Wednesday, August 17, 2005

''Phone Press Conference with Fred Mattlage''

"Local landowner Fred Mattlage, a distant relative of Larry Mattlage, held a telephone press conference this morning at 8:30 to explain his reasons for donating land to Cindy Sheehan and Camp Casey. “I wanted to provide this property as a place where they could peacefully assemble,” he said. “This was an act of compassion to a mother whose lost her son.”

Mattlage is a 52-year-old self-employed small business owner who resides in Waco. He is a distant relative of Larry Mattlage, the man who fired the shotgun into the air on Sunday.
The property he is offering is co-owned by his brothers Karl and Mark and sister, Patricia. Brother Mark actually owns the one acre tract where the new camp site will be. This one acre is at the corner of Prairie Chapel Road and Camen Church Road. Directly across from the one acre, the Mattlages own a 212-acre tract, which they will make available for parking purposes.
The 212-acre tract is to be opened today at 10 a.m. by Mattlage. He is asking that Camp Casey supporters have a person at the gate of the property at all times due to the fact that there are cattle on the site. Gates will have to be kept shut.

Mattlage went on to say, “These people did not approach me at any time. I went to the Peace House in Crawford to offer the land, but it is not my desire to put them in closer proximity to the President. I only want to alleviate some of the problems with the residents.”
Mattlage also said, “The gun shots (by Larry Mattlage) did not play into my decision. This has nothing to do with family.” When asked about any parallels to his own time in the military service — 1972-1974 with the 82nd Airborn Division of the U.S. Army — Mattlage responded with, “There really is no comparison, but our country should have a good reason to commit our boys to combat. Maybe we didn’t learn a valuable enough lesson from Vietnam.”

Mattlage said that he is not really a supporter (of Sheehan or the President) either way. “I don’t really agree with the policy of being in the war.” Mattlage has had no contact with the White House.

A camp supporter said, “It is unlikely that we will move today. We are using this time to figure out how to best to begin the move. We need to get some shade up first. The plan is to begin moving by the end of tomorrow or early on Friday, before our inter-faith meeting.”-from the ongoing updates by The Lone Star Iconoclast today.

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