Secret Service Interrogates 13-Year-old for Warning President Obama About Suicide Bombers

Has Facebook become make-work for the Secret Service? Outrages like this point to "yes":

When Timi Robertson found out her middle-schooler son was being questioned by the Secret Service and the police at his Tacoma, Wa. school, she says she "just about lost it," — especially after they told her it was over a Facebook post the boy had written warning President Barack Obama of suicide attacks in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death.

"My 13-year-old son, who's a minor, who's supposed to be safe and secure in his classroom at school, is being interrogated without my knowledge or consent by the Secret Service," Robertson told Q13 Fox News reporter Dana Rebik. She only got wind of the interrogation because a school security guard tipped her off and arrived a half-hour after the agent had already begun questioning her son. Tacoma police were also present. [...]

Her son [...] told the reporter he was "very scared" and that he's more careful about what he writes on the site.

Mission accomplished!

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  • sarcasmic||

    Add to list of possible signs that someone is a domestic terrorist-

    Expressing concern that terrorists might retaliate against the president in the wake of the president ordering the killing of the terrorists' leader.

    Other signs include patriotism, flying the American flag, quoting the Constitution, love of country, military service, and a rudimentary understanding of economics.

  • Almanian||

    Other signs include patriotism, flying the American flag, quoting the Constitution, love of country, military service, and a rudimentary understanding of economics.

    That's just straight-up eliminationist rhetoric, right there, Mr. Domestic Terrorist.

  • Bünzli||

    Also complaining about the TSA while standing in line to be groped and/or scanned.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You left out "membership in any political party which is not Team Red or Team Blue".

  • ||

    Not even an understanding of Economics; just an understanding of rudimentary accounting.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Everyone knows that Robertson kid isn't the most subtle with his facebook comments. After being benched, this is what he posted to his little league coach:

    "A real nice Dodge Stratus you got there. Be a shame if some suicide bomber blew it up."

  • Secret Service||

    *likes this*

  • Almanian||

    Yep, I LOLed

  • Mr. FIFY||

    That's how Rahm Emanuel got started, Fist.

  • ||

    I'm trying to find the part where national security trumps the entire Constitution. Maybe it's on the back?

    When hoi polloi are threatened in this manner, something more than some words are needed to criminalize the statement. Something that makes it rise to an actual threat. Also, the capacity of the speaker to commit violence along with some indication of his intent to do so are required.

    With presidents, this apparently isn't the case. Which is a clear and absolute violation of First Amendment protections.

  • sarcasmic||

    What are you talking about?

    I was told that the First Amendment gives Congress the power to regulate speech, just as the Second Amendment gives Congress the power to infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms.
    The Fourth gives police the authority to break down doors if they smell marijuana and the Tenth gives all powers not specifically defined in the Constitution to the federal government.

    Only an uneducated rube thinks that those words mean what they actually say.

    Nuance!

    Nuance!

  • ||

    No, you're right. "Amendment", after all, means the act of rectification. Obviously, that means that all of the amendments were intended to allow the government to rectify the population. Interpretations that diminish this rectification power are to be discarded.

    I can see the Secret Service taking a look at someone who says something in public that's vaguely threatening. Not picking him up for questioning, just taking a look.

    But that's in cases where there's an actual threat that looks legitimate and remotely capable of being carried out.

  • iamtheeviltwin||

    Back in my college days GHW Bush came to campus. The SS goons showed up about a month before the visit to vet the students and staff.

    A friend of mine was "asked" to stay away from the event because he had told his school therapist that he wouldn't mind seeing HW get killed...

    The Government can't even be bothered to follow it's own modern laws (doctor/patient privelage) let alone the archaic First Amendment.

  • Platypus||

    So, the therapist DID tell the SS about your friend's session! Interesting lack of privacy there.

  • iamtheeviltwin||

    Yeah, completely broke my friends trust in this therapist...he took some backwards steps for a while because of it.

    I am uncertain whether the therapist just blabbed the info to the SS or whether he was "asked" to supply info on "dangerous" students.

  • lunchstealer||

    Therapist coulda lost his license, couldn't he?

    I mean, there are rules requiring medical professionals to report eminent acts of violence and any report of child abuse, but seems like this is too vague to fall into that category.

  • WTF||

    Well, all of those things have a substantial effect upon commerce, so yeah, it's all good under the Commerce Clause.

  • yonemoto||

    I think you mean good and welfare under the commerce clause.

  • Nipplemancer||

    it's in the secret constitution that only presidents get to read. I found a copy on the intarwebz but the ICE seized the domain and the publisher was accidentally shot during a wrong-door SWAT raid. He apparently took an aggressive stance when his door was busted and then made a furtive movement toward an unknown shiny object that turned out to be a can of Diet Coke.

  • DADIODADDY||

    WITH A HAIR ON IT?

  • Ska||

    That Coke Zero in its black can, glistening with condensation and streaked with crimson stripes - it looks so much like a bloodied firearm. How can you expect some other outcome?

  • ||

    Drinking Coke Zero is worthy of a death sentence anyway. No trial needed.

  • Sudden||

    Sugarfree is clearly in your sights.

  • ||

    He always has been.

  • ||

    Given his width and volume, it is hard for him not to be in one's sites.

  • ||

    Assault Cola.

  • ||

    "Maybe it's on the back?"

    - No, that's where the treasure map is

  • Michael||

    I'm trying to find the part where national security trumps the entire Constitution. Maybe it's on the back?

    No, it's in the part at the end when the lawyer talks really fast.

  • ||

    I'm trying to find the part where national security trumps the entire Constitution. Maybe it's on the back?

    Article 14, Section 31.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Article 14, Section 31.

    I see what you did there.

    Dork.

  • ||

    No, he's right. I flipped over my copy of the Constitution. It's right there. Who knew they printed the document in duplex?

  • tarran||

    This has all the hallmarks of a make-work project.

    I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the S.S. has internal quotas as to the number of threats investigated etc. either to bump up the stats of managers bucking for promotion or to justify expansion of Congressional funding.

    So, some guy gets an order to spend y hours investigating threats or is told he needs to conduct x investigations. He also wants to go home at 5 PM. So he does some work with google and picks some incidents whose write-ups will look plausibly worthwhile while guaranteeing that they won't cause him trouble.

    The other possibility is that some bedwetting patriot dropped a dime on the kid, and the S.S. is not permitted to screen out these cases prior to an interrogation.

    Of course, the question that goes unasked is why the fuck a free country has a secret police force at all.

  • ||

    Or somebody in the SS needed a few more frequent flyer miles to get his Platinum status for 2011. Do you know how far it is from DC to WA?

    CB

  • Lorenzo||

    If we weren't spied on, recorded, and followed, we couldn't enjoy the multitudinous freedoms we enjoy.

  • MNG||

    "I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the S.S. has internal quotas as to the number of threats investigated"

    I hate it when they sit at the bottom of a hill on a curve to fill those quotas.

  • Spartacus||

    I can see them not being allowed to write off a report without doing *something.* Probably what happened was, they entered the school expecting to have it over with in a few minutes, but then they started having flashbacks, and the only thing they could say after that was "Zero Tolerance, Zero Tolerance,..."

  • GILMORE||

    Of course, the question that goes unasked is why the fuck a free country has a secret police force at all.

    if that's unasking, then I suppose unanswering goes something like:

    ""Created in 1865 by Lincoln as a branch of the Treasury to counter the widespread counterfeiting of US currency prevalent at the time...with Lincoln's assassination shortly thereafter, and the subsequent assassination of McKinley in 1901, their mandate was expanded to include personal protection of the President""

    The necessity of 'secret' in their mandate actually predated their role as bodyguards. Something to do with their role protecting the currency, which may have involved them also investigating institutional corruption, and thus something sort of like an Internal Affairs corps who policed the banks etc., ... secrecy being both part of their investigative process, as well as helping prevent possibility of corruption amongst themselves, given no one knew who to bribe ... I forget the exact rationale, but it actually made some kind of sense, although I agree with your assessment that the idea of 'secret police' is certainly not particularly constitutionalish. Although arguably their powers weren't initially supposed to be 'policing', aside from treasury related issues.

    You can see a Frontline (or was it National Geo?) doc on the secret service on netflix, here, if you want. my source, fwiw =

    http://movies.netflix.com/WiMo.....height1647

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    I did not know that. Thats funny. Mr Honest Greenback himself worried about counterfeiting.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    But it's not realy surprising at all that Lincoln started the modern day Praetorian Guard.

  • GILMORE||

    He actually was shot before they ever came into being. And all they were for at the time was trying to put a stop to all the funny-money on the market, which some estimated at 30% of the bills in circulation. I think it was after the third president got aced they decided to give them sunglasses and guns.

    An unrelated side note: if you know the UCB (Upright Citizen's Brigade)'s Matt Walsh, he once did a play called 'Secret Slut', about a secret service agent demoted to guarding the president's nymphomaniac college-student daughter. His dad had caught a bullet in the service for President Ford and he can't stand the humility of this undignified appointment. I wouldn't want to spoil how it ends. Well, Ok, he catches a bullet saving her life at the Teen People awards ceremony... where a musical rendition of the Tom Beringer /Platoon, "What you all know about Death?" speech is performed by the Backstreet Boys.

    I really can't do justice to how fucking funny it was.

  • ||

    Even tho' the SS told the boy he'd done no wrong, they shot his dog anyway. That'll make him think twice before he doesn't threaten His Majesty again.

    CB

  • Nipplemancer||

    You know who else had an organization that went by the initials SS...

  • ||

    Social Security?

  • Zeb||

    Selective Service?

  • NeonCat||

    Shel Silverstein?

  • ||

    Shyla Stylez?

  • ||

    Sesame Street?

  • Arcaster||

    Steven Segal?

  • DADIODADDY||

    NO ONE ESCAPES THE "SPANISH INQUISITION"

  • OO||

    waterboard the traitor till he fesses-up

  • rather zombie||

    Waterboarding is extreme and you only have to threaten him with a bath, he's a 13 year boy and is allergic to cleanliness

  • ||

    You know, you could play good cop and challenge him to a farting contest.

  • rather ||

    or we could play teacher, and I'm pretty sure I'd have a 'A' student

  • pedant||

    ... have an 'A' student...

  • rather ||

    did I say it was an 'A' for grammar‽

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    At the risk of exposing myself as a statist, I recognize that we put a lot of money and effort into electing our Disappointments-in-Chief, and transitions are disruptive or whatever, so these threats to the president need to be investigated.

    And when I say "these threats" I obviously don't mean some 13-year-old posting whatever the fuck he posted on his Facebook wall.

    (On the other hand, Lee Harvey Oswald played MafiaWars every day, and we all know how that turned out.)

  • Ska||

    Just wait until he admits he enjoyed the airport segment of MW2. Then we'll know what kind of monster he truly is.

  • Arcaster||

    Great game.

  • MNG||

    It's a good thing Clarence "The Most Libertarian Justice" Thomas wasn't there because the interrogation would have likely led to a strip search.

  • WTF||

    Do we really need to point out that "most libertarian justice on the Supreme Court" is kind of like "tallest midget"?

  • bosty||

    best pizza in all of Wyoming!

  • Ming....||

    It seems that all of the Clinton/Obama/Bush/Reagan appointees went "BIG STATE," except for dear old Ruth -- and Obama's ladies look to be the worst of the bunch in their knee-jerk defense of unbridled govt power.

  • ||

    Hope the kid was smart enough to keep his mouth shut!

    www.internet-privacy.at.tc

  • ||

    Anon-bot shows that the singularity is closer than we imagine.

  • yonemoto||

    it's evolving.

  • Angry Expressions||

    we should all wear one of these shirts to show American pride
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISA.....RK:MESE:IT

  • ||

    "My 13-year-old son, who's a minor, who's supposed to be safe and secure in his classroom at school, is being interrogated without my knowledge or consent by the Secret Service,"

    She should get down on her knees and thank the Ascended One for not sending a Seal team to rub him out on the playground.

  • SecurityPig Barack||

    All my investments in national security are paying off. We'll soon expand from middle schools to elementary schools. Folks need to know that we're watching you no matter what age.

  • ||

    I'm trying to find the part where national security trumps the entire Constitution. Maybe it's on the back?

    Public policy.

    duh

  • The Other Kevin||

    This whole thing brings to mind a room furnished with only a table and chair, and the kid being questioned by a guy in a suit and sunglasses referring to him as "Mr. Anderson".

  • ||

    This sort of BS reminds me of when I was a little kid. I think I was 4. I was at the Ronald Reagan Library where Dan Quayle was doing a book signing. I was getting the book signed for my dad's b-day. So I strutted up when it was my turn and stretched to hand him the book and my pen (which was had the pointed end facing him apparently). Then a secret service woman dropped in out of nowhere, grabbed my arm and threw me backwards, and I turned around a ran screaming bloody murder. He came back and apologized. Secret Service has been known to over do it from time to time.

  • rather zombie||

    that can't be true

  • Sudden||

    They didn't take very kindly to me yelling Allahu Akbar during GWB's rendition of "My Pet Goat" to my elementary class.

  • Fluffy||

    You know what?

    I think there is NO public occasion where yelling "Allahu Akbar" wouldn't be fucking hilarious.

  • T||

    A bris?

    No, wait, that would be hysterical.

  • Abdul||

    A devout Muslim sincerely declaring his deep and profound awe of creation?

  • Xanax||

    A devout Muslim flying a plane into a building?

  • Gray Ghost||

    Didn't Wine Commonsewer have an anecdote here about his experience with the Secret Service trying to frame him for weed when he was a young man?

    Ah, here we are: http://reason.com/blog/2008/11.....nt_1138036

    FWIW, in my few personal experiences dealing with the SS, they've always been extremely polite. Alert, but polite.

  • Michael||

    O/T: Joe Biden is the Frank Drebin of elected officialdom.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/.....7817.story

    I can't help but suspect that the controller was actually made to wait in the broom closet until after Air Force Dos had landed.

  • ||

    The nicest thought I have about AF2 is that some day Biden might insist on taking the controls.

  • ||

    Her son [...] told the reporter he was "very scared" and that he's more careful about what he writes on the site.

    And another libertarian is created.

  • Sudden||

    Yay, now there's 74 of us nationwide.

  • ||

    The kids said nothing that wasn't already being said by many in government including Rep. Peter King, and some pundits. Why the hell the SS would take interest in this is beyond me.

  • ||

    Because the kid had to learn that he is one of the little people (in the figurative sense).

  • ||

    How did the Secret Service know? Do they routinely scan the facebook pages of thirteen year olds for statements they can exaggerate and misconstrue?

    Of course not!

    That is the job of the schools. You know damn well some school official was snooping in the private lives of the students and turned this one in.

  • Joe Naive||

    how would the Secret Service know what this kid posted on his Facebook wall unless he "friended" the agency earlier? Moral: don't accept friend requests from the Secret Service.

  • ||

    I would not be surprised to learn that Facebook, this website, The Agitator, Balloon Juice, HuffPo, Alternet and just about every other political website is routinely scanned using automated searches for keywords by the Secret Service and a long list of other government agencies.

    Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

  • ||

    This wouldn't happen in a free society. This probably wouldn't happen at a private school. Allowing ANY government agent access to my child without my prior consent would NOT be in a contract I would ever sign with a school.

    End the state!

  • Nike Dunk High Women||

    thanks

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