YES, CINDY SHEEHAN CHANGED HER STORY
By Michelle Malkin · August 13, 2005 08:19 AM
You have to scroll all the way down to the 18th paragraph in this front-page Washington Post article, but there it is--an acknowledgement that Cindy Sheehan has changed her account of her first meeting with President Bush, which occurred two months after her son's death in April 2004:
After the meeting, [Cindy Sheehan] was quoted by the newspaper in her hometown of Vacaville, Calif., as saying that the president seemed sympathetic. Subsequently, she has said that Bush treated her callously during the meeting.
Sheehan's shifting account of her meeting with Bush was reported by Matt Drudge five days ago.
For those of you who haven't followed the story closely, here's the complete report in Sheehan's hometown newspaper from June 24, 2004:
Since learning in April that their son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, had been killed in Iraq, life has been everything but normal for the Sheehan family of Vacaville.
Casey's parents, Cindy and Patrick, as well as their three children, have attended event after event honoring the soldier both locally and abroad, received countless letters of support and fielded questions from reporters across the country.
"That's the way our whole lives have been since April 4," Patrick said. "It's been surreal."
But none of that prepared the family for the message left on their answering machine last week, inviting them to have a face-to-face meeting with President George W. Bush at Fort Lewis near Seattle.
Surreal soon seemed like an understatement, as the Sheehans - one of 17 families who met Thursday with Bush - were whisked in a matter of days to the Army post and given the VIP treatment from the military. But as their meeting with the president approached, the family was faced with a dilemma as to what to say when faced with Casey's commander-in-chief.
"We haven't been happy with the way the war has been handled," Cindy said. "The president has changed his reasons for being over there every time a reason is proven false or an objective reached."
The 10 minutes of face time with the president could have given the family a chance to vent their frustrations or ask Bush some of the difficult questions they have been asking themselves, such as whether Casey's sacrifice would make the world a safer place.
But in the end, the family decided against such talk, deferring to how they believed Casey would have wanted them to act. In addition, Pat noted that Bush wasn't stumping for votes or trying to gain a political edge for the upcoming election.
"We have a lot of respect for the office of the president, and I have a new respect for him because he was sincere and he didn't have to take the time to meet with us," Pat said.
Sincerity was something Cindy had hoped to find in the meeting. Shortly after Casey died, Bush sent the family a form letter expressing his condolences, and Cindy said she felt it was an impersonal gesture.
"I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis," Cindy said after their meeting. "I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith."
The meeting didn't last long, but in their time with Bush, Cindy spoke about Casey and asked the president to make her son's sacrifice count for something. They also spoke of their faith.
While meeting with Bush, as well as Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, was an honor, it was almost a tangent benefit of the trip. The Sheehans said they enjoyed meeting the other families of fallen soldiers, sharing stories, contact information, grief and support.
For some, grief was still visceral and raw, while for others it had melted into the background of their lives, the pain as common as breathing. Cindy said she saw her reflection in the troubled eyes of each.
"It's hard to lose a son," she said. "But we (all) lost a son in the Iraqi war."
The trip had one benefit that none of the Sheehans expected.
For a moment, life returned to the way it was before Casey died. They laughed, joked and bickered playfully as they briefly toured Seattle.
For the first time in 11 weeks, they felt whole again.
"That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together," Cindy said.
Now, here's what Sheehan told CNN last weekend (Sunday, August 7, 2005) about her meeting with Bush last year, according to a transcript on Nexis:
It was -- you know, there was a lot of things said. We wanted to use the time for him to know that he killed an indispensable part of our family and humanity. And we wanted him to look at the pictures of Casey.
He wouldn't look at the pictures of Casey. He didn't even know Casey's name. He came in the room and the very first thing he said is, "So who are we honoring here?" He didn't even know Casey's name. He didn't want to hear it. He didn't want to hear anything about Casey. He wouldn't even call him "him" or "he." He called him "your loved one."
Every time we tried to talk about Casey and how much we missed him, he would change the subject. And he acted like it was a party.
Liberals continue to claim hysterically that it is a right-wing "lie" that Sheehan changed her story about her meeting with Bush. Guess the Post is now a member of the VRWC.
On a related note, liberal Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist Robert Jamieson candidly criticizes Mrs. Sheehan's insincerity:
Trouble is Sheehan is not sincerely interested in meeting Bush for a private, heartfelt chat about her understandable anguish and lingering questions.
She wants to make a public splash by allowing critics of the unjustified war in Iraq to use her as a human bazooka against Bush, who got us into this war mess.
That Sheehan would allow her private grief to be plied for a public stunt seems unfathomable even if her underlying message about unnecessary blood being shed by American soldiers hits the mark.
Sheehan already got face time with the president, right here in Western Washington last year -- a fact that folks tend to ignore as Sheehan morphs into the celebrity du jour...
Read the whole thing. I'm sure Mr. Jamieson's mailbox is going to getting very ugly very soon. If you'd like to balance out the hate with a note of encouragement, his e-mail address is [email protected]