Thursday, October 05, 2006

Does This Sound Like Democracy To You?

As the latest part of my fascism watch, I present this latest incident...

Rocky Mountain News: Arrest over Cheney barb triggers lawsuit
A Denver-area man filed a lawsuit today against a member of the Secret Service for causing him to be arrested after he approached Vice President Dick Cheney in Beaver Creek this summer and criticized him for his policies concerning Iraq.

Attorney David Lane said that on June 16, Steve Howards was walking his 7-year-old son to a piano practice, when he saw Cheney surrounded by a group of people in an outdoor mall area, shaking hands and posing for pictures with several people.

According to the lawsuit filed at U.S. District Court in Denver, Howards and his son walked to about two-to-three feet from where Cheney was standing, and said to the vice president, "I think your policies in Iraq are reprehensible," or words to that effect, then walked on.

Ten minutes later, according to Howards' lawsuit, he and his son were walking back through the same area, when they were approached by Secret Service agent Virgil D. "Gus" Reichle Jr., who asked Howards if he had "assaulted" the vice president. Howards denied doing so, but was nonetheless placed in handcuffs and taken to the Eagle County Jail...

To recap: A local man saw the Vice President doing an appearance in a public place, approached him to express criticism of his policies, and was subsequently arrested for 'assault'. All at the same that the administration is using the spreading of democracy to justify its bungled military adventures.

Perhaps the Vice President was speaking outside the area's free speech zones.

This is not an isolated incident. Last year, a man named Ben Marble in Mississippi famously told Vice President Cheney to go fuck himself during a post-Katrina photo-op. Marble was also detained (and cuffed) following the incident by military police.

Keep in mind that, under the new detainee bill, this is a man who, with the President, has the sole determination of who is a 'terrorist' or 'enemy combatant' anywhere in the world, can detain them without legal recourse, torture and brutalize them, imprison them forever, or dispose of them as he wishes. All in the name of defending 'freedom' and 'liberty'.

Do you trust their judgement and restraint? Do you feel safer? Neither do I.

[Related: A Question of 'Compromise'-
McCain's deal on prisoners means White House lawlessness rolls on
(Village Voice- Liberty Beat)]

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