Tags: obama | heckler | code | pink

Obama in Heated Exchanges with Code Pink Anti-war Protester

Image: Obama in Heated Exchanges with Code Pink Anti-war Protester Code Pink activist Medea Benjamin shouts at President Barack Obama while he speaks at the National Defense University on May 23.

Thursday, 23 May 2013 09:00 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

The woman who interrupted President Barack Obama's speech on counterterrorism policy on Thursday is well-known around Washington as a perennial protester on national security issues.

Medea Benjamin, a founder of anti-war women's group Code Pink, began demonstrating years ago on Capitol Hill, becoming an almost routine presence at hearings where high-ranking officials of the Bush administration appeared to talk about the Iraq war.

On Thursday, Benjamin got into an argument with Obama, interrupting his remarks at the National Defense University repeatedly to urge him to take faster action in releasing detainees from the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"You are our commander in chief. Close Guantanamo Bay!" Benjamin shouted toward the end of Obama's address.

"Why don't you sit down and I will tell you exactly what I'm going to do?" Obama replied. "Let me finish my sentence.

He called on Congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers and went on to discuss other steps toward closing the prison. He said he was lifting a moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen.

"Release them today!" Benjamin shouted. "It's been 11 years!"

"Let me finish," Obama said. "This is part of free speech. You being able to speak, but also me listening, and me being able to speak."

He was able to continue for a bit but then Benjamin demanded to know why a teenager had been killed by a U.S. drone.

"Can you tell the Muslim people their lives are as precious are our lives? Can you take the drones out of the hands of the CIA? Can you stop the signature strikes?"

By this point, the Secret Service was leading her away, but Benjamin continued yelling as she left. "I love my country! I love the rule of law! The drones are making us less safe! And keeping people in indefinite detention in Guantanamo is making us less safe! Abide by the rule of law! You're a constitutional lawyer!"

Obama then drew hoots of laughter when he announced he was about to go off script. "The words of that woman are worth paying attention to," he said.

"Obviously I do not agree with much of what she said, and obviously she wasn't listening to me in much of what I said. But these are tough issues," Obama said.

The National Defense University said Benjamin was on its list of media personnel who would be attending the address.

 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Sen. Rand Paul Backs 'Opening Up to Cuba'

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 22:52 PM

Fewer than 24 hours after his office said he had no statement on President Obama's historic change in U.S. policy toward . . .

Jim DeMint: GOP Won't Have 'Mushy, Middle' Candidate in '16

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 18:42 PM

Several senators and governors eyeing a 2016 presidential bid already have visited with the Heritage Foundation, Preside . . .

Coburn Tells '60 Minutes': I'm Glad We Elected Obama

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 18:04 PM

Retiring Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, said he is glad Barack Obama was elected president during an interview . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved