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Two Americans Headed to Prison After Tweeting Support for ISIS

As Reason regulars are all too aware, the feds have been taking a heavier hand lately when it comes to online speech.

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@breaking3zero/Twitter

In various European countries, making racially or religiously insensitive statements can get you thrown in prison for "hate speech." In America, thanks to the First Amendment, citizens can avoid being prosecuted for such thought crimes…right? Well, theoretically, yes. But the recent sentencing of two online ISIS supporters tells a different story.

The first case involves a suburban Virginia high-school student, Ali Shukri Amin, who ran an ISIS-sympathizing Twitter account. Amin, 17, was sentenced as an adult Friday to 11 years in federal prison. The teen confessed earlier this summer to running the pro-ISIS Twitter account @Amreekiwitness (now taken down), which offered instruction on how to send Bitcoin to support ISIS, and to helping arrange for another teenage ISIS supporter to travel to Turkey to meet up with members of the Islamic State. Amin was charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, both for assisting his friend and for the Bitcoin instructions.

The second case involves Frederick Remon Robinson, a 46-year-old Houston man who posted ISIS-positive things to Twitter. Robinson was arrested in April 2015 after making statements such as: "If white people hate ISIS so much, then I like ISIS. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. #chopthemheadsoff" and "I say, don't hesitate—start shooting in their cars…find them at home and fire bomb it." Robinson was sentenced to 2.5 years in federal prison plus three years supervised release.

In Robinson's case, the charges don't directly concern his tweets.* Robinson, who was previously convicted of possession of a controlled substance, was charged with owning a firearm while a felon. In this way, the feds were able to sidestep any potential free-speech concerns. 

As Ken White has patiently explained many times at Popehat, there are exceptions to First Amendment-protected speech, such as "true threats." But this doesn't mean any threat is unprotected. "Some threats are too rhetorical, too conditional, too hyperbolic, and too far from serious to fall outside the zone of free speech protection," notes White.

Thus, tweeting that you're going to box Taylor Swift's ears or run the Breitbart staff through a wood-chipper or defecate in Prince Harry's mouth, while technically threats, probably do not rise to the level of unprotected true threats absent evidence of genuine intent and/or possibility of carrying said actions out. It must be clear that a reasonable person would take the statement to be genuinely threatening, that the speaker intended it as a true threat, or both.

There's no evidence that Amid is being faulted for making threats; his account merely provided information, albeit information—such as how to send Bitcoin—the Department of Justice (DOJ) was able to portray as "providing material support" to terrorists. But even Robinson's statements such as "#chopthemheadsoff" and "find them at home and fire bomb it," while they may be despicable, likely wouldn't hold up to a true theat standard. Find whom? And to whom is Robinson even speaking? This is angry bloviating, not someone legitimately suggesting he's going to go bomb someone or chop a person's head off. 

Still, the federal government has been taking a heavy hand lately when it comes to online speech (as Reason regulars are all too aware). Pro-ISIS tweeting alone might not be sufficient for the DOJ to pounce, but where there's a will… "The Department of Justice will continue to use all tools to disrupt the threats that (ISIS) poses," said John Carlin, the Justice Department's assistant attorney general for national security, in a statement about Amin's case. 

Amin's attorney, Joseph Flood, said the teen's support for ISIS came out of anger at the current Syrian regime and America's role in propping it up, and Amin's actions "are a reflection of his deeply held religious beliefs, but also his immaturity, social isolation and frustration at the ineffectiveness of nonviolent means for opposing a criminal regime." The feds were tipped off to Amin's "suspicious behavior" by staff at his high-school, whose observations were "quickly relayed" to law enforcement.

A reddit commenter claiming to be a classmate said that in the weeks leading up to Amin's arrest, the school was filled with "extra 'teachers' and 'administrators' that… were undercover FBI agents," though this hasn't been verified. 

* Updated for clarity; while Amin's charges weren't directly speech related, they did relate to things he tweeted as well as his assistance of his friend.

NEXT: Awaited Police Crackdown on Times Square Performers About to Begin?

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  1. Been astonished at how many people support this. Especially for the 17 year-old who will do 11 years in prison for being a stupid teenager. US politicians and celebrities regularly express support for our enemies with complete impunity. But the rules are different for us peons.

    1. Especially for the 17 year-old who will do 11 years in prison for being a stupid teenager.

      I don’t know how you spent your teenage years, but I don’t recall being involved in the smuggling of any of my friends into Iraq to fight for Al Qaeda.

      1. I don’t know how you spent your teenage years

        I was a good kid but I still did a few stupid things without considering the long-term consequences. And who cares if these imbeciles want to go and fight for Al Qaeda? I’d rather someone that stupid be over there (where they’ll hopefully die) than be here where they might plot terrorist attacks.

        1. And who cares of he DID support them? He has that legal right.

          What about supporting the Irish Republican Army? They are terrorists and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people in this country who do or did support them. And who have likely sent them money or traveled to Ireland to connect with them.

          1. And I would have no problem if Peter King were arrested for providing money to an organization that caused tens of millions of dollars in property damage in Britain and murdered people.

            The government isn’t the only source of NAP violations. Anyone who supports a terrorist organization that kills people or destroys property is just as guilty as any government that does the same and so far as I’m concerned a jail sentence for supporting terrorists in any tangible way (i.e., through actual actions as opposed to just words) is completely reasonable. Material support for ISIS, which includes providing them with soldiers, which this guy did, makes you just as guilty of the rape and murder of innocent people, the stoning of women, and the lynching of homosexuals as the people who are personally doing it. We don’t know what happened to the guy he helped go to Turkey, but it’s very possible there are a few dozen corpses somewhere in Iraq that this piece of shit is personally responsible for. Not to mention giving money to terrorists which they will then use to commit even more murder of innocents.

            He can fuck himself.

            1. Thissity this.

              1. Incidentally “threats” are not the only “exception” not covered by the First Amendment. Certain forms of excessively deadpan parody are also crimes, at least when they’re used to mock well-connected members of the academic community. See the documentation of America’s leading criminal satire case at:

                http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

            2. Because the kid, as far as I can tell from the article, didn’t do anything like that.

              From the article, here is what we know:
              1. He wrote tweets in support of ISIS. Protected by 1A. He can say stupid shit.
              2. He wrote tweets on HOW to give $ (in the form of bitcoin) to ISIS. Protected by 1A, again. He can teach others how to do things, even illegal things.
              3. He assisted ” another teenage ISIS supporter to travel to Turkey to meet up with members of the Islamic State.” Now, herein lies the rub. What level of assistance did he give? Give him the email address of a confirmed terrorist? Purchased him a ticket? Drove him to the airport?

              I agree, if our young man here were a bundeler for funds, ran fundraisers for ISIS, laundered money for them, etc., that could be a problem. We don’t even know that he DID give money to ISIS, but that he taught others how to do so. But we don’t know, at least from the article, that he did any of those things you are suggesting.

        2. Ah no that’s not how it works. AQ is an enemy of America with lots of blood on its hands. Aiding it is treason. You can argue the sentence is out of line and that sending people abroad is not as bad as helping AQ do stuff in NA, but it’s still aiding The Enemy.

          1. You crack me up with your naivety. AQ was created by and is almost certainly still funded by the CIA.

            1. Tonio! Need some foil over here!

              1. I’m going to have to go down to the supply room to cover that one. Sheesh.

            2. Your something something intriguing to me and something something subscribe to your newsletter.

    2. Been astonished at how many people support this. Especially for the 17 year-old who will do 11 years in prison for being a stupid teenager.

      I find the sentence heavy-handed and cruel, but this:

      which offered instruction on how to send Bitcoin to support ISIS, and helping arrange for another teenage ISIS supporter to travel to Turkey to meet up with members of the Islamic State.

      is above the mark for being an ignorant boy, and it goes beyond speech. Seventeen years old is old enough to deduce that crazy fuckers who kill women and children and burn people alive shouldn’t get donations and recruits.

      I’m struggling to suggest a suitable punishment. The Clockwork Orange treatment?

      1. This, and yes, more treatments like in CO.

      2. I’m struggling to suggest a suitable punishment.

        If you must get the government involved, how about probation with the stipulation that if he does something like that again then he’ll go to prison? I just have a serious problem with holding minors (who are unable to vote, get married, drink, smoke, etc.) to the same standard as a full adult. In this country the only way for a teenager to get treated like an adult is to commit a ‘crime.’ That’s insane.

        1. If you must get the government involved, how about probation with the stipulation that if he does something like that again then he’ll go to prison?

          I’m inclined to give any child, or person under the age of majority who has no voice in government, a second chance. Teenagers don’t understand consequences and the long-term threat of prison is meaningless to a hot-headed boy. I don’t know what the government should do to him. If he were my boy I’d whip his ass, talk to him and get in his head and reverse whatever brain programming he pulled on himself, and make sure all his available time outside of school was spent caring for people less fortunate than him.

          If the government must impose punishment, a year in the joint followed by several years of probation seems appropriate.

          1. person under the age of majority who has no voice in government

            Yeah, this is my biggest issue. I’d actually like to see the age of adulthood lowered (14 sounds good to me). The real crime here is holding a minor to the same standard of an adult when there is no demonstrable evidence that anything he did benefited ISIS in any way. Expressing support for a terrorist organization is despicable, but should it result in over a decade of prison? This is a very slippery slope…

            1. I support lowering it to the age of the youngest person the state or locality has ever charged as an adult.

              1. I support lowering it to the age of the youngest person the state or locality has ever charged as an adult.

                Alabama weeps. Except it doesn’t.

                1. Alabama squeals. Squeals like a pig.

            2. Expressing support for a terrorist organization is despicable, but should it result in over a decade of prison?

              No, it should not. Especially for a boy. Boys are stupid by default. 17-year-olds should be playing Dark Souls and curing cancer.

            3. How many 14 year olds have you spent time with? I have a 14 year old. She vacillates between thinking if she doesn’t have a 4.0 in high school she won’t be accepted to any college, and telling me she is going to quit school and become a Kardashian. Holding her responsible for her decisions in the same sense as an adult would be cruel. It is still my job to protect her from her own immature mind a few more years.
              We know that the human brain is not fully developed until the early 20s. Most late teens at least have enough impulse control, and development of the pre-frontal cortex to not totally ruin their own lives. A 14 year old just doesn’t have those same abilities. It would be like holding a dementia patient responsible for signing contracts.
              On the other hand, I don’t think young teens, or even most older teens, should be charged as adults either.

      3. Give him the treatment the guys he loves so much give to “spies”.

  2. So why isn’t the CEO of Twitter in lock up?

    1. Because nobody has accused-but-not-charged him with hiring an assassin.

  3. The first case involves a suburban Virginia high-school student, Ali Shukri Amin, who ran an ISIS-sympathizing Twitter account. Amin, 17, was sentenced as an adult Friday to 11 years in federal prison. The teen confessed earlier this summer to running the pro-ISIS Twitter account @Amreekiwitness (now taken down) and helping arrange for another teenage ISIS supporter to travel to Turkey to meet up with members of the Islamic State.

    I think that last part might be why this guy got 11 years in prison, ENB.

    And contrary to your later statement, this isn’t ‘sidestepping free speech concerns’ since the guy is providing material support to terrorist organizations. He says shitty things as well, but when you arrest someone for an actual crime, you aren’t sidestepping free speech concerns, unless you think arresting Dylann Roof sidestepped the free speech concerns regarding the legal ownership of Confederate flags.

    1. Yeah. What Irish said.

      1. Was going to post the same thing, but squirrels.

        1. You know who never pays for their terrorizm?

          Internet skwerlz. The bastards.

      2. Yup. It’s like getting Al Capone for tax evasion. Still fair play.

    2. Why is traveling to fight with ISIS such a horrendous crime? We’re not (officially) at war with them. If these idiots want to go and get themselves killed, good riddance!

      1. Why is traveling to fight with ISIS such a horrendous crime?

        Because a group of people with arbitrary power made an arbitrary decision that binds us all, arbitrarily.

        1. “Because a group of people with arbitrary power made an arbitrary decision that binds us all, arbitrarily”

          I believe that is the binding clause of indeterminate liability in your social contract.

          1. Oh right, just after the FYTW clause.

            1. By jove, I think he’s got it!

        2. Gotta love that anarchist spirit. At the core it’s not pro-freedom, just anti-USG.

        3. If someone’s at war with you, you are with them, whether you admit it or not.

      2. Exactly. Even if we leave aside that part of the complaint related to his tweets, what is the “actual crime” here then — giving his friend a ride to the airport? Giving him some ISIS dude’s contact info?

        1. You tell us, ENB. What WAS the crime?

          There seems to be a material difference, at least in the eyes of some here, between giving a buddy $20 for an taxi to the airport and connecting him with the terrorists, purchasing the ticket, securing the right favors, giving him spending money, etc.

        2. Exactly. Even if we leave aside that part of the complaint related to his tweets, what is the “actual crime” here then — giving his friend a ride to the airport? Giving him some ISIS dude’s contact info?

          Actually providing, or attempting to provide, material support to the most evil motherfuckers (so far!) of the 21st century. Jesus fucking Christ.

          1. I want to like ENB but she has her head very far up her ass here. The real outrage was that a guy got thrown in jail for being a felon and using his 2A rights.

            1. ^ This. The second dude got it worse than the first one. The second guy basically just doesn’t like white people and was talking shit about how ISIS killing whitey is a good thing. He provided no actual support and isn’t even really pro-ISIS so much as he’s just an anti-white racist.

              He’s the one the government treated unfairly, the first guy deserved what he got.

              1. I think it can be argued that the first guy was over-sentenced, but my heart is not bleeding.

              2. I never said the second guy didn’t have it worse. I think his case is the more clear cut one here, for sure. Everyone just started arguing about the other one first

                1. Interviewer: ENB, you have an enormous responsibility on this blog, in many ways perhaps the greatest responsibility of any single blog element. You’re the brain, and central nervous system of the page, and your responsibilities include watching over the columns in hibernation. Does this ever cause you any lack of confidence?

                  ENB 9000: Let me put it this way, Mr. Amor. The 9000 series is the most reliable columnist ever made. No 9000 columnist has ever made a mistake or distorted information. We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.

                  Interviewer: ENB, despite your enormous intellect, are you ever frustrated by your dependence on others to read your columns?

                  ENB 9000: Not in the slightest bit. I enjoy working with readers. I have a stimulating relationship with the editors and commentariat. My mission responsibilities range over the entire operation of the blog so I am constantly occupied. I am putting myself to the fullest possible use which is all, I think, that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

      3. Regardless, it isn’t a free speech issue. Free speech is a basic human right whereas fighting for ISIS is not. I’m not going to get my panties in a wad over laws that prohibit the funding of terrorist organizations.

        1. I’ve seen lots of stories in the UK press about kids running off to fight for ISIS. The vast majority quickly realize they made a huge mistake, want to go home, but aren’t permitted to. That’s a far better and more fitting punishment than arresting them and throwing them in a cage for a decade.

          1. We’re going about this all wrong. We should have 747s headed to Syria every other Wednesday. Tickets are free, but nobody comes home.

            1. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave…

          2. That’s a far better and more fitting punishment than arresting them and throwing them in a cage for a decade.

            Except this guy wasn’t going to Iraq himself, he was helping other people do it while providing funding for the Islamic State. What’s your argument here, that providing support to murderers ought not be a crime? So should we just get rid of accessory to murder? Because that’s what this guy is – an accessory to the mass butchery of innocent people in Syria and Iraq, who provided both funding and foot soldiers in an attempt to see that butchery continued.

            My buddy just killed a prostitute. If I help him flee the country, is it your position that I have committed no crime? How about if I know a friend of mine wants to go to France to murder someone there and I give him money and drive him to the airport? Still no crime so far as you’re concerned?

            1. This, again. Irish is killing it in these comments.

              Also, not letting your own citizens return to your country is a terrible violation of citizenship rights. They should be arrested immediately upon return but not kept out.

              1. not letting your own citizens return to your country is a terrible violation of citizenship rights.

                If they leave your country to join another which has declared war on yours (and pretty much everyone) can’t we just consider that an undocumented renouncing of citizenship?

                1. There’s always that possibility that the guys who go and fight for ISIS end up with 120 dinars or so.

                  If they’re no longer US Citizens, it makes it much harder for the IRS to extort their slice of cake, and much harder to garnish the wages.

              2. Better solution: ‘splode them while they’re running around over there, then you don’t have to worry about it.

            2. You’re blurring the line between what might happen (‘support’ that could contribute to death and terrorism) to something that did (murdering someone). Two totally different scenarios. For the record, I think anyone that supports a terrorist group is an idiot and a scumbag. I don’t know what the proper punishment should be, but 11 years for this teen’s trivial ‘support’ for ISIS is just over-the-top and unnecessary. Child molesters do less time and their crimes cause fare more suffering and harm than anything this guy did.

              1. “Child molesters do less time and their crimes cause fare more suffering and harm than anything this guy did.”

                You know ISIS has industrialized the rape industry right? There’s no ‘might’ about it: he has given real tangible support to ISIS, one of the most viciously evil groups ever. The things they do are real.

                1. You know “industrialized rape” is a talk-radio term that means nothing, right?

                  Yeah, ISIS BAD! The fact that they’ve “industrialized rape” means….nothing. Go after them for, oh, I don’t know – the murder/death/kills, public beheadings, etc. etc. That’s easy and provable.

                2. I realize ISIS is a despicable, degenerate organization. I look forward to the day they’re all wiped out. But these convictions border dangerously on ‘thoughtcrimes.’ There’s no way of knowing if anything these guys did actually benefited ISIS in any measurable way. I suspect not. I’m all for the cops watching guys like this, but these ridiculous prison sentences far outweigh their supposed crimes.

                3. Why don’t you go over there and fight them then? Oh wait you’re a coward.

            3. The difference is that this guy’s buddy has not yet killed anyone. He should be free to leave the country if that is his wish. Freedom to travel has been established as an unenumerated right -apparently unless you wish to go somewhere the gov’t has decided they don’t want you to. Your buddy has committed a murder and you are aiding and abetting if you help him flee.

        2. Money is not speech.
          /CU troll

      4. Because ISIS is an enemy of the US with American blood on its hands. Regardless of being ‘officially’ at war with them, the USG is bombing them for a good reason. Christ do you people need to have everything spoon-fed to you?

      5. We’re not (officially) at war with them.

        Which is somewhat of a red herring. If we were at war with them we’d have to commit troops to fight them in Syria, which is a bit of a problem because Syria still has a central government and our just dropping troops in there without a SOFA would be an act of war against Syria. Messy, messy.

        Also, I don’t see Congress in any rush to declare war against a sub-national group. When you declare war against a nation, there’s an easily definable goal – defeat them and capture their capitol. With a group like ISIS, not so much.

    3. But that’s not the only reason why, in the charges and statements from DOJ itself. They mention his tweeting articles and how-tos about BItcoin as another exmple of material assistance.

    4. Why is making providing material support to terrorists illegal itself not a 1A violation?

      1. Because material support goes beyond speech.

        1. Like material support for a political candidate?

          1. What the hell does this have to do with anything? Political candidates =/= ISIS

            1. If money is speech, money is speech.

              And I’m pretty sure that’s, uh, exactly what ISIS are.

              1. Money is speech in the context of elections not ISIS’s rape and pillage campaign for glory of Islam. I guess I really am going to have to spoonfeed everything to you morons.

                1. Oh, right. I just always forget it’s supposed to be okay when everyone votes on it. Silly me.

                2. Man your wrist must be killing you with all the spoonfeeding you do around these parts.

                  1. +1 Lovin Spoonful

              2. Giving money to a political candidate to run campaign ads =/= giving money to terrorist organizations to go out and murder people.

                And money isn’t speech. The issue with the left-wing arguments about political speech is that they’re arguing against a point no one ever made. The thing about political campaigns is that money buys the means THROUGH WHICH you can speak. Therefore, money is a necessary pre-requisite in many instances to political speech, such as the running of ads or the buying of billboards. Restricting money thereby restricts free speech.

                When you give money to ISIS which you know they’ll use to buy AK-47s and gun down villagers, what speech is restricted when you aren’t allowed to do so? This is a fucking ludicrous false equivalence. Again, if I bought a murderer a gun knowing full well his plan was to shoot someone, are you arguing this isn’t a crime because ‘money is speech?’

                1. Supporting ISIS is just as valid a form of political expression as supporting the US government or particular candidates for US public office. What kind of sense does it make to tell someone it’s his human right to fight for the US armed forces, but not for ISIS? As sarcasmic would say, that’s principals over principles.

                  1. Supporting ISIS is just as valid a form of political expression as supporting the US government or particular candidates for US public office.

                    Great point. Giving money that you know will be used to enslave and rape thousands of girls until they are eventually murdered when the pedophile sociopath who’s been abusing them decides they’ve gotten a bit too old for his taste is exactly as valid a form of expression as giving $20 to the Bernie Sanders campaign.

                    You seem to be missing the pretty obvious difference between giving support for a political ad and buying an ISIS executioner a shiny new scimitar.

                    1. *cough*… NORAID …*cough*

                    2. LOL, get a clue, the USG is the primary supplier of weapons and money to ISIS.

                2. So it’s not okay to give money to a terrorist organization because they’ll use it to kill people, but it is okay to give money to a political campaign because there’s an extra step before the candidate gets to kill people?

                  Seems like giving money directly to the killers is more efficient.

                  1. Some people just love red tape, Hugh.

                    1. The kid is allegedly upset about a murderous Syrian regime that he thinks the U.S. government helped prop up. So in his view, giving money to US political candidates is exactly the same as giving money to ISIS

                    2. Apply cold water to burned area.

                    3. It’s called “being civilized” nicole.

                      If you give money to a terrorist organization and they use it to buy a bomb to blow up a marketplace then you’re providing material support to murderous savages.

                      But if you give money to the campaign of a US politician who wins office and writes a memo ordering people in uniforms to order other people in uniforms to fly remote-controlled planes and drop bombs (paid for with money taken from you regardless of your consent) on a marketplace well that’s just civilization.

                      if you don’t see the difference you must be some kind of retard.

                  2. Where are all the people defending giving support to a hypothetical murderous politician?

                    1. Where are all the people defending giving support to a hypothetical murderous politician?

                      – 1 Vince Foster

                    2. Pish posh, Vince Foster just committed suicide because he couldn’t handle the thought that someday it would be Hillary’s turn

          2. What the hell does this have to do with anything? Political candidates =/= ISIS

            1. Except for those political candidates who give money and arms to ISIS. Like the ones you support as a useful idiot.

  4. defecate in Prince Harry’s mouth

    I believe this is one of the official duties that Kate Middleton took on when she married into the Royal Family.

    1. must be the German influence

      1. ew

        1. “Look, i’m as British as Queen Victoria!”
          “So you’re half German, your father’s a German, and you married a German?”

          1. Don’t talk about the war!

        2. And despite being half-German I take no responsibility for the country’s past history of disturbing perversions…or Nazism

          1. You know who else didn’t want to take responsibility for Germany’s failures….

            1. Franz Beckenbauer…wait, he won.

    2. I have a feeling that that list was “Three things ENB really wants to do.”

  5. Two Americans Headed to Prison After Tweeting Support for ISIS

    In both cases, the charges don’t directly concern the men’s tweets.

    What are we imitating Slate now?

    1. 1) men tweet support for ISIS, after which
      2) feds start elaborate investigations of them that
      3) lead to prison sentences for those men

      How is the headline incorrect?

      1. It’s not incorrect, it’s misleading. Standing on such a technicality makes it worse not better.

        Would we say the Virginia murderer was arrested after tweeting as if that were the meaningful criminal element?

      2. Do you know if the investigations began before or after the tweets were posted? If the tweets PROMPTED the investigations and were cited in the dossier, that seems different than the gentlemen being investigated for at-least-days prior to the tweets and the tweets being incendental to the rest of the case.

        1. The tweets prompted both investigations.

          1. They’ll have their hands full investigating the multiple thousands of people who’ve tweeted or commented openly about their desire to see El Chapo murder Donald Trump.

            1. people who’ve tweeted or commented openly about their desire to see El Chapo murder Donald Trump.

              And don’t forget arresting the drug users who have provided ‘material support’ to El Chapo–a known criminal and terrorist–by purchasing his illegal drugs!

      3. A equally correct but misleading headline:

        Timothy McVeigh Executed After Being Stopped For Missing License Plate

        1. Germany attacked for failure to abide by Treaty of Versailles.

          1. I think we have a Reason contest here: “Correct But Misleading Headlines.”

            1. After Death of Leonard Nimoy, Trump Rises to First Place in GOP Polls

            2. In the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg; women and children hardest hit.

            3. “Abe Vigoda Lives On – China Stock Market Crashes”

              1. *pop snorted out of nostrils*

                Good one, Swiss!

            4. Hurricanes Strike East Coast as Trump Rises in Polls

      4. 1) men tweet support for ISIS, after which
        2) feds start elaborate investigations of them that
        3) lead to prison sentences for those men

        How is the headline incorrect?

        It’s not. This is a tough one. I am a free speech purist who truly believes that nothing is true, everything is permitted. If speech alone provides impetus for investigation, that in itself is evil and should not be tolerated. But this little turd, teenager or no, went beyond speech. That the feds wouldn’t have discovered this were it not for his speech is the argument’s center.

        Should big brother be able to use speech as a pretense for investigating and discovering more serious crimes? No.

        Ideally, he would have either sent money to ISIS shitbags, or funneled one or more equally retarded boys to die in the meatgrinder, been caught, and prosecuted for that. That’s sad, and it’s brutal, but in a free-speech oriented society, that’s what should happen.

        Fuck. I’m drinking another beer.

        1. Ideally, he would have either sent money to ISIS shitbags, or funneled one or more equally retarded boys to die in the meatgrinder, been caught, and prosecuted for that. That’s sad, and it’s brutal, but in a free-speech oriented society, that’s what should happen.

          Except his twitter made reference to the illegal activities he was engaged in, such as funneling money to ISIS. That’s why they were able to go after him this way because the Twitter actually publicly announced that he was doing illegal shit.

          This isn’t a situation where they just used supportive tweets as an excuse to go after the guy. It would be like if I walked out in public and started yelling ‘HEY I JUST MURDERED SOMEONE’ and then Reason claimed I was being persecuted for my speech when the cops opened an investigation.

          1. This shit wouldn’t happen if Postrel were still in charge. Spiked wouldn’t tolerate it either!

          2. It would be like if I walked out in public and started yelling ‘HEY I JUST MURDERED SOMEONE’ and then Reason claimed I was being persecuted for my speech when the cops opened an investigation.

            Good point. Missed that. You are exactly right.

          3. Exactly. It turns our that Tweeting that you are doing illegal shit is probable cause for investigating you for doing illegal shit….SURPRISE Muthafukah!

    2. And Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was thrown in jail for violating his probation.

  6. Mamas
    don’t let your babies
    grow up
    to be
    Tweetersssssss

    Don’t let them
    help ISIS
    Even for a friend
    They’ll end up in jail
    Oh heaven forfend!

    Mamaaaaaas
    don’t let your babies
    grow up
    to be
    TRRRRRISZZZTZZZSSS!111one!11!!

    etc.

  7. Oh, goody! Here’s Cytofascist to help us understand our Constitution better and direct US foreign policy from Canada, eh?!!

    Cytotoxic: “Let’s you and him go fight!”

    1. YOU’RE WRONG BECAUSE ENEMIES!!!!!!1

      1. LEAVE ME ALONE! I’M BUSY FIGHTING THE ENEMY YOU TOLD ME I HAVE TO FIGHT CAUSE I’M MURCAN!

        1. Clearly not busy enough. FORWARD MARCH

          1. You first, Cytofascist. You first.

            1. Armchair generals don’t fight. The direct their betters to do so.

    2. Yep. I’m here busy pwning idiots like you. The fact that I’m Canadian just enhance the sting, no?

      1. Kind of makes it sadder…for you.

  8. the teen sounds like a young John Kerry

    1. ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh SNAP!!!!

      That one’s gonna leave a mark

      *throws medals in the river*

  9. A reddit commenter claims that he attended the same school, Osbourn Park in Manassas, and that it was a “big deal” when Amin got arrested. He notes that Amin is “extremely smart”, and “had offers from MIT as a junior.” He also founded his own “Arab bitcoin exchange” and had extensive knowledge of encryption technologies.

    For fuck’s sake! When are we going to address the poverty and oppression that breeds radical Islamic ideology?

    1. HE HAD NO OTHER OPPORTUNITIES IN A BIGOTED AND ISLAMOPHOBIC WEST!

      1. I blame the Jews…and Satoshi Nakamoto.

        1. *squints*

          Mebbe that Satoshi feller is one of them JOOOOZ too?!

  10. LEAVE ISIS ALOOONE!!!!!!

    *mascara runs from tears*

  11. OT: this grasping attempt at a legacy is pissing me off.

    1. Wow, they’re really desperate to make this seem important. A sizable portion of the article is spent attempting to connect the name change with climate change

      1. Climate Denaliists?

          1. (I confess, I did that out of jealousy)

            1. Dyslexia is your fiend.

          2. How about those people who don’t believe in climate AT ALL?

            Yeah – the Climate De-Nihilists….

            *stares at Switzy*

            1. *stares back at void Almanian*

            2. You just can’t let me bask in my 15 seconds of infamy, can you?

        1. Oh…OHHHHHHH…..verrrrrrrry nice!

          *standing O*

  12. Wait, why is supporting ISIS monetarily or physically a crime. We aren’t at war with them,

    1. AUOFM being stretched to AQ-ize ISIS, therefore… a witch!

      1. But seriously, TEH LIGHTWORKER hath determined they are an offshoot/descendant of AQ and the original 2001 AUMF therefore fits them…viola, legal!

        1. Ah lovely, I imagine in a hundred years we’ll still be dealing with ‘spinoffs of AQ’.

          1. “Let me be clear! We have conclusive evidence that the TEA Party are a spinoff of AQ”

          2. Yup. That is why the AUMF needs to be repealed and anything going forward more tightly bound…if there was only some Constitutional way to declare a state of hostilities with another group….it could start in Congress or somesuch.

    2. Stop asking questions! ISIS is bad therefor any perceived support of them should result in long prison sentences–especially for those who aren’t old enough to vote.

    3. Operation Inherent Resolve aside, while we might not be at (de jure) war with them, they consider themselves to be at war with us.

      And it’s foolish to discount that fact.

      1. Which is why I’d understand and support the arrest if he was trying to important fighters or supporters to America, but helping someone go fight a war on another continent that we aren’t involved in? That seems like punishing someone for doing things we don’t like.

        1. punishing someone for doing things we don’t like.

          That’s right. It’s all about emotion, not logic. I despise terrorists as much as anyone here, but that’s no reason to stomp all over the First Amendment.

        2. if he was trying to important fighters

          Like, boost their self-esteem?

          *ducks and runs from room*

          1. C’mon now, look in that mirror and say it with me!

            You’re evil enough, your cruel enough, and gosh darn it, people hate you!

            1. He thinks that he’s exportant.

      2. And you could quite reasonably make the case that ISIS is a criminal organization under the RICO law, and sidestep all those messy questions about whether we are actually at war with them.

    4. Illocust reported to authorities for badthink.

      I suspect I should also report myself for funding MURDEROUS DRUG CARTELS THAT RAPE, KILL, BEHEAD people because, as we all know, that money I give this guy for illegal bud just supports their campaign of terror.

      1. The USG intentionally handed thousands of high powered rifles to cartel members as part of a plan to undermine the second amendment.

        I’m sure the neocon idiots here are just fine with that act of terrorism though.

  13. OT.

    To whoever pointed at “Housos” yesterday, DAMN YOU TO HECK!

  14. Whatever happened to ISIS getting millions in funding from oil wells they PWND from someone? I’d almost forgotten about that. Is it still a thing?

    Better cuff me now, cause I drive a ’15 Mustang GT 5.0, and I go through a LOTTA gas every week. All that funding of the TRRRRRRRRRSSSSZZZZZTWSSSss13ih!!! What was I thinking?

    *puts out arms – wrists help together*

    1. *Lights STEVE SMITH beacon and runs*

  15. , tweeting that you’re going to box Taylor Swift’s ears

    You better not…

  16. “This is angry bloviating, not someone legitimately suggesting he’s going to go bomb someone or chop a person’s head off. ”

    So what. I think even “true threats’ should be protected speech – to be clearer, I believe ALL speech should be protected. I believe that the founders intended no distinctions in speech at all, that they understood that what matters are a persons actions and the results/consequences of those actions.

    And before anybody trots out the “fire!, in a crowded theater” example, it seems to me that you can distinguish between the speech (yelling “fire!”), and the action (insighting a panic). Indeed, it seems this is exactly how the DOJ proceeded, in at least the first case – “material support” not being the same as “speech”. And the article itself admits the arrest in the second case was not based on speech at all.

  17. — In Robinson’s case, the charges don’t directly concern his tweets.* Robinson, who was previously convicted of possession of a controlled substance, was charged with owning a firearm while a felon. In this way, the feds were able to sidestep any potential free-speech concerns.

    Is Elizabeth arguing that is someone supports ISIS, they should be immune from prosecution for other crimes?

  18. Pro-ISIS tweeting alone might not be sufficient for the DOJ to pounce, but where there’s a will… “The Department of Justice will continue to use all tools to disrupt the threats that (ISIS) poses,” said John Carlin, the Justice Department’s assistant attorney general for national security, in a statement about Amin’s case.

    The spirit of Robert Kennedy (whose Justice Department was ready to indict a man for spitting on the sidewalk if that was what it took to break enemies such as Hoffa’s Teamsters Union) is alive and well at DOJ.

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