Department of Pre-Crime: Left-Wing Protester Arrested by FBI for Being on a “Path to Radicalization”

Yves here. This is really ugly. Pre-crime is arriving. It was bad enough in the McCarthy era when merely having gone to a meeting sponsored by a Communist group way back in college could do serious career harm. But now, going Howard Beale is being criminalized…not actually having done something, just making clear that you are seriously pissed off about the established order.

By this standard, men squaring off in a bar would also be criminal even though no one has thrown a punch.

BTW, Minority Report is a great movie, the rare case where a screenplay improved upon its literary source.

By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published at God’s Spies

We’re on the road to the next 9/11, but not in the way you think.

The last 9/11 wasn’t just an event. It was a trigger for the radical restructuring of privacy and surveillance in American life, and the radical elevation of the National Security State as the new highest branch of government, a branch with such power and reach that no one with place and reputation to protect — not the Hayeses, the Maddows and Tappers; not the Bidens, the Harrises and Buttigiegs — would dare to oppose it.

The post-9/11 infrastructure, including its propaganda and consent-manufacturing arm, is now in place.

A Reborn Radical World

Yet things change. Since 9/11 occurred the nation has entered a new phase — it’s become pre-revolutionary on both the left and right sides of the political spectrum, become like boil that isn’t yet big enough to burst. In fact, though few with place and reputation to protect will admit it, the left and right have largely overlapped to create a vertical division, a “rich versus the rest” divide.

(This is a split the rich are working hard to obscure. That’s why so much of our professional media is “other-side obsessed” — why the pied pipers of the left, MSNBC and CNN, are so determined to gin up Trump-voter-hate, an anger that perfectly matches the older and well-tested liberal-voter-hate so relied on by pied pipers of the right. But let’s pass that point for the moment. We have other fish to fry.)

The nation arrived at its pre-revolutionary state by a number of paths. Obama sold Change in 2008, received massive voter support, then reneged, most notably, but not solely, by bailing out banks before people. That’s why, for example, so many abandoned him in 2012, and in 2016 why so many ex-Obama voters turned to Trump or stayed home.

Another spur to pre-radicalization occurred in 2016 and 2020 with the clear and overt sabotage of Sanders’ “political revolution” in favor of two “nothing will change” Establishment candidates. Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden both “defeated” Bernie Sanders, though they needed a full measure of Establishment help to do it. Even progressive icons, Establishment figures with credible public brands like John Lewis and Gloria Steinem, took part in his destruction. All of this was noticed and remembered, and not with love, by those who wanted real change.

Not Dark Yet, But It’s Getting There

So here we are: No one who doesn’t have money or a work-from-home income is happy, and some are downright miserable. People give different reasons for that unhappiness, and they couch their analysis in different terms, but the broad mass of America — the underserved many who deliver food to the overserved few, who never leave home when they go to work — is getting pretty ready to rip the place apart.

It’s true that most aren’t yet over the edge, except perhaps in their speech. We’re not near critical mass like we were in the 60s and 70s — but like the singer said, we’re getting there. Every time someone takes our political temperature, it’s up a notch from the last time.

The Department of Pre-Crime

From an Establishment standpoint, of course, none of this can be allowed. No rebellion of an unapproved sort is permissible. Not BLM, not Proud Boys, not Stop the Steal, not student debt strikes, not Occupy Wall Street 2.0, not any activity that represents an actual threat to the “nothing will change” apple cart that gives meaning to the lives of the few who constrain the lives of the many.

The few feed on the many, surf with pleasure on the back of their forced labor, and the bent-down many cannot be allowed to object.

How to enforce this constraint in pre-revolutionary times? The Riot of January 6 is providing the perfect excuse to clamp down on any objection to “the way things have always been.”

But more than that, the one-time event of the riot allows a radical and permanent redefinition of political crime — not as an act of violence, but an act of thought. We’re entering the world of pre-emptive arrest, incarceration and prosecution for the political crime of being on the “path to radicalization.”

The “Path to Radicalization” As a Criminal Offense

There’s no better example of that trend than the following article in the Washington Post. This piece not only announces the first “pre-crime” arrest; it justifies it. Both of these aspects of the piece are noteworthy.

First, the arrest:

The FBI warned about far-right attacks. Agents arrested a leftist ex-soldier.

TALLAHASSEE — Shortly after sunrise on Jan. 15, FBI agents descended with guns drawn on a squat, red-brick apartment complex here, broke open the door of one of the units and threw in a stun grenade, prompting the frightened property manager to call 911.

Inside the apartment, furnished with little besides books and a sign declaring “THE REVOLUTION IS NOT A PARTY,” the agents found their target: [Daniel Baker,] a 33-year-old U.S. Army veteran and self-described “hardcore leftist” who had posted a flier on social media threatening to attack “armed racist mobs WITH EVERY CALIBER AVAILABLE.” A shotgun and handgun were found in his apartment, they said. …

[T]he FBI agents who had been monitoring Baker’s social media posts since October described him as being on a “path toward radicalization.” They catalogued his Facebook musing about being “willing to do ANYTHING to ANYONE so I don’t end up homeless and hungry again.” They noted updates about “voting from the rooftops” and hoping “the right tries a coup on Nov. 3 cuz I’m so f—— down to slay enemies again.” A post on his page in December announced, “Trump still plans on a violent militant coup. If you don’t have guns you won’t survive.”

On Jan. 25, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Frank agreed that Baker posed a potential threat and ordered him held without bond, writing that the former soldier had “repeatedly endorsed violent means to advance the political beliefs that he espouses.”

Daniel Baker was arrested and held without bond for posting the social media posts quoted above. Yet looking at the language, I’m not sure there’s a target named anywhere; just frustration.

Is being “willing to do ANYTHING to ANYONE so I don’t end up homeless and hungry again” a threat to an actual person. Do “racist mobs” count as a named target? “This weekend’s Proud Boys March at the Civic Center” would be a target. Anger at generalized “racist mobs” and those who cause homelessness sound more like hopeless frustration than threats.

Ask yourself: How many others could be jailed for voicing these thoughts? Thousands on any given day? Tens of thousands? The number of Baker-class criminals must be very high.

Yet how many would act on those sentiments if they had them? You can count that for yourself — one or two a year at the very most.

In addition, the shape of rebellion doesn’t have to be a violent mess. It can also be simply a threat to the existing order, a willingness to say no until actual justice arrives, to “put your bodies upon the gears and the wheels” of the machine and just make it stop. Yet even that is a crime — especially that is a crime — to those fed by the machine.

What Will the State Do Next? Whatever It Wishes To

So this is where we are as a nation, with people like Baker — the homeless and hopeless — jailed for their anger and fear, incarcerated for what they might do but haven’t yet done.

Nancy Pelosi has proposed a new 9/11-type commission to look at the Capitol riot. The last 9/11 gave us permanent mass surveillance.

Where will our new 9/11 take us? Wherever people with the most to lose from anger want to put us, including in jail.

The world of political pre-crime will be no fun at all. And just as when the last 9/11 occurred, the good guys will lose again.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    If you want to push this concept a little bit, it could get a lot worse. How you ask? So there was this UCLA professor that had his eye on the main chance. He took an algoritm used to predict earthquake aftershocks (this was in California after all), screwed around with it, patented the resulting algorithm and then announced that he could use it to predict where crime was going to happen. Totaly legit mind. So this company is set up to flog it off called PredPol short for Predatory Policing, no wait, Predictive Policing.

    This algorithm would predict a future area of crime outbreak, the police would swarm the area checking IDs and the like and arresting who they could. It was of course a self-fulfilling prophesy and it was only a coincidence that it targeted black & Latino areas and not for example, Beverly Hills. Police Departments gave up on it in the end when they realized that they had been had by a snake-oil salesman.

    So how does this hook in with this post? Imagine another snake-oil salesman saying that Homeland Security is only picking up people like Daniel Baker on a piecemeal basis. And that if he was fully funded, he would use the resources of his contacts in Silicon Valley to come up with an algorithm to identify future crims wholesale. It would examine social media accounts, financial reports, military records, etc. to come up with this detention list to catch these “bad guys/girls”.

    In fact, this algorithm could be hooked up with the algorithm used by courts to determine sentence issued so that they could “work” together. It would be a black-box so be beyond scrutiny, especially if it was claimed that it is propriety because it was owned by a private corporation and in any case, the inputs would be a matter of ‘national security.’ In short – everybody wins and profits. Well, except for those poor suckers who get on that list that is.

    1. LowellHighlander

      Have you heard of the book Weapons of Math Destruction, by Cathy O’Neil? She’s a brilliant lady, in more ways than one: not only does she have a Ph.D. in Mathematics; more impressively, she walked away from an apparently lucrative job on Wall Street because she saw how Wall Street was using “quants”, such as herself, to steal eveything that wasn’t nailed down. I believe I heard about it (probably from one of those websites that “ProporNot” told me to stay away from) and read it shortly after it was published. Needless to say, I highly recommend reading this book.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Yes, O’Neil is brilliant, and her heart is in the right place: she’s been very helpful in fighting school privatization, by debunking Gates-funded programs and pseudo-science used to attack teachers and public schools.

      2. Alternate Delegate

        Yes, I bought extra copies of “Weapons of Math Destruction” to give to database and data science programmers.

        Not sure I was able to convince anyone to turn down paying work merely because it’s wrong. But maybe I planted some seeds of doubt.

        “Predictive policing” is one of O’Neil’s targets. But one of her best examples is the misuse of credit reporting as a proxy to deny people employment and apartment rentals. Credit is a bad proxy for finding good employees and tenants, but the people using it don’t care. They wreak destruction on other people, on a massive scale, and don’t care.

        It’s the signature of this kind of work.

  2. Synoia

    1984 was published as Satire. It has become a roadmap.

    “Daniel Baker was arrested and held without bond for posting the social media posts quoted above.” Thoughtcrime.

  3. timbers

    Democrats I know are in favor of sensor ship and more domestic terror legislation. And they say loudly and proudly say they support sensor ship. Because Trump, who caused everything bad. We lost that battle after 9/11, and we will lose it today. I ask them how are they different from Republicans? They give a few random responses but basically have no answer. They are the New Republicans. Democrats are what Republicans were 10 yrs ago.

    It is always alright to support change in leadership and votes on what we – not them – support. I don’t see any other path. We are still in clog up, blo% up, anything, the establishment phase is my best guess.

    At this point, if we cause a leader to lose her post and she is replaced by worse, that just gets us to where we’re going faster. And that helps clarify things quicker so we can get past our present course destination, and plot a new course.

    1. Baldanders

      So you are in favor of “accelerationism?”

      Uh oh. Admittedly, looks like worse is coming before better. But my fear is the “solution” tends to be become more and more unpleasant as the problem is side-stepped.

      Chilling article. We need a broad public discussion on “actionable speech.”

      I wonder if any of the right-wing defenders of free speech will speak up for this guy. I’m not holding my breath. I would assume the rest of the MSM will support this uncritically, like the Post.

      1. Baldanders

        After reading the full article, I found the tone odd–it starts off completely uncritical of the FBI, but then it paints a fairly sympathetic portrait of Baker. I would love to have been a fly on the wall at any discussion the writer and editor(s) had on this one.

      2. Cat Burglar

        The article on Baker contains no mention of the charge he was detained under; it appears to be detention for First Amendment covered speech.

        1. Procopius

          ??? I don’t have the article before me to quote, but I thought it said the judge ordered him held without bail because he had “issued a threat to harm somebody.” I assume the judge is one of the Federalist Society wackos appointed by McConnell, and I believe he’s wrong, but IANAL.

    2. km

      “Democrats I know are in favor of sensor ship and more domestic terror legislation. And they say loudly and proudly say they support sensor ship. Because Trump, who caused everything bad.”

      Team D see 1.6 as an opportunity to use law enforcement to settle scores.

    3. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      Look at it this way: We could easily be looking at a ruling caste looking down two smoking barrels of resource scarcity, impending ecological catastrophe across multiple dimensions, the results of nearly a full century of a relentless ‘reality creation’ and social engineering enterprise. All the old labels and categories are scrambled as leaders and led stumble through a fog-filled house of mirrors and the would-be controllers don’t know if their cheat sheet is an accurate copy or disinformation seeded from previous iterations of the control programme.
      In short, expect panicky overreactions and demonization of any who stand up and disagree.

      1. Massinissa

        The most important type of spaceship, clearly. Can’t find the enemy without one!

        Seriously though, I assume the person means censorship.

  4. Edward

    What seems especially troubling about this arrest is its arbitrariness. The law is not well defined about when speech becomes dangerous. It is a judgement call, and it is being made by people who may have axes to grind and agendas. We saw this with the drug war. A publicized conversation from the Nixon administration has revealed that the “war” was a weapon against the left and blacks. It is typical of “anti-terrorism” legislation. “Terrorism” is defined so broadly that it isn’t hard to designate someone as such, if the authorities feel like it. We see it today with Twitter and Youtube censoring people.

    With that said, the veterans statements do sound concerning, but I don’t trust the state to respond in a good way.

    1. JTMcPhee

      “Concerning”? I guess you don’t spend a lot of time in the corners of the net where the dispossessed howl their distress. What exactly is so concerning about the vague quotes extracted from who knows what total oeuvre of that poor sucker, one of the early ones in the Great Crushing of Dissent?

      1. Massinissa

        I’ve seen so many people doing GoFundMe’s in order to not lose their house in the last few months. And they’re the ones lucky enough to have not already become homeless or begun living in campers or vans. I don’t understand how the political class sees none of this. I guess its the economic version of “Everyone I know voted Democrat!”

  5. David

    It’s a well-known conundrum in any democratic society. For every thousand people who complain, for every hundred people who make threats online or in the presence of others, for every ten who actually think about taking action, one will pick up a knife or a gun and kill somebody. It’s effectively impossible to decide in advance who that will be, and it’s impossible to keep tabs on everybody. This is why, after every recent attack in Europe, from the massacre committed by Anders Brevik in 2011, to the gruesome murder of the teacher Samuel Paty in France last year, the media have immediately dived into the perpetrators’ social media accounts, and come up saying, Look, this was obvious, Why wasn’t this person being followed 24 hours a day? Why wasn’t this person in custody? All those lives would have been saved! The problem, of course, is that much of what is written on social media, like most other evidence, only takes on any meaning when it’s too late to do something about it. (In the case of Paty, the police didn’t even have the legal powers to examine the phone records of the killer, although he was known to them, precisely because, at that stage, they couldn’t show any evidence that he actually intended to carry out a crime).

    Leaving aside that this case was evidently handled with the delicacy and discretion which we have come to expect from the US authorities, the problem isn’t going away. In any event, this seems to have been rather a special case: the days when left-wing extremists had ready access to guns in the 70s and 80s, have long gone, and most armed attacks have come from the Right or from religious extremists (often the same thing of course). A trained soldier with a leftist discourse making threats to use weapons against enemies is something pretty rare, I would have thought.

    1. JBird4049

      I would argue that a growing number of leftist do have access as well as the definition of “left-wing extremist” is getting increasingly broad and nebulous, which is what has happened during the various Red Scares of the past 150 years. This reminds me of Sacco and Vanzetti although the crime of which they were convicted did happen. Their guilt for it, not so apparent. Their “trial” seemed more of a Kangaroo Court IIRC.

      Anyway, stuff like this is just going to make people really angry regardless of where they are on the political spectrum.

  6. rob

    and then the water was too hot…. the frog could no longer “just jump out”……. soon even those who “don’t leave signs on social media” are raising red flags by NOT using social media…. they must be up to something nefarious….
    “There is no more “new frontier”, we have got to make it here”

    Since 9/11 figures in this post…
    People need to look at the reality…
    Those buildings were blown up. That can be shown by scientific forensic investigation.
    The forethought, as to who and why….. may be no more important than a footnote in history… but the fact that a coup occurred… and few noticed… and twenty years later…. the machine…. is still self assembling…..
    Look at the architects and engineers new video….” Seven”… then look at the facts… cognitive dissonance be damned…
    Then start really taking aim at the “machine”…. kill it’s source….. MONEY..
    Monetary reform… the biggest threat to the system…
    The NEED act….

    1. Shleep

      “There is no more “new frontier”, we have got to make it here”
      …”They call it paradise, I don’t know why”

  7. Mikel

    I doubt Baker’s vague and non-targeting rants are unique on the internet. What made them begin monitoring him in Oct?
    I’d like to know if this was a case of him spouting on some forum and someone there, at that time, reporting it as threatening. More of a case of a “see something, say something” run wild than “pre-crime.”

    But I’m more inclined to think they have been more heavily monitoring veterans and service members.

    They have been monitoring the enlisted for connection to neofascist and other extremist factions. So you know by know somebody has said, “but, but, but…what about the left”…

    Also, this kind of arrest has the panopticon effect of making you police yourself online without them having to monitor you. There’s that too.

  8. Tom Stone

    Don’t forget the murder of Duncan Lemp. killed for criticizing the police on Social Media, or the “Red Flag” Gun laws that are becoming popular.
    It’s going to get real messy, trying to stop change doesn’t work “According to plan”, ever.

    1. Alternate Delegate

      These “red flag” laws are being heavily promoted by various state Democratic parties. I don’t think it’s clear to them how this might put them one anonymous denunciation away from having their own front door broken down by a midnight Gestapo raid. Or maybe they’re confident these laws will only be used against the “right” people?

    2. JTMcPhee

      Or Fred Hampton and Mark Clark. Power is never having to say you’re sorry, or let the actual facts out, or suffer any consequences.

  9. LowellHighlander

    One of the primary uses that I have put my undergraduate and graduate education is to think of ways to, peaceably, rebel against the Established order. For instance, shortly after moving to the Imperial Capital in the late ’90s, I collected thousands of signatures for citizens’ initiatives (only for DC) to repeal Prohibition against weed, but only for medicinal purposes (honestly). What a firestorm it set off, both locally and in Congress: yeah, powerful people in government and media are all for “democracy” – until the people demand something that the powerful don’t want. [If you run “Initiative 59, Washington DC” through you might be able to find some write-ups on it.]

    Here, I’d like to offer everyone another, peaceable way to rebel: readings on Jury Nullification. Believe me, this is a concept whose mere discussion will dirve Federal judges into the stratoshpere. Early this century, I took advantage of public access to no fewer than 3 law libraries in the Imperial Capital and read about 6-8 articles on Jury Nullification in legal journals, especially Law Reviews. Also read 2 or 3 books available in the local, public library. Certainly, this is a concept that was used in a most grotesque way in the South (and elsewhere) to let true culprits walk away scot-free after they had committed horrific crimes against African-Americans and other minorities. So, I warn here that jury nullification should only be used with a strong sense of ethics, and only after people have done some serious homework on it. [If the Fully Informed Jury Association is still active, you can obtain a good readling list from them. I did.] But this is a critical tool in preventing tyranny – and that’s not my word on it; if I remember my readings from many years ago, people like John Adams said it. Why? Because they were well aware that, having broken free from the iron grip of one empire, Americans would not suddenly then be electing angels to our legislatures. Thus, there would always be the danger of various forms of tyranny enacted in State and Federal legislation. And the last defense would be a fully informed jury. Think: Julian Assange.

    1. Alex Cox

      Very good reminder – juries are not obliged to follow the judge’s instructions and in certain rare cases they do not.

      Poor Julian Assange is being denied a jury trial, as is Craig Murray. Murray is still free, but the magistrate Vanessa Baritser seems determined to drive Assange to suicide.

  10. Mikel

    “We’re not near critical mass like we were in the 60s and 70s…”

    I think this disenchantment way pass that if 6os and 70s and critical mass has been reached,yet diffused. Diffused through technology, media bubbles (self and institutionally created) and alternate forms of protest that could be possibly misindentifed – intentionally and unintentionally.

  11. Steven Greenberg

    Another good reason not to post threats of violence. I try never to make such posts for this reason and because I am hoping that we won’t have to resort to violence. I am too old, and I don’t encourage anyone else to go that route either.

    1. Massinissa

      I don’t do so either, but even if I did it would be in jest and involve guillotines, pitchforks or something similar. Best not to make such coarse and unnecessary jokes around here anyway, this isn’t really the place for such jests, as it goes above simple snark and doesn’t add to the conversation.

  12. Andrew Watts

    The real problem with Baker was that he wasn’t just posting commentary on social media. He traveled to CHOP in Seattle where he encouraged people to pick up guns and start making bombs. He also posted combat footage from his time with the YPG in Syria to his youtube channel. It wouldn’t be lost on the Feds that Daesh promoted and glorified violence as a recruiting tactic. When the FBI finally arrested him it looks like he was in the process of attempting that by recruiting people to his cause of defending Tallahassee. Given his background and experience these are bad warning signs.

    I don’t actually think he’s a threat to anybody except for himself, but… Look, anybody who traveled to Syria to fight Daesh is going to be a source of concern for law enforcement and on a few watchlists.

    That’s understandable.

    1. Baldanders

      I imagine EVERYONE who went to Syria is on an FBI list of “possible concerns,” and will be for the rest of their lives. Which does make sense.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Most overtly and specifically, yes. But hadn’t the DC FedRegime been “supporting ISIS with faint opposition?” Isn’t that why the DC FedRegime permitted Turkish smugglers, possibly connected to Erdogan’s family, to smuggle tanker-brigades of oil out of ISIS controlled Syria? And it took Russian forces a day to bomb a few hundred of these tanker trucks to embarass the DC FedRegime out of “supporting ISIS with faint opposition”?

        And after giving arms to its pet jihadis a few times to see those arms taken away by ISIS forces every time, wouldn’t any yet-more-giving of arms to those same pet jihadis be most Occam’s-Razor logically be interpreted as merely laundering those weapons through the pet jihadis in order to give them to ISIS?

    2. JTMcPhee

      I thought the guys and gals who invaded Syria and Iraq and Notagainistan to “make the world safe for Democracy” and Libya are the pool of talent that fills out the ranks of the police departments and FBI and such? Whose ranks also filled out some of the gathering of fools at the Capital that so many of us are happily calling an “insurrection”?

  13. Cat Burglar

    We have a New Cold War, and now it looks like we are getting a New 9/11 on top of it — a sign that the elite fixers are having to dig down deep in their bag of political management tricks.

    So far, the explanations for the failure to prepare for the Capitol storming sound like a CEO pleading incompetence on the witness stand when accused of fraud, or “it’s the culture’s fault.” But Capitol Police have by design overreacted for years to peaceful protests: that is their default setting. The ProPublica article posted here recently, based on interviews with Capitol Police officers, pointed directly to the failure to disseminate intelligence reports in the possession of the intelligence group within the force. An NPR story following the protest was also based on interviews with officers and former officers that affirmed the lack of preparedness came from the top, and at least one was confident it was deliberate.

    The present Chief of the force, Yogananda Pittman, was the Deputy Chief in charge of intelligence on the day of the protest, as far as I can tell. Her written statement contained nothing about her responsibility for disseminating the information that would have allowed adequate preparation for the protest; congressional questioning of Pittman has been softball. No person or persons have been named as having been responsible for receiving and not sharing the information, preventing planning for the response to the protest — a big omission during the rage to investigate what happened.

    Should the 1/6 protest investigation be used as another security state pinata like 9/11, it will be important to examine who did what, and when. As one of the Bundys said about an attack on US troops in Vietnam that enabled him to escalate the war, “Pleikus are like streetcars.” So 1/6 might be a purely chance event being used, and fought over, by skilled handlers. If it was deliberate, the simplest explanation would be that Trump or his political allies intervened to allow entry to the building. A more byzantine version would be that the Dems allowed Trumpers to make a mistake they could use politically. The silence over the exact police failure might just be simple CYA by lowly police officers, even. Right now, I am waiting for more information to come out.

  14. caucus99percenter

    Well, the German government has decided that federal authorities can henceforth legitimately spy on, and plant informers (cough provocateurs? cough) in, the largest (some say the only genuine) opposition party in parliament, the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD).

    Hey, all’s fair and anything goes as long as it’s “against the Right,” right? What could possibly go wrong?

    1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      They say it’s far right. But people who want to retain some shred of what Germany was for 6000 years or so are ‘Nazis’. Sure.
      Aside from an opposition to bringing half the population of the near east to the EU to provide cheap labor to do what Harz II could not. They’re not letting all those peopel in out of idealistic zeal.

      1. Massinissa

        A not inconsiderable number of them are actually part of the party due to their economic platforms which IIRC is fairly populist, which is at least somewhat better than the neoliberalism of CDU and the milquetoast social democracy of SPD. Not all of them are simply Skinheads or more expected far right types. Its not the fault of AfD that most of the centrist parties are increasingly neoliberal, and they’re the only alternative aside from the more left wing Die Linke.

  15. KD

    He was arrested for inciting a riot, which may be speech but is not free per the Supreme Court. Fire in a crowded movie theater and all that. Now is he guilty or innocent, who knows, but its hardly pre-crime.

    Maybe they just want to cultivate him as an asset and they found a judge who would sign an arrest warrant. Those Kurdish merc-types tend to be interesting individuals with interesting connections.

    1. Cat Burglar

      Under the Brandenburg v. Ohio decision, advocacy of the use of force or law violation must be imminent to qualify as criminal incitement. Otherwise, it is protected speech under the First Amendment. The article does not cite a definite criminal charge (though that may be just poor reporting), and does not supply any description of what he advocated, except in the most general terms, absent any of the specificity of time, place, or acts that would supply imminence.

      1. KD

        I looked him up, and he was arrested for inciting a riot. Whether he is guilty or not is another issue, but a judge signed an arrest warrant. Inciting a riot is not protected speech.

        1. Car Burglar

          Thanks for looking it up.

          The article does not contain enough detail to know, but what it does describe — advocacy of using force to stop the takeover of the US and Florida Capitols — is protected speech under Brandenburg v. Ohio.

  16. MichaelSF

    Attributed to Cardinal Richelieu: “If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.”

    In these modern times it will be much easier to gather many more than six lines, making it even easier to implement.

  17. drumlin woodchuckles

    Way upthread, I see the phrase ” sensor chip”. Is that like ” censer gyp” ?

    To lighten the heavy mood, I offer a story I read once called ” Ladle Rat Rotten Hut”.

    Let your mind get just a little bit blurry and read it not-too-hard, but for general meaning, not the exactly literal meaning of each-single-word-in-isolation.

    Here’s a hint about how to do that. The very last ine of that story goes . . .
    MURAL: Yonder nor sorghum stenches shut ladle gulls stopper torque wet strainers.

    The slightly blurry mind will understand that as . .
    MORAL: Under no circumstances should little girls stop to talk with strangers.

    get it?
    see how its done?

    ( that story was written in the Anguish languish).

    1. urblintz

      You might find this interesting.

      Iain Banks :

      and my favorite of the genre, from the D’Antin Manuscript:

      Un petit d’un petit
      S’étonne aux Halles
      Un petit d’un petit
      Ah! degrés te fallent
      Indolent qui ne sort cesse
      Indolent qui ne se mène
      Qu’importe un petit
      Tout gai de Reguennes.

      (Humpty Dumpty
      Sat on a wall.
      Humpty Dumpty
      Had a great fall.
      And all the king’s horses
      And all the king’s men
      Couldn’t put Humpty
      Together again.)

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