The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Fate of Basseley Nakoula

Posted on | May 13, 2013 | 31 Comments

“Hillary’s promise of vengeance to the father of a fallen SEAL wasn’t that we’d get the jihadis who killed him but that we’d punish the filmmaker. That’s perverse, but in keeping with the fact that she decided to run ads on Pakistani TV apologizing for the film while Islamist cretins menaced American diplomats across the region.”
Allahpundit, Oct. 25, 2012

The wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time: Nakoula was out on “supervised release” for a federal bank fraud conviction. He was $700,000 behind on restitution payments and operating under an alias when he made “The Innocence of Muslims,” a crappy movie that got turned into a YouTube video clip that in turn became the pretext of riots in Egypt and then — it is now generally acknowledged — was utilized as a flimsy excuse by the State Department in an attempt to distract from its embarrassing failures in the September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Having become unintentionally famous, the con man Nakoula was arrested and hustled into federal court amid unusually high security two weeks after the Benghazi attacks. We need not wonder why Eric Holder’s Justice Department made this a top priority:

“We will make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.”
Hillary Clinton, Sept. 14, 2012

There was a sort of argument last week between Ken White at Popehat and some conservatives who insist on calling Nakoula a “political prisoner.” Alternately, Rich Lowry calls Nakoula a “patsy,” but this really isn’t the argument we need to be having.

The Nakoula case isn’t about anyone’s free speech rights. The First Amendment doesn’t protect the right of convicted criminals to operate under aliases in potentially lucrative business while owing restitution to the victims of their earlier crimes. While I wholly endorse the right to speak truth about Islam — and to hell with any mob of violent savages who object — Ken White is correct that Nakoula is neither a “political prisoner” nor a heroic martyr for free speech.

But this isn’t really about Nakoula at all, is it?

What the case of Nakoula actually demonstrates is the strangely misplaced priorities of the Obama administration: Eight months later, they still haven’t caught any of the terrorists who killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, but they needed only two weeks to apprehend Nakoula.

Genuinely dangerous people seem to have no problem eluding federal investigators. Ariel Castro kidnapped women and kept them in his Cleveland basement for more than a decade, while the FBI never even considered the wife-beating school-bus driver a suspect. Nor was Castro the only menace to evade the FBI.

The good news? The feds are finally cracking down on those dangerous high-capacity pressure cookers. About damned time, too . . .

 

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Comments

  • Blake

    Nakoula is the political fall guy the administration used to try and cover up the blunders at Benghazi.

    Therefore, Nakoula is a political prisoner.

    What I want to know is how the administration even knew the video existed and was able to rush out the story line so soon after Benghazi.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    -Indeed, he is a political prisoner.

    Would such a violation of one’s supervision have been so staged for the news cameras if his arrest were in the normal course of law enforcement? The news stations were informed of what would happen and had their cameras all set-up.

    -What you raise in your last paragraph, I think, is one of the key bits of evidence we need to understand exactly what the Administration did. We know the ‘Why?’ pretty much already.

  • Blake

    Bob,

    I’d believe in the probation violation scenario if a couple of probation officers showed up and quietly hauled Nakoula away. Instead, a media circus was staged. Obviously, the circus was meant to impress someone and that someone wasn’t just the American people.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    THIS.

  • Red Black

    When our prosecutors can indict a ham sandwich, ANYONE, can become a criminal. I am not buying into the government’s meme that jailing Nakoula is justice served – especially after our government leaders intentionally leave the impression with the Muslim world we jailed Nakoula for making a film ridiculing their prophet.

  • Neo

    “… it is now generally acknowledged — was utilized as a flimsy excuse by the State Department in an attempt to distract from its embarrassing failures in the September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.”

    This has got to be the worst conspiracy of politicians and bureaucrats in at least this century. The goals were vague at best, and there wasn’t even any real “common good” that they were trying to protect, just a few sorry ass politicians. The odds were that if they merely mentioned that the security was “below par” and that they were now beefing up security worldwide” that this would have passed with their minions in the press.

    Even the Watergate break-in had better intentions. Mark this down as “they did it because they could.”

  • http://profiles.google.com/rob5136 Rob Crawford

    “Nakoula is the political fall guy the administration used to try and cover up the blunders at Benghazi.

    Therefore, Nakoula is a political prisoner.”

    Exactly. Over-zealous prosecution motivated by political convenience is as wrong as making up charges from thin air.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rob5136 Rob Crawford

    I don’t get why so many “conservatives” don’t get this. A POSSIBLE probation violation doesn’t get you a late-night visit from multiple police and a media squad.

  • Quartermaster

    Especially the media.

  • Jaynie59

    This is exactly the kind of thing that drives me nuts about conservatives. Why go out of your way to undermine what could be used as a weapon to bludgeon the Left? Of course this filmmaker is a political prisoner.
    What is this NEED conservatives have to undermine each other? Was the need to disagree with Popehat and Lowry so great that Stacy had to write this post?
    I’ll never understand why conservatives do this kind of thing. Maybe Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman Shultz should give a class in loyalty to the cause. Attack, attack, attack THE OTHER SIDE NOT YOUR OWN!

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  • Blake

    Bob,

    Taking the thought a bit further, doesn’t it also strike you as odd the administration was able to finger, find and incarcerate the producer of a video within a couple of days, yet was unable to stop the Boston Bombers and then had trouble tracking down the Boston Bombers?

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  • Finrod Felagund

    Enh, I prefer the term ‘scapegoat’.

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  • http://www.leftbankofthecharles.com/ Charles

    $700,000 behind on restitution payments is just a minor technicality.

  • Blake

    So, you’re saying that owing $700,000 in restitution gets you noticed by the White House? Creates a media circus to go with a cop circus?

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    No sympathy for this con artist Nakoula – he was made into a fall guy for the Obama Regime’s failures in Libya and elsewhere, but to consider him a “political prisoner” is just not accurate. He’s not in jail because of his politics, he is in jail because he committed crimes and violated his probation in multiple ways. That he got caught in Obama’s desperate searchlights looking for an excuse is bad luck, but doesn’t give the guy a pass for his crimes.

    HOWEVER, once again it must be clearly and unequivocally stated that the video was NOT even the primary cause of the Cairo riots. As Andrew McCarthy pointed out http://po.st/7IWme8 the protests were planned well before the video was shown on Egyptian state TV. They were supposed to help free the “Blind Sheik,” a murderous terrorist who should rot in hell after he rots in prison.

    The video only served to get some ordinary “islamic rage boys” into the street so the radicals had some cover for their plan – which was to burn the embassy.

    In return for not protecting our Embassy in Cairo, Egypt and the Muslim Bros get millions in cash and F-16s to use against Israel (because who the hell else is Egypt going to use F-16s against?).

    Thanks, Obama! May you meet your muslim buddies in hell, and don’t be late.

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  • http://www.leftbankofthecharles.com/ Charles

    Our enemies were looking for a pretext, he provided one. He falsely claimed he was an Israeli Jew and that he got $5 million in financing from Jews in Hollywood, which was used as part of the pretext.

    Now maybe no connection can be proved, and maybe none exists. And maybe we can’t prove he was seeking revenge on the U.S. for previously putting him in prison. But we shouldn’t have to give him a pass on his probation violations.

    He didn’t kill anyone. The death sentence Egypt gave him in absentia is a crime against humanity. But the victims of his frauds and identity thefts nonetheless deserve justice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sauer-Thirtyeight/100000080388186 Sauer Thirtyeight

    I’m afraid your logic is suspect. This is actually a very serious matter for all of us, not just con men and parole violators.

    “We will make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.”

    As I recall, when Hill made this statement, she didn’t know anything about Nakoula’s particulars. He was just “the person who made that film.” That implies that she was claiming that mollifying homicidal religious types in other countries trumps the First Amendment.

    “The First Amendment doesn’t protect the right of convicted criminals to operate under aliases in potentially lucrative business while owing restitution to the victims of their earlier crimes.”

    Hill wasn’t talking about any of this stuff. She was talking about punishing an American for exercising a Constitutional right. And that right was, of course, making a film. Aliases, scummy business practices, blah blah don’t have anything to do with it.

    Personally, I don’t want to hear ANY American politician making the claim that the American Bill of Rights can be brushed aside so casually.

  • Dagnabbit_42

    Nakoula was targeted for prosecution for political reasons.

    Had it not been politically convenient for the president and the Secretary of State, there is a good chance that…

    (a.) Resources would not have been dedicated to locating him at all;

    (b.) If/when he was located, he would not have been arrested;

    (c.) If/hen arrested, he would not have been jailed.

    Some have stressed that because he made the film under a different name, that made him a flight risk and therefore *would* have prompted his arrest.

    That’s possible, but I’m not so sure. That would come down, I think, to a judgment call by some officer deciding what the motive was behind using an “artist name” on the film.

    Because, you see, just because Eric Blair publishes 1984 under the name “George Orwell,” doesn’t make him a flight risk. It means, that like a lot of artists, he has a pen name. “Mark Twain” was not trying to hide from the police. Neither is “Sting.” If “Alex Lifeson” is on probation after getting in a bar fight in Florida, they aren’t going to re-arrest him next time Rush goes on tour down there, just because he calls himself “Alex Lifeson.”

    So I think the name thing can go either way. But the political realities can’t:

    1. The guy was utterly uninvolved in the Benghazi attacks;

    2. The administration knew that;

    3. They claimed he was solely because that story was more politically convenient to the president during an election;

    4. They were willing to single him out for unequal enforcement in order to protect their political backsides.

    He’s a crook.

    They’re worse.

    He’s in jail.

    Why aren’t they?

  • Banned_by_KBTX

    I am reminded of the line from Casablanca:

  • Blake

    Charles, you’re a disgusting anti-Semite trying to excuse the inexcusable.

  • ReaganiteRepublican
  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    If he had been an illegal immigrant, living in the same building as the director of ICE, they would never have been able to find him.

    He would have become Keyser Söze himself.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    Does anyone know the timing of things regarding those protests supposedly “sparked” by the video? I can’t find it, but it seems to me the actual protests only happened AFTER Carney damned the video on 9/13/2012, the day after the Ambassador was killed (maybe even less than 24 hours later).

    Because I seem to remember reports of people dying in those violent protests, which would mean barack’s coverup is what “sparked” such loss of life.

  • glissmeister

    “What the case of Nakoula actually demonstrates is the strangely misplaced priorities of the Obama administration:”

    Or does it? What if the priority is not misplaced at all? What is the strangeness is the shadow cast by this being the highest of priorities?

    What if the Nakoula silencing is essential to preserving the Obama secrets of Benghazi?

    Now we need to fully investigate who Nakoula was actually working for, and where they who they said they were?

    Could be this is yet another example of the false-flag “Fast and Furious” buffoonery this administration is becoming famous for.

    I would like to know the linkage between Nakoula and the Lebanese sisters (Democrat Party insiders) who destroyed Petraeus in such a timely fashion.

    What are we seeing from the Obama administration in all these scandals? A hubris that knows no bounds; a lawlessness that knows neither shame or remorse.

    Those who can orchestrate the murder-by-neglect of an American Ambassador during an act of service to the POTUS are well beyond the societal constraints against calculated acts of craven lawlessness.

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  • http://www.leftbankofthecharles.com/ Charles

    No, the disgusting anti-Semite would be Bassely Naukula. Those are his lies, not mine.

    We don’t know what his motives were because there was no public trial. Curious.

    But when a guy hatches a dishonest movie script plot in jail, one likely motive is that he is seeking revenge on the country which put him there.

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