Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Sunday, July 08, 2007

White House Policy Illegally Silences Americans Critical of Bush

I'm shocked - SHOCKED - to see that the Bush administration would sink to this level of partisan posturing!

It would seem that the ACLU has gotten ahold of an Advance Manual written by someone in the Bush Administration, detailing how to spot potential Bush critics - and then illegally block them from entering the venue.

According to a recent ACLU release:

"The White House has gone too far in its attempt to make dissent invisible," said Chris Hansen, a senior ACLU attorney who is lead counsel in this case. "When taxpayers foot the bill for a public event, the president does not have the right to use a partisan litmus test to stack the audience with his political supporters."

Turns out this manual led to the arrest and removal of attendees at taxpayer-funded events. (Oops - that's illegal!)

"When the president attends a public event, the First Amendment does not allow him to speak or listen only to those who agree with him," said Arthur Spitzer, Legal Director of the ACLU of the National Capital Area and co-counsel in the lawsuit. "Public places cannot be 'cleansed' of all dissent just to make the president look popular on television."

No wonder everyone is always waving flags and cheering! And here I thought he was paying them... silly me, threatening them with police is a lot cheaper.

It would seem that Bush's goon squad arrested two people at a Fourth of July presidential appearance simply for wearing anti-Bush t-shirts; and two Denver residents were actually thrown out of a town hall meeting because they had an anti-war bumper sticker on their car!

The Ranks had tickets to attend the July 4, 2004 event, but drew attention when they removed their outer garments to display t-shirts bearing the international "no" symbol (a circle with a diagonal line across it) superimposed over the word "Bush." Although other people in the audience were allowed to wear pro-Bush paraphernalia, White House event staff demanded that the Ranks remove or cover their t-shirts. When the Ranks refused, the White House staffers instructed local police to arrest the couple, causing them to be removed from the Capitol grounds in handcuffs, jailed and charged with trespassing. Ms. Rank was also temporarily suspended from her work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. City officials later apologized for their part in the arrest when they realized they'd been used as political operatives by the White House.

Similarly, Weise and Young had tickets to attend the March 21, 2005 Denver town hall on Social Security, but they were singled out after a staffer was informed that Weise had a bumper sticker on her car that read, "No More Blood for Oil." Weise was stopped upon entering the event and warned that she had been "ID'd," but was allowed to enter. However, shortly after reaching their seats, Weise and Young were forcibly removed from the event by a staffer who later admitted that he was acting under orders from White House officials.

There are actually a few other examples in the press release.

The ACLU is suing former 'Director of the White House Office of Presidential Advance' Gregory Jenkins for writing the manual... but I'm betting George just told him "keep them damn librals outta my sight, K?"

I can't say I'm surprised to read about this, but it's always fun when they get caught red-handed, isn't it? Although maybe not quite as fun for the people who were tossed from the building - or arrested on illegal pretenses.

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