About 25 people who object to the Obama administration's handling of the deaths of Americans in Bengazi, Libya, the Internal Revenue Service's loss of controversial emails and other issues took their feelings to the street Thursday with a protest at the federal courthouse in downtown Fresno.
As members of the Central Valley Tea Party assembled near Fresno and P streets, several security personnel inside the courthouse watched from above, but Kay Errotabere wasn't fazed by the scrutiny.
"I've been watched before," she joked. "I am doing this for my grandchildren. I want them to grow up in the same country I grew up in."
Errotabere and others passed out protest signs and urged passers-by to join them.
The signs demanded an investigation of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, in which U.S. diplomats Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith and two other Americans were killed. Republicans and members of the tea party have been highly critical of the handling of the issue by Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Those at the rally also expressed disbelief that the IRS lost years' worth of emails to and from IRS official Lois Lerner, who is at the center of a controversy about the alleged targeting of conservative groups by the tax agency.
"What if I went to the IRS and told them that my hard drive had crashed?" asked Jonathan Zwickel, a Vietnam veteran, who was sure that excuse wouldn't be accepted by a tax examiner.
"It gets to be too much," he added. "You have to say, 'Something is wrong.' "
Kim Buck used a public address speaker to raise the issues of Operation Fast and Furious, in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allowed assault weapons to fall into the hands of Mexican drug lords. She also expressed dismay that the border has been flooded with young people from Central America seeking immigration amnesty.
"These are the kinds of things that happened in Nazi Germany," she said.
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