My favorite Nakoula arrest meme: Funny, but wrong.
The Congressional hearings regarding what increasingly appears to be intentional dissembling by the Obama Administration to minimize the political fallout from the Benghazi terrorist attack have, predictably, sparked renewed attention to the fate of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the creator of the anti-Islamist Youtube video that Hillary, the President, and Susan Rice pretended was the reason an ambassador and others ended up dead.
Nakoula is in prison, and his arrest for violating the terms of his probation was certainly well-timed for Obama Administration spin purposes; purportedly (and if true, outrageously) Hillary Clinton told the family of one of the slain Americans that the filmmaker responsible for the video would be punished. This is only hearsay, but I am inclined to believe it: it is pure Clinton, masterful deceit. Nakoula couldn’t be punished for the video, of course, because of that darn old First Amendment. But Hillary may have known that he was headed for punishment and prison for something else, so it was a perfect ploy to make the victims’ families and any offended Muslims think this was why he was going to jail. Me, I think that oh-so-clever ploy is a betrayal of American integrity and values, but that depends on what the meaning of is is.
The Right, however, is sure that Nakoula was arrested for the video, one way or the other. Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review, has come right out and said that he’s a political prisoner. Continue reading →
More than a week ago, one of my blogging, legal, ethics idols, Ken at Popehat, took issue with my post stating that the midnight questioning of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (the alleged producer of “Innocence of Muslims,” the crude anti-Islam film then being blamed by the Obama administration for all the violence that erupted in the Middle East on September 11) would appear both abroad and at home to be in retaliation for his exercise of his free speech rights, and should have been avoided even if it was otherwise justified by his parole violations. Ken wrote:
“…What separates us from the mob is the rule of law. We shouldn’t ignore the rule of law by violating First Amendment principles in what Eugene Volokh correctly points out would be an utterly vain attempt to appease a mob. On the other hand, we shouldn’t hinder the rule of law to avoid the appearance of appeasement, either. That’s still letting the mob dictate our actions and our adherence to our own laws. “We would normally do X, but we mustn’t because it might enrage the mob” is just the flip side of “We would normally do X, but we mustn’t because it might embolden the mob.” Both are a sucker’s game. The mob’s actions are going to be driven by its own culture and by the people manipulating the mob for their own political gain. Jack, and others, seem to be saying that the mob will misunderstand the orderly administration of the law in this instance: but is there really any chance that the mob will ever make an honest attempt to understand, or will care, or that the forces manipulating them will react honestly? Respect the rule of law and fuck ’em if they don’t like it.”
On this blog, commenter tgt was more succinct:
“Jack’s view of law is that if you are enough of a dick, you should be immune from prosecution for any action.” Continue reading →
No, really, this has nothing to do with the President blaming this guy’s film on the attacks on US embassies; it’s just a parole violation thing. Unrelated. Really. Of course, if violent Muslims think we’re cracking down on him because he insulted their prophet, that’s a bonus, right?
Ken at Popehat applies his experience as federal prosecutor to make this observation (among others) in the Federal questioning—I regard it as political harassment that happens to have a convenient non-political justification—of the hack ” Innocence of Muslims” film-maker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula:
“I think the situation bears careful watching. Based on 6 years as a federal prosecutor and 12 as a federal defense lawyer, let me say this: minor use of a computer — like uploading a video to YouTube — is not something that I would usually expect to result in arrest and a revocation proceeding; I think a warning would be more likely unless the defendant had already had warnings or the probation officer was a hardass. But if I had a client with a serious fraud conviction, and his fraud involved aliases, and he had the standard term forbidding him from using aliases during supervised release, and his probation officer found out that he was running a business, producing a movie, soliciting money, and interacting with others using an alias, I would absolutely expect him to be arrested immediately, whatever the content of the movie. Seriously. Nakoula pled guilty to using alias to scam money. Now he’s apparently been producing a film under an alias, dealing with the finances of the film under the alias, and (if his “Sam Bacile” persona is to be believed) soliciting financing under an alias. I would expect him to run into a world of hurt for that even if he were producing a “Coexist” video involving kittens.”
Ken ends up where I do on other aspects of this incident, and I yield to his analysis here as far as it goes. But Nakoula Basseley Nakoula did not produce a “Coexist” video involving kittens. He produced a cheesy film that has provoked foreigners to violence, and also to demand that the creator of the film be punished by the U.S. government because of the film’s content; that voices on the left in this country are arguing should be censored (as well as that its maker be arrested); that the Obama Administration itself has tried to censor by persuading Google to ban it, and that Jay Carney is claiming, absurdly, is the sole target of all the Arab unrest. Continue reading →
What's wrong with this picture?
Americans are becoming almost as confused about hypocrisy as they are about satire.
Michelle Obama’s Vail, Colorado vacation included taking her daughters out to eat ribs at Vail, and conservative radio critics immediately resorted the “H” word, led by Rush Limbaugh, who reported that the First Lady, fully-involved in an anti-obesity campaign, joined her own children in “feasting on ribs — ribs that were 1,575 calories per serving with 141 grams of fat, per serving.” Continue reading →