All Photos by Bill Perry. (Thanks!)
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” – The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States
HEMPSTEAD, NEW YORK – At the gates of Hofstra University, a peaceful march by 400 members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and independent citizens was met by over 100 policemen who attacked the protestors when they refused to retreat and stop exercising their freedom of speech on October 15. The marchers were attempting to ask a couple questions of Senators Barack Obama and John McCain as they were debating. Nick Morgan, Iraq war veteran, was trampled by a police horse on his ribs and face, breaking his orbital in three places, as shown in the photos. See this video, which is a must-see that I chose as the best at representing the events.
Let’s take an eagle’s eye view for a moment – an image of an unconscious Iraq veteran bleeding with a crushed face on a sidewalk in Hempstead, New York while protesting the War of Terror more befits the war-torn streets of Baghdad, Sadr City, Kandahar, or the Pakistan borderlands. These images and news were not shown to the public watching the presidential debates. There is no mention of the incident in the mainstream media with the exception of this short Associated Press snippet where they quote Nassau County Police Lt. Kevin Smith saying “one person may have received a minor injury.” This inaction is nothing short of almost criminal negligence behavior by the American media cartel and the AP. If you expect me to believe that MSM is able to report every single little murder within a 1000-mile radius of your home but miss the story of an Iraq vet getting his face smashed in by a police horse right outside of the presidential debate that they are covering, you will be waiting for eternity. Cheryl Biren-Wright of OpEdNews pounds into this AP article in more detail here.
Since MSM will not air them, I will. Here are the questions these veterans ask of these candidates:
“Senator McCain, on July 9th 2008 you were quoted saying “I've received every award from every major veterans organization in America but the reason why I have a perfect voting record from organizations like Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and all the other Veterans Service Organizations is because of my support of them.”
However, there are non-partisan Veterans Organizations such as the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), and the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) who've noted that you've consistently voted against important issues such as increased VA funding in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. This summer, another Veterans Organization, Veterans for Common Sense filed suit against the VA and discovered that approximately 1000 Veterans under their care are attempting suicide each month, with an average of 17 succeeding every 30 days. Government surveys conclude that over 300,000 21st Century Warriors are currently suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, while only 67 thousand have been diagnosed with PTSD, and less than half of those are collecting disability benefits. Doctors and Nurses at the VA are struggling to treat the 2 million American Troops who've deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. What promises are you willing to make, as a Veteran, as a Senator, as a Presidential Candidate, to the Veterans of the United States to prove that you will ensure the VA is fully funded, staffed, and capable of preventing Troops from suffering as they are now, after they've served our great nation overseas?“
- Sergeant Kristofer Goldsmith, Operation Iraqi Freedom III Veteran
“Senator Obama, you have said that the War and Occupation of Iraq is illegal. If by your words, it is illegal, then it is not only the right of service members such as myself to refuse deployment and participation in Iraq, it is also our responsibility. Sir, as President, are you willing to go by your own words and back them up, and support service members refusing to participate in what you have, in your own words, termed an “Illegal Occupation”?“
-Sergeant Matthis Chiroux, Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran
There is nothing wrong or criminal about these questions. [On a much happier note, at the Baldwin-Nader debate, Nick Morgan’s question on civil liberty violations was asked here.] Sergeant Chiroux states the IVAW side of the story here:
“Our intent was made clear in a letter to Bob Schieffer, the debate moderator, one week prior. We wanted two members of our organization inside the debate where they would ask one question of Obama and one of McCain. If CBS and the candidates failed to meet our demands, we would march on Hofstra at 7 p.m. in a peaceful attempt to enter the debate to have our voices heard…
“Non-violence was stressed in every stage leading up to this action. It was stressed by Kris and I to Det. Thomas J. Calvert and Det. Robert Annese of the Nassau County Police Department the day before the action. Calvert and Annese were in charge of security for the debate, and they assured us they would instruct their officers to respect the non-violent spirit of the action by using restraint towards peaceful veterans and demonstrators.
“In every stage of planning, IVAW made every effort to keep all planned tactics and actions “above the table” so that the candidates, the media, the police and the country would know exactly what would happen if our demands were not met. We were at Hofstra to force the issue that veterans and servicemembers are not being cared for or heard from by our government, and the candidates, CBS and the Nassau County Police Department couldn’t have proved us more correct.
“We, the veterans and our supporters, stood together in solidarity, knowing the stakes were high. But a resolve echoed deep from with us to stand our ground and be heard. Twice these candidates [at their first and second presidential debates] had brushed us off, and thrice just wasn’t going to happen. So at seven PM when we’d heard nothing from the moderators, IVAW made good on its promise to the candidates and Det. Calvert. We marched to the front gate of Hofstra, read our questions and peacefully proceeded into police lines. Because these candidates cared more to hear from “Joe the Plumber” than veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, ten veterans went to jail and five civilian supporters joined us. This upsets me, but I knew the risk, and if I must fall in defense of democracy, peace and justice, I offer my sacrifice willingly.“
A total of fifteen protestors were arrested, of whom 10 are veterans. The veterans were Matthis Chiroux (Army Sergeant, 5 years, Afghanistan), Kristofer Goldsmith (Army Sergeant, 2004-2007, Iraq), Adam Kokesh (Marine Sergeant, Iraq), Mike Spinato (Marine Corps), Geoff Millard (Army Sergeant, 9 years, Iraq), Marlisa Grogan (Marine Captain, 2002-2006, Iraq), Nathan Peld (Navy, 1998-2004), Nick Morgan (Army Sergeant, 4 years, ironically with the 1st Calvary Division, Iraq), [name deleted per veterans' request] and Jose Vasquez (Army & Army Reserves, 1992-2007). The citizens were Ryan Olander, Paul Blasenheim, David M. Disimino, Lianne Gillooly, and Megan Day.
Sergeant Chiroux went on to charge that allegedly after the groups’ arrest the following occurred:
- The police officers withheld medical treatment after arresting a barely conscious Nick Morgan, who was later reported to have suffered a concussion. When the other veterans requested treatment, the officers responded by laughing at them and said Morgan would receive no help unless he himself asked to go to the hospital. When the veterans pointed out that Morgan was unable to respond due to his serious head injury, the police responded with “too bad.”
- Morgan was given improper medical attention. Although diagnosed with a fractured cheekbone, he was given nothing more than Motrin for the pain and returned to the police station where he sat chained to a bench for 5 hours with no further medical attention at all until his release at some ungodly hour in the morning.
- The police repeatedly flipped open and shut a knife close to a veteran's face while he was handcuffed to a bench, even after he respectfully explained he had PTSD and asked the officer to cease brandishing the blade. The officer continued flipping the knife open and shut near his face.
- Chiroux was threatened with prison rape. When Chiroux asked to speak to a lawyer, an officer threatened to place him in the back of the jail where “the big boys will pop your cherry.” When Chiroux asked this officer if he had just threatened an honorably discharged veteran of Afghanistan with prison rape and requested his name and rank, he refused and told him to look it up on the police report, which was not delivered as of October 20.
- The three females arrested, including Iraq veteran Marine Reserve Captain Marlisa Grogan, were sexually harassed by the police. The police held ID’s next to the chained women’s faces and make comments such as, “you look like you came out of a Barbie magazine.” After their release late at night, one of the police officers asked one of the arrested citizens, Megan Day at a late night diner if he could have her phone number and could stay in touch. Megan expressed to Chiroux her disgust immediately after the incident occurred.
- The veterans and protestors were verbally abused. They were called “cowards,” “idiots” and “whiners.” “This non-violent protest stuff is retarded. See how it got your friend’s face f***ed up?” “Look at your friend’s face, you’re responsible for that.”
Iraq veteran Adam Kokesh was given special treatment. Why? Well, Adam has been making quite a name for himself with our police state. To the derision of a huge crowd, he managed to interrupt McCain’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention by holding a signs stating “McCain Votes Against Vets” and “You Can’t Win An Occupation.” He is an avid Ron Paul supporter and also gave a moving speech at the Revolution March here. Here is a video and the partial hidden microphone transcript:
Cop 1: Aww that’s really nice man. You’re under arrest man.
Adam Kokesh: You never told me I was under arrest. I just got…
Cop 1: Oh you’re in handcuffs? Good for you…
Adam Kokesh: I never got read my rights. I never was told I was under arrest for anything.
Cop 1: Oh you know what happens when you get handcuffs thrown on.
Cop 2: Yeah you watch too much TV. We don’t need rights, alright? That’s on COPS.
Adam Kokesh: I dont have any expectations.
Cop 2: You know what I am saying? This is New York baby.
Adam Kokesh: I dont have any expectations.
Cop 2: We do things different in New York I don’t know where you’re from.
I am not going to dwell too much on these pathetic excuses for men, let alone officers of the law, as it does little good to strike at the branches of evil, you need to strike at the root, which is in Part 2. However, I will note that the Nassau County Police Department mission statement contains the following: “ We obey the law and respect the human dignity of all people. We are committed to honesty and ethical behavior in all our actions. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of all people. We are committed to fairness, strength, respect, and compassion in our interactions with the people we serve.” Yeah, right. And pigs will fly.
This article has described and documented this event. See source list for more details. Part 2 will cover the McBama responses (much shorter as there have been none) and I will republish veteran Kristopher Goldsmith’s May 2008 Congressional testimony in my column for the fourth time and a message from Ron Paul.
It is my belief that this event is just as significant as the famed Kent State and Jackson State Vietnam protests, but may just as easily fade away. Thankfully, no one was killed, although my guess is that it still would have been blacked out by the media. Always remember here that it was the VETERANS who were attacked and tortured. (Yes, what Chiroux alleges the police does meet the legal definition of torture.) If you think you will not be eventually attacked because you support the war, because you are a woman, because you are a Christian, because you are not old enough to vote, guess again. That is exactly what the Germans in Nazi Germany thought 75 years ago. (The Coming of the Third Reich by Robert Evans, 2003.) This link will be sent to a few newspapers editors, where I will respectfully request them to publish a feature article on this event.
If I may be so bold as to offer a few words of advice to the protesting veterans after reading your statements and blogs, it is that I do not believe you mean to fight for “democracy.” Democracy literally means “rule by majority.” This means that 51% wins, regardless whether it is just or desired by the remainder. There are plenty of literary articles on this subject, but democracy can be summed up as “mob rule” and is a horrible misnomer thrown about by the Establishment to enslave, i.e. “spreading democracy in Iraq/Middle East/China/etc.” By its true name, what you are fighting for is freedom and liberty for yourselves, for me, and for all of us. You are fighting so that the Constitution, the compact made with We the People, of our constitutional Republic does not die a final death. In fact, try searching the Constitution for the word “democracy.” Or even the Declaration of Independence? Guess what? You won't find it. Congressman Ron Paul writes about it here in “Democracy Isn’t Freedom.”
To keep it simple, just watch Star Wars again if need be. Luke Skywalker and Yoda are the revolutionary republicans seeking freedom and liberty. Darth Vader and Emperor Constantine are the imperious democrats seeking statism, oppression, and total control. See how the dual party system has even managed to sow confusion even on the very meaning of these words? Both the Republican and Democratic parties want to be Darth Vader and Emperor Constantine.
Alternatively, please let me paraphrase one of Ben Franklin's famous maxims in a modern context:
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is when the lamb shows up grinning to vote with an assault rifle.
From all I have read, it is my experience that in cases like this where civil liberties are trampled on, most of the time the news media or authorities report that they were the first ones attacked, or the protestors were breaking some law. The government then replies with overwhelming force and violence. Normally these attacks take place outside of the United States, but are all too often inspired by American imperialistic policies. For instance take a look at the University of Chicago’s Economic Department’s (the so-called 'Chicago Boys') and/or the American government’s support or influence on General Pinochet’s fascist regime, Carlos Menem’s Argentina, Paz’s Bolivia, General Branco’s Brazil, Suharto’s Indonesian police state, Yeltsin’s Russia, China’s Tiananmen, Rhee’s Korea, the last 60 years of protests and crimes in Okinawa, and many, many more. They all used or used pretty much the same tactics on civilian populations so their governments could do what they wished on the economic front. Heck, the strategy is so simple even I could do it.
Shock. Suppress. Divide. Conquer. Propagandize. Repeat. The same tactics are now being launched in the USA. And don’t try telling me it has never happened in the United States, and a police state just can't happen. here You are living in a box. Try reading more of my police state articles below or investigate for yourself what really happened during Katrina or the 1999 Battle of Seattle protests against the WTO or the 2002 chemical weapon attacks on protestors in Portland, Oregon as they marched on President Bush and a Republican fundraiser. (Sources: Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) or Chalmer Johnson’s Blowback (2000)) Rodney King, Kent State, Concentration Camps for American Japanese during WWII…
Activists are encouraged to join up at the Facebook site “I Support the Hempstead 15.” Anyone is encouraged to visit the Iraq Veterans Against the War mission statement which calls for immediate withdrawal from Iraq here. For obvious reasons, I also recommend joining up at www.CampaignForLiberty.com. The only peaceful way to win against a police state is for everyone against it to join together and protest against it before it is too late. And I am talking millions, although thousands is a good start. However, history has taught that peaceful protesting has real lousy win/loss record against a determined tyranny. The last resort involves owning lots of ammunition and food.
On November 10th 2008, the Marine Corps Birthday, and one day before Veterans Day, most of the Hempstead 15 will be heard in court. The IVAW have invited everyone to come out “in support of the very Freedoms granted by the United States Constitution that we swore to uphold and defend when joining the military.” The location is First District Court, County of Nassau, Arraignment Part, 99 Main Street, Hempstead New York 11550 (Room 268). Adam Kokesh's day in court is scheduled for November 20th.
Life with Liberty or Death. Why? Because the middle ground on regimes that support preemptive wars and torture and suppress free speech holds only the barrens of Slavery.
- Jake, the Champion of the Constitution [Reach the Author Here!]
The Hempstead 15 Source List
- Videos of Iraq Veterans Against the War protest at Hofstra University, Third McBama presidential debate, 10/15/2008 (same as used in article) (another1) (another2)
- Sergeant Matthis Chiroux, 10/20/2008 Statement “Hooves of fury stampede over veterans/U.S. Constitution Oct. 15“
- Sergeant Nick Morgan, Statement from Hospital, 10/22/2008
- Bill Perry, Photo Archive
- Cheryl Biren-Wright, 10/16/2008 OpEdNews article “Meet the Protester Who 'May Have Received a Minor Injury' at the Hofstra Debate“
- Nick Morgan Question asked at Baldwin-Nader debate on 10/23/2008
- Associated Press 10/15/2008 article “Police: 15 protesters arrested outside LI debate”
- Alex Kane 10/16/2008 IndyBlog “At Least Nine Demonstrators Arrested as Iraq Vets Try to Enter Final Presidential Debate”
- Air Force Times, 10/17/2008. “Veterans arrested in protest outside debate.“
- Adam Kokesh Arrest Video and Transcript, posted by WarOnYou on 10/18/2008. Mr. E’s YouTube video.
- Adam Kokesh, Ron Paul Revolution March Speech, July 2008.
- Adam Kokesh, Protest during McCain Coronation Ceremony, September 2008.
- Adam Kokesh, IVAW member page.
- Nick Morgan, IVAW member page.
- Kristopher Goldsmith, IVAW member page.
- Matthis Chiroux, IVAW member page.
- Jose Vasquez, IVAW member page.
- Geoff Millard, IVAW member page.
- Marlisa Grogan, IVAW member page.
- Nathan Peld, IVAW member page.
- “I support the Hempstead 15” Facebook page.
- Ron Paul. “Democracy is Not Freedom.” 2005.
- Ron Paul. “Is America becoming a police state?” 2004.
- Iraq Veterans Against the War mission statement for immediate withdrawal from Iraq.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
As always, unlike the NFL, the author grants full permission to allow any accounts of, rebroadcasts, retransmissions, repostings in part or full of this article to your blog or anywhere else in order to promote the Restoration of our Republic.
Veritas numquam perit. Veritas odit moras. Veritas vincit. Truth never perishes. Truth hates delay. Truth conquers.
The “Pssssst…. We Live in a Police State!” Collection
Spill a Soda, Go to Jail for a Year
Published: September 27, 2008
The latest strange-but-true antics of oppression from our dear Police State. Check out the story of the infamous soda-spiller at a Veteran's Affairs Hospital in Idaho.
Police State Invades Mayor's Home & Kills His Dogs (UPDATED)
Published: August 1, 2008
“It was inconceivable to me that my government would be coming through my door.” – the Mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, or a recent police raid on his residence
We the People versus the Might of the US Government
Published: March 2, 2008
What do the experiences of SAS trooper Ben Griffin, Hope Steffey, and Jose Padilla all have in common? They show the Might of Government is overwhelming Right. We the People want Justice!
Tortured Twins: John McCain and the Trial of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed
Published: September 2, 2008
To very little public fanfare from my beloved American media, a Mockery of a Trial of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, alleged al-Qaeda mastermind, is getting underway in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Is John McCain losing any sleep over it? Doubt it.
US Military Draft Creeps Closer – Ron Paul and I Defy Senators “Barackcuda” Obama and “Just-Bomb-It” McCain
Published: July 21, 2008
Gaze ye at the Face of Evil and know it for what it truly is. America, Have No Fear.
First They Came for Those Who Didn't Pay Their Taxes…
Published: April 19, 2008
Then They Came for the Ron Paul Supporters. The Fight that Defeated the late, great boxer Joe Louis Continues.
Ron Paul Reports – The “Mother of All Bailouts” Bill
Published: July 24, 2008
The “Mother of All Bailouts” Bill. And the IRS will now access all your credit card transactions. Really.
Other Recommended Articles by the Author
Complaint re: Veteran Suicide Cover-Up by Department of Veteran Affairs Mental Health Division
Published: October 5, 2008
Did you know that 18 American war veterans die every day? And did you know that Veteran's Affairs has no idea why? And did you know….
US Soldier 2008 Body Count in Afghanistan Sets All-Time High
Published: October 5, 2008
Imagine you are in a room, alone with 20 American soldiers for one day. At sunset, all their bodies thud to the floor, stone dead. At dawn, 20 more enter the room and again die at sunset. It repeats every day for 7 years. It will repeat tomorrow. This is what I know of their story, their sad statistics.
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