Maliki Interrupted By Code Pink Leader (Video)
During his address to a joint session of Congress today, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was interrupted by Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin. Here’s the video:
Earlier today, Michelle Malkin wondered which member of Congress gave Benjamin a pass to get into the address and then later updates that, according to Daniel Freedman of It Shines For All, the culprit was New York Congressman Major Owens who, not surprisingly, had no immediate comment. Freedman quips, “What did Owen’s office think Benjamin would do? Throw petals at the democratically elected leader of Iraq?”
This is not the first time that Code Pink has infiltrated an event with the aid of Democrats in Congress in order to protest. As Michelle notes, 16 tickets to President Bush’s 2004 inauguration were given to Code Pink by Democrats from New York and California. Then there was President Bush’s 2006 State of the Union address, in which California Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey invited Cindy Sheehan whom just happened to wear an anti-war T-shirt to the event. Fortunately, Sheehan was removed before she was able to interrupt the President’s address.
I raise these examples only to make the point that there’s no way that Congressman Owens didn’t know that something like this was going to happen. He did. And if possible, Owens’s privilege to invite guests to events such as this should be revoked or, at the very least, suspended. This isn’t about free speech, it’s about respect. And when the leader of another country visits the United States and takes the time to address a joint session of Congress, he should be able to do so without fear of being heckled by political activists invited by members of Congress.
(video via Think Progress)
UPDATE: Meanwhile, RCP has a transcript of Maliki’s full address here. I especially enjoyed this:
I know that some of you here question whether Iraq is part of the war on terror. Let me be very clear: This is a battle between true Islam, for which a person’s liberty and rights constitute essential cornerstones, and terrorism, which wraps itself in a fake Islamic cloak; in reality, waging a war on Islam and Muslims and values.
And spreads hatred between humanity, contrary to what come in our Koran, which says, “We have created you of male and female and made you tribes and families that you know each other.” Surely (inaudible) of you in the sight of God is the best concept.
The truth is that terrorism has no religion. Our faith says that who kills an innocent, as if they have killed all mankind.
Thousands of lives were tragically lost on September 11th when these impostors of Islam reared their ugly head. Thousands more continue to die in Iraq today at the hands of the same terrorists who show complete disregard for human life.
Your loss on that day was the loss of all mankind, and our loss today is lost for all free people.
And wherever humankind suffers a loss at the hands of terrorists, it is a loss of all of humanity.