McClatchy reports in “Protestors drown out former CIA director at Democratic convention” that: “Former CIA Director Leon Panetta was giving a … speech in support of Hillary Clinton when the crowd erupted.
“Chants of ‘no more war,’ ‘lies’ and ‘USA’ broke out at the Democratic National Convention, interrupting Panetta several times before he finished his speech.” See videos. “USA!” chants were used to drown out antiwar chants.
The Washington Post lists Panetta as a “loser” in its roundup: “Unfortunately for Panetta, his speech came the moment when the most committed Bernie Sanders supporters decided to make a statement; a chant of ‘no more war’ broke out on the convention floor, forcing Panetta to pause during his speech.”
LENNY SIEGEL, lsiegel[at]cpeo.org
Siegel is a Bernie Sanders delegate to the convention from Mountain View, California. He said: “The highlight of the evening for me came when former CIA Director Leon Panetta spoke. Other than honoring veterans, few speakers at the convention have addressed foreign policy. But Panetta was assigned to defend the Obama-Clinton policies of regime change and the war on terror, two terms they don’t use because they were associated with George W. Bush. To be honest, given what happened, I don’t remember exactly what he said, other than claiming credit for killing Osama bin Laden. I sat there quietly and sadly, holding up a hand-made sign I got from the fellow sitting next to me. It read, ‘End the drone wars.’ Democrats are quick to criticize Republican wars, but most are reluctant to challenge Democratic Commanders in Chief. I am not looking forward to four or eight more years of endless war.
“To my surprise, across the hall the Oregon delegation started chanting ‘No more war!’ Or maybe it was ‘wars.’ Our larger group quickly echoed them. I couldn’t tell if other delegates joined in. Before long, the masters of the house dimmed the lights shining on the Oregon delegation. We shouted ‘Lights, Lights …’ The Oregonians pulled out their smartphones and turned on their flashlight apps. It looked like a cosmic constellation. We shone ours, and I believe others were shining elsewhere in the arena.”
Siegel was a leader of the anti-war student movement at Stanford University from 1966 to 1975. He founded Mountain View Voices for Peace for both Iraq Wars. Since 1989, he’s become a national leader in the effort to clean up contaminated military bases. Today, he’s taking time off from the convention to meet with activists outside of Philadelphia on those issues.
DAVID SWANSON, davidcnswanson[at]gmail.com, @davidcnswanson
Swanson’s books include When the World Outlawed War and War Is A Lie. He said today that former CIA director and Pentagon head Panetta “tried to fearmonger by blaming Russia for supposedly interfering in a U.S. election (by allegedly revealing how the Democratic Party had in fact rigged its primary for Hillary Clinton). The delegates from Oregon began a chant of ‘No More War!’ and held up signs including ‘End the drone wars!’ California and other delegations joined in. Panetta had to stop speaking. The party bosses turned off the lights on the Oregon section, which then pulled out cell phones and turned on flashlight apps.
“Neither big party convention in the United States has expressed any interest in ending war, outside of that wonderful chanting. We’re going to be needing a powerful global peace movement to control U.S. warmongering. Help us build it by attending No War 2016: WorldBeyondWar.org/NoWar2016.” (See videos from Nobel Peace Prize winners Desmond Tutu and and Mairead Maguire supporting the conference.)