Friday, April 21, 2006


From Reuters:
A heckler from the Falun Gong spiritual movement who disrupted a White House appearance by Chinese President Hu Jintao was charged in federal court on Friday with harassing, intimidating or threatening a foreign official.
You mean the same foreign official treated by the White House like this?
The protocol-obsessed Chinese leader suffered a day full of indignities -- some intentional, others just careless. The visit began with a slight when the official announcer said the band would play the "national anthem of the Republic of China" -- the official name of Taiwan. It continued when Vice President Cheney donned sunglasses for the ceremony, and again when Hu, attempting to leave the stage via the wrong staircase, was yanked back by his jacket. Hu looked down at his sleeve to see the president of the United States tugging at it as if redirecting an errant child.
Incidentally, one more thing about that protestor now being charged with, um, expressing her opinion in public --
If only the White House hadn't given press credentials to a Falun Gong activist who five years ago heckled Hu's predecessor, Jiang Zemin, in Malta. Sure enough, 90 seconds into Hu's speech on the South Lawn, the woman started shrieking, "President Hu, your days are numbered!" and "President Bush, stop him from killing!"

Bush and Hu looked up, stunned. It took so long to silence her -- a full three minutes -- that Bush aides began to wonder if the Secret Service's strategy was to let her scream herself hoarse.
Hm. So now she's being charged for something that shouldn't be illegal, when it took the normally instant-reaction Secret Service three minutes to do something. They haven't taken that long to move since W insisted on continuing with My Pet Goat.

But go back for a moment to what she was charged with. "Harassing, intimidating or threatening a foreign official."

W, meet Saddam Hussein. Saddam, W. Now move along, George. We still have to remind you about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez.

Oh, that's right. When a person does it, it's a crime, despite that pesky First Amendment thing. When W does it, it's diplomamcy.

Fucking hypocrites all around. Hu was clearly harassed and intimidated during his visit. Who are we going to arrest for that? Donald Burnham Ensenat?

(Tip of the hat to Atrios for the Washington Post link.)

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