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Secret Service investigates cartoonist

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  • thekoba@aztecfreenet.org
    In this free society, sometimes even being funny can get one in trouble. The following article, attributed to the Associated Press, appeared on page A8 of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 23, 2003
      In this "free" society, sometimes even being funny can get one in trouble.
      The following article, attributed to the Associated Press, appeared on page
      A8 of the Wednesday, July 23, 2003 edition of The Arizona Republic and
      is available at this url:

      www.azcentral.com/business/articles/0722times-cartoon22-ON.html

      --Kevin Walsh

      SECRET SERVICE ASSAILED FOR CARTOONIST INQUIRY

      Washington--The Secret Service used "profoundly bad judgment" in seeking to
      question a Los Angeles Times cartoonist over a political cartoon depicting a
      man pointing a gun at President Bush, a senior House Republican said Tuesday.

      Representative Christopher Cox, Republican of California, chairman of the
      House Homeland Security Committee, said that the Secret Service owed Pulitzer
      Prize-winning cartonist Michael Ramirez an apology and that "the public is
      owed an explanation both of whoo this happened and why it will not happen
      again."

      The use of "federal power to attempt to influence the work of an editorial
      cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times," Cox said in a letter to U.S. Secret
      Service Director Ralph Basham, "reflects profoundly bad judgment."

      The Times, in an article in its Tuesday edition, said a Secret Service agent
      visited the paper's Los Angeles office for what he said was a routine inquiry
      following the Sunday publication of Ramirez's cartoon. The agent talked to a
      Times attorney but was told he could not speak to Ramirez.

      The cartoon is a takeoff on a chilling 1968 photograph from the Vietnam War
      showing Vietnamese police General Nguyen Ngoc Loan shooting a man he said
      was a Viet Cong in the right temple on a Saigon street.

      In the cartoon, the man pointing the gun at a caricature of the president
      has "politics" written across his back, and there's a sign on the street
      scene in the back reading "Iraq."

      The Times quoted Ramirez as saying he was not advocating violence against
      Bush but trying to show that the president is the target of political
      assassination because of his State of the Union address, in which he used
      faulty intelligence to back up claims of Iraq's nuclear weapons program.
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