Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Code Pink refuses to observe the signs

Last week CNSNews ran a story about a group of liberal protestors co-sponsored by "Code Pink" who congregate on a daily basis in front of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center holding up anti-war signs for the injured patients to see. Now that the spotlight is on them, the organization is trying to cover it's tracks by claiming that some of the more radical slogans are the result of conservative infiltrators trying to damage their... ahem... good reputation. The following is part of a statement released over the weekend by Code Pink:

"In recent weeks, the [Walter Reed Army Hospital] vigil has attracted some people who have tried to change the tone and message of the vigil, including yelling and holding up inappropriate signs," the Code Pink statement read. "The organizers have asked the newcomers to be respectful and wonder if they might indeed be infiltrators whose aim is to disrupt the vigil."

Nice try. But CNSNews has tracked down the origin of one of the more inflammatory signs and -- at least in this case -- all of the arrows point left:

Among the most controversial signs held up at the protests was the one reading "Maimed for a Lie." But far from qualifying as an "infiltrator," Kevin McCarron, a spokesman for another anti-war group sponsoring the demonstrations, was photographed on June 17 holding the "Maimed for a Lie" sign himself.

Cybercast News Service obtained the photo from the D.C. chapter of the conservative blogging group Free Republic. When contacted on Monday, McCarron acknowledged that he held the "Maimed for a Lie" sign at the June 17 protest. He also expressed reservations about having the sign appear in front of the Army hospital.

"To some extent it might be (inappropriate,)" McCarron said. "We spoke to the (Walter Reed anti-war) organizers and they recommended it is a bit insensitive, so we are not going to show it anymore.

"Then again, the maiming itself, the wounding itself, the killing itself that's occurring, that goes on, is also offensive," McCarron said.

That's all good and fine, Mr. McCarron, but why punish the soldiers? Why not protest in front of the White House or the Pentagon? Your actions at Walter Reed are only adding more trauma to what is already an intensely traumatic situation for these men and women. By rubbing salt into the wounds of the wounded the only thing you accomplish is to show the world what a class-A jerk you are. And trust me, you are one.

Code Pink is not faring much better as they send mixed messages in their feeble attempts at defending themselves:

Asked by radio talk show host Sean Hannity on Aug. 25 whether she was "embarrassed" that signs reading "Maimed for a Lie" and "Enlist here to die for Halliburton" were being waved in front of the hospital, Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin replied: "I don't think the signs you said are appropriate signs and if I were there (at Walter Reed), I would ask them (the anti-war activists) to take them down."

But Laura Costas, also a Code Pink spokeswoman, insisted just hours later that such signs as "Maimed for a Lie," were appropriate.

"If that's how somebody feels about it, they're entitled to that," Costas said during an appearance on the Fox News Channel program, "Hannity and Colmes."

Sounds like these two women should have met beforehand to get their talking points straight. Regardless, the common denominator in their contradictory statements is a refusal to claim resposibility for the radical slogans that were being displayed. However, this sort of thing does not happen in a vacuum. The higher-ups in the organization have had ample time to see the more comtemptable messages that were on exhibit and root out any of the rogues in their midst. The fact that they have chosen not to do so until recently constitutes a silent endorsement on their part.

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