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Criticizing the “messiah” may get you arrested

Posted by Mats on 19/02/2009

Don’t like the stimulus? Disagree with Obama’s position on abortion? Apparently, if you make a political statement against the Obamamessiah, our Dear Leader, it just may get you arrested.

An Oklahoma City police officer wrongly pulled over a man last week and confiscated an anti-President Barack Obama sign the man had on his vehicle.

The officer misinterpreted the sign as threatening, said Capt. Steve McCool, of the Oklahoma City Police Department, and took the sign, which read “Abort Obama, not the unborn.”

Chip Harrison said he was driving to work when a police car followed him for several miles and then signaled for him to pull over.

”I pulled over, knowing I hadn’t done anything wrong,” Harrison said in a recent phone interview.

When the officer asked Harrison if he knew why he had been pulled over, Harrison said he did not.

”They said, ‘It’s because of the sign in your window,’” Harrison said.

”It’s not meant to be a threat, it’s a statement about abortion,” Harrison said.

He said he disagrees with the president’s position on abortion.

”I asked the officer, ‘Do you know what abort means?’” Harrison said. “He said, ‘Yeah, it means to kill.’ I said, ‘No, it means to remove or terminate.’”

Harrison said his sign was to be interpreted as saying something like: Remove Obama from office, not unborn babies from the womb.

The officers confiscated Harrison’s sign and gave him a slip of paper that stated he was part of an investigation.

… But his run-in with the law wasn’t over yet.

”The Secret Service called and said they were at my house,” Harrison said.

After talking to his attorney, Harrison went home where he met the Secret Service.

”When I was on my way there, the Secret Service called me and said they weren’t going to ransack my house or anything … they just wanted to (walk through the house) and make sure I wasn’t a part of any hate groups.”

Harrison said he invited the Secret Service agents into the house and they were “very cordial.”

”We walked through the house and my wife and 2-year-old were in the house,” Harrison said.

He said they interviewed him for about 30 minutes and then left, not finding any evidence Harrison was a threat to the president.

OK, OK… they didn’t actually arrest him. They just told him he would be fined, investigated, and reported to the Secret Service. Putting a sign on your car that’s critical of Obama’s position on abortion apparently makes you a threat to the President these days. Strangely enough, actual calls for death to President Bush by rabid liberal hippies in anti-war rallies for the past eight years didn’t see all of those people investigated by the Secret Service. But this is the newer, hopier, changier President. And dissent is no longer patriotic.

I’m a little curious what it means for the future of free speech if critical (and perhaps even somewhat inflammatory) speech against the President means you’ll get investigated by the Secret Service. That’s the problem with all this wailing from the Left on “hate speech”. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS HATE SPEECH — THIS IS THE UNITED STATES! As long as you are not making a direct threat against someone, you can say anything you damn well please. The First Amendment doesn’t protect speech as long as it’s pretty and pleasant and polite. It protects all speech, even if it’s rude, or demeaning, or inflammatory, or even — GASP!! — hateful.

But I guess that only holds true for liberals when they’re the ones speaking out, and not for conservatives. Free speech? That’s soo 2008.

Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin; also on a tip from Whit Bass.

Cross-posted from Cassy’s blog. Stop by for more commentary, or follow her on Twitter.

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2 Responses to “Criticizing the “messiah” may get you arrested”

  1. Freedom of expression now exists only for the radical elements!!

    Johnson C. Philip, PhD (Physics)
    India

  2. Mats said

    Yeah. Only leftists are endowed with freedom of speech

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