Saturday, July 12, 2008

The "secret service" makes me nervous, those White House "dicks" get all their kicks when they observe us!

Librarian and former reporter Carol Kreck is shown in the above video being ticketed and then removed by police during a McCain rally in Denver earlier this week.

In the video, a representative from the Denver Center for Performing Arts claims it was "representatives of the Secret Service" who asked for her removal. But it seems that isn't true:
It was Sen. John McCain's staff who asked security at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts to remove people holding protest signs at the venue — not U.S. Secret Service agents, who were not involved in Carol Kreck's ouster from the galleria.

A video of the incident circulating widely on the Internet shows a DCPA security guard saying that he was told by the Secret Service to remove Kreck, who was holding a paper sign that said "McCain = Bush."

But Thursday, after two days of being vilified by bloggers, letter writers and others, the Secret Service emphatically denied involvement.

. . .

"A representative of Senator John McCain's staff respectfully asked that the venue for its July 7 Town Hall Meeting, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, not allow persons to display signage within the Arts Complex," DCPA officials said in a statement.

DCPA spokeswoman Suzanne Blandon said the guard who told Kreck to leave was "simply mistaken" in identifying the Secret Service as the agency that wanted her to leave. Blandon said the guard did not intend to use the Secret Service as leverage and did not mean to mislead anyone.

Maybe yes, maybe no. Ms. Kreck has a piece up at HuffPost where she adds:
Because it is without attribution, the lede in Cardona's story reads like she took the word of the DCPA and the Secret Service for gospel, which might not have been such a good idea.

Where is the statement from McCain's staff in this story? And why did it take the Secret Service two days to claim they had nothing to do with my ouster?

. . . The Secret Service claims what happened in the courtyard would be "inconsistent with our established policies and procedures." But the Secret Service has been hit several times with lawsuits alleging violations of First Amendment rights when citizens expressed opposition to administration policies. Locally, Denver attorney David Lane is suing them for a violation of Steven Howards' First and Fourth Amendment rights. Howards approached Dick Cheney in a Beaver Creek mall and told the vice president his policies in the Middle East were reprehensible. He was arrested; charges were dropped.

(As the New York Times reported, that issue devolved into "Secret Service agents -- under oath in court depositions -- accusing one another of unethical and perhaps even illegal conduct in the handling of Mr. Howards's arrest and the official accounting of it.")

Many of you have been inquiring about the status of legal proceedings. Colorado ACLU has deputized two attorneys to handle my case: criminal defense lawyer Pete Hedeen will take care of the trespassing charge. I will not pay a fine, I will not accept diversion. That leaves two options: dropped charges, or going to trial. After that is resolved, David Lane will proceed civilly.

Indeed. No word from the McCain campaign. Of course, that would only add to the week's blunders. And no word from the Secret Service who as a rule do not comment on stuff. Except when they do for their own PR purposes.