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Will FBI probe Berkeley recruiting stance?

By Josh Richman
Monday, March 31st, 2008 at 5:45 pm in Berkeley.

As promised last week, conservative activist group Move America Forward delivered a letter to U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello today asking federal authorities to investigate whether Berkeley broke the law with its anti-Marine recruiting stance. Kristin Bender, our Berkeley reporter, has details:

A copy was hand-delivered today to Deputy U.S. Attorney William Frentzen, said Move America Forward spokesman Ryan Gill.

“He said it might be of interest to their civil division and that he’d personally contact someone at the FBI,” Gill said. He did not have further details or a time line for when the group expects to have a response.

Read Kristin’s full report, after the jump…

A law firm representing Move America Forward today hand delivered a letter to U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello in San Francisco, asking the federal government to investigate whether the Berkeley City Council broke the law when it called the U.S. Marines “uninvited and unwelcome” intruders at a meeting on Jan. 29.

If they did violate the law, the letter asks Russoniello, who represents the Northern District of California, to prosecute them for their “anti-Marine position and encouragement of anti-war groups to ‘impede’ the work of Marine recruiters,” according to a statement from Move America Forward, which calls itself the largest pro-troop organization in the country.

“We will explore every avenue to ensure that Marine Corps personnel are not harassed for simply doing their jobs, especially not by a city government,” Catherine Moy, executive director of Move America Forward, said in a statement.

Move America Forward is also upset that the council reserved a parking space and gave free sound permits to the anti-war group CodePink, which has been protesting the downtown Berkeley recruiting center for several months.

The group wants CodePink, International A.N.S.W.E.R., The World Can’t Wait, Funk the War, Global Exchange or “anyone else who is impeding recruitment of young men and women into the United States military (to) be investigated, prosecuted, and if found guilty, receive the maximum punishment until the law,” according to their statement.

Move America forward sent an original copy of their letter to Russoniello’s office last week. A copy was hand-delivered today to Deputy U.S. Attorney William Frentzen, said Move America Forward spokesman Ryan Gill.

“He said it might be of interest to their civil division and that he’d personally contact someone at the FBI,” Gill said. He did not have further details or a time line for when the group expects to have a response.

The letter also criticizes the Berkeley Police for being “unresponsive and negligent” to public safety during a protest Move America Forward organized in Berkeley on Feb. 12, Gill said.

Move America Forward claims anti-war protesters made verbal threats against members of their group, hit them with protest signs and pushed and shoved members of their group.

“Police had very little interest in keeping the two sides separated until very late in the day,” said Gill.

For their part, Berkeley Police had more than 100 police officers on duty at the Feb. 12 protest, which drew an estimated crowd of 2,000 to Old City Hall. In addition, officers from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and the Oakland Police Department were called in to help. Berkeley spent $93,000 on police overtime that day. There were three arrests that day and no reported injuries.

City spokesman Mary Kay Clunies-Ross said that neither a formal complaint to the Berkeley Police Review Commission nor the police department’s internal affairs department has been filed.

“Until there is a lawsuit or something more specific for us to respond to there just isn’t much to say,” Clunies-Ross said.

Although the council originally called the Marines “uninvited and unwelcome intruders,” it later moderated its position saying they oppose the war in Iraq but support the troops. Still, the council has refused to apologize, something Move American Forward wants.

Mayor Tom Bates has said the city does plenty to support the military, including paying employee’s benefits when they are on active duty.

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  • Sarah

    Mayor Tom Bates and Berkeley City Councel suck. For the most part, the entire tree hugging, free loading hippies in Berkeley need to stop smoking and get jobs, become educated. I’d like to see them try to defend our country. The damned communists would hand it away. Can’t we just send them to Iraq and then everyone wins?

  • MSgt Mike Heath USMC ret

    The mayor needs a little re-training in the Army. He needs to spend a few moments talking to a few of the Soldiers, Airmen, Corpsmen, and Marines that stand on our front lines. Preferably standing near the business end of an M16A2 service rifle since he forgot where the hell he came from. Despicable Sir. I hope all your fellow Army Officers will contact you and tell you to *&^% Off.
    MSgt Mike Heath
    USMC (ret)

  • Doug

    “For their part, Berkeley Police had more than 100 police officers on duty at the Feb. 12 protest, which drew an estimated crowd of 2,000 to Old City Hall. In addition, officers from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and the Oakland Police Department were called in to help. Berkeley spent $93,000 on police overtime that day.”
    What a joke; they pay police overtime so they can stand around and not do their job. Three token arrests. Hope the citizens of Code Pink Berkely are the ones paying that bill.

  • Mike

    The Berkeley City Council has brought dishonor and disrespect to itself for its treasonous treatment of the military that protects them. They are worse than just cowards. Their seditious behavior is a poor example to citizens of the rule of law. They fail to minimally ask the second question: “then what happens?”
    They are traitors and fools.

  • Dana

    All of the public officials in Berkeley should be ashamed of themselves. Any of these cities that do not support our recruiting offices would be the first ones expecting our military to defend them if they were attacked. Free speech is one thing but to impede the work of our recruiters is unlawful. I hope this investigation by the FBI finds them all guilty of obstruction and they are all held accountable for their actions, including the police department.

  • Dan

    Communists and Fascists, like those on the Berkeley City Council, should be stripped of their U.S. Citizenship (assuming that they are citizens), and deported to a paradise — perhaps Cuba or Venzuela.

  • Tanzfleck

    Keep up the protests and make the city continue pay overtime to the polcie force, once the money runs out, the council will change their minds. Cut back on grabage collection to fund overtine for the police force and I bet the moonbats and Berkely will change their tune.

  • MrB

    Better idea….lets remove the protection of the US military from Berzerkely and let them protect themselves. In fact, let’s issue an open invitation to interested parties around the world that these loathsome scum are no longer protected by the world’s greatest fighting forces. It’ll be fun to watch….

  • steven

    wow,

    another token war protester. sounds like someone didn’t get enough attention as a child. liberalism is running rampant in this country. who is the real enemy the taliban, insurgents or the people of berkley. i think the people of berkley are more dangerous than the enemy. at least the enemy are not cowards hiding under the blanket of freedom the marines give their lives defending.

  • patricia Schmittle

    MAYBE THE NEXT TIME THERE IS A WILD FIRE IN CALIFORNIA THEY CAN GO AND PUT IT OUT AND DON’T EVEN THINK OF CALLING ON THE MARINES TO HELP IF THEY ARE SO BAD.
    LET THE MARINES LEAVE BERKLEY AND GO SOME WHERE THEY ARE APPRECIATED OH AND TAKE BERKLEY’S FEDERAL MONEY THEY GET AND PUT IT SOME WHERE ELSE.
    BERKLEY CALIFORNIA SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES,
    LAST TIME I CHECKED IT WAS THE ARMY, NAVY, AIRFORCE AND MARINES WHO FOUGHT THE WARS TO GIVE THEM THEIR FREEDOM, OR MAYBE THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THE WORD “FREEDOM” MEANS IF SO THEN THEY SHOULD READ THE CONSTITUTION.

  • ONTIME

    Mel,

    You and your supporters are doing all the right things to keep the Berzerkley crowd off balance and I can tell you you are appreciated.

    Keep on hammering them and we who are behind you will do all we can.

  • Eric

    What anti-war protesters and the Berkley City Council has done is to interfere with the military during wartime. This provides direct aid to our enemies by limiting recruitment and as such is treason.

    Those responsible for the protests, those who took part in the protests, and the city council members who provided special priveledges for the protest are all responsible and should be indicted on treason charges.

  • fullerwl

    Great work MAF, God bless you all. donation to follow within a week or two (sorry). Come on FBI get these creeps!! Semper Fi Marines.

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  • SGT R.Flo RET.

    What ever happened to the values of common sense. A lot of Govn’t action goes against the constitution. An Amendment for Common Sense ans Anti-Politically Correctness should be enacted on an emergency scale to stop stupidly over educated people from frocing thier idiot views on the majority of us the people that do care about this country. That are not Educationally elite like the Berzerkly Group who have forgotten soldiers like us protect their right to stick their foot in their mouth or elsewhere they deem fit. Educated as they think they are they should remeber courtesy belongs to all. Not just the elite.

  • Donna

    I will no longer frequent businesses in Berkeley and I hope others do the same. Yes, if we hit them in the pocketbook maybe the Berzerkley idiots will finally get it. I doubt it though.

  • Lisa

    I think that Berkeley needs to get their federal funding taken away if they keep disrespecting our servicemembers.

  • Jim

    I want to thank all of the members of the military for supporting each other. The blatant and vile disrespect of the freedom’s we covet in this God Blessed America unfortunately has to be continually challenged. The challenge for us is to overcome the media and their relentless pursuit to give these anti-American, anti-war retoric spewing filth from having a voice. There was a time in the Country where citizens of America did not have to become victim to such atrocities blatantly thrown into our faces from the media. God Bless this country, and God bless our military members.

    Jim Waller
    US Army
    Disabled Veteran

  • Mark

    There are clearly defined laws on the books, that empower the Attorney General to take action against Berkely, the University of California-Berkely and the people who are impeding recruiting personnel from performing their mission.

    Congress passed a Public Law that specifically states that any federally funded public entity(e.g. municipalities, campuses, etc.)that denies access to or impedes access to federal recruitment personnel–military, law enforcement, intelligence, FEMA, et al–are subject to withdrawal/denial of all federal subsidies, for whatever purpose. This includes highway funds, research grants, student aid or anyother funds supported by taxes. Further, this law is echoed by many other state laws and includes the proviso that if a campus or municipality allows access to any other agency–commercial or private–equal access will be provided to federal recruiters.

    This includes class lists, career and job fair activities, class ring businesses and college recruitment. In essence, both federal and many state laws require equal access to military recruiters and has a punitive article contained within the law.

    Having worked in military legislative affairs in DC, Michigan and Connecticut, I am qualified to say the Berkely, UC Berkely and the anti-war/anti-military protestors are in violation of other laws and articles of the Constitution, Civil Rights Laws and the Bill of Rights. And, by strict constitutional interpretation, what is happening in Berkely and other locales, is in violation of the Constitution’s Second Amendment…The “state’s” right to raise a militia. In modern times this includes the National Guard and Air National Guard.

    I don’t have to be a lawyer to know that even the Attorney General cannot ignore these laws and articles. If so, his staff is inefficent or being politically manipulated. It is clearly against federal law and many state laws to impede or deny federal recruiters access to students or the general population.

    Our recruiters’ civil rights are being denied and the City Council of Berkely has clearly aided and abetted criminal efforts to impede or prevent recruiters from performing their federally mandated duties. This is not just about Marine Recruiters in Berkely. These recruiting stations also assist in people enlisting in the reserves and national guard components…the right of the state to raise a militia.

    If the U.S. Attorney’s office does not take action, then it is negligent in it’s federally mandated duty.

    Nancy Pelosi has already shot down the first motion on the floor to withdraw federal funds from Berkely, so in effect she has violated several federal laws on behalf of her liberal constituency in the Greater Bay Area. Will she and her supporters continue to flaunt and scoff at the laws her predecessors found constitutionally lawful to enact?

    Two of the 20th Century’s most dynamic democrats fought for the civil and the constitutional rights of others…including military personnel and minorities. Both were killed while supporting their beliefs. Apparently, our 21st century legislators have forgotten that civil and constitutional rights apply to all, not just certain members of their constituencies.

    The War on Terrorism and a strong military is no less crucial now, than it was when Nikita Kruschev threatened to bury the United States under the heel of communism, on the floor of the United Nations. In order to protect our nation and U.S. citizens “from conversion by the sword,” we need to block the sword before it reaches our shores.

    Semper Fidelis
    Mark
    USMC(Ret)
    Public Affairs, 1968-90

  • Patty

    I was there that day at 5:00am. The pro-troop supporters had a permit for one side of the street and the anti-troop supporters had a permit for the other side of the street. The police allowed the anti’s to cross the street, come to our section, scream and verbally abuse us, as well as push and shove us. We complained to the police but they refused to do anything. If they had stopped it in the beginning it would not have escalated into more violence like it did.

  • Steve in Iraq

    I am an activated Reservist from just up the road from there. The sad reality here, is that the decent hard working folks of this country, be them conservative, liberal, or somewhere in between, are so busy with their lives and their families, and not hurting a flee, that they don’t have time to piss and moan. They just ask that their elected Officials use discretion and protect them from the powers of Evil. But what do they do when their elected Officials become the powers of Evil? For the every day person, getting involved one way or the other is near impossible…between work, the baseball practices, ballet school, gymnastics, shopping, and just trying to be good parents…
    This situation gives the small, though very loud, crowd
    of Liberals who have no lives except the spewing of hate for the very people who give them the right to be the morons and fools they are, power. And the City Council of Berkley? They are living proof that Being a College Grad isn’t all that if you only retain knowledge and not the ability to use it with discretion and common sense with Integrity. All Federal support should be stripped immediately, as well as from San Francisco. Let them have their rallies, and protests and show the world how self righteous, condescending, and stupid, elected Officials can be. Let them be the shining example of what not to do. They have forgotten their place, and they need to be reminded who they really are…NO ONE!

  • Judy

    I’ve lived close to Berkeley most of my life and I DON”T go there. Berkeley is well known for their drugs and low life residents. let’s see where did they get the freedon to be wasted and low life you ask. From the military defending our country and making sure they are afforded their right to be completely stupid. Residents and people that frequent Berkeley should just continue smoking whatever in their little bongs and leave the rest of the country alone. I hope the military never has to go there to help solve any problems they might have in the future. My son was military and I resent all the remarks that come out of that wreched city about our the Great individuals that put their lives on the line every day, that have to leave their families at a moments notice, sleep in dirt, eat out of cans and get shot at on a daily basis. We need to pick up the whole city of Berkely and move it to Iraq then maybe they would appreciate our GREAT military.

  • Steve in Iraq

    And as Mark above me stated, then there is Miss Pelosi.
    Miss is for Misguided. Has anyone ever brought the shame to an entrusted office as she and her cohorts? Well, since you know who anyway.
    A 5 year amnesty plan for illegal immigrants? SEND THEM BACK!!! And build the damned wall! I can cut my own grass thank you. I’m sorry that her constituants, and the Berkley elitests, aka lazy asses, can’t.
    Oh, and don’t forget her favorites, stripping all the hard working middle class AMERICANS of their wealth so that we can give hand outs and tax rebates, something that not all CITEZENS will get, to the poor illegal immigrants, who have paid nothing!
    It is time to go Nancy and friends!
    And yes, this is related to the very mentality of the Blame America First Crowd in Berkley.
    Thank you Mark for reminding me of her stellar performance as the head of the Demos in Congress.

  • Ed

    Put an electric fence around Bezerkley.
    Are there not enough good people in that area to start a recall of that moronic council?

  • Winford Connatser

    The situation in Berkeley, I am afraid, is just one more cancerous mass in the body of the United States of America, along with terrorism, Communism, the proliferation of gangs all over the country, failing economy, exploding cost of living, global warming, etc., etc.
    Of course, as has been expressed by many others, such actions as those commited by anti-war activists in Berkeley and elsewhere do more to hurt America than all the terrorists in the world. Anybody with average intelligence and reasoning ability knows that war is sometimes necessary and unavoidable. They (at Berkeley), as well as the rest of us, must realize that if the militant Islamists have their way, and are not stopped, the world is going to experience the most chaotic upheavals it has ever known. NO ENEMY IN HISTORY HAS BEEN AS EXTREME AND INTOLERANT OF OTHERS, NOT OF THEIR BELIEFS!!!
    Needless to say, there will be no more war protests, or expressions of free speech of any kind allowed!!!

    THE US MILITARY, AND ALLIES, ARE THE ONLY OBSTACLE IN THEIR WAY!!!

    It’s “quaint”, but true, “All it takes for Evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing”.

    Winford Connatser

  • Mark

    While I have already commented on this site, I have to applaud the people who have stated their opinions against Berkely and for our military. Being a Vietnam Era Veteran, I can say, our troops–both at home and abroad–do not need to be subjected to the hypocrisy that Berkely, Code Pink and others are perpetrating. All legalities aside, peace demonstrations are one thing, but when recruiters and other military personnel singled out as a “symbol” to persecute, how are they any better than people who burned crosses on peoples’ lawns during the civil rights era?

    While not often, our troops get to see satellite TV news, in Iraq. How are they supposed to feel when they see these “alleged peace activists” going after recruiters or when others physically destroy recruiting facilities at home?

    Our media needs to ensure that their reporting on these incidents is fair and balanced. For every peace demonstration the media publicizes, pro-miltary activities should be aired alongside. Our troops deserve to be encouraged, not discouraged. The pacifists and violent protestors should see if they can open a dialogue with the fanatic islamic jihadis and see where that gets them? I suppose they support islamic radicals using women and children as walking bombs against other moslem sects as well as christians and anyone else who doesn’t agree with them.

    Those “alleged pacifists” are misguided, misinformed and have no grasp of the realities in this world. They are a disgrace and hypocrites. Protest Syria’s support of global terrorism. Demonstrate in Iran. Go march on the U.N. Ask the Kuwaitis how they feel about U.S. presence in the Middle East. Then talk to the families of the dead: From the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, the USS Cole and other victims of terrorism. If we don’t have the will to fight terrorism on other shores, than we will be victims in our own country. If the “alleged pacifists” have the courage, or gall, to single out recruiters, than they should have the courage of their convictions to open up a dialogue with the sponsors of world wide islamic fundamentalist terrorist sponsoring nations. Let’s not forget how a wheelchair bound U.S. citizen was thrown off a commercial cruise ship–The Achille Lauro–by terrorists.

    I doubt these alleged pacifists have the courage of their convictions to protest, or have a dialogue with the leaders who promote and sponsor terrorism. But, they do have the courage–translated gall–to single out recruiters who have the dedication and self-discipline to react with dignity to assaults against their beliefs and their oath to support and defend the rights of others, under the constitution.

    Mark Gentile
    USMC(Ret)
    1968-90

  • Don Collins

    On February 5, 2008 I wrote to both the Governor and the Attorney General of California and requested information as to what action they was going to take againt the City of Berkeley. I received no response from the Attorney General who by the was is our X-Gov Brown better known as Moon Baby. As you can read below was the response I received from the Governors Office.
    It appears to me that they want no part of the mess in Berkeley.

    My E-Mail to the Governor and Attorney General of California dated 2/4/08

    “I would like to know what action is being taken against the City of Berkeley for their police department’s non-response last week during the “Code Pink Assholes” chaining themselves together and not allowing anyone to enter into the Marine Corps Recruiting Station.

    I have seen the video that was taken of the incidents and a police officer stood right there and told the individual that was wanting to know why they (the police) was not stepping in to bring order and he replied that they (the police) was staying neutral regarding the protests.

    These protester were violating the civil rights of the individuals that was trying to enter the
    Recruiting Station.

    Is this what California Justice is coming to under your leadership or non-leadership?

    Reply received from Governor Schwarzwnegger Office dated 4/15/08:

    “Thank you for writing to Governor Schwarzenegger and sharing your concerns regarding the resolution passed by the Berkeley City Council concerning the Marine Recruiting Office. Government works best when people like you add their voice to important issues.

    Decision-making authority for the matter you describe rests entirely with the Berkeley City Council. The Governor values your perspective and encourages you to share your thoughts with them. The Berkeley City Council can be reached at:

    2180 Milvia Street
    Berkeley, CA 94704
    (510) 981-6900

    Again, thank you for writing on this important matter.”

    Sincerely,

    Maral Mata
    Office of Constituent Affairs

    Now that is the kind of SPIN we receive here in California.
    Don Collins USMC(Ret)
    1954-1984

  • Bill

    One would have to admit there is something humorous in asking civilians to protect the finest fighting force ever to step into a pair of boots…namely, the United States Marine Corps. But defend we must! I would prefer to see our Marines “secure” access to their recruiting offices in the same way they they pursue an objective…if you catch my drift, but political correctness paralyzes all…even the Marines. I was blessed to have served as a U.S. Army Infantry Officer during the Vietnam War and would do it again in a heartbeat. My NCO’s taught me, by example, more about leadership, motivation, integrity and a sense of duty than all of my college professors combined. They were the best of their time. Amazingly, the memebers of today’s armed forces are even better. Want to do something worthwile? Help them find excellent jobs when they come home or retire from the military. You’ll never go wrong hiring a vet…even if that person “just” lugged a machine gun. You can trust them give their absolute best. Let’s hope a few of them become the future leaders of this country and replace the kind of self-serving, incompotent political scum we have at all levels of government, including the not-so-fine City of Berkeley, CA.

    Oh, one more thing…fight global warming by reducing your carbon footprint…wear smaller sized shoes!

  • Martha

    I hope that the Attorney General comes down hard on these 1960′s hippies that never grew up. If these same groups were blocking the doors of the Congress or the Senate, would they be allowed to continue their actions? They are also violating the rights of anyone who wants to enter the building to sign up or to receive information regarding military service. Berkeley is a self-absorbed group of idiots who only think of themselves and not of the rights of others. They are violating rights of many people without regard to any feelings but their own.

  • Eamon Kelly

    It is in the FBI’s and CIA’s best interest to investigate these groups that are causing the disruption. Code Pink sent funds in excess of $600,000 to families of insurgents. I (Sgt Kelly USMC) was called a “murderer” at the protest outside of city hall yet these traitors are helping the enemy and potentially causing Marines to lose their lives. Who are the real murderers?

  • Pam Littleton

    City spokesman Mary Kay Clunies-Ross said that neither a formal complaint to the Berkeley Police Review Commission nor the police department’s internal affairs department has been filed.

    *LOL*… She’s joking, right? It must be a joke… like M.A.F. would EVER get a response for the Berkely Police Commission. I’m just so glad that the majority of people in this country are good, decent citizens. God bless my sons and all the other active duty military who defend even these idiots’ rights to be idiots. And I pray that this is not stopping other upstanding, outstanding young men and women from enlisting and serving the greatest country in the history of the world.

  • http://www.district28americanlegionriders.us Janet Wagner

    Cards and Cocoa for the Troops ( Jerry English and Cindy Stanley American Patriots in Monterey CA) is sponsoring a 2nd Annual Recuiter Appreciation Party.
    April 11 at American Legion Post 694 in Marina

    see details here — http://www.district28americanlegionriders.us/2008/events/11apr08recruiter%20flyer.pdf

    Semper Fi

  • Forrest Carper

    I am curious as to what the three Presidential Candidate’s, John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, position is on this subject?

    Senator (name) Do you feel the City of Berkeley broke the law with its anti-Marine recruiting stance? Do you support Code Pink/Other protestors being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law if they are found to be in violation of any Federal/State Law by anyone who is impeding recruitment of men and women into the United States military.

  • Joseph Morin

    Since the Berkeley police did nothing to seperate
    the commie American thugs from the Marine supporters,
    should’nt the Federal Marshals be called in to enter the city, and charge the Berkeley police of not doing
    their duty to protect everyone.
    The police in this cesspool city should have the CRAP
    sued out of them and the city government as well.
    THIS CRAP SHOULD BE STOPPED AT ALL COSTS EVEN IF IT
    MEANS THE FEDERAL MARSHALS TAKING OVER THIS CESSPOOL!!!!

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  • Robert Fulkerson

    I bet the the people on the boaard and the morons in code pink were the same morons that spit on me when I returned from Viet Nam. I came back 100% disabled, so these creeps can live free.

  • Sharon Burns

    As I watched some of those code pink people…I realize just how out of touch these people are! We all want peace but the reality of life is, there are people in this world who want to kill us and there are brave young men and women who have volunteered and are volunteering to defend our nation. To try to stop them from doing so and to hear them say our men are over there “slaughtering” people as if we are killing innocent people…and to call our Marines…which includes my son who has done three tours in Iraq unwanted and unwelcome in his own country…is just so hurtful. As a Marine parent I wonder if these people have any idea how much that hurts. I don’t think they really care. I wonder how many other parents have cried like I have cried.

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  • lawnie Duran

    Well done people! You are now their hero and I use to be a frequent shopper in Bezerkly, but I just had an awakening, I had no idea that town was so Anti Military personel. I am proud to say “Thank Goodness for our men and woman of the military and for my freedom here in the USA. Perhaps those people could move to Africa, Iraq, Turkey for that matter and try to imploy their interests and concerns their and be hippie about it. Yeah, they could be hippies their.
    Let’s start a fund for sending them their, free tickets for sure. Are you with me?
    Lawnie

  • Mark

    I’d like to make a comment on Joseph Morin’s post. Although it might not be seen, because of the media agenda setters and gate keepers.

    If Nancy Pelosi, or any legislator, were to return to their home offices during a legislative break. This would be the scenario if a group of veterans were demonstrating: The legislator drives up to the federal building or office. Demonstrators obtruct her/his ability to get from the car to the door. Then as Nancy(legislator) tries to make her/his way, placard carrying Veterans yell to support our troops and allow them to fight terrorism. As Nancy(or him) walks to the door, there are Veterans and families of military people chained to the entrance obstructing and impeding Nancy(or other legislator) ability to get to her/his offices.

    U.S. Marshalls rush out of the Federal building from other entrances as they call for local law enforcement backup. If there are other Federal Law Enforcement Agents in the building, they swarm out, too.

    Bolt cutters magically appear and begin to cut the chains. Police begin dragging off the Veterans and haul them to jail. The Veterans and some military family demonstrators are booked, arraigned and charged with various crimes: Impeding, threatening a federal official, endangerment, disruption, civil rights violations, hate crimes, etc. Some may be fined, others may spend jail time. Since I have experience in the government and have worked in a Federal Building, this is not a hypothetical scenario.

    Now, a military recruiter is subjected to the situation. Do federal Marshalls come to his rescue? Do the local police in Berkely do anything? Are the more physical Code Pink members carted off to jail? Do the protestors who chain themselves to doors, get arrested or fined for impedence or any other crime?

    Get the picture? The military recruiter is also a federal agent and employee? But, his/her civil rights are less important than a legislator’s or a member of “Code Pink.” Nancy Pelosi would be protected and supported by the full letter of the law, quickly and thoroughly. Both by federal and civil law. A legislator is a servant of the people, who enjoys immense prestige and comforts. A military recruiter is a servant of the people, who does his job with minimal comforts, supports himself on a pay scale below the national average, and is subjected to derision and indignities at the hands of groups like Code Pink.

    So, does that military recruiter have the benefits of equal justice or consideration under our laws? You all draw your own conclusions. Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues have never faced life on the receiving end of an AK-47, a rocket propelled grenade, or scanning side walks, roads and trails for explosive booby traps. Nancy Pelosi and some of her colleagues have never crawled through a combat course with 1/4 pound blocks of TNT going off, with live machine gun bullets whipping overhead.

    So, why is it,a legislator receives more support, prestige, pay and benefits, and protection under the law, than a military person? Believe me, I know the procedures for demonstrators impeding the progress of legislators trying to get to and from their offices. Just remember this–if this gets posted–the reality is, right now, that a legislator who is a servant of the people, would have more rights and protection under the law, than what our recruiters are dealing with in Berkely and other cities in the U.S. Yet, our military personnel put their lives on the line, everyday, for a lot less recompense and protection under the law, than some one-term legislator “feathering” his/her nest as a hedge against being re-elected.

    Perhaps, the Constitution needs to be amended so that no politician can be elected to federal office, without having served in some type of federal service…VA Hospitals, Army Corps of Engineers, the Peace Corps, Vista, the Armed Forces. That system seems to work in other democracies or parliamentary governments, why not ours. It’s obvious that many of our legislators have no concept of what real service to our country entails. It was all too apparent at some of the legislative sessions and soirees, I attended.

    S/F
    Mark
    USMC(Ret)

  • Robert Fulkerson

    well said mark semper fi

  • John’s Son

    I never thought I would see the day that I would agree with Hillary about anything, but her point that Senator Barach H. Oboma is an elitist is right on the mark. I also believe Barach H. Oboma is a very inteligent politician and doesn’t say anything he hasn’t carefully thought out to have the maximum affect. What I mean is, he knew the public reaction was going to be negative, and that he would emerge stronger having gained respect from his party faithful for saying something no thoughtful person would even consider but was designed get the publics attention big time.
    To that end he has succeeded and will receive an atta boy from George Soros and Reverend Wright.