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Cindy Sheehan: She knew about the divorce...but didn't? [update]

[See important updates at the end of the article]

From (August 17):

The first one is about my divorce. I addressed this on my blog the other night. My divorce was in the works way before I came out to Crawford. My husband filed the papers before this all started. It just recorded last Friday [sic]. My husband didn't know that it would become public record, and public knowledge. He had told his lawyer not to serve me with the paperwork or even bother me while I was at Camp Casey. He was trying to do the right thing. He didn't want me to find out. Enough about that.

This is what she wrote in her blog:

When they start sliming my home life and my family, that's where I draw the line. Yes, my husband has filed for divorce and yes he filed before I left for the VFP Convention and this trip to Crawford and yes IT IS BETWEEN MY HUSBAND AND I.

Now in my post, I pointed out that the dates showed clearly that her almost desperate insistence that "yes he filed before I left for the VFP Convention" was clearly and demonstrably false.

She left for the convention on or before August 5.

The papers were stamped on August 12.

My own reading as well as comments from readers leads me to understand that papers are filed in person at the court house where a clerk stamps them immediately.

I suggested a possible reason for lying was that she, Cindy, did not expect that the papers would become public, so she did not expect to be caught in a lie, and that the lie was an attempt to keep people from learning that Patrick had filed after she left. The suggestion that her family was abandoning her as she protested in Crawford would not have played well with middle America, hence the lie aimed at them.

So back to her statement today.

"My divorce was in the works way before I came out to Crawford." No doubt. I do doubt that Cindy Sheehan knew much about it though. It seemed to be "in the works" with Patrick.

"My husband filed the papers before this all started. It just recorded last Friday [sic]." This is a sticking point. Everything I have read suggests that this is simply not true. Papers are filed in person and stamped immediately.

If you have an existing family law file, please have your case number ready to give to the Clerk.

All documents must be signed and dated prior to presenting them to the Clerk.

If you request copies, you must supply the Clerk with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and ample postage to accommodate your copy request.

I'll try to find more confirmation on this.

"My husband didn't know that it would become public record, and public knowledge." She is shifting the fault to Patrick Sheehan. I hold that she did not know that records would become public knowledge. She was the one who spoke the lie, not Patrick. She clearly did know that the lie would be found out, or she would not have spoken it.

"He had told his lawyer not to serve me with the paperwork or even bother me while I was at Camp Casey." But if the divorce was in the works "way before" coming to Crawford, then why wasn't this already taken care of, instead of being a distraction for Cindy and her protest? Poor planning on Patrick and Cindy's part? Or is there something else going on?

"He was trying to do the right thing. He didn't want me to find out." It was something else! What was she not supposed to find out about? That they were getting a divorce? That he was filing papers? She says she knew about these things all along. And yet she wasn't supposed to find out? More likely is that she is lying, and she did not know about the divorce petition Patrick was preparing. That was what he was hiding from her. Patrick did initiate divorce proceedings on his own and waited until she was out of state to do so. He was doing it behind her back, without her knowledge or her cooperation. Cindy Sheehan is still trying to portray a family united at some level ("He was trying to do the right thing") but has been forced to admit that Patrick has his own agenda ("He didn't want me to find out").

Maybe I'm being overly cynical, but Cindy Sheehan's attempt to put this divorce issue to rest has only confirmed my own worst suspicions. While Cindy Sheehan was preparing to go to Dallas to deliver her screed against the President, Patrick Sheehan had come to the decision to initiate divorce proceedings. They might have talked about it. Cindy Sheehan might have asked that they deal with this when she returned from Crawford. But Patrick had had enough, had come to his decision, and filed papers, or else why would she insist that Patrick "didn't want me to find out"?

The optics are lousy. It goes a long way to confirming what many suspect: Cindy Sheehan is oblivious to the pain in her family, or simply does not care, having devoted herself entirely to her cause. That sort of callousness will severely erode the goodwill she enjoys with America's middle class -- dads and moms who are concerned about the course of events in Iraq, but who still believe in flag and family. A leader of the radical anti-war movement who is seen to put family a distant second behind politics, who is seen to be the kind of person who cares little for the pain her husband and children are suffering, will have serious problems connecting with the majority of Americans.

Recall these words:

[Cindy Sheehan]: Carly the oldest has coped by throwing herself into school. Andy is coping by becoming Casey. Janey is coping by drinking and partying.

Unfortunately, I am not able to help them that much because of my pain, and because I feel so compelled to fight the injustice and bring the troops home.

I'm not sure how many wives and mothers will have sympathy for a woman so caught in her politics that she allows her daughter to indulge heavily in drinking and partying. I'm not sure how many husbands and fathers won't find sympathy for Patrick Sheehan, and wonder if they too would petition for divorce from such a woman.

Update: "My husband filed the papers before this all started." This is a lie. One page 2 of the Sheehan petition for divorce, Patrick Sheehan and his attorney, Glen A DeRonde, sign the papers, dating them August 8. This is at least three days after Cindy had left for Dallas. It is means that there is no way the papers could have been filed, even by mail.

And at the risk of raising the shade of Dan Rather, these documents are typed (apparent by the verticla misalignment in the final line of the attorney's address as the preparer moved the paper back a smidge to avoid typing over the "TELEPHONE NO:" pre-printed text. Most people don't own typewriters, but they are common enough in a lawyer's office, used by assistants to professionally prepare a legal form such as this one. I think these documents were prepared and signed on August 8, well after Cindy had left, and perhaps with no input from Cindy. No input? How can I justify that? Read the second update.

Update: Also in the petition, we see that Cindy's assertion that Patrick is trying to make this as painless as possible ("He was trying to do the right thing. He didn't want me to find out.") is not borne out by the petition:

  • Patrick Sheehan is asking for permission to amend the petition with a list of his own separate property assets and debts, presumably untouchable by Cindy Sheehan.

  • Patrick Sheehan is looking for Cindy to pay all court costs and attorney's fees.

  • Patrick Sheehan is looking to the court to deny Cindy Sheehan any spousal support.

  • Patrick Sheehan is looking to the court to make spousal support payable to Patrick Sheehan!

These are not the actions of a husband trying his utmost to avoid pain for his wife. These are the actions of a husband looking out for his own interests only, not interested in what happens to his wife after the divorce is final. It would appear that he wants to be free of Cindy Sheehan, but he also believes she owes him support, perhaps as payment for the lack of support she has been providing the family for a year or more. Or perhaps as punishment for destroying his family with her monomaniacal crusade. Certainly, he doesn't seem too concerned that she would have to give up on Camp Casey and her political activities if she was forced to get a job in order to pay alimony.

[Captain Ed has a post about two Minnesota politicians on their way to Camp Casey. He also thinks the question of perception will be important in the state: "Minnesotans will want an accounting from both politicians as to their support for the vile rhetoric coming from Camp Casey in the next election cycle. [Congressional candidate Coleen] Rowley will soon learn that in politics, not all publicity is helpful."]

[Michelle Malkin has a round-up of the current Cindy Sheehan blogs.]

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