TUCSON, Ariz. – Two men ran onstage and threw custard pies at conservative columnist Ann Coulter as she was giving a speech at the University of Arizona, hitting her in the shoulder, police said.
UPDATE: Video here
The sinister atmosphere at Karmah barracks is not difficult to understand. The marines are convinced that many, perhaps most, of the 140 members of the Iraqi National Guard (ING) they share the camp with are double agents working on behalf of the insurgents holding Fallujah.
In the past week alone the marines have arrested five of the guardsmen, including their commanding officer, Capt Ali Mohammed Jasim.
It is just one example that a Vietnam-era experiment Washington resurrected to form the backbone of an offensive planned by the end of the year to retake Fallujah, the crucible of Iraq's insurgency, is going disastrously wrong. Under the Combined Action Platoon (CAP) scheme, US soldiers train Iraqi guardsmen, live with them in the same barracks and venture out on joint patrols, all steps towards a longer-term objective of the withdrawal of American troops.
The plan was first developed in Vietnam, where US marines cohabited with local militias to defend villages from Vietcong raids. At the same time the marines trained the militiamen with the intention of turning them into an effective fighting force, but they were too ill-equipped and underpaid for the plan to have much success.
Famed shareholder attorney William S. Lerach will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. today to discuss insider self-dealing by officers of Sinclair Broadcasting, the Baltimore-based television chain that is forcing its affiliates to show a propaganda film that attacks presidential candidate John Kerry. He will release a set of demands aimed at making Sinclair executives disgorge millions of dollars in unjustified profits taken out of the firm when stock prices were high during the past 12 months. Yesterday the company's stock fell a further 8 percent after being down more than 50 percent from the year's beginning, as advertisers pulled back to avoid the station's self-generated political controversy.
Civil liberties T-shirts trigger 'alarm'
Janet Voorhies said she was curious to see how Republicans would react when she and two other women showed up at President Bush's Central Point rally wearing T-shirts stating "Protect Our Civil Liberties."
She got her answer before the president even spoke. The three women were ejected from the rally and escorted from the Jackson County Fairgrounds by state police officers who warned them they would be arrested if they tried to return.
Republican officials said they weren't exactly sure why a volunteer at the event demanded that the three women leave the rally. But a Bush campaign spokesman, Tracey Schmitt, said: "It is not the position of the campaign that wearing a T-shirt that says protect civil liberties is enough to conclude someone is disruptive."
Thursday night's action was the latest in a series of incidents in which people have been removed from Bush campaign events for expressing opposition to the president. Officials say the events are open to supporters and people who are considering voting for Bush, but they are quick to act when they think there is a possibility of disruption.
Voorhies, 48, a student teacher who lives in Ashland, said she and two other teachers obtained tickets to the event after saying they were undecided voters. She said she does not expect to vote for Bush, however.
She said the three decided to wear T-shirts that weren't critical of the president but expressed an issue "important to us. . . . We were testing the limits of the Republican Party, of who is allowed to be at a rally for the president."
Voorhies said the three made it through all three checkpoints and assured volunteers who questioned them that they would not disrupt the event. But when Voorhies was on her way to the bathroom, she was stopped by a volunteer who told her she wasn't welcome.
She said this volunteer pointed to her shirt and said it was "obscene."