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Old 01-18-2004, 01:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Bush and Free Speech

I guess it's only "free speech" if you carrying a sign that supports Dumya. Well here it is... isolating "free speech" from "protest". This is actually just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Dumya's administration. The patriot act really expanded the powers of government far beyond anything that any previous administration has done.


But hey, he's a republican president and he can really do no wrong... -right?
Quote:
Quarantining dissent
How the Secret Service protects Bush from free speech

James Bovard



When President Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up "free speech zones" or "protest zones," where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined. These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event.

When Bush went to the Pittsburgh area on Labor Day 2002, 65-year-old retired steel worker Bill Neel was there to greet him with a sign proclaiming, "The Bush family must surely love the poor, they made so many of us."

The local police, at the Secret Service's behest, set up a "designated free-speech zone" on a baseball field surrounded by a chain-link fence a third of a mile from the location of Bush's speech.

The police cleared the path of the motorcade of all critical signs, but folks with pro-Bush signs were permitted to line the president's path. Neel refused to go to the designated area and was arrested for disorderly conduct; the police also confiscated his sign.

Neel later commented, "As far as I'm concerned, the whole country is a free-speech zone. If the Bush administration has its way, anyone who criticizes them will be out of sight and out of mind."

At Neel's trial, police Detective John Ianachione testified that the Secret Service told local police to confine "people that were there making a statement pretty much against the president and his views" in a so-called free- speech area.

Paul Wolf, one of the top officials in the Allegheny County Police Department, told Salon that the Secret Service "come in and do a site survey, and say, 'Here's a place where the people can be, and we'd like to have any protesters put in a place that is able to be secured.' "

Pennsylvania District Judge Shirley Rowe Trkula threw out the disorderly conduct charge against Neel, declaring, "I believe this is America. Whatever happened to 'I don't agree with you, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it'?"

Similar suppressions have occurred during Bush visits to Florida. A recent St. Petersburg Times editorial noted, "At a Bush rally at Legends Field in 2001, three demonstrators -- two of whom were grandmothers -- were arrested for holding up small handwritten protest signs outside the designated zone. And last year, seven protesters were arrested when Bush came to a rally at the USF Sun Dome. They had refused to be cordoned off into a protest zone hundreds of yards from the entrance to the Dome."

One of the arrested protesters was a 62-year-old man holding up a sign, "War is good business. Invest your sons." The seven were charged with trespassing, "obstructing without violence and disorderly conduct."

Police have repressed protesters during several Bush visits to the St. Louis area as well. When Bush visited on Jan. 22, 150 people carrying signs were shunted far away from the main action and effectively quarantined.

Denise Lieberman of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri commented, "No one could see them from the street. In addition, the media were not allowed to talk to them. The police would not allow any media inside the protest area and wouldn't allow any of the protesters out of the protest zone to talk to the media."

When Bush stopped by a Boeing plant to talk to workers, Christine Mains and her 5-year-old daughter disobeyed orders to move to a small protest area far from the action. Police arrested Mains and took her and her crying daughter away in separate squad cars.

The Justice Department is now prosecuting Brett Bursey, who was arrested for holding a "No War for Oil" sign at a Bush visit to Columbia, S.C. Local police, acting under Secret Service orders, established a "free-speech zone" half a mile from where Bush would speak. Bursey was standing amid hundreds of people carrying signs praising the president. Police told Bursey to remove himself to the "free-speech zone."

Bursey refused and was arrested. Bursey said that he asked the police officer if "it was the content of my sign, and he said, 'Yes, sir, it's the content of your sign that's the problem.' " Bursey stated that he had already moved 200 yards from where Bush was supposed to speak. Bursey later complained, "The problem was, the restricted area kept moving. It was wherever I happened to be standing."

Bursey was charged with trespassing. Five months later, the charge was dropped because South Carolina law prohibits arresting people for trespassing on public property. But the Justice Department -- in the person of U.S. Attorney Strom Thurmond Jr. -- quickly jumped in, charging Bursey with violating a rarely enforced federal law regarding "entering a restricted area around the president of the United States."

If convicted, Bursey faces a six-month trip up the river and a $5,000 fine. Federal Magistrate Bristow Marchant denied Bursey's request for a jury trial because his violation is categorized as a petty offense. Some observers believe that the feds are seeking to set a precedent in a conservative state such as South Carolina that could then be used against protesters nationwide.

Bursey's trial took place on Nov. 12 and 13. His lawyers sought the Secret Service documents they believed would lay out the official policies on restricting critical speech at presidential visits. The Bush administration sought to block all access to the documents, but Marchant ruled that the lawyers could have limited access.

Bursey sought to subpoena Attorney General John Ashcroft and presidential adviser Karl Rove to testify. Bursey lawyer Lewis Pitts declared, "We intend to find out from Mr. Ashcroft why and how the decision to prosecute Mr. Bursey was reached." The magistrate refused, however, to enforce the subpoenas. Secret Service agent Holly Abel testified at the trial that Bursey was told to move to the "free-speech zone" but refused to cooperate.

The feds have offered some bizarre rationales for hog-tying protesters. Secret Service agent Brian Marr explained to National Public Radio, "These individuals may be so involved with trying to shout their support or nonsupport that inadvertently they may walk out into the motorcade route and be injured. And that is really the reason why we set these places up, so we can make sure that they have the right of free speech, but, two, we want to be sure that they are able to go home at the end of the evening and not be injured in any way." Except for having their constitutional rights shredded.

The ACLU, along with several other organizations, is suing the Secret Service for what it charges is a pattern and practice of suppressing protesters at Bush events in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas and elsewhere. The ACLU's Witold Walczak said of the protesters, "The individuals we are talking about didn't pose a security threat; they posed a political threat."

The Secret Service is duty-bound to protect the president. But it is ludicrous to presume that would-be terrorists are lunkheaded enough to carry anti-Bush signs when carrying pro-Bush signs would give them much closer access. And even a policy of removing all people carrying signs -- as has happened in some demonstrations -- is pointless because potential attackers would simply avoid carrying signs. Assuming that terrorists are as unimaginative and predictable as the average federal bureaucrat is not a recipe for presidential longevity.

The Bush administration's anti-protester bias proved embarrassing for two American allies with long traditions of raucous free speech, resulting in some of the most repressive restrictions in memory in free countries.

When Bush visited Australia in October, Sydney Morning Herald columnist Mark Riley observed, "The basic right of freedom of speech will adopt a new interpretation during the Canberra visits this week by George Bush and his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao. Protesters will be free to speak as much as they like just as long as they can't be heard."

Demonstrators were shunted to an area away from the Federal Parliament building and prohibited from using any public address system in the area.

For Bush's recent visit to London, the White House demanded that British police ban all protest marches, close down the center of the city and impose a "virtual three-day shutdown of central London in a bid to foil disruption of the visit by anti-war protesters," according to Britain's Evening Standard. But instead of a "free-speech zone," the Bush administration demanded an "exclusion zone" to protect Bush from protesters' messages.

Such unprecedented restrictions did not inhibit Bush from portraying himself as a champion of freedom during his visit. In a speech at Whitehall on Nov. 19, Bush hyped the "forward strategy of freedom" and declared, "We seek the advance of freedom and the peace that freedom brings."

Attempts to suppress protesters become more disturbing in light of the Homeland Security Department's recommendation that local police departments view critics of the war on terrorism as potential terrorists. In a May terrorist advisory, the Homeland Security Department warned local law enforcement agencies to keep an eye on anyone who "expressed dislike of attitudes and decisions of the U.S. government." If police vigorously followed this advice, millions of Americans could be added to the official lists of suspected terrorists.

Protesters have claimed that police have assaulted them during demonstrations in New York, Washington and elsewhere.

One of the most violent government responses to an antiwar protest occurred when local police and the federally funded California Anti-Terrorism Task Force fired rubber bullets and tear gas at peaceful protesters and innocent bystanders at the Port of Oakland, injuring a number of people.

When the police attack sparked a geyser of media criticism, Mike van Winkle, the spokesman for the California Anti-Terrorism Information Center told the Oakland Tribune, "You can make an easy kind of a link that, if you have a protest group protesting a war where the cause that's being fought against is international terrorism, you might have terrorism at that protest. You can almost argue that a protest against that is a terrorist act."

Van Winkle justified classifying protesters as terrorists: "I've heard terrorism described as anything that is violent or has an economic impact, and shutting down a port certainly would have some economic impact. Terrorism isn't just bombs going off and killing people."

Such aggressive tactics become more ominous in the light of the Bush administration's advocacy, in its Patriot II draft legislation, of nullifying all judicial consent decrees restricting state and local police from spying on those groups who may oppose government policies.

On May 30, 2002, Ashcroft effectively abolished restrictions on FBI surveillance of Americans' everyday lives first imposed in 1976. One FBI internal newsletter encouraged FBI agents to conduct more interviews with antiwar activists "for plenty of reasons, chief of which it will enhance the paranoia endemic in such circles and will further service to get the point across that there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox."

The FBI took a shotgun approach toward protesters partly because of the FBI's "belief that dissident speech and association should be prevented because they were incipient steps toward the possible ultimate commission of act which might be criminal," according to a Senate report.

On Nov. 23 news broke that the FBI is actively conducting surveillance of antiwar demonstrators, supposedly to "blunt potential violence by extremist elements," according to a Reuters interview with a federal law enforcement official.

Given the FBI's expansive definition of "potential violence" in the past, this is a net that could catch almost any group or individual who falls into official disfavor.

James Bovard is the author of "Terrorism & Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice, and Peace to Rid the World of Evil." This article is adapted from one that appeared in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Conservative.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...NGPQ40MB81.DTL
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Old 01-18-2004, 01:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 01-18-2004, 01:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sadly, this may be enough to push me into a Dean vote, if he gets the nomination.

No other Dem currently running, however.
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Old 01-18-2004, 01:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I fail to see the problem.

Free speech is the right to say what you want, but not the right to be heard when and where you want.

Bush has a GIANT target between his eyes right now, as such there must be a security zone around him. When the government starts regulating what we say in here, at a bar, to our coworkers then I'll be upset.

Not to mention the protestors in the last few years haven't been really well behaved. You reap what you sow.
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Old 01-18-2004, 02:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm sorry, but that makes no sense.

If security was REALLY the concern, then the pro-Bush people would also be excluded because an assassin wouldn't be set up as a protestor, he would be set up as a supporter.

And while there may be limits on free speech (e.g. yelling fire in a theater), there are also absolutes that the govt. CANNOT abridge.

And such is the case here.

Peaceful protestors should be able to protest anywhere Bush supporters are supporting.


"I may not like what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
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Old 01-18-2004, 02:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
I fail to see the problem.
disrespectful comment edited by lebell

Why doesn't Bush want to hear the people? Oh wait he doesn't give a shit.
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Old 01-18-2004, 02:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
Free speech is the right to say what you want, ...
...when and where you want to say it. "Free Speech zone" is a contradiction in terms.
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Old 01-18-2004, 03:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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First off its an piece from the SF gate, not exactly a 'pro-bush' or even a neutral paper. Secondly there is only one reference that pro-bush people were allowed to stay while protestors weren't, I don't trust it, and even if true its quite possible the police were just being dumbasses and not moving everyone. Third any article which brings up grandmothers and children in order to gain sympathy is obviously an opinion piece and not one that wants to focus on reason but emotionalism.

As such I don't give a damn.
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Old 01-18-2004, 03:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This article has me seeing red.

It also makes me wonder if the president really gets to see the whole picture in other areas as well, especially since he's said on several occasions that he doesn't read the paper or watch the news.

God, you know what this reminds me of? The Truman Show

edit:Also, Ustwo, it's the Chronicle that you're mislabeling, the SFgate is just a community portal website.
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Old 01-18-2004, 04:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
First off its an piece from the SF gate, not exactly a 'pro-bush' or even a neutral paper.
Gotcha!

If you bothered to read the article you would know that it was originally published in "The American Conservative" http://www.amconmag.com/12_15_03/feature.html -which is a far right magazine owned by Pat Buchanan.


But the bias isn't "leftist or rightist". This is about un-american censorship. You seem unconcerned that your fellow Americans are being routinely censored. Is there anything that Bush does that you don't support?
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Old 01-18-2004, 04:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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You do know that Pat Buchanan is an isolationist and has opposed the republicans for many years?

Also since it is a far right site that makes it accurate? I hope so because then I can start giving you NewMax articles.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Astrocloud
Gotcha!

If you bothered to read the article you would know that it was originally published in "The American Conservative" http://www.amconmag.com/12_15_03/feature.html -which is a far right magazine owned by Pat Buchanan.


But the bias isn't "leftist or rightist". This is about un-american censorship. You seem unconcerned that your fellow Americans are being routinely censored. Is there anything that Bush does that you don't support?
This just goes to show Bush and Co. are old school and know their history. John Adams and the Alien and Sedition act come to mind when actions like this are taken against protestors.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
You do know that Pat Buchanan is an isolationist and has opposed the republicans for many years?
Can you say Ad hominem fallacy? Here look it up Link to Ad Hominem Fallacy


Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
Also since it is a far right site that makes it accurate? I hope so because then I can start giving you NewMax articles.
Go ahead and cite Newsmax but they take more liberties with the truth than both "The American Conservative" and the "San Fran Gate" combined. Maybe you'll also cite the Weekly World News or The Onion.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
You do know that Pat Buchanan is an isolationist and has opposed the republicans for many years?
Stipulated. Pat Buchanan was with the republicans when he thought he could yank them around to his way of seeing things. Poppie Bush put a stop to that. He is, however, slightly to the right of Mussolini.

Quote:
Also since it is a far right site that makes it accurate? I hope so because then I can start giving you NewMax articles.
No, that makes your discounting the article because it was the product of a liberally biased site just about as wrong as can be. If you had started off with, yeah, Pat Buchanan is conservative, but he's also an idiot who hates the president, you wouldn't have a problem, but now you're just scrambling.

Ustwo, I am beginning to develop some respect for you. Please don't blow it on things like this.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by nanofever
This just goes to show Bush and Co. are old school and know their history. John Adams and the Alien and Sedition act come to mind when actions like this are taken against protestors.
So you support this action by the President? Perhaps you think that all people opposing him should be thrown into jail and fined?

Please explain.

Oh yes thanks for the cryptic reference to the Alien and Sedition acts. Here's a direct reference for anyone who wants to read about it:

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/statutes/sedact.htm
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Astrocloud
Can you say Ad hominem fallacy?
I don't think it's an ad hominem fallacy -- Ustwo's saying that just because he's a conservative Republican doesn't mean that he agrees with everything or anything found in a publication owned by someone with a particular set of political beliefs who also calls himself a "conservative." Pointing out that Buchanan is an isolationist in opposition to the GOP only serves to show by example that Buchanan's beliefs aren't Ustwo's beliefs. Not all "conservatives" believe the same things.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:10 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Sure, people can say what they want.

Unfortunately for the protesters, people can't go wherever they want. This has absolutely nothing to do with freedom of speech.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:13 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Sorry but Pat opposes basically anything that doesn't put a wall around the US where we ignore the rest of the world. He has been opposed to the war in Iraq from the beginning. Left or right it doesn't matter. BUT.....

Even if it were 100% true I don't CARE. No one is stopping you from protesting, you can have all the protests you want. No one is stopping you from writing about it. No one is stopping you from talking about it.

You ARE being stopped from protesting near presidential visits. Do you think he is being shielded from it, or maybe they are just sick of asshats yelling 'no blood for oil' every time he gives a speech about ANY topic and disrupting the event?

Tell me where it says in the constitution you have the right to disrupt presidential visits. Free speech doesn't mean you can go anywhere you want yelling about whatever you want to yell about. If you wait until protestors get disruptive its to late to prevent it. If you want to protest do so, or are you afraid you won't have the camera coverage you get with a presidential visit?
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by lordjeebus
Not all "conservatives" believe the same things.
Which is exactly my point. Originally he rejected the article for it's alleged left wing bias. There is no bias.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:14 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by milkyp
Sure, people can say what they want.

Unfortunately for the protesters, people can't go wherever they want. This has absolutely nothing to do with freedom of speech.
It has to do with freedom of speech if people were granted or denied the right to go to a particular place on the basis of what they wanted to say. If everyone was denied the right to go there, that's a different story.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:18 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by lordjeebus
It has to do with freedom of speech if people were granted or denied the right to go to a particular place on the basis of what they wanted to say. If everyone was denied the right to go there, that's a different story.
No...you are wrong. Completely wrong. And Ignorant. The protestors were allowed to say whatever they wanted, and they did. Not allowing them to be somewhere is not limiting them from saying what they want.

NOBODY has the RIGHT to be allowed to say what they want on TV.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:22 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Ustwo did you even read the article? It doesn't seem that there is even the issue of protestors "disrupting the event".


The Secret Service is clearing the Motorcade routes of people in the "Free Speech Zone" that do anything but support the president. I suggest you re-read the article because you seemed to have missed it the first time around.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:22 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by milkyp
No...you are wrong. Completely wrong. And Ignorant. The protestors were allowed to say whatever they wanted, and they did. Not allowing them to be somewhere is not limiting them from saying what they want.

NOBODY has the RIGHT to be allowed to say what they want on TV.
I don't think TV has anything to do with this.

There are public spaces to which anyone can have access. For security purposes, the secret service can close off certain areas to the public. The secret service shoud not have the right to close off certain areas to a subset of people in anticipation of how they will exercise their right to free speech in that area. Again, I don't care if they close off the area to everyone, but to deny only people who are expected to say certain things access to public spaces is as aversive as denying access to public space on the basis of race or religion.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:25 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by lordjeebus
I don't think TV has anything to do with this.

There are public spaces to which anyone can have access. For security purposes, the secret service can close off certain areas to the public. The secret service shoud not have the right to close off certain areas to a subset of people in anticipation of how they will exercise their right to free speech in that area. Again, I don't care if they close off the area to everyone, but to deny only people who are expected to say certain things access to public spaces is as aversive as denying access to public space on the basis of race or religion.
When President Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up "free speech zones" or "protest zones," where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined

Well shit, it looks like both sides are put there. It also looks like your shit has just been ruined lordjeebus.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:28 PM   #25 (permalink)
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milkyp:

Quote:
The police cleared the path of the motorcade of all critical signs, but folks with pro-Bush signs were permitted to line the president's path.
Quote:
Bursey said that he asked the police officer if "it was the content of my sign, and he said, 'Yes, sir, it's the content of your sign that's the problem.'
Also, your quote says that "sometimes sign-carrying supporters" are quarantined. Implying that sometimes they are not.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:30 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Also, your quote says that "sometimes sign-carrying supporters" are quarantined. Implying that sometimes they are not.

Sure you could spin the quote that way. It also could mean that there are sometimes people with bush supportive signs.

Bursey said

And we are supposed to believe the word of the protestor?
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:33 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by milkyp
Also, your quote says that "sometimes sign-carrying supporters" are quarantined. Implying that sometimes they are not.

Sure you could spin the quote that way. It also could mean that there are sometimes people with bush supportive signs.
I don't mind the case when everyone is quarantined. But this article clearly discusses cases when people are selectively quarantined on the basis of what they are saying and so you can't say that "both sides are put there" all the time.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:35 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally posted by milkyp
And we are supposed to believe the word of the protestor?
The article names a number of people who have been in similar situations. If you don't want to believe any of them, that's your perogative. But you haven't shown any evidence to contradict what they have said.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:38 PM   #29 (permalink)
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There is nothing proving that they were sent there based on what they had to say. All there is is the word of the usually extremist protestors. I believe what the SS has to say about it over what some protestor does.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:42 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by milkyp
There is nothing proving that they were sent there based on what they had to say. All there is is the word of the usually extremist protestors. I believe what the SS has to say about it over what some protestor does.
I haven't seen anything about what the SS has to say about whether or not this happens, besides this:

Quote:
police Detective John Ianachione testified that the Secret Service told local police to confine "people that were there making a statement pretty much against the president and his views" in a so-called free- speech area.
Perhaps you could find something and share it with us?
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:43 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Location: Northeast Jesusland
Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
Tell me where it says in the constitution you have the right to disrupt presidential visits.
That's a good argument. Not one that I agree with, but one I'll ponder for a while before I have a good answer.

Quote:
Free speech doesn't mean you can go anywhere you want yelling about whatever you want to yell about.
Actually, excepting private property, and those few things specifically exluded by the Supreme court as presenting a clear and present danger to life and property ("fire" in a crowded theater), or obscenity, it pretty much does mean just that.

Quote:
If you wait until protestors get disruptive its to late to prevent it.
Now there's a legal term for that argument, and it's just plain wrong. You cannot punish what might possibly happen, just what has happened.

Quote:
If you want to protest do so, or are you afraid you won't have the camera coverage you get with a presidential visit?
The president is not the only thing the media is there to cover on a presidential visit. No need to go ad hominem just to wrap up your argument. You started out really strong, but finished pretty weak, there.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:49 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Location: Orlando, FL
Quote:
Originally posted by lordjeebus
I haven't seen anything about what the SS has to say about whether or not this happens, besides this:



Perhaps you could find something and share it with us?
It would be my pleasure!

Secret Service agent Brian Marr explained to National Public Radio, "These individuals may be so involved with trying to shout their support or nonsupport that inadvertently they may walk out into the motorcade route and be injured. And that is really the reason why we set these places up, so we can make sure that they have the right of free speech, but, two, we want to be sure that they are able to go home at the end of the evening and not be injured in any way." Except for having their constitutional rights shredded.

Look at that ending statement. Why in the world are we using an article this biased as a reference to this argument? It favors the anti-bush argument.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:49 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Astrocloud
So you support this action by the President? Perhaps you think that all people opposing him should be thrown into jail and fined?

Please explain.

Oh yes thanks for the cryptic reference to the Alien and Sedition acts. Here's a direct reference for anyone who wants to read about it:

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/statutes/sedact.htm
My reading of his quote doesn't suggest he supports this action.

And can we please stop calling the Secret Service the "SS"? It gives me the fucking shivers.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:54 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by milkyp
It would be my pleasure!

Secret Service agent Brian Marr explained to National Public Radio, "These individuals may be so involved with trying to shout their support or nonsupport that inadvertently they may walk out into the motorcade route and be injured. And that is really the reason why we set these places up, so we can make sure that they have the right of free speech, but, two, we want to be sure that they are able to go home at the end of the evening and not be injured in any way." Except for having their constitutional rights shredded.

Look at that ending statement. Why in the world are we using an article this biased as a reference to this argument? It favors the anti-bush argument.
Thank you, I missed that. I agree that using this one article as a basis for anything proves very little. I too would be interested in seeing information from other sources confirming or denying that the secret service selectively quarantines people based on the content of their political speech.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:57 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Location: Orlando, FL
Quote:
Originally posted by lordjeebus
Thank you, I missed that. I agree that using this one article as a basis for anything proves very little. I too would be interested in seeing information from other sources confirming or denying that the secret service selectively quarantines people based on the content of their political speech.

It's a ridiculous reason, but it's a reason...
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Old 01-18-2004, 06:00 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by lordjeebus
Thank you, I missed that. I agree that using this one article as a basis for anything proves very little. I too would be interested in seeing information from other sources confirming or denying that the secret service selectively quarantines people based on the content of their political speech.
Pick your source

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ed...free+speech%22
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Old 01-18-2004, 06:07 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Location: College
Quote:
Originally posted by Astrocloud
Pick your source

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ed...free+speech%22
Thanks, I actually already tried that. Most of the sources are rather local/obscure and tend to quote the same people. The secret service acknowledges that they quarantine but do not say if they do so selectively.

I can understand why the secret service would rather say nothing official about this. But I think that if they're facing accusations of selective quarantining they have a responsibility to confirm or deny them. Any bad PR they would get is bad PR they deserve.
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Old 01-18-2004, 07:18 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Location: UCSB
Quote:
Originally posted by Astrocloud
So you support this action by the President? Perhaps you think that all people opposing him should be thrown into jail and fined?

Please explain.

Oh yes thanks for the cryptic reference to the Alien and Sedition acts. Here's a direct reference for anyone who wants to read about it:

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/statutes/sedact.htm
I was pointing out that Bush and Co. are baby stepping towards A&S act territory, IMHO one of the worst acts ever inacted. I'm entirely with the supporters on this one.
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Old 01-18-2004, 08:58 PM   #39 (permalink)
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May 27, 2003


The Honorable John Ashcroft
Attorney General
Department Of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Mr. Attorney General,

Respecting as we do the roles assigned to the Legislative and Executive Branches by the Constitution, we do not usually comment on pending individual prosecutions. But where important national policy issues are directly implicated in decisions to prosecute, we believe it is our responsibility to express our views. And we feel very strongly that the decision by your department to charge Brett Bursey under Section 1752 (a)(1)(ii) of Title 18 of the U.S. Code is greatly mistaken, and is in fact a threat to the freedom of expression we should all be defending.

Of course it is a primary duty of the Secret Service to protect the President, but there is no plausible argument that can be made that Mr. Bursey was threatening the President by holding a sign which the President found politically offensive. Mr. Bursey reports that he was told that he had to either put down his sign or leave the area in other words, it was not his presence in the area but his presence holding a sign that was expressing a political viewpoint critical of the President that caused his arrest. The fact that Mr. Bursey was told to go to the free speech zone demonstrates how mistaken the Justice Departments position is in this regard.

As we read the First Amendment to the Constitution, the United States is a free speech zone. In the United States, free speech is the rule, not the exception, and citizens rights to express it do not depend on their doing it in a way that the President finds politically amenable. It is extremely relevant that the State dropped the trespassing charges, and that the U.S. Attorney, Mr. Thurmond, then brought this serious charge. Perhaps the problem was trying to convict Mr. Bursey of trespassing when he was standing on public property and doing nothing unlawful. But the States decision to drop the charge should have been a model for the federal government, rather than an occasion for the federal government instituting a serious criminal prosecution of an individual whose crime was engaging in free speech outside of what law enforcement officials decided was the appropriate zone. We ask that you make it clear that we have no interest as a government in zoning Constitutional freedoms, and that being politically annoying to the President of the United States is not a criminal offense. This prosecution smacks of the use of the Sedition Acts two hundred years ago to protect the President from political discomfort. It was wrong then and it is wrong now. We urge you to drop this prosecution based so clearly on the political views being expressed by the individual who is being prosecuted.



Barney Frank

Ron Paul

John Conyers

James R. Langevin

Loretta Sanchez

Zoe Lofgren

Edward J. Markey

Howard L. Berman

Jerrold Nadler

Melvin L. Watt

William D. Delahunt

http://www.house.gov/frank/scprotester2003.html

Last edited by Astrocloud; 01-18-2004 at 09:01 PM..
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Old 01-18-2004, 09:40 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Location: UCSB
Quote:
Originally posted by Astrocloud
May 27, 2003


The Honorable John Ashcroft
Attorney General
Department Of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Mr. Attorney General,

Respecting as we do the roles assigned to the Legislative and Executive Branches by the Constitution, we do not usually comment on pending individual prosecutions. But where important national policy issues are directly implicated in decisions to prosecute, we believe it is our responsibility to express our views. And we feel very strongly that the decision by your department to charge Brett Bursey under Section 1752 (a)(1)(ii) of Title 18 of the U.S. Code is greatly mistaken, and is in fact a threat to the freedom of expression we should all be defending.

Of course it is a primary duty of the Secret Service to protect the President, but there is no plausible argument that can be made that Mr. Bursey was threatening the President by holding a sign which the President found politically offensive. Mr. Bursey reports that he was told that he had to either put down his sign or leave the area in other words, it was not his presence in the area but his presence holding a sign that was expressing a political viewpoint critical of the President that caused his arrest. The fact that Mr. Bursey was told to go to the free speech zone demonstrates how mistaken the Justice Departments position is in this regard.

As we read the First Amendment to the Constitution, the United States is a free speech zone. In the United States, free speech is the rule, not the exception, and citizens rights to express it do not depend on their doing it in a way that the President finds politically amenable. It is extremely relevant that the State dropped the trespassing charges, and that the U.S. Attorney, Mr. Thurmond, then brought this serious charge. Perhaps the problem was trying to convict Mr. Bursey of trespassing when he was standing on public property and doing nothing unlawful. But the States decision to drop the charge should have been a model for the federal government, rather than an occasion for the federal government instituting a serious criminal prosecution of an individual whose crime was engaging in free speech outside of what law enforcement officials decided was the appropriate zone. We ask that you make it clear that we have no interest as a government in zoning Constitutional freedoms, and that being politically annoying to the President of the United States is not a criminal offense. This prosecution smacks of the use of the Sedition Acts two hundred years ago to protect the President from political discomfort. It was wrong then and it is wrong now. We urge you to drop this prosecution based so clearly on the political views being expressed by the individual who is being prosecuted.



Barney Frank

Ron Paul

John Conyers

James R. Langevin

Loretta Sanchez

Zoe Lofgren

Edward J. Markey

Howard L. Berman

Jerrold Nadler

Melvin L. Watt

William D. Delahunt

http://www.house.gov/frank/scprotester2003.html
I'm going to applaude Ron Paul for breaking party ranks and condeming this destruction of first amendment rights.
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