Cindy Sheehan: Stealing Rent Money From A Gold Star Mother – OpEd


For a brief review, I have been a War Tax Resister since my son was killed in Iraq on April 04, 2004. My only regret was that I ever paid my taxes to this murderous, thieving government in the first place. After almost nine years, the IRS has finally decided to use their powers of thuggery to bring the full force of their illegal aggression upon me, a Gold Star Mother.

Before my son was killed, my family was living the American Nightmare. There were times when I worked two or three jobs just to keep our family covered with health insurance because my husband was an independent contractor. Even back then, our insurance bill was about a grand/month.

Cindy Sheehan
Cindy Sheehan

Casey joined the military in 2000, in part to help pay for his university education. He had already completed every credit he could at a local community college, but he was feeling the pressure of having a full-time job and going to school and didn’t want to burden the family further. Casey paid for his desire for a university education with his life and we buried him on April 13, 2004 and I vowed to never, ever again contribute financially or morally to the organization that killed my son.

The US attorney dragged me before a federal magistrate last April who seemed sympathetic to my cause. Then they dragged me back to answer questions to participate in incriminating myself, I refused and took the 5th Amendment.

Since then, the IRS has been vigorously looking for all my millions of dollars that I must have hidden around in the Caymans or Switzerland and it has stumbled upon $13 in my PayPal account and today the IRS mugged $269 from my bank account that was being saved up for my November rent.

I live a hand to mouth existence and usually if I receive an online donation or payment for a book I go directly to the bank to remove it and save it in my sock drawer, but I am traveling on book tour and am in a strange city and my guard was lowered.

It infuriates me that corporations pay very little in Federal taxes and, in fact, at times, get exorbitant refunds paid for by you tax paying citizens.

It saddens me that US war criminals are not only not held accountable, but receive medals, great tax payer funded benefits AND secret service protection.

However, what I don’t think these people, (whether they are “elected” officials or wage-slaves petty thugocrats), sabé the fact that they can’t do anything worse to me than they already have. The tax collectors of the Empire rejoice in taking a “widow’s mite,” and bringing down enemies of the state with their thugocracy, but my son had his “last measure” stolen from him and I am still standing and resisting with all my might!

My son wanted a university degree and he got a grave and, for me, that’s not a movie, TV show, or a one-time 21-gun salute, it’s for real and the pain is forever.

I want peace and I want my government to stop killing and oppressing people all over the world and all I get is jail time, fines, persecuted by the IRS and a precarious life where I am one more stolen bike or stolen bank account away from penury.

I know that I am not the only one in the US who is living such a precarious existence and we have to recognize our enemies aren’t in foreign lands or the activists, homeless, single mothers, or immigrants; our enemies sit in the rotten marble halls of power and it’s time we made their very existence precarious and I am not talking about voting for Barack Obama—he’s had four years to prove he is not an able servant of the 1% and he has failed. I am also not talking about voting for Mitt Romney, he sits on the throne of the King of the 1%. I am talking about a revolution of values—what if everyone who feels the same way I do refused to pay taxes or otherwise financially support things that we don’t morally support?

I am grateful for my colleagues who give me moral and, at time, financial support to help resist the Behemoth monster of the Empire and I am grateful that I have a roof over my head and every picture I see of the devastation caused by Hellfire missiles, I am grateful that not one penny of my money goes to help fund it.

We live in a thugocracy where every word, thought, action, and inaction is monitored. We are being folded, spindled and mutilated in a neo-fascist slow dance of spiraling oppression. Keep smiling; keep singing; keep dancing; keep speaking; keep thinking and, most importantly of all, keep resisting!

Illegitimi non carborundum. We shall prevail.

Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan is an American anti-war activist whose son, Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed during his service in the Iraq War by the Mehdi Army on April 4, 2004. She attracted national and international media attention in August 2005 for her extended anti-war protest at a makeshift camp outside President George W. Bush's Texas ranch — a stand which drew both passionate support and angry criticism. More of her writings can be found at Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox: Writing from the Emprire.

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