Wednesday, December 7, 2011

America's New Untouchables

By Justin Raimondo

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case brought by Steven Howards, a Colorado man arrested by Secret Service agents when he confronted then-Vice President Dick Cheney at a shopping mall and told him he thought the Iraq war was “disgusting.” Howards happened to be in the mall when he noticed Cheney was there, signing books and posing for photographs with mall-goers: he phoned a friend and told him he was going to wait on line for a chance to pose with the Vice President and then tell him what he thought of the war: “I’m going to ask him [Cheney] how many kids he’s killed today.”

A Secret Service agent overheard him and put out an alert to watch for the man in the green t-shirt. Howards got in line, waited for his turn to pose with Cheney, and when it was his turn he delivered his message, to which Cheney replied, rather stupidly: “Thank you.”

What happened next is in dispute: the Secret Service claims he “pushed off” and even “slapped” the VP: Howards says he was merely patting the war criminal on the shoulder. In any case, Howards at first denied touching Cheney at all, later admitting he might have had a brief contact – and this was the pretext for his arrest. The agents followed Howards as he was looking for his son in the mall, and confronted him, as the Christian Science Monitor reports:
“Agent Virgil Reichle flashed his badge and asked to speak with Howards. Howards refused and attempted to resume the search for his son.

“The agent stepped in front of Howards and accused him of assaulting the vice president.

“Howards pointed his finger at Agent Reichle and said: “If you don’t want other people sharing their opinions, you should have him [Cheney] avoid public places.”

“According to the appeals court: “Agent Reichle became ‘visibly angry’ when Mr. Howards shared his opinion on the Iraq war.”

“The agent asked Howards if he ‘assaulted’ the vice president. Howards denied assaulting the vice president.

“The agent next asked whether Howards ‘touched’ the vice president. Howards, again, denied the agent’s accusation.

“Howards was taken into federal custody for assaulting Cheney. According to the appeals court, four agents ‘assisted in restraining Mr. Howards during his arrest.’”
Read the rest here.

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