During a speech on Wednesday at George Washington University by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in which she condemned governments that arrest protesters and don’t allow free speech, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern was arrested and beaten by security for standing silently with his back turned during her remarks. As McGovern explains at God’s Politics:
…I was grabbed from the audience in plain view of her by police and an unidentified official in plain clothes, brutalized, and left bleeding in jail. She never paused speaking.
Blind-sided by security officers who pounced upon me, I remarked, as I was hauled out the door, “So this is America?” I am now covered with bruises, lacerations, and contusions inflicted in the assault.
Interestingly, he argues from experience that even Donald Rumsfeld was more open to dissent:
I have been comparing what happened during Clinton’s speech Tuesday with my four-minute mini-debate with Donald Rumsfeld on May 4, 2006 in Atlanta (and YouTube is a good help to memory). Halfway through, Rumsfeld gives the nod to a black-hatted security fellow to elbow me away from the microphone. I shout, “So this is America?” Rumsfeld takes one look at the TV cameras streaming live, makes a snap decision, and tells the security fellow to let me stay. During that same speech in Atlanta, one fearless witness stands dead-center in the audience with his back to Rumsfeld for the entire speech and is not bothered, much less beaten, arrested, and jailed.
This brutal response to protest by security at Clinton’s speech and the fact that she didn’t flinch during the incident belies the Obama administration’s rhetoric regarding the importance of free speech.
Despite its inaccuracies and omissions, Aaron Sorkin’s new film does what Hollywood films never do: humanize the peace movement.
From marching in the streets to forming human walls of protection around protesters, veterans are playing a quiet but important role in demanding racial justice.
If we don’t have an unwavering commitment to healing as we mobilize this election season, we will always be in crisis.