A spokesman for the White House says it was good to see Jane Fonda in front of a camera again, but there won’t be a lot of other comments on the weekend anti-war protest in which Fonda participated, including an incident when Capitol police allowed protesters to spray-paint slogans on the Capitol steps.
“This Hill newspaper on Capitol Hill reports that Jane Fonda’s fellow anti-war protesters were allowed to spray paint on the part of the west front steps of the U.S. Capitol building on Saturday after U.S. Capitol Police were ordered by Chief Phillip Morse to fall back, after which 300 protesters spray painted, ‘Our Capitol Building’ and ‘You can’t stop us,’” said Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House.
“And my question, does the executive branch believe the legislative branch should have allowed this treatment of the Capitol building of the United States?” he asked.
“What you’re doing is – I would encourage you, or all others interested, to call the Capitol Police and find out how this came to pass. I just – I can’t answer it,” said White House spokesman Tony Snow.
“Yes, one wonders what does the president – he must have an opinion on this? Doesn’t he?” continued Kinsolving.
But Snow already had gone on to the next question.
Fonda, to whom the nickname “Hanoi Jane,” was attached after she visited Vietnam during the early 1970s and posed for pictures with members of the North Vietnamese military, has a long history of war protests.
She spoke at Saturday’s event, when police officers were ordered by their commanders to break their security line and allow the spray painting.
The reports were confirmed to The Hill publication by officers, who were upset they were told to fall back. They ceded the stairs on the west front of the building. An estimated 300 protesters then took over the steps and some started spray painting, the reports said.
Officials later said there were “minor instances” of the painting but it was easily cleaned off by staff members of the Architect of the Capitol staff, officials said.
Said one reader on a blog: “Since when is spray painting public property free speech?”
The president also hadn’t given his time to studying the anti-war protest, according to Snow.
“I don’t think he really thought a lot about it,” Snow said. “It’s nice to see Jane Fonda in front of the camera again. There were a number of people who were here making statements, and that’s perfectly appropriate.”
Kinsolving also asked Snow about the dichotomous message being sent by Congress. He cited the unanimous approval of Gen. David Petraeus to go to Iraq, lead a surge of troops, and continue the battle against terrorism, and the simultaneous decision by Congress against funding the work.
“To the president’s knowledge, has the United States Senate ever before voted to confirm [the] appointment of a combat commanding general like Gen. Petraeus, and then voted to condemn the mission that he will lead in what would be an astounding hypocrisy?” he asked.
“I don’t think that the people who are discussing resolutions would characterize them in that manner, and nothing has been passed yet,” Snow said.
It was in 2005 that Fonda published her autobiography describing her decision to go to North Vietnam, and she was unapologetic for the trip. But she said she did regret the pictures taken of her at the gun emplacement.
- Some of her other statements included: “I would think that if you understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that we would someday become communist.”
- “The Viet Cong are driven by the same spirit that drove Washington and Jefferson.
- “The Viet Cong are the conscience of the world.”
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