Anti-War Group Suspects it May be Victim of 'Infiltrators'
(CNSNews.com) - The anti-war group Code Pink, slammed by conservatives and some wounded veterans for co-sponsoring recent protests in front of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., now suggests that the most inflammatory signs held up at the protests might have been the work of "infiltrators whose aim [was] to disrupt the vigil."
Among the most controversial signs held up at the protests was the one reading "Maimed for a Lie." But far from qualifying as an "infiltrator," Kevin McCarron, a spokesman for another anti-war group sponsoring the demonstrations, was photographed on June 17 holding the "Maimed for a Lie" sign himself.
Cybercast News Service obtained the photo from the D.C. chapter of the conservative blogging group Free Republic. When contacted on Monday, McCarron acknowledged that he held the "Maimed for a Lie" sign at the June 17 protest. He also expressed reservations about having the sign appear in front of the Army hospital.
"To some extent it might be (inappropriate,)" McCarron said. "We spoke to the (Walter Reed anti-war) organizers and they recommended it is a bit insensitive, so we are not going to show it anymore.
"Then again, the maiming itself, the wounding itself, the killing itself that's occurring, that goes on, is also offensive," McCarron said.
McCarron did defend the use of the sign during an interview with Cybercast News Service at an Aug. 19 protest, although on that evening, the "Maimed for a Lie" placard was not present. Asked whether he thought the sign was offensive, McCarron said he was "more offended by the fact that many were maimed for life.
"I am more offended by the fact that they (wounded veterans) have been kept out of the news," McCarron added. He also appeared on the Fox News Channel on Aug. 25 as a spokesman for the anti-war groups, defending the decision to protest in front of the medical center.
Over the weekend, Code Pink issued a statement, alleging that it was being subjected to "right wing attacks" and described the protests in question as the "Walter Reed Hospital vigil."
"In recent weeks, the [Walter Reed Army Hospital] vigil has attracted some people who have tried to change the tone and message of the vigil, including yelling and holding up inappropriate signs," the Code Pink statement read. "The organizers have asked the newcomers to be respectful and wonder if they might indeed be infiltrators whose aim is to disrupt the vigil."
There appears to have been disagreement even within the Code Pink organization over the suitability of some of the signs that were featured at the protests.
Asked by radio talk show host Sean Hannity on Aug. 25 whether she was "embarrassed" that signs reading "Maimed for a Lie" and "Enlist here to die for Halliburton" were being waved in front of the hospital, Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin replied: "I don't think the signs you said are appropriate signs and if I were there (at Walter Reed), I would ask them (the anti-war activists) to take them down."
But Laura Costas, also a Code Pink spokeswoman, insisted just hours later that such signs as "Maimed for a Lie," were appropriate.
"If that's how somebody feels about it, they're entitled to that," Costas said during an appearance on the Fox News Channel program, "Hannity and Colmes."
McCarron, a Gulf War veteran, is no stranger to controversy. A 1999 article in the Socialist Review quoted him at an anti-war town meeting alleging that U.S. soldiers in the Gulf War had killed "innocent people, especially women and children."
"In basic training they tell you not to steal, rape, or kill innocent people, especially women and children. All that was ignored in Iraq," McCarron said, according to the Socialist Review, in reference to the first Persian Gulf War of 1991.
When reminded about this quote on Monday, McCarron conceded that he "probably" did make the statement, but said he was specifically referring to the U.S. military's decisions involving bombing.
"I questioned what kind of ethics the aerial bombardment was bound by," McCarron explained. "I don't think aerial bombardment in the first Iraq warfare was bound by the same ethics that I (as a soldier) was bound by," McCarron, a former Marine intelligence specialist added.
See Earlier Articles:
Anti-War Protests Target Wounded at Army Hospital
Make media inquiries or request an interview with Marc Morano.
Subscribe to the free CNSNews.com daily E-brief.
E-mail a comment or news tip to Marc Morano.
Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.