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Was Code Pink heckler actually invited to Obama's speech?

President Barack Obama pauses as his speech is interrupted by CODEPINK founder Medea Benjamin, Thursday, May 23, 2013, at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington. CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally, and to redirect our resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. Credit: AP

In a post earlier today, Eddie notes a Washington Post report that says Code Pinker Medea Benjamin posed as a member of the press to get in to President Obama's counterterrorism speech this week.  That just doesn't make sense to me: What media outlet did she claim to be representing?  Did she use a false name? -- because any security check of "Medea Benjamin" would surely have raised red flags, what with her multiple arrests and well-documented sympathies for noted terrorist organizations.

In contrast, Benjamin claims that she was actually been invited to the event.

"I had an invitation, somebody gave me an invitation who I'm not at liberty to disclose," Benjamin told HuffPo, calling her protest "epic" when compared to her past demonstrations.  When pressed further on who may have invited her to the event, she responded: “Well, getting in that’s a state secret I’m not at liberty to divulge. But I should say that we have friends in many places that some people might not acknowledge, including within the military…”

If this is true, it explains a bit about how she was able to disrupt the president's remarks not once, but twice before being escorted out by security.   Further, the president and the audience were oddly receptive of Benjamin's protest.  "The voice of that woman is worth listening to," the president responded.  Benjamin even admits her own surprise that no one recognized her and pulled her from the event before the president took the stage.

Despite the mixed accounts and questionable security screening procedures, Medea seems confident that she'll be able disrupt future events with the president.  "I'll probably get in again," Benjamin said.  "There's something to white privilege and it's important to use it in a positive way... but if we get a chance to speak directly to the president, we'll certainly do that."

Video after the jump.

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