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FBI arrests man for uploading a 5-minute YouTube video critical of US foreign policy (salon.com)

Posted by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 6:39 PM
  • 2 Replies

The DOJ’s escalating criminalization of speech

(updated below)

Over the past several years, the Justice Department has increasingly attempted to criminalize what is clearly protected political speech by prosecuting numerous individuals (Muslims, needless to say) for disseminating political views the government dislikes or considers threatening.  The latest episode emerged on Friday, when the FBIannounced the arrest and indictment of Jubair Ahmad, a 24-year-old Pakistani legal resident living in Virginia, charged with “providing material support” to a designated Terrorist organization (Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT)).

What is the “material support” he allegedly gave?  He produced and uploaded a 5-minute video to YouTube featuring photographs of U.S. abuses in Abu Ghraib, video of armored trucks exploding after being hit by IEDs, prayer messages about “jihad” from LeT’s leader, and — according to the FBI’s Affidavit — “a number of terrorist logos.”  That, in turn, led the FBI agent who signed the affidavit to assert that ”based on [his] training and experience, it is evident that the video . . . is designed as propaganda to develop support for LeT and to recruit jihadists to LeT.”  The FBI also claims Ahmad spoke with the son of an LeT leader about the contents of the video and had attended an LeT camp when he was a teenager in Pakistan.  For the act of uploading that single YouTube video (and for denying that he did so when asked by the FBI agents who came to his home to interrogate him), he faces 23 years in prison.

Let’s be very clear about the key point: the Constitution — specifically the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment — prohibits the U.S. Government from punishing someone for the political views they express, even if those views include the advocacy of violence against the U.S. and its leaders.  One can dislike this legal fact.  One can wish it were different.  But it is the clear and unambiguous law, and has been since the Supreme Court’s unanimous 1969 decision in Brandenburg v. Ohio, which overturned the criminal conviction of a Ku Klux Klan leader who had publicly threatened violence against political officials in a speech.

more at http://www.salon.com/2011/09/04/speech_23/singleton/

It seems and feels like all Republics turn to empires.

by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 6:39 PM
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sllytnkrbl
by Member on Feb. 12, 2012 at 6:54 PM

 I agree that it should have fallen under freedom of speech and not a criminal offense.   I, however, also believe that if you are that against the countries policies and want to promote violence as a means to get your point across then you should probably consider finding a new home.   All this talk about how the US is turning into a Police state and how much the governement controls is all sensationalized by articles like this which clearly favor one side over another, what happened to objectiveness?   My father actually grew up in a country where you were shot for speaking up against the government, where you were willing to accuse your neighbor to save yourself, where a person could be picked up off the street and forced to join the ranks of the Political Police for the sole purpose of trapping their friends and neighbors, wives and children were left without husbands and fathers because they went to work one morning and never came home and no one knew where they were or whether they were alive or dead.    This country is far from being at that stage.   While I do not believe the government is squeeky clean and immune to using deplorable tactics, I do believe that there is still enough respect for what the country originally stood for to keep it from reaching the total disregard of it's Constitution.

imagirlgeek
by Member on Feb. 12, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Stuff like this is happening more and more.  If you are interested in this as much as I am, here are a couple of links to related stories:

British pair arrested in U.S. on terror charges over Twitter jokes

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2093796/Emily-Bunting-Leigh-Van-Bryan-UK-tourists-arrested-destroy-America-Twitter-jokes.html

FBI warns of threat from anti-government extremists

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/07/us-usa-fbi-extremists-idUSTRE81600V20120207

And one of my personal favorites....The Modern Militia Movement.  It lists different 'identifiers' for determining who might be a militia member.  Some of the triggers are people who are distrustful of the government, support a 3rd party (Constitutional Party, Libertarian Party, Campain for Liberty), are opposed to having to pay taxes, are anti-abortion, etc.  This list is long.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/13290698/The-Modern-Militia-MovementMissouri-MIAC-Strategic-Report-20Feb09-

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