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Old 08-23-2007, 02:21 PM   #1
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Presidential Advance Manual

White House Manual Details How to Deal With Protesters

By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"Not that they're worried or anything. But the White House evidently leaves little to chance when it comes to protests within eyesight of the president. As in, it doesn't want any.

A White House manual that came to light recently gives presidential advance staffers extensive instructions in the art of "deterring potential protestors" from President Bush's public appearances around the country.

Among other things, any event must be open only to those with tickets tightly controlled by organizers. Those entering must be screened in case they are hiding secret signs. Any anti-Bush demonstrators who manage to get in anyway should be shouted down by "rally squads" stationed in strategic locations. And if that does not work, they should be thrown out.

But that does not mean the White House is against dissent -- just so long as the president does not see it. In fact, the manual outlines a specific system for those who disagree with the president to voice their views. It directs the White House advance staff to ask local police "to designate a protest area where demonstrators can be placed, preferably not in the view of the event site or motorcade route."

The "Presidential Advance Manual," dated October 2002 with the stamp "Sensitive -- Do Not Copy," was released under subpoena to the American Civil Liberties Union as part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of two people arrested for refusing to cover their anti-Bush T-shirts at a Fourth of July speech at the West Virginia State Capitol in 2004. The techniques described have become familiar over the 6 1/2 years of Bush's presidency, but the manual makes it clear how organized the anti-protest policy really is.

The lawsuit was filed by Jeffery and Nicole Rank, who attended the Charleston event wearing shirts with the word "Bush" crossed out on the front; the back of his shirt said "Regime Change Starts at Home," while hers said "Love America, Hate Bush." Members of the White House event staff told them to cover their shirts or leave, according to the lawsuit. They refused and were arrested, handcuffed and briefly jailed before local authorities dropped the charges and apologized. The federal government settled the First Amendment case last week for $80,000, but with no admission of wrongdoing.

The manual demonstrates "that the White House has a policy of excluding and/or attempting to squelch dissenting viewpoints from presidential events," said ACLU lawyer Jonathan Miller. "Individuals should have the right to express their opinion to the president, even if it's not a favorable one."

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said that he could not discuss the manual because it is an issue in two other lawsuits.

The manual offers advance staffers and volunteers who help set up presidential events guidelines for assembling crowds. Those invited into a VIP section on or near the stage, for instance, must be " extremely supportive of the Administration," it says. While the Secret Service screens audiences only for possible threats, the manual says, volunteers should examine people before they reach security checkpoints and look out for signs. Make sure to look for "folded cloth signs," it advises.

To counter any demonstrators who do get in, advance teams are told to create "rally squads" of volunteers with large hand-held signs, placards or banners with "favorable messages." Squads should be placed in strategic locations and "at least one squad should be 'roaming' throughout the perimeter of the event to look for potential problems," the manual says.

"These squads should be instructed always to look for demonstrators," it says. "The rally squad's task is to use their signs and banners as shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform. If the demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can begin and lead supportive chants to drown out the protestors (USA!, USA!, USA!). As a last resort, security should remove the demonstrators from the event site."

Advance teams are advised not to worry if protesters are not visible to the president or cameras: "If it is determined that the media will not see or hear them and that they pose no potential disruption to the event, they can be ignored. On the other hand, if the group is carrying signs, trying to shout down the President, or has the potential to cause some greater disruption to the event, action needs to be taken immediately to minimize the demonstrator's effect."

The manual adds in bold type: "Remember -- avoid physical contact with demonstrators! Most often, the demonstrators want a physical confrontation. Do not fall into their trap!" And it suggests that advance staff should "decide if the solution would cause more negative publicity than if the demonstrators were simply left alone."

The staff at the West Virginia event may have missed that line."
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Old 08-23-2007, 02:29 PM   #2
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I've read about that yesterday.
Before, I knew such only from other political systems.

The couple arrested was awarded a $60,000 in compensation.
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:55 PM   #3
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http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/...ontebello.html

Hey, don't leave us out!!
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/...ontebello.html

Hey, don't leave us out!!
I'm sure that probably goes on here too, was that mentioned in the article? I can't remember...



usatoday.com

Bush hails freedom, but can he handle a lousy T-shirt?

Fri Aug 24, 12:22 AM ET

President Bush's speech at the state capitol in Charleston, W.Va., on Independence Day in 2004, invoked the nation's highest ideals: "On this Fourth of July, we confirm our love of freedom, the freedom for people to speak their minds. ... Free thought, free expression, that's what we believe," Bush told the crowd.

Ringing words. Unfortunately, the White House advance team didn't get the memo. Or the message.

More than an hour earlier, the advance officials, working with local police, had confronted and ejected a young couple who had come to the speech wearing T-shirts that fit any reasonable definition of free expression. The front of both shirts bore the name "Bush" surrounded by a circle with a slash through it; the back of Jeffery Rank's shirt carried the slogan "Regime Change Begins at Home" and Nicole Rank's shirt read, "Love America, Hate Bush."

The Ranks refused demands to take the shirts off, turn them inside out or leave. Though they were on public property and not being disruptive, they were handcuffed, arrested and charged with trespass. The charges were later dropped, and with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Ranks sued the White House advance personnel for violating their First Amendment rights.

Last week, the government settled the case, admitting no wrongdoing but agreeing to pay the Ranks $80,000. That avoidable expenditure of taxpayer dollars speaks volumes about who was wrong here.

It would be one thing if the Charleston incident were an isolated case of overzealousness. But it's not. People have been kicked out of a Bush event in Denver because their car bore a "No More Blood for Oil" bumper sticker. Others have been kept out for wearing a Young Democrats shirt. Extraordinary efforts were made to prevent protests from marring the GOP convention in 2004 at which Bush was renominated.

During the Ranks' suit, the White House was forced to cough up a heavily censored copy of its advance manual, which reads like something Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez would love. Among the advice: Advance personnel should ask the local police department to designate a protest area, "preferably not in view of the event site or the motorcade route."

It's vital, of course, that the Secret Service protect the president from physical threats when he appears in public. And it's understandable that the White House wants to have the president speak without disruption from people who disagree with him. But it's important that cloistered presidents know that there are people who disagree with them, and there are disorderly conduct laws to deal with protesters who cross the line.

Dissent is a bedrock of our system. The administration, with its penchant for secrecy and order, never quite gets that and repeatedly tries to draw the line too broadly.

Even people who might be sympathetic toward Bush are tiring of this cavalier arrogance. When he returned to Charleston in 2006 for a fundraiser at a private home, the Secret Service demanded that the local police keep protesters off a bridge the motorcade would cross. Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, a Republican, refused. The Secret Service compromised, and protesters got onto most of the bridge.

If you profess to love "the freedom for people to speak their minds," as Bush told the Charleston crowd in 2004, you have to assume you're not always going to love what they say. Instead of a lengthy manual on preventing and handling demonstrators, Bush's advance people need a refresher course on a somewhat older manual. It's called the Constitution of the United States.

The White House declined to provided an opposing view to this editorial because, according to spokesman Tony Fratto, the Presidential Advance Manual is an issue in two other pending lawsuits.
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:16 AM   #5
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Bushspeak: "The freedom for people to speak their minds"

translation: "The freedom for people to speak my minds."

I'm not going to give either side a pass on this. But this administration has made this kind of an art form.
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Old 10-07-2007, 04:54 PM   #6
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Re: Presidential Advance Manual

Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
White House Manual Details How to Deal With Protesters

By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"Not that they're worried or anything. But the White House evidently leaves little to chance when it comes to protests within eyesight of the president.



let's hope this anarchist doesn't get too close

perhaps we should hire BlackWater to protect the President
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Old 10-07-2007, 05:02 PM   #7
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I'm just glad I got to protest him back in January...or February...I don't remember but his limo went right by us and the only way he could have not seen us would be if his eyes were closed.
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Old 10-07-2007, 05:08 PM   #8
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you are both on the

no-fly list now.
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Old 10-07-2007, 05:46 PM   #9
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Oh, great.


Hey, when my Dad protested the Vietnam War he got on Nixon's enemies list and was initially denied a Fulbright because of it, so I guess that would be similar


(He ended up getting the Fulbright after Watergate broke and information was just flooding out of the White House).
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