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wkllaw
11 Dec 07,, 02:46
Another young Muslim is punished for downloading extremist material


THOSE who fall foul of the law because of their internet-surfing habits are often assumed to be sheepish-looking middle-aged men. On December 6th a different sort of criminal was in the dock for downloading illicit material. Samina Malik, a slight 23-year-old in a headscarf, last month became the first Muslim woman to be convicted of a terrorism offence in Britain when she was found guilty of collecting a library of jihadist manuals from the internet. This week Miss Malik, who worked at an airport bookstore and called herself the “lyrical terrorist” in online forums, was given a suspended nine-month prison sentence and community service.

She is not the first person to be punished for flirting with terrorism on the web. In July three British men were jailed for terms from seven to ten years for using the internet to incite others to wage holy war. In the same month four Bradford students and an Essex schoolboy were collectively sentenced to just over 13 years for having a treasure-trove of jihadist texts and videos, which a court determined they planned to use for terrorist purposes.


The “lyrical terrorist” has attracted attention mainly because of her bloodthirsty poetry. “Kafirs your time will come soon/And no-one will save you from your doom!” went one effort. Another was called “How to Behead”. But Miss Malik was convicted not for these offerings (which she says were inspired by popular American rap music) but for downloading documents from the web. Police discovered “The Al Qaeda Manual” and “The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook”, among other titles.

Miss Malik's trial judge admitted that he had found her “a complete enigma”. It is hard to know what to do with people who are clearly drawn to terrorism but are not actually plotting. Wallowing in jihadist nonsense online harms no one in itself, but it may well have devastating consequences if it leads to action.

Miss Malik was cleared of breaching section 57 of the Terrorism Act, which bans possessing any article “for terrorist purposes”. She was found guilty instead under section 58, which outlaws possessing documents “likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”—even if there is no proof that the defendant is planning such an act himself. In October a 17-year-old was convicted under the same clause when he was caught with bomb-making instructions under his bed.

On December 6th the government proposed plans to increase the maximum time suspected terrorists may be held before being charged, from 28 days to 42, in special circumstances. The point at which terrorist sympathies pose a specific enough threat to merit imprisonment may be as hard to ascertain as the proper limit of that controversial power.

The “lyrical terrorist” | Be careful what you Google | Economist.com (http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10268329)

So, what do you guys think about jailing those guys that spout hate speeches and do such activities online? Do you think they should go to jail?

gunnut
11 Dec 07,, 04:08
The “lyrical terrorist” | Be careful what you Google | Economist.com (http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10268329)

So, what do you guys think about jailing those guys that spout hate speeches and do such activities online? Do you think they should go to jail?

That depends. Who's gonna step forward now to accept future responsibility should something go wrong?

Remember, if you respect individual liberty, then you "didn't connect the dots" when a terrorist act occurs. If you connected the dots and prevented a would-be crime from happening, you are a nazi and want to roll the civil rights clock back to the 19th century.

Julie
11 Dec 07,, 04:43
Do you purchase a gun with any intention of using it? Yes, if the circumstances allowed.

Do you download jihadist manuals with any intention of using them? Yes, if the circumstances allowed.

dalem
11 Dec 07,, 05:03
I'm uncomfortable with punishing someone for talking, whether I like what they're saying or not. I don't know all the details so I can't comment intelligently about this particular incident, but from what I know, she should have been fired from her airport job, but legal action?

I don't like that at all. Not at all.

-dale

Dwarven Pirate
11 Dec 07,, 05:33
section 58, which outlaws possessing documents “likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”

Good lord! Hopefully USA hasn't yet passed any such law.

Passports and flight manuals? Army Handbooks? Boy Scout materials? Chemistry textbooks?

Do we trust the prosecutors to decide whether we ought to be made felons? Because we will certainly be found guilty of something once charged.

gunnut
11 Dec 07,, 05:42
Good lord! Hopefully USA hasn't yet passed any such law.

Passports and flight manuals? Army Handbooks? Boy Scout materials? Chemistry textbooks?

Do we trust the prosecutors to decide whether we ought to be made felons? Because we will certainly be found guilty of something once charged.

All those things are readily available at your local gun shows :))

You seem to have no problem banning guns but a lot of problems banning things that incite violence.

glyn
11 Dec 07,, 09:34
[QUOTE=Dwarven Pirate;436386]Good lord! Hopefully USA hasn't yet passed any such law.

Passports and flight manuals?

Flight Manuals? I've been collecting those for half a century now and have over 1,400 :eek:

ChrisF202
11 Dec 07,, 11:27
Arresting people for downloading and buying materials such as listed above? Yes but only if they can be tied to a subversive group or if it is proven that the said person is planning on committing a criminal act with those items or knowledge gained by reading those items.

dave lukins
11 Dec 07,, 12:39
Big Brother is watching..................H.G Wells:"I told you so!!!":))

Tarek Morgen
11 Dec 07,, 12:40
I have a large interest in propaganda and therefore download propaganda movies from the second world war or the cold war wheneverf I find any, this includes those made by the nazis or the soviets (too bad that most have to subtitles I don't speak russian, but not because I am a Nazi or a communist but because I simply have a interest in that part of history (and some a quite funny, I guess everybody knows "in the Führers Face").

dave lukins
11 Dec 07,, 12:54
Tarek.. there is a world of difference in watching say, a Nazi film to downloading a Manual on how to make cyclon B. I don't think you will be getting a knock on the door from the "Big Brother Police" just yet:))

Shek
11 Dec 07,, 12:58
I have a large interest in propaganda and therefore download propaganda movies from the second world war or the cold war wheneverf I find any, this includes those made by the nazis or the soviets (too bad that most have to subtitles I don't speak russian, but not because I am a Nazi or a communist but because I simply have a interest in that part of history (and some a quite funny, I guess everybody knows "in the Führers Face").

Tarek,
Do you also visit Nazi boards and post statements about killing others to perpetuate the master race? That would be analogous to what this lady did. It is the sum of all the parts that make this case, not just downloading the documents of an active enemy and threat to the state and its people.

Tarek Morgen
11 Dec 07,, 13:03
No I don't but the article states that it were not those actions which caused the punishment but indeed the downloading of the material, and that I would be guilty of a similar "crime".

Tarek Morgen
11 Dec 07,, 13:07
Tarek.. there is a world of difference in watching say, a Nazi film to downloading a Manual on how to make cyclon B. I don't think you will be getting a knock on the door from the "Big Brother Police" just yet:))

well these movies do include instruction how to example make makeshift weapons, how to defeat tank and similar things. (Those things are found in German movies made near the end of the war trying to bring the civilian to fight the russians advancing. Some were directly addressed at kids, how to hide in bomb-destroyed buildings and to wait for the tanks to come close enough etc).

Trooth
11 Dec 07,, 13:56
No I don't but the article states that it were not those actions which caused the punishment but indeed the downloading of the material, and that I would be guilty of a similar "crime".

I think you need to put things into modern legal context. The prosecution often seeks to indict on cases they can win, as opposed to the whole issue.

It is likely that the whole issue, and in particular the incitement aspect, was what brought her to the attention of the authorities. However incitement is a fairly subjective thing to argue. Possessing something illegal is easier to convict on. This is the reason Al Capone went to prison for tax evasion rather than organised crime ... crimes, it was easier to secure the conviction and, ultimately, him being behind bars was the target.

Having said that, it is a minefield, because it is difficult to determine who should read what, and having laws prescribing the banning of certain books etc always runs the risk of mis-use.

dave lukins
11 Dec 07,, 14:11
If the Police caught her for downloading this material, why haven't the people who put it there in the first place been caught and prosecuted. I can only presume it's from overseas.

Dwarven Pirate
11 Dec 07,, 15:11
All those things are readily available at your local gun shows :))

You seem to have no problem banning guns but a lot of problems banning things that incite violence.

You have me confused with someone else. I do not wish to ban guns. Member NRA once upon a time :) (Or at least they sent me a card; cant actually remember sending them a donation.)

gunnut
11 Dec 07,, 22:38
You have me confused with someone else. I do not wish to ban guns. Member NRA once upon a time :) (Or at least they sent me a card; cant actually remember sending them a donation.)

Ah, I apologize. I did confuse you with someone else, especially with the recent shooting sprees from Virginia Tech, the mall, and the churches.

NRA sends me stuff all the time. I never joined because I didn't want to join any political/lobbying organization.

Ray
12 Dec 07,, 05:04
I would rather they allowed these things to happen.

It would at least indicate who all should be on national watch.

By clamping down, these blokes will go underground and make it more difficult to identify them or keep a tab on them or even intercept any horrendous act such people are about to perform.

Skull6
12 Dec 07,, 19:11
Sir Ray, I would agree but for the fact that once downloaded, the person can print the material & pass it (or pass it electronically, though something like a thumb drive) to others at will. Passing the downloaded information this way makes it much more difficult to track by those who "protect & serve."

This situation of deciding what should & shouldn't be available without restriction is certainly a conundrum.

Dwarven Pirate
12 Dec 07,, 20:11
It is a slippery slope, no matter what, I think. To me, it is tyranny, telling me what knowledge I may possess and not possess. The knowledge is Verbotten! That is what it amounts to, in my mind.

Mobbme
13 Dec 07,, 02:19
Why was she downloading it? What were her intentions? Lock her up in jail and wait for her to confess.

dalem
13 Dec 07,, 02:38
Why was she downloading it? What were her intentions? Lock her up in jail and wait for her to confess.

-shiver-

-dale

Julie
13 Dec 07,, 02:42
Intent and pre-emption. Where is that fine line? It does make you shiver doesn't it ?

gunnut
13 Dec 07,, 04:40
Intent and pre-emption. Where is that fine line? It does make you shiver doesn't it ?

We gun owners in California have been arguing that point for years. Our government pre-empt crimes by banning guns. That seemed fine to the liberals. San Francisco even passed a law (it was on the ballot no less) that banned ownership of handguns within city limits. Such is the times we live in.:frown:

Dwarven Pirate
13 Dec 07,, 05:12
Intent and pre-emption. Where is that fine line? It does make you shiver doesn't it ?

If F=freedom

F>!F

EDIT: I think Mobbme is just baldly stating the govt position. :)

dalem
13 Dec 07,, 05:13
Intent and pre-emption. Where is that fine line? It does make you shiver doesn't it ?

Actually what makes me shiver is the idea of jailing someone for thinking about doing something.

I'm not a big fan of intent alone being prosecutable. I just don't like it.

-dale

Julie
13 Dec 07,, 05:27
Actually what makes me shiver is the idea of jailing someone for thinking about doing something.

I'm not a big fan of intent alone being prosecutable. I just don't like it.

-daleReading it, thinking about it. Would downloading something for a hard copy be considered thinking about it more seriously? There are steps to "thinking" about it, to which it becomes intent. Then, intent of what? How far can you let it go before it is a danger to someone?

Mobbme
13 Dec 07,, 07:45
Actually what makes me shiver is the idea of jailing someone for thinking about doing something.

I'm not a big fan of intent alone being prosecutable. I just don't like it.

-dale


Its a scary thought if thats what happened in all cases. But this crazy girl had an AL Qaeda's manual. Its one thing to download biography on Al Qaeda, and another to download an actual manual. She also worked at a book store, so for what we dont know, she could've been handing pamphlets out to interested youths deciding on becoming a terrorist.

Mobbme
13 Dec 07,, 07:49
To be honest, the london bombings were enough. We don't need anymore of those events to realize we have to crack down on these loony bins. It was good that she was arrested before she realized its her time to meet her creator and blow herself up. Even better, she was arrested before she got actual items and things to do something destructive.

Ray
13 Dec 07,, 08:40
Because she has got arrested, all others have gone underground!

Mobbme
13 Dec 07,, 10:31
Because she has got arrested, all others have gone underground!


:redface:

dalem
13 Dec 07,, 18:41
Reading it, thinking about it. Would downloading something for a hard copy be considered thinking about it more seriously? There are steps to "thinking" about it, to which it becomes intent. Then, intent of what? How far can you let it go before it is a danger to someone?

Well, think about it in terms of a murder. Say she was thinking about murdering someone. Buys books on murder, studies police procedures, writes a poem about murder. When you find that out, don't you set up a sting with an undercover and see if she's actually going to conspire to do it? If so, you arrest her then.

But for just reading and thinking about it, I just can't get jiggy with that.

-dale

Julie
13 Dec 07,, 18:50
Well, think about it in terms of a murder. Say she was thinking about murdering someone. Buys books on murder, studies police procedures, writes a poem about murder. When you find that out, don't you set up a sting with an undercover and see if she's actually going to conspire to do it? If so, you arrest her then.

But for just reading and thinking about it, I just can't get jiggy with that.

-daleI agree. Then on the other hand if the guy in the mall that killed those people, remember the first thing that they done? They got a search warrant, searched their home, and computer drives are ALWAYS taken into possession. The information retrieved on those drives, that in any way proves intent to the murder, can be supporting evidence, AND make the difference in charging the jury to the degree or murder and/or manslaughter and/or capital punishment.

dalem
13 Dec 07,, 19:45
I agree. Then on the other hand if the guy in the mall that killed those people, remember the first thing that they done? They got a search warrant, searched their home, and computer drives are ALWAYS taken into possession. The information retrieved on those drives, that in any way proves intent to the murder, can be supporting evidence, AND make the difference in charging the jury to the degree or murder and/or manslaughter and/or capital punishment.

Sure, but that's after the fact.

-dale

Skull6
13 Dec 07,, 19:46
So, this arguement devolves into whether we should be proactive or reactive? :confused:

dalem
13 Dec 07,, 21:33
So, this arguement devolves into whether we should be proactive or reactive? :confused:

To me it's a freedom of speech issue. Now, no one not from America can really understand what that means, but that's what it boils down to for me.

Is posting a poem about jihad the equivalent of yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater? I come down on the side of "no". Therefore let her do it legally.

-dale

Dwarven Pirate
14 Dec 07,, 01:10
Before Al Qaeda and islamic terrorism, it was drug-dealers and communists and anarchists*. I bought that idiot book "The Anarchist Cookbook" when I was in high school. You think I should have been sent to Guantanamo for that? Am I making a huge mistake by admitting this on a public forum? Well, I refuse to be frightened...

* - and on and on and on. There is always an enemy. There were Islamic terrorist groups when Britain ruled Iraq and India. There were Hindu terrorists. There were Christian terrorists. There were atheist terrorists. Still exists all these things.

Point being, this isn't about Al Qaeda. It is about whatever directions or knowledge was in this manual and other documents “likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”. Any terrorism, from anarchistic to islamic to christian to political to what-have-you. Knowledge is information, nothing more. Knowing how to do something does not mean you WILL do it.

It's very scary to see this sort of thing in a supposedly free society. When information becomes banned, the society is no longer free.

Mobbme
14 Dec 07,, 01:13
Why would a girl who writes about death to everyone, and poems about beheading be downloading the material to know-how to do something destructive?

Julie
14 Dec 07,, 01:24
Sure, but that's after the fact.

-daleExactly my point. And if it can be used after the fact, why can't it be used before the fact?

dalem
14 Dec 07,, 04:26
Why would a girl who writes about death to everyone, and poems about beheading be downloading the material to know-how to do something destructive?

Why not? None of my business until she decides to act on it.

-dale

dalem
14 Dec 07,, 04:34
Exactly my point. And if it can be used after the fact, why can't it be used before the fact?

Because you can't see the future.

Let's say I'm mad at the head of Frito Lay for changing the Dorito Nacho Cheese recipe so many times the last 30 years.

Let's say I'm so mad I buy a gun.

Let's say I get on the net and find his address.

Let's say I post a web page about how mad I am and that I bought a gun.

Then what? Legally.

Quite simply Julie, the answer is that there has been no crime at that point.

-dale

Repatriated Canuck
14 Dec 07,, 06:43
Before Al Qaeda and islamic terrorism, it was drug-dealers and communists and anarchists*. I bought that idiot book "The Anarchist Cookbook" when I was in high school. You think I should have been sent to Guantanamo for that? Am I making a huge mistake by admitting this on a public forum? Well, I refuse to be frightened...




Ahh the Anarchy Cookbook and 101 Ways to Dismantle your School, good times I had with that.

I made a working rocket with strike anywhere match heads to detonate. It worked better than expected and flew farther too. I stopped doing it after that one....... :redface:

Dale, I'm in complete agreement with you. You can't go arresting people for what they might do.

dave lukins
14 Dec 07,, 12:54
Because you can't see the future.

Let's say I'm mad at the head of Frito Lay for changing the Dorito Nacho Cheese recipe so many times the last 30 years.

Let's say I'm so mad I buy a gun.

Let's say I get on the net and find his address.

Let's say I post a web page about how mad I am and that I bought a gun.

Then what? Legally.

Quite simply Julie, the answer is that there has been no crime at that point.

-dale

So if I walk into a bank with a gun in my hand........this is a never ending argument. You have to draw a line somewhere. Be damned if you do, be damned if you don't:confused:

dalem
14 Dec 07,, 19:29
So if I walk into a bank with a gun in my hand........this is a never ending argument. You have to draw a line somewhere. Be damned if you do, be damned if you don't:confused:

But it's illegal to have a gun in a bank. You've broken the law.

-dale

Bluesman
14 Dec 07,, 20:40
There's also explicit and implied threat, and the 'reasonable man' concept.

If I walk up to you with my gun clearly visible in its holster, you may NOT act against me in 'self-defense'. If I draw it and point it at you, you may shoot me dead before I do any other thing. I was a threat, as any reasonable person would define it, and you need not wait until I've fired (committed an actual crime) before you defend yourself.

A person having ANY kind of literature is NOT cause to take any legal action (exceptions abound, but you get my point in the context we're discussing), because the literature is not inherently dangerous. ACTING on some of it MAY be, and at that point, officer, do your duty.

dalem
14 Dec 07,, 21:27
There's also explicit and implied threat, and the 'reasonable man' concept.

If I walk up to you with my gun clearly visible in its holster, you may NOT act against me in 'self-defense'. If I draw it and point it at you, you may shoot me dead before I do any other thing. I was a threat, as any reasonable person would define it, and you need not wait until I've fired (committed an actual crime) before you defend yourself.

A person having ANY kind of literature is NOT cause to take any legal action (exceptions abound, but you get my point in the context we're discussing), because the literature is not inherently dangerous. ACTING on some of it MAY be, and at that point, officer, do your duty.

'zackly sir.

-dale

dave lukins
14 Dec 07,, 22:15
But it's illegal to have a gun in a bank. You've broken the law.

-dale

But Sir, I found it outside and I was just handing it in to the Security Guard..honest;)

Repatriated Canuck
15 Dec 07,, 02:02
Blue, nice way of describing the situation.

HistoricalDavid
15 Dec 07,, 02:04
I occasionally look at white supremacist and religious fundamentalist sites, and watch silly jihadi videos which proclaim victory after scratching the paint off an Abrams with an IED; am I preparing to murder people? No, I just have a morbid curiosity and superiority complex over idiots.

If anything she should have been prosecuted for the threats of violence in her poetry. As people have said, the mere documents must be coupled with a specific and definite intention to do something.


Now, no one not from America can really understand what that means,.

Yes, we haven't quite got free speech in Europe yet, we're also waiting on the running water, electricity and endlessly repeating Friends episodes.

I think you'll find it's people who've come from outside the free world who understand the value of freedom most acutely and painfully.

Julie
15 Dec 07,, 02:14
A person having ANY kind of literature is NOT cause to take any legal action (exceptions abound, but you get my point in the context we're discussing), because the literature is not inherently dangerous. ACTING on some of it MAY be, and at that point, officer, do your duty.Could you be more specific in your meaning of "exceptions abound," and "not inherently dangerous?"

dalem
15 Dec 07,, 03:22
Yes, we haven't quite got free speech in Europe yet, we're also waiting on the running water, electricity and endlessly repeating Friends episodes.

I think you'll find it's people who've come from outside the free world who understand the value of freedom most acutely and painfully.

You don't have the protections on free speech that we do here. Here it is an inherent right for you to stand in front of my nose and tell me you don't like my politics, my yard, my haircut, or my lack of religion.

In Italy and France, Orianna Fallacci was prosecuted for writing a book that was unflattering toward Muslims.

In Canada someone is trying to sue Mark Steyn for the same.

In all honesty, you wouldn't know freedom of speech if it hit you between the eyes. ;)

-dale

Ray
15 Dec 07,, 03:51
Akon's songs are unmitigated pornography.

Arrest him. :)

Most of the religious books have parts which (depending upon the interpretation) definitely exhorts violent means.

Yet, none would contest those books. If the authors were alive, would they be arrested? What about those who practice such religions? Are they guilty too?

Bluesman
16 Dec 07,, 04:31
Could you be more specific in your meaning of "exceptions abound," and "not inherently dangerous?"

Sure.

Two exceptions that I can think of immediately are child pornography and instructions for an Everyman to build WMD, but, in the context we're discussing, don't enter into the issue. But, as surely as I did NOT mention exceptions to a flat statement of 'A person having ANY kind of literature is NOT cause to take any legal action, because the literature is not inherently dangerous.', I'd be called out with 'Yeah, but what about...'

The reason those are exceptions to the statement as given is because those two examples (and many un-named others) ARE inherently dangerous (and in the case of kiddie porn, somebody's rights have ALREADY been violated, and others' rights are certain to be violated subsequently).

But unless the jihadist literature is an explicit call to some other crime by an authority figure, or some personality that's likely to be obeyed by rank-and-file, such as an exhortation to murder as an unshirkable duty for an obedient Muslim, you gotta allow it. A claim of superiority of Muslims over infidels is ugly, illogical, and immoral...but should ALWAYS be legal, because it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

Bluesman
16 Dec 07,, 04:54
You don't have the protections on free speech that we do here. Here it is an inherent right for you to stand in front of my nose and tell me you don't like my politics, my yard, my haircut, or my lack of religion.

In Italy and France, Orianna Fallacci was prosecuted for writing a book that was unflattering toward Muslims.

In Canada someone is trying to sue Mark Steyn for the same.

In all honesty, you wouldn't know freedom of speech if it hit you between the eyes. ;)

-dale

Well-played return, Brother dalem. That snark from H.Dave was an easy ace for you, but still...nice use of examples of what an American can be duly horrified to observe: THOUGHT CRIMES from a supposedly-liberal (in the classic sense) Western democracy.

If that ever happens HERE (there are those who would welcome it, and they ain't conservatives, either), the EUtopians may snark all they'd like. Of course, if they DO, we'll no doubt have no philosophical problem with busting them in the teeth for speech we don't like. Because that's what happens when force is used against unpopular but ultimately harmless speech. And then the unpleasantness starts.

And by THIS point in history, shouldn't Europeans have that figured out by now?

Bigfella
16 Dec 07,, 07:27
This issue seems to have cut across the usual WAB lines of division. Interesting.

I find myself in the curious position of agreeing with Bluesman & Dale (among others). Once you start jailing people for what they MIGHT do you set an exceedingly dangerous legal precedent. When you base this simply on what they read or write you are sailing far too close to dictatorship for my liking. These things often start out targetting groups that all of us can agree are unpleasant, but they contain within them the potential to be abused.

In the case cited I would have maintained tight surveillence on the young lady, noted who she associates with & try to determine if they actually plan to do anything, or if they are just talk. If you arrested eveyone who said they'd like to kill someone & possessed the knowledge to act on it, you'd have to build some damn big prisons.

Did this prevent a terrorist attack? no proof so far. What it is likely to do, however, is feed ammunition to those who want to reinforce a 'bunker mentality' among Britain's Muslims. The real problem here is not the crazies, itis the ordinary Muslims who might think twice now about reporting something suspicious. If they see the judicial system as biased, they are less likely to provide potentially vital information. In Western societies with Muslim minorities the best source of intel about potential terrorists is actually other Muslims. This sort of thing won't help that.

p.s. Dale, it may come as a surprise to you to discover that we do actually have the right to free speech in Australia. It is arrogant to assume that people outside the US don't understand the right to free speech. They do, often better than you.

Bluesman
16 Dec 07,, 08:16
p.s. Dale, it may come as a surprise to you to discover that we do actually have the right to free speech in Australia. It is arrogant to assume that people outside the US don't understand the right to free speech. They do, often better than you.

You are human itching powder; everything you post is an irritant. That last sentence displays your ignorance and arrogance like nothing else you could've posted. The only reason that you're not the current title-holder of most annoying person on the WAB is that you're just not that good at ANYthing.

dalem has a handle on the subject matter, I do assure you, you contemptible skidmark, and for you to think he's in any way deficient in comprehension is not only false, it's also laughably ironic. That YOU - of ALL people - could determine his ability to understand is just too pwecious, and the sheer gall to say THAT is only overtaken by your charge that he's also arrogant. Good Gawd; THAT is simply in another league of self-parody; I'm completely at a loss for a superlative that can truly capture how gargantuan that irony really is.

Dead-'n'-buried; I regard you not, commie-symp.

Adux
16 Dec 07,, 08:30
Bluesman,

I havent read much of this thread, So forgive me If you have already gone through this,
How many idiotic heavy metal bands, Hip-Hop Singers have we heard which has instigated violence and death. Dont you think in her case it was racial prejudice. But then again I agree with racial profiling, in that secanrio definitly she is guilty.

Adux
16 Dec 07,, 08:48
Exactly my point. And if it can be used after the fact, why can't it be used before the fact?

This is so 'Minority Report'

JAD_333
16 Dec 07,, 09:03
This issue seems to have cut across the usual WAB lines of division. Interesting.

I find myself in the curious position of agreeing with Bluesman & Dale (among others).

Curious position? It seems you have been bitten by the common bias that conservatives in this country are less protective of individual rights than others.

Very few Americans, right, left or center would agree that the simple act of downloading terrorist material is a punishable offense. Not until it rises to the level of a criminal act against others or a conspriacy to commit a criminal act hqas a crime been committed.

dalem
16 Dec 07,, 16:20
p.s. Dale, it may come as a surprise to you to discover that we do actually have the right to free speech in Australia. It is arrogant to assume that people outside the US don't understand the right to free speech. They do, often better than you.

Awww, and we were holding hands for a few minutes there. ;)

Here's what I was able to find with a quick Google to illustrate my point:


Australian Freedom of Speech Laws

Overview

The Australian Constitution does not expressly protect freedom of speech or expression. In 1992, however, the High Court of Australia held that a right to freedom of expression, in so far as public and political discussion were concerned, was implied in the Constitution. This right was thought to be an essential requirement of democratic and representative government and thus implied into the Australian Constitution, which had established such a system of government. Subsequent cases have made determinations on the scope of this implied freedom. It has been found to extend to the publication of material:

discussing government and political matters generally;

relating to the performance of individuals of their duties as members of the Parliament; and

discussing the performance, conduct and fitness for office of members of the Commonwealth and State legislatures.

The right does not extend to more generally to a right to freedom of expression where political issues are not involved.

From this BillaLinkaDinkaDong. (http://www.hrcr.org/safrica/expression/freedom_speech.html)

I also backed into this one here (http://libertus.net/censor/fspeechlaw.html), which also backs my statement.


"Contrary to popular belief in some circles, Australians have no right to freedom of expression under the Australian Constitution."

I know, just two Googly things on the interwebs; I certainly have no knowledge per se of the Australian Constitution. But I do know that you ain't got nothin' like our 1st Amendment, which explicitly prohibits the legal restriction of expression, assembly, the press, and religion.

So that's what I meant by my comment, and that's why I made it. You DO NOT have the same protections of speech that I do. No non-American does. Is it arrogant of me to parade my inalienable rights of expression against the lack of yours, or the restrictions of state-run media in the UK, or the like? Maybe it's rude, but I don't think it's arrogant.

-dale

HistoricalDavid
16 Dec 07,, 16:36
You don't have the protections on free speech that we do here. Here it is an inherent right for you to stand in front of my nose and tell me you don't like my politics, my yard, my haircut, or my lack of religion.

Since when does this make us less sensitive to issues of free speech?


In Italy and France, Orianna Fallacci was prosecuted for writing a book that was unflattering toward Muslims.

Not only that, considering she was an anti-Nazi partisan, I'd say she knows a fair bit about free speech and its value.


In Canada someone is trying to sue Mark Steyn for the same.

Stop the press, this is clear evidence that Canada doesn't have free speech!


In all honesty, you wouldn't know freedom of speech if it hit you between the eyes. ;)

-dale

Nope. I remind you that half of Europe was recently under the communist jackboot (including 'my' part if you wanna get personal about it) and the rest still has some living memory of dealing with fascism.

You are bound to feel the value of freedom more if you've also tasted tyranny. This doesn't invalidate your opinion but it does preclude you from doing this automatic invalidation about European attitudes to free speech, even if ad hominem were a valid argument at all.

Bluesman, as a rejoinder, perhaps you can ring me and I'll let you talk to people who grew up in and lived in a tyranny, and you can tell them they don't know about free speech as much as Americans do (!)

Julie
16 Dec 07,, 16:50
This is so 'Minority Report'Really now? What I would consider doing is research on major events which were pre-empted by "minority reports." These events would stem from anywhere from drug busts, stock trade corruption, as well as war. Is it correct to use this documentation for a pre-emptive action is the question, or wait until the illegal act has been conducted, whether it is violent or not.

dalem
16 Dec 07,, 17:38
Since when does this make us less sensitive to issues of free speech?

I don't know how I can state it any clearer. No other country has the guarantees on free expression that the U.S. does. So you might be sensitive to issues of free speech all the live-long day, but that doesn't make your particular "brand" of speech as (never mind more) protected as mine.

I think this is one of those things that is difficult to translate across constitutional and governmental theories. Many (most?) Americans think it's a significant deal that our Constitution, in theory and letter (if not always execution) is about limits on government and the assumption of all other authority by the individual.

As opposed to governments that grant, or even guarantee specific rights to the people, the U.S. Constitution grants certain rights to the government and explicitly guarantees non-interference by that same government in very specific and dear areas.

The libertarian in me wishes it were really that simple and we could be closer to the letter of that simple document, but I'm content with living by the spirit most days. ;)

See the difference? The 1st Amendment doesn't allow or grant or guarantee me the right to freedom of expression. It assumes that I already have a right to expression and specifically prohibits the government from interfering with it. From what I know of other Constitutions and the like, no one else has that.

-dale

Bigfella
16 Dec 07,, 20:01
Curious position? It seems you have been bitten by the common bias that conservatives in this country are less protective of individual rights than others.

Very few Americans, right, left or center would agree that the simple act of downloading terrorist material is a punishable offense. Not until it rises to the level of a criminal act against others or a conspriacy to commit a criminal act hqas a crime been committed.


JAD,

You are presuming too much. I was simply commenting on the fact that it was unusual to find myself agreeing with Blues & Dalem, a reasonable statement of fact.

Deciding that I mean things I haven't actually written is pointless. If I want to make sweeping statements about US conservatives or anyone else I will make it clear. Reading such opinions into what I write is simply an exercise in setting up straw men to be knocked down - an argument in which you create both sides. I'm sure you didn't intend this, but it was the practical effect.

JAD_333
16 Dec 07,, 20:44
JAD,

You are presuming too much. I was simply commenting on the fact that it was unusual to find myself agreeing with Blues & Dalem, a reasonable statement of fact.

Deciding that I mean things I haven't actually written is pointless. If I want to make sweeping statements about US conservatives or anyone else I will make it clear. Reading such opinions into what I write is simply an exercise in setting up straw men to be knocked down - an argument in which you create both sides. I'm sure you didn't intend this, but it was the practical effect.

I don't think you are on track here. First of all, I said "it seems" which indicates an impression, not a statement of fact.

Why you would find yourself in agreement with Blues and Dale on this occasion and not on others would indicate some difference in political inclination.

But, it may be a case of personality clash or some divergence in your thinking. It hardly matters, but I think you could have addressed my comment rather than analyse the logical structure and alleged deficiencies thereof. It's a conversation, not a class in argumentation.