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The Bubble Squad: Shape-shifting Republican operatives impersonate reporters and the Secret Service

Here's a creepy little incident; Republican operatives are impersonating the press--if you call FUX the press--and also impersonating Secret Service agents. Who are these men of mystery? Let's call them The Bubble Squad. Because their job is to make sure nobody pops Bush's bubble. WaPo:

A Mississippi couple whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina said two men who later identified themselves [falsely!] as Secret Service agents pretended to be Fox News journalists when surveying their neighborhood in advance of a March 8 visit from President Bush.

The men arrived on March 3 at the site of the beachfront home that Jerry and Elaine Akins are rebuilding in Gautier, Miss., Elaine Akins said in a telephone interview yesterday.

"They didn't show any cards or anything," Akins said. "They just came up and said they were with the media, and then they said they were with Fox. They just talked to us and asked us about rebuilding our house. Then, after everything was over with, they approached us and they were laughing, and they said: 'You know, we really weren't with Fox. We're government, Secret Service men.' "

Except, were they really Secret Service men? Read on, because there are dots to connect here:

Tom Mazur, a spokesman for the Secret Service, said he did not know who the men were but they were not Secret Service officials.

"I checked with our people down there in Mississippi who were involved in the advance, and it was not Secret Service people who identified themselves as members of the media," Mazur said. "We wouldn't do that."

Asked whether he could confirm where the employees worked, Lisaius simply reiterated his earlier statement.

The men eventually revealed their identities and displayed blue lapel pins bearing the presidential seal. Akins said she does not mind that the men temporarily misled her about their identities.

But they misled her not once, but twice; did anyone ask Akins if she minded that these guys weren't Secret Service agents either?

Connect that dot with another eerie little incident from a recent Partei Rally Bush "Town Meeting" in Olean, NY. From the Olean Times Herald:

Olean resident Brenda Snyder went to Canandaigua on Tuesday to talk to President Bush about health care. What she got was a lesson in message control.

Mrs. Snyder said no one at the meeting was given an opportunity to speak to the president and many, including herself, were prevented by security at the event from talking to the press after the president’s town meeting.

Mrs. Snyder said after the meeting a group of television reporters at the back of the room asked her a question. When she tried to reply, she says she was herded out of the room.

“We were answering questions and this big guy in a suit came along and said, ‘move along,’” she said. “I said, ‘Why can’t we answer questions?’ And he said, ‘I have been given my orders.’”

Mrs. Snyder said she felt threatened by the security officer.

“He kept saying ‘move along’ and kept blocking my way and I kept saying, ‘I’m a U.S. citizen I have a right to answer some questions,’” she said. “It felt like if you were out of order at all, someone was going to take you away. It was very threatening.”

“I think America is going in a very scary direction. I felt like I was in a police state and that as a citizen I don’t have many rights,” she said.

White House Spokesman Ken Lisaius helped organize Tuesday’s event. He said today that he wasn’t in Canandaigua so he’s unfamiliar with Mrs. Snyder’s situation. However, he said it isn’t the White House’s policy to prevent people from talking to the press.

Then connect those two dots to many other dots from Campaign 2004. Remember The Denver Three, who were thrown out of a Bush rally by a badge-flashing thug posing as a Secret Service agent. The Denver Three write:

Why did this happen to us? It’s not that we weren’t invited, we all had tickets to the event. No, the reason this mystery man and his cohorts physically removed us was because of the bumper sticker on the car we drove in. Shocked? Outraged? Afraid that this is happening in America? All Americans value Free Speech and should be appalled by this.

The White House insists that a "volunteer" is at fault, but the Secret Service has revealed that the person who kicked us out in Denver was an official "host committee staffer." Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez (who gave us our tickets) also said that "the White House does the deal. They literally come in and take over."

When eerily similar incidents occur in Colorado, Arizona, and North Dakota, citizens can only wonder – is this a coincidence? Or is there a concerted effort by someone to train event staffers at President Bush’s taxpayer-funded events to screen people based on their viewpoints and exclude them in clear violation of the First Amendment?

Needless to say, the malAdministration hasn't revealed the identity of this Mystery Man.

So, here's what we know about The Bubble Squad:

1. They pose as Secret Service agents. Since impersonating a Secret Service agent is a federal crime, they are either employees of some other agency in the Federal government, or they have Bush's sanction to break the law;

2. They pose as reporters;

3. They throw citizens out of Presidential events; this was done both during campaign 2004 and the Social Security Bamboozlepalooza;

4. They prevent citizens from attending Presidential events (as in North Dakota);

5. They prevent citizens from talking to the press after Presidential events;

6. They do advance work for Presidential events. It would be very interesting to know the exact scope of this advance work.

We now have a multi-year modus operandi--or, as an intelligence analyst would say, we can see the handwriting. Since the goals and the tactics are consistent across the events, there's a team that's been trained in them. Since the White House refuses to reveal the names of the team members (see "Mystery Man," above), it's a secret team--Bush's Bubble Squad, just like Nixon's Plumbers. Other questions I can think of:

1. Who does The Bubble Squad report to in the White House? (It's interesting that the same spokesman, Ken Lisaius, purveyed the plausible deniability for both the Mississippi and the Pennsylvania incidents.)

2. Where does The Bubble Squad get its intelligence?

3. Do the members of The Bubble Squad have security clearances?

4. Does The Bubble Squad work internationally as well as domestically?

A post-modernist Praetorian Guard in the White House.... How interesting...

NOTE Thanks to alert reader Izquierdo at Suburban Guerilla, I've correctly located Olean in NY (not PA).

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