From The Progressive
Criticizing Cheney to His Face Is Assault?
By Matthew Rothschild
October 4, 2006
Steve Howards says he used to fantasize about what heâ€™d say to President Bush or Vice President Cheney if he ever got the chance.
That opportunity arrived on June 16, the same day he says he read about U.S. fatalities in Iraq reaching 2,500.
Howards says he was taking two of his kids to their Suzuki piano camp in Beaver Creek, Colorado. They were walking across the outdoor public mall area when all of a sudden he saw Cheney there.
â€œI didnâ€™t even know he was in town,â€ Howards says. â€œHe was walking through the area shaking hands. Initially, I walked past him. Then I said to myself, â€˜I canâ€™t in good conscience let this opportunity pass by.â€™ So I approached him, I got about two feet away, and I said in a very calm tone of voice, â€˜Your policies in Iraq are reprehensible.â€™ And then I walked away.â€
Howards says he knew the Administration has a â€œhistory of making problemsâ€ for people who protest its policies, so he wanted to leave off at that.
But the Secret Service did not take kindly to his comment.â€œAbout ten minutes later, I came back through the mall with my eight-year-old son in tow,â€ Howards recalls, â€œand this Secret Service man came out of the shadows, and his exact words were, â€˜Did you assault the Vice President?â€™ â€
Hereâ€™s how Howards says he responded: â€œNo, but I did tell Mr. Cheney the way I felt about the war in Iraq, and if Mr. Cheney wants to be shielded from public criticism, he should avoid public places. If exercising my constitutional rights to free speech is against the law, then you should arrest me.â€
Which is just what the agent, Virgil D. â€œGusâ€ Reichle Jr, proceeded to do.
Read the rest here