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posted by LaminatorX on Monday November 24 2014, @11:49PM   Printer-friendly
from the Thought-Crime dept.

Ars Technica published a story that should give many of us some pause:

A 29-year-old Virginia woman is set to appear again in federal court Wednesday after being charged in connection to favorable Facebook posts about the Islamic State of in Syria (ISIS). One of her posts simply read, "I love ISIS."

The woman, Heather Coffman, was caught in a terrorism sting operation after the authorities got a search warrant to unmask her Facebook account information. The warrant noted that there was probable cause to unveil who was behind several Facebook accounts because there were pictures of ISIS freedom fighters with words at the bottom that said "Allah has preferred the Mujahideen over those who remain [behind] with great reward." She also shared a job description on the social networking site that said "jihad for Allah's sake."

"In my experience, this indicates support for violent jihad. Further, the mujahideen are individuals that fight violent jihad," FBI agent Odette Tavares said in court documents. Additionally, in response to a question on Facebook about why she published pro-ISIS pictures, Coffman responded, "I love ISIS," according to the government. The feds also said she posted that she hates gays and Zionists and that "they should all die."

Since when did advocating a revolution, even one as distasteful and violent as ISIS, become illegal? Does this mean that if we support the work of Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, Wikileaks, the ACLU, EFF, or Anonymous we're just as guilty of supporting terrorism and espionage in our own ways?

Related Stories

FBI Agent Says He Questions People 'Every Day, All Day Long' Over Facebook Posts 48 comments

The FBI spends "every day, all day long" interrogating people over their Facebook posts. At least, that's what agents told Stillwater, Oklahoma, resident Rolla Abdeljawad when they showed up at her house to ask her about her social media activity:

Three FBI agents came to Abdeljawad's house and said that they had been given "screenshots" of her posts by Facebook. Her lawyer Hassan Shibly posted a video of the incident online on Wednesday.

Abdeljawad told agents that she didn't want to talk and asked them to show their badges on camera, which the agents refused to do. She wrote on Facebook that she later confirmed with local police that the FBI agents really were FBI agents.

"Facebook gave us a couple of screenshots of your account," one agent in a gray shirt said in the video.

[...] Shibly says that he doesn't know which Facebook post caught the agents' attention, and that it was the first time he had heard of Facebook's parent company, Meta, preemptively reporting posts to law enforcement. Andy Stone, a spokesman for Meta, and Kayla McCleery, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Oklahoma City office, declined to comment.*

Meta's official policy is to hand over Facebook data to U.S. law enforcement in response to a court order, a subpoena, a search warrant, or an emergency situation involving "imminent harm to a child or risk of death or serious physical injury to any person." The company received 73,956 requests from U.S. law enforcement and handed over data 87.84 percent of the time in the first half of 2023, according to the Meta website.

[...] *UPDATE: After publication, McCleery provided the following statement; "Every day, the FBI engages with members of the public in furtherance of our mission, which is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States. We can never open an investigation based solely on First Amendment protected activity. The FBI is committed to ensuring our activities are conducted with a valid law enforcement or national security purpose, while upholding the constitutional rights of all Americans."

Related:


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:00AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:00AM (#119594)

    Warrants are apparently far too easy to get...

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @02:45AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @02:45AM (#119656)

      Of course warrants are cheap. I'm not sure why you think it was easy to get. Because somebody cherry-picked a few words from it that alone should not be enough? Perhaps there is more to the story than that.

      And, contrary to this nonsense implied here, she is actually accused of recruiting people to commit serious felonies overseas. She wasn't searched because she had pictures of ISIS, they showed the facebook connections to purported ISIS members to establish that she was truly in contact with the group. The other side of the story is that they sent an undercover cop, and she had arranged his travel to join ISIS as a fighter. It is illegal in the US to aid in interfering with recognized foreign governments. So it is actually a serious federal felony to join a rebel group fighting against the Iraqi government. You can legally go overseas to fight an illegitimate, unrecognized government, but it is illegal to fight a recognized government. That is before getting into the fact that this is a real terrorist group, they've been chopping off the heads of our nationals.

      This is not a case where a government is lying about who is a "terrorist." These are real terrorists. And it also violates the UN Charter to claim land that is already owned by a UN nation. The "territorial integrity" of both Iraq and Syria have been violated by this group. So that is against international law, separately from it being illegal under American law.

      The summary is just idiotic.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @10:43AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @10:43AM (#119740)

        Yeah, this kind of wild-eyed, self-important "anti-authoritarian" BS constantly posted by LaminatorX et al. really puts me off of this site but this submission in particular and the resulting dimwitted circle-jerk is the last straw.

        Good luck with your little website though, NCommander. Too bad it's infested with unthinking idiots.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @10:49AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @10:49AM (#119741)

          So just fuck the hell off. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday November 25 2014, @11:49AM

        by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Tuesday November 25 2014, @11:49AM (#119750) Homepage
        > It is illegal in the US to aid in interfering with recognized foreign governments.

        So the entire US military, all the way to the top, is guilty? And the CIA too, for that matter. And the NSA at a stretch.
        --
        Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
      • (Score: 1) by art guerrilla on Tuesday November 25 2014, @03:21PM

        by art guerrilla (3082) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @03:21PM (#119821)

        @ a non cow-
        "It is illegal in the US to aid in interfering with recognized foreign governments. "

        that is precious ! ! !
        i bet you still believe we have a constitution and the rule of law, not of (1%) of men...

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bob_super on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:00AM

    by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:00AM (#119595)

    Remember kids: Feel free to support your local Klan, the Mexican cartels and the Illinois Nazis, but don't you dare say anything positive about the acting government of the Sunni-dominated regions of Iraq and Syria.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:33AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:33AM (#119608)

      > Remember kids: Feel free to support your local Klan, the Mexican cartels

      Mexican cartels beheaded hundreds of people last year alone and have killed at least 57 journalists since 2006 while ISIL/Al-Qaeda-In-Iraq killed about 5. [aljazeera.com] The cartels have even turned it into a religion via a perversion of Santa Muerte [wikipedia.org] (if you watched Breaking Bad you saw a Santa Muerte shrine in season 3 [wikia.com])

    • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:35AM

      by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:35AM (#119611) Journal

      WTF is KKK not on a list of terror organizations? Admittedly, they are now just a bunch of clowns, scratching together gas money for their '87 Dodge Ram pickups.
      But they advocate murder of American citizens, from within their own borders.

      --
      You're betting on the pantomime horse...
      • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:53AM

        by cafebabe (894) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:53AM (#119619) Journal

        If you read the book Freakonomics [freakonomics.com], the statistics show that lynchings were more frequent before the Ku Klux Klan was formed. Arguably, if racists meet in one place, on a regular schedule, then it is easier to keep track of them and easier to infiltrate them. And if they have meetings then it'll be a case of more talk, less action.

        Similar logic has been applied to 4chan [soylentnews.org] but it may only hold for physical meetings.

        --
        1702845791×2
        • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Tuesday November 25 2014, @01:12AM

          by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @01:12AM (#119627) Journal

          Perhaps interesting, but orthogonal.

           

          "Freakonomics" is a bunch of Ayn Randian clap-trap. Like other popularizing, factoid weaving performance artists like Malcolm Gladwell and Thomas Friedman, I view Levitt and Dubner as initially entertaining - and then increasingly suspect.

           

          Look for the data behind their Klan claims. Whoops! I guess we'll never really know!

           

          --
          You're betting on the pantomime horse...
          • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday November 25 2014, @11:37AM

            by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Tuesday November 25 2014, @11:37AM (#119747) Homepage
            That's refreshing to hear. A few times I've felt that their logic has been flawed. Their anecdotes are fun and interesting, but it's when they say "A actually caused B" that they need 100% bulletproof logic, not just /post hoc ergo propter hoc/. Sometimes they do have that, bug sometimes they don't. I only remember one horrible thing that I disagreed with vehemently in their original book, which isn't bad going, whereas I don't think I've ever agreed with anything Friedman has said! (Mostly in the last decade, but what I read then convinced me I simply wanted to avoid everything he's ever written, as we can't even agree on axioms, and there's simply no way to have a logical argument in such situations.) L&D are normally very open about their sources, if you want the root of the klan data, fling them an email, maybe they'll do a podcast about it if there's a strong enough conter-argument, if they're still doing podcasts, they've revisited topics in the past that way, which has included some backtracking.
            --
            Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
            • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Tuesday November 25 2014, @05:11PM

              by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @05:11PM (#119857) Journal

              The biggest problem with statistical extrapolation is that one still needs to be a deep subject matter expert in any particular given field. Being expert with statistics is like knowing all about hammers. There's framing, carpentry, picture-hanging, engraving and blacksmithy which all command their own domain experience beyond tool knowledge.

              --
              You're betting on the pantomime horse...
              • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday November 25 2014, @08:58PM

                by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Tuesday November 25 2014, @08:58PM (#119921) Homepage
                Very much so. When people "prove" that correlations exist, I always demand a possible mechanism by which there could be causation. If you can't propose a mechanism, you don't know the subject matter well enough to be reliable.

                Anyway, it's late - it's about time I stopped work and pulled the cap off a beer bottle with a hammer...
                --
                Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @01:24AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @01:24AM (#119630)

      I was outraged as well, until I read the article. She wasn't just spouting nonsense on Facebook, like the summary suggests. She was apparently part of a recruiting network for ISIS and was making plans with an FBI undercover agent to arrange for travel across the border from Turkey into Syria so that they could get to an ISIS training camp. She later lied about having made those plans when the FBI came a-knockin' and asked her about her suspicious activities. This isn't a case of a one-off conversation between her and an undercover agent that she claims she never had. This is a case of ongoing talks and plans of illegal activities that she's denying she ever participated in.

      I'll support the rights of idiots to spout whatever nonsense they want in support of terrorism, but they can only do so inasmuch as they aren't actively engaged in illegal activities. Last I checked, helping get people across the border so that they can go to a terrorist training camp is kinda illegal.

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday November 25 2014, @01:36AM

        by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @01:36AM (#119636)

        > Last I checked, helping get people across the border so that they can go to a terrorist training camp is kinda illegal.

        If only we didn't help another terrorist organisation cross the same border into Syria to fight the guys that she allegedly was trying to help...

        The legality of that one is fun, since she was trying to do what our local ally the Turkish government is widely acknowledged to do (and it's their border).

        I love Middle-East politics.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @01:47AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @01:47AM (#119638)

        Is it illegal to "arrange for travel across the border from Turkey into Syria"? Does it depend on the countries or does it just have to be terrorism related?

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by linuxrocks123 on Tuesday November 25 2014, @01:53AM

        by linuxrocks123 (2557) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @01:53AM (#119641) Journal

        What she is actually CHARGED with is lying to an FBI officer. People need to learn that you don't talk to the police.

        • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Tuesday November 25 2014, @05:24AM

          by mhajicek (51) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @05:24AM (#119700)

          But it's still illegal even if you don't know they're police / agents.

          --
          The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
          • (Score: 2) by Arik on Tuesday November 25 2014, @05:29AM

            by Arik (4543) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @05:29AM (#119701) Journal
            "But it's still illegal even if you don't know they're police / agents."

            Wrong.

            It was not illegal to lie to the undercover that pumped her first. It was illegal to deceive the agents that interviewed her about that contact later.

            If she had told them 'I told xxx yyy and zzz, but it was all bullshit' there would be no crime.

            If she had told them 'law-yer. I want my law-yer' and refused to say anything else, there would be no crime.

            (Assuming the reports are accurate) she was arrested specifically because she volunteered to give a statement, and then lied in that statement.

            --
            If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
          • (Score: 1) by linuxrocks123 on Tuesday November 25 2014, @05:30AM

            by linuxrocks123 (2557) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @05:30AM (#119702) Journal

            Are you sure about that? It's not at issue in this case, and it seems unlikely the statute would reach that far. I can't tell for sure from a simple reading of the text.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by curunir_wolf on Tuesday November 25 2014, @02:01AM

        by curunir_wolf (4772) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @02:01AM (#119644)

        She wasn't just spouting nonsense on Facebook, like the summary suggests. She was apparently part of a recruiting network for ISIS and was making plans with an FBI undercover agent to arrange for travel across the border from Turkey into Syria so that they could get to an ISIS training camp.

        Well maybe I'm wrong, but I didn't read it that way. From what I read, she was bragging about being able a recruit for ISIS, but the FBI discovered that she couldn't really do anything to help them infiltrate the organization because she didn't actually know any terrorists. That is, she made up the whole thing, and was lying about everything.

        --
        I am a crackpot
  • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:04AM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:04AM (#119596) Journal

    Does this mean that if we support the work of Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, Wikileaks, the ACLU, EFF, or Anonymous we're just as guilty of supporting terrorism and espionage in our own ways?

    Don't ask that -- you are providing material support for the Anti-American-Fascists (AKA: US Federal Government), who are trying their darndest to convert protected 1st Amendment activities, as well as other Constitutional activities, into crimes. To phrase this question like that, is to recognize unconstitutional Fed behavior as something possibly legitimate.

    I would suggest instead, something along the lines of this:

    If the US Federal Government [don't use passive voice, don't assume the actor -- clearly identify the abuser] is going to treat such innocuous (albeit despicable) protected political speech as terrorism, where will its abuse end? Are any political or activist organizations, e.g. EFF, ACLU, Wikileaks, reporters not favored by the Feds (as well as supporters/readers), etc., safe from oppression by the Feds?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:15AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:15AM (#119601)

    Nobody respects freedom of speech nor thought these days. Not the government. Not Debian.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:36AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:36AM (#119612)

      Skinnnnner!

    • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday November 25 2014, @07:35AM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @07:35AM (#119723) Journal

      First ones? Primaries? Or perhaps you meant "principles" as in "cardinal values or ideas"? So hard to tell these days, when common wenches are soliciting for mercenaries on Facebook. Wait, that is not surprising at all! I mean, what is Facebook for if not Jihad recruitment and FBI Entrapment?

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:18AM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:18AM (#119602) Journal

    This is apparently a failure of the first rule of talking to the police, which is don't, not ever. Her "crime" is lying to the FBI.

    HENRICO COUNTY, N.C. — After seven months of investigation and undercover work, federal officials have arrested a Virginia woman and accused her of lying to federal agents about involvement with the terrorist group ISIS.

    .... [paragraphs and paragraphs of incendiary BS -- I can't believe we pay Feds to do this out of our tax dollars] ....

    On November 13, two FBI agents met with Coffman at her work and conducted an interview, throughout which, according to investigators, Coffman “provided false, material information to the federal agents.” Coffman said “we don’t talk about things like that” when asked about their conversations regarding ISIS and al Qaeda, and denied that the undercover agent ever expressed support for ISIS or similar terrorist groups. The FBI agents told Coffman that lying to a federal agent is a crime, though Coffman said her account was truthful.

    http://myfox8.com/2014/11/18/virginia-woman-accused-of-attempting-to-aid-isis/ [myfox8.com]

    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:29AM

      by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:29AM (#119607)

      > lying to a federal agent is a crime...

              Congress shall make no law (...) abridging the freedom of speech (...)

      I know we need tools to catch $bad_guy_du_jour, but that one always bothered me... Committing Perjury (under oath) is a crime, and so should willful endangerment ("Fire!"), but why are Feds a special category of First exemption?

      • (Score: 1) by Anal Pumpernickel on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:43AM

        by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:43AM (#119614)

        Committing Perjury (under oath) is a crime, and so should willful endangerment ("Fire!")

        Neither are listed as exceptions in the first amendment, and panicking people cause the danger, not the speaker. Their actions are their own.

      • (Score: 1) by Bill Evans on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:43AM

        by Bill Evans (1094) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:43AM (#119615) Homepage

        It's not that the Feds are a special exemption. All law enforcement officers, down to the local level, are.

        • (Score: 1) by curunir_wolf on Tuesday November 25 2014, @01:58AM

          by curunir_wolf (4772) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @01:58AM (#119643)

          It's not that the Feds are a special exemption. All law enforcement officers, down to the local level, are.

          Not really, no. The federal government made lying to federal government agents (any bureaucrats, not just LEOs) illegal in Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001, which has existed in its current form since 1948. However, it only applies to federal agents. Some state governments and many localities have enacted similar laws, but in most places in the US it is not against the law to lie to an LEO, unless it is associated of an official report or written testimony. However, federal agents and virtually every local law enforcement officer in the country is allowed to lie with impunity.

          --
          I am a crackpot
          • (Score: 2) by Sir Garlon on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:49PM

            by Sir Garlon (1264) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:49PM (#119765)

            +1 Depressing

            --
            [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
          • (Score: 2) by nitehawk214 on Tuesday November 25 2014, @03:35PM

            by nitehawk214 (1304) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @03:35PM (#119829)

            Wait, was she aware that it was a federal agent she was lying to? If you lie to an undercover agent, you should not be held to that law. This would fall under the category of being guilty of a double-secret crime or something to that effect.

            Are they saying you can never lie to anyone ever because you don't know if they are a secret agent?

            Or was the report really saying she lied under oath during questioning about what an undercover agent said to her. That, at least, is pretty reasonable to be a crime.

            Now, the situation where you are not giving a testimony or under oath and are just "talking" to agents... (of course, any "talk" with a law enforcement agent should be treated as an interrogation)

            --
            "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
    • (Score: 2) by Arik on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:42AM

      by Arik (4543) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:42AM (#119613) Journal
      Indeed. I read about this story earlier and I am not sure the alarmist tone of the blurb is justified in *this particular case*. They are not charging her with a crime for her public speech, but for lying to the fbi.

      Which is actually in its own way *almost* as bad a "crime" considering that fbi agents are trained paid and encouraged to lie to you, but how dare you lie to them?! But the solution to their lying is simply not to speak with them. Speak with your lawyer. If necessary, speak with the prosecutor as well, with your lawyer present. Don't speak with the LEOs.

      From what I have read this woman seems like a prize idiot and if they managed to trip her up and find a charge on her this way then more power to them *in this one case.* Dealing with dangerous idiots can involve some fine lines, and *if it is all as they say* it actually sounds like they walked it quite well in this one case.

      But they have a known pattern of abuse that does justify wanting her to get a good lawyer and hear what he says after he has some time to get up to speed, just in case.
      --
      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
      • (Score: 1) by Anal Pumpernickel on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:46AM

        by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:46AM (#119617)

        The first amendment says nothing about lying being a crime.

        and if they managed to trip her up and find a charge on her this way then more power to them *in this one case.*

        No one's rights should be violated. They're essentially just abusing the sheer number of laws on the books to find something to arrest her over simply because they don't like her. That is dangerous.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Arik on Tuesday November 25 2014, @01:06AM

          by Arik (4543) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @01:06AM (#119624) Journal
          "The first amendment says nothing about lying being a crime."

          Lying is *not* a crime.

          What you run into with lying to LEOs (federal, state, or local) is that you *do* have, under common law going back centuries even, a positive obligation to if not actively coöperate with them in the course of their investigations, at least to avoid actively leading them astray. THAT is why lying to them is a crime.

          And it's not a pure speech crime, she could have gone out and told the world what she told them and there would be no crime, it's only because they identified themselves as LEOs asking questions pursuant to an investigation, and she volunteered a statement which (they allege) was false and misleading in that context, that they have anything chargeable on her.

          Now if I was her lawyer I would see a couple possible avenues on this - if she had no intention to mislead the investigation (and she sounds a bit mentally disturbed so that's perhaps plausible) then no crime was committed. And, of course, if she were telling the truth, no crime would have been committed. Finally, even if it's all exactly as they say, she needs to talk to a shrink, not a jailer.

          Additionally, if she had simply stuck with 'law-yer' until they got her one I would bet she would have walked free within the hour. Instead she wanted to talk. Would you deny her her right to speak?

          So I am not sure her rights are being violated, it seems at least a decent chance she waived them herself.

          And really, what would you have them do with someone they know is enthusiastically promoting a group that takes slaves and beheads PoWs and aid workers?

          I've been antiwar my whole life and I am as sensitive as anyone to the over-reach. It's absurd and stupid that our highly paid intelligence professionals waste their time investigating the likes of antiwar.com and that incident (among others) arguably constitutes a definitive demonstration that the agency is corrupt beyond redemption.

          But put yourself in the shoes of the agents that got this call for a moment and assume the story is accurate. Would you really have them make no attempt whatsoever to do something about this woman?

          --
          If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by curunir_wolf on Tuesday November 25 2014, @02:06AM

            by curunir_wolf (4772) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @02:06AM (#119646)

            But put yourself in the shoes of the agents that got this call for a moment and assume the story is accurate. Would you really have them make no attempt whatsoever to do something about this woman?

            Well considering she was doing nothing but posting stuff on Facebook (stuff she made up in her head, as it turned out) before the FBI got involved, then, yea, they probably should just leave the lunatics ranting about their schizoid fantasies on Facebook alone, otherwise they won't have time to deal with any real crime at all.

            --
            I am a crackpot
            • (Score: 2) by Arik on Tuesday November 25 2014, @02:38AM

              by Arik (4543) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @02:38AM (#119652) Journal
              I guess I am putting myself in the shoes of the agent that got this report.

              Yes, so far as he can see at first glance, there is nothing but speech. Still, he's expected to investigate. I would liken it to a policeman receiving a call of an 'armed man.' This is theoretically a free country and there is absolutely nothing wrong with a man walking in public space carrying a weapon. If I were the 911 operator I would have asked 'ok, so he has a weapon, has he pointed it at anyone, or said or done anything to indicate he is about to?' because if not you are wasting all of our time, but anyway... I'm not the 911 operator, I am the patrolman, so I go out and take a look. Probably find no evidence of a crime and go back available ASAP, but I do have to investigate, that's my job, right?

              I am thinking the same way an FBI agent that got this as an assignment is going to, if he's a good one that cares about his oath, see immediately that he has nothing but speech, so there is nothing to arrest her for.

              But he's expected to investigate. And he should. Again, all indications are she is a dangerous lunatic! So he goes to investigate, sets up a little sting, and she bites. Hook, line, and sinker.

              Sucks to be her.

              Look, it doesnt make the FBI look any *more* competent to me - do they know any form of investigation *other than* the sting? - but it's not a low point for them by any means either.
              --
              If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
          • (Score: 1) by Anal Pumpernickel on Wednesday November 26 2014, @05:21AM

            by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Wednesday November 26 2014, @05:21AM (#120143)

            And it's not a pure speech crime

            It is a pure speech crime. Unless you have evidence that she took physical action against them, it's nothing more than speech.

            And really, what would you have them do with someone they know is enthusiastically promoting a group that takes slaves and beheads PoWs and aid workers?

            Nothing that I wouldn't do to anyone else. The content of their speech is irrelevant.

            Would you really have them make no attempt whatsoever to do something about this woman?

            Yes. Freedom > safety (especially 'safety' from speech).

            The agents are simply thugs, as usual.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Bill Evans on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:50AM

      by Bill Evans (1094) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:50AM (#119618) Homepage

      On not talking to the police, this link is obligatory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc [youtube.com].

      I exposed the full link so that those of you who are already quite familiar with it can recognize the 11-character code and save yourselves a trip.

    • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Tuesday November 25 2014, @06:37AM

      by bradley13 (3053) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @06:37AM (#119717) Homepage Journal

      From what I remember of the Martha Stewart case, which made this "lying to the FBI" famous, you are basically screwed as soon as you open your mouth.

      IIRC, the only record of the interview are the notes kept by the FBI. Their interpretation of their notes is the definitive factor. If they feel misled, then you deliberately misled them. Many statements can be ambiguous, and it's easy to deliberately misunderstand something? Since the notes are handwritten, and you don't get a copy, it's also easy enough for them to alter the notes to better fit their desired story. If you dispute what they claim their notes say, well, there you go lying again :-/

      A brief search shows that the FBI now has the option of making an audio or video recording an interview. But it is not a requirement; they can choose not to, if they want the flexibility of the old system.

      It's easy to say "don't talk to the cops" from the comfort of your armchair, but it's not always easy to do. They can put you under all kinds of pressure: "if you won't talk to us, we'll have to take you in", or a bit of asset forfeiture "nice car you have - have you given any terrorists a ride?" Plenty of tricks in the book...

      --
      Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:34AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:34AM (#119610)

    Since when did advocating a revolution, even one as distasteful and violent as ISIS, become illegal?

    Since the first government, and whenever the revolution isn't one your government wanted.

    She would be A-OK if she had, instead, called for overthrowing, for example, Russia or China.

  • (Score: 2) by fnj on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:55AM

    by fnj (1654) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:55AM (#119620)

    This individual chose her side in the struggle between civilization and a self-assembled group of atavistic animals. Yes, it is a flawed civilization, but it is the same one that brought us Mr. Snowden and many fine individuals as well as the disgusting Messrs. Bush and Obama and their shadowy masters.

    She chose "unwisely". It will sit fine with me if she burns in hell.

    Did her speech cross the line that demarks aiding and comforting an enemy of the Republic? It is debatable. I tend toward leaving her alone to try to live with her own hate and the revulsion of a large majority of her country people.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @11:08AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @11:08AM (#119743)

      In fact she should be given a one way ticket to ISIS land. She accepts it, everybody is happy. She refuses it, everybody laughs at her. Seems a win win to me.

      • (Score: 2) by nitehawk214 on Tuesday November 25 2014, @03:55PM

        by nitehawk214 (1304) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @03:55PM (#119836)

        Yes but that would make us an accessory to murder.

        Because we all know her life expectancy over there would be weeks at best.

        --
        "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:56AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:56AM (#119621)

    seems like nazis has won...

  • (Score: 2) by fnj on Tuesday November 25 2014, @01:07AM

    by fnj (1654) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @01:07AM (#119625)

    Since when did advocating a revolution, even one as distasteful and violent as ISIS, become illegal?

    Since pretty much always. Specifically, see 18 U.S. Code § 2385 - Advocating overthrow of Government [cornell.edu].

    It's for damn sure everyone involved in the American Revolution was acting illegally. They took the attendant risk willingly.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @04:13AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @04:13AM (#119679)

      > Specifically, see 18 U.S. Code § 2385 - Advocating overthrow of Government.

      You seem to have confused the Government of the USA with the governments of Syria and Iraq.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @02:58AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @02:58AM (#119657)

    If an upstanding pro-liberty project like /Debian/ doesn't respect free speech...
    what makes you even start to imagine that the government would?!

    • (Score: 2) by pkrasimirov on Tuesday November 25 2014, @08:22AM

      by pkrasimirov (3358) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 25 2014, @08:22AM (#119726)

      Can we block these trolls that shit all over the place already? I think they deliberately try to burn people's mod points by wasting them on -1 Offtopic.

  • (Score: 2) by Covalent on Tuesday November 25 2014, @03:30AM

    by Covalent (43) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @03:30AM (#119671) Journal

    I'm the first person to jump all over our government for overstepping their bounds. But this woman told an FBI agent that she could get somebody in contact with ISIS and was interested in recruiting people.

    Our government is supposed to try and stop people like this.

    If all she had done was to say she "loves" ISIS, I would be joining the outrage. But she actually tried to help ISIS. Your Liberty To Swing Your Fist Ends Just Where My Nose Begins. Helping a group that kills Americans is not within the rights of an American.

    --
    You can't rationally argue somebody out of a position they didn't rationally get into.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @03:46AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @03:46AM (#119675)

      I'm the first person to jump all over our government for overstepping their bounds. But this woman told an FBI agent that she could get somebody in contact with ISIS and was interested in recruiting people.

      And how do we know she is simply not delusional? That in her mind she *thought* the could actually do this? Is US now locking people up for just being crazy? Then they should lock up most of the "preppers".

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @04:16AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @04:16AM (#119681)

      > Your Liberty To Swing Your Fist Ends Just Where My Nose Begins.

      Since she didn't have a chance in hell of actually recruiting anyone, your nose was in no danger.

      Justice requires proportionality, this woman was delusional and 100% ineffective. The justice she deserves is some mental health treatment, not prison.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday November 25 2014, @11:47AM

      by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Tuesday November 25 2014, @11:47AM (#119749) Homepage
      > But she actually tried to help ISIS.

      Strong claim. What did she actually *do* that in any way helped ISIS, given that she doesn't know anyone in ISIS. She told a few fairy stories, that's all.
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 1) by jimbrooking on Tuesday November 25 2014, @04:23AM

    by jimbrooking (3465) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 25 2014, @04:23AM (#119685)

    ...she'll be beheaded.

  • (Score: 2) by zeigerpuppy on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:38PM

    by zeigerpuppy (1298) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @12:38PM (#119758)

    Watch Rambo III. It's very enlightening to show what the US used to think of the Mujahideen.
    Classic scene with rambo getting all spiritual with them.