WATCH: Protesters Get Within Inches of Kissinger on Capitol Hill

John McCain kicks out demonstrators, calling them 'lowlife scum,' expresses concern over handling of incident.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Protesters interrupting a Senate Armed Services hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 29, 2015, shouting at Henry Kissinger, center, joined by George Shultz and Madeleine Albright.
Protesters interrupting a Senate Armed Services hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 29, 2015, shouting at Henry Kissinger, center, joined by George Shultz and Madeleine Albright.Credit: AP

U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain kicked protesters out of a committee hearing Thursday, calling them “lowlife scum” as they hollered for the arrest of one of the witnesses, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

Shortly after Kissinger, 91, took a seat at the witness table, several protesters from the anti-war group Code Pink approached from behind, waving signs and a pair of handcuffs and chanting, “Arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes.”

“You know, you’re going to have to shut up or I’m going to have you arrested,” McCain said from the podium, calling for U.S. capitol police to remove them. As officers escorted the protesters out of the hearing room, the unsuccessful 2008 Republican presidential candidate, a decorated Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war, growled, “Get out of here, you lowlife scum.”

U.S. capitol police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said three people were removed from the room, but no arrests were made.

In a statement later, McCain noted a gap between the beginning of the protest and the arrival of officers.

“With no U.S. capitol police intervening, the episode went on for several minutes,” McCain said. He added that he had spoken with police officials and expects that “those responsible will be held fully accountable for their actions”.

The upheaval came Thursday during a committee hearing that also featured testimony from former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and George P. Shultz, who were sitting at the witness table with Kissinger.

Code Pink protesters routinely interrupt congressional hearings and are ushered out by police. But Thursday’s incident was different, McCain said, because the protesters came within inches of Kissinger and waved what appeared to be metal handcuffs near his head.

At one point, a protester alleged that from 1969 to 1973, Kissinger, who was a national security adviser to President Richard Nixon before being named secretary of state, “oversaw” the deaths of millions of people in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The protester said many thousands more people died from the effects of the defoliant Agent Orange, or from unexploded U.S. ordnance littering the countryside.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism