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Innocence of Muslims Filmmaker Arrested, Jailed 747

Posted by Soulskill
from the onward-with-the-conspiracy-theories dept.
sycodon writes "Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man behind the film Innocence of Muslims, has been arrested and jailed in Los Angeles for probation violations. The situation is a win-win for the Obama administration, who can now appear to be punishing the man whose film sparked protests and riots around the world, but at the same time simply enforcing the law, as all evidence indeed suggests Nakoula violated the terms of his probation."
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Innocence of Muslims Filmmaker Arrested, Jailed

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  • by Revotron (1115029) on Friday September 28, 2012 @12:48PM (#41490651)

    The situation is a win-win for the Obama administration, who can now appear to be punishing the man whose film sparked protests and riots around the world.

    This is outrageously ridiculous. Why would it be a "win-win" for the Obama administration to appear to be punishing someone for exercising his First Amendment right to free speech?

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geoffrobinson (109879) on Friday September 28, 2012 @12:48PM (#41490657) Homepage

    Because it is quite likely that this arrest is about censorship to appease jihadists.

  • by FLoWCTRL (20442) on Friday September 28, 2012 @12:50PM (#41490673) Journal
    Appeasing the Muslim lunatic fringe is not a "win" for anyone. We should not apologize for free speech, no matter who it offends. If anything, authorities should have gone the other direction and NOT arrested him despite his parole transgressions, in light of the political statement it creates.
  • Re:Hate Speech (Score:2, Insightful)

    by donaggie03 (769758) <d_osmeyer AT hotmail DOT com> on Friday September 28, 2012 @12:53PM (#41490733)

    Free speech is letting others criticize you,

    That's a very specific, contrived, and useless definition for free speech you have there.

  • by EverlastingPhelps (568113) on Friday September 28, 2012 @12:54PM (#41490745) Homepage

    It's very important for Muslims across the world to understand that he was NOT arrested and jailed for the CONTENT of that movie, but because he continually provided false aliases to the judge and the police in violation of his probation.

    I wonder if the protesters in Egypt will understand this...my guess is probably not.

    There's no chance that the Muslim world will see this as anything but censorship. First of all, let's be clear -- they are right when they see it that way. That's what it is. He would have never come to the attention of anyone had the state not been embarrassed by this.

    Second, these are people who are protesting about a youtube clip that the vast majority of them haven't even seen, and only know of by word of mouth. That sort of Telephone game is never going get that sort of nuance across, even if it were true, which of course, it isn't.

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Friday September 28, 2012 @12:55PM (#41490765)

    Clearly, he's a dirtbag

    It is not illegal to be a dirtbag.

    "The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all." -- H. L. Mencken

    Hope they have enough on him to keep him locked up.

    Is he really being locked up for violating his probation, or is that just a justification to arrest someone for saying something inconvenient? Supposedly he as arrested for making false statements to his probation officer. Is that something that a normal person would be jailed for?

  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Friday September 28, 2012 @12:56PM (#41490783) Journal

    Thank you. This is selective prosecution that wouldn't occur but for the outrage. As such it should be thrown out as government doesn't (in theory anyway) get to hold in reserve violations and then arrest when the person gets uppity in perfectly legal ways.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:00PM (#41490825)

    > > Clearly, he's a dirtbag

    > It is not illegal to be a dirtbag.

    Clearly you see the word "illegal" everywhere, even when it hasn't been written.

    The trouble with freedom of speech is that speech isn't just words.

    Otherwise Islam's fatwahs are merely free speech.

    Imams calling for the destruction of Israel and the Great Satan are just free speech.

    And talking dirty to children is just free speech.

    Point is you only support free speech that YOU agree is free speech but use the fact that you agree something is free speech that another disagrees is free speech as "proof" that you agree with free speech more.

    You just have a different range of what you call free.

    At least the Muslims demanding this movie be banned aren't being hypocrites over it.

  • Re:Hate Speech (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hammyhew (2729501) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:00PM (#41490829)

    Are you suggesting it's possible to have free speech and yet ban hate speech? That's highly offensive to me. You should be arrested!

  • by Krojack (575051) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:02PM (#41490853)

    They won't stop. They will demand we hand him over so they can slowly behead him [wikipedia.org] and post that on the internet then drag his body though the streets [wikipedia.org] and hang it from some bridge [bbc.co.uk].

  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:02PM (#41490861)

    If anything, authorities should have gone the other direction and NOT arrested him despite his parole transgressions, in light of the political statement it creates.

    So to you, the application of justice should be dependent on the political views someone espouses? The law should treat someone differently based on what he's said in public? How did you get from free speech to there?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:04PM (#41490889)

    Yes, he really is being jailed for his actual wrongdoings. You are not allowed to use aliases on probation. He used an alias and did something infamous with it.

    Certainly, I imagine people do this all the time and are not caught, usually because it simply does not come to light, particularly since an alias has the effect of making it harder to tie a person to what they do under their alias. In this case, what he did is not the issue, it is that it was infamous enough for him to be caught violating his probation. It would be a very, very dumb Probation Officer who, when faced with his convict's publicly obvious non-compliance, did not enforce the conditions of Probation.

    Remember, he's already a convicted criminal who is only free on probation on the guarantee of good behavior and specific provisions meant to ensure he remains on good behavior. He's not so much being thrown in jail as simply returned to jail.

    Is this incredibly convenient for the Obama Administration? Hell, yes. Is it a matter of silencing him? Not at all.

  • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:05PM (#41490919)

    That's how parole works...

    They set up enough hoops and demands that you have to spend all your time keeping up. Mostly, that's to keep you out of trouble.. But it also provides plenty of technicalities when you become a nuisance. There's something you missed for them to violate you over whenever they need it.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lilfields (961485) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:06PM (#41490929) Homepage
    Uhm, his video was distributed on the internet and no other medium....you don't think the curbing of free speech is a nerd issue? Not even when the internet is the primary pipeline of free speech? How would you like it if you posted a video on Youtube, or a post on Facebook that was very offensive. It offended your community, neighboring county (or country,) so instead of outright saying "we don't accept this free speech" you were arrested for an unpaid parking ticket or any other minor offense? Sort of a big fucking deal.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geoffrobinson (109879) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:06PM (#41490939) Homepage

    His film killed no one. People reacting to the film may have. Most likely it wasn't over the film but an organized terrorist attack which had nothing to do with the film.

  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:07PM (#41490953)

    This is selective prosecution that wouldn't occur but for the outrage. As such it should be thrown out as government doesn't (in theory anyway) get to hold in reserve violations and then arrest when the person gets uppity in perfectly legal ways.

    That would make sense...except that the violations at issue occurred during the investigation of whether or not he posted the video, which itself would have violated the terms of his probation.

    Its not about violations known in advance and held in reserve and then used as retribution for a "perfectly legal" act, "uppity" or otherwise.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:09PM (#41490995)

    And if you were a probation officer, you would be allowed to not send your convict back to jail when they publicly broke the terms of their probation?

    There is no prosecution here, he's already convicted. He has to agree to probation terms to be freed on probation. He always had the option of refusing and being sent to jail to serve his time.

    He is in no way a free man being convicted of something new, he's a convict who is clearly not a model probationary candidate and he's heading to jail.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:12PM (#41491057)

    Had his violations been "harmless", it might not have been prosecuted. However, people have died as a result of his parole violations. Tell us again how this shouldn't be prosecuted?

    Y'know, you saying that pisses me off. It pisses me off so much that I just shot five co-workers and a sheriff*. Now your statement is not harmless, right?

    Oh, wait, I was the one who decided an appropriate reaction to somebody's speech was to inflict violence on third parties, that makes me, not you, the one who harmed them, and just because I choose to blame you doesn't make you culpable for acts you didn't commit. Funny how that works.

    *disclaimer: I actually didn't shoot my co-workers, the sherrif, nor the deputy.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:13PM (#41491075)

    Nobody's apologizing, failfuck

    I guess you didn't get the memo the U.S. is doing just that [foxnews.com], and paying $70k of your money to do so.

    What was that you called people that got things wrong again? Seems like it rather more applies to yourself.

  • appease jihadists (Score:5, Insightful)

    by frovingslosh (582462) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:15PM (#41491113)
    Absolutely correct. California could be better using their time and effort protecting us from Linsey Lohan and others like her, but they release them after 45 minutes because the jails are too full. But this guy said something (supposedly) unpopular, so the system is going after him with everything they can come up with. This is clearly an effort to appease a supposedly religious group by further eroding basic American freedoms.
  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:16PM (#41491135) Homepage Journal

    The US government is putting the case forward that the film was not an attempt to express a controversial viewpoint as much as something meant to inflame and incense a volatile situation

    No it isn't, you fucking retard.

  • by xclr8r (658786) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:18PM (#41491163)

    He's locked up because he violated the terms of his probation. He apparently has a pathological tendency to refuse to give his real name to authorities or anyone else for that matter, and the Judge had enough of it.

    If you had people who wanted to kill you and had the means to falsify badges/I.D./uniforms you would be giving out false names too. I concede that his own actions caused his current predicament and I don't condone anything he has put out but I can understand his motivations for lying about his name..

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:18PM (#41491165)

    The freedom of speech has always been limited by the exception of speech intended to solely cause harm or public backlash (ie - yelling 'Fire' in a crowded theater, calling in bomb threats). The US government is putting the case forward that the film was not an attempt to express a controversial viewpoint as much as something meant entirely to inflame and incense a volatile situation.

    How this item made it onto Slashdot would probably be because the film was released online via YouTube, and the arrest of the filmmaker has clear online rights implications.

    BULLSHIT

    WTF?

    You're actually comparing religious satire with deliberately and immediately causing mayhem and probable death?

    How the hell is making fun of somebody who has been dead for more then a millennium not protected free speech?

    Does free speech mean ANYTHING to you or the morons who modded you up?

  • by xevioso (598654) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:18PM (#41491171)

    How and where did Obama come down on the side of censorship?

  • Re:Why? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:25PM (#41491277)

    They have moral agency and the ability to control themselves.

    Obviously they don't have the ability to control themselves.

      Stereotypes do exist for a reason, and each time something like this happens, it makes it more and more difficult for the 'good people' in any culture to overcome the jacknuts that bring them back weeks, years, decades.

  • by amiga3D (567632) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:27PM (#41491313)

    I thought it was for the criminally bad acting and scripting of the movie. If you jail people for lying then we have to put all of Congress in jail.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:30PM (#41491391)

    "His film killed no one."

    Try incitement to riot with manslaughter being the result. Clearly a probationary violation.

    "Mohammed was a child-raping murderous desert bandit who contrived a religion that would make his followers happy to die for him." Kind of a medieval L. Ron Hubbard.

    THAT historical truth is incitement to RIOT?

    So, when you going on a killing spree?

  • by TFAFalcon (1839122) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:31PM (#41491415)

    I think he started giving out false names BEFORE people wanted to kill him. Sure NOW he has a good reason to do it, but that was his own choice. He knew that he was prohibited from using aliases for his past crimes, so prison shouldn't come as much of a shock to him (at least until the muslim inmates figure out who he is).

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:31PM (#41491417)

    The only killing we have seen was from a terrorist attack on an embassy, not from a protest.

    How many "protests" also involve quiet ambushes on secret safe-houses?

  • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:32PM (#41491433)

    This guy is completely 100% irrelevant to anything that's happening in the Middle East. Go to youtube and in one minute you can find a dozen anti-Islam videos made by various random people. When certain extremist groups in the Middle East want to incite violence for their own political purposes, they will find a catalyst easily enough, just like with Mohammed cartoons etc, it doesn't matter what that catalyst is. The biggest issue here for me is that the administration is still talking about the stupid irrelevant film instead of the fact that the Libya attack was obviously a planned and successful Al Qaeda operation to assassinate a US ambassador and that we didn't do enough to prevent it. But that wouldn't look good, would it, so better to focus everybody's attention on a particular US citizen and make him take the blame. Shameful.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:34PM (#41491483) Homepage Journal

    The US government is putting the case forward that the film was not an attempt to express a controversial viewpoint as much as something meant entirely to inflame and incense a volatile situation.

    No, it isn't, you fucking retard. How many times are you going to repeat that lie?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:35PM (#41491493)

    The trouble with freedom of speech is that speech isn't just words. Otherwise Islam's fatwahs are merely free speech.

    Fatwahs are murder contracts, that offer a reward for murder. Soliciting murder is a crime.

    The video may have offended some, but was not a direct request for criminal activity.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:35PM (#41491503) Homepage Journal

    He's locked up because he violated the terms of his probation. He apparently has a pathological tendency to refuse to give his real name to authorities or anyone else for that matter, and the Judge had enough of it.

    If you had people who wanted to kill you and had the means to falsify badges/I.D./uniforms you would be giving out false names too. I concede that his own actions caused his current predicament and I don't condone anything he has put out but I can understand his motivations for lying about his name..

    I understand his motivations. I also understand that providing false identities to LEOs while on legal probation is a crime in itself, and that if a person commit a crime, they will be punished accordingly.

    This is all much ado about nothing.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheCarp (96830) <sjc AT carpanet DOT net> on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:38PM (#41491545) Homepage

    True but, I don't think this applies here. They were not holding violations in reserve, they simply did not know he was violating them. It wasn't until journalists investigated the source of the film, and made the trail back to him and a few accounts that it was known.

    Now I don't tend to like the form of these restrictions in general, and don't think this is the sort of thing that should land him in jail....except.... there are other violations.

    Its pretty clear that any agreement he had with the actors in the film, each and every one of them, was negotiated in bad faith. He lied to them about the nature of the film being released, at the very least they should have known this and been able to either refuse to have themselves associated with it, or demanded more money due to the risk involved. Smells like fraud to me.

  • by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:41PM (#41491609) Journal

    I'm a firm believer in freedom of speech, but there is still such a thing as having some taste, and having some common sense. Clearly this guy has, at the very least, poor judgement, and perhaps poor impulse control, and while I'm not going to lay 100% of the blame on him for the violence in the Middle East due to his ill-advised (and poorly produced, from what I hear) video, he certainly is guilty of being the catalyst.

    That's very loaded language. He's not "guilty" of anything - at least in the context of the Islamic hissy-fit business. He is a catalyst, like that teacher who sparked an armed and angry lynch mob in Sudan.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudanese_teddy_bear_blasphemy_case [wikipedia.org]

    Granted, his actions were provocative, while the teacher's were not. While his actions were inadvisable, 100% of the blame lies with the angry nutjobs and the rabble rousers. If we apportion any blame at all to this guy then we may as well issue mitigation points to anyone taking offence. If some guy in the street says that my mother is a scabby whore, should he share the blame if I were to then pull out a knife and cut out his liver? He's a factor in what happened, but what he did is rendered academic by my crazy response. Staying with that example, if I reacted so badly, is it possible that this reaction is based on more than just this single incident? There's way more happening here than just a bunch of cavemen getting worked up over a video.

  • by PickyH3D (680158) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:47PM (#41491737)

    Ah, the apologist logic here is pathetic.

    Clearly you see the word "illegal" everywhere, even when it hasn't been written.

    The trouble with freedom of speech is that speech isn't just words...

    That doesn't change the definition of Free Speech. That just means that if you have threats along with your Free Speech, then it changes the issue entirely. It's the threat that is the issue, and not the speech itself.

    The issue at hand is from a terribly low budget movie's trailer, which is insulting to Muslims. It is not threatening. Calling for the destruction of Israel is threatening, particularly when said Imam is calling upon his followers to make it happen.

    This is no different than the Westboro Baptists that go around protesting at military funerals. They can get away with it it because it's not threatening anybody, and that's why it is the unfortunate side of acceptable Free Speech.

    At least the Muslims demanding this movie be banned aren't being hypocrites over it.

    The issue to them is very cut and dry, but it is far from not being hypocritical. You cannot insult Islam in any way. But the reverse is completely acceptable; they can insult your nation (e.g, Great Satan, which also associates religious aspects to it), or your religion (e.g, Jews), and you had better accept it. And they're going to do it while they destroy your embassy, even if your nation wasn't involved at all (e.g., German Embassy protests).

    But you're right, I guess I don't see any hypocrisy in there. Keep running around with your blinders on.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xevioso (598654) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:48PM (#41491747)

    Baloney. He was arrested because he lied, repeatedly, to the authorities. He is a pathological liar. Or are you forgetting the part about how he was tried and convicted of bank fraud?

    Courts deal with these people all the time, and the fact was this was the tipping point for them to throw the book at him. Had nothing to do with his video.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:52PM (#41491839) Homepage Journal

    "these people clearly had no choice"

    I see you fail to understand what incite means and implies - choice included.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SecurityTheatre (2427858) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:55PM (#41491895)

    I will be extremely disturbed if making inflammatory videos within the borders of the United States or other western countries is made illegal, regardless of the content.

    I mean this unequivocally, irrevocably and without reservation, in the spirit of protecting freedom. It's not one of those things that can have a "but maybe when" clause.

    Criticism of a religion or political viewpoint, or otherwise CANNOT be viewed as a crime, regardless of how insane the targets of said video are. A radio commentator made a good point the other day when discussing with a muslim cleric. There was a Canadian Muslim who made a comparably incendiary video about Christians. It prompted... get this... a letter to the editor...

    There are plenty of equally incendiary videos about Jews. They waive their hands in the air and say "OYE!".

    Just because the islamists over in Africa completely freak out and use such things as a flimsy excuse for pursuing sectarian violence against perceived slights doesn't make them right, nor does it make the act illegal.

    The guys video was nasty. It was inappropriate. It was seriously morally problematic. But it was NOT illegal.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Friday September 28, 2012 @02:00PM (#41491969)

    How would you like it if you posted a video on Youtube, or a post on Facebook that was very offensive. It offended your community, neighboring county (or country,) so instead of outright saying "we don't accept this free speech" you were arrested for an unpaid parking ticket or any other minor offense? Sort of a big fucking deal.

    A big fucking deal? How about a stupid fucking analogy? The terms of his 5-year probation strictly said that he was not to use a computer without approval, and that he was not to use an alias without approval. He did both, and nearly immediately after he was released. That means he violated his probation, and that means he gets sent back to the pokey. That's not an "unpaid parking ticket or any other minor offense". The judge gave him specific terms, specific actions that he no longer had the privilege of doing, and he responded by saying FU and doing those things anyway. This is not a rights issue, this is a minor non-issue about some asshole who can't bother to live his life without committing a crime and now he gets to go back to jail. This happens every day across the country. The only reason we are hearing about it in this case is because now it is happening to a man who was in the headlines recently for pissing off a large chunk of the world. That's not what he's being arrested for, that's just the reason why his arrest is news.

    So, here's the real question - should this long-term criminal get a free pass for violating his probation because of the video he produced? Does that video and the subsequent response and coverage of it warrant a Get Out Of Jail Free card?

    The Daily Beast reported that Nakoula was arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in 1997 after being pulled over and found to be in possession of ephedrine, hydroiodic acid, and $45,000 in cash; he was charged with intent to manufacture methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 1997 to one year in Los Angeles County Jail and three years probation. According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney, he violated probation in 2002 and was re-sentenced to another year in county jail.

    In 2010, Nakoula pleaded no contest to federal charges of bank fraud in California. Nakoula had opened bank accounts using fake names and stolen Social Security numbers, including one belonging to a 6-year-old child, and deposited checks from those accounts to withdraw at ATMs. The prosecutor described the scheme as check kiting, "You try to get the money out of the bank before the bank realizes they are drawn from a fraudulent account. There basically is no money," she said. Nakoula’s June 2010 sentencing transcript shows that after being arrested, he testified against an alleged ring leader of the fraud scheme, in exchange for a lighter sentence. He was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison, followed by five years probation (supervised release), and ordered to pay $794,701 in restitution. He was sent to prison, then to a halfway house, and was released from custody in June 2011. A few weeks later, he began working on Innocence of Muslims. Conditions of Nakoula's probation include not using aliases and not using the Internet without prior approval from his probation officer.

    Please explain again the "chilling effects" that this arrest is going to have on my rights, and why this idiot deserves to get a free pass.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Friday September 28, 2012 @02:00PM (#41491981)

    I see no evidence that they can control themselves.

    There are a few who can't, and that's their problem.

    Of course, your comment might make me go berserk and murder countless innocents. When that happens, it's on you.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZombieBraintrust (1685608) on Friday September 28, 2012 @02:00PM (#41491985)
    Unpopular speach is not yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater. A crowd that exits a theater quickly is behaving rationally based on deception. There is no choice to stay in the burning theater. The people who rioted in the middle east did so because they chose too. The did so because they were encouraged to riot by their leaders. Billions of people chose to do nothing when they learned of his video.
  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Friday September 28, 2012 @02:09PM (#41492107)

    I can understand that, given the amount of publicity both nationally and worldwide, the government really had little choice but to enforce the probation terms once it came out who the filmmaker really was and that he must have violated the terms to go on YouTube to upload it.

    But when is someone going to point out that probation terms like these are absurd on their face? The Internet is a basic part of modern life. Everyone uses it, and even someone who tries to avoid it might well find themselves violating the terms by accident. (For instance, is using a GPS device counted as using the Internet? From a technical standpoint, that's often what is happening.) Probation terms ordering people to stay away from computers might have made some sense back in the days of Kevin Mitnick and Captain Crunch, but they are utter nonsense in 2012. You might as well make a probation term telling someone they can't watch TV or read a newspaper.

  • by mpoulton (689851) on Friday September 28, 2012 @02:33PM (#41492453)

    It is still incitement. The INTENT is what matters, not the speech itself.

    And this film was clearly made to incite people to do violence, knowing the target demographic of the film itself.

    You're understanding of 1st Amendment jurisprudence is lacking. Have you even read any of the cases? Where in the world did you come up with the idea that intent has anything to do with it? Intent is specifically NOT adequate. The actual or probable effect must be to incite imminent lawless action. All speech is inherently protected by the 1st Amendment unless it falls into a narrow set of exceptions that exist to prevent very specific kinds of harm. Mass chaos and lawlessness are within the scope of harms that justify limitation of some kinds of speech under some limited circumstances. However, the speech at issue must be directed to cause, and actually be capable of causing "imminent lawless action". Both intent and actual ability to cause an actual dangerous, lawless result are required. And "imminent" means RIGHT THEN AND THERE. Not somewhere else later. Merely intending to incite a riot is legal, and constitutionally protected, unless you have the real ability to make it happen immediately. Merely making a political statement likely to cause your opposition elsewhere to respond violently is also legal, and constitutionally protected, as the resulting lawless action is not "imminent" in the requisite sense. Go read Brandenburg v. Ohio.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by James McGuigan (852772) on Friday September 28, 2012 @03:06PM (#41492963) Homepage

    There where two "crimes".

    The first was a political crime, that of creating a US foreign policy issue through a youtube movie. This according to the 1st amendment and the letter of US law is not a "crime".

    The second crime was the violation of the terms of his parole, this is the "technical law" that they arrested him under.

    The US Administration decided it was politically expedient to have this man in jail for his "political crime". The technical method of achieving this goal, as they are only allowed to wield their power according to the "letter of the law", they hired a detective to dig up the dirt on him and "find a law" which which to charge him. Had his film not caused the diplomatic incident, he probably would have flown under the radar and not been noticed by the authorities, and thus still be a free man.

    This is in some ways similar to Julian Assange... his "political crime" was wikileaks, so they dug up his past and thus he was technically arrested on "suspicion of rape".

    The Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei was charged with tax evasion.

    The "chilling effect" is that in a society where a possibly significant percentage of the population are "technically" in violation of the law, but the law in many cases is not strictly enforced, then this allows the government to effectively arrest people guilty of "political crimes" through the selective enforcement of the "other" laws.

    The moral of the story is that if you are planning on creating a diplomatic incident or significantly challenging or embarrassing the political establishment, then you better have a squeaky clean past and not expose yourself to any legal liabilities by "technically" breaking the law. Once you are in the spotlight, the normal rules of flying under the radar no longer apply and if the government can find any dirt on you, and they will be suddenly be looking closely for it, they will find a way to make it stick.

  • by Yunzil (181064) on Friday September 28, 2012 @03:36PM (#41493425) Homepage

    Please post your evidence that the president had anything at all to do with this. Thanks.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DM9290 (797337) on Friday September 28, 2012 @05:16PM (#41494601) Journal

    Yes, because a few thousand people is always representative of a religion with roughly 1 billion followers.

    No. It is the leaders of those 1 billion followers who represent them, and without any notable exceptions, all the leaders of Islamic nations have come out and blamed the movie for the violence and used this as a speaking opportunity to argue that it should be illegal to criticize or mock Islam, and to spend more energy criticizing anyone who criticizes muslims for this violence (As you have done) rather than criticize the muslims who are responsible for it.

  • Now you understand (Score:3, Insightful)

    by frovingslosh (582462) on Friday September 28, 2012 @10:16PM (#41496561)
    You got it. The followers of the prophet wouldn't be nearly as upset if it was just nonsense that was spouted. They are upset that it was truth that was said. Makes their entire belief system seem a bit silly.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

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