Code Pink apparently angered John McCain today when the group disrupted a Senate hearing, and this latest disruption of congressional proceedings raises questions on why authorities continue allowing the left-wing activists access to official governmental undertakings.
Senator McCain (R-AZ) called Code Pink members “low-life scum” after the group disrupted a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. They denounced and attempted to arrest 91-year-old former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger.
Fox News reported that “the protest broke out at the opening of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on national security and global challenges, where Kissinger and other prominent former secretaries of state were testifying.”
ABC News added that “they held up signs calling Kissinger a criminal and chanted ‘arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes’ — citing some of his more controversial decisions during the Nixon and Ford administrations.”
— CODEPINK (@codepink) January 29, 2015
Senator McCain’s ostensible anger made headlines across many other outlets. Yet, if McCain and other government officials truly are angry, why do they continue allowing Code Pink access to the Senate and other governmental functions, since the group has a history of disruption?
McCain currently chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee and he likely has the authority to ban disruptive activists such as Code Pink. Furthermore, he is clearly familiar with the group and its behavior, having witnessed a previous disruption of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing as recently as September 2014 (as captured by the below video).
Code Pink has a long history of other high-profile disruptions, as well.
In 2008, Politico reported on Code Pink interrupting a Senate Armed Services Committee involving General David Petraeus.
Politico reported in 2012 on group members trespassing on private property during which “they wanted to make a citizen’s arrest of [Condoleezza] Rice” while the former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser appeared at an event.
The group’s ability to continue to gain access to high-profile events and officials gained particular attention in 2013, when Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin managed to gain access to a President Obama speaking engagement, which she proceeded to disrupt (something previously reported on by the Inquisitr).
Breitbart News Network noted the oddity of Benjamin gaining access to Obama’s speech. In particular, the Breitbart piece linked to a Huffington Post article that featured quotes from Benjamin that should have raised eyebrows and caused further questions on how the group regularly gains access to disrupt government events and official proceedings.
The May 23, 2013, Huffington Post article quotes Benjamin as saying she had inside help on gaining access to the president’s speech.
“‘I had an invitation, somebody gave me an invitation who I’m not at liberty to disclose,’ Benjamin said, calling her protest ‘epic’ when compared to her other demonstrations.”
This raises questions on if government officials, including senators and other elected representatives, really are as outraged as they appear, or if they are somewhat participating with Code Pink for their own purposes and benefits.
A 2014 article on Code Pink on the BBC perhaps provides one answer to these questions.
“The police who guard the Capitol complex will not ban serial disrupters from the premises unless a judge deems extraordinary circumstances warrant it.”
Yet, the same BBC article raises perhaps more questions about Code Pink and its relationship with the government.
“But by and large, Benjamin said she and her fellow activists have a sort of working relationship with the [Capitol police] officers, who often greet them cordially as they wait in line outside a hearing room in the morning.”
“‘We respect each other, we even like each other,’ she said. ‘There can be a bad apple here among them, just as they probably think the same about us.’ “
“They see us in the morning and they start laughing and joking and say, ‘Give me a hug now because I might have to arrest you later.’ “
So why exactly does the government continue allowing the group access to disrupt official government events and functions? Is it solely in the interest of free speech? Or do Code Pink and some members of the federal government have a working relationship with the group which they use for their own benefit despite their apparent outrage?
[Image via screen capture of Fox News video]