...and not in a good way. Back in November, I discussed a submarine veteran here in Idaho who was quite interested in sharing his "progressive" views on politics. He's back in the news again, in a story that's quite sure to blow up in his face:
"A Boise veteran who served on a submarine at the height of the Cold War says the federal government doesn't like his messages of peace.
"Dwight Scarbrough has more than a half-dozen banners and bumper stickers on his Ford Ranger pickup.
"He said an agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently showed up at his federal offices saying they have to be removed.
"Scarbrough said the agent cited a law which prohibits folks from distributing political material on federal property."
Whoa, a federal "agent" showing up at work to stifle dissent... sounds quite bad. Almost as bad as the DHS "agents" who showed up at the Dartmouth student's home to investigate his library book requests... and we all know how that story turned out.
I'm not sure what it is with the wacky left with their stories about Homeland Security "agents" -- men who come to peoples houses (or now, offices) to intimidate them because of their political beliefs. They just don't exist (the "agents", not the political beliefs -- those definitely exist). Plus, they can never seem to get the "agent's" name. The Boise offices associated with DHS are the TSA office at the airport and an Immigration sub-office, as near as I can tell. I don't think baggage inspectors are showing up at Forest Service offices to stop people from speaking truth to power.
I just hope my good friends at the progressive Idaho blogs don't get caught up in this story -- except for Binkyboy, of course...
Staying at PD...
Update 1837 16 Feb: Much more on the story, from an obviously biased source, but very troubling if true. The story claims that the conversation with Homeland Security personnel was taped, and has their names (although it doesn't give them out). I still have a hard time believing people with "Homeland Security" insignia would be harassing people in government parking lots, but this one is sounding a little more believable; at least, the basic research into finding a DHS office in Boise matched what I found initially this morning:
"If you're unfamiliar with the Boise office of the Federal Department of Homeland Security, you're not alone. There's not a listing for it in the most recent federal government listings in the local phonebook. The representative from Idaho State Bureau of Homeland Security, located at the Gowen Field Air National Guard Base behind the Boise Airport, hadn't even heard there was an office when I contacted him. Neither had the receptionist at the local U.S. Marshal's office, though she was able to track down a number for the local office of the Federal Protective Service, the section of DHS in charge of protecting federally owned and leased facilities, after putting me on hold for a few minutes (It's (208) 334-9374, in case you're curious. Your taxes fund it, after all.).
"I was only able to confirm the location of the office after asking the security officer at the Natural Resource Complex, whose job (ostensibly, at least) it is to enforce the rules concerning pamphlets, dogs and other controlled substances on federal property. He would not comment about the incident, saying, "If this is about what I think it's about, I'm not allowed to say nothing." He referred me to "FPS, Federal Courthouse, Department of Homeland Security," to find someone who would be able to comment. When I asked who I should say referred me, he covered his nameplate with his hand.
"The "office," once I found it, wasn't much of an office at all, from a service perspective. The door was locked and there was neither a receptionist nor a desk at the front window. When I rang the doorbell, a woman emerged from a nearby cubicle and spoke to me through a tennis-ball-sized hole in the window. She would not confirm the name or identity of the officers, nor their badge numbers (Scarbrough, of course, had written them all down). I slipped a business card through the hole, and by press time, no one had called me back.
"However, when I tried the number provided by the U.S. Marshals, Terry Martin at the Federal Protection Service was able to confirm that the officers identified by Scarbrough did, in fact, work for Homeland Security. He then referred me to the Department of Homeland Security's media spokesman in Texas, who had not responded by press time to my request for information about the incident, or about any change in federal law concerning stickers on vehicles in federal parking lots."
I'll be keeping my eye out on this one to see what transpires...