If you haven't read it yet, here's a great article telling you the story of Ben's "dialogue with Vice President Cheney.
Rob Kall: What went through your head before you spoke to Cheney.
Rage, I guess rage, somewhat. The sum total of everything, with the inadequate response on the local scene but also the New Orleans area, with the images I saw of the people dying in the streets. Plus the things I saw first hand myself, And the incidentw here I was not allowed to go to my house to try to salvage things. The MPs forced me to drive a long way around when I was almost out of gas, when the gas station lines were three hours long. It was the sum total of those things. So I thought, "I think I should say something." I felt like I was speaking for a lot of people other than myself and I know that a lot of people are unhappy with this administration's policies in general and so, I felt like I should say something.
What happened was, I said it at first, the first time Go f*ck yourself Mr. Cheney" and there was this appalled, stunned silence and I decided I wanted to make sure they heard it so I said it again, "Go f*ck yourself Mr. Cheney. Go f*ck yourself," and then at that point I started walking away and I said, "Go f*ck yourself a**hole."
And the reason I started walking way is because these secret service guys were looking at me with this wild eyed crazy look on their face and I didn't them to perceive me as a threat and give them the excuse to shoot me or something. So I was walking away from them and I walked past the guy who patted us down and I waved at him and told him
"have a nice day" and then I walked back home.
Well after that, a few minutes went by I noticed my friend Jay Scully was still b ack at the press conference. SO I called him and told him "come on back Jay, we gotta get moving stuff." A few minutes later he came back. The first thing we did when he got back was, he said that the tape had run out. So we took the tape out. It was a Sony mini DVD. They're only 30 minutes of video, each DVD. So went ahead and took that one out and hid that one, just in case they came by and tried to confiscate it and I put a blank on in its place. Then Jay and I started moving stuff. As we were moving stuff, two military guys wearing MP armbands and green fatigues came by, saying they were looking for a guy wearing an orange shirt who had cussed at the vice president. And at the point point, I said "Well, that's probably me." And they were like, "Oh really, that was you," and they said, We're going to have to detain you for questioning. You are not under arrest. We're going to have to put you in handcuffs. Do not run."
I was like, "Like I'm gonna run. You don't have to tell me not to run. You all have the machine guns, not me."
They put me in the cuffs, at which point they started walking me to the parked police car, near the train tracks that they wouldn't let me go through before. I told Jay, "Jay, turn that video camera back on," so he picked the video camera back up and started filming. And he shot some video of me and the cops and all that. Well then they put me in the car. They questioned me. They asked me questions like "Why did you do that? Are you planning on hurting the Vice president.?
Rob Kall: What did you tell them when they asked you why you did that?
I said well, if he can say that on the floor of the United States Senate, the last time I checked this is the still the United States of America and I have the right of the freedom of speech, and if he can say that on the floor of the senate where people are supposed to be civil and courteous, then I think I have the right to say it in the middle of the worst disaster in the history of our nation.
Rob Kall: Yeah!
And they didn't know what I was talking about. I said, "I follow politics and he said that to a senator in the middle of the senate." And they're going, like, "Oh really? He did that?"
And I said, "He did." Some of them seemed to kinda of think it was funny but most of them were pretty angry and upset and had the "hope we ride him to jail" mentality.
Rob Kall: How many were there?
At one point there were probably eight to ten of them.
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