Monday, May 02, 2005


Criticize the Prez, get a visit from the Secret Service

From The Progressive, Secret Service Searches Home of Protester:
Renee Jensen of Elkins, West Virginia, likes to express herself.

She has put up as many as a dozen signs in her yard over the past year, protesting the war in Iraq, Bush and Cheney, and the crackdown on civil liberties.

Some of her signs have said:
  • "Mr. Bush, You're Fired."
  • "Mr. Ashcroft, We Prefer Our America Remain the Home of the Free and the Brave."
  • "Mr. Cheney, What You Sow You Shall Reap. Those Who Destroy the Earth Will Be Destroyed."
  • "Mr. Rumsfeld, Human Beings Are Not Just Collateral Damages, but People with Hopes, Dreams, Relationships, and Lives to Live."
  • "O, Evil Doers, Bush and Cheney Are Destroying America. I Cry Liberty and Stand for Our Constitution."
  • "Love One Another: War Is Dead Wrong."

The mayor of Elkins, Judy Guye, tried to use a city ordinance to make Jensen take her signs down. [T]he mayor, "a Republican, had a pro-Bush sign in her own front yard." Guye backed off.

In the fall, the Secret Service gave her a call.
"They said someone called them and said I had signs up in my yard that were threatening the President. I said I did have some signs in my yard, but I wasn't threatening the President. The worst I've ever said was that he's an Evildoer."

Then on January 11, Renee Jensen had some unexpected visitors.
"[T]here was a knock on my door, there was a West Virginia State Trooper and a Secret Service agent. Apparently someone had made a statement that I'd been canvassing door to door and had said I wanted to cut President Bush's head off," she says. "I told Agent Lanham that I was running for city council, but I hadn't started my door-to-door campaign yet and I never had said anything like that."

Agent Lanham "asked me several times to sign a form about releasing my medical records, and I refused. I had to sign a statement that I never threatened the President's life."

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