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The Missing Story - rejected by the Post

By       Message Sally McMillan     Permalink
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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that the arrest of 131 veterans chained to the White House fence on December 16   in the snow is news.

The arrest of Lindsey Lohan is news.

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The arrest of the 10th Georgia football player in 2010 is news.

The arrest of the trash-can cat lady is news.

Perhaps these veterans of Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan are less newsworthy than Lindsey, football players, and other outlandish performers on the world stage.

Or perhaps their actions are less sexy and entertaining, thus less newsworthy, than Lindsey's, the football players', and other bizarre performances that deserve page one.

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Or perhaps their message is less acceptable to a government that "is making progress" in   our wars and doesn't want the voices of dissent to be heard.   Perhaps this government instructed the media to not cover an event led by 500 veterans and their supporters that called for peace, not war.

It seems strange that the White House and the entire mainstream media should have missed   the words of   well-known American heroes such as Daniel Ellsberg, Ray McGovern, Medea Benjamin, Dr. Margaret Flowers, Chris Hedges, Brian Becker, Mike Ferner and others.   Strange that they did not know of the silent line of   veterans or hear the drumbeats as these heroes marched to the White House to call on their commander-in-chief to end these wars now, not tomorrow, not four years from now.

If the media missed this event or thought it wasn't newsworthy, surely we cannot count on them to honestly cover other important   events taking place around the world .   If the government ignored this action surely it cannot claim to respect our veterans and to listen to all sides.   If the media and the government   hear only the voices for war, then the basic ideals of our constitution are in danger.   Freedom of speech and freedom of the press   are marginalized.

This was a missed opportunity for the President to engage with the American people through engagement with these veterans.   This was a missed opportunity for the media to show its independence from the White House and   the Pentagon by presenting to the American people the legitimate voices of dissent from veterans who have fought our wars.  

The good news is that the new year will present many more opportunities. The actions of Dec. 16 are the start of a renewed and reinvigorated peace movement that will take on the war machine and tell Americans the truth -   our security comes from peace and justice, not war and body scanners.

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Sally McMillan is a mother, a grandmother, an activist and a writer. She's from Philadelphia, Iowa, and now Albuquerque. She has four children and 12 grandchildren.

She is a graduate of Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia PA (more...)

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