Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Smearing Cindy Sheehan: The Evolution of a Lie

One of the popular stories circulating in Wingnut World is that Cindy Sheehan has said that "America is not worth dying for." The only problem is, she didn't say that.
Our dear right-wing friends at DiscoverTheNetwork were kind enough to post a transcript of Cindy's talk at San Francisco State University on April 27, 2005. Amazingly, it appears to be accurate. Here's the relevant portion -
"I take responsibility partly for my son's death, too. I was raised in a country by a public school system that taught us that America was good, that America was just. America has been killing people, like my sister over here says, since we first stepped on this continent, we have been responsible for death and destruction. I passed on that bullshit to my son and my son enlisted. I'm going all over the country telling moms: "This country is not worth dying for. If we're attacked, we would all go out. We'd all take whatever we had. I'd take my rolling pin and I'd beat the attackers over the head with it. But we were not attacked by Iraq. "
Obviously, "this country" refers to Iraq.
When the story appeared on DiscoverTheNetwork's sister site, FrontpageMag, these words were combined with other parts of the speech and magically transformed into this -
"George Bush and his neo-conservatives killed my son," she said tearing up a bit. "America has been killing people on this continent since it was started. This country is not worth dying for."
Also, in the FrontPageMag article, by failing to begin a new paragraph with the quote, it is made to appear that it was perhaps part of a TV interview conducted before the speech which is referred to earlier in the same paragraph. But from the way it flows into the rest of the story (conveniently interrupted by a picture), it is clear that this is not the case. In addition, the pieces from which the quote is constructed appear verbatim in the fourth and fifth paragraphs of the transcript.
Finally, on Sunday I was accidentally watching Fox News and was surprised to see a video clip from the speech, and then Cindy was quoted as saying, "America is not worth dying for." Tellingly, there was no clip of this. Fortunately, this was caught by News Hounds.
So, apparently, spin is not enough for these people. They need to tweak the truth; in other words, they just lie.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do we get this out into the public - when people get it in their head America is not worth dying for - who can blame them for having a poor attitude towards her?

4:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before you "get this out" into the public, maybe you ought to ask Cindy what she MEANT to say. I happen to think she DID mean the US, despite your "creative" interpretation.

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know exactly what she meant to say, but I would say this country the US) is not worth KILLING INOCENT WOMEN AND CHILDREN FOR! And to die for an unjust war which is a LIE???? No, not worth dying for whatever she meant.

AMH Ossipee, NH

6:37 AM  
Blogger WeThePeople said...

Thanks for sharing some factual evidence here to refute yet another rightwingnut lie and smear attempt. I've placed your story on my blog and linked it to your page, as well as giving you credit.
Again, thanks for the patriotism and effort here!
Misery

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anomymous 6:02 am is another example of the failure of the school system-the inability to read the English language.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Fredric Wertham Jr should copy and paste the entire quote. Had he, one would notice a line at the end of Sheehan’s diatribe that Mr. Wertham—conveniently—left out:

This country is not worth dying for. If we’re attacked, we would all go out. We’d all take whatever we had. I’d take my rolling pin and I’d beat the attackers over the head with it. But we were not attacked by Iraq. {applause} We might not even have been attacked by Osama bin Laden if {applause}. 9/11 was their Pearl Harbor to get their neo-con agenda through and, if I would have known that before my son was killed, I would have taken him to Canada. I would never have let him go and try and defend this morally repugnant system we have. The people are good, the system is morally repugnant. "

In the second bolded line, Sheehan clearly states that America is not worth defending. This almost assuredly validates that the “This” in “This country” refers to America.

Both Cindy Sheehan and Mr. Wertham are the ones guilty of distortion. Preceding the quote in question, Sheehan fires off a tirade of untrue and distorted facts about America. Her diatribe is just as inflammatory, if not more so, than saying “America is not worth dying for.” Rather than inventing distortions—showing Sheehan in a better light than she shows herself—Mr. Wertham would do much better at addressing real ones.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Fancy Pants Elitist said...

Anonymous -- Link? It's not valid without a LINK.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Fancy Pants Elitist said...

ok that's the rest of that paragraph of the transcript, but there is also this:

"Please – teach your babies, teach your babies better than I taught my babies. When Congress gave George Bush the right to go to war, they abrogated their constitutional responsibilities and they basically made our constitution null and void. We have no checks and balances in this country. We have no recourse. If they’re going to what they did to Lynne, they don’t have backs they call names, what we need to be is, we the people, we’re their checks and balances. We’re the only checks and balances. We have to stand up and say, Not only is this our school, this is our country. We want our country back and, if we have to impeach everybody from George Bush down to the person who picks up dog s**t in Washington, we will impeach all those people. Our country needs to {unintelligible} we need to start over again."

She is talking about the way our system has become corrupted by these neocons who stole our country under our noses. And yes, it's morally repugnant. Torture, killing innocent people for no reason in a foreign land, devastating their country, destroying our own environment and economy IS morally repugnant. Cindy is right. We need to take our country back and impeach these SOB's.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Frederic Wertham Jr said...

Anonymous's quote is correct; it is from the transcript. But Anonymous's interpretation is at odds with the previous part of the quote.

"If we’re attacked, we would all go out. We’d all take whatever we had. I’d take my rolling pin and I’d beat the attackers over the head with it."

Insert snarky comment about reading comprehension skills.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Frederic Wertham Jr said...

By the way, I would appreciate it if people would not post as "anonymous". Please take the time to think of a cool name like "Voice of Reason" or "Truth Teller". It just makes it hard to follow the conversation. Thank you.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Purple Heart said...

Anonymous 12:38, sorry your not even close, it's obviously simple. In fact, it's so simple that my 12 year old nonpolitical child understands the entire speech quite correctly as to what is being said.

In fact it's what Cindy stands for... Mr President, What is the noble cause worth dying for in Iraq? !

"And there are so many people who say yes, we're fighting over there for a noble cause but they are not willing to sacrifice their own lives or their own children's lives for this." - Cindy Sheehan, Aug 16, 2005 - Hardball, Chris Matthews

Ok lets review for the A.D.D. reading impaired:

1. "fighting over there" - This means fighting in IRAQ.
2. "sacrifice their own lives" - This means dying, as in "dying for."

To paraphrase, "Sacrifice their own lives, fighting over there" - Case Closed.

Here's a clue. Low level mercury poisoning from coal burning power plants, is associated with IQ impairment; Thanks to that anti-science, corporate greed monger, in our Whitehouse for rolling back exsisting air quality standards.

As the evidence piles up to high to ignore, soon even the reading impaired will start wondering... WHAT IN THE NAME OF JESUS IS GOING ON !?

Now we hear about a second witness from the basement of the WTC saying how bombs where going off in the lower levels, And the hole in the Pentagon, it is impossible to fit a passenger jet? WTF!

Imagine for a moment how Osama and Bush are in this together, each serving their own needs. Osama gets more recruits, while Bush/Cheney get total support for the "New American Century" Agenda and make a huge military industrial profit in the meantime.

What scares me the most is when the Bush crime family feels threatened, they'll secretly cause or ignore another even bigger 9/11 type event. Meanwhile Bush will happly screw even the reading impaired since marshall law will offer more cover for the "eternal forgiven" boy king we call our President. So is 9/11 a public relations to die for!

Btw, how can someone be held accountable if they are eternally forgiven???

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Voice of Reason said...

Sheehan:

"This country is not worth dying for..."

"I would never have let him go and try and defend this morally repugnant system we have. The people are good, the system is morally repugnant."


You:

"In the second bolded line, Sheehan clearly states that America is not worth defending. This almost assuredly validates that the “This” in “This country” refers to America."


Me:

Actually, at no point in that sentence did she refer to America. Not even indirectly. She was very clearly referring to its current incarnation of government. And let's make one thing absolutely clear: America is neither comprised nor defind by its government. If you would argue that point you may as well stop reading now.

Continuing, Sheehan further qualifies her "system" reference using an obvious contrast in the next line of her statement: "The people are good, the system is morally repugnant". "The people" is a clear reference to the citizens of America. The "system" is a clear reference to our [system of] government. The two are not the same, and the latter is the stated target of her ire - not the former.

My ADD is kicking in and I don't feel like blowing your bullshit to little pieces any longer, so let me end you with...

Your argument is both invalid and painfully stupid. It wasn't even a nice try. That your post reeks of intentional misinformation makes me sick to my stomach.

Okthxbye.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous The Whitehouse is your house said...

Lets boil it down for those projecting the GOP terrorist, OR for those to stupid to understand the English language:

IRAQ IS NOT WORTH DYING FOR???

8:15 AM  
Blogger Wood Seal Company said...

Isn't it interesting that if we don't like a person or political view we will believe everything degrading and nothing complimentary to that person or political view. It's kind of like putting the puzzle together after we cut the pieces to fit.

Duane

12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting how you people are all too stupid to recognize that her quote was AMBIGUOUS! It is not possible to know for a fact who she was referring to, because it isn't clear on the face of what she said. Look at what she does:

I take responsibility partly for my son's death, too. I was raised in a country by a public school system that taught us that America was good, that America was just. America has been killing people, like my sister over here says, since we first stepped on this continent, we have been responsible for death and destruction. I passed on that bullshit to my son and my son enlisted. I'm going all over the country telling moms: "This country is not worth dying for. If we're attacked, we would all go out. We'd all take whatever we had. I'd take my rolling pin and I'd beat the attackers over the head with it. But we were not attacked by Iraq. "

She sandwiches the "this country is not worth dying for" between a part about America, and a part about Iraq. In context, there's no way to know if the sentence refers backward or forwards, whether it's the end of a thought about America, or the beginning of a thought about Iraq. Only Cindy Sheehan knows what she meant.

But that being said, like Michael Moore, she spends an awful lot of time saying horrible things about America for someone who supposedly loves it. The genocide against the Native Americans that Sheehan alludes to in the speech wasn't perpetrated by neocons. The people who voted the neocons into power, well they were ordinary people, weren't they? It sounds to me like the America you guys claim she "loves" only existed in your own minds. The America that existed and continues to exist in reality, that racist, genocidal culture that she and her ilk rails against 24/7 is clearly not one that she loves. But don't worry, it's ok to hate America. That's what freedom of speech is for.

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look America haters, admit it! You all hate America, go to what ever country you think is better! Oh wait a min, your all patriotic aren't you. I support the troops but not the war! Ha Ha, that's like saying I support the war but not the troops. Your never gonna get it.

6:58 AM  

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