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Docket Sheet: June 6 2008
Protest zones: “No War for Oil” (October 24 2002)
Below: Trial verdict, articles, affidavits, other cases, latest

“ The very purpose of the exercise of free speech is to be heard.”

Sam J. Ervin (U.S. Senator), Sep. 29 1970

U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina: http://www.scd.uscourts.gov/

United States District Court for the District of South Carolina Columbia Division

Closed

USA v. Bursey

Criminal Docket for Case #: 3:03-CR-00309-CMC-101

Case ID

Case title: USA v. Bursey
Date Filed: 03/07/2003
Date Terminated: 01/06/2004
Assigned to: Judge Cameron M. Currie

Pending Counts:
18:1752(a)(1)(ii) – remaining on grounds where President of the United States was temporarily visiting – Temporary Residence of the President (1)

Disposition:
Defendant shall pay a fine of $500.00 within 30 days of sentencing. Assessement of $10.00. Appeal of Magistrate Judge Decision affirmed on 9/14/04 by The Honorable Cameron McGowan Currie, United States District Judge.

Highest Offense Level (Opening): Petty Offense
Terminated Counts: None
Complaints: None
Appeals court case number: 04-4832 RichardSewell

PartiesLawyers

 

Defendant (1)Represented by
 
Brett A Bursey
Terminated: 01/09/2004
{Director, South Carolina Progressive Network}
P.O. Box 8325
Columbia, SC 29202
Clarence Rauch Wise
Wise and Tunstall
305 Main Street
Greenwood, SC 29646-2757
864-229-5010
Fax: 864-229-2665
Email: rauch|@|emeraldis.com
Terminated: 01/09/2004
Lead attorney
Attorney to be noticed
Designation: Retained


John H. Blume
Blume Weyble and Lominack
PO Box 11744
Columbia, SC 29211
803-765-1044
Fax: 803-765-1143
Email: john|@|blumelaw.com
Terminated: 10/02/2003
Lead attorney
Attorney to be noticed
Designation: Retained


Pascal Lewis Pitts, Jr.
Advocates for Children's Services
PO Box 2101
Durham, SC 27702
919-226-0051
Fax: 919-682-8157
Terminated: 01/09/2004
Lead attorney
Attorney to be noticed
Designation: Retained


William Norman Nettles
Sanders and Nettles
2008 Lincoln Street
Columbia, SC 29201
803-779-9966
Fax: 803-929-0927
Email: bill|@|sandersnettles.com
Terminated: 06/27/2003
Lead attorney
Attorney to be noticed
Designation: Retained
 
PlaintiffRepresented by
 
USA John Michael Barton
John Barton Law Office
1331 Laurel Street
Columbia, SC 29201
803-252-2596
Fax: 803-252-6484
Email: john|@|johnbartonlaw.com
Lead attorney
Attorney to be noticed
 
  Previously, during this case:

U. S. Attorneys:
John Michael Barton
803-256-0233
US Attorneys Office
1441 Main Street
Suite 500
Columbia, SC 29201
803-929-3000
 

Docket

Date Filed # Docket Text
3/7/03 1 Information as to Brett A Bursey {40 kb} (1) count(s) 1 (nhar) [Entry date 03/10/03] [Edit date 03/18/03]
3/7/03 2 Summons(es) issued for Brett A Bursey {30 kb} Arraignment set for 9:45 4/1/03 for Brett A Bursey before the Honorable Bristow Marchant, United States Magistrate Judge (nhar) [Entry date 03/10/03]
3/13/03 3 Notice of Appearance for Brett A Bursey by Attorney William Norman Nettles (ttil) [Entry date 03/13/03]
3/13/03 4 Motion by Brett A Bursey for discovery and inspection (ttil) [Entry date 03/13/03]
3/13/03 5 Motion by Brett A Bursey for Disclosure of intent to use evidence or other crimes, wrongs, or acts under Federal Rules of Evidence 404(b) (ttil) [Entry date 03/13/03]
3/13/03 6 Motion by Brett A Bursey for Disclosure and intention to use evidence (ttil) [Entry date 03/13/03]
3/17/03 7 Summons Returned Executed as to Brett A Bursey {coming up} 3/12/03 (ttil) [Entry date 03/18/03]
3/18/03 Case assigned to Chief Judge Joseph F. Anderson Jr (cqui) [Entry date 03/18/03]
3/20/03 8 Disclosure Order as to Brett A Bursey (RE: Grand Jury Material) (signed by Chief Judge Joseph F. Anderson Jr) (mflo) [Entry date 03/21/03]
3/27/03 Case assigned to Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant (cqui) [Entry date 03/27/03]
4/1/03 9 Arraignment {45 kb, same as item 86 below} as to Brett A Bursey held before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant; Brett A Bursey (1) count(s) 1 (Attorney Bill Nettles, John H. Blume, Clarence Rauch Wise) Unsecured Bond entered Amount $10,000; Defendant pleads not guilty; Location Release; Court reporter: Vince Rolland (ljon) [Entry date 04/02/03]
4/1/03 10 Plea entered by Brett A Bursey {40 kb}. Defendant enters plea of: not guilty. (ljon) [Entry date 04/02/03]
4/1/03 11 Unsecured Bond entered by Brett A Bursey in Amount $10,000 {45 kb}; (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) (ljon) [Entry date 04/02/03]
4/1/03 12 Order Setting Conditions of Release as to Brett A Bursey {60 kb} (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) (ljon) [Entry date 04/02/03]
4/9/03 13 Motion by USA as to Brett A Bursey for inspection {40 kb} (ljon) [Entry date 04/10/03]
4/10/03 14 Motion by Brett A Bursey for discovery, and for inspection {coming up} (ljon) [Entry date 04/11/03]
4/10/03 16 Motion by Brett A Bursey for Disclosure and intention to use evidence {coming up} (ljon) [Entry date 04/11/03]
4/10/03 15 Motion by Brett A Bursey for Disclosure of intent to use evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts {coming up} under Federal Rules of Evidence 404(b) (ljon) [Entry date 04/11/03]
5/8/03 17 Notice of Hearing as to Brett A Bursey for pre-trial (ahen) [Entry date 05/08/03]
5/9/03 18 Notice of Hearing as to Brett A Bursey set bench trial for 9:30 6/24/03 for Brett A Bursey before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant (ahen) [Entry date 05/09/03]
5/14/03 19 Memo as to Brett A Bursey; Judge Marchant held a telephone conference with William Nettles (attorney for defendant) and John Barton (attorney for the government) to clarify whether a pretrial was necessary. The parties agreed that the pretrial could be canceled, and the judge stated either party could renew a request for a pretrial if needed. (ljon) [Entry date 05/15/03]
5/14/03 20 {First} Motion by Brett A Bursey for Jury trial {70 kb} (ljon) [Entry date 05/15/03]
5/19/03 21 Response by USA {50 kb} as to Brett A Bursey re [20-1] motion for Jury trial (ttil) [Entry date 05/20/03]
5/27/03 22 {Second} Motion by Brett A Bursey Jury trial {65 kb} (ydav) [Entry date 05/27/03]
5/29/03 23 Response by USA {65 kb} as to Brett A Bursey re [22-1] motion Jury trial (jada) [Entry date 05/30/03]
6/4/03 24 Order {50 kb} as to Brett A Bursey denying [22-1] motion Jury trial as to Brett A Bursey (1), denying [20-1] motion for Jury trial as to Brett A Bursey (1) (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) (ttil) [Entry date 06/05/03]
6/23/03 25 Notice of Appearance for Brett A Bursey by Attorney Pascal Lewis Pitts Jr. (mdea) [Entry date 06/23/03]
6/23/03 26 Motion by Brett A Bursey for P. Lewis Pitts to appear pro hac vice Filing Fee Amount 100.00 Receipt # 300-50334 (mdea) [Entry date 06/23/03]
6/23/03 27 Application/Affidavit of P. Lewis Pitts as to Brett A Bursey in support of [26-1] motion for P. Lewis Pitts to appear pro hac vice Filing Fee Amount 100.00 Receipt # 300-50334 (mdea) [Entry date 06/23/03] [Edit date 06/23/03]
6/23/03 28 Order as to Brett A Bursey granting [26-1] motion for P. Lewis Pitts to appear pro hac vice Filing Fee Amount 100.00 Receipt # 300-50334 as to Brett A Bursey (1) (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) eod/mld (mdea) [Entry date 06/23/03]
6/24/03 29 Bench Trial as to Brett A Bursey continued {50 kb, same as item 84 below} before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant; defendant disputes the elements of the indictment; court sets brief due deadline for 7/9/03 for USA and responsive brief due 7/23/03 for Brett A Bursey; trial to be rescheduled if gov't prevails on the briefs; Court reporter: Jean Cole (ttil) [Entry date 06/24/03]
6/25/03 30 Motion by attorney William Nettles to withdraw as attorney of record for the defendant, Brett Bursey (ttil) [Entry date 06/26/03]
6/27/03 31 Order as to Brett A Bursey granting [30-1] motion to withdraw as attorney of record for the defendant, Brett Bursey as to Brett A Bursey (1) (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) (ttil) [Entry date 06/30/03]
6/30/03 32 Notice by USA that the government does not oppose the motion of William Nettles to withdraw as counsel for Brett A Bursey (ttil) [Entry date 07/01/03]
7/8/03 33 Memorandum Concerning the Elements of the Offense {85 kb} by plaintiff USA (kbos) [Entry date 07/09/03]
{By CJHjr: 33a 3 attachments {175 kb} to this memorandum, the “legislative history” of 18 U.S.C. § 1752 (Pub. L. 91-644, Jan. 2 1971):

  Senate Report, Protection of the President (U.S. Congress 91-2, S. Rep. No. 91-1252, Senate Judiciary Committee, Sept. 29 1970, 20 pages, SuDoc Y 1.1/5.91-1252; Serial Set 12881-5).

  Senate Debate, 116 Congressional Record, 35650-35654 (U.S. Congress 91-2, Senate, October 8 1970), SuDoc: X.91/2:116/PT.26; daily edition, pages S 17514-17517 (floor amendment adopted).

  House Report, Omnibus Crime Control Act of 1970, P.L. 91-644, at p.21 (U.S. Congress 91-2, H. Rep. No. 91-1768, Conference Committee, Dec. 16 1970, 22 pages), SuDoc Y 1.1/2.91-1768, Serial Set 12884-8, reprinted 1971 U.S.C.C.A.N. 5804, at 5849 (further amended).}

7/18/03 34 Notice of Appearance for Brett A Bursey by Attorney Pascal Lewis Pitts (ttil) [Entry date 07/18/03]
7/18/03 35 Supplemental Motion by Brett A Bursey for specific discovery and inspection {coming up} (ttil) [Entry date 07/18/03]
7/25/03 36 Memorandum of Authorities Concerning the Elements of the Offense {50 kb} by defendant Brett A Bursey {in opposition to 33-1} (ttil) [Entry date 07/28/03]
8/6/03 37 Motion by USA as to Brett A Bursey to extend time, Response to motion [35-1] motion for specific discovery and inspection (ahen) [Entry date 08/07/03]
8/6/03 Motion(s) referred to Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant as to Brett A Bursey: [37-1] motion to extend time (ahen) [Entry date 08/07/03]
8/7/03 Minute entry as to Brett A Bursey : Judge Marchant's law clerk held a telephone conference with John Barton, Counsel for USA, and Rauch Wise, counsel for the defendant reference the Goverment's responses to Defendant's discovery motion and Defendant's memorandum which addressed the elements of the charge and raised additional issues. Mr. Barton advised that he anticipated filing a response to the discovery motion by Friday, August 8, and a response to the defendant's memorandum by Friday August 15. Counsel for the defendant consented to these filing dates, with a written stipulation to be forwarded to the Court. Counsel were also asked if they had any conflicts during the week of August 25, 2003, in the event that the Court needed to schedule a pre-trial conference or hearing on the discovery motion. Counsel respresented that they had conflicts on August 27 and August 29, and Mr. Wise advised that he would consult with Mr. Pitts who also represents the Defendant, and advise the Court of any conflicts that he may have during that week. (ahen) [Entry date 08/07/03]
8/8/03 38 Response by USA as to Brett A Bursey in opposition to [35-1] motion for specific discovery and inspection (ttil) [Entry date 08/11/03]
8/12/03 39 Order as to Brett A Bursey granting [37-1] motion to extend time as to Brett A Bursey (1), granting [37-2] motion Response to motion [35-1] motion for specific discovery and inspection as to Brett A Bursey (1) is due 8/8/03 and the response concerning the elements of offense is due by 8/15/03 (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) (ttil) [Entry date 08/13/03]
8/14/03 40 Notice of Hearing as to Brett A Bursey set pretrial conference for 2:00 8/28/03 for Brett A Bursey before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant (ttil) [Entry date 08/14/03]
8/15/03 41 Response by USA {70 kb} as to Brett A Bursey to [36-1] memorandum of authorities concerning the elements of the offense (ttil) [Entry date 08/18/03]
8/20/03 42 Memorandum by Brett A Bursey {75 kb} in support of dismissal because of vagueness (ttil) [Entry date 08/21/03]
8/25/03 43 Memorandum by Brett A Bursey {40 kb} in support of motion to require goverment to designate restricted area (ahen) [Entry date 08/25/03]
8/28/03 44 Pretrial Conference {125 kb, same as item 85 below} as to Brett A Bursey held before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant Oral Order [35-1] motion for specific discovery and inspection taken under advisement as to Brett A Bursey (1), USA to submit material requested to Court for in camera review by 9/2/03; Attorneys to inform Court of trial date when agreed upon (11/12-11/13 possibly) Response to motion/memo #42 due 9/12/03 Defendant's exhibits 1-6 submitted; Court Reporter: Ray Simmons. (mdea) [Entry date 08/28/03]
8/28/03 45 Affidavit of Eric Sirotkin {40 kb} by Brett A Bursey as to Brett A Bursey Re: pretrial conference (mdea) [Entry date 08/28/03]
8/28/03 46 Order on defendant's argument {55 kb} re: vagueness of statute, elements of crime as to Brett A Bursey; Government's response to defendant's assertion that statute is unconstitutionally vague due 9/12/03; defendant's reply brief due 9/19/03 (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) eod/mld (mdea) [Entry date 08/28/03]
9/8/03 Minute Entry as to Brett A Bursey: Judge Marchant held a telephone conference with John Barton (government attorney) and Lewis Pitts (defendant attorney). The purpose was to inform the parties that Judge Marchant would be seeking clarification from the Secret Service as to what some of the documents are which have been submitted by Mr. Barton for the Court's in camera review. (ljon) [Entry date 09/09/03]
9/12/03 47 Response by USA {90 kb} as to Brett A Bursey re memorandum {42-1} in support of dismissal because of vagueness. (ljon) [Entry date 09/15/03]
9/16/03 48 Motion by Brett A Bursey to Modify Bond {40 kb} (ljon) [Entry date 09/16/03]
9/17/03 49 Order as to Brett A Bursey; the government has 5 days to file any specific objections and/or requests for additional redactions. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) eod 9/17/03 (ljon) [Entry date 09/17/03]
9/17/03 50 Sealed Document as to Brett A Bursey (ljon) [Entry date 09/17/03]
9/19/03 51 Motion by USA as to Brett A Bursey to extend time to respond to specific objections or requests (ljon) [Entry date 09/19/03]
9/19/03 52 Order as to Brett A Bursey [51-1] motion to extend time to respond to specific objections or requests . Motion Terminated. as to Brett A Bursey (1) (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) eod 9/19/03 (ljon) [Entry date 09/19/03]
9/24/03 53 Order as to Brett A Bursey granting [48-1] motion to modify Bond {40 kb}. Motion Terminated. as to Brett A Bursey (1) (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) (ljon) [Entry date 09/25/03]
9/25/03 54 Notice of Hearing as to Brett A Bursey set bench trial for 9:30 11/12/03 {40 kb} for Brett A Bursey before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant (ljon) [Entry date 09/25/03]
9/29/03 55 Sealed Document (Response by the Government) as to Brett A Bursey (ljon) [Entry date 09/29/03] [Edit date 09/29/03]
9/29/03 56 Reply by Brett A Bursey {60 kb} to response {47-1} to defendant's memorandum {42-1} in support of dismissal for vagueness. (ljon) [Entry date 09/30/03]
10/2/03 57 Order as to Brett A Bursey; The government has 10 days to submit any arguments it may have to why material is privileged or otherwise not subject to production by statute or rule; Defendant has 10 days thereafter to file any response to the government's argument. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) (ljon) [Entry date 10/06/03]
10/2/03 58 Notice of Clarification of Status of Counsel {John H. Blume} {40 kb} by Brett A Bursey as to Brett A Bursey (ljon) [Entry date 10/08/03]
10/10/03 59 Memorandum (Response) Regarding Discovery by plaintiff USA (ljon) [Entry date 10/14/03]
10/16/03 60 Order as to Brett A Bursey; that the Goverment produce the material as set forth in attachment one (consisting of Documents Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19) to defense counsel within 10 days of the date of this order. If the Goverment believes that any of this material should be subject to a protective order, a propsed order should be presented to the Court for consideration. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) eod 10/16/03 mld (ahen) [Entry date 10/16/03]
10/20/03 61 Order {55 kb} as to Brett A Bursey; Defendant's motion {42-1} to dismiss the charges against him on the ground that the statute as written and as applied is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad is denied. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) eod 10/20/03 (ljon) [Entry date 10/20/03]
10/23/03 Oral Order as to Brett A Bursey that Government documents submitted for in camera review be returned to the government on October 23, 2003. Accordingly, these documents were returned to AUSA John Barton (Entered by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) eod 10/23/03 (ljon) [Entry date 10/23/03]
10/27/03 Minute entry as to Brett A Bursey: Telephone conference held with Judge Marchant's law clerk and counsel for the parties regarding the issue of the defendant's request for two specific documents referenced in discovery material produced by the Government. Judge Marchant directed the government to provide affidavits from Weaver and Baker setting forth whethere the requested materials were reduce to writing. If the materials have been reduced to writing, the affiant Weaver should clarify whether the document produced is the statement referenced in her March 5, 2003 letter, and the affiant Baker should identify whether the operational plan she prepared was produced in the materials provided to the Court for its in camera review. The Government agreed to produce these affidavits to the Defendant by October 31, 2003. (ljon) [Entry date 10/27/03]
10/28/03 62 Motion by Brett A Bursey {40 kb} to dismiss based upon selective prosecution (ljon) [Entry date 10/29/03]
10/31/03 63 Response by plaintiff USA to Discovery (ljon) [Entry date 11/03/03]
11/6/03 64 Motion by USA as to Brett A Bursey to quash {60 kb} (ahen) [Entry date 11/06/03]
11/7/03 65 Order as to Brett A Bursey granting [64-1] motion to quash {40 kb}. Motion Terminated. as to Brett A Bursey (1) (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) eod 11/7/03 (ljon) [Entry date 11/07/03]
11/7/03 66 Motion Hearing as to Brett A Bursey held before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant; Motion to quash subpoena granted. Court Reporter: Jack Clarke. (ljon) [Entry date 11/07/03]
11/12/03 Bench trial begun as to Brett A Bursey (1) count(s) 1 Terminated motions: motions will be addressed 11/13/03. (ljon) [Entry date 11/12/03]
11/12/03 67 Bench Trial as to Brett A Bursey held before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant; Exhibits entered: 9/pla; 6/dft, Exhibits returned to counsel: no, Witness list and exhibit list attached. Court is adjourned to 11/13/03 9:30 a.m. Court reporter: Gary Smith (ljon) [Entry date 11/12/03]
11/13/03 68 Transcript of an Excerpt of Non-Jury Trial as to Brett A Bursey {40 kb} for dates of November 12, 2003 before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant held in Columbia, SC Court Reporter: Gary Smith (ljon) [Entry date 11/13/03]
{By CJHjr:} 68a Trial Transcript, Day-1 (below)}
11/13/03 Bench Trial Continued as to Brett A Bursey held before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant. Exhibits entered: 0/pla, 10/dft, , Exhibits returned to counsel: no, set brief due deadline for 11/21/03 for USA, and Response to brief due 12/5/03. Witness list and exhibit list {coming up} attached. Trial ends and after reviewing the briefs to be submitted there will be a decision in open court. Court reporter: Gary Smith (ljon) [Entry date 11/14/03]
{By CJHjr:} 68c Trial Transcript, Day-2 (below)}
11/21/03 69 Government’s Brief on Constitutional Enforcement and Selective Prosecution {70 kb} by plaintiff USA (ljon) [Entry date 11/24/03]
12/9/03 70 Reply Brief on Constitutional Enforcement and Selective Prosecution {60 kb} by defendant Brett A Bursey to [69-1] brief (ljon) [Entry date 12/09/03]
12/10/03 71 Response by USA as to Brett A Bursey in opposition {55 kb} to [70-1] reply (ahen) [Entry date 12/11/03]
12/19/03 72 Notice of Hearing as to Brett A Bursey for Final Hearing 2:00 1/6/04 {coming up} (ljon) [Entry date 12/19/03]
1/6/04 73 Volume I Transcript of Bench Trial {475 kb} as to Brett A Bursey for dates of November 12, 2003–November 13, before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant held in Columbia, SC Court Reporter: Gary Smith (ljon) [Entry date 01/06/04]
1/6/04 74 Volume II Transcript of Bench Trial {525 kb} as to Brett A Bursey for dates of November 12, 2003–November 13, before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant held in Columbia, SC Court Reporter: Gary Smith (ljon) [Entry date 01/06/04]
1/6/04 Bench Trial Continued {85 kb, same as item 87 below} as to Brett A Bursey held before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant, Court Decision: 1/6/04 at 2:12pm, Exhibits returned to counsel: no, Court adjourned to: 2:50pm Court reporter: Courtsmart (ljon) [Entry date 01/06/04]
1/6/04 75 Bench Trial Decision (Order and Verdict) {75 kb} as to Brett A Bursey Guilty: Brett A Bursey (1) count(s) 1 (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) eod 1/6/04 (ljon) [Entry date 01/06/04]
1/6/04 76 Sentencing held before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant Brett A Bursey (1) count(s) 1 Witness(es) no, Objections to Pre-Sentence Report: no, Motion for upward/downward departure: no, Court Reporter: Courtsmart (ljon) [Entry date 01/06/04]
1/9/04 77 Judgment Brett A Bursey (1) count(s) 1. Defendant shall pay a fine of $500.00 within 30 days of sentencing. Special Assessement of $10.00. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) (ljon) [Entry date 01/12/04]
1/9/04 Case closed as to Brett A Bursey (all defendants) (ljon) [Entry date 01/12/04]
1/13/04 79 Notice of Appeal by Brett A Bursey (1) count(s) 1 Filing Fee $32.00 Receipt # SCX300001862 (ljon) [Entry date 01/13/04]
1/14/04 Case assigned to Judge Cameron M. Currie on appeal from mag to dist. judge (cqui) [Entry date 01/14/04]
1/15/04 80 (duplicate) Notice of Intent to Appeal by Brett A Bursey as to Brett A Bursey (will) [Entry date 01/16/04]
1/28/04 81 Order as to Brett A Bursey set appellant’s brief due for 3/23/04 (Signed by Judge Cameron M. Currie) (kbos) [Entry date 01/29/04]
2/2/04 Tele-conference as to Brett A Bursey held before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant; John Barton for USA, Lewis Pitts for Brett Bursey present. USA objects to defendant not paying fine until appeal is complete. The Court grants the defendants motion to stay payment of fine until appeal is complete. Court reporter: not recorded (ljon) [Entry date 02/02/04]
2/2/04 83 Order Staying Payment of Fine as to Brett A Bursey (Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant) eod 2/2/04 (ljon) [Entry date 02/02/04]
2/4/04 84 Transcript of Motion Hearing {50 kb} as to Brett A Bursey for dates of 6/24/03 before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant held in Columbia, SC Court Reporter: Jean Cole (fbos) [Entry date 02/04/04]
2/19/04 85 Transcript of Pretrial Conference {125 kb} as to Brett A Bursey for dates of 8/28/03 before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant held in Columbia, SC Court Reporter: Raymond D. Simmons (will) [Entry date 02/19/04]
2/20/04 86 Transcript of Arraignment {45 kb} as to Brett A Bursey for dates of 4/1/03 before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant held in Columbia SC Court Reporter: Vince Rolland (suro) [Entry date 02/20/04]
2/20/04 87 Transcript of Court’s Verdict {85 kb} as to Brett A Bursey for dates of 1/06/04 before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant held in Columbia, SC Court Reporter: ESR/Brunink Transcripts (will) [Entry date 02/20/04]
3/23/04 88 Order as to Brett A Bursey set brief due deadline for 4/13/04 for Brett A Bursey; response by Appellee due 60 days thereafter {June 14}; reply to response due 21 days after response filed {July 5} (Signed by Judge Cameron M. Currie) eod 3/23/04 (will) [Entry date 03/23/04]
4/14/04 89 Brief by Brett A Bursey in Appeal {100 kb} of Magistrate Decision (will) [Entry date 04/14/04]
6/2/04 90 Order as to Brett A Bursey reset brief due deadline for 7/16/04 for USA (Signed by Judge Cameron M. Currie) (will) [Entry date 06/03/04]
7/13/04 91 Appellee’s Brief by USA {100 kb} as to Brett A Bursey in opposition to [89-1] brief (will) [Entry date 07/14/04]
8/9/04 92 Reply Brief by Brett A Bursey {55 kb} (will) [Entry date 08/10/04]
8/17/04 93 Notice of Hearing as to Brett A Bursey, set oral arguments on appeal for 11:00 9/1/04 for Brett A Bursey before Judge Cameron M. Currie (will) [Entry date 08/17/04]
9/1/04 94 Oral Arguments on Appeal Hearing as to Brett A Bursey held before Judge Cameron M. Currie, Oral Order, Court Reporter: Geri; Court takes case under advisement, will issue an order within next two weeks (ydav) [Entry date 09/01/04]
9/14/04 95 Order {150 kb} as to Brett A Bursey denying [79-1] appeal as to Brett A Bursey (1); affirming the decision of the Magistrate Judge as set forth in an Order and Verdict entered January 6, 2004 (Signed by Judge Cameron M. Currie) eod 9/14/04 (will) [Entry date 09/14/04]
9/14/04 96 Judgment {together with preceding document} Brett A Bursey (1) count(s) 1. Defendant shall pay a fine of $500.00 within 30 days of sentencing. Special Assessment of $10.00. Appeal of Magistrate Judge Decision affirmed on 9/14/04 by The Honorable Cameron McGowan Currie, United States District Judge (will) [Entry date 09/14/04]
9/17/04 98 Order as to Brett A Bursey directing the Clerk of court to return all exhibits to the parties introducing them. It is further ordered that the parties are to maintain the exhibits intact as returned until the final resolution of any Appeal has expired. (Signed by Judge Cameron M. Currie) eod 9/17/04 (will) [Entry date 09/17/04]
9/24/04 99 Notice of Appeal by Brett A Bursey (1) count(s) 1 Filing Fee $ 255.00 Receipt # scx300005555 (asni) [Entry date 09/27/04]
9/27/04 Notice of appeal and certified copy of docket as to Brett A Bursey to USCA: [99-1] appeal (asni) [Entry date 09/27/04]
10/12/04 100 Receipt for Return of Exhibits by plaintiff USA (will) [Entry date 10/12/04]
10/12/04 Notice of Docketing ROA from USCA as to Brett A Bursey Re: [99-1] appeal, USCA Number: 04-4832 Richard Sewell (asni) [Entry date 10/13/04]
10/13/04 101 Receipt for Return of Exhibits by defendant Brett A Bursey (will) [Entry date 10/13/04]
10/15/04 102 Transcript of Oral Argument {full text to come} as to Brett A Bursey for dates of 9/1/04 before Judge Cameron M. Currie held in Columbia, SC Court Reporter: Kirkley (pbri) [Entry date 10/15/04]
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PACER Login: CJHjr Client Code: U.S. v. Bursey
Description: Docket Case Number: 03-cr-00309
Billable Pages: 7 Cost: 0.56

Deterring dissent

“ When Brett Bursey, director of the S.C. Progressive Network, was arrested for trespassing Thursday at Columbia Metropolitan Airport, he couldn’t help feeling a sense of déjà vu.

Thirty-three years earlier he had been arrested at almost exactly the same spot, protesting America’s war in Vietnam during President Nixon’s visit to Columbia.

This time around, it was a new president — George W. Bush — and a new issue — potential war with Iraq. But the results were more or less the same: Bursey was hauled off to jail.

After 26 hours at the Lexington County Detention Center, Bursey was released early Friday after posting a personal recognizance bond.

The bond means Bursey would have to pay the county magistrate’s office $300 if he doesn’t show up for his December court date.

Bursey, who was arrested on a public road, said he’ll insist on a jury trial.

“How can you trespass on public property?” he asked rhetorically.

Bursey, 54, said his arrest had nothing to do with security concerns, but was instead an attempt to silence his opposition to the president.

Along with three other protesters, Bursey was standing across the street from the Jimmy Doolittle hanger, where Bush addressed about 4,400 supporters.

Thursday’s protests were an impromptu prelude to two anti-war demonstrations this weekend — one in Washington, D.C., and another in front of the State House. Bursey’s Progressive Network, a coalition of groups working to promote social justice issues, is involved in the planning.

“We were across from 2,000 people who were waiting in line,” Bursey said. “They had signs supporting Lindsey Graham and Mark Sanford. And I had a sign saying, ‘No war for oil.’ The police didn’t have a problem with their signs.”

Officials with the Columbia Metropolitan Airport police, who arrested Bursey, couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.

However, Capt. John Allard of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said the problem wasn’t Bursey’s politics, but that he wasn’t in the designated “free speech area” for protesters.

“During a presidential visit, our duty is to enforce what the Secret Service wants to do in terms of security,” he said. “In this case, they set up an area for protesters.”

But Bursey said the designated area was a mile away — well out of view of the president.

“That’s not acceptable,” he said. “So I told the officers that I was already in a free speech zone — called the United States of America.”

Bursey said there were broader implications to his arrest.

“The Bush administration is using the Secret Service as an advance political team,” he said. “My problem really isn’t with the airport police. It’s hard to stand up to the Secret Service.”

Bursey’s not too concerned about a trial. His 1969 trespassing charge went all the way to the S.C. Supreme Court, where it was thrown out.

Still, Bursey said, there’s one person who, had he been there, could have defused the situation: Lexington County Sheriff James Metts.

According to Bursey, at the detention center on Friday, Metts told him, “If I was there this wouldn’t have happened. You had a right to be there.”

Metts told Allard that he wouldn’t comment on a personal conversation, but the captain confirmed the two men had a friendly chat.

Apparently, they had some catching up to do: The man who arrested Bursey 33 years ago was a young officer named James Metts.”

Paul Wachter, “War protester jailed again

© The State, Columbia South Carolina, Oct. 26 2002

 

Chuck Crumbo, “Protestor’s arrest could result in lawsuit” (The State, Columbia South Carolina, Oct. 27 2002). “Local police said they were following directives from the Secret Service.”

No more war for oil Don't invade Iraq

Brett Bursey's sign

Lora Hines, “Anti-war activist faces federal charges: U.S. attorney says Brett Bursey got too close to president at airport last year” (The State, Columbia South Carolina, March 8 2003). “I look forward to the federal court confirming that free speech is still an American right.”

Clif LeBlanc, “Airport police drop charge against protester: Brett Bursey had been arrested for trespassing during Bush visit” (The State, Columbia South Carolina, April 5 2003). “Airport Police Chief Randy Blackmon would not explain the decision. ... On March 7, federal prosecutors charged Bursey under a law that allows the U.S. Secret Service to restrict access to the president. If convicted, Bursey faces up to six months in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. The local trespass charge carried a maximum of 30 days or $440.”

Leslie Eaton, “A Flashback to the 60’s for an Antiwar Protester” (New York Times, April 27 2003) (copy, copy). “Finally, he said, an airport policeman told him he had to put down his sign (“No War for Oil”) or leave.”

John Leo, “Taking it off the streets” (U.S. News & World Report, May 12 2003, p.50).

“ There’s an enemy out there that hates America because of what we love. We love freedom. We love the fact that people can worship freely in America. We love our free press. We love every aspect of our freedom, and we’re not changing. We’re not backing down, and the enemy can’t stand that.”

George W. Bush, Jimmy Doolittle Hanger, Columbia S.C., Oct. 24 2002, 12:18-12:50 p.m. {181kb.html, pf} {26kb.txt, 55kb.pdf}


“ If we hate freedom, why didn’t we attack Sweden?”

Usama bin Laden (Aljazeera, Oct. 29 2004) {video, transcript, video, transcript}

Barney Frank (Democrat, Massachusetts), Letter to John Ashcroft (U.S. Attorney-General) from 11 Members of Congress (May 27 2003).

Anonymous, “In defence of elderly hippies: The Justice Department doesn’t seem to know when to stop” (The Economist, June 19 2003).

Matthew Rothschild, “Federal Case Against Bush Protester Delayed” (The Progressive, July 1 2003).

Jeffrey Collins (Associated Press), “Lawyer: Bush criminalizes criticism; Activist arrested for being in area restricted during president’s visit” (The Sun News, July 19 2003) “Pitts said a SLED agent gave a signed statement saying agents discussed that Bursey was planning to protest the president’s visit and asked one agent to make sure he was sent to an area a half-mile away from Bush. To bolster his argument, Pitts included parts of a transcript from a Michigan state trial where a college student was arrested for trespassing after he refused to put down a sign critical of Bush. In the transcript, a police captain said the Secret Service told him to move anyone protesting the president away from areas near where Bush would speak.”

Brett Bursey and others, interviewed by Adam Hochberg, in Melissa Block (host), “War Protester Case Raises Free Speech Questions” (National Public Radio, All Things Considered, July 25 2003). Transcript. Audio (4:04 minutes).


“ The statute under which Mr. Bursey’s been charged alleges, that he failed to vacate an area that had been cordoned off for a visit by the president of the United States. It is a content-neutral statute. And Mr. Bursey is charged not because of what he was doing but because of where he was doing it.”

Scott Schools, assistant to J. Strom Thurmond Jr. (U.S. Attorney)
NPR, July 25 2003 {audio, transcript}

_______________

A fine piece of deceit:

“... an area that had been cordoned off ...”

My, my.

The area was not cordoned off.

And Congress obviously alleged nothing about Brett Bursey, and the events of October 24 2002, when they enacted the statute, in 1971.

And so, the NPR listeners could only infer the charges alleged this.

And that means, that U.S. Attorney J. Strom Thurmond Jr., and his assistant John Michael Barton, both had reason to believe it was true (it wasn’t).

Because those two U.S. lawyers themselves violate the law — and are themselves subject to punishment by the Court — if they allege something in court papers they know to be untrue, or which they have neglected to reasonably investigate the truth of.

And so, Mr. Scott Schools simply lied, to the millions of NPR listeners.

Or was it a slip of the tongue? Or was he ignorant? About what he pretended to know? (A “reckless lie”). Or did he correctly report what he thought the charges claimed? And was he himself deceived? By the charges themselves? And by the lawyers who drafted them?

It was not “a posted, cordoned off and restricted area,” as Mr. Thurmond and Mr. Barton pretended, in their criminal Information.


“ [T]he Defendant correctly notes there were no barriers or other indicia of a boundary surrounding this area ...”

Bristow Marchant (U.S. Magistrate Judge), order and verdict, pp.6-7 (January 6 2004).

Charles Judson Harwood Jr.


“ They put the cuffs on me. Behind my back. In a paddy wagon. And they moved me behind the hanger where I could see Air Force One. That was really bizarre. Bush gets off the plane. And I can see the whole tableau through the bars in the paddy wagon. He goes inside the hanger and gives this speech where he says they hate us because we’re so free, and here I am handcuffed in the back of a paddy wagon, thinking, “No, Mr. Bush, they don’t hate us because we’re free. They hate us because we’re hypocrites.””

Brett Bursey, MetroBEAT

Chris Haire, “America is a Free Speech Zone: Brett Bursey goes up against the Bush administration over what Americans are allowed say” (MetroBEAT, Greenville South Carolina, Oct. 21 2003). “When it comes to public appearances by the president, only those with something nice to say get within earshot of Dubya. As for the dissenting rabble, well, they get shuffled off to so-called free speech zones, sometimes hundreds and hundreds of yards away from the president.”

Jacob Jordan (Associated Press), “Protester subpoenas top Bush officials for upcoming trial” (The State, Columbia South Carolina, Nov. 6 2003). “State Sen. Phil Leventis, D-Sumter and retired brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force, has volunteered to fly the Washington officials to Columbia in his seven-seat Cessna 421.”

Jacob Jordan (Associated Press), “Trial for Bush protester begins Wednesday” (The State, Columbia South Carolina, Nov. 11 2003). “Bursey said he knew he could not be charged with trespassing. He had been down that road before. In 1969, he was arrested at the same airport while protesting then-president Richard Nixon. He pleaded guilty to the charges, but later the state Supreme Court said the airport was public property and the arrest was improper. ... Bursey served two years in state prison for ... spray-painting “Hell no, we won’t go” on a Vietnam-era draft board. ... He said he spent six months in solitary confinement that changed his life.”

Dean Schabner, “Muffled Voices? Activists Say White House, Secret Service ‘Sanitize’ Free Speech” (ABCNews.com, Nov. 12 2003, a web-only report). Query: Has ABC News broadcast a report on protest zones, and does ABC report or comment on the demographic character of crowd scenes in the vicinity of President Bush, as ABC presumably did when showing crowd scenes in Baghdad during the Saddam regime?

Jacob Jordan (Associated Press), “Trial for Bush protester begins” (The State, Columbia South Carolina, Nov. 12 2003).

“ Virginia Sanders, who was standing with me at the time of the arrest, was crying. The fact that she was scared of her own government was the tipping point in my decision to take a stand for free speech.”

Brett Bursey, Nov. 14 2003

Clif LeBlanc, “Bush protester refused to move: Brett Bursey said he welcomed arrest at airport, witnesses testify in trial” (The State, Columbia South Carolina, Nov. 13 2003).

Jacob Jordan (Associated Press), “Protester’s trial ends; judge to rule next month” (The State, Columbia South Carolina, Nov. 13 2003).

Clif LeBlanc, “Antiwar activist says law on his side: Brett Bursey cites S.C. Supreme Court ruling, Constitution during emotional testimony” (The State, Columbia South Carolina, Nov. 14 2003). “Several witnesses for Bursey said they were ordered away from the hangar as soon as police saw signs like, “Bubbling crude, no blood for oil,” objecting to Bush’s plans to invade Iraq.”

“ The irony in the airport protest case is that Bursey wins either way. If he’s convicted, he becomes a martyr and Bush’s federal posse is made to look even sillier for pursuing this ridiculous ruse. If he’s acquitted, he’s vindicated and has instant credibility for standing up for free speech.”

Dan Huntley, Nov. 16 2003

Dan Huntley, “Case reminds us of our right to protest: Bush's safety comes 1st, but protesters, backers merit equal treatment” (Charlotte Observer, Charlotte North Carolina, Nov. 16 2003) {original}.

Eric Kenneth Ward, “A Federal Case: Brett Bursey Goes on Trial; Verdict to Come Later” (Free Times, Nov. 19 2003). “I do not have to have permission to express my rights as an American.”

Lee Cowan, “Silencing Voices of Dissent” (CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, Inside Story, Dec. 4 2003). “But that so-called ‘free speech zone’ wasn’t outside the hangar where the President Bush was speaking. It wasn’t across the street. Nor was it down the street. It was a half a mile away, where he couldn’t be seen by the president. That’s exactly Bursey’s point. ‘We are minimalized to the point of being invisible,’ says Bursey. ‘The invisibility of protest is something that’s new under the Bush administration.’”

Charlie Savage, “Post-9/11 limits on dissent claimed: Law enforcement cites terror threat” (Boston Globe, Dec. 14 2003). “‘They’re checking your driver’s license. They want to know your name, your Social Security number, how long you’ll be there, and what your intent is.’”

James Bovard, “Quarantining dissent: How the Secret Service protects Bush from free speech” (San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 4 2004). “In a May terrorist advisory, the Homeland Security Department warned local law enforcement agencies to keep an eye on anyone who ‘expressed dislike of attitudes and decisions of the U.S. government.’ ... Mike van Winkle, the spokesman for the California Anti-Terrorism Information Center told the Oakland Tribune, ‘... if you have a protest group protesting a war where the cause that’s being fought against is international terrorism, you ... can almost argue that a protest against that is a terrorist act.’ ... One FBI internal newsletter [1976?] encouraged FBI agents to conduct more interviews with antiwar activists ‘for plenty of reasons, chief of which it will enhance the paranoia endemic in such circles and will further service to get the point across that there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox.’”

Clif LeBlanc, “Bush protester ordered to pay $500: Brett Bursey’s free speech defense fails to sway judge” (The State, Columbia South Carolina, Jan. 7 2004). “‘He is no hero for First Amendment free speech rights,’ Barton said after the ruling. ‘As shown by the judge’s verdict today, he’s a criminal.’”

“ What concerns me more is that George Bush may think the American people love him.”

Brett Bursey, Post and Courier

Clay Barbour, “Activist found guilty of entering restricted area around president” (The Post and Courier, Charleston South Carolina, Jan. 7 2004). “Bursey said on presidential visits, the Secret Service clears out huge ‘sanitized’ zones to make sure there are no camera shots of protestors with the president. ‘And that concerns me because people watching television all around the world think that all Americans love George Bush and his policies,’ Bursey said. ‘And what concerns me more is that George Bush may think the American people love him.’”

“ Bursey presented no evidence showing that any other person not attending the rally was allowed to remain in the restricted area or that other protesters received favorable treatment, Marchant wrote.”

Pamela Hamilton, Associated Press

Pamela Hamilton (Associated Press), “Protester fined for entering restricted area around President Bush” (The State, Columbia South Carolina, Jan. 7 2004). “Bursey presented no evidence showing that any other person not attending the rally was allowed to remain in the restricted area or that other protesters received favorable treatment, Marchant wrote.”

Clif LeBlanc, “Bush protester’s conviction sends message that federal government can quash protests: Critics say ruling threatens free speech” (The State, Columbia South Carolina, Jan. 11 2004). “Bursey contends his First Amendment rights were trampled because police would not tell him the boundaries of the restricted area. Bursey twice moved farther from the hangar where Bush spoke, but police insisted that protesters go only to the demonstration area, Bursey testified.”

J. Strom Thurmond Jr. (U.S. Attorney, Columbia South Carolina), “As court ruled, Bursey’s free speech not trampled” (The State, Columbia South Carolina, Jan. 13 2004). “... wild claims ... antics ... lawful orders ... broke the law ... imagined plight ...”

Brett Bursey, “Prosecuted for politics, not security” (The State, Columbia South Carolina, Jan. 31 2004).

“Mr. Thurmond said:

“He has even gone so far as to insist that the Secret Service conspired to violate his First Amendment free speech rights by trying to isolate him and other protesters at a remote location so the president would not be exposed to their unfavorable messages.”

I couldn’t have said it better.”

 

State v. Larry Hanapole and Terry Cobb, 255 S.C. 258, 178 S.E.2d 247 (S.C., No. 19142, Dec. 17 1970). Same airport, different President: Richard Millhouse Nixon, May 3 1969. “Cobb ... had a camera ... taking pictures... Hanapole carried a sign with the American flag painted thereon and in the white stripes of the flag, the word “kill” was written several times”. Sentence: Sixty days on the chain gang. Reversed. This protest occurred before Nixon felony-murdered Rene Schneider and after Nixon decided to deport/exile the Chagos Islanders, both prima facie international crimes. Nixon never served on a chain gang. State v. Hanapole

Weatherford v. Bursey, 429 U.S. 545 {findlaw} (No. 75-1510, Feb. 22 1977), reversing Bursey v. Weatherford, 528 F.2d 483 (4th Cir., No. 74-2242, Dec. 2 1975). “On July 27, 1970, Bursey was tried and convicted of the crime of malicious destruction of property. This charge arose out of an incident during the early morning hours of March 20, 1970, during which a brick was thrown through the window of the Richland County Selective Service office in Columbia, South Carolina, and red paint was sprayed and splattered on the outside and inside of the building. {“Hell no, we won't go”} Bursey was sentenced to 18 months in prison and served his time. ... Jack Weatherford, an informant employed by the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), participated in damaging the draft board property and then arranged his own and Bursey’s arrest. ... Weatherford ... an undercover agent on the University of South Carolina campus ....” 528 F.2d 483, 485.

W. Thomas Smith Jr., “Two Activists Were Worlds Apart 30 Years Ago: One went to Prison. The other to Vietnam.” (Free Times, May 31 2000).

“ What is an issue in Iraq today, existed in South Vietnam:

We’re alone.

If we can’t persuade other governments, with comparable interests and comparable values, the merit of our course, we have reason to consider we’re on the wrong course. And certainly we ought to reevaluate it.

If we had followed that policy with respect to Vietnam, we wouldn’t have been there.”

Robert S. McNamara (U.S. Secretary of Defense, Jan. 21 1961-1968 Feb. 29), interviewed by James Naughtie (BBC Radio 4, Today, Wednesday June 9 2004, 6-9am at 7:33-7:39 a.m.), audio {5:28, at 5:03}: “Former U.S Defence Secretary Robert McNamara reflects on the Ronald Reagan era.”

Query: What provoked 22-year-old Brett Bursey to spray paint “Hell No! We Won’t Go!” on the draft board office, in Columbia South Carolina, on March 20 1970?

During that National Anti-Draft Week (March 16-22 1970).

Was he duped and confused by pinko-liberal, neo-communist, long-haired hippie, anarchists? Who lied to him?

Was it violent crimes, human rights abuses, and oppression, by the U.S. Military, and CIA, and their succession of fascist, military, puppet, dictatorships?: Bertrand Russell Tribunal, My Lai, Phoenix Program, National Veterans Inquiry, Winter Soldiers Investigation, ad hoc hearings for Vietnam Veterans Against the War (House, Senate), Tiger Force.

Was it a criminal war-aim? Adopted in secret, in 1956. To prevent the people of Vietnam from electing the government of their choice, in 1956.

Was it criminal conspiracies of U.S. official criminal liars?

Was it the consensus of messengers? Worldwide hatred and condemnation of the United States? The alternative media? The slow-learning mainstream media?

Was it returning Vietnam Vets? Like Donald Duncan, “I Quit: The Whole Thing Was a Lie!” (Ramparts, February 1966), The New Legions (Random House, 1967).

Was it the example of others? Like Gary Rader, “Draft Resistance” (The New York Review of Books, Sept. 14 1967).

Was it massive public demonstrations?

Was it U.S. Congressional oversight hearings, in February and March 1970?

Was it the photo, of Nguyen Ngoc Loan (National Police Chief, South Vietnam) murdering a helpless prisoner, on the streets of Saigon (Eddie Adams, Associated Press, Saigon, Feb. 1 1968).

Was it Walter Cronkite? “We Are Mired in Stalemate{copy} (CBS News, “Report from Vietnam: Who, What, When, Where, Why?” February 27 1968): “The Vietcong did not win by a knockout. But neither did we. The referees of history may make it a draw.” (Cronkite reported the first prima facie criminal bombing by the U.S. Army Air Force in Europe, bombing blind through an undercast, presaging the subsequent prima facie criminal firebombing of 58 Japanese cities, prior to the prima facie criminal nuclear bombing of two others, carefully preserved intact for that experiment).

Was it the iron fist, of a corrupt government, coercing citizens, to participate, via the Draft, in this prima facie violent criminal enterprise?

Did he choke on the whole poisonous stew?

And then grab his standard. And plant it.

On the high ground?  CJHjr

“ The question, after any scarring episode in history, like Vietnam, is:

“What did you do in the war, daddy?”

That must be applied here. If you did not come to believe that the war was false, a moral catastrophe, then it was not a credit to your wisdom or character or maturity.

But if you did realize it, like most Americans, the next test is:

Then what did you do? Upon realizing that?”

And I will say that, certainly, the most creditable role for a citizen, at that point, is to do everything possible to stop it.

And the highest standard was set by the people who went to prison for nonviolent draft resistance.

And the other highest standard was set by the vets, who came home and put themselves on the line, by speaking out and marching against the war.

Vets like John Kerry set a standard for the whole country. I think this is Kerry’s strongest qualification to be a leader of this country.”

Daniel Ellsberg, interviewed by David Talbot, in “The Salon Interview: Daniel Ellsberg” (Salon.com, Feb. 19 2004)

“He changed history by copying the Pentagon Papers, the government’s secret history of the war, and releasing them to the press ... though he risked prison and ruin.”

Eric Lichtblau, “F.B.I. Scrutinizes Antiwar Rallies” (New York Times, Nov. 23 2003). “Tactics used during protests and demonstrations{111kb.pdf} (FBI Intelligence Bulletin no. 89, Oct. 15 2003): “No portion of this Bulletin should be released to the media”.

Dana Milbank, “Secret Service Not Coddling Hecklers” (Washington Post, Sept. 10 2004). “An agent, who did not give his name, told one journalist who was blocked from returning to the speech that this was punishment for approaching the demonstrators and that there was a ‘different set of rules’ for reporters who did not seek out the activists.”

Jonathan M. Katz, “Thou Dost Protest Too Much: An old law turns protesters into threats against the president” (Slate, Sept. 21 2004). “[H]undreds of protesters are being rounded up at presidential visits all over the country, making Bursey the 56-year-old canary in a demonstrators’ coal mine.”

G. Jeffrey MacDonald, “A close eye — and tight grip — on campaign protesters” (Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 27 2004). “President Bush was about to arrive at a rally. A couple wearing T-shirts {photo} with anti-Bush slogans were sitting just feet from the stage. Charleston, W. Va., police working with the US Secret Service had a quick decision to make.

What ensued that July 4 was either a prudent choice in high-risk times or a blatant violation of free-speech rights. Police arrested the two for wearing the T-shirts and refusing to relocate to an area for protesters.

The arrests of Jeff and Nicole Rank, along with the suit they filed earlier this month against the Secret Service, have become symbols of a defining feature of campaign 2004: security so tight that candidates seldom hear or see their critics in person. ...

The Charleston City Council apologized for the July 4 incident, since the Ranks had tickets, were on public property, and made no obstructive noise.”

Rank v. Jenkins: Jeffery Rank and Nicole Rank v. Gregory J. Jenkins (Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States and Director of the White House Office of Presidential Advance), W. Ralph Basham (Director of the United States Secret Service}, and John Does 1-2 and 3-4, filed Sept. 14 2004 (S.D.W.Va., No. 04-CV-997). See also American Civil Liberties Union (New York City), “Secret Service and White House Charged with Violating Free Speech Rights in ACLU Lawsuit” (September 14 2004).  CJHjr

 

 

Affidavits

U.S. President George W. Bush came back to town, on May 9 2003, to speak to the graduating class of the University of South Carolina.


“ Well, my, my. Mr. Bush is coming back to town. And, he’s about to thumb his nose at the Security Council and take us into war. Now what are we going to do about that noisy watchdog, Brett Bursey?”

Anonymous, March 1 2003

Gerald Rudolph, who had accompanied Brett Bursey at the airport on October 24 2002, filed a lawsuit, seeking an order from the U.S. federal district court that they be permitted to demonstrate peaceably at this event — and not in a distant out-of-sight protest zone — without a repeat of their previous mistreatment at the hands of the U.S. Secret Service, and their dutiful, obedient, confused muscle: the armed forces of the State of South Carolina.

As in other such cases, to induce the Judge to not issue the requested order — embarrassing, newsworthy, precedent-setting, and trend-making — the Secret Service assured the Judge that they would behave themselves, and conduct themselves, in the way Mr. Rudolph desired, and hence no formal order from the Judge would be necessary. (Commentary below).

Mr. Bursey did not make an appearance in this lawsuit. A trustworthy, vigilant, energetic, political watchdog, he has faithfully stood watch, this past 33 years. And barked, loud and long, each time he perceived a political threat approaching. Exactly as we wish our watchdogs to do. And if everybody doesn’t agree with his perception of danger, if most are uncertain, if others desire to profit from danger, then so be it. That’s normal. Everybody doesn’t agree on anything. He does his job, and they see it coming, whatever it may be:– Better safe with a noisy watchdog, than sorry in peace and quiet.

And if there be some who paid him no mind last time — but wish they had — well maybe next time they will.

I wonder if he made an appearance at Mr. Bush’s speech, two days later on May 9 2003. And barked. And I wonder if the iron fist of the criminal prosecution against him, filed two months previously, managed to terrorize him, and bludgeon him, into silence. I doubt it. Besides being trustworthy, vigilant, energetic, and faithful, he’s courageous.

Mr. Rudolph filed three sworn affidavits, in support of his motion for a preliminary injunction, which recounted events on October 24 2002, when Mr. Bursey was arrested. And each of these three witnesses also later testified at the Bursey trial, on day-2 (525kb.html). Here’s the full text of those three affidavits:

______________________

“ I noticed many persons allowed in the same area carrying Republican political signs.”

Virginia Sanders, May 7 2003

I, Virginia Sanders, being duly sworn, state:

The matters stated by me herein are known by me to true unless stated upon information and belief, and, as to those matters, I believe them to be true.

1.  On October 24, 2002, I went to the Columbia Metropolitan Airport at a time when the President of the United States was to appear.

2.  I had with me signs on poster board which stated opposition to policies of the President.

3.  As I arrived in the vicinity of the Doolittle hanger where the President was to speak, I was told by airport police and a Lexington Sheriff’s Deputy acting under the direct supervision of Secret Service agents that I could not be in the area to express opposition to the President’s policies. I was told that if I wanted to display my signs, I would have to go to a “free speech zone” away from the President.

4.  At the time I was told that I needed to leave the area, I noticed many persons allowed in the same area carrying Republican political signs.

5.  It is my intention to be at the Carolina Center in Columbia on May 9, 2003 at the time {p.2} of the appearance of the President of the United States before the graduating class of the University of South Carolina. My purpose in appearing will be to protest policies of the President.

6.  It is my belief that my communication of my views will be effective only if it takes place in the vicinity of the President and his audience. It is my belief that my ability to communicate will be burdened and diminished if the Secret Service acts again as it did on October 24, 2002.

7.  It is my belief that the Secret Service has made judgments about which citizens may exercise free speech rights in a particular location based on the content of the message the citizen wishes to communicate. It is my belief that the actions of the Secret Service on October 24, 2002 indicated that citizens were being directed away from the vicinity of the President if their efforts to communicate their views were inconsistent with the support of the President or his political party.

Further affiant sayeth not.

{signature}

Virginia Saunders {sic: Sanders}

Sworn to before me this 7th day of May, 2003

{embossed notary seal not visible on the PDF copy}

{signature: illegible} (L.S.)

Notary Public for South Carolina

My Commission Expires: 6/24/2009

______________________

“ The Secret Service agent told me, “You will be making that call from a cell.””

Harry Rogers, May 7 2003

Effective technique number 1: Threat of arrestCJHjr:

“ I left ... I have a clearance where I work ... and security is a grave concern at any nuclear plant ... I drove home ... the back way.”

Harry Rogers, trial transcript, p.2-142 {525kb.html}

I, Harry Rogers, being duly sworn, state:

The matters stated by me herein are known by me to true unless stated upon information and belief, and, as to those matters, I believe them to be true.

1.  I am citizen of the United States residing in the State of South Carolina.

2.  I am an Air Force veteran having served in Vietnam.

3.  On October 24, 2002, I was at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport for the purpose of protesting the Bush administration’s policies with respect to Iraq.

4.  I was on a public right-of-way on a street which I believe to be named “Aviation Way.” I was in the vicinity of the Doolittle Aviation Facility.

5.  I was told by a Secret Service agent that if I did not leave the area, I would be arrested. I told the agent it was my desire to use my cell phone to contact an attorney to inquire of the legality of my being barred from public property simply because I was opposed to the policies of the President. The Secret Service agent told me, “You will be making that call from a cell.”

6.  At the time I was being threatened with arrest because I wanted to protest the policies of the President, I observed in the same vicinity many persons carrying signs endorsing Republican {p.2} political candidates. The Secret Service made no effort to remove these persons or their signs.

7.  I was told by the Secret Service that if I wanted to protest the President’s policies, I would need to go to a remote area designated by the Secret Service as a “free speech zone.” When I asked where this “free speech zone” was, I was given conflicting information about its location by Secret Service agents and local law enforcement personnel.

8.  I intend to be present in the vicinity of Carolina Center on May 9, 2003 when the President is to address the graduating class of the University of South Carolina. It is my intention to be in the vicinity of the President to express my views on core political issues facing the United States.

9.  It is my belief that my expression of views can be effective only if it is done in proximity to the President and his audience. It is my belief that my ability to express my views is burdened and diminished if I am required, based on the content of my speech, to be at a location remote from the President. It is my belief that I will have no meaningful opportunity to communicate my views to the President if I am prohibited from being in his vicinity based on the content of my message as occurred at the direction of the Secret Service on October 24, 2002.

Further affiant sayeth not.

{signature}

Harry Rogers

Sworn to before me this 7th day of May, 2003

{embossed notary seal not visible on the PDF copy}

{signature: illegible} (L.S.)

Notary Public for South Carolina

My Commission Expires: 06-07-06

______________________

“ Citizens have very few occasions to directly communicate their views to the President or an audience he has gathered.”

Gerald Rudolph, May 7 2003

I, Gerald Rudolph, being duly sworn, state:

The matters stated by me herein are known by me to true unless stated upon information and belief, and, as to those matters, I believe them to be true.

1.  I am citizen of the United States residing in the State of South Carolina.

2.  On October 24, 2002, I went to the Columbia Metropolitan Airport for the purpose of protesting policies of the current administration with respect to Iraq.

3.  My purpose for going to Columbia Metropolitan Airport on that date was that the President of the United States was there to attend a political rally. I believed it would be an excellent opportunity to share my views with the President and his audience.

4.  I was on a public right-of-way on the street that runs from South Carolina Highway 302 to the terminal at Columbia Metropolitan Airport. I was in the vicinity of the Doolittle Aviation Facility where the President’s rally was to be held.

5.  I had in my possession a sign expressing opposition to policies of the President. I was confronted by uniformed law enforcement officers in the company of Secret Service agents and told that I could not carry my sign. {p.2}

6.  The Secret Service agent directed the police to arrest me unless I put down my sign.

7.  Once I discarded my sign, I was allowed to remain in the area.

8.  My sign was printed on flexible poster paper, and was not mounted on a stick. I believe it was objectionable to the Secret Service solely because it expressed opposition to a policy of the President. I am informed and believe that persons carrying signs favorable to the President or in support of Republican party political candidates were allowed to be in the area while carrying signs.

9.  I am informed and believe that the President is returning to South Carolina on May 9, 2003 to appear at a graduation ceremony at the University of South Carolina, a public university, to be held in the Carolina Center, a public facility located in downtown Columbia.

10.  It is my desire to be the vicinity of the President and his audience to communicate my views in opposition to administration policies.

11.  Based on the activities of the Secret Service on October 24, 2002, I believe that my ability to be in the vicinity of the President and his audience to communicate my views will be interfered with by the Secret Service.

12.  It is my belief that I will have no meaningful opportunity to communicate with the President or his audience during the President’s visit to Columbia if, based on the content of my speech, the Secret Service can ban the speech or direct me to a remote location.

13.  Given the demands on the time of the President, citizens have very few occasions to be in a position to directly communicate their views to the President or an audience he has gathered. I believe that the Secret Service will again act to deprive me of an opportunity to seek to communicate with the President and his audience on matters of important {sic: importance} to citizens and the country {p.3} based solely on the content of my speech.

14.  I believe if the Secret Service is allowed to act as it did on October 24, 2002, supporters of the President and his political associates will be placed in a position so that their views may be expressed to the President and his audience while I will deprived of that opportunity based on the viewpoint I wish to advocate.

Further affiant sayeth not.

{signature}

Gerald Rudolph

Sworn to before me this 7th day of May, 2003

{embossed notary seal not visible on the PDF copy}

{signature: illegible} (L.S.)

Notary Public for South Carolina

My Commission Expires: 1/24/2005

______________________

Source: Documents 6 {61kb.pdf}, 7 {69kb.pdf}, and 8 {88kb.pdf} via the docket sheet {coming up} for Gerald Rudolph v. Tom Ridge (D.S.C., No. 03-cv-1580, filed May 7 2003) (protest zones) (WebPACER: ‘Public Access to Court Electronic Records’, U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Columbia). The papers in the Rudolph case are available on the internet from the Court with a PACER account ($0.07 per page).

Trial verdict

On November 12 2003, day-2 of the bench-trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Barton, the prosecutor, dramatized the evidence and posed this question to the presiding judge-and-jury:

“‘I’m from the United States Secret Service. You are in a restricted area.’

What more does he need to know?”

(Transcript, p.2-25) (525 kb html).

What Brett Bursey “needed to know” was this:

“Where is the restricted area?
So I can go stand outside of it.”

But this, the U.S. Secret Service agent refused to say. Because she didn’t want Brett Bursey to go stand on its boundary. She wanted him to go and stand far away, in a remote “demonstration area”. A free speech zone. A protest zone. A coral. For malcontents, bozos, and other species of Untermenchen.

Out of sight. And out of mind.

When she ordered Brett Bursey to a distant “demonstration area” and concealed from him the boundary of the restricted area and an obscure federal law, Brett Bursey knew all he needed to know.

As he explained, later in the day, when his turn came to take the witness stand:

“I didn’t feel that I should acquiesce to what I took to be an unlawful order.”

(Transcript, p.2-256).

But, Mr. Bursey didn’t get to decide his own case.

And so, on January 6 2004, the parties reassembled to hear the judge-and-jury answer Mr. Barton’s question. And so too their supporters and the press. All crammed together, once again, in the small Courtroom Number 7, on the 2nd floor of the new federal courthouse in Columbia South Carolina. (You don’t get a big courtroom unless you’re an Article III U.S. District Judge, appointed by the President, vetted by the Senate, with life tenure and no more masters to please, to retain your job).

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant agreed with Mr. Barton:

Verdict: Guilty. Punishment: $500 fine.

“Bursey presented no evidence showing that any other person not attending the rally was allowed to remain in the restricted area or that other protesters received favorable treatment, Marchant wrote.”

“He’s no hero for First Amendment free speech rights,” Barton said after the ruling. “As shown by the judge’s verdict today, he’s a criminal.”

The judge explained his verdict in open court, and in a 13 page opinion.

Dissent

In my opinion, this verdict is an error.

And this is what’s wrong with it:

To be guilty of a crime, you’ve got to do two things: Commit a criminal act. And do it with whatever intent the law says. Or no intent, in the case of a “strict liability” offense (like an athlete unknowingly ingesting a banned substance).

In my opinion, Brett Bursey committed no criminal act.

And, even if he had done, he did it with no “specific intent” (the particular type of intent this law requires).

As for the criminal act:

The Secret Service agent refused to contemplate Brett Bursey’s desire. To stand someplace other than the distant, out of sight, “demonstration area”.

And so, she concealed from him the boundary of the restricted area. 100 yards up the road. Towards the parking lot. Where 5,000, or 7,000, people would be walking past. In an hour or so. Following the political rally. Where a message could have been waiting for them. As they passed by. A different message. From the one they had just heard. From the Great Leader. Cacooned in Power. With the band playing.

If Brett Bursey didn’t want to go to the rally, and wanted to exhibit his sign, there was only one place he could do it, said she:

“ I told him once again:

He could go to the demonstration area.

He could get in line, if he had a ticket and had, and took any sticks off the signs.

He could go home.

Or he could be arrested and go to jail.”

Holly Able (Secret Service Agent),
trial transcript, day-1, p.1-125 {475 kb}

But Brett Bursey wanted to be where he wanted to be. Not where she wanted him to be.

And all she had to do was tell him where was the boundary of the restricted area. So he could evaluate his options. And decide where to stand.

Holly Able’s authority did not extend outside the restricted area. To require him to stand only in a distant “demonstration area”. A condition her regulations plainly outlawed her to impose.

And as for the tools of her trade, the U.S. criminal statute is a template for a criminal law. But it does not become a criminal law unless and until a Secret Service agent (or others acting on her behalf) supplies the missing ingredient. To activate this otherwise mute, dormant, merely potential, latent, criminal law. A tool of her trade.

That missing ingredient is notice. To the citizen. Of the boundary of the restricted area.

Without that information, the citizen does not know how he can conform his conduct to the law.

In the way he wants to do so.

Without that notice, there is no “law”. For him to conform his conduct to. No tool she can use, to lawfully enforce her will.

True, he could have disappeared.

Into oblivion.

To the distant, out of sight, free speech zone.

Where she wanted him to go.

And, he could have gone home, as well. As she also suggested. Or flown to New York City.

And thereby also exited the “restricted area”.

Which she stubbornly concealed from him.

But that’s not what he wanted to do.

And, in the absence of some contrary “law,” liberty and the law both entitle him to be where he wants to be. Not where some government official orders him to be.

Her orders are not “law”. Unless and until she herself first obeys the law. Which Congress handed to her. To assist her. To protect the President. And give the notice the law required her to give. To inform citizens: where be the boundary of the restricted area.

At that point — but not until then — her orders to leave, the now defined restricted area, are law. But her orders to go, to a particular place outside that area, are not law.

Because Holly Able decided to not obey the law, which Congress required her to obey, if she wanted to assault a citizen, her order to Brett Bursey, to go to a distant “demonstration area,” was an unlawful order. It was not “law”, because she refused to supply the missing ingredient, to activate the law.

And here, Judge Marchant made his first mistake. He asserted that she told him to leave (the restricted area). And this, she most assuredly did not do. What she testified to, over and over again, undisputed in the evidence, is that she ordered him —not to leave, but — to go, to a remote, distant, “designated demonstration area”.

In order to tell Brett Bursey to “leave” — as Judge Marchant erroneously asserted she did — Holly Able would first have to inform Brett Bursey of what it is he is supposed to leave. An “area” is a physical concept, with boundaries. And you can’t “leave” an “area” unless you first know where those boundaries are. Or where a near boundary is.

Instead, she described a different area, which was none of her business: a remote “designated demonstration area”. And a second area, which was none of her business: “home”.

But the law does not empower her to order citizens to go to such other areas.

The criminal act is to remain in a restricted area after being ordered to leave it. Until she says where the boundary is, or a near boundary, she has failed to describe the restricted area sufficiently so the citizen can know how to leave it.

That information is a Constitutional threshold, which must be crossed, before any citizen can be lawfully convicted of any crime. A citizen must be informed of what it s/he is supposed to do before s/he can be lawfully convicted for not doing it.

Brett Bursey obviously violated no law, in refusing to obey her unlawful order to go to some distant place.

And he violated no law, in remaining where he was. Because she refused to give him the notice the law required her to give (if she wanted to assault him). Where the boundary was. Of the restricted area. So he could leave it.

By concealing the boundary, she failed to define an “area”. And you have to have an “area” before you can refuse to leave it. Without an “area,” and notice of it, there can be no criminal act.

Hence, Brett Bursey committed no criminal act, by remaining where he was.

As for criminal intent:

It’s not enough to remain in a restricted area, after being told to leave (the criminal act). You also have to do it with criminal intent. And so, if you pass out from the heat, and remain in the area for that reason, you commit no crime. So too if you try to leave and are unable to. Due to the press of the crowd, for example. Or due to confusion, conflicting instructions from different authority figures, for example.

This crime requires “specific intent” (“knowingly and willfully”).

And here dwell the most mysterious enigmas in the case.

Brett Bursey knew one thing for certain:

That no law required him to retire to a remote “demonstration area,” if he wanted to exhibit his sign.

And he knew a second thing for certain:

That no citizen could “trespass” on public property (the airport, where he was).

And so, as far as he knew, he harbored no “specific intent” to commit any crime.

Instead of informing him, that an obscure federal law empowered her to exclude citizens, on public property, from an invisible “restricted area,” what did Holly Able do instead?

She summoned airport police.

And what did Brett Bursey do?

He double checked.

That he was doing nothing wrong.

He inquired, What offense is it, they thought he was committing?

And what did they say?

Trespassing.

The one offense he knew, for absolute certain, and correctly so, he was not committing.

You can’t be “knowing and willful” about a criminal act which is not a criminal act.

So help me out here:

Where is his “knowing and willful” specific intent to commit a criminal act?

How can you be “knowing” about what you don’t know?

And how can you be “willful” about what you don’t know? When you try hard to find out. And they conceal it from you.

And how can you be “willful” about where you are? When they conceal from you where you are entitled to be (the boundary)?

If they had told him, about the federal law, and where the boundary was, then we could have all watched with interest: What would Brett Bursey do?

Would he dispute with the Secret Service Agent? About her authority? To expand the restricted area, way beyond anything necessary to protect the President? And way beyond what Congress had in mind, when they adopted this law? And for whatever motive? To make her job easier? To shield the President, and the audience he had gathered, from a discordant free speech?

And, upon reaching an impasse, in that dialogue, would he then knowingly and willfully, with specific intent, make the free moral choice to commit a federal criminal act?

That we’ll never know. Because they prevented him from exercising a free moral choice. By concealing from him an obscure law. And by concealing from him the boundary, where he was entitled to be.

They spoiled a good drama. For the rest of us to watch.

But I don’t suppose it would have been much of a drama. As I don’t suppose Brett Bursey would have seen much point in contesting, from jail, the might of the U.S. Government, over a 100 yard dispute.

My guess is, he would have said, “Thank you, ma’am”. And walked off up the street.

Though he might have pursued his complaint about it later, in court, together with Gerald Rudolph, when the President was next expected in town. (If he had the money to do it).

But this straightforward, honest, forthright, behavior by government officials is not what happened.

Instead, in the great tradition of Southern dramas, the story plunges, into a dense thicket, of intertwined story lines, hidden agendas, power, ambition, egos, lies, confusion, and flawed characters.

Why did airport police assault a citizen they well knew was not committing the offense they pretended he was committing? Though one later claimed under oath, that despite 25 years on that force, he never before knew a citizen could not trespass on airport property.

Why did Holly Able (Secret Service Agent) conceal from Brett Bursey an obscure federal law he had never heard of? And the boundary, where he was entitled to be?

Why did J. Strom Thurmond Jr. (U.S. Attorney) join a conspiracy to incite and aid and abet a prima facie criminal assault on Brett Bursey? Intensifying Brett Bursey’s damages. From the violation of his Constitutional right to free speech. Piling on legal fees, anxiety, calumny, insults, intimidation.

Compounding a fascist, unlawful, prima facie criminal, tactic.

Endorsing Holly Able’s decision to incite airport police, to violate South Carolina law, and assault Brett Bursey, for a crime they knew he did not commit. Though Holly Able later testified she was ignorant of what legal tools local police had available to enforce her will. Arrogantly serene in the rule of raw, violent, power. Contemptuously indifferent to the rule of law.

Corrupting the rule of law:

Well knowing, that Holly Able’s order to go to a remote “demonstration area” was a violation of the U.S. Constitution and Holly Able’s own Secret Service Regulations.

And well knowing, that where Brett Bursey decided to stand, outside the restricted area, was no business of the U.S. Secret Service. And no business of the United States Government. On whose behalf he was acting. When he decided to prosecute.

And why did Bristow Marchant (U.S. Magistrate Judge) rubber-stamp this patently unlawful, prima facie criminal, enterprise?

As for Holly Able, she didn’t want him to be where he wanted to be. And that apparently explains why she refused to tell him where the boundary was. Though maybe it didn’t occur to her. So convinced was she, in her mistaken, arrogant, confusion, that Brett Bursey had no right to be anywhere but where she said.

But her additional motive is plain (as she testified), for not disclosing the federal law, when he asked.

She didn’t want to be bothered. To come back to South Carolina. To appear as a witness. In the trial of Brett Bursey. She wanted local police to deal with him, to save her the bother.

But Brett Bursey violated no state or local law.

And so, as Southern dramas would have it, what happened?

She had to come back to South Carolina. To appear as a witness. In the trial of Brett Bursey.

And, being a Southern drama, there’s irony:

If she had told Brett Bursey the simple truth, as her legal duty required her to do, there never would have been a trial of Brett Bursey.

And she wouldn’t have been bothered.

If she had simply said, “The boundary is 100 yards up the road, and I can arrest you, under a federal law, if you don’t leave,” Brett Bursey would have likely have shrugged it off, with a “Thank you, ma’am,” and left the invisible restricted area, to brood about it later.

As for Bristow Marchant, I feel no doubt or hesitation that he acted honestly. And conscientiously. And respectfully. And courteously. And did the best he could. Just as he said he tried to do.

But, I believe he was very concerned about the grave responsibility of the Secret Service, and the assassination of past Presidents. And he said so, several times.

I believe he did not want any responsibility for bothering the Secret Service, in the performance of their duty. And he allowed his emotions to cloud his rational thought. His duty.

I believe Bristow Marchant stumbled. But not with “specific intent”.

And I too can be just as mistaken instead, as I suppose him to be.

But I would be very surprised, if I were mistaken about this:

The free moral choice by Secret Service officials, knowingly and willfully, with “specific intent,” to violate their own regulations (“demonstration areas”) (further examples below).

This is a fault for Secret Service officials to correct, not for U.S. federal judges to condone.

The free moral choice by Secret Service officials, knowingly and willfully, with “specific intent,” to incite, conspire, and aid and abet, state and local law enforcement officials, knowingly and willfully, with “specific intent,” to violate their own law, and assault and arrest citizens, for crimes they know the citizens have not committed (further examples below).

This is a fault for Secret Service officials to correct, not for U.S. federal judges to condone.

At English common law, the free moral choice by government officials, knowingly and willfully, with “specific intent,” to violate a law they were entrusted to administer and obey:– This, was a crime. With imprisonment or fines in the discretion of the judge. And it was a crime which was prosecuted.

This English common law crime was in force on July 4 1776, the starting law of most the various states of the United States of America. Such as Maryland, the source of common law for the later formed District of Columbia, a common law jurisdiction. And in force in 1602, the starting date (from memory) for the Commonwealth of Virginia, a common law jurisdiction.

This crime, to safeguard the integrity of government.

This is one of the crimes Oliver North and his circle committed, for example, in Iran-Contra. But wasn’t prosecuted.

U.S. federal criminal law does not include this common law crime. And that fact well illustrates the peril which menaces citizens, when criminal enterprises begin to sprout, and grow, and flourish among the armed forces, intelligence agencies, and other power-centers of their government.

Little of what U.S. Government officials and forces do can be held to account in a court of law. The Great Leaders of the United States continuously pontificate about the rule of law. A rule the United States Government itself refuses to submit to, in any court of law, with few exceptions.

And so, to summarize:

Instead of choosing to activate the federal law — by revealing the information Congress required her to reveal (the location of the boundary) — Holly Able apparently wanted, instead, to demonstrate how tough she was.

How powerful she was.

How violent she can be.

What powerful forces she can summon.

How worthy she is.

How insignificant the citizen is.

And, so far, she has succeeded.

In the legislative history of this latent criminal law, Congress was at pains to emphasize that no U.S. federal officer could lawfully bully citizens to obey their arbitrary orders.

This is what fascism is: Government by chain-of-command. That citizens must obey orders of government officers.

Once you adopt that law, then there is no restraint on what arbitrary orders officers can issue. To please their political masters. And enforce. By force. And by the rubber stamps, of their obedient judges.

Every citizen who wishes to assert his rights becomes a criminal. On the whim of a government officer.

When you’re looking at United States v. Brett A. Bursey, you’re staring down the throat of fascism.

I don’t suppose the Secret Service Agent willfully violated the training she received. In her confrontation with Brett Bursey.

I suppose instead, she received no training. From those in charge of the Secret Service. Who prefer, instead, the tactics of swagger, threats, intimidation, bullying, force, and violence. Which all violent, criminal, terrorist, government forces, throughout history, have preferred. Instead of law. To please their masters. To achieve their goals.

And where are the oversight committees of the U.S. Congress?

What hearings have they held?

Under oath.

Questioning those in charge of the Secret Service.

About their patently unlawful “free speech zone” policy.

About their willful, deceitful, corrupt, unlawful, policy, to violate their own regulations.

About the training they decided to not provide to their agents.

About the law Congress entrusted them to administer, lawfully, and properly.

This drama has several chapters yet to be written.

Besides history, memory, honor, courage, dignity, respect, tolerance, redemption, disrespect, intolerance, power, ambition, arrogance, deceit, abuse, entangled lives, flawed characters, and such, payback too is a sometimes theme of Southern dramas.

And I do wonder, if that too will figure, in the later chapters, of this case:

“42 U.S.C. § 1983. – Civil action for deprivation of rights

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.”

______________________

The U.S. District Court Judge denied Brett Bursey’s appeal from the Magistrate Judge’s verdict.

Following the briefing schedule, the case was submitted, to the Judge.

Brett Bursey’s lawyers requested an oral argument.

The U.S. Government lawyers opposed an oral argument.

The Judge ordered an oral argument, which transpired on September 1 2004.

In theory, she had no need for further argument, if she felt the facts and the issues — as she sees them — had been fully spoken about.

But, it’s hard work to be 100% certain that facts are established by lengthy trial transcripts. The best way to establish facts is to put the questions she has, in oral argument, to the lawyers. It’s good discipline, it’s fair, it’s courteous, it dispels doubt, and it strengthens the record for any subsequent appeal.

There’s one fact, for example, which Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant apparently described erroneously.

Namely, that the President was due to pass by the site enroute to make his speech.

As I understand the facts, the President arrived at the airport hanger instead — not by the public road, past the site, and not on the airport apron near the site, but — direct from Air Force One, parked on the airport apron. He came down the stairs of Air Force One, got into his limousine, armored with Kevlar® and (as I suppose) the same depleted uranium as an Abrams A-1 tank, and 5-inch thick windows, bomb-proof and bullet-proof, a Lexan® sandwich (as I suppose). He drove on the airport apron, the quarter-mile from the plane to the hanger, got out, and walked into the hanger, from the apron, on the opposite side from where the public had been queuing to enter the hanger. That’s the whole point of having a rally in an airport hanger. So he doesn’t have to pass by the public on the way to his speech.

This apparent error by the trial judge, strictly speaking, doesn’t affect the issues in the case, as I see it. But, she might think otherwise, and it’s a fact which could be clarified on oral argument.

Brett Bursey was arrested (11:45 a.m.) more than an hour before the President finished his speech (12:18-12:50 p.m.). Long before the President was due to pass the site, on his way to town, following his speech.

Plenty of time for the Secret Service Agent to tell Brett Bursey where was the boundary of the restricted area.

Brett Bursey has filed a notice of appeal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, in Richmond Virginia, where the appeal is not yet docketed.

Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

 

Other Secret Service protest zone cases

The threat and reality of arrest, extended anxiety facing possible punishment and unemployment, the burden of legal expenses and time spent in trial preparation, and a permanent entry into secret state and federal databases of troublesome and potentially dangerous characters, laden with hearsay, supposition, innuendo, and lies:–

These are four excellent techniques for deterring the free speech of political opposition, effective against 99.999% of the citizenry.

And this is why Martin Luther King Jr., and his colleagues, in the early days, appointed young people to the front lines. As much for what they didn’t have as what they did have. What they didn’t have were responsibilities of marriage, parenthood, and jobs they couldn’t afford to lose. And what they did have was loving support and encouragement from family and friends, a just cause, courage, and their “Eyes on the Prize”.

Here are accounts of a few more of today’s 0.001%.

Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

 


The Bush family must surely love the poor. They have made so many of us.

Bill Neel's sign

Pennsylvania v. William R. Neel {70 kb} (Allegheny County Magistrate’s Court, Coraopolis Pennsylvania, Oct. 31 2002) (polite refusal to obey an order of a local police officer, acting on orders of the Secret Service issued through the officer’s chain-of-command, to stand in an out-of-sight protest-zone, is not “disorderly conduct” by a 65-year-old retired steelworker who desired, instead, to stand on the roadside amongst members of the public who supported the President or expressed no view, holding his sign critical of the President: “The Bush family must surely love the poor. They have made so many of us.”) ACLU Fact Sheet, “Free Speech Under Fire: The ACLU Challenge to ‘Protest Zones’” (ACLU, Sept. 23 2003):

“ My moment to speak out was taken away from me.”

Bill Neel, CBS Evening News

“Neville Island, Pennsylvania. On September 2, 2002, protesters were sent to a “designated free speech zone” located on a large baseball field located one-third of a mile away from where President Bush was speaking. Only people carrying signs critical of the President were required to enter and remain. Many people carrying signs supporting the President and his policies were allowed to stand alongside the motorcade route right up to where the President was speaking. But when retired steelworker Bill Neel refused to enter the protest zone and insisted on being allowed to stand where the President’s supporters were standing, he was arrested for disorderly conduct and detained until the President had departed. Local police testified at his trial that the security policies, including the protest zone location, were dictated by the Secret Service.” See also Milan Simonich, “Judge clears Bush opponent” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 1 2002) and Freedom Under Fire: Dissent in Post-9/11 America (ACLU) and Dave Lindorff, “Keeping dissent invisible ” (Salon, Nov. 14 2003).

John Blair v. City of Evansville, Indiana (S.D. In., No. 3:03-cv-00003-RLY-WGH (adding documents), filed Jan. 10 2003) (protest zones). ACLU Fact Sheet, “Free Speech Under Fire: The ACLU Challenge to ‘Protest Zones’” (ACLU, Sept. 23 2003):

Cheney – 19th C. Energy Man.

John Blair's sign

“On February 6, 2002, Vice President Cheney was scheduled to appear at the local Civic Center. John Blair, a local activist, walked back and forth on the sidewalk across the street from the Civic Center carrying a sign reading “Cheney – 19th C. Energy Man.” When Blair stopped walking, he was ordered to move to a “protest zone” more than a block away from the Civic Center. When he refused to do so, he was arrested. Spectators or passers-by who did not express any views about the Vice President’s policies were allowed to walk on the sidewalk in front of the Civic Center. Blair, represented by the ACLU, successfully challenged the arrest. But the lawsuit remains in force because the city has refused to acknowledge that it had no right to ignore Blair’s constitutional rights.”

“ I had to give two sets of finger prints. One as usual and one “for the guys that are running the show,” which I assume meant the SS.”

John Blair, email, Nov. 28 2003

Effective technique number 4: The scurrilous database: Now, everybody who phones, emails, visits, or meets John Blair can wonder whether they too thereby earn their own personal database record. And so too each person who phones, emails, visits, or meets with them. Instilling cascading doubt and fear in the minds of the public. A very useful technique. Homeland Security: You can’t be too careful.  CJHjr

John Blair, Criticize Cheney, Go to Jail: Two Days in the Life of an Environmentalist (CounterPunch, Feb. 8 2002): “This was a preemptive arrest to assure that no one going to the event would see any protesters let alone hear any protesters.”

ICLU Defends Evansville Mans Right to Protest” (ICLU: Indiana Civil Liberties Union, Jan. 16 2002). Matthew Rothschild, “Charge Dropped Against Cheney Protester” (The Progressive, Feb. 20 2002): “Blair was at first charged with disorderly conduct. Then the prosecutor increased the charge to a Class A misdemeanor of resisting law enforcement. “Now I am facing what could be a year in jail for my political crime of carrying a sign to a political event,” Blair wrote in Counterpunch. But the case against Blair has now been dropped. ... Blair says he’s “leaning toward” suing the police for violating his civil rights.”

ACORN v. City of Philadelphia (E.D. Pa., No. 2:03cv4312-JF (documents added), filed July 24 2003) (protest zones). “Secret Service Ordered Local Police to Restrict Anti-Bush Protesters at Rallies, ACLU Charges in Unprecedented Nationwide Lawsuit” (ACLU, Sept. 23 2003).

Welcome to Western, Governor Bush.

Antoine Jennings' sign

Michigan v. Antoine Jennings {130 kb} (8th District Court for Kalamazoo County Michigan, No. 01-05340 SM, August 17? 2001), affirmed May 8 2002 (Circuit Court for Kalamazoo County Michigan, No. A01-1390AR), cert. denied Oct. 6 2003 (U.S., No. 02-1742) (a college student convicted of trespass and fined $100 plus costs for refusing to obey a police order of Secret Service origin to go to a distant out-of-sight protest zone, during a visit by President Bush on March 22 2001 to Western Michigan University campus, or else put down his sign objecting to the President’s election: “Welcome to Western, Governor Bush”). Commentary: James Kilpatrick “Free Speech for Fans Only” (The Southern Illinoisan, June 18 2003) (quoting the trial transcript) (copy).

City of Saint Charles Missouri v. Angela P. Gordon and George William Ramsey (St. Charles County Circuit Court, being the Missouri Circuit Court for the 11th Judicial Circuit, Case Nos. 20023192, 20023179) (charges pending, but not docketed).

“ They filed the case for trial several times, but it was continued each time, either at our request or the prosecutors. The last time it was continued at the prosecutor’s request and no new trial date was set.”

Bill Ramsey, email, Nov. 26 2003

Effective technique number 2: Extended anxiety. Let’s just leave that criminal charge hanging over his head and see if that doesn’t quieten him down.

CJHjr

Freedom Under Fire: Dissent in Post-9/11 America” (ACLU, New York City, 2003): “During a Nov. 4, 2002 Bush visit, activists Bill Ramsey and Angela Gordon were arrested after refusing to move to a gravel parking lot a quarter-mile away from the president’s entourage.” (St. Louis).

Dave Lindorff, “Keeping dissent invisible” (Salon.com, Oct. 16, 2003): “Bill Ramsey ... was arrested last Nov. 4 by police in St. Charles, Mo., while attempting to unfurl an antiwar banner amid a group of pro-Bush people during a presidential visit to a local airport. ‘The police told us if we wanted to show the banner, we’d have to go to a parking lot four-tenths of a mile away and out of sight of the president’s motorcade,’ says Ramsey. ‘When we attempted to put it up anyway, they arrested us, and said they'd been ordered to by the Secret Service.’”

City of Saint Louis Missouri v. Andrew Wimmer (Saint Louis City Court, being the Missouri Circuit Court for the 22d Judicial Circuit, prosecution abandoned by the City Circuit Attorney, but not until the day of the trial and after abusing the citizen with anxiety and the burden of legal services, trial preparation, and attending court, to defend against the meritless charge of “obstructing passage,” possibly M.R.S. § 574.010.1(2)(a): “... purposely causes inconvenience to another person or persons by unreasonably and physically obstructing: (a) Vehicular or pedestrian traffic”, but more likely St. Louis City Code § 17.16.270: “No person shall ... display any sign ... in consequences of which there is such a gathering of persons or stopping of vehicles as to impede either pedestrians or vehicular traffic.” A powerful sign!: “Instead of war, invest in people”).

Instead of war, invest in people.

Andrew Wimmer's sign

Freedom Under Fire: Dissent in Post-9/11 America” (ACLU, New York City, 2003): “On Jan. 22, 2003, Andrew Wimmer was arrested for refusing to take his “Instead of war, invest in people” sign to a designated protest zone more than three blocks away and down an embankment; however, a woman with a “Mr. President, we love you” sign was allowed to remain. Police also barred reporters from entering the protest zone to interview dissenters.” (St. Louis).

Dave Lindorff, “Keeping dissent invisible” (Salon.com, Oct. 16, 2003): “Andrew Wimmer, another member of the Instead of War Coalition, says he was offered a similar explanation last January in St. Louis when he attempted to unfurl a sign reading ‘Instead of War, Invest in People’ on a street full of Bush supporters. According to Wimmer, St. Louis police officers told him he’d have to leave a street full of Bush supporters and go to a protest area two blocks from the presidential motorcade route because of his protest sign. He recalls that as crowds of people walked down a thoroughfare toward the trading company that President Bush was slated to visit, ‘local police were pulling out people carrying protest signs and directing them to the protest area.’ The 48-year-old IT worker says,

“When they got to me, I said no, I’d just as soon stand with the people here. But they said the Secret Service wanted protesters in the protest area.”

In the end, Wimmer, like Ramsey and others who have refused to be caged during protests, was arrested. ‘They charged me with obstructing passage with my sign, which was a 2.5-foot-by-2-foot lawn sign,’ he says, noting that a woman standing nearby with a similar-size sign saying ‘We love you Mr. President,’ was left alone.”

“ Throughout the time I was threatened with arrest, it was because I refused to go to the protest area. When I read the charges later, however, it was all written in terms of my “impeding the flow of pedestrians” on the sidewalk.”

Andrew Wimmer, email, Dec. 1 2003

Andrew Wimmer (email, Dec. 1 2003): “The street was closed to traffic, so there was no possibility of obstructing traffic. I was standing on the grass between the sidewalk and the street holding a 2.5′ × 2′ sign against my chest. Throughout the time I was threatened with arrest it was because I refused to go to the protest area. When I read the charges later, however, it was all written in terms of my ‘impeding the flow of pedestrians’ on the sidewalk.”

City of Saint Charles Missouri v. Christine Mains (St. Charles County Circuit Court, being the Missouri Circuit Court for the 11th Judicial Circuit (charges pending, but not docketed). “Freedom Under Fire: Dissent in Post-9/11 America” (ACLU, New York City, 2003). “When Bush visited the local Boeing plant on April 16, 2003, authorities attempted to herd protesters into a designated protest zone a quarter-mile away and off the main road, in a field. But the 20-square-foot roped-off area was too small to contain all the protesters — among them, Christine Mains and her 5-year-old daughter. When Mains, standing several hundred feet away with an antiwar sign, refused to move, she and her tearful child were hauled away in separate squad cars. Mains charged that authorities also treated her roughly and set her bond so high she couldn’t be released until the ACLU intervened, hours later.” (St. Louis).

Instead of War Coalition v. St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners (E.D. Mo., No. 03cv1194, Aug. 26 2003) (other than the secured area — immediately around parts of the St. Louis Convention Center into which no one could enter without proper credentials during the President’s visit — anyone can be outside and will not be required to go to the distant out-of-sight protest zone ordered by the Secret Service). “ACLU/EM Protects Protesters’ Rights During Bush Visit” (ACLU/EM, St. Louis, August 26 2003). Anna Sandidge, “300+ Converge Downtown to Protest Bush As SLPD Backs Down from Corralling IOW Protesters” (Saint Louis Instead of War Coalition, August 28 2003). (Commentary below).

Sonja Haught, Janis Lentz, and Mauricio Rosas v. City of Tampa, Florida (M.D. Fla., No. 8:02cv02021, filed Nov. 1 2002). “ACLU Sues City of Tampa for Violating Protestors’ Free Speech Rights at a Bush Rally at Legend’s Field” (ACLU of Florida, Miami, Dec. 2003).

June is Gay Pride Month.

Mauricio Rosas' sign

“Mauricio Rosas, ... a 38-year-old Tampa activist, ... on June 4, 2001 ... was hauled off Legend’s Field in handcuffs, charged with trespassing and ordered to appear in court for carrying a small, handheld sign that read: ‘June is Gay Pride Month.’ He was arrested, along with grandmothers Jan Lentz and Sonja Haught, during a rally organized last year for President Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Although all three of the protestors had tickets to attend the public rally, they were approached shortly after entering the stadium by security personnel who demanded, ‘Lose the sign and you can stay.’ Security personnel at no point asked the other rally attendees to remove their signs, which for the most part were favorable to the President and Governor.

Investigate Florida Votergate.

Jan Lentz's sign

When the three protestors declined to give up their signs, they were led down a tunnel to the basement of the stadium, where they were held for several hours before being charged criminally. ... The officers removing Lentz from the field used Lentz’s body as a shield to force her way through the crowd. In doing so, Lentz was pushed onto an 81-year-old man. The man suffered lacerations to his head and other injuries requiring medical treatment. ‘It was pretty brutal,’ said Lentz, the 56-year-old grandmother who also was dragged off the field in handcuffs by local and federal law enforcement officers. She carried a sign that read ‘Investigate Florida Votergate,’ demanding an investigation into Florida’s 2000 election fiasco.” Details: http://www.protestzone.com/.

Elend v. Sun Dome, Inc. (M.D. Fla., No. 8:03cv01657, filed August 5 2003). John Balz and Mike Brassfield “7 protesters arrested; ticketholders kept out” (St. Petersburg Times, Nov. 3 2002):

Why do you let these crooks fool you?

Their one sign.

War is good business. Invest your sons.

Their other sign.

“Seven protesters were arrested Saturday {Nov. 2 2002} outside the USF Sun Dome, where President Bush was speaking at a political rally for his brother, Governor Jeb Bush. ... One of the seven protesters arrested and charged with trespassing was Tampa nude-club mogul Joe Redner, 62. He and two friends — Jeffrey Marks, 31, and Adam Elend, 25 — stood outside the Sun Dome with a video camera and signs reading, “Why do you let these crooks fool you?” and “War is good business. Invest your sons.” Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies told Redner and his friends three times to go to the official protest zone, but they refused, Redner said.” Complaint.

Eleanor Eisenberg v. Wesley Martin (D. Az., No. 2:03cv00564, filed March 25 2003). “Freedom Under Fire: Dissent in Post-9/11 America” (ACLU, New York City, 2003). “There had been complaints of police misconduct at demonstrations in Phoenix in the past, so on Sept. 26, 2002, when President Bush attended a dinner there, the head of the ACLU of Arizona went to the protest site as a legal observer — and was herself arrested. The protesters had only just gathered, Executive Director Eleanor Eisenberg said, when suddenly, with no apparent provocation, mounted police and officers in full riot gear charged into the crowd. She was across the street taking pictures of them beating a young man when she was arrested. Eisenberg spent nine hours in custody, most of it incommunicado. She was ‘bruised and shaken, sore from being in handcuffs for more than an hour with my hands behind my back in a police car. It was a horrible experience,’ she said afterwards. The only charge against her, resisting arrest, was dropped four months later.” See also Eric Lee Green, “Cops arrest ACLU director” (AZCentral.com, Sept. 28 2002); “ACLU official sues officers, Phoenix” (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, March 26 2003): “Eleanor Eisenberg says in the U.S. District Court complaint filed Tuesday that she was taking photographs of protesters, not participating in the demonstrations, when she was knocked to the ground, arrested and hauled to jail. Eisenberg’s suit accuses Department of Public Safety Officer John Bottoms and Phoenix police Officer Wesley Martin of assault, false arrest and numerous civil rights violations.”

 

 

The peril of protest

“ In politics, perception is reality.

If you’re watching a 30-second sound bite of the president arriving in Omaha to push his Iraq agenda and all you see are Bush supporters, then you’re led to believe that everyone supports Bush and you think, “Maybe I should too.”

Whereas if you see the true situation, that there are protesters, you think, “This is more complex than I first thought. I need to go back and study this.””

Dan Huntley, “Case reminds us of our right to protest(© Charlotte Observer, Charlotte North Carolina,
Nov. 16 2003) (original)

But, there’re some subtleties to this principle.

If the protesters don’t look and act like you, or anybody you know and respect, then you’re not likely to trouble yourself to investigate their views.

And this is why the FBI infiltrates political protests and political organizations, to put odd-ball looking characters and troublemakers into the front ranks. 50% of all members of the tiny Socialist Workers Party were FBI agents and informers, tasked to disrupt their protests and undermine their popular appeal, as we eventually discovered after 14 long years of litigation.

“ I could see these people behind the fence, with their faces up against it, and their hands on the wire. It looked more like a concentration camp than a free speech area to me, so I said, “I’m not going in there. I thought the whole country was a free speech area.””

William R. Neel

But when large numbers hit the streets who do look like your type of folks, mainstream citizens, then what’s the next best thing to do, if you’re in charge of deterring political opposition?

Well that’s easy: Marginalize them. Order them into distant, out of sight, protest zones, or disagreeable locations where people like us don’t tarry, with the dumpsters behind the shopping center. Like leapers, they may look like us, but looks can be deceiving, and there’s obviously something wrong with them or else they wouldn’t be banished in this way from the rest of us, where we are, at the TV camera locations, or in the near vicinity and reflected glow of the Great Leader, his powerful acolytes and impressive entourage.

“ Defendants parked several large police vans directly in front of ACORN’s members making it less likely that either they or the President would see each other.”

ACORN, complaint, 48

Or, if some bothersome judge says you can’t do that, then pull giant police vans in front of them to block their discordant message, and their mainstream visage, from the TV cameras and the royal gaze. A regular tactic, caught on camera in London when Ronald W. Reagan went to speak at the Guildhall (June 3 1988), during his war on Nicaragua killing 30,000 people and maiming another 30,000, in violation of a binding court order of 15 judges of the United Nations International Court of Justice in the Hague (June 27 1986), which Margaret Thatcher’s iron fist prevented the barricaded protesters from reminding the viewing audience.

When you see these events unfold on TV, you’re watching the peril of protest: Political leaders who feel so imperiled in their political prospects, that they’ve turned the armed forces against their fellow citizens.

And when you glimpse distant protesters who look like mainstream citizens, in the streets holding signs, and see police vans blocking your view, demonstrators arrested, uniformly adoring crowds in the vicinity of government officials:– That’s when you know you’re likely watching justified political grievances and government officials who may be lying to you, and you’re likely not watching mere honest differences of opinion about political options on agreed facts.

And if you don’t know what the protesters are about, then you may decide it’s now time to apply the Huntley Theorem in your own personal life, if you wish to stand your ground as an informed citizen: “This is more complex than I first thought. I need to go back and study this.”

Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

 

 

Commentary:

Corrupting a chain of command

It’s a pity, that U.S. Secret Service officials do not have the moral courage and strength of character to stand up against bullying by the President and his circle, without relying on ordinary citizens to provide them the excuse they need by expensive, troublesome lawsuits, e.g.: Gerald Rudolph v. Tom Ridge (above) and Instead of War Coalition v. St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners (above).

Then again, it’s a pity, that we permit political officials to threaten, intimidate, and bully government officials, if they won’t obey unlawful orders:– With loss of job or promotion prospects or transfer to Alaska, or anyplace else you don’t want to be. And I know Alaska is a wonderful place to live. But if you’re not from there, or wherever, it takes a little getting used to, to be suddenly separated hundreds or thousands of miles from your family and friends, solely because you have moral character, and stand on it.

A useful encouragement to onlookers, of the price they too might expect to pay, if they foolishly follow your example.

Thusly, the weeding-out process in a corrupt chain of command, which leaves in charge people without moral character, who do not need to be intimidated, threatened, and bullied to obey unlawful orders. They obey naturally, and willingly. And indeed act on their own initiative, without orders, well knowing that doing what needs to be done will please their higher commanders, who will remember them, when promotion time comes around.

And the rest: They accept reality, that there’s no realistic choice between character and a job. Dispirited, they concentrate on the 90% of their job that’s legitimate and hope their turn at complicity in unlawful activity comes around infrequently. Or, that the powers that be will establish a corrupt hit team to take over 100% of the unlawful duties, and leave them be. And one-by-one, some drift away to other occupations. But there be plenty without such scruples, happy to take their place.

All together: A process well known to government officials in the Third Reich.

And maybe 36 years later, one of them will swear an affidavit confessing to their unlawful activities on orders.

Like Ward Boston did, to his credit — Captain, U.S. Navy, JAG (Ret.), Senior Counsel to the Court of Inquiry (a lawyer) — confessing (October 9 2003) a criminal lie (18 U.S.C. § 1001) on the criminal orders of Lyndon Johnson (President) and Robert McNamara (Secretary of Defense) in a criminal conspiracy (18 U.S.C. § 371) to conceal facts and falsify opinion in the official report of the official investigation into Israel’s attack on the U.S.S. Liberty, a Naval/NSA electronic surveillance ship, killing 34 U.S. sailors and wounding 172 (June 8 1967), and doing their very best to kill every last one of them, to leave no witnesses.

I wonder if the victims will now sue Israel, to collect from the $3-5 billion U.S. taxpayers donate to Israel each year. Unlike the plaintiffs who secured default judgments against Iran, for the prima facie lawful bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut (Oct. 23 1983), the Liberty victims are lawfully entitled to a judgment, against Israel. And jointly and severally against the U.S. Government official criminal liars as well, for 36 years interest on the judgment, roughly twice the value of the judgment itself.

“ This charge is a chilling message to opponents of the president’s foreign policies. To keep their opinions to themselves.”

Brett Bursey, March 8 2003

Though they’re not likely to get the judgment they’re lawfully entitled to: U.S. Government lawyers would claim U.S. Government officials lying on orders were acting within the scope of their employment — like this — and the U.S. President can “lawfully” order official criminal lies if s/he wants to, and it’s no business of a U.S. Court to inquire into these U.S. official crimes. (That’s what makes it “lawful,” as they spin it, though criminal “lawlessness” is the accurate label for a “legal” system which refuses to sit in judgment on wrongdoers, and hold them to account). Even as s/he can “lawfully” order foreigners murdered, if s/he wants to. And perhaps Americans at home as well, if they threaten “national security”, in the imagination of the legally immune.

Like Adolph Hitler.

Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

 

 

Other techniques for harassing political opponents:

Rebecca A. Gordon, Janet A. Adams, ACLU v. FBI, filed April 22 2003, settled January 24 2006 (N.D. Ca., No. 3:03-cv-01779) (the “nofly” list). “TSA and FBI to Pay $200,000 in Attorneys’ Fees to Settle ‘No Fly’ Lawsuit (Gordon v. FBI)” (ACLU, January 24 2006).

Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Treasury Dept. v. Voices in the Wilderness, filed June 20 2003, judgment August 12 2005 (D.D.C., No. 1:03-CV-01356-JDB (medicines for Iraq). “Voices in the Wilderness Ordered to Pay $20K for Bringing Aid to Iraq” (Democracy Now!, August 16 2005). Kathy Kelly (founder, Voices in the Wilderness) “Hogtied and Abused at Fort Benning” (Common Dreams NewsCenter, Nov. 27 2003).

Associated Press, “Retired Florida teacher refuses to pay fine for acting as human shield in Iraq” (Aug. 11 2003). Julie Hilden, “The Case of Faith Fippinger: A First Amendment Right to be a Human Shield” (Aug. 23 2003). Fergal Parkinson, “Fear as human shield faces jail” (Sept. 21 2003). Jennifer Frey “For ‘Shield,’ A Searing Test of Mettle: Faith Fippinger Is Haunted By Her Memories of Iraq” (May 11 2003). Jonathan Weisman, “Iraq War Protesters Face Fines: ‘Human Shields’ Violated U.S. Sanctions, Treasury Says” (Aug. 12 2003) (Ryan Clancy, Faith Fippinger). Dana Hull, “‘Human shields’ activists facing fines from U.S.: Dozens from Bay Area Worry about Penalties from Iraq Trips” (Aug. 14 2003) (Ryan Clancy). Bibles for Cuba = $10,000 OFAC fine (Joni Scott). “ACLU Defends Peace Activists Facing Fines Over Iraq Travel Ban” (ACLU, May 26 2005): Ryan Clancy v. OFAC, filed May 26 2005 (E.D. Wis., No. 05-CV-580), Frederick Boyle v. OFAC, filed May 25 2005 (S.D.N.Y. No. 05-CV-4995).

Latest news about Repression

And see FBI crimes and torts (66 kb).

 

 

Source: http://pacer.scd.uscourts.gov/, Case Number: 03-CR-309 (WebPACER: ‘Public Access to Court Electronic Records’, U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Columbia South Carolina, access chargeable). Note: The papers in this case are not available on the internet from the Court; a photocopy can be purchased from the Court Clerk for $0.50 per page.

By CJHjr: Formatting (xhtml/css), bold-face, links, highlighting, text {in braces}.

This case: United States v. Brett A. Bursey (D.S.C., No. 3:03cr309 {175kb.html}), criminal information filed March 7 2003, jury trial denied June 4 2003, bench trial Nov. 12-13 2003, verdict Jan. 6 2004: guilty, $500 fine (Bristow Marchant, U.S. Magistrate Judge), district appeal docketed Jan. 13 2004, affirmed Sept. 14 2004 (Cameron McGowan Currie, U.S. District Judge), circuit appeal docketed Oct. 7 2004, affirmed July 25 2005 {64kb.pdf, 64kb.pdf}, rehearing denied Sept. 8 2005 (4th Cir., No. 04-4832), petition for certiorari docketed Dec. 14 2005, certiorari denied Jan. 17 2006 (U.S., No. 05-767).

This document is not copyrighted and may be freely copied, including the docket sheet which is not copyrighted. I copied full text of Paul Wachter’s article as the first account of the facts. As I understand it, facts (including quotations) are not copyrightable, and I could have extracted the necessary facts instead of copying the whole article. But I didn’t, partly to dispel the otherwise uncertainty that I didn’t misrepresent his account, and I advance this rationale as a possible fair use in the report of a judicial proceeding. But also, I couldn’t bear to trifle with it because, to my sensibilities, Paul Wachter’s article is a copyrightable artistic masterpiece. A Southerner myself, I do appreciate a bit of history with my news. As I find it’s usually illuminating. And if I’m violating his copyright, I plead guilty, and beg for mercy. And pity. At my dilemma. Feeling compelled, to minister to an innocent audience, who might otherwise suffer, through no fault of their own, from their ignorance of it.

CJHjr

Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

Posted Nov. 4 2003. Updated May 8 2009.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jksonc/docs/bursey-docket-dsc-03cr309.html

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