Navigate to News section

More on President Obama’s Heckler

We profiled Medea Benjamin back last year

Adam Chandler
May 23, 2013
Madea Benjamin(Getty)
Madea Benjamin(Getty)

Earlier today, as President Obama sought to outline his counterterrorism policy along with a renewed call to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay today, his speech was interrupted a few times by Code Pink co-founder named Medea Benjamin.

A noteworthy thing about the interruptions–beyond the fact that President Obama momentarily acknowledged and engaged with her–was that she managed to interrupt three times before being escorted out. This isn’t the first we’ve heard from Benjamin nor will it be the last; last year, we sent Jacob Silverman (making his second appearance on The Scroll today) to a conference on drones in Washington, D.C. where he met with Benjamin, some members of Code Pink, and parts of the consortium trying to lobby for changes in the American foreign policy and its use of drones.

At the time, Code Pink was trying to capitalize on the energy surrounding the Occupy Wall Street movement, but was having difficulty finding a foil in President Obama that they had in President Bush:

Here’s what that guild of doves is up against: powerful military contractors, the intelligence community, a 55-member Congressional Unmanned Systems Caucus, and the president himself. Benjamin’s campaign also comes at a nadir for the antiwar left. The election of Barack Obama sapped the energy from her organization, which had thrived as much on theatrical gestures of pique toward George W. Bush as it did on opposition to that administration’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Code Pink is much smaller than we were during the Bush years,” Benjamin admitted. “We find that though the core members of Code Pink are just as angry at Obama as we were at Bush, a lot of the people who supported Code Pink became quiet when Obama got elected.” (In its 2010 IRS filing, the organization reported $317,380 in assets—or about 7 percent of the cost of one Predator drone.)

It may take a lot, but Code Pink can still make the news.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.