Monday, October 09, 2006

Criticizing Cheney To His Face Is Assault?

Oh yes, you bet it is ;-) And I am sure Bushbots will support that, they fervently believe that this lying administration must always be defended and for them party comes before country. The only reasoning behind this is to chill criticism of the administration.

From the link...

Steve Howards says he used to fantasize about what he’d say to President Bush or Vice President Cheney if he ever got the chance.

That opportunity arrived on June 16, the same day he says he read about U.S. fatalities in Iraq reaching 2,500.

Howards says he was taking two of his kids to their Suzuki piano camp in Beaver Creek, Colorado. They were walking across the outdoor public mall area when all of a sudden he saw Cheney there.

“I didn’t even know he was in town,” Howards says. “He was walking through the area shaking hands. Initially, I walked past him. Then I said to myself, ‘I can’t in good conscience let this opportunity pass by.’ So I approached him, I got about two feet away, and I said in a very calm tone of voice, ‘Your policies in Iraq are reprehensible.’ And then I walked away.”

Howards says he knew the Administration has a “history of making problems” for people who protest its policies, so he wanted to leave off at that.

But the Secret Service did not take kindly to his comment.“About ten minutes later, I came back through the mall with my eight-year-old son in tow,” Howards recalls, “and this Secret Service man came out of the shadows, and his exact words were, ‘Did you assault the Vice President?’ ”

Here’s how Howards says he responded: “No, but I did tell Mr. Cheney the way I felt about the war in Iraq, and if Mr. Cheney wants to be shielded from public criticism, he should avoid public places. If exercising my constitutional rights to free speech is against the law, then you should arrest me.”

Which is just what the agent, Virgil D. “Gus” Reichle Jr, proceeded to do.

“He grabbed me and cuffed my hands behind my back in the presence of my eight-year-old son and told me I was being charged with assault of the Vice President,”Howards recalls.

He says he told the agent, “I can’t abandon my eight-year-old son in a public mall.”

According to Howards, Reichle responded: “We’ll call Social Services.” Before that could happen, however, “my son ran away and found my wife,” who was nearby, Howards says.

“First of all, I was scared,” Howard recalls. “They wouldn’t tell my wife where they were taking me. Second of all, I was incredulous this could be happening in the United States of America. This is what I read about happening in Tiananmen Square. They hauled me away to Eagle County jail and kept me with my hands cuffed behind my back for three hours.”

At the jail, the charge against him was reduced to harassment, he says, and he was released on $500 bond. The Eagle County DA’s office eventually dropped that charge.

On October 3, Howards sued Reichle for depriving him of his First Amendment right of free speech and his Fourth Amendment right to be protected from illegal seizure.

Howards and his attorney, David Lane, have not demanded a specific dollar amount.

“We will go to trial and let a Colorado jury decide what type of damages are appropriate,” says Howards. “This isn’t about anything I did. This about what I said. There is a frontal assault occurring on our constitutional right to free speech. We brought this suit because of our belief that this Administration’s attempt to suppress free speech is a greater threat to the long-term integrity of this nation than ten Osama bin Ladens.”

15 comments:

Cacophoenix said...

Holy Molly... I mean I knew these people were cowards and skunks,but this just makes me want to pack my bags and move. I mean I also take a very sadistic pleasure in seeing someone whack the admin, but still this is totally undemocratic. And this comes from an administration which criticizes every other country for human rights abuse, the country which condemmed the emergency in India and the rise of Musharraf in pakistan. Wonder how long it is before we sink into an autocratic government.

Sanjay said...

I agree. But don't pack your bags ;) We need to stay and fight the good fight esp against these nuts and their enablers like the troll who sometimes infests this place.

Jordan's Dad said...

No no no - pack your bags! pack your bags! Its so horrible here! We're all under assault! You'd be so much better off somewhere... ANYWHERE else. Get out while you can!

BTW, Lemme know if you need a raft or something. I'd be more than glad to help you out.

- JD (a.k.a. Head Troll and Infestor for the Bushbot Army)

Sanjay said...

JD makes a funny!

Anonymous said...

In all seriousness JD, do you support arresting a father for assault because he said "Your policies in Iraq are reprehensible."?

Cheney's agent deserves to be thrown into jail for depriving a father of his freedom simply because he said something that Cheney didn't like. I thought this was the USA, not some third world country run by a tin pot dictator.

Shame on you, JD, for not condemning the Secret Service agent's actions.

Sanjay said...

It's precious that the VP says f*** you to a Senator and that is ok but a similar criticism by a citizen of his Iraq policies becomes a case for assault?
Gee I wonder why they dropped that charge.

BTW JD try getting that head of yours around the article instead of picking a strawman and going after the comments that cacophoenix made. But then again you are just living up to being a troll and a bushbot ;)

Jordan's Dad said...

Well, to answer Jay and anon, I was not there, so its impossible for me to say what happened or opine as to the appropriate response.

But accepting the father's version as true, and dismissing the possibility that this is yet another liberal desperate to cast himself as a martyr for freedom of speech, I would say that the secret service does owe the father an apology.

I would be surprised if Cheney had knowledge of the Service's actions at the time of the incident. But feel free to prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...

Good...I'm glad that common sense finally won out and you finally admitted that, given what's known about the circumstances, the Secret Service should apologize. Do you think that the agent in question should be punished for his actions or do you feel that he shouldn't be truly held accountable?

Cheney most certainly knew that the Secret Service agent would "handle" this father somehow. Otherwise, why would the agent have tracked him down? Would I go so far as to claim that Cheney knew EXACTLY what that agent would do? No. I think that the agent got mad, let his power of arrest go to his head, and unilaterally revoked a father's liberties all because he lost his own temper.

So, JD, how harsh should the government be in dealing with this agent's clearly temper-driven misjudgement?

Ameet said...

Incredible. Cheney IS the devil incarnate.

Jordan's Dad said...

"Do you think that the agent in question should be punished for his actions or do you feel that he shouldn't be truly held accountable?"

Punished.

"So, JD, how harsh should the government be in dealing with this agent's clearly temper-driven misjudgement?"

That depends. But definitely more harsh than the Dems think we should be with terrorists.

Is the Agent covered by the Geneva conventions?

Hee hee!

Cacophoenix said...

My disgust is not the govermental policies that this administration makes to protect itself, it is at their double standards in dealing with people, countries and their policies. You have no right to criticize another country for its policies, when the ones that you frame at your own land in a convoluted way strikes at the heart of a democratic nation. Agreed that fear is a major player in these desicions, but aren't you protecting yourself so much that you end up building your own cage. Nobody says don't make laws, but what right do you have to condemn a Korea or a Burma for human rights abuses when you can't treat a person with dignity in your own prison. In the eyes of the korean and the burmese, the people they mistreat are terrorists, so that is no stupid excuse.

As for the raft, no thanks. I would hate to take the one that you have saved for yourself in case of the impending crisis. And even if I accept it, I may be arrested for assault and forcible possesion of a life saving device....

Anonymous said...

JD, please do tell me what you think the punishment for this agent should be. The Geneva Conventions apply to POW's, so I'm not sure why you would refer to them here. The agent certainly would have the right to file a writ of habeas corpus if he were to be imprisoned.

So...what should the punishment be?

Jordan's Dad said...

No idea what "cacophoenix" is talking about.

Anyway, Anon, I dont know what the punishment should be. Is this the first such offense by this Agent? Or has he done this numerous times?Does the Service have procedures/punishments for dealing with abuses of authority by its agents? I dont know.

I mean, there was no crime here. So, maybe a week's suspension without pay. How's that sound?

Anonymous said...

JD...you are sadly mistaken.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_arrest

Jordan's Dad said...

Anon,

The first line of the wikipedia link that YOU cite states that "False arrest is a common law tort" - i.e., it is NOT a crime.

You dont need to be a lawyer to know the difference.

JD