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Obama Repeatedly Heckled By Bay Area Activist During Security Speech

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Medea Benjamin, an activist from the organization called Code Pink, shouts at U.S. President Barack Obama while he speaks at the National Defense University May 23, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama used the speech to outline and justify his administration's counterterrorism policy, including increased cooperation with Congress on matters of national security, added transparency regarding the use of drones, and a review of current threats facing the United States. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Medea Benjamin, an activist from the organization called Code Pink, shouts at U.S. President Barack Obama while he speaks at the National Defense University May 23, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama used the speech to outline and justify his administration’s counterterrorism policy, including increased cooperation with Congress on matters of national security, added transparency regarding the use of drones, and a review of current threats facing the United States. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS SF) – President Barack Obama was interrupted three times by a Bay Area activist shouting about drones and detainees in Cuba as he delivered a speech on national security Thursday.

The woman was identified as Medea Benjamin from 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 stumbled to speak over Benhamin:

“So today, so today once again, so, today…I’m about to address it ma’am but you have to let me speak. I’m about to address it. Let me address it. Why don’t you let me address it? (Benjamin continues yelling) Why don’t you sit down and I’ll tell you exactly what I’m going to do. (more yelling) Ma’am thank you. You should let me finish my sentence. I once again call on Congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers from GTMO.”

Obama at one point said he was willing to “cut the young lady some slack” because the issues he was addressing are worth being passionate about.

Benjamin shouted, quote, “86 were cleared already. Release them today!”

That appears to be a reference to detainees who remain in Cuba despite being cleared for transfer from the facility.

Code pink has crated similar uproars at several high-profile events in the past. Their website discribes the organization as a “women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement.” which has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington.

Benjamin is listed as both a cofounder of Code Pink and the San Francisco-based nonprofit Global Exchange.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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