Thursday, October 25, 2007

Code Pink Protester Accosts Secretary of State Rice

A radical activist from the antiwar group Code Pink thrust her red-painted hands in the face of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during congressional testimony yesterday. Here's the story:

An antiwar protester ambushed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a House hearing Wednesday, thrusting red-stained hands in her face and accusing her of having the "blood of millions of Iraqis on your hands" before being removed by police.

"War criminal! War criminal!" bellowed Desiree Ali-Fairooz, 51, a former teacher from Arlington, Texas, after a guard grabbed her wrists and another officer led her out of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The incident caused House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-Burlingame) to order the removal of other CodePink members, an all-female antiwar group with a regular protest presence on Capitol Hill.

Capitol Police said Ali-Fairooz was charged with assault on a federal officer and three other counts. Police deflected questions about how she was able to get close enough to Rice to confront her but said that the incident did not constitute a security breach.

"Because it's an open hearing and the building is open to the public, anyone can come in," said Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman. "However, if anyone is breaking the law, the Capitol Police will take appropriate action."

The incident provided a startling moment at the start of a hearing featuring Rice testifying about the Middle East. Witnesses sit alone at a table at the room's front facing House members, with their backs to the audience. There are no barriers between spectators, witnesses and House members. Metal detectors at the building's entrance screen for weapons and hazardous chemicals.

Wednesday's confrontation seemed to happen in an instant. Rice entered the hearing room from a side door with Lantos, an aide and State Department security.

Ali-Fairooz strode up the aisle and met Rice at the table with arms outstretched, moving her hands toward Rice's face but apparently not touching her.

After she was taken outside the hearing room, Ali-Fairooz smeared her painted hands on the hallway wall. A crew painted over the marks.
The photograph of the confrontation is here.

Next to Ali-Fairooz is Congressman Tom Lantos,
the far-left California Democrat who laid into General David Petraeus during his own September testimony. Ali-Fairooz and Lantos: Same hatred, different methods.

Note Rice's calmness as well. That's dignity.