The fascinating saga of Cindy Sheehan (search). That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo".
Mrs. Sheehan is protesting in Crawford, Texas, trying to convince Americans the Iraq war is wrong and the president should be impeached. She is doing so because her son Casey, an Army specialist, was killed last year in Iraq.
No one has the right to intrude on Mrs. Sheehan's grief. That's number one. She's entitled to her opinion on a situation that has deeply affected her. And she's angry at the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY SHEEHAN, SON DIED IN IRAQ: Because Joe Hagen, the deputy chief of staff said that I can tell you the president really cares. And I said you can't tell me that because I met with him and I know that he doesn't care. And I told them that I feel that my son didn't die for a noble cause.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Well, here's something very strange. Two months after her son died, Cindy and her husband Patrick did meet with President Bush, as she said. After that meeting, Cindy was quoted by a California newspaper as saying, "I now know [President Bush] is sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis. I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss."
So Mrs. Sheehan has apparently changed her mind about the president. How did that happen? Well, for some reason she's teamed up with Michael Moore (search) and a man named Sam Husseini (search), both anti-war radicals. Husseini said this on "The Factor" just two days after 9/11.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAM HUSSEINI, INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC ACCURACY: What sickened me was the act of what happened and that people would kill so many innocent people. But now I hear a drumbeat of having our soldiers kill women and children.
Colin Powell (search) advocated, apparently, during the build-up of the Gulf War (search) of flooding Baghdad and killing possibly four million people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Now that kind of lunacy is what Mrs. Sheehan is associating with. You would think the media would be cautious here with obvious inconsistencies and radicalism in play, but no.
In an editorial today in the New York Times (search), it says, "Mr. Bush obviously failed to comfort Ms. Sheehan when he met with her and her family. More important, he has not helped the nation give fallen soldiers like Casey Sheehan (search) the honor they deserve."
Well, let's go back to the California article. Cindy Sheehan quoted as saying, "that was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together." It sounds like comfort to me. What say you, New York Times?
Finally, honest people could disagree about the Iraq War. Most Americans now oppose it. That could turn around with some progress. And "Talking Points" hopes it does.
But remember this. For every Cindy Sheehan, there's a Sergeant Leroy Scott who's recovering from the terrible wounds he received, attempting to go save a soldier's life while serving as a medic in Iraq. Sergeant Scott is proud of his service, proud of his country. I talked with him today. I sense no bitterness at all.
I don't know what is driving Mrs. Sheehan, but I do know she's being used. And maybe she knows it as well. And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
The runaway bride, Jennifer Wilbanks (search), began her community service today in Georgia. Authorities had her cutting lawns surrounding government buildings in Gwinnett County. The official term for Jennifer's task is lawn manicuring. How delightful.
Anyway, she admitted it had had been a long time since she had manicured a lawn, not to mention pedicured one, but she did it and wore a hat that said "Life is Good," which may or may not be ridiculous, depending on whether she cross cut and gathered up all the stray clippings.
And if you don't know what I'm talking about, you didn't cut lawns as a kid. Back then if I said I manicured lawns I would have been beaten to a pulp in my genteel neighborhood out on Long Island.