US President Barack Obama was interrupted three times by a woman who shouted about drones and detainees in Cuba as he delivered a speech on national security Thursday.
The woman was identified as Medea Benjamin, one of the founders of the anti-war group Code Pink. Benjamin yelled from behind a bank of cameras before security removed her from the hall at National Defense University in Washington.
Obama at one point said he was willing to “cut the young lady some slack” because the issues he was addressing were worth being passionate about.
Benjamin shouted, “86 were cleared already. Release them today!” — an apparent reference to detainees who remain in Cuba despite having been cleared for transfer from the facility.
Born a self-described “nice Jewish girl” in New York, Benjamin has become a well-known anti-war author and protester, being involved in a number of different causes, including joining a flotilla to break Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza in 2011.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.