Berkeley Mayor Apologizes for Marine Letter - Sort of

Rick Moran
Ever since the Berkeley City Council approved a letter to the Marine recruting office in town that referred to them as "intruders" and also passed a resolution giving Code Pink a permanent parking space in front of the building housing the Corp's office, Mayor Tom Bates and some of the council members have been backtracking furiously, trying to convince people that they didn't mean to insult the troops by saying they were unwelcome.

Yesterday, the situation got even thornier as 6 US senators have sponsored a measure to take $2.1 million in transportation funds from Berkeley - largely because they intend on using some of those funds to carve out a private parking place for Code Pink which violates the spirit of how the funds should be spent.

Bates sounds confused, rattled, and not a little annoyed:

As six Republican senators devised a plan to yank $2.3 million in federal funding for Berkeley programs, the mayor of the famously liberal city apologized Wednesday for his hard stance against a Marine recruiting center. Two City Council members vowed to soften their stance as well.

"That letter will probably be pulled back and maybe more moderate language will be put in place which is appropriate I think," said Berkeley mayor Tom Bates. "Subtly stated in the resolution is perhaps an impugning of the soldiers fighting for us in Iraq and other places," Berkeley City Councilman Laurie Capitelli. "And that was never the intention but that really needs to be cleared up. As I walked to my car that night I realized I regretted it and I had made a mistake."
 
Bates said the city didn't mean to offend anyone in the armed forces and the focus should have been on the war not the troops. "There's really no correlation between federal funds for schools, water ferries and police communications systems and the council's actions, for God's sake," said Bates, a retired U.S. Army captain. "We apologize for any offense to any families of anyone who may serve in Iraq. We want them to come home and be safe at home."
Bates is a liar. That letter was surely meant to offend the Marines. To deliberately refer to serving Marines as "intruders" in the country they have sworn to protect is intentionally provocative.

As was giving Code Pink the green light to protest and harrass potential recruits. This entire incident was meant to offend, embarrass, and drive the Marines out of town. For Bates to say otherwise is a deliberate lie.

One Code Pink protestor reveals what kind of mindset is at work here:

"I was under the impression that we have the right of free speech," said Xanne Joi of Code Pink. "To me, I thought free speech meant you get to say what you want without recrimination."
Um...no, Joi. You are correct that you get to say whatever you please. But if your fellow citizens take offense, they also have a right to say what they please - in your face if they so choose. You are offering "Free speech for me but not for thee" - typical far left thinking who believe challenging them on the facts is a mortal sin.

The Council will meet next Tuesday to consider pulling the letter.
Ever since the Berkeley City Council approved a letter to the Marine recruting office in town that referred to them as "intruders" and also passed a resolution giving Code Pink a permanent parking space in front of the building housing the Corp's office, Mayor Tom Bates and some of the council members have been backtracking furiously, trying to convince people that they didn't mean to insult the troops by saying they were unwelcome.

Yesterday, the situation got even thornier as 6 US senators have sponsored a measure to take $2.1 million in transportation funds from Berkeley - largely because they intend on using some of those funds to carve out a private parking place for Code Pink which violates the spirit of how the funds should be spent.

Bates sounds confused, rattled, and not a little annoyed:

As six Republican senators devised a plan to yank $2.3 million in federal funding for Berkeley programs, the mayor of the famously liberal city apologized Wednesday for his hard stance against a Marine recruiting center. Two City Council members vowed to soften their stance as well.

"That letter will probably be pulled back and maybe more moderate language will be put in place which is appropriate I think," said Berkeley mayor Tom Bates. "Subtly stated in the resolution is perhaps an impugning of the soldiers fighting for us in Iraq and other places," Berkeley City Councilman Laurie Capitelli. "And that was never the intention but that really needs to be cleared up. As I walked to my car that night I realized I regretted it and I had made a mistake."
 
Bates said the city didn't mean to offend anyone in the armed forces and the focus should have been on the war not the troops. "There's really no correlation between federal funds for schools, water ferries and police communications systems and the council's actions, for God's sake," said Bates, a retired U.S. Army captain. "We apologize for any offense to any families of anyone who may serve in Iraq. We want them to come home and be safe at home."
Bates is a liar. That letter was surely meant to offend the Marines. To deliberately refer to serving Marines as "intruders" in the country they have sworn to protect is intentionally provocative.

As was giving Code Pink the green light to protest and harrass potential recruits. This entire incident was meant to offend, embarrass, and drive the Marines out of town. For Bates to say otherwise is a deliberate lie.

One Code Pink protestor reveals what kind of mindset is at work here:

"I was under the impression that we have the right of free speech," said Xanne Joi of Code Pink. "To me, I thought free speech meant you get to say what you want without recrimination."
Um...no, Joi. You are correct that you get to say whatever you please. But if your fellow citizens take offense, they also have a right to say what they please - in your face if they so choose. You are offering "Free speech for me but not for thee" - typical far left thinking who believe challenging them on the facts is a mortal sin.

The Council will meet next Tuesday to consider pulling the letter.