The Bush-bashing mother of a soldier who died in Iraq last year has garnered quite a bit of buzz from the MSM for her anti-war vigil outside of Crawford, Texas. Drudge highlights her rather drastic change of heart:
THE REPORTER of Vacaville, CA published an account of Cindy Sheehan’s visit with the president at Fort Lewis near Seattle on June 24, 2004:
“‘I now know he’s sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis,’ Cindy said after their meeting. ‘I know he’s sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he’s a man of faith.’
“The meeting didn’t last long, but in their time with Bush, Cindy spoke about Casey and asked the president to make her son’s sacrifice count for something. They also spoke of their faith.
“The trip had one benefit that none of the Sheehans expected.
“For a moment, life returned to the way it was before Casey died. They laughed, joked and bickered playfully as they briefly toured Seattle.
For the first time in 11 weeks, they felt whole again.
“‘That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together,’ Cindy said.”
Sheehan’s current comments are a striking departure.
She vowed on Sunday to continue her protest until she can personally ask Bush: “Why did you kill my son?”
In an interview on CNN, she claimed Bush “acted like it was party” when she met him last year…
The woman is clearly anguished about her son’s death, as any parent would be. But in her grief, she has lost sight of the fact that her 24-year-old son, Casey, proudly and willingly served. Sheehan’s father told the press in April 2004 that his son had re-enlisted the previous August, planned to make a career in the military, and “loved the Army because it gave him a chance to serve his country.” I can’t imagine Army Spc. Casey Sheehan would stand for his mother’s crazy accusations that he was murdered by his commander-in-chief, rather than the Iraqi terrorists who ambushed his convoy. I can’t imagine Army Spc. Casey Sheehan would stand for a bunch of strangers glomming onto his mother’s crusade and using him to undermine the war effort as they shouted “W killed her son” in front of countless TV cameras.
It’s a sad spectacle. President Bush should continue to treat Mrs. Sheehan with the same compassion and sympathy he showed her when they first met–before her heart and mind were poisoned by the professional grievance-mongers who claim to be her friends.
Blogger KMG, a Marine and father of a Marine serving in Iraq, responds.
The Anchoress reflects on suffering and political exploitation.
Conservative Dialysis on Mrs. Sheehan’s conversion.
Marine Mom Lisa L. writes:
My son was in Iraq with the 2/4 Battallion the same time Casey Sheehan was there. Eric had some close friends die during the 7 months they were there. A couple of the moms of the dead troops are a member of an email support group I belong to and they both recounted their visit with Bush. Bush makes every effort to meet with the families of the fallen and he is very warm and loving toward them all. He has cried with the families, has talked with them at length, even about if the death was worth it, and for one mom, he asked for the picture she showed him of her son. Sheehan is dishonoring her son’s memory and hurting our troops.
Update II: Kristinn Taylor of FreeRepublic.com writes…
It was Freeper research that dug out The Vacaville Reporter story Saturday evening. It was found on Cindy Sheehan’s own Website. We paid The Reporter for their archived version to authenticate it.
I spoke with the news desks of Reuters, AP, Fox, CNN and The Sacremento Bee Saturday night and Sunday morning. None of them knew about the first meeting Sheehan had with President Bush last year and asked me to e-mail the information, which I did. I also e-mailed The NY Times with the info after reading Richard Stevenson’s first article about Sheehan.
With the exception of Reuters (which appeared to have given Steve Holland the day off on Sunday) they all added to their stories that Sheehan had met previously with Bush. However, none of them challenged Sheehan on her wildly differing versions of that meeting.
AP’s Deb Riechmann appears to have at least asked her, but didn’t use any of The Reporter’s quotes. Instead she let Sheehan get away with saying she was in shock at the time of the meeting.
We sent The Reporter story to Drudge last night during his radio show and he picked up on it on the air. He also allowed me on the show to talk about it. I told him that Cindy Sheehan used to have photos on her Website of her and President Bush and her family from that meeting in 2004 but that the photos were now delinked. However, the captions were still there as of Saturday night.
It was really appalling yesterday to watch Wolf Blitzer let Sheehan get away with her horrid description of her meeting with Bush when CNN’s Washington bureau had The Reporter article in their hands Sunday morning.
The media is treating her as a sainted mother rather than as the hardcore leftist agitator she has become.
According to a Providence Journal article on July 27, 2005, Sheehan says she has stopped paying her taxes and is daring the government to come after her.
Also, in her speech Friday night at the Veterans for Peace conference, Sheehan is quoted by an attendee who posted a transcript of the speech over at DU that she is so full of rage that if she started hitting something she wouldn’t be able to stop until she killed it. She said that while talking about her reaction to President Bush’s remarks about the Ohio Marines killed in action last week…
Mrs. Sheehan, as they say, seems to “have issues.”
Update III: The left-wing blog, Raw Story, claims that Drudge has taken the 2004 story on Sheehan’s meeting with President Bush out of context. But the article excerpts Raw Story highlights, which quote Sheehan’s husband, Pat, seem to bolster the case against Mrs. Sheehan even more:
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“We haven’t been happy with the way the war has been handled,” Cindy said. “The president has changed his reasons for being over there every time a reason is proven false or an objective reached.”
“…But in the end, the family decided against such talk, deferring to how they believed Casey would have wanted them to act.
“…We have a lot of respect for the office of the president, and I have a new respect for him because he was sincere and he didn’t have to take the time to meet with us,” Pat said.
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