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Vadrosaul
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SACRAMENTO (AP) - Upset by the war in Iraq, a 14-year-old girl vented her frustrations with President George W. Bush last spring on her MySpace.com page.

 

Julia Wilson posted a picture of the U.S. president, scrawled "Kill Bush" across the top and drew a dagger stabbing his outstretched hand. She replaced the page last spring after learning in her Grade 8 history class such threats are a federal offence.

 

Too late.

 

U.S. authorities found the page and placed her on their checklist. They finally reached her this week in her molecular biology class.

 

Wilson was taken out of class at Sacramento's McClatchy high school Wednesday and questioned for about 15 minutes by two Secret Service agents. The incident has upset her parents, who said the agents should have included them when they questioned their daughter.

 

On Friday, Wilson said the agents' questioning about her page on the popular teenagers' Internet gathering spot brought 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 honour student who describes herself as politically passionate.

 

"I'm against the war in Iraq. I'm not going to kill the president."

 

Her mother, Kirstie Wilson, said two agents showed up at the family home in Sacramento's upscale Land Park neighbourhood Wednesday afternoon, questioned her and promised to return once her daughter was home from school.

 

After they left, Kirstie Wilson sent a text message to her daughter's cellphone, telling her to come straight home: "there are two men from the secret service that want to talk with you. Apparently you made some death threats against president bush," the message read.

 

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

 

Moments later, the girl's mother received another text message from her daughter saying agents had pulled her out of class.

 

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."

 

Julia and her parents said the agents were justified in questioning her about her MySpace.com posting. But they said they believe agents went too far by not waiting until she was out of school and questioning her without a parent present.

 

They also said the agents should have more quickly figured out they were not dealing with a real danger. Ultimately, the agents told the teenager they would delete her investigation file.

 

"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.

 

Assistant principal Paul Belluomini said the agents gave him the impression the girl's mother knew they were planning to question her daughter at school. There is no legal requirement parents be notified.

 

Spokesmen for the Secret Service in Sacramento and Washington said they could not comment.

 

The California teen is planning to post a new MySpace.com page, this one devoted to organizing other students to protest against the Iraq war.

 

"I decided today I think I will because it (the questioning) went too far," she said.

 

Don't you think this is going a little too far. The beginnings of a pseudo police state :unsure:

Loose BOWELS are the first sign of THE CHOLERA MORBUS!
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You know what the saddest thing is? When I was reading that, I was actually pleasantly surprised that the agents only questioned her for 15 minutes, rather than handcuffing her and chucking her in a jail cell for 15 hours.

 

Every time I start getting angry with Tony Blair and the UK's obsession with anti-terrorist crap, I just read some stories from the USA to learn what a police state really is.

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On the other hand, I was in the capital in 1997 when some bat-shit loon ran in with two hand guns and just started shooting at random, running towards the Maj Whip's office and hitting/killing a number of security persons. People complained why the gov't didn't take the "signs" he'd been consistently given off seriously. My friend was in the same hallway when it happened.

 

So maybe the gov't needs to do a better job distinguishing 14-year-old "peace loving" teenagers from the batshit loons that finally crack and run into the capital shooting ... A problem is that they both make "cartoonish", retarded-looking threats. WILLIAM OF ORANGE sent my Congressman a scary letter about every 3 days, written in orange ink, all capitals, on lined paper, with little drawings on the side, you'd think he was 11 but actually in his 50s.

 

I think this girl was just freaked and wants to come out looking like the victim ... I'm sure these agents probably just did their job and forgot about it.

Edited by demagogue

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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By posting that, Vadro, and your seemingly disapproving attitude, one might think that you weren't a patriot. I'm sure the secret service will have something to say to you about that within the next few days hmm...

Edited by Ombrenuit
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Don't you think this is going a little too far. The beginnings of a pseudo police state :unsure:

 

What do you mean with "Beginning"????

 

Actually you already started it at least 5 years ago. The land of the free - indeed.

 

Everytime I read such news, I must laugh. Really. America was allways supposed to be one of the free countries. At least that is the way it tries to make an impression. But when I read about certain incidients, or what kind of laws were passed in the last few years, then I get the impression that you have more a dictatorship. European countries were considered to be more under control, because of all the regulation going on. You must register where you live and such things. At least that was what an US citicen told me once. But all in all I think we are more free then the US.

Gerhard

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You know what the saddest thing is? When I was reading that, I was actually pleasantly surprised that the agents only questioned her for 15 minutes, rather than handcuffing her and chucking her in a jail cell for 15 hours.

 

Same here. When I started to read it, I was sure she was turned in for good.

 

Every time I start getting angry with Tony Blair and the UK's obsession with anti-terrorist crap, I just read some stories from the USA to learn what a police state really is.

 

Yup. That's also my impression.

Gerhard

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What do you mean with "Beginning"????

 

Actually you already started it at least 5 years ago. The land of the free - indeed.

 

Everytime I read such news, I must laugh. Really. America was allways supposed to be one of the free countries. At least that is the way it tries to make an impression. But when I read about certain incidients, or what kind of laws were passed in the last few years, then I get the impression that you have more a dictatorship. European countries were considered to be more under control, because of all the regulation going on. You must register where you live and such things. At least that was what an US citicen told me once. But all in all I think we are more free then the US.

 

Err...Spar, Vadrosaul is in Canada ;) - it says nest to her avatar thingy...unless she's LYING! O.o OMG

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Well, Canada, Australia, and the UK are practically US states anyway... or at least, their respective leaders want them to be. Free trade for all! (as long as it's one-way) :rolleyes:

My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.
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Err...Spar, Vadrosaul is in Canada ;) - it says nest to her avatar thingy...unless she's LYING! O.o OMG

 

She?

 

Well, Canada and Australia are practically US states anyway... or at least, their respective leaders want them to be. Free trade for all! (as long as it's one-way) :rolleyes:

 

I'm offended that you left the UK off the American Bitch-Slave List.

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I've been outed as an expatriated transvestite with a liberal agenda. I'm surely doomed now :mellow:

 

Our new government over here would like nothing more than to bend over, acquiesce to Amerikka, and hand me over. The PC's have been labelled Bush copycat lackeys. Why would any government be a willing counterpart to a partisan government with such a shattered reputation, and where most of its citizenry dislike them?

Edited by Vadrosaul
Loose BOWELS are the first sign of THE CHOLERA MORBUS!
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Actually I don't think this particular case would have gone down any differently 15 years ago. It's pretty much standard procedure for the service to interview people who post threats, and you hear these stories about kids getting investigated every few years going back who knows how long. I think there are much better examples of eroding freedom in the US, like US citizens who were arrested on US soil being held for years without trial as "enemy combatants."

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I'm offended that you left the UK off the American Bitch-Slave List.

I stand corrected!

 

I think there are much better examples of eroding freedom in the US, like US citizens who were arrested on US soil being held for years without trial as "enemy combatants."

Not just US citizens, either... Australia's government is too goddamn wimpy to enforce the rights of its citizens overseas, so there are Aussies in the same situation.

 

There's also a guy here in Australia, dubbed "Jihad Jack" by the media (biased? us?) who was charged with terrorism-related offences, but had his name cleared in court when the prosecution's case collapsed under a lack of admissable evidence. (The only evidence was a "confession" made in Pakistan that was made under duress - allegedly, he was tortured.)

 

So what do the police do? Use the country's shiny new progressive forward-looking anti-terrorism laws to slap restraining orders on him, without having to give any justification. Way to go, guys! Liberty wins again!

 

Among other things (like not being allowed to be out after midnight), there's a list of known terrorists that he's not allowed to meet with. Several of them were already confirmed dead at the time the restrictions were put in place. Osama bin Laden is also on it. Yeah, like he's going to just drop by Osama's place for a beer. The entire US army can't find him, but if we're not careful, some random guy from Melbourne might make contact! Better slap a restraining order on him... :wacko:

My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.
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I'm not sure really what people expect governments to do. I'm not apologizing for anyone here (definitely not a fan of government), but if nothing is done about terrorists, people complain that governments are too lax. When something is done about the dangers involved, people complain that governments are too militant. I suppose the right thing is to find a balance and try to stay out of the world's affairs, obviously easier said than done, but even then, what do you do in the case of a people that say "those who do not join us will die in the name of God"? What a frigging mess this world is. And lest anyone think the majority of people in the US are happy with the way things are going downhill, or that we're all eeevil/redneck/bible-thumpin'/stupid war mongers... for goodness' sake, open your friggin' eyes and ears. :rolleyes:

 

For the record, it's pretty much always been against the law to threaten the president's life, that's not new.

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I'm not sure really what people expect governments to do. I'm not apologizing for anyone here (definitely not a fan of government), but if nothing is done about terrorists, people complain that governments are too lax.

 

I would like them to take a rational and proportionate view of the dangers involved. How many people were killed on the roads last year? How many people were killed by terrorists? If governments focused on dangers to an extent proportional to the actual risk, we wouldn't even hear about terrorism - it would just be something the police get on with like tackling street crime.

 

"those who do not join us will die in the name of God"? What a frigging mess this world is.

 

Don't believe the propaganda. There is no such thing as "Islamofascism", and the Osama Bin Laden did not carry out 911 because he "hates freedom" or wants to convert the US into an Islamic state, but because he has a personal beef with the US and its operations in the Middle East.

 

For the record, it's pretty much always been against the law to threaten the president's life, that's not new.

 

I guess I must define "threat" differently to other people. I would consider a threat something which caused the object of the threat to have a legitimate concern for his safety or life. It seems clear to me that the President's safety is not in any way affected by random teenage rantings, considering the amount of security he has and the fact that many people in the world would like to kill him already, irrespective of what teenagers put in their MySpace profiles.

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If governments focused on dangers to an extent proportional to the actual risk, we wouldn't even hear about terrorism - it would just be something the police get on with like tackling street crime.

Attacks that result in the deaths of thousands will not, and more importantly should not, ever be absorbed into every day news. A car accident by someone going to work is not even in the same realm as a person intentionally flying a plane into a building (or blowing up a train, etc.) with the intent of killing as many as possible. Big difference in circumstance; big difference in attention.

 

Don't believe the propaganda.

We've all seen the signs carried by people marching in streets, chanting for the death of the infidels on television. Unless TV crews gave them the signs to carry, the message is clear. As for religious fanaticism, it's been stated countless times that in the view of some radicals, if you are not a member of the "right" faith, you should die. This is of course not all or even a large percentage of normal, good people. When it comes to terrorism, we're not talking about normal, good people.

 

It seems clear to me that the President's safety is not in any way affected by random teenage rantings

I'm sure that's not what they consider to be the threat. The threat would come from the precedent, and a building of momentum, say, if suddenly 60,000 teens were chanting the same thing. That's creating a potentially dangerous situation. It's not the best way to handle it perhaps, but again what are they supposed to do? Suddenly we have 100,000,000 citizens walking around casually talking about killing the president? That's not really going to help an already screwed up situation.

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Attacks that result in the deaths of thousands will not, and more importantly should not, ever be absorbed into every day news. A car accident by someone going to work is not even in the same realm as a person intentionally flying a plane into a building (or blowing up a train, etc.) with the intent of killing as many as possible. Big difference in circumstance; big difference in attention.

 

I don't mean we shouldn't hear about attacks when they happen, I mean we shouldn't constantly have to listen to politicians blabbering on about the subject of "terrorism" in general, as if it is some massive new problem. It may be a problem, but is neither massive nor new.

 

We've all seen the signs carried by people marching in streets, chanting for the death of the infidels on television. Unless TV crews gave them the signs to carry, the message is clear. As for religious fanaticism, it's been stated countless times that in the view of some radicals, if you are not a member of the "right" faith, you should die.

 

The fact that some extremists believe that non-believers should die does not mean that these people will go the enormous effort of participating in a terrorist attack in a foreign country. What drives people to this sort of action is anger and resentment at their perceived treatment by the West, not simply a difference in faith. All of the attacks so far have been against supporters of the US and the war in Iraq, and as long as the West continues to use violence as a solution the problem is just going to get worse.

 

I'm sure that's not what they consider to be the threat. The threat would come from the precedent, and a building of momentum, say, if suddenly 60,000 teens were chanting the same thing. That's creating a potentially dangerous situation. It's not the best way to handle it perhaps, but again what are they supposed to do? Suddenly we have 100,000,000 citizens walking around casually talking about killing the president? That's not really going to help an already screwed up situation.

 

If 60,000 teens want to kill the President, then the government needs a better solution than simply censoring them. That level of hatred would be indicative of a major social problem, which would not be solved simply by hiding the expression of it.

 

You can never remove an idea just by prohibiting speech.

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It may be a problem, but is neither massive nor new.

Ah, I get you.

What drives people to this sort of action is anger and resentment at their perceived treatment by the West

Indeed, the (well, one) exact reason I worry when I see american troops acting like they did with the tank and car. I can only imagine the anger that will stir up not only in the victims, but the family, the friends, everyone who hears about it. One can only wonder if and how that child will ever get retribution. Thanks, moron troops!

 

Ironically the majority of us just want everyone out, but the government turns a deaf ear.

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Look at USSR. When enough speech is forbidden for enough time people don't have those ideas because an idea needs to develop out of something.

Yes but that's supression, and not removal. They only lasted 80 years doing so, not much more than a blip in Russian national history.

Loose BOWELS are the first sign of THE CHOLERA MORBUS!
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