Sean Penn - Father was a communist by LegionZ411


More Info                                    6/24/10 9:18 PM

                                       Date: 6/25/2010 12:18:03 AM

                          SEAN PENN

                                   Actor and director
                                   Member of Not In Our Name and Artists United to Win Without War
                                   Mentored by Norman Solomon, the Marxist founder of the Institute for
                                   Public accuracy
                                   Has spent huge sums on advertisements criticizing U.S. policies
                                   Admirer and friend of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

                          Sean Penn is an “A-list” actor/director who is also an outspoken member of
                          the leftwing Hollywood elite, an adamant critic of Republicans, and a
                          staunch opponent of the war in Iraq.

                          Penn was born in August 1960 in Los Angeles County, California.
                          His father, Leo Penn, was an actor and director, a supporter of the
                          Hollywood trade unions, and an open communist. Leo was of Spanish
                          descent, and the family’s original surname was “Piñón.” Sean Penn has one
                          brother, Michael, who is a musician. A second brother, actor Chris Penn,
                          died in 2006.

                          Sean Penn began his acting career in bit-parts on the Little House on the
                          Prairie television series in the 1970s, and his first film role was in the 1981
                          film Taps. Since that time, Penn’s film projects have often mirrored his
                          political views: In 1989 he starred in the anti-Vietnam war film Casualties of
                          War; in 1996 he played a convicted killer on death row in the anti-capital
                          punishment film Dead Man Walking; and in 2006 he starred in All the
                          King’s Men, a fictionalized account of the radical populist Huey Long. He
                          has received four "Best Actor" Oscar nominations, winning once in 2003 for
                          his role in the film Mystic River.

                          Renowned for his violent temper, Penn in 1985 was involved in a brutal
                          physical altercation with two British photographers, an incident for which he
                          was fined $100 and given a suspended 90-day jail term. In 1987 he served a
                          six-month jail term in connection with another assault conviction.

                          Penn has dated folk singer Jewel and actress Susan Sarandon, and in 1985 he
                          married pop star Madonna. In 1989 Penn and Madonna divorced, and

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                          thereafter Penn began dating actress Robin Wright. The two married in 1996
                          and have two children.

                          Penn is a member of Not In Our Name (a "peace" front for C. Clark
                          Kissinger's Revolutionary Communist Party) and Artists United to Win
                          Without War. He is also an avid supporter of He has spent tens
                          of thousands of dollars on advertisements criticizing the war in Iraq and U.S.
                          foreign policy generally. In an ad that ran in the Washington Post on October
                          27, 2002, Penn wrote an “Open Letter to the President of the United States
                          of America,” in which he said that the hallmarks of the Bush administration
                          included “intolerance of debate,” “marginalization of your critics,” “the
                          promoting of fear through unsubstantiated rhetoric,” the “manipulation of a
                          quick comfort media,” and the “deconstruction of civil liberties.”

                          Penn’s Post advertisement led to the development of his friendship with
                          Venezuela’s communist President Hugo Chávez, who has quoted from
                          Penn’s writings in some of his televised speeches. In 2007, for instance,
                          Chávez read aloud from a letter authored by Penn which denounced the War
                          in Iraq and described President Bush and his administration as “villainously
                          and criminally obscene people.” In August 2007, Penn met personally with
                          Chávez in Caracas, Venezuela, where he was commended by the latter for
                          having courageously advocated the impeachment of President Bush. Penn
                          has called Chavez “a fascinating guy” who is “much more positive for
                          Venezuela than he is negative.”

                          In December 2002, a few weeks after the publication of his aforementioned
                          Washington Post ad, Penn made a much-publicized "fact-finding" visit to
                          Baghdad with Medea Benjamin, founder of Global Exchange and
                          International Occupation Watch. The purpose of the trip, which proved to be
                          of great propaganda value to Saddam Hussein, was to speak out against the
                          seemingly imminent U.S. invasion of Iraq. The trip was organized by the
                          Institute for Public Accuracy, whose Marxist executive director, Norman
                          Solomon, is Penn’s mentor.

                          In February 2003, Penn accused movie producer Stephen Bing of having
                          fired him from the leading role in the fim Why Men Shouldn’t Marry
                          because of Penn’s vocal opposition to the Iraq War. In Penn's estimation,
                          Bing had taken a page “from the dark era of Hollywood blacklisting.” Penn
                          filed a $10 million lawsuit against Bing.

                          In 2005 Penn made a visit to Iran, in the role of correspondent for the San
                          Francisco Chronicle. He attended prayer ceremonies in Tehran and
                          interviewed Iranian political leaders. In an article he wrote for the Chronicle,
                          Penn commended Iran for remaining relatively unruffled by George W.
                          Bush’s designation of that country as part of the “Axis of Evil.” He
                          furthermore lauded Iran for complying with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
                          Treaty (NNPT), and warned that “[a]ny reckless action on the part of the
                          United States or Israel may lead to Iran dropping out of the treaty.” Not long
                          thereafter, Iran violated the NNPT by secretly pursuing uranium enrichment,
                          a move that prompted the United Nations Security Council to pass a

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                          resolution ordering Iran to suspend its nuclear ambitions.

                          In 2007 Penn was a signatory to a letter to President Bush calling for the
                          normalization of relations with Communist Cuba. The letter, which failed to
                          reference those Cuban artists and dissidents who had been jailed by Fidel
                          Castro’s oppressive regime, stated:

                                   “We write to express our dismay at your [Bush] administration’s
                                   continuing hostility towards Cuba. We write to express our
                                   opposition to policies that keep us divided from our Cuban
                                   counterparts, preventing cultural interchange between our two
                                   countries.” Other signatories included such notables as Harry
                                   Belafonte, Danny Glover, Gore Vidal, Alice Walker, Carlos
                                   Santana, and Bonnie Raitt.

                          On January 7, 2006, Penn was a special guest at an “Out of Iraq
                          Forum” hosted by the Progressive Democrats of America and held
                          at the Service Employees International Union hall in Sacramento, California.
                          The event was moderated by Bill Dursten, President of the Sacramento
                          Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. It was attended by Norman
                          Solomon, Cindy Sheehan, and some 200 additional activists, all calling for
                          the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.

                          Also in 2006, Penn joined such luminaries as Danny Glover, Susan
                          Sarandon, Ed Asner, Willie Nelson, Lynn Woolsey, and Cynthia McKinney
                          in staging a “Troops Home Fast” hunger strike to protest the Iraq War. The
                          fast was performed in a relay fashion (i.e., each participant fasted for a day,
                          then “passed” the effort to another "striker"). It was organized by Gold Star
                          Families for Peace founder Cindy Sheehan and endorsed by Code Pink for

                          At Rep. Barbara Lee’s March 24, 2007 Town Hall Meeting in Oakland,
                          California, Penn made a lengthy speech during which he impugned Bush
                          administration members as “villainously and criminally obscene people” who
                          exercised control over “the smarmy pundits in your pocket, those who bathe
                          in the moisture of your soiled and bloodstained underwear.” "Without
                          impeachment, justice cannot prevail," said Penn, announcing that he would
                          support the presidential candidacy of Dennis Kucinich, "who has fought this
                          war [in Iraq] from the beginning."

                          In October 2007, reported the following:

                                   “Muslim terror leaders are hailing statements by actor Sean Penn
                                   regarding Iran, the war in Iraq and the global war on terror,
                                   stating militants have ‘deep respect’ for Penn and urging
                                   Americans to listen to the outspoken Hollywood activist
                                   immediately. One senior jihadist leader even asked Penn to
                                   officially represent his terror organization’s cause to the world

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                                   “‘I tell Penn that we don’t have the money that the Zionists
                                   have, therefore we don’t own and we don’t have access to your
                                   media, and we hope you would ... represent our pain and our
                                   cause,’ stated Abu Hamed, northern Gaza Strip commander of
                                   the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades …

                                   “Ala Senakreh, West Bank chief of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs
                                   Brigades terror group, stated he feels ‘deep respect for Penn and
                                   people like him that prove that America is not only the country
                                   that sponsors the Israeli terrorists and all evil forces in the world,
                                   but also a country of brave people who want a different policy
                                   based on justice and peace.’ …

                                   “Ramadan Adassi, chief of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the
                                   northern West Bank Anskar refugee camp, said Penn’s words
                                   ‘express dignity, express a deep humanitarian sense and this
                                   doesn’t surprise me when it comes from an actor who has had to
                                   develop the sense of feeling. We hope Penn is somebody who
                                   can design a different public opinion.’”

                          On December 11, 2007, Penn reiterated his support for Congressman Dennis
                          Kucinich for U.S. President in 2008, calling the Progressive Caucus member
                          “the most deserving and noble of candidates.”

                          Over the years, Penn has contributed money to the political campaigns of
                          Kucinich, Barbara Boxer, and John Edwards.

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