October 13, 2006

So Julia Wilson And Her Parents Are Idiots, But Hey What Else Is New?

Let me begin by noting that I just love the headline for this news story from the Sacramento Bee – it is so marvelously and subtly misleading.

U.S. agents question teen
Girl ran anti-Bush page on MySpace

Those fascists! How dare they harass this poor child for exercising her First Amendment rights.

Only if you read the story do you find it is more than an “anti-Bush” site.

The latest Sacramento resident to be questioned by federal agents in possible threats against President Bush is a 14-year-old girl with a heart on her backpack and braces on her teeth, a freckle-nosed adolescent who is passionate about liberal politics and cute movie stars.

Her name is Julia Wilson, and she learned a vivid civics lesson Wednesday when two Secret Service agents pulled her out of biology class at McClatchy High School to ask about comments and images she posted on MySpace.

Beneath the words "Kill Bush," Julia posted a cartoonish photo-collage of a knife stabbing the hand of the president. It was one of a few images Julia said she used to decorate an anti-Bush Web page she moderated on MySpace, the social networking Web site that is hugely popular among teenagers.

Yes, you read that right – “Kill Bush”. A graphic of a knife stabbing the president. Sounds like a possible threat that needs to be checked out, and possibly a violation of federal law. Certainly more than merely an “anti-Bush” site.

This brainless child’s parents are very upset – but not at their daughter. No, they upset that the Secret Service would DARE question her baby – especially without one of them present.

Federal law prohibits making serious threats against the president, and Julia and her parents say what she did was wrong.

The couple are disturbed, however, that federal agents questioned a child at school -- without her parents present. And First Amendment lawyers question whether the Secret Service over-reacted to a 14-year-old's comments on a Web site made for casual socializing.

"I don't condone what she did, but it seems a little over the top to me," said Julia's father, Jim Moose. "You'd think they could look at the situation and determine that she's not a credible threat."

Actually, you fool, they don’t know what the situation is until they investigate. Suppose that, instead of an ill-informed little brat raised by overly-indulgent parents, the site was operated by a nascent Dylan Klebold or Eric Harris? No one took them seriously before they attacked their high school and murdered 13 people. How was the Secret Service to know that your daughter wasn’t a mentally and morally disturbed sociopath? What is over the top, sir, is that you think they should NOT have pursued the matter as they did.

Here is how Julia Wilson's family tells their story:

Two Secret Service agents arrived at their Land Park home about 2:30 Wednesday afternoon, Kirstie Wilson said. They told her they wanted to speak with her daughter about threats to the president that she had posted on MySpace.

"She was in molecular biology, and I said I really didn't want to take her out of class for this," Kirstie Wilson said. "I said I'd make sure she came right home from school."

She asked the agents to come back in an hour, and they left.

Then Wilson sent her daughter a text message instructing her to come straight home from school.

"... there are two men from the secret service that want to talk with you. Apparently you made some death threats against president bush. Dont worry youre not going to jail or anything like that but they take these things very seriously these days," Kirstie Wilson wrote.

"Are you serious!?!? omg. Am I in a lot of trouble"? her daughter replied, using common teenage shorthand for "Oh, my God."

Kirstie Wilson called her husband. While they were on the phone, she received another text message from her daughter: "They took me out of class."

I guess that the Wilson family believes that law enforcement should schedule their appointments with potential assassins at the convenience of them and their families – you know, just to allow them to gather up their weapons of choice and go underground until they can do commit their murder.

And one more thing about this case, Mom and Dad were completely unaware of what their child was doing on the internet. They are lucky that all she lured out of the woodwork was a pair of nice Secret Service agents wanting to question her about her potentially criminal activity. They are lucky that she wasn’t abused or abducted, or lured to the Middle East for a child marriage and conversion to Islam. Rather than bitching, they should hit their knees that they were spared any of those true horrors.

By the way, this was not an isolated incident for young Julia. She started the space last year calling it "People who want to stab Bush". Why MySpace didn’t delete the account then for violating its terms of service is a mystery to me. She then changed it to "So Bush is an idiot but hey what else is new?", but left the graphic. It appears, though, that she never considered that her art work was also a potentially illegal act.

I think this stupid little child need to change the name of her group now. How about the title of this blog post -- “So Julia Wilson and her parents are idiots, but hey what else is new?”

UPDATE: I've run across several additional articles, and found a couple of quotes that make my blood boil.

The first couple are from Julia's over-indulgent, under-involved "parents".

"She obviously is not a threat to society, if you look at her age, her family background, the cartoonish nature of the MySpace page," said her father, Jim Moose, an environmental lawyer.

"She is just a typical teenage girl who made a mistake," said her mother during an interview at their neatly landscaped home.

First, Mommy Dearest, she is a girl who potentially committed a crime, not merely "a typical teenage girl who made a mistake". She deserved to be questioned. And Daddy Dearest, it is clear that you are a typical liberal hypocrite -- after all, your argument is that law enforcement should look and find out that this is a rich white little girl from a good home and therefore miraculously divined that she was no threat, because we all know that it is only "those people" (black, Hispanic, poor) who commit crimes.

Then there is this whine from the little anti-American felon-in-training herself.

Julia Wilson said the agents threatened her by saying she could be sent to juvenile hall for making the threat.

"They yelled at me a lot," she said. "They were unnecessarily mean."

In other words, they told you what could happen if you were charged as a juvenile. They didn't get you a double half-caf latte with extra milk before asking you any questions and they raised their voices, so you got your feelings hurt over that because Mommy and Daddy have told you that the universe revolves areound Uranus and you therefore don't have to accept the authority of anyone but yourself. Too bad they didn't cuff you and take you in for further questioning -- then maybe you would learn that your conduct was seriously wrong.

UPDATE 2: One more stupid comment from this self-centered little imbecile.

On Friday, the teenager said the agents' questioning led her to tears.

"I wasn't dangerous. I mean, look at what's (stenciled) on my backpack - it's a heart. I'm a very peace-loving person," said Wilson, an honor student who describes herself as politically passionate. "I'm against the war in Iraq. I'm not going to kill the president."

Four observations, you self-absorbed little brat:

1) John Wilkes Booth was a popular actor. He was pro-secession, and pro-slavery, but he would never try to kill the President.

2) Lee Harvey Oswald was a family man with a baby who was also a Communist. He'd never try to kill the President.

3) John Hinkley came from a good home in a nice neighborhood. he would never try to kill the President.

4) How many terrorists were "good Muslims" carrying a Koran? How many criminals are wearing hearts, crosses or other "nice" symbols when they are arrested -- or when they commit their crime?

UPDATE 3: Looks like the young lady is capable of learning and has some common sense after all. I dislike her politics, but support her next move.

And I'll post here my offer from the comments -- if Julia and/or her parents wish to comment here they are welcome, and if they wish to submit a piece for me to publish as a featured piece on this site I will be glad to host it. I'm willing to let them get out their side of teh story.

OPEN TRACKBACKING AT Conservative Cat, Blue Star Chronicles, Samantha Burns, Pirate's Cove, Bullwinkle Blog, Stuck on Stupid, Adam's Blog, Third World County, Clash of Civilizations, Right Nation, Is It just Me?, Uncooperative Blogger, Stop the ACLU, The World According to Carl, Church & State, Amboy Times, Woman Honor Thyself, Jo's Cafe

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Comments on So Julia Wilson And Her Parents Are Idiots, But Hey What Else Is New?

Sounds like a lot of parents'whining about disciplining their "angels" in the classroom, eh Greg?

Great post.

|| Posted by Hube, October 14, 2006 07:13 AM ||

Life must be going very well for you to be so upset about this.  I can't imagine reading the whole article about this tiny kerfluffle, much less posting a hysterical post like this one!

Take a deep breath - it's just a silly girl and some overly-protective parents.  Nothing to let your blood boil about.

|| Posted by Dan, October 15, 2006 08:12 PM ||

Excellent commentary.
Nice work.

|| Posted by gbradley, October 15, 2006 08:17 PM ||

Actually, Dan, I seeit as somehing more than that -- and Hube hits it in his comment. 

This is not a "silly girl and her overly-protective parents".  This is indicative of how a lot of parents react to any atempt to impose discipline or apply the law to their children.  We had a case here in Houston in the last couple of weeks where a parents attacked and beat an armed police officer at a school -- because their child was being given a citation for truancy!  I stepped in to prevent a student from striking one of our female assistant principals last year in a crowded hallway outside my room (the kid had reared back, cocked his fist and was prepared to throw a punch before I stepped in front of him), and had the boy's mother come to school and raise a fuss -- because I dared raise my voice to her son.  There was a teen drinking party broken up last year in one of the ritzier Houston suburbs and the parents were outraged --  that their children were arrested, transported to the police station and charged with an offense rather than skating with a warning and being allowed to call their parents from the scene.  Even Houston's mayor questioned why his little underage angel was arrested for DUI after being caught weaving down the highway drunk in the middle of the night with her headlights off.

The kid committed a crime -- and the parents are more concerned with the fact that their daughter was questioned by the authorities than that she made a threat (if an idle one) to kill the president.  The were so oblivious to her actions that they didn't know what she was doing on the Net at 13 or 14 years old -- but they then demand to be present when she is being questioned over her criminal activity.  She's upset that the Secret Sevice was mean to her -- when they could have cuffed the little brat and made her sit in a holding cell for a couple of days instead of letting her go with a warning.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 16, 2006 06:57 AM ||

What an ugly anti-american site

|| Posted by American, October 17, 2006 09:36 AM ||

Let's just say she better start standing up for her rights NOW. Because, with this cabal of anti-consitution facist neo-cons running this country sinking it so far into debt with China and Japan it's going to be this 14 year old girl that has to live with the concequences.

Or maybe they can use Bushies new torture bill to extract some information from her. After all, Americans are assumed terrorist if they don't kiss Bush's ring.

Or maybe they can throw her into one of those newly Halliburton built dentention centers going up all over America. Ya know, for the terrorists. That would be anyone who disagrees with the Murderer-in-Chief.

Or maybe they should just shoot her now, ya know, preemptively, just in case she might grow up to be a terrorist.

Oh, better yet. Make her 'volunteer' to join the military. That's one less bratty american they will have to deal with. Because, as we all know Bush is married to Saudi Arabia. Bush doesn't give a shit about America. Bush hates Americans. Bush eats the souls of Americans. OH and when I say Bush, I mean the entire cabal he represents.

Little girl, you better put on your little flag pin and obey your Master-in-chief.

|| Posted by American, October 17, 2006 09:59 AM ||

Un-American?  The only un-American things here are the comments by trolls like you, sir.

If I posted a threat on my wesite to kill you, I would be investigated and probably arrested.  Shouldn't a threat like the one this girl posted be treated precisely the same way?

While I'm glad you dragged yourself out of the fever swamps that are unDemocratic Underground, Daily KOnSpiracy and MoveOn.ORGyOf Hate, I fear you are terminally infected with their insanity.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 17, 2006 02:09 PM ||

I would just like to say as one of julia's very good friends and someone who was with her before and after the experience, she is not a person to say mommy dearest! whoever wrote that is just as inconsiderate as the people who interrogated her! you have no idea who you are talking about, so BUT OUT!!!! how would you like it if someone wrote demeaning and mean remarks about you just because a reporter wrote something! not everything you read is the unexaderated truth!!!!!! (sorry for the spelling, i am VERY mad)

|| Posted by lil, October 17, 2006 07:43 PM ||

by the way, she is NOT a little girl! she is 14 for godness sake!

|| Posted by lil, October 17, 2006 07:46 PM ||

Murder by Numbers
But you can reach the top of your profession
If you become the leader of the land
For murder is the sport of the elected
And you don't need to lift a finger of your hand
Happy War!

|| Posted by Bushimself, October 17, 2006 08:55 PM ||

lil -- clearly you need to spend less time on the internet and more studying basic matters like spelling, grammar, and logic. You're problem is not that you are very mad -- it is that you are semi-literate.

Your little friend posted threatening words and images regarding the President of the United States -- that is a FELONY that could earn you hard time in a federal prison (I believe 10 years, but I'd have to check that out to be sure). She deserved the scrutiny of the Secret Servic, deserved to be interrogated, and deserved to have the living shit frightened out of her. Frankly, she should be thanking whatever God she believes in that she is not facing criminal charges.

By the way, your friend gave interviews to multiple reporters in her attempt to turn herself into a victim of oppression rather than the perpetrator of a crime. Guess what -- her complaints do not carry an ounce of weight. Neither do those of her parents. But since the family went public with the story in an attempt to seek sympathy, I'll feel free to comment on the matter. After all, THEY put it in the public arena, not the Secret Service! I'll therefore feel as free to comment on the matter as they did -- a right protected, I must add, by the First Amendment to the Constitution. You might want to familiarize yourself with that document -- I bet there are copies of it in some of the books in your school library.

By the way, take it from a man who has spent most of his adult life working with children your age -- at 14, she is most certainly still a little girl, as are you. The immature words and actions of both of you make it clear that you are both far from adulthood. Sadly, it appears that Julia lacks any real adults in her household -- mom and dad appear just as immature. I do hope that YOUR parents are grown-ups.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 17, 2006 10:34 PM ||

This was posted earlier by Truth. It was accidentally deleted during spam removal, but recovered before the text was lost.

How many of you actually saw the little girl's Myspace page? How many of you know exactly what was said on her page? How many of you know exactly what happened during the "interrogation"? So what if the S.S. was 'mean' to her, boo-hoo- that's probably the least they could have done to her. Do any of you know that it's not mandatory to have the parents in the room while the child is being interrogated? Do any of you know the laws that pertain to the 1st Amendment? What about the Federal or State laws that state threats of harm or to kill the President of the United States is illegal? What other 13-14-year old children do you know that have expressed threats before? There have been many, and when people do not take threats seriously, you get situations like Columbine. Who cares if the child has straight A's in school, who cares if the S.S. took the little girl out of her microbiology class, this doesn't that the little girl doesn't have the capacity to kill or follow through with her threat. And, just because she didn't follow through with her threat the last two times that Bush was in Sacramento doesn't mean that she didn't plan on following through with her threat at a later date. You see for those who take pity on the "poor little girl" because she is an upstanding citizen with straight A's and piggy tails in her hair and comes from a "good home", I feel sorry for you! I feel sorry because you are the ones who are ignorant. If you let things like that persuade your opinion of the little girl, I'd hate to see you on a murder trial! (oh, but he was molested as a child, it's ok that he murdered someone.)

PS- The first commentary was excellent and I agree with Rhymes with Right!!

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 17, 2006 10:40 PM ||

Gee, somebody still has their copy of Synchronicity and is able to transcribe the lyrics to one of the weaker cuts on that 23 year old Police album.

Do you really think that makes you profound? Do you really think the Police (or Sting as a solo artist) are particularly profound? If you answer "Yes" to either question, please seek professional help immediately, before you become a terminal case like the unAmerican "American" who posted above.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 17, 2006 10:43 PM ||

hei i hate with you so glad if have somebody from ur country that hate America..Israel..idiot..u must remeber Jewish..the truth thng will be happen..soon

|| Posted by Infantry of Allah, October 18, 2006 02:05 AM ||

This is a joke. Your country is a joke. Interrorgating a 14 yr old school girl for saying somthing that the whole world agrees with. step outside your little box, open your eyes and realise that you, people like you and your right wing govt. are what is wrong with this greed driven world. It would be a better place without your kind. think about what you are promoting here, the hatered you are pushing on this KID and her family. I thought America stood for the people and their choices including their freedom of speech. land of the free, i don't think so anymore. Land of the politically opressed, your turning totalitarian, the thing you despised during the cold war.

|| Posted by Senor Escabar, October 18, 2006 03:41 AM ||


I'm curious -- where are threats to kill the head of state considered to be free speech? Please name one country for me.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 18, 2006 03:57 AM ||

In my country everybody is alowed their opinion, no matter what it is, aferall, it is an opinion, not an action or plan. the govt are not above the people, they work for the people.

|| Posted by Senor Escabar, October 18, 2006 04:54 AM ||

I'm a free man and will say whatever i want, no law will stop me from saying whatever i want! Only myself may prevent me from saying what i think, Only my conscience. My kill my body but my conscience is eternal.

If you want to prevent anyone to became a psico teach him to respect by respecting him and not use fear as weapon. Fear will only bring inner revolt, that in some cases will bring outter revolt...

BTW: A country that elects a moron as president is populated by more that 50% of morons! To bad that they wan't to keep that way... So much potencial with litle brains...
"That's all folks"

|| Posted by Daniel, October 18, 2006 06:00 AM ||

>I'm curious -- where are threats to kill the head >of state considered to be free speech? Please name >one country for me.
>Posted by Rhymes With Right

Threats to the head state is the same like threats directed to you. They are just words! Is a threat an action?!That's the diference between real people and psico people. Real people live reality and punish action, psico people punish words! Wake up!

I'm not saying that some prevention should be made, but not like that, a person that says what thinks is not a psico, but a free minded person! Do you know what that is? Do you understand my semi-literated words?!

Daniel Campelo

|| Posted by Daniel Campelo, October 18, 2006 06:09 AM ||

Actually, a threat to kill anyone is a potential violation of the law if it is determined to be serious.  Such threats, f brought to the attention of the authorities, are investigated to determine if they are serious.  The courts of teh US have ruled since the beginning of the republic that threats of violence and bodily harm are not covered by the First Amendment.  If you want to test that, I suggest you approach a police officer on duty and tell him you are going to kill him -- and see how long it will be before you are in cuffs and stuffed in the back of his squad car.

In the case of a threat against a government official -- in particular, the President of the US -- there is a special statute that applies.

The girl was investigated and found not to be serious -- case closed, except for the whining by her and her parents.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 18, 2006 07:13 AM ||


Tell your friend Julia that she and/or her parents are more than welcome to post a response here on the comment thread -- or email it to me and I will post it on my site.  I'm all for giving them equal time to present their side of the story in their own words.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 18, 2006 07:16 AM ||

Remember, Thoreau advocated peaceful civil disobedience, and stated more than once that the appropriate course of action was for the individual to accept the punishment as part of their witness to injustice.

Instead we have whiners over what was no more than a brief inconvenience due to the young lady's flonious actions.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 18, 2006 09:37 PM ||

I am going to use the same schematics of reasoning you are using. A threat to kill anyone is a potential violation of the law if it is determined to be serious you said. If you want to test that, I suggest the president approaches Rusia or China or even better North Corea and tells them he is going to invade them to bring democracy to them. See how long it will be before this president is judge for war crimes against the world. You know impeachment is not a threat. It is part of the law. We are the people and do not have a king. There is no king in this country. The president is responsable for his actions. He is liable and can be legally impeached when he lied to the people to make war. Everyone knows the president lied about weapons of mass destruction. This president can be judge for war crimes. That is why he and his acomplices are in the process of changing the law to provide retroactive immunity because the War Crimes law today applies to them.
We the people are not Bush or his goverment. Bush is on power the first time because people were lazy to come and vote for what is right and moral. On the second term he was elected because people were afraid.
Well we are not afraid anymore. We are not afraid of the arabs and their oil dependency. We do not need them and they certainly do not need us. Jews might need the arabs for their holy wars but we don't. It is time to go our way as a nation because if not we will pay the price with the countries that have real weapons of mass destruction. China owns our debt has no democracy has weapon of mass destruction and is 4 times more populated than us. That is who we need to watch. This president and its administration is responsable for putting us at risk and exposing us to an unnecesary predicament. War crimes or impeachment, if we do not history and the world will.

|| Posted by Bushimself, October 19, 2006 07:42 AM ||

There used to be a sticker available for purchase at goth stores like 'Hot Topic' which featured the words:
"Spear Britney"
and nothing else.
Certainly, the makers of those stickers and anyone who bought them should be thrown in jail immediately. Who do these evil brats think they are? This is America! What gives them the right to use two consecutive words that could possibly, if added to several additional words to form an actual sentence, be interpreted as a threat to our president?!

Comparing this to Columbine is exactly on par with reality. Those boys were making doodles and voicing their intentions well in advance and were simply ignored. Next thing you know- boom, they did exactly as they publicly announced.

...if only we would have believed them.

But I don't trust the little brat getting of the hook so easily- I'm sure there must have been clearly detailed plans, a time and location and method for this execution of our nation's leader- and it is of grave importance that we find it before she organizes her group of honor student 14 year olds and assassinates the President!!!

|| Posted by Rachel, October 19, 2006 12:16 PM ||

Oh, another one of KKKen's anti-Semite friends.

And yes, the words, accompanied by a picture, need to be at least looked at as a potential threat. If the stickers regarding the talentless bimbo were determined to be an actual threat, then there should have been charges and jail time.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 19, 2006 04:19 PM ||

Agreed. Clearly a strong move.

And I suppose if it was an actual threat, they did the right thing by going and questioning her. Usually, you'd monitor suspicious activity to catch the criminal in her murderous plot.
But she must have been too wily for them... in all her 14 year old nefarious scheming.

Eric Harris was 18.

1) John Wilkes Booth was a popular actor. He was pro-secession, and pro-slavery, but he would never try to kill the President.
pro-secession and pro-slavery... yeah, very peace loving man. That makes as much sense as calling someone with a name like "Rachel" anti-Semitic.

2) Lee Harvey Oswald was a family man with a baby who was also a Communist. He'd never try to kill the President.
because no man in history who has ever killed anyone was a father.

3) John Hinkley came from a good home in a nice neighborhood. he would never try to kill the President.
all killers are from the projects. Good homed/good family is a sure sign of a law-abiding individual. Was he also a 14 year old female honor student?

4) How many terrorists were "good Muslims" carrying a Koran?
-none. Good Muslims don't shed blood or kill innocent people.
How many criminals are wearing hearts, crosses or other "nice" symbols when they are arrested -- or when they commit their crime?
-on their purple Jansport backpacks full of A-graded homework and test papers? None.

But enough splitting hairs. Adult male with social/emotional/religious issues and 14 year old girl who makes straight A's.
Practically the same thing.

|| Posted by Rachel, October 20, 2006 11:05 AM ||

Rachel -- that comment was NOT directed at you -- it was the loon above you, Bushimself.  But I do know any number fellow Gentiles named Rachel -- including several nice Catholic girls with Irish surnames.

And please notice -- I put the term "good Muslim" in quotes because I agree with your comment.  They and their religious leaders might disagree, though.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 20, 2006 04:11 PM ||

In all fairness, I'm not Jewish either. Seemed like a safe out none the less.
Honestly, I lean more toward the Republican side than anything, which is half the reason I'm so upset by this. It strikes me as a REALLY bad time for any more bad publicity.

Luckily, it appears as though not too many people are as angry about it as I am, where as I support invasions of privacy if our government feels the need (I have nothing to hide) --and the rest of the country apparently wigs out over a few tapped phone calls.

|| Posted by Rachel, October 20, 2006 06:25 PM ||

And I simply think this was an appropriate and pretty moderate approach -- 20 minutes of discomfort to make it clear that there was no threat to the President and no criminal intent.

It's been fun, Rachel.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 20, 2006 07:23 PM ||

Sure- I'll agree to that.

But do you think it was worth the risk? It's damn near November and they've made this girl into another "public shield"-as Anne Coulter would put it. They've given her fame she wouldn't have had, and a story to use against the President- and had they not done that, she'd still be nobody, with nobody listening, making immature statements.

Now she's a political figure. A 14 year old female honor student who resembles a young Chelsea Clinton.
Don't you think it would have been better if they could have waited, I don't know, a month or so from now? Honestly, a threat could have/would have/should have been investigated privately. Why give her power, over nothing?

I don't really care if her feelings were hurt, and I don't care if her parents are pissed, I just don't understand why the administration felt they needed another Cindy Sheehan.

|| Posted by Rachel, October 21, 2006 04:44 AM ||

Except this is not a case of "the administration" doing anything. It is a case of law enforcement officials doing what they do -- checking out potential violations of the law (and, in the case of the Secret Service, checking out threats of political assassination). It isn't like Karl Rove was sitting in his office saying "Go question this kid!" It doesn't work that way -- nor should it.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 21, 2006 07:30 AM ||


|| Posted by JUSTIN HAND, October 21, 2006 07:57 AM ||

What cleverm, witty commentary.

Fortunately your email address tells me what is "Justin Hand". Doesn't that make your keyboard sticky?

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 21, 2006 12:15 PM ||

Well I have to agree with Rymes with Right on this one. To hell with the little kid, what she did was fucked. Also the matter was quiet until they (her family)  went running to the media screaming and holding bloody maxi pads. Had they not done that then it would be a non-issue, no one would even know she did it or what came of it.

|| Posted by Lars Hansen, October 23, 2006 04:25 PM ||

I'd imagine the questioning was over in 10 minutes -- I bet the other part was impressing upon her how dumb her actions were and the possible consequences had she been found to be a threat.

Contrast this case with the "stadium bombers" post from last week.  That fellow is going to do hard time.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 23, 2006 04:44 PM ||

Okay Greg,
You came off just a tad abusive with your response to the Julia W. story.
And a "news" story is all it was, something for the networks to fill in time on the morning "news" shows, in between the latest on obesity and the hottest fall fashions.
Yea, fourteen....and she voiced her opinion. And so now she's going to have it hanging over her head for the next 20 years.
I wonder where YOU would be now, if your life had been defined by something you said when YOU were fourteen years old?
As far as her parents go, well....
We saw the interview and little Julia came off looking a lot sharper than the punks that actually care about some two-bit rap star's "bling-bling"
So I think the parents can't be doing to terrible a job.
And when all is said and done, where does the infection that is televised news get off indentifying this child by first and last name, parents names, where she goes to school, etc? Theirs got to be some accountibility on their part-Julia was only reacting to the filth the networks fill her head with.

|| Posted by Francis Whatimnihay, October 24, 2006 06:41 AM ||

whoa whoa whoa buddy. whoever wrote this article is an IDIOT. ok, we get it you prick. what she did was wrong, but calling her "idiot","imbicile" and many other names. taking it overboard. george bush is a LOSER! as you said, it was "cartoonish" do you really think a killer would post a myspace? seriously, it was obviously a kid because an adult would be smart enough to be secretive about plans to kill the president. for goodness sake, she is a 14 year old girl who made MISTAKE. give it a rest. she's not an idiot. neither are her parents. like you said, they had no idea what she was doing, and if they did, do you really think they would encourage it? i doubt it. you are an overly critical idiot.

|| Posted by Thomas, October 24, 2006 03:57 PM ||

does anybody know the URL for this myspace?

|| Posted by Thomas, October 24, 2006 04:20 PM ||

No apologies for my choice of terms -- any kid who isn't smart enough to know that a death threat against the President is against the law is stupid, an idiot, and an imbecile. I don't care if she is opposed to Bush -- I'm married to a liberal Democrat who is opposed to Bush.

And as far as the media reporting this, if you follow the story you will see that the Secret Service didn't go to the media -- Julia and her parents did. Therefore there is no confidentiality issue as she and her folks sought the publicity.

And as far as the parents go -- any parent of a child who does not monitor their internet usage is an idiot.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 24, 2006 06:28 PM ||

my point is that it is a 14 year old girl who made a MISTAKE. give it a rest. so you where perfect when you where a kid? you never ever did anything wrong? because as far as i know Jesus was the only person ever who was perfect. she made an error in judgement, that doesn't mean that you degrade her as much as you have. obviously, the secret service men knew that they where dealing with a child, considering they walked into a school! do you really think a 14 year old girl has the means to obtain a gun, find out exactly where the president is at what time, and get past the well trained secret service men? she doesn't even have a driver's liscence yet!!! If killing the president was easy enough for a 14 year old girl to do it, don't you think he would already be dead? I guess that a 14 year old honor student is a pretty high risk though, right?

|| Posted by Thomas, October 25, 2006 06:15 PM ||

Thomas -- next thing, you'll be telling me that a couple of middle school kids couldn't get a rifle and do a sniper attack on their school during a fire drill. Or that a couple of 16-year-olds couldn't get an arsenal of weapons to attack their school and kill over a dozen people.

But let's offer one more possibility -- that rather than Julia, it had been one of her parents doing the site in her name. Or someone who stole her identity. I'd bet the first questiosn asked was "Is this your website?" Did you post this?"

The reality is that what she did was likely technically illegal. I applaud the government for not pursuing the case beyond the 20-minut interview. But remember -- Julia and her parents are the folks who went to the media for publicity. Sorry that I don't have the sympathy they believe they deserve.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 26, 2006 03:59 AM ||

you said 16 year olds. if i'm not mistaken, 16 is when you get your liscence. normally, 2 years is nothing but in this case it is. so, i stand by my point that being 14 pretty much prevents her from obtaining a gun. also, how the heck is she going to get to the president? like i said, she is 14. there is no way that she could possibly find the president to kill him.

|| Posted by Thomas, October 26, 2006 02:46 PM ||

My point, Thomas, is that no one believed that high school kids could get that sort of arsenal illegally.

Heck, in the last decade we have had 4-5 guns confiscated at my school -- including guns in the hands of 14-year-olds. Don't give me that crap that she couldn't have laid hands on one, unless you want to argue that pretty little white honor students aren't as smart as the boys from the hood or the barrio.

And as far as getting to the President -- easy. I've pressed the flesh with candidates and a sitting VP at fundraisers and otehr events, and have for the last 20 years or so. Access is easy -- especially if you don't look suspicious. I recall one event, during my college days, when some friends and I snuck down a service corridor next to a ballroom while a presidential candidate was speaking -- only to have several shocked Secret Service agents draw their weapons when they and another candidate (Pat Robertson, in this case) turned the corner and find several clean-cut college republicans in blue blazers, red ties and khakis standing in the corridor watching Bob Dole speak through another door. It can happen.

And as i mentioned -- what is to say that the site wasn't posted in her name by an adult. Perhaps a parent?

No, it needed to be checked out -- and you are a fool if you think it didn't.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 26, 2006 03:50 PM ||

i never said it didn't need to be checked out, because it most deffinatly did. what im saying is that she and her parents are not idiots. if she had they ability to get a gun dont you think she would have the ability to hide what she was doing on the internet? calling her parents idiots for not watching their daughter carefully enough is WRONG. because im sure that the did watch her. and as for her not being an idiot, like i've said she was a kid who messed up. give her a break. it sounds like you had a run in with the secret service too. would you like it if you where put down for being a normal kid. kids make mistakes, much like yourself. you said that is was "during your college days" you had a driver's liscence right? how would she, being a 14 year old without the ability to drive, get to the president? i think i speak for everyone when i say yes, what she did was wrong, and yes the secret service handled the situation appropriatly, but calling them names for the little mishap takes it overboard.

|| Posted by Thomas, October 26, 2006 09:51 PM ||

Well, Thomas, that isn't what you have appeared to be arguing up to this point.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, October 27, 2006 04:15 AM ||

no, i've been arguing the fact that you called her an idiot.

|| Posted by Thomas, October 27, 2006 06:34 AM ||

The SS did the right thing. If she felt that making a threat to the Pres. was OK then she is and idiot. If her parents were aware of this and let it proceed (her lawyer father would have know what would happen when she posted what she did) then they are fools for allowing their daughter to get in to all this... or they had no idea about any of her on-line activities and don't want to admit it. Either way if you don't like the policy or politics than there are much better ways to  protest than depict violence against the Pres. in some myspace page. And all in all they questioned her for 15 minutes, Christ I have been handcuffed for jaywalking (really!) at 16.

|| Posted by Nate, October 28, 2006 06:18 AM ||

Thomas, the kid's an idiot, from idiot parents. We have all been idiots at one time or another. Objecting to the term does not negate the fact that she (and everyone else at one time or another) behaved idiotically, therefore she is an idiot.
And, if you are a parent of a teenager and are not monitoring their activity online, you are an idiot too.
And I am an idiot for feeding the trolls. Get over yourself.

|| Posted by Larry, October 28, 2006 04:23 PM ||

All of you are very critical.

|| Posted by Thomas, October 28, 2006 10:29 PM ||


Chill. Out.

|| Posted by Brenton, October 30, 2006 08:01 PM ||

Gee, I criticized her over spelling, grammar, and logic -- and pointed out that at 14 she had a lot of growing up to do.

Oh, what evil things for a teacher to say!

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, November 8, 2006 08:25 AM ||

Greg, you are such an angry person. why so mad at the world? Did you have a bad childhood?

|| Posted by Thomas, November 9, 2006 07:39 AM ||

I aggree with Thomas, you do seem to have some out of control anger problems, how does your family deal with you?

|| Posted by John, November 9, 2006 09:24 AM ||

|| Posted by Betty, November 9, 2006 09:38 AM ||

Great childhood, great life.

I do, however, have little patience for stupid people who blame others for reacting in a logical fashion to their stupidity.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, November 9, 2006 05:24 PM ||

Oh, I see. Thank you for bringing this into the light for me. I'm the stupid one for not loosing my patience over a little thing like this. take a step back. look at the world. is this really the kind of thing that you need to be getting mad over? no, im not stupid. you are for loosing your patience over a little girl who screwed up, like EVERY SINGLE CHILD in the entire world has. the only difference in this case, is that the news networks televised this one because they needed to take up space. the only stupid person in this situation is you for getting so mad over this. you dont understand that you aren't perfect, sir.

|| Posted by Thomas, November 9, 2006 05:52 PM ||

Another thing, you need to learn not to be so critical. just because i have a different opinion than you doesnt make me an idiot. seriously, look at presidential debates- they strongly disagree on many topics, but they dont call each other stupid. you ae very immature.

|| Posted by Thomas, November 9, 2006 05:58 PM ||

Actually, Thomas, I think you are a a fool.

Let's recap -- according to you, every child threatens to kill a major world leader. Every child and their parents then object to the police daring to question them about said threat. Every child and their parents then run to the news media with their complaints. And anyone who dares criticize them is a hateful person filled with anger and too quick to criticize -- and immature.

Sorry, but you have fallen into the basic trap that pervades much of society today -- the refusal to accept that individuals who do wrong are responsible for their actions -- and that some actions merit ridicule.

And you forget one key point here -- this got into the media because Julia and her parents went out and sought the publicity, only to be shocked that they didn't get much sympathy.

I take that earlier comment back. You are not a fool. You are a moron who doesn't even have the first idea on how to get a clue.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, November 9, 2006 07:33 PM ||

Here is your problem, you refuse to accept other peoples opinions. you call me a fool because my opinion is different than yours. im not mad about you puting her down anymore, im mad about you puting me down. just because my opinion is different than yours doesnt make me a fool or a moron, it just means that we dont see eye to eye on everything, and i dont see how you get on in life if every time you have a different opinion as someone you immediately call them names and put them down. my gosh, what is your deal?
about your point on "every girl has made a threat to the president" every kid messes up, but not always in the same way. i said every child screws up, not every child makes threats. you put words in my mouth. yes, what she did was very very wrong, and i aknowlege that, but people make mistakes and learn from them, like im sure she has. i hope that you will learn that everybody has different opinions on things, but having a different opinion doesnt make you an idiot.

|| Posted by Thomas, November 9, 2006 08:51 PM ||

Sorry, Thomas -- not evry opinion is worthy of respect.

Yours is a case in point.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, November 10, 2006 04:45 AM ||

yes, every opinion IS worthy of respect. just because mine is different than yours doesnt make me stupid. i respect your opinion, even though i very much disagree with it, i respect it. Athiets for example, i disagree with them but i have respect for them. you on the other hand, i dont know what religion you are but watever it is im sure you put down people of a different religion.

|| Posted by Thomas, November 10, 2006 04:26 PM ||

So Thomas -- what you are saying is that EVERY opinion is worthy of respect.


How about the opinion of my regular commenter KKKen, that the Holocaust is a hoax perpetrated to justify Jewish control of American politics and genocidal activity in the Middle East? Or his belief that the Southwestern US should be turned over to Mexico because it is "irredeemably" Hispanic and such folks are unassimilable into our culture and so must be excluded? Or his belief that Whites should control the United States and not surrender political control to members of "dark skinned" races? Do you really respect such beliefs? Or do you find them morally reprehensible, worthy of scorn and rejection, and the holders of such opinions to be pea-brained moral midgets with hearts blackened by hate?

Or what about the opinion of NAMBLA members, whose motto used to be "sex before 8, or else its too late"? Do you respect that?

For that matter, it is clear you do not respect my opinion that some opinions are unworthy of respect -- as indicated by your implicit assertion that I am a bigot and a hate-monger, with no evidence to support such an assumption on your part.

In other words, logical examination of your position shows it to be flawed, and that you are either lacking in mental acuity, logical faculties or moral values. Which is it, Thomas?

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, November 10, 2006 05:50 PM ||

I'm curious -- do you also respect the religious opinions of Osama bin Laden and those like him? I don't, and regularly put down the religion of jihadis at every opportunity.

Like I said, some views don't merit respect.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, November 10, 2006 06:03 PM ||

ok, i admit, i was wrong. not all opinions merit respect, but in this case we are not talking about terrorism, we are talking about you respecting my opinion that she is just a child who made a mistake. i would be perfectly satisfied if you just said that you respect my opinion, but i know that is not going to happen. you have come up with valid points to support your argument, as i have mine, therefore i have come to respect your opinion, as i realise i didnt in the begining of this argument, why cant you respect my opinion? why do you hate me and call me names me for having a different opinion(a small difference i might add as i did point out that what she did was wrong, i just dont think that her parents are idiots) can you kind of see what i'm saying?

|| Posted by Thomas, November 10, 2006 08:57 PM ||

I don't hate you -- or even dislike you.

On the other hand, I strongly disagree with the notion that actions like this yong lady's constitute a "youthful mistake".

Unlike you, I recognize that a 14-year-old is a rational moral actor -- if an immature one capable of making grave mistakes.

But a threat against the president -- or any other person -- constitutes a moral choice that anyone over the age of reason (at least in our society) knows is wrong and which cannot/should not be legitimately excused based upon the "just a kid" defense. Dumb actions can and do have consequences -- and sometimes they involve criminal charges and jail for kids Julia's age. One of my former students is in jail (as an adult) for a sexual assault committed as a 16-year old. The brother of another student is serving an extended sentence for killing of another student from our school who rejected his romantic advances -- a killing done at age 16.

And as for the parents in this case -- their overindulgence is clear based upon their blaming the authorities for even investigating their daughter's misconduct. And they are foolish for not more closely monitoring her online activity.

By the way, about my use of the word "idiot." My decision to use it was based upon the second name for Julia's MySpace group, which calls the President an idiot. I was making use of parallel structure. Think about it.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, November 11, 2006 07:20 AM ||

By the way, a part of my criticism is that everybody acts as if law enforcement shouldn't even be looking at little white-bread Julia, daughter of upper middle-class privilege -- and the media swallowed the parents' argument.

However, would we get the same argument if the student were named LaShaquanza Brown, and her parents were an auto mechanic and a hair stylist? Or Maria Elena Rodriguez, whose dad is a day laborer and whose mom is a housekeeper (and both of whom are illegal immigrants)? And I won't get into the question of a girl named Fatima Muhammad -- regardless of what her parents did for a living. I suspect that Julia's parents wouldn't see anything objectionable about questioning those 14-year-old girls -- and that the press wouldn't be running any Outrage Stories about their questioning.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, November 11, 2006 08:04 AM ||

I think it was comment spam.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, November 11, 2006 06:43 PM ||


WTF? I was totally on your side up until you said- "ok, i admit, i was wrong. not all opinions merit respect"

See this is the reason liberals never get anywhere, lack of conviction. Now suddenly NOT all opinions deserve respect?! C'mon! Why is it that everyone I want to agree with is forever the least skilled debater?! Look, EVERY opinion deserves respect. NAMBLA included- the difference is, they can be prosecuted for what qualifies as a criminal opinion to have- as decided by the majority of society.

And this girl deserved to be questioned of course- IF she had actually threatened the president. I don't care how perfect and young she is- what I care about is the lack of reason needed for her to be perceived as an actual threat.

But its over now. Democrats win. Rumsfield is out- and best anyone can hope for now is that nothing else drastically stupid comes from the Republican side over the next couple years... so that they MIGHT be able to avoid losing the 2008 Presidential election.

I agree with Republicans most of the time. But I have a question(s) for the author of this post...

Do you, as a conservative, at least feel that this administration has hurt the Republican party immensely?
If there is a president you feel most likely do go down in the history books as THE worst president in American history... who would you, objectively, assess to be the most deleterious?

|| Posted by Rachel, November 15, 2006 06:41 PM ||

Sorry -- some opinions(and those who hold them) deserve no respect whatsoever. As I asked Thomas, do you believe that Osama's opinions on the US merit respect?

And as far as this administration is concerned, i certainly do have some problems with its shortcomings -- the failure to pursue a hard-line on immigration, the failure to aggressively prosecute those who leak classified information, the failure to more aggressively pursue conservative judicial nominees, etc.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, November 16, 2006 05:29 AM ||

I stand by what I said, the one thing i aggree with rhymes with right about is that not all opinions merit respect. How could you respect the opinion of Adolf Hitler, for example. His opinion was that Jews where the source of all the problems in the world. No, those some opinions don't merit respect. By the way, I am not a "least skilled debater" because i realised that he was right and i wasn't? That was the only thing that he changed my opinion on. I stand by everything else i said.

|| Posted by Thomas, November 16, 2006 03:01 PM ||

somebody, comment back....

|| Posted by Thomas, December 2, 2006 11:33 PM ||

To use the greatest Star Trek line never uttered, "It's dead, Jim".

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, December 3, 2006 12:56 AM ||

haha, clever

|| Posted by Thomas, December 3, 2006 01:05 AM ||

This Thomas guy is right, Rhymes with Right, lighten up.

|| Posted by Ralph, December 25, 2006 10:00 PM ||

And will you advise folks to "lighten up" if I post a similar death threat against Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton?

I didn't think so.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, December 25, 2006 10:10 PM ||

I believe the law against threatening the president dates back to the Lynette Fromme and Sarah Jane Moore attempts on Gerald Ford.

But should there be a special law protecting the president in particular? In a civilized society it would be equally illegal to threaten to murder ANY human being.

In this context a drawing or collage of a knife stabbing anyone would be illegal and subject to the same penalty. Anything less would be a fourteenth amendment violation.

Of course this case does lead to interesting questions as to what is a threat? For example if I were to say "we should do to George Bush what he has done to thousands of innocent Iraqis who got caught in the crossfire," would that be a threat?

Or what if I were to paraphrase Patrick Henry: "Caeser had his Brutus, Charles the First had his Cromwell and George Dubya Bush... may profit by their example. If this be threatening the president, make the most of it.”

|| Posted by David Kessler, January 9, 2007 07:25 AM ||

Actually, David, it dates back well before then.  It recognizes the special nature of the presidency and its centrality to the government of the United States, as well as the fact that an attack upon the President is effectively an attack upon the government of the United States.

Such a law is no different than the differential punishments handed out for the killing of cops and ambulance personnel while on duty, and has such threats have been viewed to be outside the right to free speech as guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.  And by the way -- bona fide threats against any individual are illegal under the laws of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

|| Posted by Jacob, January 9, 2007 08:24 AM ||

And by the way, David, your inner moonbat is showing.

|| Posted by Jacob, January 9, 2007 08:25 AM ||

I'll tell you what, Dave -- draw that picture of the Queen or the PM in your country and see how quickly you get a visit from the authorities.

And as for those statements -- i suspect the second one would pass without question, but the first does sound like a threat that would bear investigation.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, January 9, 2007 06:44 PM ||

Is what she did really even a threat? Just cause she displayed some obviously angry emotions toward the pres that involved doesnt exactly mean that she is going to actually carry out her actions. this myspace---myspace/killbush has been there for at least a year and the president is still alive.

|| Posted by Thomas, January 11, 2007 10:56 PM ||

It wouldnt allow me to add the .com in there so just add it and you will be able to see the myspace i was refering to.

|| Posted by Thomas, January 11, 2007 10:57 PM ||

Everything you say is true, Thomas -- but that doesn't make it any less necessary to at least make an inquiry into what could have been a bona fide threat. Remember -- the total investigation seems to have consisted of a brief interview to ensure that it was not a serious threat, and the whole thing hit the media because the family went to the press, not the government.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, January 12, 2007 04:46 AM ||

I have another good topic of discussion---- marijuana - what's your opinion about it?

|| Posted by Thomas, January 18, 2007 09:09 PM ||

Jacob, I suppose there is some merit in the argument that the Head of State personifies the State (or Union) and in that sense is entitled to a special status. On the other hand, US politics has always been characterized by at least the pretense of humility ("Ah wahz borrn in a laaahhhg cabin...") and the notion that government is "of the people," etc

I was told by a Manhatten lawyer that categories of homicide reserved for peace officers were ruled unconstituonal, but that was in the 1980's so this may have changed.

As you say, threats against ANY individual ARE illegal throughout the US. So is there really a need for a law that differentiates the president. Surely it is the seriousness of the threat that determines the magnitude of the crime.

I didn't get the "inner moonbat" reference - maybe because I'm a Limey!

And Rhymes with Right - in my country you can get arrested for merely demonstrating within one kilometre (five furlongs!) of the Houses of Parliament! Please note I said "demonstrating" not "assembling" Even a one-person demonstration is a breach of that law - as a woman found out recently when she read out the names of the British (Gulf) war dead while standing outside the gates of nearby Downing Street!

Personally I think that Members of Parliament who voted to enact such legislation have struck such a grievous blow against the right to freedom of speech that they have forfeited their right to life and are legitimate targets for assassination.

|| Posted by David Kessler, January 23, 2007 05:51 AM ||

I do believe you go to far -- a time, place, and manner restriction like the one you cite, while absurd and over-broad, certainly does not justify the murder of those who voted for it.

Their defeat at the ballot box and replacement with lovers of liberty, but not their murder.

|| Posted by Jacob, January 23, 2007 09:47 AM ||

They would lock me in prison for exercising my freedom speech. But how would they get me there if I choose not to comply? The answer is by force. Thus, the legislators would use force to lock me away in prison if I exercise my inalienable right to freedom of speech.

What if they curtailed my right to freedom of speech in a broader area than just 5 furlongs of parliament? If they could do that then they could reduce the likelohood that they WILL be defeated at the ballot box. How far do they have to go in violating the right to freedom of speech before I can defend my right with force?

|| Posted by David Kessler, February 10, 2007 09:23 AM ||

This girl ist a REAL patriot !!

|| Posted by Dr. Warp, May 13, 2007 11:42 PM ||

Murder of the president is hardly patriotism.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, May 14, 2007 05:50 PM ||

If I was a kidnap victim in, say, Guantanamo Bay I'd conside it legitimate to escape and kill anyone who tried to stop me. Technically the man who gives the orders is as guilty as the man who does the dirty work.

|| Posted by David Kessler, May 25, 2007 03:12 AM ||

And dare I suggest to you that Ms. Wilson is not "a kidnap victim in, say, Guantanamo Bay", but is instead a pampered, over-privileged little brat living in the lap of suburban luxury?

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, May 25, 2007 03:43 AM ||

Yes but may I point out that Ms Wilson didn't kill the president of the United States or indeed anyone else, she merely advocated doing to Bush what Bush himself has done - or ordered others to do.

As for "pampered, over-privileged little brat living in the lap of suburban luxury," - the same could be said about the people who SUPPORT Bush.

|| Posted by David Kessler, May 26, 2007 03:48 PM ||

Actually, no it couldn't -- I've noticed that the pampered rich tend to be liberal Democrats. You know, folks with names like Kennedy, Kerry, Edwards...

And Bush has ordered no one kidnapped or murdered -- and if holding combatants as prisoners following their capture during time of war constitutes some sort of injustice, I'd be perfectly willing to see American troops give these terrorists the same treatment they dole out to captured Americans -- with precisely the same amount of due process. Based upon your argument, you would hold the same position -- unless you side with the terrorists.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, May 26, 2007 04:57 PM ||

Throwing out a couple of names of rich people who happen to be liberal democrats hardly proves your point. Dick Chenney isn't exactly knocking on the door of penury.

As for "holding combatants" I would make the following observations:

1) Those Guantanamo prisoners who are actually WERE captured in combat are prisoners of war, provided that they conducted themselves in accordance with the laws and customs of war, wore a clearly defined or recognizable uniform, carried arms openly, were part of a chain of command and fought for an entity that had specific demands and conditions (this last is to ensure that there exists at least the possibility of meeting their terms and thus ending the combat).

Such prisoners are not entitled to a trial and may be held until cessation of hostilities (or some reasonable time thereafter) but ARE entitled to all the protections of the Hague Convention (1907) and the Third Geneva Convention (1929) and its amendment of 1949.

2)Those who fought but who did NOT comply with the laws and customs of war could be tried as spies, common criminals or in some cases war criminals by a court of competant jurisdiction. (An exception to the uniform/open-arms requirement might apply in practice to civilians defending their own country against foreign invaders.)

Courts of competent jurisdiction would include both international courts and Federal US Courts - but in the latter case would be subject to all the provisions of the US constitution. As such they could be subject to a full range of penalties commensurate with their crimes up to and including capital punishment.

3) It has been alleged by relatives of some detainees that they were not captured in combat, were not in combat but simply "arrested" in countries like pakistan because they had aroused suspicion in one way or another and were then handed over to the US military and transferred to Guantanamo Bay (or other places under US military control).

If so, these people are kidnap victims and have the right to escape using force against their captors - up to and including deadly force.

While you might dismiss the statements of their relatives and friends as the unreliable claims of biased parties, the fact that the detainees have not been convicted in open court according to recognized standards of evidence and justice lends credence to these claims.

If the claims are false, the US government has the power to refute them - by presenting the evidence. If the US government chooses not to do so, a reasonable person has the right to draw inferences from the US government's failure to back up its claim with evidence.

As to the argument that the US cannot disclose the evidence because to do so would endanger their sources or compromise future intelligence - that may well be true, but it may equally well be false and a convenient excuse.

To put it bluntly neither you nor I KNOWS whether all - or indeed any - of the Guantanamo detainees are guilty. In the absence of convincing evidence one way or the other, I give the benefit of the doubt to the individual rather than the powerful National entity. Whether that makes me a liberal or a libertarian, I leave you to decide.

|| Posted by David Kessler, May 27, 2007 07:32 AM ||

Actually, under international law a military tribunal is also a court of competent jurisdiction.

And as for knowing their guilt, i defer to the lawful government of the US rather than the terrorists and their supporters.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, May 27, 2007 12:16 PM ||

A military tribunal is only a court of competant jurisdiction if they are captured in battle. If they are kidnapped and then dragged before a military tribunal then it is kidnapping and they have the lawful right to escape using force - up to and including deadly force.

As to the question of guilt: the choice is not between "the terrorists" and the awful government of the US, but rather between the "Accused" and the US government. That's because until they have proven guilty you do not know if they ARE terrorists or not.

If you presume that anyone accused of terrorism by the US government is guilty then you are not a rational thinker. It is impossible to prove a negative (e.g. ones innocence) - especially if one is held incommunicado! Therefore the burden of proof is on the accuser.

|| Posted by David Kessler, June 6, 2007 09:48 AM ||

None have been "kidnapped and dragged before a military tribunal" -- all have been captured in battle.

But maybe we could just adopt their tactics -- behead or otherwise execute them upon capture. After all, if they don't abide by the laws of war, let's give them the same treatment.

Oh, that's right, you would object to that. Would you care to explain why it is only the US government and not the terrorists who you criticize?

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, June 6, 2007 10:16 AM ||

I don't know how to make my position any clearer to you.

First of all you are mistaken when you say that all have been captured in battle. Very strong evidence has been unearthed by journalists that some of the detainees have been arrested in Pakistan and handed over to the Americans.

Secondly, if they WERE captured in battle then they should be treated like POWs in accordance with the Geneva and Hague conventions.

Thirdly, if there is genuine evidence that they have committed war crimes then they should be tried publicly and within a reasonable time before a court in which the judges are free of political pressure from the executive branch of government - i.e. the trial should be held in such a manner as to inspire confidence in its fairness of procedure and the fairness of its result.

Fourthly, your entire argument is predicated on the assumption that all those held at Guantanamo Bay are guilty. While it is highly probable (in practice) that most (if not all) of the detainees were engaged in some kind of action (or preparation) against the interests of the United States, this canot be assumed in any individual case without specific evidence. Even a criminal caught red-handed is supposed to get a trial. And as neither you nor I knows the evidence against (or in favour of) the detainees, we cannot know if they are guilty. But I start from a presumption of innocence in any single individual case: that is the premise on which my - and your - legal system rests.

Your argument that if they don't abide by th laws of war we should give them the same treatment, reminds me of something Khomeini said of the people he had executed: "They violated human rights - to give them a trial would itself violate the human rights of their victims." The question that I asked then, applies now: how can one be sure that a person commited the crime until there has been a fair trial to make a formal determination of the facts after hearing from both sides?

Finally, why do I criticize the US government and not the terrorists? Because my criticism of the terrorists and opposition to tyranny should be obvious. The terrorists and Islamic dictatorships are NOT my side to begin with: the free world (UK ad USA and Israel) are my side - therefore when they deviate from the righteous path (excuse the quasi-religious phraseology) I feel impelled to speak out.

|| Posted by David Kessler, June 9, 2007 05:04 AM ||

1) The "strong evidence" does not exist -- indeed, it is based upon their own claims and the claims of their fellow terrorists and supporters.

2) Hey, I'm all for treating them like POWs -- it means no trials, no access to the courts, and imprisonment until the war on terrorism is over -- which effectively means life imprisonment.

3) You really need to learn to understand sarcasm -- my comment about treating the terrorists as they treat our troops was meant as a sarcastic response to your continued apologia for the terrorists.

4) No, it isn't obvious that you oppose the terrorists. Indeed, your last response is the first time you have indicated ANY opposition to them.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, June 9, 2007 07:29 AM ||

>>1) The "strong evidence" does not exist -- indeed, it is based upon their own claims and the claims of their fellow terrorists and supporters.>2) Hey, I'm all for treating them like POWs -- it means no trials, no access to the courts, and imprisonment until the war on terrorism is over -- which effectively means life imprisonment.>4) No, it isn't obvious that you oppose the terrorists. Indeed, your last response is the first time you have indicated ANY opposition to them.

|| Posted by David Kessler, June 10, 2007 07:00 AM ||

1) We seem to be going round in circles here, so let me try and spell it out to you again

How do you KNOW that they are terrorists?

Where is your PROOF that their families and people who know them (or "supporters" in your words) are the supporters of terrorism as opposed to the supporters of inocent people falsely accused of terrorism?

Why should we BELIEVE the accuser more than the accused?

Why should we ASSUME that the powerful state that says "He's guilty" is any more credible than the individual who says "I am innocent."?

Until you can answer these questions you "case" is based on a series of assumptions that remain unrproven and that are not intuitively obvious. (You really need to understand logic.)

2) Treating them as POWs means captivity for the duration of hostilities. If they were captured in Iraq this means hostilities in Iraq. If they were captured in the entirely separate war in Afghanistan that means hostilities in Afghanistan. Different theatres of war can only be linked if they part of an alliance (like the Axis powers). Inventing this hokum of a "war on terror" and an imaginary alliance between Sadaam Hussein and the Taliban is just using a fiction to violate international law.

BTW, if you really think the "war on terror" will last for the lifetime of the detainees, you don't have much confidence in what was supposedly a worthy venture (yes, that was sarcasm too!)

3) I'm all in favour capital punishment for terrorists - just prove they're terrorists in a court of law. (I accept that it is legitimate to kill them in action - as the Israelis do. But if they are captured alive, then put them on trial.)

4) EVERY person should be PRESUMED to oppose terrorism until he says otherwise. I have said anything condoning terrorism (notwithstanding your misreading of my earlier postings).

This is yet another example of your flawed way of thinking. You demand pledges of allegiance and card carrying unity and wearing the star-spangled banner on ones sleeve - any trace of criticism is interpreted as friendship towards the enemy. It is a siege mentality that distorts your viewpoint and manifests itself as rampant paranoia.

|| Posted by David Kessler, June 10, 2007 07:04 AM ||

1) I know they are terrorists the same way my grandparents during WWII knew that captured German troops were German troops.

2) Actually, David, you are wrong. The duration of the war in this case will mean the entire War on Terrorism. That will, unfortunately, be a war that outlives either of us. And given that most of them are associated with organizations operating under the banner of al-Qaeda, the alliance you insist needs to exist actually exists.

3) Personally, I'm all for treating them as the law of war did prior to WWII -- drumhead courts-martial in the field followed by immediate implementation of the sentence without recourse or appeal.

4) Actually, that is not at all the case, David. I've encountered too many folks who claim opposition to terrorism -- only to then turn around and justify 9/11 or 7/7 or those involved in carrying them out or accusing American leaders (as you did) of being tyrants or terrorists, opposition too and murder of being legitimate actions.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, June 10, 2007 12:09 PM ||

1) That's not an answer that's a cop out. I've just watched a documentary about how the US is colluding with its allies in the practice of "rendition" (an American euphemism for kidnapping) on the wives and CHILDREN of people they accuse of terrorism - and when I say children I mean three and four year olds. And I know they are kidnapping the same way the people who kidnapped Patty Hearst were kidnappers!

2)The "entire war on terrorism" is an artificial construct like the "war to end all tyranny" (as World War II was described. It would be like holding Nazi German POW's until the fall of Communism on the grounds that both systems were forms of tyranny.

3)Executing POWs in the field (even if they really were captured in battle) is against agreements that America has signed.

4) I have never justified 9/11 or 7/7/ or the numerous terrorist acts carried out by the IRA in England (where I live) or in Israel (where I used to live). I just do not condone kidnapping, execessively indiscriminate bombing (although I concede that that's a tough one to call in the context of modern warfare) or the invention of quasi-legal statuses like illegal combatants (meaning foreign residents of a country who fight back when America invades that country.)

|| Posted by David Kessler, June 11, 2007 06:56 PM ||

1) And I've just watched a documentary that says Bigfoot exists.

2) Except, of course, that there is an inter-locking network of related Islamic terror groups working towards a common goal.

3) They are not POWs -- they are spies, saboteurs, and other violators of the laws of war. That was my point -- POWs have to meet very specific requirements.

4) Illegal combatants is a long-standing category under international law, not one invented by the US.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, June 12, 2007 06:48 AM ||

1) A bogus analogy. It has never been PROVEN that Bigfoot exists. Similarly it has never been PROVEN that these Guantanamo prisoners are terrorists. Therefore your claim that they are terorists is like the claim that Bigfoot exists - an unproven claim! In the absence of proof these people are kidnap victims and have the right to escape by force, like any other kidnap victim.


3) We've already been through this. If they are spies, prove it in a court of law. If they are POWs allow them RED CROSS visits!

4) Define "illegal combatants" with reference to international law! Then prove that these alleged "illegal combatants" committed the acts that conform to the definition.

|| Posted by David Kessler, June 13, 2007 06:20 PM ||

Ok. Well. I know Julia Wilson. And I was in that biology class when she was taken out. So leave her alone. Such rude people. She is such a sweetheart. The End.

|| Posted by Anonymous, September 14, 2007 07:54 PM ||

What she posted was reasonably open to interpretation as a threat against the President -- a felony under federal law.

I don't care if she is a "sweetheart" -- she needed to be scrutinized by the Secret Service.

All the whining from her and her parents are "rebels without a clue".

And if you don't like the title of my post, consider that it is a riff on the name of her site. Maybe I should have called it "People wh want to stab Julia Wilson and her parents". What do you think?

Oh, I see, you don't find that any more acceptable, and even consider it menacing. You probably want the police to check me out for even suggesting it. But why? After all, I'm obviously no threat to society -- just like Julia. And just ask my students -- I'm a real sweetheart.

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