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News Bits, 5-19-2004

May 19th, 2004

A few new stories out there: ABC News reports on a Military Intelligence source who claims that the abuses at Abu Ghraib were far more extensive than reported, and that the Army has been covering up. He said that MPs were taking orders from interrogators, and details some of the torture involved.

Meanwhile, Newsweek reports on how a factory closure which would eliminate 1,300 high-paying jobs could be a critical blow to Bush–because it’s in Ohio, a key battleground state. Hard to sell an economic recovery based upon a growth in McJobs when people are losing the truly important core jobs in the heartland.

And in a case which echoes the recent travesty of “Free-Speech zones,” here is a story of a man who was arrested… for holding up a sign. What did the sign say? “FUGW.” Apparently, someone in the crowd figured it represented an obscenity, so the Secret Service asked him not to show the sign (even though such an obscenity has been judged to be constitutionally protected). He then wrote in on the sign to change it to read, (F)ree (U)s GW. They still told him not to show it. And when he did, as Bush’s motorcade passed by, they arrested him for disorderly conduct. For showing a sign? “It seemed to annoy and disturb others,” says Lieutenant Schmid, “and when you have conduct that tends to annoy or disturb others, that’s disorderly conduct.” Oh. Well then, that’s OK, right? It would appear that, when we weren’t looking, making any protest within sight or earshot of the president or VP has become officially illegal.

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