Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Indeed, my dear Prof. Spencer, I do fear for the Republic when I hear stories like this:
A St. John’s College Library visit by a former public defender was abruptly interrupted February 13 when city police officers arrested him about 9 p.m. at the computer terminal he was using, handcuffed him, and brought him to the Santa Fe, New Mexico, police station for questioning by Secret Service agents from Albuquerque.

Andrew J. O’Conner, 40, who was released about five hours later, said in the February 16 Santa Fe New Mexican, “I’m going to sue the Secret Service, Santa Fe Police, St. John’s, and everybody involved in this whole thing.”

According to O’Connor, the agents accused him of making threatening remarks about President George W. Bush in an Internet chat room.

Admitting he talked politics face-to-face in the library with a woman who was wearing a "No war with Iraq" button, O’Connor recalled saying that Bush is “out of control,” but that “I’m allowed to say all that. There is this thing called freedom of speech.”

He also speculated that the FBI might have been observing him because of his one-time involvement in a pro-Palestinian group in Boulder, Colorado.

Whether I agree or disagree with O'Connor about Bush or Iraq is immaterial. Unless some salient fact was omitted from the coverage of this story -- such as the documented utterance of an actual threat, or evidence of covert funding for Palestinian terrorism -- what happned here was a law-enforcement overreach and a judicial outrage.

Monday, March 10, 2003


Me: And what would you like to drink today?

Cust: Do you wanna know my weight and shoe size too? Jesus, I don't know...

More where that came from...