August 11, 2005,
Cindy Sheehan, the woman whose soldier son was killed in Iraq and who is now camping by a road in Crawford, Texas demanding a meeting with President Bush, on Wednesday thanked a group of antiwar bloggers for supporting her, saying that without the Internet, America would be a "fascist state."
"This is something that can't be ignored," Sheehan said during a conference call with bloggers representing sites like democrats.com, codepink4peace.org, and crooksandliars.com. "They can't ignore us, and they can't put us down. Thank God for the Internet, or we wouldn't know anything, and we would already be a fascist state."
"Our government is run by one party, every level," Sheehan continued, "and the mainstream media is a propaganda tool for the government." Sheehan also called the 2004 presidential election "the election, quote-unquote, that happened in November."
The conference call was moderated by Democratic strategist Joe Trippi, who managed former Vermont governor Howard Dean's presidential campaign in 2003 and 2004. It was also organized by another Democratic strategist, Bob Fertik of democrats.com. (During the conference, Fertik said that for the purposes of the call, he was representing yet another website, the antiwar site afterdowningstreet.com.) Finally, Jodie Evans of the anti-war group Code Pink also took part in running the sometimes-chaotic call. Trippi has posted a recording of the call on his own website, joetrippi.com
Also taking part in the call was Illinois Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a frequent participant in progressive political conferences and anti-war events. Schakowsky took part in an unofficial Democratic hearing on the Downing Street Memo conducted last June in Washington. Sheehan testified at that hearing, giving a painful and moving account of seeing her son in his coffin.
On the call, Sheehan complained that she was suffering from a sore throat and a fever after being doused by thunderstorms. But she vowed to stay in Texas. There are only three things that would prompt her to leave, she said: "a good meeting with the president, the end of August, or I get arrested."
Byron York, NR's White House correspondent, is the author of the book The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy: The Untold Story of How Democratic Operatives, Eccentric Billionaires, Liberal Activists, and Assorted Celebrities Tried to Bring Down a President and Why They'll Try Even Harder Next Time.