Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan has recently been informed that she is the target of an IRS lawsuit. She posted the following on her Facebook page:
I just got a notice from the IRS that I owe them 104 grand and they are going to levy my bank accounts and property. I don’t have any property and there’s less than 150.00 in my bank accounts. Looks like Fed Prison is in my future. I would rather go to prison than fund the crimes of this government. I am going to send them a notice that they owe me infinity dollars for killing my son.
Further details of the case are not yet available, but to think of this ending up with Sheehan in prison is sickening. Let’s just consider some news to contextualize this. Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies recently conducted research on the costs of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan; their estimation was $3.7 trillion. One report from the Center for Public Integrity on Monday investigates the wasteful Pentagon practice of give-away no-bid contracts for the defense industry, which has ballooned to a $140 billion problem in 2011. Today, the findings of a bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan were released which said that “at least one in every six dollars of U.S. spending for contracts and grants in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade, or more than $30 billion, has been wasted.”
The Brown University study found that, estimating conservatively, “in human terms, 224 000 to 258 000 people have died directly from warfare, including 125 000 civilians in Iraq. Many more have died indirectly, from the loss of clean drinking water, healthcare, and nutrition. An additional 365 000 have been wounded and 7.8 million people – equal to the combined population of Connecticut and Kentucky – have been displaced.” In Iraq, 4,792 coalition soldiers have died and 2,698 in Afghanistan. Sheehan’s son was one of those thousands.
Neither of these wars were necessary, and the lengthy occupations are even less so. After all these costs, for unnecessary and criminal foreign policies, the United States government is threatening to put a peace activist in prison for $104,000 that they have been unable to steal from her, at least in part to fund their horrible murderous crimes abroad. Even the most mainstream, knucklehead, Republican or Democrat has the ability to sense something wrong here.