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Friday, September 14, 2012

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larry kurtz

The governor of South Dakota is negotiating with the Cheyenne River Lakota Oyate to prevent violence over trucks hauling weapons intended for harm's way in the Bakken oil fields: pick a lane, Ken.

Bill Fleming

It is entirely appropriate for a member of the State Department to render a personal opinion, KB. They don't surrender their 1st Amendment rights just because they have been appointed to office. What are you thinking?

larry kurtz

Remember when Joe Lieberman, as Chair of the Homeland Security Committee, politely "requested" that all companies cut off WikiLeaks? RT @ggreenwald

Bill Fleming

Just walk through this scenario with us, Professor. Two diplomats, one Egyptian and one American, meet for lunch and the Egyptian says, "Our media has been talking about this film some American guy made and oure people are getting really upset about it. I've seen the film and it really is insulting. What do you think of it?" The American says, "I agree, it's disgusting." That's not anything our government supports.

Are you saying that if this how a hypothetical exchange between the two went, there would have been something wrong with what the American said? I certainly hope not.

Donald Pay

And the Muslims in emerging democracies have every right to protest this film.

Donald Pay

And anyone here in the US has the right to protest it here and state their opinions about what should be done, as well, and not because of the Constitution, but because, as we heard all the time from Mitt Romne, our rights don't come from government, they come from God.

By the way, the guy who has been identified as the filmmaker is reportedly under probation for bank fraud. He was also convicted of making meth earlier. He may have violated his parole agreement, which often can and do limit rights. He is reportedly cooperating with authorities in their investigation.

Jon S

Bill,

Two diplomats chatting is different from an official statement. State Department officials actually give up some of their first amendment rights (see Hatch Act) and when they speak in their official capacity they are announcing policy, not expressing their own opinions. And even if your scenario worked out as you suggest, any official should be aware that his words have power and as a matter of prudence he should be circumspect. The line between his own opinion and what may be contrued as policy can be thin.

Donald, of course the Muslims have the right to protest. But do they have the right to damage property, invade soveriegn soil (which is what an embassy is), and kill officials. People get offended all the time. Apparently the "evil" Ken Blanchard offends you at least three times a week. But that does not give you the right to break into his house and shout obscentities at him.

Let's be serious for a moment. This film is not what is causing this violence. It's like the old saying that if Homer didn't write the Iliad then it was someone else by the same name. If it wasn't this pretext it'd be something else.

duggersd

I have not seen the film or its trailer, nor do I care to. I do believe Muslims or anybody else have a right to protest the film. I also believe Muslims or anybody else have a right to support the film. If an administration is asked about it, I do not see a problem with saying the film does not necessarily represent the views of the administration.
The bigger question is whether the charges made in the film are true. If they are true and certain people are outraged by exposing it, then what does that say about those people?
The fact of the matter is this film has very little or nothing to do with what is going on at those embassies. At most it is a cover. An American ambassador was killed in a coordinated assault. There is a story the White House is denying that State had credible information that these embassies could be targeted. If this is so, this administration is directly responsible for the murder of Ambassador Stevens. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/revealed-inside-story-of-us-envoys-assassination-8135797.html BTW, I do not blame the administration for denying it, even if true. The White House is also claiming these attacks have nothing to do with USA policy. http://turnitin.com/ Yet at the same time, this particular attack comes on the anniversary of 9/11 and probably in response to the killing of a AQ leader. This is an example of what happens when there is a lack of competence in leadership. I certainly would not want to be the one spinning this to make the administration look good.

Bill Fleming

Thank you Jon. I wish you would detail for us when you have a minute how what was said by the American diplomat in my hypothetical conversation above would somehow be illegal under the Hatch Act. Thanks.

I do agree with you that the outrage over the movie is most likely a trumped up pretext, and believe I've said as much elsewhere.

Jon S

Bill,

If I was obscure, I apologize. I was talking in general about the Hatch Act, not about this specific example. My point in general is that when we are talking about those who are hired to speak for the United States we are talking about those whose free speech is limited. My only point about the Hatch Act is to offer it as an example of activity that is normally considered a right, namely the right to engage in political activity, that gets limited when one goes into the public service. I don't mean to say that the Hatch Act was applicable here. I do think that if we are defending embassy personnel who said something foolish or against stated policy we should recur to the 1st Amendment as a point of argumentation.

Jon S

I mean should NOT recur to 1st Amendment. Damn fingers of concrete!

Bill Fleming

Okay, I see. Thanks, Jon.

larry kurtz

Fascist Oligopolist Xenophobe teevee host goes off on 2008 GOP presidential candidate:

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/hannity-cuts-mccain-after-he-refuses-agrete

Stan Gibilisco

Just as an observation, here are two scenarios that I doubt we'll ever see.

(1) A Muslim person makes a YouTube video insulting Jesus Christ.

(2) American citizens storm the embassy of an Islamic country.


Stan Gibilisco

Well, I had to do it ... I had to make my own video. Again. Hit my byline here to see it. I, your imaginary representative from the Independent Party, have spoken!

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