Saturday, July 30, 2005

NYT: "No Charges" for the jerk who impersonated a Secret Service agent and evicted the Denver Three

From "National Briefing" in this morning's New York Times, we're noting one AP item:

Federal prosecutors will not charge a volunteer who removed three people from at a meeting with President Bush in March after they arrived in a car with a bumper sticker reading "No More Blood for Oil." The Secret Service investigated whether the volunteer, whose name has not been released, impersonated a Secret Service officer and William Leone, a United States attorney, said there was not enough evidence for prosecution. A lawyer for the three -- Karen Bauer, Leslie Weise and Alex Young -- said they planned to sue the volunteer for allegedly violating their free-speech rights and assaulting them. The volunteer, who was wearing a dark suit, radio earpiece and lape pin, threatened them with arrest if they did not leave the meeting in Denver.

Note ". . . from at a meeting" is the error run in the Times, not mine. I've quoted it exactly. And that's not a nah-nah-nah statement. I do the same all the time myself, just want to be clear before a careful reading visitor or member feels the need to e-mail on the mistake, take it up with the Times.

Bauer, Weise and Young are known as The Denver Three. BuzzFlash has covered them (and has a statement by them here and for an interview with Leslie Weise of the Denver Three click here) as has Democracy Now! ("Three People Forcibly Removed From Bush "Town Hall" Meeting on Social Security"), The Progressive's (editor) Matthew Rothschild wrote about it in his McCarthyism Watch ("Evicted from Bush Event, Denver Progressives to Sue") among others.

This is the Denver Three's web site but it's not pulling up currently (for me anyway). Try clicking on the link or copying and pasting it to see if there's an update at their site.

From a cached version of their site, here's their opening statement:

We are three Denver residents who were kicked out of the President’s Town Hall Conversation on privatizing social security on March 21, 2005. We’ve created this site to provide resources and information about this important issue.
Why did this happen to us? It’s not that we weren’t invited, we all had
tickets to the event. No, the reason this mystery man and his cohorts physically removed us was because of the bumper sticker on the car we drove in. Shocked? Outraged? Afraid that this is happening in America? All Americans value Free Speech and should be appalled by this.
The White House insists that a "volunteer" is at fault, but the Secret Service has revealed that the person who kicked us out in Denver was an official "host committee staffer." Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez (who gave us our tickets) also said that "the White House does the deal. They literally come in and take over."
When eerily similar incidents occur in Colorado, Arizona, and North Dakota, citizens can only wonder – is this a coincidence? Or is there a concerted effort by someone to train event staffers at President Bush’s taxpayer-funded events to screen people based on their viewpoints and exclude them in clear violation of the First Amendment?
Thanks for visiting the site and supporting First Amendment Rights.
Alex, Karen, & Leslie.

I'm working on a longer entry on this morning's New York Times. Members who've seen the paper can probably guess what it's on. But there is an additional entry on the Times planned (and being worked on in another screen right now).

The e-mail address for this site is