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Code Pink activists arrested in Pakistan, released

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Election 2008
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Posted December 4, 2007 3:08 PM
The Swamp

by Matthew Hay Brown, updated

The two members of Code Pink who were arrested in Pakistan earlier today have been released by the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence, the organization announced.

Medea Benjamin and Tighe Barry, who arrived in Pakistan Nov. 25, have had their visas revoked and are to be removed from the country early Wednesday, the feminist antiwar group said in a release. The protests in which the activists have been involved are illegal under the emergency rule declared last month by Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the organization said.

Code Pink has gained notoriety around Washington for disrupting congressional hearings and other Washington events. Medea and Barry were in Pakistan to learn about and support Pakistani civil society, the organization said.

The pair were leaving the Lahore Press Club when their car was stopped by six government agents, Code Pink said in a release. The driver was ordered out and the police confiscated the vehicle with the activists inside.

Earlier, the activists had attended a student rally at the press club in Pakistan’s second-largest city, the organization said. On leaving, they were followed by police on motorcycles. When they attempted to call reporters, the organization said, they found their cell phones were jammed.

They returned to the press club to call the U.S. embassy and make statements, the organization said.

“It’s a sad state of affairs when the Pakistani government – a government that is trying to portray itself to the West as democratic – tries to harass and deport U.S. human rights activists,” Benjamin said. “If they do this to us, who have the protection of being U.S. citizens, imagine what they do to their own citizens.”

“We will not be intimidated,” Barry said. “We will continue our activities here in support of Pakistanis struggling for democracy, and we call on the Pakistani government to stop harassing us and respect our rights.”

They were arrested on leaving the press club that second time, the organization said.

Since arriving in Pakistan, Benjamin and Barry have met with lawyers, students, judges, journalists and political leaders, the organization said.

They also held a 24-hour vigil outside the home of Aitzaz Ahsan, the lawyer who represented the suspended chief justice of the Pakistani supreme court in his case against the government, the organization said. Ahsan was arrested shortly after Musharraf declared the state of emergency.

Familiar around Washington with their provocative signs, flamboyant dress and guerrilla theater antics, Code Pink gained national attention in October when a member accosted Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“The blood of millions of Iraqis is on your hands,” shouted Desiree Ali-Fairooz, who waved her own hands, painted red, around Rice’s head.

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Comments

I wish Code Pink represents real americans. We have been discussing about Medea Benjamin and Tighe Barry in our University all day. All of us were shocked to see someone coming from America and supporting our cause.In a meeting of students in islamabad today we had decided to send a delegation of students to lahore who will meet and thank them for thier support and will invite them to Islamabad. After hearing about thier deportation, i feel depressed.. thier presence really made a difference!thier 24-hour vigil outside the home of Aitzaz Ahsan won hearts of millions over here. Everyone doubted they were americans!Even the so called extremist appreciated thier support for our cause! Thanks aolt Medea Benjamin and Tighe Barry!!


I wish Code Pink represents real americans. We have been discussing about Medea Benjamin and Tighe Barry in our University all day. All of us were shocked to see someone coming from America and supporting our cause.In a meeting of students in islamabad today we had decided to send a delegation of students to lahore who will meet and thank them for thier support and will invite them to Islamabad. After hearing about thier deportation, i feel depressed.. thier presence really made a difference!thier 24-hour vigil outside the home of Aitzaz Ahsan won hearts of millions over here. Everyone doubted they were americans!Even the so called extremist appreciated thier support for our cause! Thanks aolt Medea Benjamin and Tighe Barry!!


I wonder if they would want any assistance from the Bush Administration? Hope they don't mind getting lashes.


I hope to God they don't represent real Americans. I am not saying this because of anything to do with this article, I am very against the current state of emergency in Pakistan. But the truth is, Medea Benjamin supports an agenda that is set on destroying America. She should have gone to visit the previous tourist destination of the Swat District, where it wouldn't have been the police who detained her, but the extremists who she is constantly supporting.


Medea Benjamin is no crackpot but a hard core anti-capitalist. A San Franciscan, who said her stay in Cuba, "made it seem like I died and went to heaven," is a master organizer, fund-raiser and propagandist. She is the founder of several anti-American, anti-corporation and anti-war groups, such as, Global Exchange, United for Peace and Justice and Code Pink. This is one, very busy lefty.

Much more here:

http://www.freedomsenemies.com/_more/medeabenjamin.htm


Who asked idiots to go into another country and engage in political activities? Do they know what the facts are? Do they understand anything about Pakistani politics? Do they know that Aitizaz Ahsan is a crook and was colluding with the Chief Justice? He is lucky that the government has put him in house arrest, he should have been kept in jail! Our human rights groups are extension of political parties with bias opinions...americans tend to fall for their rubish. The current government had given more freedom to people than so-called democratic leaders in the past. Now the human rights groups are advocating the return of fuedal democratic leaders who supress human rights more than the current government. What a joke!


Everyone has been condemning the arrest and the deportation of the two activists. Certainly condemnation is in order. However, we fail to understand as to how the two activists came up with this strategy of “supporting the Pakistani civil society.” They travelled from America to Pakistan to take part in the protests and hold a vigil outside Aitzaz’s residence thus getting a lot of media attention. If their sole purpose was to render support to the Pakistani civil society, then couldn’t they have lobbied the US government since nothing moves in Pakistan without Uncle Sam’s permission?

Both of them are from Code Pink. Code Pink has become well known for it’s lobbying against the Iraq war using unconventional methods. Could’nt Code Pink think of other more effective ways of supporting Pakistani civil society given their rich experience?

This compels one to ask did the activists really work out their strategy of helping the Pakistani civil society. What purpose did they achieve? Won’t they have been more effective by building the pressure on the US media and the US congressmen to ask the right questions as to why the US is mum over the situation?


Hey kasim khan,
Albert Speer once said that its hard to know when the devil puts his hand on your shoulder.

Be careful, they are just run of the mill whacko socialists.

They used you, and will continue to do so without remorse.


I have seen Medea & Barry in most protests in Lahore after Nov. 30's protest in Liberty Square, Lahore.

Socialists or not, leftists or otherwise, good planners or dumb, I beleive they did a wonderful job.

I have seen them braving cold, riot police, batons and what not.

Finally someone in Capitol Hill raised voice to stop funding the Musharraf regime. US has given $10 billion dollars to the Pakistan's most recent military dictator since 2001, not to mention political support. U.S. funding and support is the only reason Musharraf is still holding on to power.

I might not neccessarily agree with Taghe Barry's methods of protest, but I certainly AGREE 100% with what he said.


CODE PINK'S MANIPULATION OF THE MEDIA


Code Pink's leader, Medea Benjamin, was arrested in Pakistan and deported. She claims that she was abused by the Pakistani police, but her claims are just more staged media manipulation from a master manipulator.

Arrest Not Spontaneous


The arrest of Medea Benjamin in Pakistan was not a spontaneous event even though, at first glance, it may appear that way. It was timed to coincide with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on U.S. funding for Pakistan. The hearing, which was scheduled for Dec. 6, was advertised well in advance of that date (See Schedule of Hearings for 110th Congress).

Medea Benjamin, along with Tighe Barry, went to Pakistan ten days in advance of the Dec. 6 hearing. They kept a low profile, until the eve of the hearing and then they pressed some really hot buttons in Pakistan to catch the attention of the authorities there and to get arrested.

They made sure that Code Pink had a Pakistan blog on it detailing this trip (See Code Pink's Pakistan Blog [Scroll down a few days to see it]). It is the only blog on their site that was closed to public comments. The reason why the blog was closed for public comment is that it was designed to be a press release, not a blog. Notice how each blog details the organization and refers to Benjamin as a "human rights activist."

They knew in order to get media attention they had to get arrested and detained in Pakistan. On the day the Senate hearings started here in the U.S. they did just that (See Article on Arrest). Did you notice how the article refers to Benjamin, coincidentally as a "human rights activist?" Even before she got on the plane back to the U.S. Benjamin was on the telephone with the Washington Times telling them, she was "mistreated" and "terrorized" by the Pakistanis. She made it really dramatic by adding "I thought I was going to die (See Article)." Apparently, she felt that at a time when Pakistan was seeking money from the U.S. that they were going to kill one of its citizens.

Code Pink's media spokesperson, Dana Balacki, was ready to give a salivating press all the lurid details of Medea Benjamin's claims that she was abused by the Pakistani authorities. She claimed they pointed a gun at her in a car that was transporting her and described her experience as "terrifying." All of these details were fed to the press. The media in San Francisco really ate it up and even did a photo montage of the many faces of Medea Benjamin (See Article).

Within two hours of landing back in the U.S., Tighe Barry, one of the few Code Pink members allowed in Senate hearings because of his lack of a significant arrest record, rushed to the Senate and disrupted the hearing on, you guessed it, funding for Pakistan (See Washington Times Article). He was arrested a will appear in court later this month.

Staged and Planned Events Designed to Look Spontaneous


The actions of Code Pink are staged and planned. Nothing is spontaneous when it comes to Code Pink. It is all designed to manipulate a naive media who reports it to an even more naive public that thinks all of these events just happened out of the blue. If you buy that, I will sell you a bridge in Brooklyn! This was nothing more than a staged event to get some ink the only way Code Pink knows how and to undermine U.S. relations with Pakistan at a crucial time by staging an event to insure bad press.


Code Pink women and men like Medea and Barry are "real" Americans and good people who are putting their lives and sacred honor on the line for liberty and justice for all. We should all be so brave and true to our highest ideals. Wake up! Bless the peace activists and join to save our country and help bring sanity and peace to this troubled world. love,Eliz


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