POLITICS
01/30/2015 11:56 am ET Updated Jan 30, 2015

Anti-Kissinger Protester And Target Of John McCain's Rage Thankful For Tirade

In a HuffPost Live interview Friday, Medea Benjamin — co-founder of CODEPINK — said she is thankful for Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) angry tirade Thursday directed at her organization, after she and associates protested former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's presence at a committee meeting.

"I thought he was more of a polished politician than that," Benjamin told host Ricky Camilleri. "He lost his cool. But we actually think it was good for us because what would've been a demonstration that probably would've gotten no attention, like many of the demonstrations that we do, has become a much bigger issue. It's giving us a platform to talk about the role of people like Henry Kissinger and other war criminals."

As Kissinger walked to his seat for an Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday, Benjamin and company held up signs and shouted pleas to arrest Kissinger, who they called a "war criminal."

"I've been a member of this committee for many years and I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration that just took place," McCain said as the protesters were escorted out of the building. "Get out of here, you low-life scum."

Benjamin profits either way, she said. The headlines made by the protest and McCain's tirade have resuscitated conversation on Kissinger's past.

"We were appalled that Senator McCain would be calling in a tired, old war criminal to talk about the role of the United States in the future," Benjamin said. "We feel that we need different kinds of people coming in with different kinds of ideas, and it's actually Henry Kissinger's old-world politique of being ready to overthrow democratically-elected governments or bomb to smithereens countries like Vietnam and Cambodia that is reflected in our bad policies today."

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.

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