As I posted last night, a growing string of local media outlets are running stories about Cindy Sheehan, often featuring someone from their town who held a support rally or even came out to Crawford themselves. One of the linked stories was from the Seattle PI, which NPI picked up and connected the dots as to who Lietta Ruger is: the co-author (with her husband) of the robustly named Dying to Preserve the Lies, URL-linked by the name dyingwarriors.com, and a partner blog to the alliances that grew from the Downing Street revelations.
Lietta's first full-day dispatch yesterday showed how busy it was, in terms of the media exposure they were putting themselves under. Those who have gone to make a statement, to be heard, they'd better have something to say. This is their stage for the moment; they have the proverbial floor and you don't get to keep it for very long if you can't justify your disruption, so I have to reject the criticism that they are whoring themselves out by being so media overexposed. That's what they wanted, to be shown as supporting the lives of the young men and women overseas, and to register as bitterly opposed to the war that threatens them. Let them speak to anyone who will listen now. Sheehan is doing some speaking; her testimonial and challenge to Bush is airing in a small buy in Crawford, designed to get free reairings by the media. It's surprisingly strident and frank. I liked it.
The road directly in front of the White House's is closed due to 9/11. You may walk across Lafayette Park to cross its silenced street and move up to the gates of the backyard, and peer through the irons. I saw it recently, and while it's sad the road had to be closed, the White House never looked better. It gained a stateliness to have nothing else moving, no activity in front of it (well, it's the backside actually). There is some activity, actually: a continuous vigil has been underway on the opposite side just inside the park since 1981, seeking the cessation of nuclear weapons production and stockpiling.
Back then, the park was demonstration central. Now, only small gatherings are allowed, unless you keep a continuous presence to your protest, as a vigil. Ironically, 9/11 gave them what is akin to exclusivity in front of the White House, and also thanks to the Bush administration the calls for nuclear reduction and antiproliferation are once again relevant to current events. (It was probably a lonely time during the heydays of detente).
So Cindy has a long way to go, but all she needs is the rest of the month to make her point. It's hard to say whether she'll really become a known national figure, but so far the way her story has drawn increasing attention I think it's increasingly likely. There are people who do think she's self-aggrandizing, being puppeteered by the likes of Michael Moore, or disgracing her son's service by protesting the Commander in Chief. But thanks to Firedoglake, we get a good look at them. Apparently just a bunch of stooges...!