The Cindy Sheehan Saga Continues...
This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 11, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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JOHN GIBSON, GUEST HOST: Hi, everybody. I'm John Gibson reporting tonight for Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us. We'll get right into our top story tonight — 48-year-old Cindy Sheehan's (search) anti-war campaign.
Miss Sheehan lost her son, Casey, an Army specialist in Iraq last year. Now she's camped out in Crawford, Texas, insisting she's not going away until she meets with the president, President Bush, again.
The two already met once shortly after Casey died. Turns out Miss Sheehan is involved with some very far left factions, a story O'Reilly first broke on this program.
And here's more proof. This conference call with liberal activists and bloggers, where Miss Sheehan explained why she canceled her appearance on "The Factor" yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY SHEEHAN: I'm not going to go on that show because, you know, I don't like it when people lie about me and attack me for exercising my freedom of speech.
You know, it's one thing for Bill O'Reilly to disagree with my policy for my view on the war, but it's absolutely another thing that he attacks me personally about it.
And I — he actually again asked me to go on the show today. And I said — my first reaction was, all right, I'll go on it if you publicly apologize for lying about me.
But then my second reaction was, no, no. I'm not going on it. I'm not going to dignify his show by my presence because I believe his show is an obscenity — is an obscenity to the truth. And it's an obscenity to humanity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIBSON: Obscenity. Now we want to emphasize that Bill analyzed the situation without ever attacking Miss Sheehan personally.
With us now is Ira Stoll, managing editor of The New York Sun (search). So you wrote today about this. And you've been looking into it. What's going on with Cindy Sheehan?
IRA STOLL, MANAGING EDITOR OF THE NEW YORK SUN: Well, first of all, you have to say it's terrible that she lost her son. She's got to be upset. And everyone has to sympathize with her. Stop.
But at the same time, she's been in a league with these very extreme groups. The group that organized this conference call was called Code Pink (search). And it's part of this steering committee for United for Peace and Justice (search), along with the Communist Party USA. And they organized the big anti-war march during the Republican National Convention here in New York.
And The New York Sun sent reporters out to interview those protesters. 67 percent of the people we interviewed said they agreed that attacks on American troops in Iraq was legitimate.
GIBSON: Is — and, by the way, she seems to be blaming President Bush for the death of her son. Who killed her son?
STOLL: Iraqis killed her son. These same Iraqis that these anti-war protesters say are launching legitimate attacks on U.S. troops.
GIBSON: Who are these groups? Like some of the groups that seem to have taken over Cindy Sheehan — United for Peace and Justice, MoveOn.org (search), we know them, Fenton Communications. This is a PR firm. What do you know about Fenton Communications?
STOLL: Well, they do a lot of work for MoveOn and for other groups that are funded by George Soros (search). Another group that's involved there is Veterans for Peace (search). They're part of this United for Peace and Justice group.
And they all have basically the same message. I mean, they all have the same message. They're all these groups so it makes it seem like there's more people who think this.
GIBSON: Michael Moore's (search) involved, too.
STOLL: Absolutely. Well, Cindy Sheehan has actually been writing posts for Michaelmoore.com. And in "Fahrenheit 9/11," (search) his movie, he also focused on the plight of a woman who had had her son killed in Iraq.
But there are also, you know, there are families who are on the other side of this, too. And you know, President Bush has to meet with them as part of his job.
But as he said today, if he does what they ask, what these extreme anti-war activists ask, and pull out of Iraq immediately, it would be a terrible thing for American security.
GIBSON: President Bush met with her at least once. And do we know if she lectured him in private or made demands of him in private as she is saying now in public she wants to do?
STOLL: Well, the press accounts after that first meeting actually quoted her as saying that, you know, it was a good meeting. It was only a few months afterward that she turned on the president and said he had somehow misbehaved in that meeting.
She was asked on this conference call what she would say if she had a second meeting with the president. And she said why did you launch an aggressive war against a country that was never any threat to America?
GIBSON: So this group of people — of anti-war groups - account - in our research, 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 of them — these are groups that, what, just mostly attack President Bush or have an actual agenda, actual candidates, people to move forward in opposition to President Bush?
STOLL: Well, you can trace them back even to the Clinton administration. They oppose any American military action, whether it was in Bosnia. Some of these people are the same people who were throwing rocks at Starbucks in Seattle against free trade.
They want socialism. They want — they want no American military anywhere in the world. They basically want us to pull back and be isolationists and hope that no one's going to attack us.
GIBSON: I can't help but notice that Cindy Sheehan is from Vacaville, California, very close to U.C. Davis, very close to U.C. Berkeley, reasonably close to U.C. Santa Cruz, where I believe that a lot of those WTO protesters came from.
What do the university anti-war protesters have to do with her?
STOLL: Well, in some ways, she's a more appealing face for the anti-war movement than some eighth-year PhD student in a nose ring and ponytail. She's a mom. And so that's why all these groups would prefer to have her out there than their real face.
GIBSON: What is going on in Crawford? Is it just one big giant political sideshow designed to embarrass President Bush? Or does she really want to talk to him? And does she really think she's going to get an answer out of him that will satisfy her?
STOLL: Well, I don't know what she wants. It's clear that some of the people around her are out to embarrass the president. You know, I'm sure on some deep level, what she wants is her son back. And the president can't give her that.
GIBSON: Ira Stoll, managing editor of The New York Sun, wrote a big editorial about this today. Ira, thanks a lot.
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