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Monday Watercooler


Tonight’s video is “Bitter Heart” by Zee Avi.

Secret Service Agent

A Secret Service Agent practicing his “I’m Very Sorry” face

The Chicago Tribune reports that Secret Service agents must apologize to protester whose rights they infringed after a successful lawsuit:

Under the settlement approved by a judge on Thursday, two Secret Service officers agreed to write letters of apology to the woman, former police officer Debra Hartley. The Secret Service agreed to provide Hartley, her lawyer, her daughter and two grandchildren a 45-minute meeting with its director, according to the U.S. District Court settlement.

The agency also will reimburse Hartley for mileage from her home to Washington, pay for two hotel rooms for one night, including parking, and provide a government-rate per diem for up to three days. The settlement did not specify the cost.

Hartley complained the officers kept her from exercising her right to free speech, and the settlement also requires both the officers and Secret Service lawyers to attend an hour-long legal workshop with the American Civil Liberties Union.

A resident of Effort, Pennsylvania, Hartley walked 225 miles in protest at pay inequality for women in law enforcement, her complaint said. When she arrived at her destination on July 20, 2009, wearing a vest with the words, ‘Walking to the White House,’ the two Secret Service officers told her she could either leave or register as a protester with the Secret Service.

Thanks to Firedoglake’s Siun for the link.

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Photo by Austen Hufford released under a Creative Commons license.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and