Was It the Shout Heard 'Round the World?
Or at least, in countries with a free press?
WASHINGTON — A woman accused of heckling Chinese President Hu Jintao during a White House appearance was charged Friday in federal court with a misdemeanor of willfully intimidating, coercing, threatening and harassing a foreign official.
Wang Wenyi, 47, had obtained temporary press credentials as a reporter for a Falun Gong newspaper and positioned herself on a camera stand in front of the platform where President George W. Bush and Hu stood.
According to Secret Service translations provided in court documents, she shouted in Chinese: "Stop oppressing the Falun Gong" and "Your time is running out" and "Anything you have done will come back to you in this lifetime." She also shouted in heavily accented English: "President Bush, stop him from killing," and "President Bush, stop him from persecuting the Falun Gong."
She was waving a banner with the red and yellow colors used by Falun Gong, a spiritual movement banned in China. She kept shouting for several minutes before Secret Service agents led her off the stand.
Standing beside Bush, Hu had just begun his opening remarks when the woman started yelling. Hu paused briefly, then resumed speaking even though the woman kept screaming for several minutes before she was forcibly removed.
She was removed under the following law (Title 18, Sec 112(b)):
b) Whoever willfully -
(1) intimidates, coerces, threatens, or harasses a foreign official or an official guest or obstructs a foreign official in the performance of his duties;
(2) attempts to intimidate, coerce, threaten, or harass a foreign official or an official guest or obstruct a foreign official in the performance of his duties; or
(3) within the United States and within one hundred feet of any building or premises in whole or in part owned, used, or occupied for official business or for diplomatic, consular, or residential purposes by -
(A) a foreign government, including such use as a mission to an international organization;
(B) an international organization;
(C) a foreign official; or
(D) an official guest;
congregates with two or more other persons with intent to violate any other provision of this section; shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
The TrekMedic muses:
Makes you wonder if Hu is finally getting the message? Well, he it might have sunk into his thick skull had it not been for this woeful act by GWB:
WASHINGTON — President Bush expressed personal regret to Chinese President Hu Jintao for a protest during an elaborate welcoming ceremony on the White House lawn Thursday.
The protester interrupted the ceremony by shouting to Bush to stop the Chinese president from "persecuting the Falun Gong."
Bush later addressed the matter when he met with Hu in the Oval Office. "He just said this was unfortunate and I'm sorry it happened," said Dennis Wilder, acting senior director for Asian affairs on the National Security Council staff.
Now,...if that heckler had been a Cuban expat from Miami giving Castro an earful, you can bet Bush would have let her continue! Why are we catering to these murdering assholes when we should be issuing just as many sanctions to them as we propose to giver Iran??