star Families for Peace members coming tomorrow. We are amazed by the outpouring of love and support we are getting. If you can come, then come. 62% of the American public are against this war and want our troops home. We need to show the media that we are in the majority. We need to show George Bush and his evil cabal of neocons that when we say "bring the troops home, now" we mean "bring the troops home, now!!!"

In the late afternoon, many of us left to go back to the peace house in Crawford because there was going to be a major lightening storm. While most of us were gone, the Sheriff came and told us that what we were told was county property really was private property and we would have to remove our stuff to a tiny place, or get it confiscated. I find it interesting that the county sheriff did not know that roads in his county that lead up to the presidential vacation home are private roads. I find it very hard to believe. The bastards think that they are pushing us off, but we will not leave there voluntarily or without handcuffs on. My only hope is, there will be tons of media there when they carry me to the squad car.

Today was so bizarre for me. I got phone calls from famous people pledging their support, and phone calls from mothers with sons in Iraq who are overcome with emotion when they talk to me. And it is so brave for them to call me, because I am their worst fear. We had a young man who is in the US Army at Ft. Hood come this morning and spend hours with us. He has been there and his unit is scheduled to go back in October. How much courage did that take for him to come within earshot of his commander in chief’s home and spend time with some old hippy protestors???

We have lawyer working on getting us closer and working on magically turning the private property back into county property again. I have some awesome young ladies for Code Pink answering my phone and taking phone calls. We have Veteran’s for Peace out there putting up banners (our tiny campsite looks real nice). We have concerned citizens from all over America starting to come in. IT IS FREAKIN’ AMAZING, FOLKS!!!

Come and join us and let your voices be joined with ours. AMEN!!! 

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The New York Times -- Tuesday August 9 2005
One Mother in Crawford

Summertime often produces unexpected media figures, and this is Cindy Sheehan's season. Ms. Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq last year, is camping out near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Tex., and says she won't leave until Mr. Bush agrees to meet with her to discuss the war. There are many reasons for the flood of media attention she is attracting: she has a poignant personal story and she is articulate - and, let's face it, August is a slow news month. But most of all, she is tapping into a growing popular feeling that the Bush administration is out of touch with the realities, and the costs, of the Iraq war.

Ms. Sheehan's 24-year-old son, Casey, was killed in Baghdad. She says she and her family met privately with Mr. Bush two months later, and she is sharply critical of how the president acted. He did not know her son's name, she says, acted as if the meeting was a party and called her "Mom" throughout, which she considered disrespectful.

Ms. Sheehan has traveled from her California home to Crawford, where Mr. Bush will be spending much of the month, in the hope of having a more substantive discussion. On Saturday, Mr. Bush's national security adviser and the White House deputy chief of staff met with her beside a road a few miles from the ranch, but she is still insisting on a meeting with the president.

Even many Americans who do not share her views about the president - she arrived in a bus bearing the slogan "Impeachment Tour" - share her concerns about his war leadership. President Bush has refused to ask the nation to sacrifice in any way, so the sacrifice gap has never been greater. A few families, like Ms. Sheehan's, have paid the ultimate price. Many more, including National Guard families, are bearing enormous burdens, struggling to get by while a parent, a child or a spouse serves in Iraq. But the rest of the nation is spending its tax cuts and guzzling gas as if there were no war.

Mr. Bush obviously failed to comfort Ms. Sheehan when he met with her and her family. More important, he has not helped the nation give fallen soldiers like Casey Sheehan the honor they deserve. The administration seems reluctant to have the president take part in events that would direct widespread attention to soldiers' funerals or to the thousands who have returned with serious injuries.

Perhaps most troubling, Mr. Bush is not leveling about where things stand with the war. He continues to stay on message, as he did with the platitude he offered last week: "We will stay the course; we will complete the job in Iraq." The public knows that things in Iraq are not going well on any number of levels, and deserves a fuller, more honest discussion led by the commander in chief.

Just 38 percent of the respondents in a recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll, a new low, approved of Mr. Bush's handling of Iraq. That does not mean the remaining 62 percent agree with Ms. Sheehan that the troops should come home immediately. But it does mean that many Americans are with her, at least figuratively, at that dusty roadside in Crawford, expecting better answers.