Wednesday, March 12, 2008

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CONTACT: Tanya Austin, 831-917-5448,

Emilie Surrusco, 202-253-7298,

Iraq Veterans' Winter Soldier: It's our turn to tell our stories

Central Illinois Chapter to send four members for testimony and participation

Champaign, IL -- For the first time since the U.S. invasion, hundreds of veterans of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan will be gathering in Washington to speak out and tell their stories. Local veterans will be joining the effort by showing a live feed of the Winter Soldier event at the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign campus – and joining a nationwide network of veterans and service members committed to speaking out about a reality that, until now, has remained hidden.

From March 13-16 at the National Labor College just outside of Washington, D.C., veterans from across the country will be standing up to share their experiences at Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan. Their stories will show the human consequences of failed policy. Central Illinois Chapter members of Iraq Veterans Against the War that will be participating at the event include Martin Smith, Nathan Peld, Tanya Austin, and Jason Wallace the Green Party candidate Illinois' 11th Congressional District, .

"We've heard from the politicians, we've heard from the generals, we've heard from the media – now it's our turn," said Kelly Dougherty, executive director of IVAW and a former sergeant in the Colorado Army National Guard, who served in Iraq as a military police officer. "It's not going to be easy to hear what we have to say. It's not going to be easy for us to tell it. But we believe that the only way this war is going to end is if the American people truly understand what we have done in their name."

WHAT: Winter Soldier Testimony -- Live Feed

WHO: Central Illinois Chapter of IVAW

WHERE: University of Illinois, Lincoln Hall, Room 106. 702 S. Wright Street, Ave. Urbana, IL.

WHEN: Friday, March 14, 6:00-7:30pm

WHY: To give local veterans the opportunity to participate in this groundbreaking event
Iraq Veterans Against the War was founded in 2004 to give those who have served in the military since September 11, 2001 a way to come together and speak out against an unjust, illegal and unwinnable war. Today, IVAW has over 700 members in 49 states, Washington, D.C. and Canada and on military bases overseas.

For more information on Winter Soldier:

Jason Wallace, Candidate
U.S. House of Representatives
Illinois 11th Congressional District
PO Box 708
Bloomington, IL 61702-0708
Office 309.532.3446
Cell 309.826.5290
Fax: 1.866.554.3176
Paid for by the Committee to Elect Jason Wallace

Katharine Q. Seelye and Julie Bosman (New York Times) report on the non-scandal (though Amy Goodman and others in Panhandle Media will try to play it as such, to be sure) in the Democratic party campaigns for the presidential nomination:

Ms. Ferraro, the former congresswoman and vice-presidential candidate who backs Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, told The Daily Breeze, a newspaper in Torrance, Calif.: "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman of any color, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."
She made the comments last week, but on Tuesday, the Obama camp latched on to them, calling them outrageous and demanding that Mrs. Clinton repudiate them.
In an interview on Tuesday night, Ms. Ferraro defended her comments and said she was furious with the Obama campaign, accusing it of twisting her words.
"Every time that campaign is upset about something, they call it racist," she said. "I will not be discriminated against because I'm white. If they think they’re going to shut up Geraldine Ferraro with that kind of stuff, they don’t know me."

As Kat noted last night, Ferraro's critique has been made repeatedly and we're not talking from the right, see Peter Hart's "Obamamania: How loving Barack Obama helps pundits love themselves" (Extra!). And although Amy Goodman reduced to a single sentence the revelations that Bambi has no pledge to withdraw combat troops from Iraq within 16 months if elected, she'll no doubt have much more time to 'explore' Ferraro while ignoring the latest Obama aid to go nutso in public (see Rebecca's post from last night for more). It's amazing how little attention Samantha Power's revealing that there was no pledge by Bambi to withdraw troops within 16 months of taking office has gotten. Yesterday in Harrisburg, Hillary Clinton noted how many of the pretty words turned up to be empty, vacant promises and, specifically, the Iraq non-pledge by Obama: "Senator Obama promises to withdraw from Iraq within 16 months. But his top foreign policy adviser said he's not really going to rely on that plan. I guess that plan is just words, too."

For the record, the Clinton campaign has stated they do not agree with Ferraro's critique (and, presumably, Peter Hart's as well -- Hart is correct and not the only one on the left making that criticism, you saw it repeatedly at all websites of the left and the 'left'). As Kat notes, not a good idea for the Bambi campaign to begin attacking a super delegate since they tend to stick together. That may be why the Times report does not include David Axlerod's demand that Clinton fire Ferraro, they may have realized that they were playing that card on the wrong group of people who will not play stupid that way the Roberts (Parry and Scheer) have but will take offense to faux outrage and distortions. For a humorous take on the way phony outrage is ginned up by the Bambi campaign and its 'surrogates,' see Cedric's "The gifted Orlando Patterson" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! ORLANDO PATTERSON'S GIFT!" from yesterday.

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