Friday, August 17, 2007

Free Speech Costs Uncle Sam $80,000

Uncle Sam had to shell out $80,000 after feds threw a Texas couple into handcuffs for wearing anti-Bush t-shirts.

Nicole and Jeffery Rank of Corpus Christi showed up at a July 4, 2004 Bush campaign stop at the West Virginia state capitol. From the Star Telegram:
"The front of the Ranks' T-shirts bore the international symbol for 'no' superimposed over the word 'Bush.' The back of Nicole Rank's T-shirt said 'Love America, Hate Bush.' On the back of Jeffery Rank's T-shirt was the message 'Regime Change Starts at Home.'"

The couple were hauled off in handcuffs and detained for one to two hours.

Their lawsuit turned up the existence of a "presidential advance manual" exposing a policy of keeping dissenters away from appearances by the President. The manual -- put together by the federal government -- also suggested using Young Republicans as "rally squads" to suppress protestors at Presidential appearances.

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