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Detained Peace Protestors Forced to 'Strip Naked', Were 'Scrubbed for Lice'
By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2006 12:41pm PT  

David Swanson updates the sitch in Crawford, TX this morning where, as we reported yesterday, 14 anti-war protestors who are part of Cindy Sheehan's "Camp Casey" Easter protest were arrested last night...

The 14 arrested included 8 veterans, one of them a disabled Iraqi vet, and 6 grandmothers. "It was amazing," said Barbara, "to see veterans and grandmothers arrested, while George Bush and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are running loose killing people.

Eight of the 14, including Daniel Ellsberg, had been arrested last Thanksgiving and charged with obstructing a highway and with felonious trespassing. They staged a demonstration at the court house the day before yesterday demanding that those charges be brought to a trial or dropped. This time, the 14 were charged only with obstructing a highway.

They were forced to strip naked, communally, women in one room, men in another, and made to shower and scrub for lice. Then they were dressed in reusable jail underwear and striped jail suits. I guess we should be glad that Rumsfeld wasn't there with any kinky fetishes or dogs.

Lonestar Iconoclast has more coverage and a bunch of fresh photos from yesterday.

Still more details, video of the arrests, and our LIVE audio interview last night with Cindy Sheehan after the arrests are all here...

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UPDATED: Audio from LIVE Sheehan Interview Now Included...
By Brad Friedman on 4/14/2006 3:54pm PT  

As David Swanson at AfterDowningStreet.org reported minutes ago, there have been 14 arrests in Crawford, TX where Cindy Sheehan and supporters are again camping out in the original location where they took up camp last Summer.

Though Cindy's sister and Daniel Ellsberg were amongst those arrested, Cindy and ersatz Camp Casey organizer U.S. Army Col. Ann Wright have chosen to not be amonst those arrested this time around so they can continue to run the camp.

I've just spoken with Wright, and have arranged for Cindy to appear with us in person on The Peter B. Collins show on KRXA 540am, in Monterey, CA and elswhere, during my normal weekly Friday guest appearance on his show.

I'll be on tonight beginning at 5pm PT (7pm Crawford time, 8pm ET) and Cindy should be joining us at the bottom of the hour for a live update with the latest.

===

UPDATE: Just completed the live interview with Cindy, straight from Crawford, TX... Here are the MP3's in your choice of length...

-- Peter B. Collins Show: Segment with Cindy & Brad [MP3]
-- Peter B. Collins Show: Complete Hour with Brad on Election Stuff and more, includes live Cindy interview. [MP3]

FURTHER UPDATE: "Crawford is now our home too," says Ann Wright after the arrest, along with a promise to dog Bush wherever he goes. As Cindy pointed out in the interview above, and the Lone-Star Iconoclast ably reports, the folk arrested in Crawford on Thanksgiving last year still have not been formally charged. It seems the folks of McLellan County, TX would rather not have their new, unconstitutional ordinance disallowing protestors from camping on the side of the road, get tested in court.

See Scott Galindez' video coverage of the arrest at TruthOut.

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By David Edwards on 4/13/2006 12:21pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com

Most people have little doubt that Americans were mislead into supporting an invasion of Iraq. As the war has continue, so have the lies. Here are a few of the latest...

ABC News Report on False Claims about Bio-Weapons Trailers


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The Bush Administration made claims that mobile biological weapons labs had been found in Iraq for at least a year after a several reports determined that the trailers were used for making weather balloons. The Washington Post first broke the story on Wednesday morning.

The White House would not say if the President or others had read the report before continuing to use the trailers as case for justifying their war on Iraq.

MSNBC Countdown Interview with Journalist Who Broke Phony Bio-lab Story


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Countdown provides another great report on the Bush Administration's misrepresentation of Saddam era weather balloon trailers as mobile bio-weapons labs.

Keith Olbermann interview Washington Post writer Joby Warrick who broke the story. Warrick responds to the charge of irresponsible reporting from the White House.

ARAB TV - Iraqis Angry Over U.S. Military's Al-Zarqawi Propaganda


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Al-Alam TV reports on a Washington Post article exposing a U.S. Military plan to inflate the role of Al-Zarqawi as a source of terrorism in Iraq. As the deceptions continue, Iraqis are becoming increasingly angry with the American occupation.

The Washington Post article begins saying, "The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks"

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By David Edwards on 4/12/2006 3:20pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Yesterday, Senator Barbara Boxer delivered a letter to President George W. Bush demanding that he apologize for his role in using NIE intelligence for political purposes. Boxer's letter begins, "I am writing to request that you apologize to the American people for your role in declassifying information for political reasons and authorizing its dissemination."

Senator Boxer appeared on MSNBC Hardball to explain her reason for writing Bush. Boxer also spoke in support of Senator Feingold's censure resolution.

From the MSNBC transcript:

MATTHEWS: Thank you, David. Great report. With us now in California is California's own Barbara Boxer, the Democratic senator, who wants to censure President Bush for the NSA's domestic surveillance program and today SHE called on the president to apologize for, "declassifying information for political reasons during the Iraq war."

Let me ask you this, Senator, are you going to follow through with this? Are you going to try to get him censured?

SEN. BARBARA BOXER: Well, I absolutely feel that we can't close our eyes to what this president has done. You could ask me is it a smart, strategic move for the Democrats, I don't know if it is or isn't, Chris. But every day you think it can't get worse and it gets worse.

Now we see how hard the president himself tried to hurt Ambassador Joe Wilson, who told the truth about Saddam Hussein and the nuclear weapons program. He told the truth that it wasn't happening. And yet in fact, this president wanted to release information that even he knew, and the administration knew, was suspect.

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Bush on Nuclear Iran, Hersh Article, War Protestors, Plame Case
By David Edwards on 4/10/2006 11:27am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Today after giving another Iraq/War-on-Terror PR speech at Johns Hopkins International Studies School, President Bush took questions from students in the audience. When compared with recent Q&A sessions, the President appeared to be relaxed to the point of laughing off the some of the tougher questions.

Bush may have offered a little bit more information about his role in using the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) for political retribution. He was asked how future intelligence employees could trust the Executive Office in light of the Plame Wilson case. Bush responded that he had declassified the NIE "for a reason" but refused to say much more.

This video has about 8 minutes of clips from The President's Q&A session.

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By David Edwards on 3/27/2006 5:43am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Windows Media and QuickTime at Crooks and Liars.

CBS News reporter Lara Logan appeared live from Iraq on CNN Reliable Sources on Sunday morning. She issued a stern rejection of the notion that Iraq reporters are biased towards negative stories.

Lara Logan's genuine outrage makes this a must see clip!

From CNN's trancript:

KURTZ: But critics would say, well, no wonder people back home think things are falling apart because we get this steady drumbeat of negativity from the correspondents there.

LOGAN: Well, who says things aren't falling apart in Iraq? I mean, what you didn't see on your screens this week was all the unidentified bodies that have been turning up, all the allegations here of militias that are really controlling the security forces.

What about all the American soldiers that died this week that you didn't see on our screens? I mean, we've reported on reconstruction stories over and over again...I mean, I really resent the fact that people say that we're not reflecting the true picture here. That's totally unfair and it's really unfounded.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars

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By David Edwards on 3/17/2006 7:59am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Last night on MBNBC Scarborough Country, Joe Scarborough was surprisingly polite during his interview with peace activist Cindy Sheehan.

Cindy Sheehan is joining other peace activists today who are undertaking a 140 mile march to protest the Iraq war and demanding that Iraq war monies be diverted to Hurricane Katrina relief.

UPDATE: VIDEO - Peace Activists March to New Orleans


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CNN reports on the peace/anti-war activists who are marching 140 miles to New Orleans.

The video in this report is from yesterday's segment of the march.

One protester carried a sign saying "Make Levees Not War!"

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Delegation Seeks U.N. Help to Avoid Civil War, Hardships for Women, Children Under U.S. Occupation
By Brad Friedman on 3/7/2006 10:04pm PT  

Meant to post this yesterday...From Reuters...

Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war activist whose son was killed in the Iraq war, was arrested with three other protesters in New York on Monday after a rally with women from Iraq.
...
On Monday, she had joined a delegation of women from Iraq at the rally at the United Nations, urging the United Nations to help prevent civil war in Iraq.
...
Entisar Mohammad Ariabi, a pharmacist at Baghdad's Yarmook Teaching Hospital, wept as she told reporters of the hardships experienced by Iraqi women.

"U.S. occupation has destroyed our country, made it into a prison," she said. "Schools are bombed, hospitals are bombed."

"We thank you, Mr. Bush, for liberating our country from Saddam. But now, go out! Please go out!" she said.

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Story of Army Specialist Tomas Young, First Revealed on The BRAD SHOW from Crawford, Texas, Discussed in Mike Wallace Story This Evening
By Brad Friedman on 2/12/2006 5:48pm PT  

We're told that tonight's 60 Minutes features a segment with Mike Wallace on "Wounds of War" featuring soldiers injured in Iraq. (60 Minutes' website now has coverage of the segment, with a video link, but it's not the complete segment apparently.)

The segment, third on tonight's broadcast, features an interview with Tomas Young, whose story we first highlighted during our special "Operation Noble Cause" radio broadcasts on The BRAD SHOW from on the ground at "Camp Casey" in Crawford, TX, last summer. Apparently footage of me interviewing Young is a quick part of the segment.

Army Specialist Young was paralyzed from the waist down --- on the same day and in the same city as Cindy Sheehan's son, Casey --- while riding in a canvas-covered truck through Sadr City during the uprising there.

Young is seen in the photo at right at Camp Casey with his new wife, Bree, requesting a meeting with Bush. They had come to Crawford on their honeymoon. Bush had refused a meeting with Sheehan at the time on the grounds that he'd already met with her. As far as we know, Bush has still never met with Young, who wanted to ask him why he was refusing to support Stem Cell research so that he might someday be able to walk again.

-- The initial BRAD BLOG item on Young from Aug. 29, 2005 is right here.
-- My radio interview from Camp Casey on that same day with Young is right here [MP3].

UPDATE: Have now seen the segment, and it was interesting. We'll try to get it up here. One thing I didn't know until tonight was that Tomas' brother is still serving in Iraq. So for those who suggest that what Young is doing --- in speaking out against the war --- is harming our troops...well...he made clear on 60 Minutes that's the last thing he'd want to do with a brother still serving there!

FURTHER UPDATE: Here's the segment! Courtesy of the invaluable David Edwards!


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(Hat-tip Jesse of Stakeholder for the heads-up!)

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The Continuing Pro-Administration Bias of both WaPo and Fox News
And the Hypocrisy of One Very Dangerous Republican Congressman from Florida
By Brad Friedman on 2/2/2006 5:12pm PT  

Hopefully this will be my last words on the disgraceful incident involving the arrest, removal and detention of Cindy Sheehan, who gave the life of her child in defense of this country, just prior to Tuesday's State of the Union address.

This latest canary-in-the-coalmine story made the front page of WaPo today, and reveals quite clearly both the Media's and at least one Republican's bias against those who do not agree with the George W. Bush Administration...As well as the disregard for our Constitutional Freedom of Speech. At least by the Republican.

The WaPo article, written by Petula Dvorak, first reveals the pro-administration media bias and/or their consistent inability to fairly report on an unfair situation. Note this early graf:

[Capitol Police Chief Terrance W.] Gainer said he also would ask that charges against Sheehan --- she was arrested; Beverly Young left before it came to that --- be dropped. "It was," he said, "a good-faith mistake by officers operating under poor direction."

In other words it's implied here that Beverly Young, the wife of Congressman Bill Young (R-FL), who was removed from gallery at some point during Bush's speech wasn't arrested because, unlike Sheehan, it didn't come to that. Mrs. Young must have been polite (she wasn't) requiring no arrest, while Sheehan must have been unruly (she wasn't) requiring arrest and hours of detention.

The fact of the matter, however, as clearly explained later in the article, is that Mrs. Young was never threatened with arrest at all, unlike Sheehan who was frog-marched out of the chamber and handcuffed from the get-go. And that was even with Sheehan being polite in every respect, by all accounts of the story, while Young was abusive towards the cops, calling them "idiots" (that night, and even later after their eventually apology) and, as WaPo points out, "Witnesses said her words for him were much saltier the night before."

After a night of fingerprinting and booking and lockup, Sheehan departed the city. But Young had not, and her response as she enjoyed hugs from supporters yesterday after the apology was to call Gainer "an idiot." Witnesses said her words for him were much saltier the night before.

As I mentioned yesterday in my article on "Cindy Sheehan's Unequal Treatment Under the Law", the Wingnuts who've been busy trying to equate Sheehan's treatment with Young's ("They were both asked to leave, so clearly there's no political bias here!" say the apologists) have also overlooked the fact that Young was asked to leave much later. After the cops already had an embarrassing situation on their hands. As WaPo reported...

About 45 minutes into the speech, an officer asked Beverly Young to step outside, where he told her: "We consider you a protester" because of her shirt, she said.

She said she angrily challenged officers to explain what law she had violated, and they threatened arrest.

She said an officer mentioned that Sheehan was removed earlier and therefore "it was kind of only fair" that she be asked to leave, too.

It's clear that Mrs. Young would have been left alone with her "Support the Troops" T-shirt and would not have been asked to leave, had not the cops already had the Sheehan situation on their hands, and needed to cover their asses.

Finally then, it's revealed in the story that the hypocritical Congressman Young himself would likely not have said a word about Sheehan's treatment (which was much worse than his wife's) had his wife not been asked to leave. He admits as much:

Young said he wouldn't be so mad if it were just Sheehan. "I totally disagree with everything she stands for," he said. But by removing his wife, Gainer's officers clearly "acted precipitously," Young said.

So the woman actually arrested, detained, and perhaps even "roughed up" was no problem for Young's "standards" because he "totally disagree[s] with everything she stands for."

Welcome to the amazingly slipperly slope...as it gets still slipperier and slopier every damn day in this country.

Still unclear? See how Judge Anthony Napolitano --- who defended Sheehan on Fox News, ostensibly, once it became clear she broke no rules or laws --- reportedly contrasted Young's T-shirt with Sheehan's. Young's, said Napolitano, in regard to the "Support the Troops" T-shirt, was "a Republican T-shirt."

Fox happily took up the meme on their website:

"Sheehan's T-shirt alluded to the number of soldiers killed in Iraq: '2245 Dead. How many more?' ... Young's shirt had just the opposite message: 'Support the Troops --- Defending Our Freedom.'"

The "opposite message"?!

It's a dangerous fucking line we're crossing here in America 2006. Pay attention.

ALSO... It's not just the MSM who get the story wrong in their rush for political points. Blogger Glenn Greenwald reports on tons of Wingnut bloggers who couldn't wait to lie about the Sheehan story to their readers...and then refuse to correct themselves after it was proven how incredibly wrong they were.

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Will Drop All Charges, According to NBC. 'We Screwed Up,' Says Capitol Police...
[LATE UPDATE] MSNBC Scrubs 'We Screwed Up' Article Without Explanation! Replaces with AP Story...
By Brad Friedman on 2/1/2006 2:46pm PT  

According to MSNBC...

WASHINGTON - Charges against antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan, who was arrested after a scuffle over a T-shirt she wore to the State of the Union address, will be dropped, officials told NBC News Wednesday.

U.S. Capitol Police took Sheehan away in handcuffs and charged her with unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor, when she showed up to President Bush's address Tuesday night wearing a shirt that read, "2245 Dead. How many more?" --- a reference to the number of soldiers killed in Iraq.

But Capitol Police will ask the U.S. attorney's office to drop the charges, NBC News' Mike Viqueira reported Wednesday.

"We screwed up," a top Capitol Police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He said Sheehan didn't violate any rules or laws.

As we pointed out previously, Sheehan was arrested and detained for hours for wearing the T-shirt she had been wearing all day prior to the State of the Union Address, while a Republican Congressman's wife who wore a "Support the Troops" shirt was simply asked to leave (even though she called the cops "idiots").

On moral and "Freedom of Speech" grounds, neither should have been ejected. Now, as it turns out, neither of them should have been ejected on legal grounds or even "rules of Congress" grounds.

Here's a photo of a statement by Republicans from last year that was allowed. Here's our minute-by-minute coverage of the shameful affair as it played out last night.

UPDATE: As of Wednesday evening, it looks like MSNBC has scrubbed their "We Screwed Up" article and replaced it, at the same link, with an article by AP. No explanation is given at the MSNBC website for the switcheroo!

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Was to Attend State of the Union Address! Was Already Seated in Gallery When Arrested by Capitol Police!
EXCLUSIVE DETAILS...'T-Shirt' Story Confirmed by AP...Media Fighting over Sheehan for Morning Show Appearances...Protesters Rallying for Sheehan's Release...Police push protesters away from Capitol...Sheehan Finally Released, Says She was 'Roughed Up...PHOTO OF THE 'T-SHIRT' FINALLY...
By Brad Friedman on 1/31/2006 5:52pm PT  

CNN is now reporting...

Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan --- who was invited to attend President Bush's State of the Union speech --- has been arrested, Capitol police say.

Invited by Rep. Lynn Woosley [sic] (D-CA) to attend the State of the Union, reports are that she was arrested inside the Capitol chamber.

MORE... 9:08p ET - CNN's "Breaking News" banner announcing the arrest at their website now removed, shortly after CNN reported arrest on air. No further news available currently at their site on the arrest...

9:14p ET - AP reports on CNN's report. Says, "Activist Cindy Sheehan Arrested at Capitol".

9:30p ET - The BRAD BLOG has confirmed the arrest moments ago with David Swanson of AfterDowningStreet.org.

According to Swanson, Sheehan was "arrested for wearing the shirt she was wearing all day, which had the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq...She was lifted out of her seat [in the Capitol Chamber gallery] by the Capitol Police and taken away."

Swanson told The BRAD BLOG moment ago that Sheehan is "now under arrest and lockup by Capitol Police." He confirmed that moments ago with Gael Murphy, a co-founder of CodePink, an organization which has been working Sheehan. Murphy spoke by cell with Sheehan after the arrest, and they are currently arranging for an attorney for her.

"This not the Park Police," said Swanson. "We're used to getting arrested by them. This was the Capitol Police....She didn't even want to go to the speech, she said she couldn't stand to listen to Bush, but she went. She didn't even protest, she was just wearing the same shirt she'd be wearing all day, a black shirt with the number of troops killed. It was already 'out of date' and she had to add 3 more to the previous number."

9:40p ET - Reports we are receiving are in conflict with AP's updated report that Sheehan had a protest banner prepared to be unfurled. It was, according to our sources, her T-Shirt which seems to be the given reason for her arrest... According to AP:

A Capitol police official reportedly said Sheehan had unfurled a banner, which is a violation of House rules.

We cannot confirm the "banner" reports, and have been told by several sources the arrest was due to the T-Shirt she was wearing after already being allowed into the Capitol chamber where Bush was to deliver his State of the Union address just moments later...

Cindy Sheehan's son Casey was killed in Iraq in 2004.

9:50p ET - Reuters confirms arrest. Few details given.

9:55p ET - Photo of the arrest from Reuters...

10:02p ET - CNN files its story. Sticks to "banner" reporting:

WASHINGTON (CNN) --- Peace activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Tuesday in the House chamber after she unfurled an anti-war banner before President Bush's State of the Union address.

Capitol police arrested Sheehan and questioned her for about an hour in a separate area of the House, a senior House official said.

Sheehan, who became a vocal war opponent after her son was killed in Iraq, was an invited guest of Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-California, who has called for a withdrawal of troops in Iraq and supports legislation for the creation of a Department of Peace.

10:20p ET - AP updates their report. Confirms original exclusive BRAD BLOG report that it was a T-Shirt, not a banner that led to Sheehan's arrest:

[Capitol Police Sgt. Kimberly] Schneider said Sheehan had worn a T-shirt with an anti-war slogan to the speech and covered it up until she took her seat. Police warned her that such displays were not allowed, but she did not respond, the spokeswoman said.

Police handcuffed Sheehan and removed her from the gallery before Bush arrived.

10:39p ET - Sheehan still in jail, Morning Shows "fighting over her"...

David Swanson, in D.C. tells The BRAD BLOG that Sheehan is still in jail. Swanson had been previously arrested along with Sheehan at earlier protests.

He tells us, "Attorneys are trying to get her out. Media is fighting over here...Today Show, Good Morning America, they all want her...but she has to get out of jail first."

11:30p ET - Bob Fertik reports:

There are 200 protesters standing outside the Capitol Police HQ between 1st and 2nd on D St NE (between Hart SOB and Union Station). They are chanting and demanding Cindy's release. Tell the DC media to cover the protest!

He also suggests...

Call the White House Comment Line 202-456-1111,1,1 and express your outrage that the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq was arrested for wearing a t-shirt with the number of soldiers killed in Iraq!!!!!

11:49p ET - Village Voice has more on Sheehan's recent arrests, including this evening's.

11:54p ET - CNN's Ed Henry finally corrects their report and confirms it was a T-shirt that was the reason for Sheehan's arrest.

He just reported during Anderson Cooper:

"She entered the gallery wearing a shirt with some sort of anti-war slogan...they were afraid she was going to do something with it in front of the cameras".

What, like wear it? The only opinions allowed in the people's Capitol tonight are George W. Bush's, we guess.

Here's another opinion on the "State of the Union" from outside the capitol tonight.

12:05a ET - Police Surround HQ to fend off Protesters... More from Fertik...

David Swanson reports by phone on the scene: During the protest in front of the Capitol Police HQ, 2-3 dozen police locked arms and pushed the crowd across the street. A protester named James from World Can't Wait was arrested for chanting "Free Cindy Now" with a megaphone. As the police grabbed the megaphone, they hit a woman protester in the head, but she is ok. They also kicked Aliska from World Can't Wait in the head, and she required treatment in an ambulance before she was released. Cindy is now being taken to the Central Processing Center in Judiciary Square, and the crowd is following her.

World Can't Wait is an organization that held a protest near the Reflection Pond on the elipse today, calling for Bush to step down.

12:18a ET - MSNBC now has an online poll on whether the Capitol Police should have arrested Sheehan for wearing a T-shirt. Go register your opinion...

12:22a ET - SHEEHAN FINALLY RELEASED! SAYS SHE WAS "ROUGHED UP"...According to Fertik who is in touch with David Swanson...

David reports Cindy has just been released. She was filmed by 3 networks and answered a few quick questions and mentioned she was "roughed up" - David said she looked tired and frustrated. She went off to sleep and will appear on the Today show in the morning.

12:44a ET- NBC reports the shirt in violation of the "law" read: "2,245 Dead - How Many More??"

Attytood points out:

Did you know that in 1971, the Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional to arrest a man who wore a "F--- the Draft" T-shirt into the courthouse? (Cohen v. California, you can look it up.) So now Alito's on the court for 45 minutes and your civil liberties are already going down the toilet. You were warned.

1:21a ET - MBare gets the money shot!

Note the hand-corrected number on the shirt, as we reported previously, since 3 U.S. troops had been killed in Iraq since Sheehan put the short on earlier today.

Mbare points out that moments later, in Bush's speech, just after Sheehan's arrest, he said (without a hint of irony):

"Every step toward freedom in the world makes our country safer --- so we will act boldly in freedom's cause. Far from being a hopeless dream, the advance of freedom is the great story of our time.

No one can deny the success of freedom, but some men rage and fight against it.
...
We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it."

So will we, Mr. "President"...

2:41am ET - David Swanson, now safe and sound back home, has details and more photos of both Sheehan wearing the shirt earlier in the day, as well as VR's Impeachment Truck (NOTE: Who is that debonair gent behind Sheehan in this photo? ;-)

3:13am ET - One final thought for tonight. Also with a hat-tip to MBare...

U.S. Constitution: First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Good night America.

NEXT DAY UPDATE: More on Sheehan's arrest, her own words, and the Republican Congressman's wife who was asked to leave for wearing her own T-shirt in support of the troops now posted here...

MORE UPDATE: Acceptable State of the Union protest...

FURTHER UPDATE: Capitol Cops admit they "Screwed up"! NBC reports they will be dropping all charges!

NOTE: We've now restored the Comment link that we had to temporarily turn off previously while this site was getting pounded with hits, making it impossible to update the item. Thanks for your understanding.

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May He Finally Rest in Peace.
By Brad Friedman on 1/18/2006 11:22am PT  

Yesterday, I wrote about the suicide of Specialist Douglas Barber, an Iraq War vet who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) upon returning home from fighting on behalf of this country. A man who put his life on the line for this country, but who was unable to receive adequate help from the Veteran's Administration as run (and facing deep cutbacks) by George W. "Support the Troops" Bush.

Here is an email posted on SCOOP, from Barber, as written in January of 2005.

He had a difficult time getting people to listen to him while he was alive. Perhaps some of us can try to listen to him now that he's dead, so that perhaps his death will not be in vain.

In his email, Barber describes what many families go through when they witness their sons and daughters coming home in flag-draped coffins, hidden from view by the Bush Administration. And, even more telling in this case, some of the horrors veterans suffering from PTSD face once back on the homefront. Here's a few grafs...

All is not okay or right for those of us who return home alive and supposedly well. What looks like normalcy and readjustment is only an illusion to be revealed by time and torment. Some soldiers come home missing limbs and other parts of their bodies. Still others will live with permanent scars from horrific events that no one other than those who served will ever understand.

We come home from war trying to put our lives back together but some cannot stand the memories and decide that death is better. They kill themselves because they are so haunted by seeing children killed and whole families wiped out.
...
Still others come home to nothing, families have abandoned them: husbands and wives have left these soldiers, and so have parents as well. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has become the norm amongst these soldiers because they don't know how to cope with returning to a society that will never understand what they have had to endure to liberate another country.

PTSD comes in many forms not understood by many: but yet if a soldier has it, America thinks the soldiers are crazy. PTSD comes in the form of depression, anger, regret, being confrontational, anxiety, chronic pain, compulsion, delusions, grief, guilt, dependence, loneliness, sleep disorders, suspiciousness/paranoia, low self-esteem and so many other things.

See his full post for some of the specific personal issues that Barber faced as he wrestled with his PTSD demons.

But then, he goes on to finish with some words for all of the Wingnuts out there who make this sort of disaster possible. Those who, from the comfort of their million dollar homes and multi-million media contracts, distort the cost of this war to sell it as "a noble cause," as if it's a Made-in-America product we can all be proud of and ought to promote to every corner of the earth. Those who bang on a political drum to give the death and destruction of others a "positive" spin for their own personal benefit. Those who gain from the nameless, faceless deaths of real heroes who --- unlike the media-politico scoundrels --- will never benefit by having their contracts renewed, their books promoted to the Best-Seller lists, or see offers for multi-thousand dollar speaking fees. Those who haven't the first clue of what heroes like Barber faced in order to make the lives of such Chickenhawks so cozy and swell. Those like Rush and Sean and O'Reilly who, in Barber's own words are "nothing but dirt under every soldier's boots!"

All of that, even as Barber's death, along with countless others, won't even rate to make the Pentagon's ever-growing list of U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, or even seem themselves added to the scores of thousands listed on the Injured Lists.

I'll let Barber finish out this post...

Talk show hosts like Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and so many others act like they know all about war; then they refuse to give any credence to soldiers like me who have been to war and seen the brutality of war. These guys are nothing but WEAK SPINELESS COWARDS hiding behind microphones while soldiers come home and are losing everything they have.

I ask every American who reads this e-mail to stand up for the soldier who has given their everything for this country to stand up to these guys in the media; ask them why they don't pick up a weapon and follow in the steps of a soldier. Send this e-mail to as many people on your e-mail lists and ask them to do the same.

There needs to be a National awareness for every Veteran who has ever served in any war. Send e-mails to the Big Mouths on TV and ask them to have soldiers like me on their programs. I am asking you as Americans to BOYCOTT every TV show or host/journalist that refuses to tell the real truth.

THIS IS A PERSONAL CHALLENGE TO BILL,SEAN AND RUSH TO HAVE ME ON YOUR PROGRAM TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT. Otherwise you are nothing but dirt under every soldier's boots!

SPC. Douglas Barber

(Please consider supporting Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), formerly OpTruth.org --- Unlike Rush and Sean and O'Reilly, these guys were actually there...and they actually give a damn.)

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May America 'Never Forget' What Has Gone on Here...
By Brad Friedman on 1/17/2006 2:34pm PT  

I'm on the road for a few days, currently near Palm Springs (or, as I like to call it, the Hollywood Old Folks Home), so unable to blog as around-the-clock as normal. But a couple of points today have really got me upset.

One is the spin-meister Bill O'Reilly's unpardonable apologies for the criminal George W. Bush administration. His remarkable rationalizations and attempts to excuse what noted constitutional attorney Jonathon Turley just called "an open and shut criminal case" against Bush (at the bottom of the first hour of O'Reilly's radio show today), are simply appalling.

O'Reilly's reasons why none of these broken rules of law or corruption of the U.S. Constitution rises to impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors? Because the American people don't support the impeachment of Bush. (Never mind the new Zogby poll showing that 52% of Americans would support such action for illegal, warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens. And never mind that no more than 30% of Americans ever supported the impeachment of Clinton!). But more on that, hopefully, later or tomorrow as my stomach, and time-away allows it.

For the moment however, a very disturbing story...just another one of far too many similar ones, I'm afraid...pointing up why this son-of-a-bitch who sits in the White House needs to be held accountable for the horrific actions of which I don't believe he actually has a clue. Or, at least, has insulated and lied to himself so much, that he can't even conceive anymore of the pain he has caused the citizenry of this country which he once swore to protect and defend. That, on top of the cynical claims of looking after the armed forces which he (fallaciously) claims at every opportunity to support.

I received some very disturbing email messages this morning, which have, by now, become all too familiar...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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a potential bridge to those who are still on the right in the wrong
By Winter Patriot on 11/20/2005 12:05pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Robert Parry's Consortium News has recently posted a beautifully-written piece by William Frey, M.D., called "Confessions of a Repentant Republican".

Dr. Frey is a former Bush supporter who has torn himself away from the propaganda and re-engaged with reality. And now he's writing about it. He can really write, too. Look at this:

I supported George W. Bush in the presidential election in 2000, believing then that he best reflected my love for America and for our tradition of liberty. I supported the war in Afghanistan. In March of 2003, I believed that the invasion of Iraq was justified based upon pre-war revelations presented to Congress and to the American people. Accordingly, the indictments contained herein apply, first and foremost, to myself.

Many Americans whom I know and love, including many current supporters of President Bush, remain conflicted over both his ultimate intentions in Iraq as well as domestic curtailment of civil liberties.

Many have given the benefit of the doubt to President Bush, and, in a misdirected spirit of unity, have supported, as did I, Administration policies that conflict with our essential values.

This essay explores many of the issues that led me personally to the recognition that the policies I was supporting in Iraq were not consistent with the justifications made for the invasion in the spring of 2003, that implicit in our post-invasion actions was the goal of permanent occupation, which would ensure endless war and the resultant degradation of our liberty, our security, and our moral authority.

For me, recognizing that I could no longer support the President for whom I voted, and the occupation of a land we had invaded, remains personally painful.

I have learned that while it is difficult to admit being wrong, such recognition is a prerequisite for redemptive action, necessary both for individual growth and for the healing of our nation.

It is in this spirit that I submit these reflections.

A great introduction, is it not? Who could argue with such a reasonable presentation?

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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