I pit the Secret Service

I check LiveJournal (a blogging service) once in a blue moon, and my friend on the site was fuming over this.

WTF? Since when does the Secret Service get away with things like this? :mad:

Get away with what? There was something that apparantly could be thought of as a threat to the president. It was reported by a third party. The Secret Service has an obligation to investigate all such reports. The blogger was not arrested or detained but was questioned at her home and a report was taken. The agents have no way of knowing if the blogger was a nonviolent person, thats why they investigate. Squeeky Frome was nonviolent at some point in her life. Since the original post was deleted it is impossible to tell if the poster went overboard or not.

Again, what did the Secret Service do wrong? The received a complaint, investigated , wrote a report and then left.

I don’t suppose that there’s any more evidence to support the veracity of the claim (I’ve no intention of slogging through 5 thousand pages of the LJ thread) than the initial claim?

I’ve no evidence one way or another…this just smells a little off to me at the moment, one week before elections and all…

Cooler heads prevailing… :slight_smile:

Loach, you make a good point, and you’re undoubtedly the voice of reason here. It just seems so freaking Orwellian to me–don’t people have the right to free speech any more?

beagledave, I dunno. From what I can tell, people have been casting doubt on it, but it seems pretty true.

Sure, people have the right to say whatever they want. However, if I say on the Internet that you’d better do something or else, that’s a threat, and I wouldn’t blame you for siccing the cops on me.

Too bad we’ll never know what she said. And that’s where the suspicion comes into it. It’s her word against, well, nobody’s. We just have to take her word for it. That does not make me inclined to believe her story.

The Secret Service has about a million other things to do, so if they showed up at her doorstep, no matter how nonviolent as she professes to be, it must have been some serious stuff. There are only so many men/women in the USSS. Bothering with some anonymous yahoo on the Internet calling the President a putz is not high on the list of priorities. Some yahoo threatening to kill the President is something else entirely.

Holy shit, don’t tell my wife! Thats a bad precedent. And remember there is free speech but you still don’t have the right to scream “MOVIE” in a crowded firehouse. Or something.

What was I saying?

It’s okay, Loach, have a banana patpat :wink:

(Stop trying to make sense in my pit thread, already! You, too, Airman!)

Making threats against anyone is illegal. Making threats against the president is illegal. The Secret Service exists to protect the president. Ergo, why wouldn’t they investigate something like this?

That person is an idiot. She made a threat against the president. The Secret Service investigated. THAT’S WHAT THEY DO! The same thing would have happened if Kerry was president, or when Bush 1 was president, or when Jimmy Carter was president. The responses slay me. “OMG! Stormtroopers! Nazis! It’s Orwelllian”! Uh, no. IT IS ILLEGAL TO THREATEN THE PRESIDENT, BE IT ON LJ OR TO HIS FACE, WHOEVER THE PRESIDENT IS, AND IF YOU DO, THE SECRET SERVICE WILL INVESTIGATE YOUR ASS. Period.

Why is that so hard to understand? Hell, if someone posts “I’m gonna kill Weirddave”, you can be sure they’d be getting a visit from the Police, because it’s illegal to threaten me, too.

Such stupididity!

For anyone interested, the person in question has posted further clarification as to what happened and her opinion of it. I kinda admire what she’s saying, she seems to be a stand up sort (based upon this incident only, I do not know the poster in question at all). I retract calling her an idiot. She made a mistake and has definitely owned up to it.

Ever since they were charged with the protection of the President and it was made illegal to threaten the life of the President, many years ago.

The writer even stated that the post could have been construed as a threat. I don’t really see why you’re upset about it. It sounds like the whole thing was handled quite professionally.

I don’t see the problem. She made a post which could reasonably seen as a threatening the President. The secret service, whose job it has always been to protect the President, investigated. They quickly concluded that she was harmless.

If she had been jailed based on bad evidence, that would be a story.

If the entry could not reasonably be interpreted as a threat, that would be a story.

If this was new law or procedure, that would be a story.

If our first amendment rights were being infringed, that would be a story.

It is as legal, and as much a protected right, to criticize the President and to voice dissent as it ever was. You just cannot threaten him. In no way has her freedom of speech been infringed.

As it is, we have ‘Person breaks law. Person gets usual consequences.’

I hear you guys,

and I retract what I said. I was wrong, and I apologize.

Meh. No biggie.

I was pretty surprised myself. Don’t worry about it.

It’s the same in Canada, by the way. Uttering threats is a criminal code conviction, on par with assault. It actually can be charged as assault. And it’s not just government officials, it’s ANYONE.

[minor nitpick]No it wasn’t, but it has been for quite awhile[/minor nitpick]

My source is the documentary currently showin on the Discovery channel.

By the way, here’s a screenshot of the original post:

Click me! Click me!

Well done secret service! They received some sort of complaint about an LJ entry, saw that it may be seen as a threat against the president. Interviewed the LJ owner at a reasonable time of day for a whole 10 minutes and left saying no other action was necessary.

Now if someone in their LJ had written something that looked like a threat to the life of me. I’d sure want the police involved in checking I wasn’t been stalked by a nutter, I’d also consider legal help in restraining orders or to sue for deflamation of character. Damn, the LJ would have been in much more trouble than if they had only threatened the President.

If you go into an airport and start joking about hijacking a plane I’m pretty sure someone is going to investigate. Your friend next to you may know you are joking but how does anyone else. The appropriate response occurred. I’m sure the same thing would have happened if it was Kerry or Edwards mentioned, they are both under USSS protection. Remember the USSS is not looking at every LJ entry. This was reported by a third party and had to be investigated.

I’ll second what the group has said so far, and take it one step further. Free speech is relative to where you, well, speak. Let’s remember that the internet, while an excellent tool, and a terriffic world wide asset, is also a huge asset of the Federal Government, who “polices” it with serious zeal, and even more serious technology. Aside from being illegal, it’s a bad idea to threaten the President. It’s a REALLY bad idea to do it on the internet.