Byline: Andrew Breitbart, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
On this day in which Americans honor their war dead, perhaps a smidgen of our time should be spent reflecting on the unheralded and fearless wartime antics of Sean Penn.
Yes, that Sean Penn: Hollywood actor, director, tough guy and agent provocateur in America's time of peril - a man history, no doubt, will credit with an assist in bringing democracy to Iraq.
It is now time for Mr. Penn to end his service to his country and commit to the next chapter in his life. He has done more than enough. America simply doesn't make medals for Mr. Penn's kind of service. Nor would he accept them. Now he must come clean and take on the next challenge of his career: Bring the rest of Hollywood to America's aid by creating an army of underground patriots.
With a Democrat as commander in chief, it's now or never for Tinseltown to get the patriotic bug.
Since his friends and political allies don't read this column, I feel comfortable outing the left-wing agitator as an unsung patriot in the war on terrorism. I know that other entertainment media outlets are working this blockbuster story and that the mainstream media is still figuring out how to play it. Like in his Oscar-winning acting, Mr. Penn has broken all the rules.
In late 2002, Mr. Penn toured Saddam Hussein's Baghdad with his camera and offered the Pentagon precise locations for bombing. Shock and Awe was a rousing success to a great extent because a courageous and humble actor put country first and used a pliant media to create a believable character: an angry Hollywood actor turned antiwar activist and citizen journalist.
There's a reason we call him America's greatest actor: We all believed it!
Who else could he have gotten a camera into Saddam's media-controlled country right before we went to war? Countless lives were saved because Mr. Penn isolated Ba'athist strongholds and made sure that hospitals and nurseries were spared.
In a profession in which reputation is everything, Mr. Penn has been willing to sacrifice his own to ensure the good guys won and that millions of Iraqis were emancipated from unspeakable human rights horrors. The media would have crucified him if he were open to making millions of Iraqis free. So instead he went underground. Deep underground. Times are too complicated for a straightforward hero - so we got an edgy, postmodern one. Cool.
Those who know him well say Mr. Penn is making amends for the sins of his father. Leo Penn was an actor-turned-director who was blacklisted as a communist. Mr. Penn, ashamed that his dad took the side that perpetrated some of the greatest evils of the 20th century, is giving back to his country. He's thanking us all for his family's lavish lifestyle in Malibu, California, USA. …