About a dozen activists gathered on a quiet Georgetown street, eating popcorn, drinking hot cider, and projecting a movie about drone warfare onto the side of Jeh Johnson’s brick house. The invitation for the event had said—without a trace of irony—that the goal was to “shed light” on the relatively obscure nominee for the Homeland Security Department.
“We want to publicly shame him, and expose him for what he is,” said Alli McCracken, a spokeswoman for the organizing group Codepink.
And who exactly is he? During his tenure as general counsel at the Defense Department, Johnson helped draft the legal justification for weaponized drone use. His job as the head of DHS—the confirmation hearing for which starts Wednesday— won’t have anything to do with killer drones, and some liberals even like the guy for a report he wrote that preceded the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
But neither of those facts would dissuade these peace activists from turning his home into a blurry drive-in theater (and while there were plenty of stickers that read “Make Out, Not War,” there was a lot less funny business than your typical drive-in).
The Johnson family was nowhere to be seen, the speculation being that they had sequestered themselves in a nearby hotel. The event didn’t draw much of a crowd, other than the four cop cars, but a few curious passersby and dog walkers did pop out to see what the pseudo-excitement was about.
“We want the neighbors to know who he is,” said McCracken while her cohorts held up blue-lit letters spelling out “No Killer Drones” that flickered like an old motel vacancy sign.
If the goal was to get the neighborhood worked up about the family on the corner, they weren’t getting all that much traction.