View Full Version : Nobel Winner Says She "Could Kill George Bush", Then Apologizes

07-12-2007, 06:44 PM
Nobel winner apologizes for Bush comment
Irish peace activist's speech at Dallas event gets standing ovation


(Gold9472: Bush brings out the worst in people... a Nobel Peace Laureate for crying out loud.)

By JAMES HOHMANN / The Dallas Morning News
04:21 PM CDT on Thursday, July 12, 2007

Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williams of Ireland apologized Thursday after telling a Dallas audience a day earlier that she “could kill George Bush.”

The Wednesday remarks prompted an uproar among conservatives across the nation, led to phone and email threats and caused a buzz among delegates at the International Women’s Peace Conference.

“I’m just really passionate about my work. Sometimes it’s ‘open mouth, insert foot,’ ” she said. “I’ll spend the rest of the day saying I’m sorry to everybody.”

Ms. Williams won the Nobel Prize in 1976 for creating a group that helped start peace talks in Northern Ireland.

Dallas police are investigating an undisclosed number of threatening emails and phone calls that came to the Adam’s Mark Hotel and Conference Center in Dallas and to conference organizers.

Conference chairwoman Carol Donovan stressed Thursday — as she did during the Wednesday program -- that the conference is nonpartisan and that Ms. Williams’ views are her own.

“The remarks were spoken from her heart and were based on her own concern and opinions,” she said. “With over 1,000 delegates, you can imagine the range of opinions is very wide.”

Ms. Donovan said the extra attention because of the speech has not prompted any changes in the conference schedule. “We are continuing to proceed with caution in order to provide an international conference and an inspiring, safe event for all of the delegates.”

From the beginning, she said, organizers had hired off-duty Dallas police officers for security. Ms. Donovan and others met in the afternoon with a police detective.

Ms. Williams said she did not fear for her safety.

“If I would have been concerned about my safety, I wouldn’t have started the peace movement in Northern Ireland,” she said.

The Secret Service did not immediately return a call about whether it is investigating the comments.

The Bush administration’s response was blunt.

"That's surprisingly hostile rhetoric coming from someone who has been recognized for promoting peace and doesn't warrant further comment,” said White House spokesman Blair Jones.

In her keynote speech Wednesday night, Ms. Williams told a crowd of about 1,000 that the Bush administration has been treacherous and wrong and acted unconstitutionally.

"Right now, I could kill George Bush," she said. "No, I don't mean that. How could you nonviolently kill somebody? I would love to be able to do that."

About half the crowd gave her a standing ovation after she called for Mr. Bush's removal from power.

"The Muslim world right now is suffering beyond belief," she said.

"Unless the president of the United States is held responsible for what he's doing and what he has done, there's no one in the Muslim world who will forgive him."

When an audience member told Ms. Williams that Vice President Dick Cheney would become president if George Bush were impeached, she said, "Can't you impeach them both?"

"It's twisted. It's all wrong," she said. "There are so many lies being told. It's hard to be an American and go out into the world right now."

Ms. Williams started her speech by asking every member of the audience to hug everyone around them. Then she cut to what amounted to both a call for peace and a stinging rebuke of the American government.

Conference organizers have said that the conference is nonpartisan and that no one was invited to speak about the war in Iraq. After Ms. Williams finished her speech, conference chairwoman Carol Donovan took the podium to say that Ms. Williams did not speak for the conference – only herself.

"It's important for us to separate the opinion of the person and the position of the conference," Ms. Donovan said.

Two other Nobel Peace Prize winners, American activist Jody Williams and Rigoberta Menchú Tum of Guatemala, will speak this week as part of the conference. Jody Williams, who was in the audience Wednesday, has also indicated she would speak about Mr. Bush.

"We believe very strongly it was important to have the opportunity to hear these three peace prize winners," Ms. Donovan said.

Betty Williams won the Nobel Prize in 1976 for creating a group that helped start peace talks in Northern Ireland.

In 1992, Texas Gov. Ann Richards appointed Betty Williams to the Texas Commission for Children and Youth.

Many in the crowd found out that Lady Bird Johnson had died when Jan Sanders, the wife of U.S. District Judge Barefoot Sanders and a close friend of the former first lady, gave an impromptu eulogy.

"She was a friend, a doer, an influencer of world events," Ms. Sanders said. "She lived a full life. If she were here, she would say to you, 'Keep on being women doers.' "

07-12-2007, 06:45 PM
Please do not turn this into a "I'm gonna do this, that, and the other thing to the President" thread.