Yet Another Arrest For Bad Thoughts

Jun 2014
60,143
34,429
Cleveland, Ohio
#1
Greenbelt, Maryland (CNN) The assistant federal public defender representing a Maryland man who has been called a "domestic terrorist" by the government argued in court Thursday that the Coast Guard officer should not be detained, saying it's "not a crime to think negative thoughts about people."

*Snip*

Hasson, 49, was charged last Friday with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, as well as possession of the controlled substance Tramadol. But in a memo requesting his detention and again in court on Thursday, the government said those charges "are the proverbial tip of the iceberg."

*Snip*

The government alleges that Hasson is a self-described white supremacist and maintained a hit list of prominent Democrats and journalists, including individuals at CNN and MSNBC.

Court documents allege that Hasson espoused extremist and white supremacist views and that he relied on the manifesto of Anders Breivik, a Norwegian who was convicted in 2011 of two terror attacks that killed 77 people.

The government also said Hasson stockpiled steroids and human growth hormone "to increase his ability to conduct attacks," consistent with the directions in Breivik's manifesto.

"The defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct," prosecutors wrote in the court documents.

Hasson's attorney, Julie Stelzig, argued on Thursday that he has a wife and children and has served his community by volunteering. She stressed that Hasson has "dedicated his entire life to his country" and has been in the Coast Guard for more than 20 years.

Stelzig said it is "not a crime to think negative thoughts about people ... or doomsday scenarios," adding, "We are not yet a society that criminalizes people for their thoughts ... or detains people for their internet searches."

Following the hearing, US Attorney Rob Hur spoke about the case outside the courtroom.

"The sheer number and force of the weapons that were recovered from Mr. Hasson's residence in this case, coupled with the disturbing nature of his writings, appear to reflect the very significant threat to the safety of our community, particularly given the position of trust that Mr. Hasson held with the United States government," Hur said.

A statement Thursday from spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Scott McBride said the Coast Guard had begun investigating Hasson in 2018, "after the Coast Guard Insider Threat Program first identified concerns about him." Hasson was arrested once the FBI and Coast Guard Investigative Service "were confident in the strength of the evidence," said McBride, who also said Hasson had had a secret level clearance with the Coast Guard since 2005, which was suspended on Tuesday.
This is unAmerican. Repugnant as this man's ideas are, he is entitled to hold them and communicate them.

I myself have a passing interest in the Unabomber's manifesto. I haven't yet found it online, but if I did, I would read it.

Because I'm interested in the linguistic forensics used to identify him, not because I want to kill anyone.

What say you?
 
Jan 2015
46,765
13,116
Great State of Texas
#3
He was arrested for illegal possesion of a firearm.

Not bad thoughts.

And, I believe his bad thoughts will remain just that unless the AG can prove he had access to act upon them and intention to act upon them.

Then it's another story.
 
Jun 2014
60,143
34,429
Cleveland, Ohio
#4
People in the US military do not have the same rights and freedoms as civilians.. They are held to a stricter standard the minute they signed the contract.
True. They don't have the same freedom of speech. But then, why not have the Coast Guard arrest him for contemptuous speech?

Do members of the military have freedom of speech?

Freedom of speech is a guaranteed right for all United States citizens, in accordance with the Constitution. However, members of the military do face certain context-based restrictions on how they exercise that right.

Limits to Free Speech

Article 88 of the UCMJ, 10 U.S.C. 888, makes it a crime for a commissioned military officer to use contemptuous words against the President and Congress, among others. The Department of Defense has also expanded this rule to include all military enlisted personnel (DOD Directive 1344.10). During the Monica Lewinsky scandal, two enlisted members of the military were formally reprimanded for using e-mails to mock President Clinton. Presidents Lincoln, Truman, Carter, Bush, and Obama have all decided to reprimand or remove high ranking officers for public comments that undermine or disobey presidential policy.

Other limits to military free speech include acting disrespectfully to a superior officer, insubordinate conduct, willful disobedience, conduct unbecoming an officer, and conduct prejudicial to good order (bringing disrepute onto themselves and the service) and more. These rules are more accurately described as codes of conduct than limits to free speech.
Do members of the military have freedom of speech?
 
Jun 2014
60,143
34,429
Cleveland, Ohio
#5
He was arrested for illegal possesion of a firearm.

Not bad thoughts.

And, I believe his bad thoughts will remain just that unless the AG can prove he had access to act upon them and intention to act upon them.

Then it's another story.

Yes, the actual charges against him are drug possession and illegal weapons possession, but he's being held on an abnormally high bail and the prosecutor has no problem calling him a domestic terrorist.

There could be facts we don't have yet, obviously. But on the reported facts, there was no "true threat" as he did nothing to carry out any plan.
 
Jan 2015
46,765
13,116
Great State of Texas
#6
Yes, the actual charges against him are drug possession and illegal weapons possession, but he's being held on an abnormally high bail and the prosecutor has no problem calling him a domestic terrorist.

There could be facts we don't have yet, obviously. But on the reported facts, there was no "true threat" as he did nothing to carry out any plan.
If there's nothing there .....

You can bet his Lawyers will have a field day.

But, if there is ......

That's another story.
 
Jun 2014
60,143
34,429
Cleveland, Ohio
#7
He was arrested for illegal possesion of a firearm.

Not bad thoughts.

And, I believe his bad thoughts will remain just that unless the AG can prove he had access to act upon them and intention to act upon them.

Then it's another story.
How would the prosecutor ever prove "intent" if this man never took any action to carry out a terror attack?
 
Jan 2015
46,765
13,116
Great State of Texas
#8
How would the prosecutor ever prove "intent" if this man never took any action to carry out a terror attack?
I think it has to do with if they also have the means.

Like someone cliams they're gonna blow up a building and the authorities find bomb making material.
 
Likes: Tedminator
Feb 2015
16,373
8,175
sadness
#10
This is unAmerican. Repugnant as this man's ideas are, he is entitled to hold them and communicate them.

I myself have a passing interest in the Unabomber's manifesto. I haven't yet found it online, but if I did, I would read it.

Because I'm interested in the linguistic forensics used to identify him, not because I want to kill anyone.

What say you?

the new world pc of little anthonys...... even thinking bad thoughts will get you sent to the cornfield.
 
Likes: Madeline