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    INTRO TO ANN WRIGHT

    Ann Wright spent 26 years in the US Army/Army Reserves, attaining the rank of Colonel. Ms. Wright then joined the Foreign Service in 1987, serving with distinction for 15 years. She received the State Department’s Award for Heroism as Charge d’Affaires during the evacuation of Sierra Leone in 1997. She has dedicated her life to public service and the common good, no more so then when she resigned from the U.S. Foreign Service in March of 2003, while serving as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Mongolia.

    In her resignation letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell, she wrote “This is the only time in my many years serving America that I have felt I cannot represent the policies of an Administration of the United States… I believe the Administration’s policies are making the world a more dangerous, not a safer, place. I feel obligated morally and professionally to set out my very deep and firm concerns on these policies and to resign from government service as I cannot defend or implement them.”

    She went on to write “I strongly disagree with the use of a `preemptive attack’ against Iraq and believe that this … policy will be used against us and provide justification for individuals and groups to ‘preemptively attack’ America and American citizens…We should not give extremist Moslems… a further cause to hate America, or give moderate Moslems a reason to join the extremists.”

    These are strong and prophetic words from a woman who has spent her life representing the U.S. in some of the most dangerous corners of our planet. Since leaving the Foreign Service, Ms. Wright has become a persistent advocate for justice and a strong voice in the peace movement. It is symbolic of how broadly our movement crosses cultural and social lines that, in the past few years, this former Army Colonel has become such close friends with Cindy Sheehan, organizing Camp Casey and joining in peaceful demonstrations around the country. I am proud to introduce our next speaker, Ann Wright.


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