Blade journalists sue government

An Ohio newspaper and two of its journalists have filed a federal lawsuit against the government after a reporter and photographer were detained and had cameras confiscated at a tank plant.
Associated Press
Apr 5, 2014

 

The lawsuit filed Friday by The Blade in Toledo says the staffers were illegally detained by military police and their constitutional rights were violated.

The newspaper said the pair was detained for about an hour last week outside the tank plant in Lima. Military police told them photography of the plant was prohibited. The lawsuit says the photographer’s cameras were confiscated and that she was handcuffed and later threatened.

The lawsuit was filed against four military police officers, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and a plant official. A message seeking comment was not immediately returned by the defense department.

Comments

EdO's

That's right.

MBR

Good.

Truth2u

Too long has the mainline press ignored what we the common citizens have been putting up with. Maybe now the press/journalists will realize that the Government is NOT OUR FRIEND and is transforming from being a servant and into a demanding and terrible task master.

Yesterday in the Carolina's the police started arresting those who are homeless and taking them to jail, but if they agree to receive an RFID implant IN THEIR RIGHT HAND they can go to a FEMA camp. So basically they're arrested and detained for existing, doing nothing illegal,and the mainline press remains silent about this and many other offenses against humanity.

This silent treatment from the press concerning government abuses will continue until these offenses hit directly home to those in the press, OR when a conservative comes to power, so in some ways this event is welcomed news to many.

Stop It

Paranoid much?

" The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has begun testing a new technology designed to help more closely monitor and assist the nation’s homeless population, according to the United Press International.

Under the pilot program, which grew out of a series of policy academies held in the last two years, homeless people in participating cities will be implanted with mandatory Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that social workers and police can use track their movements.

The RFID technology was developed by HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in partnership with five states, including California and New York.

The only problem is that upon closer scrutiny, it appears the UPI report was published on April 1, 2004 as an April fools satire piece and points to a government press release by the Department of Health and Human Services entitled “HHS Cites Progress in Fighting Chronic Homelessness” that doesn’t mention anything about RFID chips."

Pterocarya frax...

How dare you ruin such a good paranoid rant!

It is okay Truth2u. There is a new conspiracy theory at stormfront.org about non-whites lobotomizing white people....but I probably didn't need to tell you about that, did I?

Julie R.

I don't think that was a paranoid rant. Far from it. The press, at long last, is getting a real good taste of what the average citizens have been putting up with for years.

eyekerry1

I have had to enter that plant several times and never once have any of the military police ever given me trouble. They have always been professional and courteous. Come on... this is a highly protected military location. Everyone is subject to a vehicle search. You are not permitted taking weapons, cell phones or pretty much any audio/visual device. A laptop is permitted by permission. You must also call them in advance for a background check. I'll admit it's a bit daunting entering the facility, but that's the point, there have got to be some rules. It especially stinks on a rainy, cold, day...but even then, just read the signs, answer the questions, follow the rules, and that includes "no cameras". What ever these journalists did to get themselves into that kind of trouble will be interesting to learn.
Sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees, especially in the wake of tragedies like Ft. Hood. My highest regards to those who put their lives on the line for our country; and to the security at the tank plant, keep up the good work! Maybe if things at Ft Hood would have been more like the tank plant, our flags wouldn't be at half mast again. I can't wait to see what this lawsuit is based on. My condolences to all the families affected by the shooting.

Babo

They didn't try to enter the plant but were on public land in front of the guard hut and entrance point. The area they were in is readily viewable in satellite photos such as Google Maps.

They were stopped by a guard in an area where they had a legal right to be. They identified themselves as members of the press with their press credentials. The guard demanded the woman's driver license even though she was not driving. When she refused he seized her and handcuffed her. He addressed her as a man event though she identified herself as a woman and asked to be addressed as a woman. The guard responded that he would put his hands up under her bra. He then detained her and kept her hand cuffed for almost an hour, They seized the newspaper's property and only returned it after Senator Portman intervened. They had destroyed the pictures.

If you don't have problems with the above facts taken from the verified federal lawsuit and therefore presumed to be true, you need to go back to high school and take a civics class.

Gardenman

I agree. There is not place for strong arm tactics at the Lima Tank Plant or anywhere else where law abiding citizens are within the law. This is clearly a violation of the citizens rights. At the very least the military police involved and their supervisors should be disciplined if not fired.

My guess these so called military police are not Army personnel but rather a civilan police force hired by the government. Which makes it all easier to have then removed from the job.

I am sure this whole incident has gone way further than military police at Lima Tank Plant ever wanted it to go and I bet as we discuss this at this moment new guidelines are being written to prevent another problem like this happening again.

Don Lee

Well, eyekerry1, I'm not fond of defending Bladers, but Nieburr's logic applies here, so: Their own story claims the two journos were in Lima to cover something else and afterward decided to get some file photos of local businesses. At the tank plant, they claim, they were standing on a public right-of-way taking photos of a tank display that is there for all to see. Why you would put something on display and prohibit people in the most personal-camera-happy nation on earth from photographing it escapes me. However, I've been in turn amused, alarmed and disgusted by the online commentary in other forums that somehow equate this with an Al-Qaeda incursion. I haven't seen the lawsuit and probably never will, but if I were the one filing it, I'd use the First (freedom of the press, among other things) and Fourth (freedom from unreasonable search and seizure) Amendments as starting points, and demand the federal government show how photographing a public display violates national security.

bullydogs1971

Border Patrol Terrorizes a Mom and Her Two Kids
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n...
http://www.dcclothesline.com/201...

Ralph J.

When Christiansen tried to drive away, she noticed that one of her tires had been sliced open along the firewall. Her family was left stranded in the desert.

http://www.policestateusa.com/20...

44846GWP

If they were on public property they can take as many pictures as they want. If they were on government property thats another story. Thats what the whole case will boil down to.

Ralph J.

Photography of the plant is prohibited. YouTube videos of the plant for the entire world to see are not prohibited.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a...

Erie County Resident

You better go back and look at your videos. These were both sanitized for release to the public.

Babo

What is your point? The Blade reporter and photographer were not taking pictures inside the plant complex but outside the plant entrance.

Erie County Resident

These clowns from the Blade are getting what they deserved.
They have no respect for the 2nd Amendment but OMG somebody gave them a poke in the 1st Amendment which they think is sacred ground.

A note to the Blade. When you help get rid of the 2nd Amendment (Which you have done) there is NOTHING standing in the way to take all of the others from us. Your pens and printing presses will run dry.

Babo

Do you really believe guns triumph in the long term over the power of the word? My personal experience is that tyrants fear writers and intellectuals who can sway public opinion more than armed citizens.

However I do agree with you that the Second Amendment is very important, but it's second for a reason. The First Amendment protects the right to debate the Second Amendment and protect it through the Petition Clause.

Nemesis

Yes, because they TALKED George III into letting the colonies go, right? Why did they storm the Bastille? Because that's where all the weapons were. Yes, if the populace is completely disarmed, the government can brutally suppress all other rights with impugnity.

ECR has a good point for the Blade staff - if you want other people to support the rights that are important to you, you'd better support the rights that are important to them.

Babo

Did I say the Second Amendment was not important? Of course not but I contend that without free thinkers, writers, intellectuals and the rule of law the people with guns would provide us with a police state.

Further your support for Constitutional Rights appears conditioned upon whether they support your version of those rights. That seems petty to me.

It's not a problem with a case like the Toledo Blade which has lots of resources that will ensure their right to petition for redress (First Amendment)to uphold the violation of their rights to free speech and free press (First Amendment). They are also raising Fourth Amendment (seizure) and Fifth Amendment (Due process) in their lawsuit. However in a case involving individuals without resources your attitude sounds a lot like the neighbors of Martin Niemoller.

Nemesis

A police state results when the means of coersion are concentrated in the hands of a few, not when they are widely disseminated. Same goes for free speech - I'm inclined not to be too concerned about those in the mainstream media who have opposed the extension of their rights to a wider constituency. The members of the traditional media have long taken an elitist, almost pre-Gutenberg approach to freedom of the press, so, yes, I can understand some people's schadenfreud when they are hoist on their own petard.

It's not a question of whether they support my version of those rights - most members of the mainstream media consider the 2nd Amendment an anachronism.

Niemoller's neighbors were the first ones taken, and thus irrelevant to this subject. What I'm expressing is the embodiment of Niemoller's words - if you want others to defend your rights, you should be ready to defend theirs. If I don't stand up for the rights of others to express that with which I disagree, I have no reason to expect them to stand up for my right to say what I want.

Babo

As someone who believes the Second Amendment is vital but does not bear arms personally because of my religious tenets of non-violence; I believe a police state can exist in any situation by anyone with the power of weapons to subjugate and oppress. Police states exist in homes, institutions and the Blade reporters caught a glimpse of one on a public street outside a military facitlity.

I believe Niemoller was commenting on the reaction of his neighbors and his own failure to get involved. In any event you proved my point with your last sentence. You won't stand up for the Blade's First Amendment rights because you perceive their editorial position on guns as being adversarial to your own views.

Nemesis

Police states can only exist in entities that are not subject to larger encompassing entities, i.e. nation-states. A home or institution is subject to the larger authority of the government under which it sits, and thus, its members have recourse.

Niemoller was commenting only on his own failure, although he was illustrating a principle that applies to us all. His neighbors were the ones they came for, when he did nothing.

Your interpretation of my last sentence indicates a profound failure of reading comprehension. It says NOTHING about what I will do because of their actions. It says what I have to do as a prerequisite if I want others to do the same for me. I NEVER said ANYTHING about what I will or won't do for the Blade's reporter. You make wild assumptions about my position based on reading what isn't there between the lines. I commented only on what support the Blade was in a position to EXPECT. They stand for a Bill of Rights with, at best, 6.5 amendments in it, since they express contempt for the 2nd, 9th, 10th, and application of the 1st to anyone not in their exalted guild. As such they have no sound basis for expecting anyone else to stand for more than that, nor any basis for an expectation that the one infringed in their case falls within that 6.5.

None of that says ANYTHING about what support they will RECEIVE, from me or anyone else. I am commenting on how seredipitously fortunate it is for the Blade that there are those of us who stand fully for all 10 amendments, who don't stoop to their level of picking and choosing.

So, I suggest you go and learn how to read better before you make unfounded pronouncements on what someone will or won't do.

Babo

Well we disagree about the meaning of Niemoller's poem. I believe he used the term neighbors to address the failure he saw among his countrymen and himself as a clergyman to stand up for those whose rights were threatened.

Perhaps my reading comprehension needs improvement. On the other hand, maybe you should consider learning to write clearly and concisely.

In any event, you come across a bit reactionary with a short temper. However, you claim to stand fully for all Ten Amendments, and I believe you. Do you stand fully for the rest of the Amendments?

Nemesis

With the exception of the 16th and 17th, yes.

I was very clear. Go back and read from the start. I spoke only to the legitimacy of the Blade staff's expectations; you ASSUMED my position on the governments actions when I had yet to state one.

Babo

Ah..so you do pick and choose your Amendments and therefore arguably do not support the Constitution of the United States.

Thus, we disagree on the clarity of your prose.

Nemesis

My prose was clear - your reading comprehension lesson for today is something we call CONTEXT.

We were speaking of support for RIGHTS spelled out in the Bill of Rights. I support the Constitution; the 16th and 17th amendments subvert the original intent of the Constitution, and I advocate their repeal by the Constitutionally prescribed method. Neither amendment has anything to do with rights, nor did I say I would support the violation of either amendment. In fact, it is impossible to violate the 16th.

Nemesis

Babo, liberty withers because too many people have a pet exception to it. One person hates guns, so they make gut the 2nd Amendment. Another is offended by dirty movies, so they carve out an exception to the First Amendment. Someone else is terrified of terrorists, and so they are willing to surrender the 4th and 5th because "OMG, 9/11 !!!!!" When they can't get their way, they get together, and make deals - I'll support the encroachment on liberty that's important to you if you support the one that's important to me - thus liberty dies, one pet exception after another.

You're either for limited government, or you're not. Tyranny is like poop in your soup - there's no such thing as a small enough amount.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of the everyday routine, the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration - whereby those important events of the past, usually associated with someone's death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, are celebrated with a nice holiday - I thought we could mark this November the fifth, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.

There are, of course, those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now orders are being shouted into telephones and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there?

Cruelty and injustice...intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance, coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again, truth be told...if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War. Terror. Disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you and in your panic, you turned to the now High Chancellor Adam Sutler. He promised you order. He promised you peace. And all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

-V for Vendetta

Replace names, places, and dates as you see fit at your pleasure, Babo. I hope you appreciate the reference!

Babo

Thank you.

bayshore

But Johnny Block and his communications empire are exempt from the rules, aren't they? Maybe he needs to contact his employee, Marcy.