Anti-war protesters interrupt House hearing

Anti-war protesters waged an intense protest Thursday, interrupting testimony by Pentagon leaders before being forcibly removed by U.S. Capitol Police officers.

Eight demonstrators were arrested during a House Armed Services Committee hearing within the Rayburn House Office Building. Seven were charged with disruption of Congress, according to department spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider.

At several points during the hearing, protesters loudly and passionately stopped proceedings before being removed.


One young man, who identified himself as an Iraq war veteran, said loudly: "We murdered people! I saw what we did to people!"

He continued that refrain as he was essentially carried from the room by two Capitol Police officers.

Another male protester said the younger man had been in military intelligence.

Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) gaveled the session in recess as this incident played out — and several other times. But after the session resumed, a female protester interrupted the proceedings again, loudly charging a committee staffer with laughing at the alleged Iraq war veteran.

The staffer was standing along a wall where Republican aides typically stand during hearings. After the female protester was removed, two aides in that area could be seen laughing.

Several other protesters interrupted the hearing, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's opening statement.

One female protester yelled: "Fund America, not war!"

Members sat silent each time. After the young man's outburst, several members appeared startled.

Capitol Police could not confirm the affiliation of the protesters, but members of the women-initiated social justice movement Code Pink, as well as the Occupy Wall Street movement, were said to be in attendance at the hearing.

This story was posted at 11:01 a.m. and has been updated.