by Kristinn Taylor and Andrea Shea King
[Note: This is the latest segment in an ongoing series about Code Pink and its co-founder Jodie Evans. Click here to read earlier articles.]
Massachusetts senior U.S. Senator John Kerry provided a letter on Senate stationery that supported constituents who participated in last December’s anti-Israel, pro-Hamas Gaza Freedom March, led by President Barack Obama ally Code Pink.
Democrat Representative Andre Carson of Indiana’s 7th District also provided a letter of support for participants in the so-called Gaza Freedom March.
Kerry is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and was the Democratic Party’s 2004 presidential nominee.
In the letter, Kerry wrote that his staff met with the Massachusetts delegation before they left, and his staff would be briefed about the trip upon their return.
Code Pink co-founders Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin used Kerry’s letter at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt to pressure the Egyptian government to allow 1300 leftists passage into Gaza from Egypt. The leftists gathered in Cairo from around the world to mark the one-year anniversary of Israel’s defense against Hamas’ rocket and mortar attacks.
Images of the letters from Kerry and Carson were posted by the publisher of The Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah, on his blog at Posterous.com.
Abunimah wrote that he, Benjamin and Kit Kettridge met for over an hour with “three officials, including Gina Cabrera, head of US citizen services, and Gregory D. LoGerfo, First Secretary in the Office of Economic and Political Affairs. The third official, whose name I did not note, identified himself as a ‘regional security’ official.”
Benjamin and Kettridge also met with “the embassy’s Deputy Director Matthew Tuellar, in command while Ambassador Scobey was on leave,” according to Abunimah.
(Margaret Scobey is a career Foreign Service officer who was appointed ambassador to Egypt by President George W. Bush in 2008.)
The Christian Science Monitor mentioned Kerry’s letter in a report from Cairo, but failed to question why the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was supporting the anti-Israel, pro-Hamas Gaza Freedom March.
The letter was written on letterhead from Kerry’s Boston office. The name and phone number of staffer Christopher Wyman was included as a point of contact.
Wyman did not return a message left at that number seeking comment by Big Government. The Boston office declined comment, as did Tomeika Bowden, a Kerry spokeswoman on the Foreign Relations Committee.
Rep. Carson’s press office also did not return a message from Big Government seeking comment
An article about Massachusetts residents preparing to travel to Gaza with Code Pink published by a Massachusetts paper, The Reminder, quoted Medea Benjamin saying that Hamas had given Code Pink its guarantee that the terrorist group would keep the marchers safe while they were in Gaza.
The text of Kerry’s letter is below, followed by the text of Carson’s letter.
December 23, 2009
To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing to express my strong support for members of the humanitarian delegation from Massachusetts that will be traveling to Israel and the Palestinian Territories from December 27th to January 15th. The humanitarian delegation from Massachusetts is sponsoring this visit and they plan to meet with non-governmental organizations, assess the health care system and observe human rights and trade union conditions among Israelis and Palestinians.
I respectfully request that every courtesy be given the members of the delegation during their visit. My staff has met with members of the group and is impressed with their ability, dedication and commitment to the peace process. We look forward to seeing them again upon their return and hearing about their visit.
For any questions or concerns please feel to contact Christopher Wyman in my Boston office at 617 565-8522
Thank you for cooperation in this very important matter.
John F. Kerry
United States Senator
December 18, 2009
To Whom It May Concern:
I write to recognize the 1100-persons delegation, including some of my constituents, traveling to Gaza on December 29- January 2 to participate in the Gaza Freedom March and meet with NGOs and the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
The delegation, which is traveling at the invitation of UNRWA, will cross the Egyptian borders at Rafah on December 29th. I hope the Egyptian authorities will facilitate their journey, and that Israeli authorities will respect their non-violent march on December 31.
Families in Gaza, West Bank and Israel have been deeply affected by the violence in the region. I applaud all Americans, such as this group, who are working toward peace for all.
Member of the Congress
Kerry visited Gaza one year ago, just after Obama took office, but made a point of not meeting with Hamas.
Code Pink has worked as a conduit between Hamas and Obama, delivering a letter from the terrorist group to Obama last June. Jodie Evans met with Obama administration official Buffy Wicks at the White House after Code Pink brought the letter out of Gaza.
Jodie Evans, who was one of Obama’s top funders and donors in the 2007-2008 presidential campaign, gave Kerry $1000 in 2004 for his presidential run.
Code Pink claimed to have delivered tens of thousands of dollars worth of humanitarian aide to Hamas-controlled Gaza. The act was a reprise of the group’s efforts in late 2004 to deliver humanitarian aide to “the other side” in Fallujah, Iraq while U.S. Marines were fighting to clear the terrorist safe-haven of al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and other Sunni terrorists.
That effort was aided by Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer of California and Democrat Congressmen Raul Grijalva of Arizona, Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Henry Waxman of California.
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