Cindy Sheehan is the very proud mother of Casey Sheehan who was KIA in the illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq. She is Founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace and author of Not One More Mother’s Child available at Koa Books , and Dear President Bush, forthcoming in the Open Media Series from City Lights Books. www.citylights.com
As I lie here in bed recuperating from the injuries that I received from a federal agent and the NYPD in front of the US Mission to the UN (USUN) the other day, I have had time to reflect on the experience, the state of our union and its descent into a fascist state.
When the four of us. Missy Beattie, Rev. Patricia Ackerman, Medea Benjamin, and I, were arrested the other day, I was singled out for federal police brutality. The other three ladies were picked up, not gingerly, though, and I was dragged across the pavement and treated very, very roughly—having both arms wrenched out from beneath me. I looked to my doctor as if I had been beaten. My daughter, Janey, asked if I had been resisting arrest, I told her if one considers going into a fetal position and saying, "Please don’t hurt me anymore!" resisting, then I guess I was.
Why was I targeted for the abuse? Is it revenge for my work at exposing the lies of BushCo, of which John Bolton is a leading co-criminal? Or is it to discourage other activists from taking the same path I have taken: demanding an end to the illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq, and demanding that our freedoms be returned to us? I wish the Senate had the courage to stand up to the fascists in our government—or are the 90 who voted "Yea" to extend the Patriot Act also co-slitherers into fascism?
Neocon John Bolton has had a long and checkered career of lying and doing dirty work for the regime. In 1994 he harassed and terrified whistle-blower Melody Townsel who worked for US AID. She urged the Senate Foreign Relation Committee not to approve Bolton’s nomination and she wrote in a letter to them: "John Bolton put me through hell – and he did everything he could to intimidate, malign and threaten not just me, but anybody unwilling to go along with his version of events. His behavior back in 1994 wasn’t just unforgivable, it was pathological." Not only has John Bolton not been punished for this incident and other involving harassment and abuse, he was rewarded with a recess appointment to the UN when George Bush, again, circumvented our political processes.
L. Paul Bremer slunk, under the cover of darkness, out of Iraq two months after my son, Casey, was killed there with $8.8 BILLION missing from the Coalition Provisional Authority. Has L. Paul been held accountable for the missing money? No, as a matter of fact, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and is a highly paid speaker on the rubber chickenhawk Republican circuit.
Such war profiteers as Halliburton are raping the American tax payer of billions of dollars as a matter of company policy. A Halliburton whistle blower accused the company of charging us $45.00 per case of soda and ten thousand dollars a night to stay in Kuwait’s finest hotels. They charge immoral prices to feed our soldiers who often complain of rotten food. Our young people even have to pay to have their laundry done by these outrageous over-chargers. Have they been punished or monetarily penalized for these crimes? No, as a matter of fact, Halliburton gets awarded more no-bid contracts in America and around the world.
A book could be written about the felonies of the Bush Crime Family and their mafia-style buddies, but I am running out of space. George Bush has committed crimes against humanity and high crimes and misdemeanors in his tenure as (P)resident of the White House. Has he been held accountable for any of this? No, he spends his nights and days comfortable and content in the fact that he is a lame duck, already rich, and knowing that Congress is spineless and he won’t be impeached for his transgressions that have caused the deaths of so many thousands of people worldwide.
When we were in the cockroach and feces-decorated jail system in NYC the other night, we met some other women who felt they had to resort to crime to try to survive in BushWorld. We met intelligent young women who felt their last resort was to resort to victimless crimes. Now for their petty thefts, they will have to spend months in institutions where they are stripped of any human dignity or comfort. All of the women we met knew they broke the law and were resigned to their punishment but where is the justice in our system where all people are supposedly equal?
However, we four white, middle-class women were the lucky ones. We only had to spend one night in jail and we knew our lawyers would be there in the morning to spring us. When we were heading for court, we walked by our sisters in the holding cell and our hearts sank, because we know what it is like to spend even one night in jail. Our souls also connected with our sisters and brothers all over the world who are imprisoned in far worse conditions by the policies of BushCo and are being inhumanely tortured by these same medieval and draconian policies.
Even if John Bolton, L. Paul Bremer, George Bush, Halliburton execs, etc. ad nauseum are ever punished, we all know the conditions won’t be (but should be) as harsh as those of the other people who live in subhuman conditions because of them. These people operate on the standard of having all the money and all the power and they don’t care for anyone who they victimize on their way to obtaining their obscene and ill-gotten gains.
One of our so-called crimes in front of USUN was "Obstructing Governmental Administration." I say "Hell, yes! Anyone with a conscience or any moral courage should be doing everything in his/her power to obstruct the administration of the Bush government. Only massive, peaceful, non-violent resistance to his calamitous policies will be able to stem the dreadful tide!
That is why we need to stand up to the neo-fascists and take our humanity back.
While we are still able. I will stand up to them again and again, I just hope next time that they drag me by my good arm!