First there was this big news in the Denver Post, Activists' expulsion cited as Bush rule. The official White House line has been that overzealous volunteers (akin to 'a few bad apples') threw the Denver Three out of a Bush rally either because they had it coming, or in an excess of zeal. But now the truth emerges:
A former White House official who ordered three activists expelled from a 2005 Denver public forum with President Bush says it was White House policy to exclude potentially disruptive guests from Bush's appearances nationwide.
The former official, Steve Atkiss, revealed the policy Friday in an interview after two volunteer bouncers identified him and a current White House staffer, Jamie O'Keefe, as the officials who ordered the so-called Denver Three activists sent away from the event.
The activists had done nothing to disrupt the forum, and two of them sued over the incident.
In sworn legal depositions, bouncers Michael Casper and Jay Bob Klinkerman for the first time named the White House officials who they say ordered the Denver Three to be excluded.
That's followed by this open letter:
Dear ProgressNowAction Member,
In March of 2005, we were forcibly removed from a publicly-funded “town hall” event in Denver at which President Bush promoted his privatization plan for Social Security.
We were removed from that event, along with another friend, simply because someone associated with the event observed that we had a “No More Blood for Oil” bumper sticker on our car. We did absolutely nothing to disrupt the event and had no intention of doing so.
Our Constitutional rights were violated, and we filed a lawsuit against the individuals involved. Our complaint asserted that the White House directed our removal, but the White House has insisted they had no involvement.
In sworn testimony today, however, we've learned that White House staff directly ordered our removal.
Please join us in demanding a public apology by President Bush:
Thomas Jefferson said that “the price of freedom is eternal vigilence.” We were deprived of our right to attend a publicly funded event, and we will not allow this to go unanswered.
Thank you for standing with us!
Leslie Weise and Alex Young
Colorado Residents and ProgressNowAction Network Members
P.S. Click on the following link to read today's Denver Post article covering the testimony about White House involvement: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_5341085
That was the weekend. I look forward today to some reporters asking the White House why the misled us for so long, and what they have to say about this. After which Tony Snow will stonewall (“not sure what you are talking about”?) or just simply lie.