Saturday, October 01, 2011

Running a web site is a dangerous business

Now, once upon a time, running a web site could get you sued, or get you fired from your job, or could cause your ISP to blacklist you, but that was pretty much it. I mean, look at the Nuremberg Files case. Neal "I Love Mule Sex" Horsley put up a web site advocating killing abortion doctors and got sued by Planned Parenthood, but because he was foresighted enough to form a dummy group "ACLA" to own the web site, "ACLA" is the group that got the $100M judgement against it -- and note that the 9th Circuit said PP could *not* force Horsley to take the web site down. The web site is still up, hosted in Outer Slobbonia somewhere because no American web host will host such a vile site. And Horsley is still alive and kickin'.

But see, that was in the old days, when Americans believed in courts and stuff when folks advocated killing Americans. Nowadays, well. not so much. If you're running a web site that says Americans are fair game 'cause they're killing little children in Iraq and Afghanistan, well. Death from the sky, dude!

The funny thing is that Anwar al-Awlaqi, an American, had actually filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government demanding a trial. The government killed the lawsuit by saying al-Awlaqi had to show up in NYC personally to file the lawsuit -- despite not being able to fly to NYC because he was on the no fly list (duh!). Then they killed al-Awlaqi, a dude who had never fired a shot at any other American, never personally done anything except run a web site. A nasty web site, certainly, just like the Nuremberg Files web site that Horsley runs. But just a web site, in the end.

So anyhow, remember, boys and girls. Running web sites no longer is just fun and games. If you start blogging something that says America needs to be overthrown because it's full of cruel people who want to kill Americans, a visit from guys in black suits is the least of your worries. Hey, what's that sound outside my window, is it


  1. I don't have a problem with a requirement that someone be present in the country in order to file a law suit, even if they are on the no fly list. There are other forms of transportation. But in this case, I think the US government should have provided his transportation by going over there, arresting him, and bringing him back for trial. It sounds to me like he may have done more than just run a website but maybe I am wrong. Isn't that the point of trials though? To present the evidence if there is any? To assassinate a US citizen without due process is just wrong. Actually, killing people even with due process is wrong in my book too.

  2. Forgot to say...

    I don't think you need to worry about anything. Surely you can see the differences between you and Anwar al-Awlaqi? Sure, you both run websites and you both have funny names. But "badtux" is a name based on Amercian English and Anwar al-Awlaqi is not. It's one of those funny Arab names which in the minds of many people means that the bearer isn't really American and probably deserves to die. *sigh*

  3. Lynne, there actually isn't any way to get to New York City from Yemen if you're on the no-fly list. There's this thing called an *ocean* between here and there, you see, and there are no longer passenger ships carrying passengers between Europe and the Americas like back in the days of the Titanic, and pretty much every single trans-oceanic flight touches down in NYC, LAX, or SFO and thus is subject to the no-fly list so he couldn't have flown to Mexico or Canada instead and then walked across the border. But I suppose he coulda swum...

    What chaps my ass is that he actually demanded a trial, and had it quashed by the U.S. government, which also said we are not allowed to see the evidence, we're expected to take their statements that his actions went beyond running a web site on faith, 'cause government officials never lie. Err, yeah right. Given that this same dude also was a 9/11 denialist who claimed that Israeli agents caused 9/11 and that the 9/11 "hijackers" were nothing of the sort, that the US government simply went down the passenger lists choosing Arab names to blame, clearly he wasn't close to the "real" al Qaeda that actually killed Americans (for the record -- Osama bin Laden said he orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, I have no reason to disbelieve Osama, so that's end of story for me). You have to wonder what he knew that folks within the U.S. government didn't want to come out...

    - Badtux the Rule of Law Penguin

  4. Not with you on this one, Tux. If I hire an assassin to kill someone, I've committed a violent crime. If the Godfather calls in a favor when he needs a competitor removed, he's a criminal, too. So when an imam convinces a young man to stuff his shorts with explosives and blow up an airliner, he's no just running a web site.

    I don't like the lack of accountability. That's Congress's fault. Our government is supposed to have checks on its power, but I don't see Darrell Issa getting all worked up about this.

  5. Cunard has had regular transatlantic crossings for years. It is how people I know who don't fly get to Europe. :)

  6. When The Godfather hires a hitman to off someone, we arrest The Godfather and give him a trial and, if evidence is presented that yeppers, he did so hire someone to kill Americans, we put him in jail. So did al-Awlaqi hire someone to stuff himself with explosives and come over to the USA and blow shit up? Guess we'll just have to accept the word of the U.S. government on faith there, since they refused to allow a trial on that very question.

    - Badtux the "What is the government hiding?" Penguin

  7. That sound you hear is the present.

  8. If Anwar al-Awlaqi had shown up in NYC, the U.S. government would have hauled his ass off to Gitmo and tortured him. No, the decision was made long ago that there would be no justice for this man... for reasons we can't know.

  9. You have to get a lot of followers before they target you, I've been bitching about america for years. If he had been in the states and they took him out with a drone that would really be big news.

    Not much point in worrying about others though, I have met the enemy and it is us.

  10. Tux, I think you've fallen for a propaganda stunt. al Awlaqi never had any intention of showing up for a trial. He could easily have met US Marshals in a neutral country.

  11. I'm reading this post in the context of Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.

    In the real world, as in fantastic fiction, sometime there simply are no good guys.

    Which is part of why



Ground rules: Comments that consist solely of insults, fact-free talking points, are off-topic, or simply spam the same argument over and over will be deleted. The penguin is the only one allowed to be an ass here. All viewpoints, however, are welcomed, even if I disagree vehemently with you.

WARNING: You are entitled to create your own arguments, but you are NOT entitled to create your own facts. If you spew scientific denialism, or insist that the sky is purple, or otherwise insist that your made-up universe of pink unicorns and cotton candy trees is "real", well -- expect the banhammer.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.