Editor's Note: Much has been made of the arrest of Gold Star mother Cindy Sheehan before last night's State of the Union address. Mainstream media coverage has made it seem as if Sheehan was in the balcony of the House of Representatives under false pretenses. In fact, she was invited. Representative Lynn Woolsey, Democrat of California, personally purchased a ticket to the speech for Sheehan. Below, please find Rep. Woolsey's statement regarding the arrest of Cindy Sheehan. --wrp/TO

Woolsey Statement regarding Cindy Sheehan
By Representative Lynn Woolsey
t r u t h o u t | Statement

Wednesday 01 February 2006

Washington, DC - US Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) today issued the following statement regarding Cindy Sheehan's arrest in the gallery of the House of Representatives before the State of the Union address. Mrs. Sheehan was Rep. Lynn Woolsey's guest to the President's State of the Union address.

"Since when is free speech conditional on whether you agree with the President? Cindy Sheehan, who gave her own flesh and blood for this disastrous war, did not violate any rules of the House of Representatives. She merely wore a shirt that highlighted the human cost of the Iraq war and expressed a view different than that of the President. Free speech and the First Amendment exist to protect dissenting statements like Ms. Sheehan's last night."

"Stifling the truth will not blind Americans to the immorality of sending young Americans to die in an unnecessary war, against a nation that posed no threat to our security. The President's speech last night was yet another attempt to distort history, as he suggested - once again - that the 9/11 terrorists came from Iraq. Everyone knows this is not true. We must not be afraid to say that the emperor has no clothes. It's time to bring our troops home."