Alleged anti-war, 'peace' activist Cindy Sheehan has rebuffed an offer from the pro-troop, grassroots organization Move America Forward to purchase 5 acres of land Sheehan owns in Crawford, Texas, and has raised the potential sales price to such astounding levels she should be nailed with a windfall profits tax.
Sheehan purchased the land near President George W. Bush's ranch in 2006 for $52,000 using insurance money from her son Casey Sheehan's death in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She dubbed the land Camp Casey, supposedly in honor of her son, although she had been roundly criticized prior to that for a two-year lapse between his death in Iraq on April 4, 2004 and when she finally allowed a tombstone to be placed on his grave in Vacaville, CA, on May 26, 2006.
Sheehan had said she didn't want a tombstone on her son's grave because it would require her to accept his death.
Cindy Sheehan declared last year that the land in Crawford would be used for her anti-war purposes until President Bush's "resignation or impeachment." However, this Memorial Day weekend, after launching an equal-opportunity smear campaign criticizing Congressional Democrats who don't support her leave-Iraq-immediately positions, and being criticized in return, Sheehan resigned as the face of the anti-war movement, and announced that the land is for sale.
Move American Forward immediately drafted plans to make an offer on the land and turn it into a memorial park honoring all the heroes of the War on Terror including Casey Sheehan. In addition to offering to purchase the land, Move America Forward has prepared an artist's concept of a memorial to the troops "Monument to America's Heroes" which can be viewed at the Move America Forward website www.MoveAmericaForward.org .
But no sooner had the offer been made public than Sheehan flat out turned it down, claiming the property is hers to do with as she pleases and it will be "a cold day in hell" before she would sell to Move America Forward so it could be turned into a memorial park.
Sheehan's few remaining backers have said the land will go up for auction on eBay with a starting bid of $80,000, a 65-percent profit in one year. That puts her in the company of previous generations of scalpers, price gougers and profiteers who made financial killings by selling tracts of western lands.
It also proves the lie of her so-called 'cause' all along. This obviously was never about her son, it was all about money, and she lied about it from day one. Now that she has gained national media attention, and the price of the land can easily be manipulated simply by filing false bids on eBay, she stands to make a huge profit from her estranged son's death.
Remember, the $80,000 is just a starting figure. In the case of Move America Forward, any bid would have to far, far exceed that starting price, since, as Sheehan's spokeswoman told the media, Sheehan would "never knowingly sell Camp Casey to Move America Forward, even for $5 million."
Interestingly, regarding the price of the land, I saw in one of the news reports on the issue that Sheehan is claiming improvements to the Crawford property including road upgrades and water line installation make it move valuable, thus the increased asking price. Sixty-five percent more valuable in one year? Minimum?
And while we're on the subject did she actually pay for any of this? Improvements to local roads are usually done at the cost of the local taxpayers as are water and sewer lines. The property owners pay increased property taxes based on the assessed increased value to the land to pay for the improvements, and pay usage fees for water and sewer when they hook into the lines.
Usually, only when private roads are improved does the responsibility for payment rest on the individual landowners. Is Sheehan claiming that she personally paid for improvements to the gravel road? Did she personally pay to have a water line installed?
I'd like to see the bills for that work. If she didn't she is obviously trying to pass another lie off on the public, and if she did she foolishly spent the money from her son's insurance policy since as mentioned above, it is up to the local or state government to handle road and public utility improvements.
Regardless, this issue has finally revealed in all its ugly details just how false, phony, despicable, lying and manipulating Sheehan and her backers have been. This has never been about the death of her son, this has always been about her and is one of the most reprehensible uses of a human death for personal profit that I have ever seen.
And this woman claims to be anti-war, pro-peace?
I have been very, very reluctant to jump on the anti-Sheehan bandwagon and her name usually doesn't appear in this column. There is a reason for that, which I have stated before, but which bears repeating.
Everyone handles grief differently, especially when it stems from the death of a family member. I know this from personal experience because many years ago, a few years after I had returned from Vietnam, my 18-year-old brother died tragically in a traffic accident.
He had done nothing wrong. He was simply a passenger on a sunny Sunday afternoon, in a car driven by his friend who made a youthful error in judgment for which they both died. No alcohol, no drugs, not even speed. Just a fateful, and fatal accident.
My family was devastated by my brother's death. All of us. The extent of that devastation was never more apparent than a day a couple of years ago, after my father had died, when I visited my mother and found a picture of my long-deceased brother in a prominent spot in her living room.
I asked why it had suddenly appeared after so many years, and she told me that my father had felt such guilt over my brother's death, even though he had absolutely nothing to do with it, that she was not allowed to put his photos out because it was too upsetting to my Dad. It has been 30 years, but the pain of my brother's death has never dulled for my family, and I suspect this is common.
So I have tried very hard to understand that Cindy Sheehan may well have been dealing with her son's death in her own way, and although that way obviously angered many people, I was reluctant to join the criticism.
Until now. The situation with the property in Crawford, Texas is so coldly calculating, so impersonal, so money grubbing and deceitful, that I can no longer see this as a manifestation of grief. It is an obvious attempt to profit from the death of her son, who by many accounts from other family members, never would have agreed with the stance Cindy Sheehan has taken in his name.
This is classless, crass and abominable. Shame on her and every war profiteer who ever stood alongside her claiming to be speaking in the name of peace. What a pathetic collection of money grubbing charlatans. It is a shame that losers and liars of their ilk are allowed to call themselves Americans.
Speaking of which, here are Sheehan's own words on what she thinks of our country: "America ... tortures people contrary to the Geneva Conventions and the 8th Amendment to the Constitution; America ... imprisons people without due process or giving them a Writ of Habeas Corpus; America ... kills hundreds of thousands of innocent people for greed; America ... attacks a country that was weak and no threat to our own; (America) a country that is the hated laughing-stock of every other country."
Sheehan and her followers don't live in the America I believe in.
Hopefully this isn't over yet. Sheehan bought the land in Texas using an intermediary and Move America Forward may well use the same tactic to purchase it from her. Also, eBay rules apparently won't allow Sheehan to discriminate against bidders, so if she goes forward with the auction in that venue, even if she keeps inflating the price, she may not be able to reject Move America Forward's bid.
Regardless of how this ends, the truth has finally emerged about Cindy Sheehan, her followers, and what they really stand for - The Almighty Dollar.
Welcome to Cindy Sheehan's land of Capitalism Run Amok, where a mother will sell her son's memory to the highest bidder, and use every facet of human emotion to jack up the price.
Saturday, June 02, 2007