Friday, September 10

Slippery slope related police state program activities

From Atrios Via Campaign Extra, via WaPo's Dana Millbank, The Secret Service seems to have expanded its activities from the usual, breaking up of counterfeit money operations, and Preznidental protection, to include protecting, well I'm not sure what exactly, but either the protestors, from members of the press that might want to interview them, the press, from the protestors that they might like to interview, or us, from having to read what the protestors might be on about. In any event I doubt that this expanded duty was apart of the original charter that created the service. During a campaign stop in Pennsylvania, seven protestors were ejected from the place, for disruptions of presidential mendacity. This of course should come as no suprise to anyone familiar with "free speech zones"
One uniformed Secret Service agent complained to a colleague that "the press is having a field day" with the disruption -- and the agents quickly clamped down. Journalists were told that if they sought to approach the demonstrators, they would not be allowed to return to the event site -- even though their colleagues were free to come and go. An agent, who did not give his name, told one journalist who was blocked from returning to the speech that this was punishment for approaching the demonstrators and that there was a "different set of rules" for reporters who did not seek out the activists.
Tom Mazur, a spokesman for the Secret Service in Washington, said dealing with hecklers is the job of "the host committee and local enforcement" officers. "The Secret Service normally doesn't get involved." Mazur referred questions about the event to the Philadelphia field office, where Agent in Charge James Borasi was not available for comment.

A White House spokeswoman, Claire Buchan, said Bush's personal aide did keep a reporter away from the demonstrators but was not involved in the activists' detention.

Wow even Bush's personal aid got into the fray. "Must keep all dissening voices quiet - dear leader must be protected from any idea that he has detractors - his perty brain can not be exposed to the truth." Next up "free speech trailers".