Monday, January 05, 2004

The boy in the bubble 

James Bovard of the San Francisco Chronicle reports on how authorities cooperate with Bush by setting up "free speech zones" for those visibly opposed to Bush policies, while allowing supporters free access (and, of course, RNC-compliant photo ops). He gives examples from Pittsburgh, St. Petersburgh, St. Louis, Columbia, SC and many cities in the good old US of A.

Here's the Secret Services reasoning:

The feds have offered some bizarre rationales for hog-tying protesters. Secret Service agent Brian Marr explained to National Public Radio, "These individuals may be so involved with trying to shout their support or nonsupport that inadvertently they may walk out into the motorcade route and be injured. And that is really the reason why we set these places up, so we can make sure that they have the right of free speech, but, two, we want to be sure that they are able to go home at the end of the evening and not be injured in any way."

Isn't that precious? And really stupid, too.

The Secret Service is duty-bound to protect the president. But it is ludicrous to presume that would-be terrorists are lunkheaded enough to carry anti-Bush signs when carrying pro-Bush signs would give them much closer access. And even a policy of removing all people carrying signs -- as has happened in some demonstrations -- is pointless because potential attackers would simply avoid carrying signs.

Secret service to terrorists: Be sure to wear a suit! And carry a Bible! [FBI chimes in: But not an almanac!]

Every day, a new depth of stupid.

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