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Homeland Security Clamps Down On Boise Navy Veteran and Federal Employee For Anti-War Bumper Stickers

Posted in the database on Saturday, February 18th, 2006 @ 15:31:19 MST (2135 views)
by Greg Szymanski    The Arctic Beacon  

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Dwight Scarbrough has filed a lawsuit to protect his freedom of speech rights in the face of Gestapo-like tactics geared at keeping Americans in step with draconian Bush administration policies.

The wicked, oppressive and sinister eyes of Homeland Security are everywhere, as average Americans from east coast to west are quickly learning what it means to "to be shut up" by fascist rules and regulations designed to "to toe the party line" or else!

In Seattle, 9/11 truth seeker Susan Elmes knows what it's like to have her apartment raided and her cat poisoned for putting anti-Bush bumper stickers on her car.

In the small town of Livingston, Montana, Dan Nelson knows what it's like to be run-off the road by Homeland Security vehicles and zapped by electronic weaponry for researching 9/11 and going pubic with his anti-government findings.

And now from Boise comes another horror story about how one more average American has been contacted by Homeland Security agents and told "point blank" to remove several bumper stickers from his Ford Ranger parked in a federal employee parking lot where he works.

"We are living under fascism and this is one of the most repressive government's I have seen in my 51 years," said federal employee and former Navy veteran, Dwight Scarbrough, in an extended Friday phone conversation from his Boise home. "What happened to me was a typical example of fascist behavior. They are destroying the fabric of our communities in so many ways, including killing off our children in Iraq and ruining the financial base of our cities."

Scarbrough, who served in the Navy on a submarine from 1975-80 at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, said "it was ironic" that during his military stint he supposedly protected his country from the "Red Scare" while now he lived under it right here in America.

As a perfect example of the "New American Fascist State," he said on February 7 two officers from Homeland Security approached him at his office at the Natural Resource Center, saying he had to immediately remove the bumper stickers from his vehicle for being in violation of federal law in displaying "placards on public property."

The bumper stickers in question were "Death in Iraq is not a career opportunity for young Americans, Freedom is the distance between church and state and God blesses all nations, not just the U.S.A." Besides the stickers, on the tail gate of his Ranger, Scarbrough lists the updated Iraqi War death count and injured weekly, saying this week the totals are 2,271 dead and more than 16,500 injured.

"I told the agents I wasn't taking off the bumper stickers and that the law in question does not cover signs or placards on my vehicle which is personal property," said Scrabrough who told agents he was taping the conversation that took place by his Ranger.

Since the incident, Homeland Security has not contacted Scarbrough and he has filed a First Amendment lawsuit to protect his speech rights with a notable Boise civil rights attorney, Michael Bartlett of Nevin, Benjamin and McKay.

Bartlett is known for two high profile favorable verdicts for one of the Ruby Ridge victims and for a Muslim college student in Boise wrongfully accused by federal prosecutors for having ties to al Queda.

"Since have spent much time overseas, I see my country through the eyes of my foreign friends," said Scarbrough, adding he thinks it's of utmost importance to fight back against fascism before it's too late. "My friends overseas like the American people, realize 9/11 was caused by the U.S. government and hate the American imperialistic policies, killing people throughout the world."

The following is the text of the tape recorded conversation between Scarbrough and Homeland Security agents on Feb. 7 at his Ford Ranger in the Natural Resources Agency parking lot. It's interesting to note one agent identified himself only as Officer R. while both wore Homeland Security insignias on the shoulders.

Officer: Step back here please.

Dwight Scarbrough: Let's have a seat.

O: I'd like to talk to you.

DS: Let's have a seat.

O: Sir, come over here please.

DS: I don't want to come over there. I want to sit down.

O: Let me tell you what's going on here. OK, there's a violation of the code of federal regulations.

DS: For what?

O: The CFR. 41, CFR, 102, 74, 415. Posting or affixing signs, pamphlets, handbills or flyers on federal property. Do you understand that?

DS: I'm not doing anything on federal property.

O: Yes, sir, you've got signs posted on your vehicle. I'm informing you that you're in violation.

DS: That's not illegal. That's not illegal.

O: You're posting ...

DS: I ... All right.

O: Would you like to listen to me before ... sir...

DS: [To his co-worker] Would you go get [their supervisor]?

O: I need you to listen when I'm talking, sir.

DS: [To co-worker]. Would you go get [him] please? [To officer] I'm listening.

O: Okay.

DS: You're at my place of work, first of all. And you're harassing me.

O: Sir, you're in violation of the code of federal regulations.

DS: I'm not in violation.

O: You're posting signs on this property.

DS: I am not posting signs. That's on a private vehicle.

O: Sir, I'm here to tell you now that you have to remove those signs.

DS: Was the law just changed?

O: No, there was no law just changed.

DS: Then it's not a violation.

O: I just told you what the law is, sir.

DS: It is not a violation. I've read the statutes already.

O: If you do not comply with my order to remove the signs from the property, I will cite you for it, OK? Do you understand that?

DS: You know what? This is harassment.

O: No, sir, it's not.

DS: Yes, it is.

O: No, it's not.

DS: Say it again, please. (Holds up microphone.) This is harassment.

O: Do you understand what I've told you?

DS: I understand what you've told me, but I've also read the statute that as a federal employee--

O: I've just given you an order and told you to remove those signs from the property.

DS: I will move my vehicle off the property.

O: That will be fine. That will comply with it, and we don't have to ...

DS: You know this is total B.S., though. Because--will you get [his supervisor], please?--I've already had this conversation once, and we've already looked up all the statues and laws covering personal vehicles with stick ... with anything on them on government property. And it is not illegal.

O: It's in 41 CFR. Look that up.

D: "Why don't you look it up?" I have.

O: 41 CF4 102--

D: What is the violation?

O: Posting of signs on--

D: Which one?

O: I just told you the violation.

D: Those are not signs.

O: Twice now I've told you.

D: Those are not signs.

O: Yes, sir, they are. What are they then?

D: So any vehicle that comes on with, like, a police sign, or with delivery or FedEx or something, that's not a sign?

O: All signs are prohibited--

D: You know you're harassing me. You know you're harassing me.

O: No, sir, I'm not.

D: You know the Department of Homeland Security is giving me harassment--

O: Sir--

D: --because I'm a person who happens to express my viewpoints on my vehicle.

O: I need you to comply with my order and remove the signs...

D: Who has filed a complaint?

O: ...you said you'd do that, that's fine ...

D: Who has filed a complaint? Who has filed a complaint?

O: No one has filed a complaint, sir.

D: Well, then what's the complaint?

O: It's law enforcement on federal property.

D: You know this is ... I would like my supervisor down here, please.

O: This doesn't concern him at all.

D: Yes, it does, because I've already had this discussion with him, and I've already been asked to change the signs, and I did. And I looked up all the statutes.

O: (Muffled)

D: Do you have a piece of paper with the number then, please?

O: I told you the number.

D: I would like to write it down, then.

O: I will give you a piece of paper ...

D: Just write it down. That's all I'm asking.

O: But I need you to comply with my instructions to remove the--

D: You're harassing me, in other words.

O: Sir, this is not harassment.

D: It's crap, and you know it.

O: No, sir, it is not.

D: It is. Okay, go ahead.

O: 41, C-F-R...

D: 41, C-F-R...

O: 102 ...

D: 102 ...

O: 74 ...

D: 74 ...

O: Subpart C ...

D: Subpart C ...

O: Paragraph 415.

D: Paragraph 415.

O: And they are posted at the entrances to federal facilities, as they are here, and it is referenced.

D: And this defines exactly what "signs" are, right?

O: It says "signs," sir.

D: Yeah. You're harassing me. I'll be back in a minute. I don't have my keys with me.

O: Sir--

D: I don't have my car keys with me.

O: Okay.

D: I had no clue what you were here to bother me about ... (walks toward door)... this is your buddy, your boss and my boss harassing people for expressing political viewpoints. And you know it. There's nothing illegal about it. (Door beeps).

After the confrontation, Scarbrough moved his car to the parking lot in front of a nearby Goodwill store.

"Scarbrough was still "very distraught"--both by the accusations and by the way the officers maneuvered themselves," said a co-worker.

Scarbrough added:

"I wasn't arrested, but I could have been. I was still violated and harassed."

Taking the following week off from work, looking up the law officers said he violated. The law reads:

"All persons entering in or on Federal property are prohibited from: ...

(b) Posting or affixing materials, such as pamphlets, handbills, or flyers, on bulletin boards or elsewhere on GSA-controlled property..."

However, federal officers most likely violated Scarbrough's freedom of speech rights under the Hatch Act, allowing political bumper stickers on cars parked on federal property, with no stated limitation on either size or number of stickers.

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