Disgrace: Olympic torch bearer ejected -- for carrying Tibetan flag; Update: Athletes who display Tibetan flag to be banned from games?

I was going to give you the clip of McCain saying this morning that he’d boycott the opening ceremony as president but we’ve already had that debate. If you’re curious, watch it here. Your time is better spent on this travesty yesterday in San Francisco, in which Gavin Newsom’s best laid plans to avoid embarrassing the Chinese — including an eleventh-hour re-routing of the torch relay to keep it away from protesters — were thwarted by torch-bearer Majora Carter. She had a small Tibetan flag stashed up her sleeve; when they passed her the torch, she pulled it out and the Chinese “security” team traveling with them pounced. Watch as one of the American cops shows her how they do it in Beijing, giving her a gratuitous shove into the crowd to keep her away from the communist propaganda pageant she was momentarily a part of. She’s wrong on the law, to be sure; her free speech rights don’t entitle her to violate the contract she signed before participating. But watching U.S. cops enforce Chinese policy is so disgusting, Newsom should have simply canceled the event lest he be forced to do it. Exit quotation: “Because we’re America, we can do that.”

Update: One of the commenters wonders why criminal law enforcement is concerned here with civil contract law. My guess: Because she breached the contract, she was no longer allowed to participate in the relay. Once she lost that status, she became just another spectator who was beyond the barrier set up by the sidewalk and had to be escorted back. It’s the enforcement of the permit for the relay where the criminal part comes in, not the enforcement of the contract, although in practical effect they’re the same.

Update: Don’t blame the ChiComs for this. It ain’t their rule.

Athletes displaying Tibetan flags at Olympic venues – including in their own rooms – could be expelled from the Beijing Games under anti-propaganda rules.

Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said that competitors were free to express their political views but faced sanctions if they indulged in propaganda…

The question of what will constitute propaganda during the Games in August and what will be considered opinion under IOC rules is one vexing many in the Olympic movement. The Olympic Charter bans any kind of “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” in any Olympic venue or area…

At the Sydney Games in 2000 Olympic chiefs allowed Cathy Freeman to use the Aboriginal flag to highlight the plight of the Stolen Generation after she won a gold medal in the 400 metres.