Posted by CODEPINK Staff
My Confrontation with Dick Cheney today
By Cynthia Papermaster
I'm still buzzing with adrenaline after telling Dick Cheney to his face today that he's a mass murderer, torturer and war profiteer and he should be in prison. I never thought I would see him in the flesh, and was so nervous. After all these years of working to get him impeached and now prosecuted, this was like a dream come true-- to confront him face to face with his crimes. It feels so good to have done this. As my friend Joe said "You did it for everyone. Thank you."
Thanks to the expert skills of Nancy Mancias, she and I were able to get into the a private and exclusive investor conference at the aptly-named Palace Hotel in San Francisco, where Cheney was giving a keynote address to about 200 attendees. There he was, mere yards away from me, the Dick himself. I was oddly calm, and just working up the courage to speak out. First Cheney showed the audience his heart pump contraption, then he launched into a history lesson about 9/11 and how the Bush Administration had to adopt new tactics to fight terror. Nancy stood up and called Cheney out for maybe 30 seconds. I took some pictures as she was escorted out of the room. (Unfortunately, our video person was not able to get inside the event). Then Cheney started to talk about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [who as we know was water boarded 183 times] so I stood up and loudly said, "Dick Cheney, you ordered waterboarding of KSM, a form of torture. You should be in prison for ordering American torture and inhumane treatment leading to at least 100 detainee deaths, including children. You lied to the nation about Iraq and sent thousands of troops to their deaths. You made money from the war for Halliburton and your oil industry cronies-- you're a war profiteer." Oddly, security didn't grab me immediately. The MC kept asking me to leave, and some in the audience were telling me to leave and shut up; finally a security person came over and showed me a convenient way out. I was escorted through the hotel to the elegant front entrance where a large group of people were marching, singing, and holding banners and posters saying "Arrest Cheney". There was Joe, dressed in a black and white jail outfit wearing a Cheney mask. There were young folks from Occupy SF who all wanted to hug me. World Can't Wait had a microphone and I was asked to give a report about what happened inside. Some San Francisco police were on hand, so I showed them the letter I had sent to the Chief of Police, Sheriff, and District Attorney asking them to arrest Cheney today. I told them that they had the jurisdiction and responsibility to do so, but sadly, the police declined to arrest him. Great day, great action, great pink presence.
Thanks to everyone who came out and participated, and especially to Nancy and Sanaa, who made my dream come true.