Ever since they burned the White House, the Secret Service has been a little edgy about British veterans carrying gas cans. Maurice Kirk, 63, who is nicknamed the “Flying Vet”, learned this lesson when he tried to pin a thank you note on the gate of Bush’s ranch. He flew to Texas to thank Bush for his rescue by the Coast Guard in February. He ended up in a psychiatric hospital, charged with a criminal acts and facing deportation. It appears that, with President Bush now the most unpopular president in history, it is considered manifest insanity for anyone to be thankful to Bush for any aspect of his service.
Kirk previously had a pretty good feeling about Americans after he was rescued from sharks when his Piper Cub plane went down on the Caribbean during an around-the-world flight.
There is no question that Kirk is eccentric with a controversial background. Click here. However, it was not until he tried to thank Bush that the instability of Kirk became obvious.
I can only imagine how implausible his reason for landing must have appeared to the Secret Service. “Right, you want to thank the President. Nobody wants to the thank the President. Even the First Lady merely tolerates him but never ever thanks him. How stupid do you think we are?”
When he landed, he was faced with drawn guns and told to walk a white line. He is arthritic and had a hard time. They first therefore tried to charge him with being drunk but tests showed that he was inconveniently sober.
He tried to pin a thank-you note to the gate and was immediately put in handcuffs and sent to a psychiatric hospital in Austin. (We appear to be picking up a lesson from China and Russia on the use of psychiatric hospitals).
After being found strangely sane, he was then arrested for “walking around town aimlessly” with a gas can. He would like to have the charges removed from his record before he leaves. He should feel fortunate. The President has claimed the right to declare people enemy combatants and bar them from access to the courts, lawyers, media or family. Besides, he was given a unique tourist insight into life in the United States. I just hope that the Secret Service agreed to a picture for back home.
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