This is how Bloomberg.com is reporting the arrest and detention of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, maker of the trailer of the “Innocence of Muslims” film. It goes even a bit farther than that. In the very first paragraph it states:
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who made the trailer for the film “Innocence of Muslims” that sparked violent outbreaks in some Muslim countries, is being held without bond after being arrested for violating the terms of his supervised release.
Later, it links the murder of Chris Stevens, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya directly to the film.
There is plenty of evidence swirling around that refutes the claim that Mr. Stevens died in violent protests over this anti-Islam propaganda film, of which is conspicuously absent of mention in this article. But even if I were to buy the entire explanation of the situation put forward by the government and suppose that the film had a role in the murder of Mr. Stevens, there is quite a bit of civic injustice involved in the action taken by Federal authorities in regard to Mr. Nakoula that every American should be concerned about; injustices that are apparently lost on the part of the author of this story.
The state has the burden of proof that Mr. Nakoula violated terms of his parole. Just because he has been convicted of one crime and paroled does not mean due process is forfeit. Additionally, the 8th amendment to the Constitution contains a prohibition of excessive bail; and certainly, the denial of bond is excessive if the allegation is that he used the internet to post the trailer while exercising his right to free speech under the 1st amendment, not connected to the commission of any crime. Whether the film played a role in the death of Mr. Stevens is entirely irrelevant to the administration of justice concerning previous crimes for which Mr. Nakoula has been convicted.
In a broader sense, however, the situation seems to be loaded with hypocrisy given that the Administration and even Obama himself have touted the American system of justice as part of our cherished values, where everyone, even suspected terrorist masterminds, receives due process and a fair trial. Of course, that appears to be true only if one is an Islamic terror suspect and could not have possibly done anything to embarrass Obama or his Department of State. The rest of the people, like that citizen who was taken out by being shot in the face with a hellfire in Yemen two years ago upon the order of Obama, are not entitled to justice or due process because Obama says so.
This is a very sad reflection of what America has become under this Administration. We are no longer a constitutional republic based upon equal justice and left unmolested in the exercise of our natural rights, but one based on selective justice where nearly anyone can have charges trumped up against them and be locked up with the key thrown away or even murdered based on a whim.
There is something else about this story that smells really bad. It says that Mr. Nakoula was sentenced to 21 months for one count of bank fraud in 2002, which is the offense for which he was paroled. I have not seen the details of his parole, but it is very strange that he would still be monitored after 10 years in lieu of serving a 21 month sentence.
I certainly hope he has the capability of getting a good lawyer because it looks like he is being taken advantage of in Obama’s quest for a scapegoat.
[Update #2 9/28/12]
The US Attorney for Los Angeles, Andre Birotte Jr., whose office is handling the Nakoula case is also investigating Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, a major donor to Republican candidates, for, as the Wall Street Journal puts it:
The U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles is looking at how the casino handled money from a customer later indicted on drug trafficking charges and a former California executive subsequently convicted of taking illegal kickbacks, the Journal reported, citing people involved in the probe.
As if casinos know where their clients get their money.
Perhaps Birotte is a real partisan and a puppet for Obama and Mr. Holder. I am going to investigate this more and report back.
[Update #3 9/29/12] A correction
The supposed probation violation on the part of Nakoula was from a conviction on 4 felony counts, including bank fraud and identity theft, for which he was sentenced to 21 months in prison in June 2010. He was arrested in 2009 for these crimes and released in June 2011, after more than half of his term was served, excluding credit for time served.
My correction is for purposes of clarity. It was not clear in the Bloomberg piece, to me anyway, exactly for which crime he had allegedly violated terms of parole. It makes no difference to the essence of what I have written above because the terms of his parole should have already expired as 21 months from June 2010 is March 2012. This calculation does not include credit for time served, which could be at least 6 months, so it is possible that the terms of his parole expired earlier than that because he wouldn’t have had much time left to serve upon his release. It isn’t clear from press reports just how long he was to be monitored. But it couldn’t have been for long, otherwise it wouldn’t be worth the deal. It would be better to sit in prison for another 3-4 months rather than be sanctioned with seemingly no end.
In addition, the terms of the parole, if even relevant to this story, allowed for internet use for purposes of work without consent of his parole officer. If he was the producer of the film, or was paid to help produce and promote the film, the posting of the trailer on YouTube would qualify as work. If the terms of his parole had expired, the use of an alias in hiring actors for the film if he had no intent to defraud is not illegal.
There is no mistake that this person, Nakoula, is a shady character with a long history of criminal activity. But that does not make it okay for the Obama Administration to violate his civil rights in the process of making him a scapegoat for epic fail foreign policy directives and pawn in his efforts to appease.