Congressman apologizes for calling Cindy Sheehan 'nutcase'

RAW STORY
Published: Monday April 3, 2006

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After a sharp note from anti-war mother and activist Cindy Sheehan to a Georgia congressman who dubbed her a "nutcase," the congressman has apologized.

Over the weekend, Sheehan responded to a blog post from Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), who had called her a "nutcase" over her criticism of the Iraq war.

"How dare you psychoanalyze me and call me a 'nutcase!' Sheehan quipped. "How dare you call me a beatnik and lie about me in your blog!"

"This upcoming Tuesday, will be the 2nd anniversary of my son's death," Sheehan added. "Casey Austin Sheehan was a man filled with integrity and courage. He was a hero who never backed down from the right thing his entire life. He was an amazing person who did not hide when his commander in chief sent him to a war based on lies even when he knew they were lies. He carried out his duty, unlike his commander in chief."

RAW STORY received the following letter from Kingston's office Monday afternoon.

According to Kingston's blog, "Kingston commented [to a Democratic staffer who told CongressDaily] that Sheehan was "a nutcase" and lamented that too many of the human interest stories coming out of the war in Iraq center on anti-war activists like Sheehan and filmmaker Michael Moore and do not give proper service to heroic tales of U.S. soldiers."

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Dear Ms. Cindy Sheehan,

Thank you very much for your email. I appreciate your spirit in dialogue and debate and our mutual devotion to the First Amendment.

I want to apologize for my personal categorization of you and for allowing myself to get involved in such low-level name calling.

While you and I disagree on the war effort, I certainly did not intend to attack you personally. I have great appreciation for your perspective and your sacrifice as an American who has lost a loved one in the War on Terrorism.

This is a very emotional time in America, and my concern these days has been my 20,000+ constituent soldiers. As I have spoken with them in Iraq and their families back home they have expressed grave concern about the pessimistic media coverage of the war and its dissenters.

As you know, these volunteer soldiers aren't in it for praise but I do think their spirits are hurt by coverage that reports all the bad news and none of the good. Such coverage tends to focus on dissenters of the war and less on those in the field.

This isn't just my own personal opinion, but one that has been formulated by listening to the troops and their families. I suppose in my own stumbling way, I am trying to speak for them.

In any case, I hope you'll accept my apology and I look forward to continuing our discussion about this issue.

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Sheehan's full response can be read at Truthout.org.

Congressman Kingston,

How dare you psychoanalyze me and call me a "nutcase!" How dare you call me a beatnik and lie about me in your blog!

First of all, April 4th, 2006, this upcoming Tuesday, will be the 2nd anniversary of my son's death. Casey Austin Sheehan was a man filled with integrity and courage. He was a hero who never backed down from the right thing his entire life. He was an amazing person who did not hide when his commander in chief sent him to a war based on lies even when he knew they were lies. He carried out his duty, unlike his commander in chief, who went AWOL from the Alabama Air National Guard (whoo ... tough duty), and he volunteered to serve his country, unlike the vice-commander in chief, who had "other priorities" during the Vietnam war. I am not against anyone getting out of that generation's mistake of a war, but to illegitimately come to power when they grew up and send an entire new generation off to fight, die and kill innocent people in their own war of choice for greed is unconscionable. I hope I am not using words that are too big for you.

Second of all, I have never called "terrorists" freedom fighters. I have called the resistance fighters who killed Casey such, but they are fighting to get the occupying forces out of their country and have a legitimate right to wage a resistance against occupiers. I don't like that they are killing our children - for God's sake, they killed my oldest child, my sweet and wonderful Casey. However, our government is committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against the people of Iraq. Have you heard of white phosphorous? Have you heard of torture? Have you heard of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo? Have you heard about our Constitution and the Geneva Conventions?

Have you also heard that Saddam had nothing to do with the tragedy of 9/11 and that he had no WMD? How can you support a liar and his policies that are draining our precious life blood, depleting our military, sucking our treasury dry and have harmed, almost beyond repair, the people and land of the Gulf States hit by Hurricane Katrina? Have you heard that Osama bin Ladin is still at large and two countries, Iraq and Afghanistan, that had nothing to do with 9/11 are devastated? I hope they can recover from George's brand of "freedom and democracy."

...

I am not a leftwing Democrat and I hold many of the members of that party as responsible as I hold your party and George Bush and his administration. I do not think that there is anything political about an illegal and immoral war.

Sheehan's full response can be read at Truthout.org.