Bush "Anti-Protester" Manual Discovered

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A lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union has uncovered a manual from the Bush Administration detailing its tactics for suppressing protests at presidential appearances. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two people from Colorado who were forcibly removed from a presidential "Town Hall Meeting" because their car had a bumper sticker that said, "No more blood for oil." They have obtained a copy of the "Presidential Advance Manual," which details tactics "to stop a demonstrator from getting into the event." A section titled "Preventing Demonstrators" advises event organizers to recruit local Republicans into "Rally Squads" whose "task is to use their signs and banners as shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform. If the demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can begin and lead supportive chants to drown out the protestors [sic] (USA! USA! USA!) As a last resort, security should remove the protestors from the event site."

CONTACT: media@aclu.org

WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal lawsuit against a former high-level White House staffer for enacting a policy that unlawfully excluded individuals perceived to be critical of the administration from public events where President Bush was present. The policy is laid out in an October 2002 "Presidential Advance Manual" obtained by the ACLU.

"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."

The ACLU filed today's lawsuit after obtaining a heavily redacted version of the Presidential Advance Manual from the Justice Department. This manual is the Bush administration's guide for planning presidential events around the country, and it repeatedly instructs organizers about "the best method for preventing demonstrators," "deterring potential protestors from attending events," "designat[ing] a protest area . . . preferably not in view of the event site or motorcade route," and the like.

The ACLU said it is clear from the manual that the aim of the White House policy is to keep people who are critical of the president away from him and from the news media. According to the manual, "if it is determined that the media will not see or hear" demonstrators, then event staff can ignore them. The manual's guidelines are designed for use at all presidential events, not just fundraisers or political rallies. However, the ACLU noted that there are stricter constitutional guidelines for taxpayer-funded events than for privately- or politically-funded events.

"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."

The ACLU is suing Gregory Jenkins, former Director of the White House Office of Presidential Advance and a Deputy Assistant to President Bush, for setting the policy in the manual. Jenkins' policies have led to the removal and, in some cases, arrest of innocent people from taxpayer-funded events. The lawsuit names as plaintiffs Jeff and Nicole Rank, who were arrested at a Fourth of July presidential appearance at the West Virginia State Capitol because they were wearing t-shirts critical of the president, and Alex Young and Leslie Weise, Denver residents who were thrown out of a town hall meeting with President Bush 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.

"Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of the American way of life and public forums are the place where this matters most. Peaceful expression, whatever the format, is vital to all of us. We believe this case is important for protecting the rights of all Americans," Weise and Young said in a joint statement.

Mr. Rank added, "The free exchange of ideas is essential to democracy, and when government suppresses one side of that exchange it puts democracy in peril."

The ACLU lawsuit also cites other occasions throughout the country in which individuals were excluded from presidential events because of their political views. For example, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, ticket holders in line to hear the president speak had to unbutton their shirts before they could get inside. One individual was wearing a t-shirt critical of the president, and was ejected by security officials. In Fargo, North Dakota, several dozen individuals were placed on a "do not admit list" of those forbidden to attend a presidential event; most of the individuals on the list belonged to a liberal organization, and some had written letters to the editor opposing the president's policies. And in Tucson, Arizona, a student was barred from a presidential forum on Social Security because he was wearing a Young Democrats t-shirt.

Today's lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The ACLU previously filed lawsuits in West Virginia and Colorado on behalf of the Ranks and Weise and Young, respectively. Both cases are pending in federal district court. Another ACLU lawsuit charging mistreatment of anti-Bush demonstrators at a presidential appearance is pending in federal district court in Oregon (Moss v. United States Secret Service).


hey idiot
Posted by non-idiot on 2007-07-05 14:21:45
you can spell it "protester" or "protestor". I agree with you on most things. Just not being a dick for dick's sake. Also I hate you.
we can hope..
Posted by Sees Things on 2007-07-05 14:49:22
that this type of lawsuit is made public and goes class action as well. but its okay for "El Busho" to refer to the constitution as a GD peice of paper?! hell with this sideshow, IMPEACH IMPEACH IMPEACH !! BUSH CHENEY RUMSFELD RICE GONZALES PELOSI and all of their appointees! crimes against the American people, crimes against humanity, illegal WAR, Depleted Uranium munitions, BLACKWATER MERCENARIES, ALL OF IT !!
drag them off in chains and slam them behind bars first, arrange the trial later.
"Sees Things" post
Posted by Daniel Stadulis on 2007-07-05 17:53:22
"drag them off in chains and slam them behind bars first, arrange the trial later."

Sounds oddly familiar to Guantanamo bay. I guess you are no better than the Bush administration.
Publish the manual !
Posted by DrNMR on 2007-07-05 18:46:36
For Goodness sakes scan the manual and publish every where you can think of on the net! The more places the better.

Posted by Noel JOhnson on 2007-07-05 19:43:42
It seems to me our country, despite the despots, still enjoys some freedoms.
If the President doesn't want sh__ on his shoes, he can walk around it.
Hey non-idiot
Posted by Actual non-idiot on 2007-07-05 20:30:32
The "[sic]" was for the parens. Learn to read.
Hey actual non-idiot, you are an idiot
Posted by Non-non idiot on 2007-07-05 22:26:15
The [sic] comes AFTER words that are spelled incorrectly. And I'm not too sure about that protesters/protestors argument, sounds communist to me.
Posted by skawater on 2007-07-05 23:13:21
Principles and standards use to mean something. Suppression of the first amendment is a precursor to a police state. I think that this is our fate because the public majority is to soft and poorly educated to care enough to risk standing up in the face of false imprisonment.
Posted by scapermoya on 2007-07-05 23:43:46
and yet half of you people vote these fools into office.
50% of the comments are from proofreaders
Posted by complete idiot on 2007-07-06 00:32:37
...thats so cool.
You all suck
Posted by Smeegz on 2007-07-06 00:57:30
Most of you people suck. Bush is the man and he can do what he wants because he's the big boss dog. Bush pwns all of you!
Spelling Enthusiast
Posted by Frank213 on 2007-07-06 00:57:46
No, Protester cannot be spelled Protestor. There is only one correct way. We should stop dumbing down our language because some people are either too lazy to learn to spell or are part of the anti-intellectual movement taking root in this country. We've embraced dumbness and/or ignorance as a way of life. The evidence is clear, look at the President we have.
Dictionary Enthusiast
Posted by boxmonkey on 2007-07-06 02:19:55
Look it up on m-w.com, protestor is in there right alongside protester.
frank213 is a f*ckwit
Posted by tony on 2007-07-06 02:23:23
There's a difference in the u.k spelling and u.s spelling, or maybe youre just an ethnocentric ignoramus.
i figured a spelling enthusiast would know something as simple as that, f*cktard.

Jail = Gaol according to the Australian form

Words containing z are oftenly spelled with s

organization - u.s
organisation - u.k
Missing the point...
Posted by focus on 2007-07-06 04:20:25
Although I'm supportive of proper use of language, can we please focus on what the post is ACTUALLY about? The subject matter is far too important to overlook because of spelling errors!
Posted by Benji on 2007-07-06 05:06:52
America Sucks !!!
I borrowed your nice tight intro
Posted by Peter D on 2007-07-06 08:12:59
...to repost the original ACLU release on GNN.tv at www.gnn.tv/H14776

I hope you don't mind. I just couldn't do it any better myself. Nice bit. And good story to blog on. It's got a lot of Diggs already. That's how I found it.
Bush sucks
Posted by Nick on 2007-07-06 08:15:27
Bush is a dope nomatter how you look at it. I'm not one to believe in karma, but I do hope for it in Bush's case.
Uh, no blood for oil, yeah...viva something!
Posted by Rich on 2007-07-06 08:30:23
I think they kick those people out for having a retarded bumper sticker. Seriously who shouts no blood for oil anymore? Way to point out a complete lack of understanding of the issues. "ACLU, defenders of the loud, angry and stupid... as usual."
blood for oil
Posted by Feckineejit on 2007-07-06 08:58:10
It may be hard for conservatives to swallow, but it is true. less than half of us voted for this idiot, but luckily for him, the idiots of the world are VERY LOUD and blind patriotism is the name of the game.

keep ignoring the truth conservatives, the world thinks we are all stupid, and you are not helping by not questioning ANYTHING our idiot president and his partisan cronies do.
blood for oil
Posted by nate on 2007-07-06 09:46:24
Yeah, we are in Iraq for the oil. Why did you think we were there, to give Iraqi's "liberty"? Hey, did you realize there's people who need liberty in North Korea, and China, and Vietnam, and Africa, in fact there's people starving to death in Africa, when are we going there? I'll tell you when, when they discover oil in Africa.
What a wimp administration
Posted by BurningBushes on 2007-07-06 09:58:04
This reminds me of that kid on our block that took his football in the house when he lost. What kind of president sucks so much that he plans his events around sucking. I thought the whole idea of being president was to serve the best interest of tax paying citizens. Something is very wrong when an administration knows they suck and instead of seeking the non-suck path choose rather to keep those that aren't afraid to tell them that they suck
Posted by patrik henry on 2007-07-06 10:27:16
not surprising
Posted by TheAdmin on 2007-07-06 10:45:10
So much for adding various comments, you instead want to spell-check every damn posting..idiots with nothing better to do?

Bush & Co. are taking away some of our beloved freedoms and all the American people can do is moan and groan about it - yeah, just so long as they don't have to get up off their asses.
Bitching and Complaining are not working, lazy asses. Get up and do something about Bush, or lay down & lick your nuts, because you're more of a lazy dog than an American.
Posted by interested on 2007-07-06 17:42:11
Don't you know that certain individuals PURPOSELY START CRITICISING AND COMMENTING ON silly small things in posts in order to water down the content so that people won't stay with it and read it.
That's their purpose in life.
President Cheney loves them.
Posted by Just another person on 2007-07-06 18:25:31
It's scary to think that members of our elected government can so dislike and distrust citizens with whom they do not agree. Blocking out people that don't share their ideas and ideals from a public meeting is just plain wrong. G-d help us all if this is the direction our government is going.
Hey , Rich---
Posted by Retired VietNam vet on 2007-07-06 20:36:54
"ACLU, defenders of the loud, angry and stupid... as usual."...Rich

Like OxyContin Rush???

Look, if AWOL can't handle a little criticism, maybe he should have stayed down in Crawford instead of polluting my world (literally and figuratively.

He had the gall to equate himself with Geo. Washington when he poutd about historians still studying that presidency. Yeah, to decide whether he or Lincoln was #1. Any future research on this dummy will no doubt focus on how many more centuries elapse before he crawls up to the #2 most INCOMPETENT executive in the history of this country.

Blech. So unsure of himself he will brook no opposition from anyone,
Hip hip horay!
Posted by bush=antichrist on 2007-07-06 20:41:30
Dumbo needs a pep squad. So what?
Another spelling comment
Posted by wizeGurl on 2007-07-06 20:44:50
I'd just like to point out that the spelling error is in a quote from the manual in question. That's what those little " " marks mean.

That means the spelling error--or use of non-American English, take your pick--originated with whoever in the Bush administration wrote the manual.
Posted by Dwindle on 2007-07-06 22:04:17
Who cares.

Leftists protest just to create the illusion that they represent the people. As soon as Republicans cause protests against every single Democrat leader and pretend to be outraged just to get attention, then I will feel bad.
Posted by phillysportswhiz on 2007-07-07 11:32:13
This is bullsht. The gov't can't arrest people who protest against the president. We are guarenteed 5 freedoms in the first amendment these are..... Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Assemply, Freedom of Petition, Freedom of Press, and lastly Freedom of SPEECH. Protesting is Freedom of Speech. This is our president's way of crying, instead of taking critism like a man he has to create this bullsht that goes against freedom of Speech
I love this
Posted by too funny on 2007-07-07 17:54:05
The same people who cry about free speech are the ones who call sponcers to try to get them to drop radio shows they don't like and will boycot debates on networks they view as wrong.
Posted by Johnny Sane on 2007-08-15 14:35:07
Not necessarily true, "too funny."

I'm all for freedom of speech, and I don't demand that O'Reilly or Limbaugh or any of those goons have their shows cancelled - though I would like to see some honesty on their networks, and see the"fair and balanced," "unbiased," etc. taglines removed.

And Dwindle, apparently you forget the people protesting over Clinton's affair (that had nothing to do with his job as President, mind you, though that doesn't excuse it).

I just wonder if the President understands that whole "right to peaceably assemble" that we have as citizens? Or does he actually think that he's a king, with no duty to uphold the Constitution?
Why Don't The Media Tell Us?
Posted by WasRepublicanButNotAnyMore on 2007-08-17 11:27:54
I am grieved and terrified for the state of our country when the mainstream media are more interested in the personal and legal lives of Hollywood bimbos than in informing the citizens of abuses committed by an imperial autocrat who has shredded the Constitution and the precious rights that generations of Americans have given their lives to protect. Bush is doing a really good imitation of a third-world dictator. Why am I not reading about it on the front page? Why am I not seeing it on television news programs? Are they all in cahoots or something?
Most don't care
Posted by Sad American on 2007-08-17 12:43:10
Sad to say, when the media does bring up everything from illegal spying, blanket requests for bank records, library records, search queries from major search engines, no one cares. No one cares enough to do anything about it personally anyway, always hoping that someone else will take up the fight. People have to stand up and demand that our laws and constitution are adhered to. We must take responsibility for our government.
goodness sake
Posted by blimey limey on 2007-08-17 14:08:17
This posting is about the fact that a couple have beaten Bush's system and have paved a small way to maintaining freedom of speech.

the other thing this posting seems to be about is how the readers of this post, in the main, have no idea of what freedom of speech means, or entails, other than the ability to hurl abuse at each other.

This case is a landmark victory for freedom of speech and I applaud the courage of all people who stand up to repression in any form, it is such a shame however that the freedom of speech they strove to defend, appears, on this site to be nothing more than selfish vitriol.
Sheep Tactics?
Posted by Havvy on 2008-06-24 00:50:59
Uh, repeating USA multiple times seems to be the same exact tactic described by George Orwell in "Animal Farm" where the sheep would bleat "Four legs good. Two legs bad." whenever there are dissenters.
Posted by Terry Wagar on 2009-04-12 08:54:18
Eric Carlson and Joan Wagar, A,K,A, Doubleclick and Mrs Dash,( yes those are there nicknames they gave each other.) admitted to poisoning me while I was a plasma donor back in 2005.
Eric Carlson pedofied me behind prison walls and then framed me as a pedophile on march 26th 2007, I caught the crime on a audio recorder I put in Joan's purse.
there were people in authority helping them with this and nobody in authority will help they pretend nothing happened and refuse to investigate this.
Eric Carlson changed his hair color and his name to Gashel and Clackamas Walmart was hiding him from my Family by pretending He's someone else but this is not hidden, only ignored by the authority's and media
I'm disabled from being poisoned and the hospitals refuse to admit I'm poisoned.
My Family is in danger from these people and I have no other recourse but to make these charges public.
My name is Terry Wagar,Im from Portland Oregon and I'm backing up these charges.
I have been threatened with harassment charges by a Sargent Walker, She is a Portland Police officer stationed at the OHSU hospital, for the non crime of reporting a multi murder conspiracy within that hospital.
They dont give a s4!t Joan and Eric was poisoning a plasma donor!
And how many god damn John Ray's in authority are there in portland oregon!
You damn serial killer.
Where did Mrs Dash keep her stash? in A Garlic Salt Shaker!
What did Doubleclick do with his Dick? You Pedophile!
Why you hiding A body double for Clackamas Walmart?


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