Lights Mysteriously Go Dark Above Peace Protesters at DNC

P. Gardner Goldsmith | July 28, 2016
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The people who handled the rental of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the Democrat National Convention might want to get their money back due to the terrible wiring that screwed up a key breakthrough on Wednesday, July 17.

At a crucial moment of the multi-night event - when the long-suffering, long-silent anti-war community in the party finally found a voice to protest their government - the lights of the arena suddenly went black in just the spot where the protesters were standing.

Had to have been a fluke.

After all, the target of their derision and rancor was merely Leon Panetta, former CIA Director for President Obama and a former member of Congress – the embodiment of the old saw that any political hack will do for government work.

And Mr. Panetta was talking about the “War (sic) on Terror,” how effective his candidate has been and would be at stopping the spread of “terror” around the world, and how much safer we can all feel thanks to the leadership of the current administration in DC. He was claiming that the other major candidate “asks our troops to commit War Crimes, endorses torture, spurns our allies from Europe to Asia, suggests that countries have nuclear weapons. He praises dictators from Saddam Hussein to Vladimir Putin.”

But, despite turning his tanned mug into a self-portrait of arrogant condescension, he had to pause at that point because a large swath of people in the crowd began to chant, “No More War!” and “Liar! Liar!” It was almost as if the left-wing protesters were, for one of the first times in the past eight years, exposing the hypocrisy of his statements, and that of his Administration.

It was almost as if they remembered Panetta’s involvement in a drone assassination program that often killed innocent people overseas.

Perhaps they’d read this from an excellent piece by David R. Henderson (editor of "The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics”) and Phillip Crawford:

“As director of the CIA, Mr. Panetta has been in charge of CIA programs that killed hundreds, if not thousands, of people in Pakistan.

“According to the Dawn, Pakistan’s oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper, of the 44 Predator strikes carried out by U.S. drones in the tribal areas of Pakistan in 2009, only five were able to hit their actual targets, killing five key al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, but at the cost of over 700 innocent civilians. For each al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorist killed by U.S. drones, 140 innocent Pakistanis also had to die.

“In June 2009, a CIA drone fired a Hellfire missile that destroyed a “suspected militant hideout” in a border village in Pakistan, burying a family inside the ruins of the building. When rescuers rushed to help the injured, the hovering drone fired a second missile, killing 13 of those seeking to help the victims of the first strike. On the next day, a funeral procession for the dead was also hit, killing 80 civilians. The funeral attack was reportedly aimed at Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud, though officials acknowledged that he was not killed in the salvo.”

Or, perhaps they recalled seeing President-elect Obama deflect a direct question from ABC host George Stephanopoulos prior to his first inauguration, when Stephanopoulos asked him if water-boarding and other forms of interrogation deemed torture would continue to be conducted.

They might have recalled President-elect Obama saying that, under his administration, the US Army would no longer engage in that activity. They might have felt bad for the members of the Army, because the torture program was done by proxies working for the CIA under what is called the “rendition” program. They might have noted that, just as Mr. Obama’s verbal sidestep indicated it might, the rendition program that began under President Clinton when Mr. Panetta was Chief of Staff would continue under none other than Mr. Panetta when he became head of the CIA during the Obama Administration.

They might have recalled the Presidential nominee Mr. Panetta was supporting voted for the invasion and military occupation of Iraq, and the occupation of Pakistan, and helped foment the overthrow of Libya, and that Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist Seymour Hersh has accused her of being intimately involved in the arming of radical Syrian rebels.

Whatever it was, suddenly, the anti-war faction in the arena found their voice, and drowned out Mr. Panetta for a few fleeting moments.

Then the lights over them went out, making the group virtually invisible to news cameras.

How could that be?

Those electricians at the Wells Fargo Center had better give the organizers of the convention a big rebate. After all, aren’t these big party ceremonies crowning the “future leaders of the free world” all about inclusiveness and hearing differing opinions?

Perhaps the folks running this big shin dig are just so concerned about "Global... Er... Climate-Change-Warming" that they decided on the spot to reduce their "carbon footprint!"

What’s kind of neat is that the protesters reacted quickly to these shenanigans, turning on their phones and waving them to attract even more attention.

Funny how top-down government attempts to stop free speech and peaceful behavior end up merely inspiring people to be creative and get around the prohibitions…

The people running the lights tried to shut down a circuit, but the protesters re-routed.

A tip o’ the hat to them. Even in the dark, they got their message out. It has been a long time coming.