Tuesday, November 15, 2005


The Misinformation Campaign by CodePINK

George Orwell’s novel 1984 added many new words to the English language. One of the terms he coined was “doublethink”, which is the best description of the tactics used by a fanatically anti-Bush group called CodePINK.

This group’s existence was kicked off by a protest that was held for four months in front of the White House. Their latest project is another four month long assault. This time they are protesting in front of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center where military personnel receive treatment and rehabilitation for their wounds received in combat. CodePINK calls it “a very discreet and dignified project”. They also go on to say that “These are vigils, not protests...”.

Doublethink is the power to hold two completely contradictory beliefs in a person’s mind simultaneously, and to be able to accept both of them. In the name of compassion CodePINK frequently claims to be supporting our troops. However, I was thunderstruck when reading a letter from a CodePINK organizer that was posted on their website to defend their protest at Walter Reed (they state it was originally printed in the Gainesville Sun and provide a link to its online edition).

Jacqueline Betz writes, “Bush's illegal occupation of Iraq and to date the killing of over 30,000 innocent Iraqi civilians, mostly women and children, makes Bush, Inc. the terrorist.” ...Wow!!! Is the accusation that our military is deliberately killing innocent Iraqi civilians and is a part of a terrorist organization a fair measure of how CodePINK supports our troops?

As of this time, the most credible survey that has produced statistics listing 30,000 Iraqi civilian casualties is from an anti-war group called the Iraq Body Count Project (IBC). A group that is dedicated to using Iraqi casualties in order to discredit US efforts in Iraq.

On their website they make the following statement, “In the current occupation phase the database includes all deaths which the Occupying Authority has a binding responsibility to prevent under the Geneva Conventions and Hague Regulations. This includes civilian deaths resulting from the breakdown in law and order, and deaths due to inadequate health care or sanitation.”

If you follow this line of thought carefully and do a little research you will discover that every time an insurgent kills an Iraqi police officer that death is included in the above figures (at least the deaths of Iraqi soldiers are not included as well). Every suicide bombing by Iraqi insurgents against innocent civilians is also included in this figure. Even in IBC’s own biased opinion only 37% of the casualties were directly attributable to military action by US forces (this percentage is from March 2005, but it is hard get updated percentages on this subject from them). The other 63% is conveniently blamed on the US in order to prop up their politically biased campaign against our troops. Iraqi terrorists are no doubt very pleased.

Early on in the Walter Reed “vigil”, the protesters caught some heat for displaying mock coffins and carrying inflammatory signs. As a defense they claimed that it was actually infiltrators who had brought these signs in order to disrupt the protest. This claim was contradicted by a picture taken of a protest organizer, Kevin McCarron, stating, “Maimed for a Lie” (he later admitted carrying the sign). How could they ever believe that just by saying “These are vigils, not protests…” that the public would swallow such a lie? And then go on to lie about some mysterious infiltrators they claim were carrying offensive signs that one of their own organizers was actually forced to admit carrying.

The bottom line is that CodePINK is extremely anti-military. They vivaciously campaign against military recruitment. On November 17th they are promoting “Not Your Soldier: National Student Day of Action”. November 18th is “National Stand Down Day: Action at Local Military Recruiting Centers”. I dont have the space to detail all of their anti military recruitment activities.

In order to persuade U.S. troops to defect from the military as conscientious objectors, the founders of CodePINK created a group called Occupation Watch (the group seems to be inactive or have scaled down their activities at this time). They used this organization to make false accusations of low morale, high rates of desertion, officer shortages, and lawsuits. The group was also used as a platform to glorify former military personnel like Jeremy Hinzman who made a hotly disputed claim that US soldiers are forced to commit war crimes by their commanders. Clearly they show a lot of enthusiasm in their support of our troops when they make accusations of war crimes against the US.

Whether or not CodePINK is truly patriotic as they claim is not the point. The fact that the founders of CodePINK are or were Communists is not the point either. The point is that CodePINK is conducting a campaign of misinformation that should be openly discussed and not hidden away behind their claims of right wing attacks on them. This is America and if they want to smear our President and our troops well then they better be able to stand up to scrutiny.

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