Some behind the scenes fascist nonsense going down at the parties in Denver this week.
When I retook my seat, suddenly a big fat police officer came up to me, accompanied by this smarmy Bruno clown, and told me, “You have to leave, sir.” (Why do they always call you “sir” when they’re screwing with you?) I looked at Bruno and said, “I warned you. I’m sitting here quietly, not making any noise, and you send cops up? Do you want a disturbance as Maher is beginning his show? Because if they try to haul me out of here I guarantee you that you’ll have one! The entire show will have to stop for you to get me out of here!”
But that was small beans. Amy Goodman also got in a bit of a wrangle with the security goons, but this time they were working on behalf of AT&T, which was just trying to throw a nice private “thank you for that FISA vote going our way” bash for Blue Dog Democrats.
Glenn Greenwald was one of the voices you heard, one of the people you saw in that piece. He was outside AT&T Blue Dog fundraiser last night. Glenn is a constitutional law attorney and political and legal blogger for Salon.com. He joins me here in the Denver studio. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Glenn.
GLENN GREENWALD: Great to be here, Amy.
AMY GOODMAN: So, we were there, dogging the Blue Dogs, trying, actually, just simply to get into the party. The delegates and the lobbyists were able to walk in and out, but we had a lot of trouble.
GLENN GREENWALD: Well, one of the things I found so interesting is that there’s a very stringent credentialing process, as you know, in order to obtain press credentials for the convention. And because I write with Salon.com, Salon has obtained press credentials for me and others.
And I expected, quite naturally, that the press passes would enable access to the party. I mean, here is a meeting between the nation’s—one of the nation’s most influential corporations and probably the single most influential faction in the United States Congress, which is the Blue Dog Coalition, meeting at this lavish party with hundreds of people present near where Barack Obama will speak. The last thing that occurred to me was that it would be closed to the press, given the public significance, the fact that members of the United States Congress are meeting. And yet, the first declaration that they announced when asked if we could enter was that press is completely banned. It was an entirely private affair.
I guess only Democracy Now! and us were the only press interested in covering it, in any event, but they certainly, whether that rule pre-existed our arrival or was created specifically for us, it was made very clear and enforced, through layers of security, that press would not be able to access the event.
AMY GOODMAN: The police were there, working in force. They clearly are telling—explaining to protesters what the rules are, the line that they can’t step over. And then when we came up, when Democracy Now! came up, the police very patiently explained this is private property. The security, not the police, but the security, was Mile High, as well as the actual venue of Mile High Station.