Thursday, 23 February 2012

Anti-War Activist Cindy Sheehan Refuses to Pay Taxes

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Notorious anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed fighting in Iraq, is being sued by the federal government on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service for openly refusing to pay taxes since 2004. She responded to the charges by claiming to be a “conscientious tax objector” because the money is being used to wage “illegal and immoral” wars.

“It’s not a secret, and hasn’t been one for about 8 years now, that I am a conscientious tax objector,” Sheehan wrote in a recent opinion piece, blasting President Obama. “My son was killed in this bloody Empire’s illegal and immoral war in Iraq: I made a moral decision to refuse to fund the Empire’s crimes, tortures and wars. I have not been hiding from anybody and am fully accessible and easy to find.”

Rather than expressing concern about being hauled into federal court, Sheehan seemed thrilled after learning about the IRS action from a reporter, calling the case an “opportunity.” The longtime anti-war crusader also emphasized that she was not afraid of the federal government or what it might do to her. 

“When those papers were filed against me — the Feds did something that I have been trying to do for years — put its evil, illegal, and immoral wars on trial,” she wrote. “The Feds have thrown down the gauntlet against someone who has absolutely not one ounce of fear of them, and when it’s over, they’ll know they have been in a fight.”

Sheehan told a local reporter that she has already paid the U.S. government more than enough, citing the life of her son. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan was killed in April of 2004 outside of Baghdad while serving in “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”  

After her 24-year-old son died, Sheehan began a long campaign of anti-war activism that eventually made headlines around the world. Her most prominent protest involved camping outside of then-President George W. Bush’s ranch near Crawford, Texas, and demanding a meeting with the man she claimed had used lies to trick the nation into a war for oil.

Since then, Sheehan has continued her high-profile activism, taking up various leftist causes and even joining hands with the so-called “Occupy” movement to attack the “one percent.” She also continues to speak out against President Obama’s policies, as well as the administration’s expansion of undeclared wars.   

The most recent action, filed Tuesday in federal court in California, seeks to force Sheehan to disclose her financial records. According to officials and documents cited in news reports, the IRS took action because the anti-war activist refused to comply with an official summons demanding information.

Sheehan maintains that the tax agency — led by Timothy “TurboTax” Geithner — singled her out for speaking up, possibly to make an example of her. The U.S. Attorney’s office denied that when contacted by reporters.

Still, Sheehan said she will continue to resist no matter what. "I feel like I gave my son to this country in an illegal and immoral war. I'll never get him back," Sheehan told a reporter for Channel 10, a local news agency. "And, so, if they can give me my son back, then I'll pay my taxes. And that's not going to happen."

It was not immediately clear how much money Sheehan allegedly owes the IRS. However, she published two books during the years in question — Dear President Bush and Peace Mom: A Mother’s Journey Through Heartache To Activism.

“There is no monetary value large enough that can be placed on a human life or the love of a mother for her child,” Sheehan wrote after learning of the IRS’ efforts. “I consider that my debt to this country was paid in full when my son, Casey, was recklessly … murdered for the lies of a regime.”

In the piece, Sheehan accused the Obama administration of targeting her while protecting former President Bush and members of his administration, who she said had committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and high crimes against the U.S. Constitution. As such, she said, it was her moral duty not to pay taxes. 

Related articles:

Is IRS Targeting Obama's Enemies?

One Year After Obama's Peace Prize: Where’s the Peace?

IRS Makes Americans International Pariahs

The Income Tax and Sovereignty

Feds Slammed for Spying on Anti-war Groups, Lying

Anti-War Nun, Priests, Grandmas Sentenced to Prison

FBI Targets Antiwar Activists

Big Soros Money Linked to “Occupy Wall Street”

Photo of Cindy Sheehan: AP Images