Pastor of Muppets (syndicalist) wrote in feds_are_speds,
Pastor of Muppets

LJ user visited by Secret Service for online photo collages

His account of having the Secret Service show up at his workplace[!] is here: [the journal of jlassen]

Here's an excerpt:

On June 7th, Two Secret Service agents showed up at my place of employment and asked to speak with me. One agent said they wanted to talk about something I posted online. I asked what, he one responded “You post a lot of stuff online, don’t you?” and then showed me some color printouts of my “Bush and Guns” pictures. I was as helpful as possible, and explained to them the about the incident in Chicago, and the context of those pictures.

The agents started out with “easy” questions, like my name, address, what I did at my job, etc. Then they started asking if I’ve ever been under psychiatric or psychological care or counseling. They asked me to sign a medical release form so they could contact local hospitals and health care providers and confirm my answers. They asked if I belonged to any organizations. When I said no, they specifically asked if I belonged to the NRA. They then began to ask me to explain each picture, and what I meant by them. I did so.

During the course of the interview, the Agent indicated that the pictures came to their attention because someone reported them to the secret service, and that they have to investigate everything. They assured me that there was nothing political about this… that their personal feelings about Bush had nothing to do with it… they may or may not like Bush anymore then I do, but it wasn’t personal… they were just gathering information.

After about 45 minutes, one of the agents said (paraphrased from memory, not an exact quote) “Let me be frank… I’m having difficulty seeing these pictures as ‘art’. You’re a publisher, and a systems administrator. How do you suddenly become an ‘artist’.” I pointed out that not all art is created formally by trained elites, and that there are plenty forms of artistic expression like this, such as stencil and graffiti art.

He then went on to suggest that the process of digitally manipulating photos of the president, and putting his image in context with guns was akin to seeking his home address, and personal information about him(instead of going to his supervisor), if I had a professional complaint about him. (!?!?!). I was a little flabbergasted at this, and said, no… it’s a creative process… Juxtaposing elements that wouldn’t normally be together is a common artistic technique.
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