Just after midnight, authorities descended on the Cerritos home of the man believed to be the filmmaker behind the anti-Muslim movie that has sparked protests and rioting in the Arab world.I'm troubled that a newspaper in the United States would publish this article without seeing the need to say whether the man was arrested. Now, we're told he went in voluntarily.
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies escorted a man believed to be Nakoula Basseley Nakoula to an awaiting car. The man declined to answer questions on his way out and wore a hat and a towel over his face. He kept his hands in the pocket of a winter coat.
Apparently, he acceded to questioning because he's on probation, having been convicted of a federal crime — bank fraud. The terms of his probation, we're told, say he "shall not access a computer for any other purpose" than his work. This obviously makes him less free than most U.S. citizens and much more vulnerable to requests to submit to questioning about his speech, but the photograph at the link in chilling.
Gaze on that picture and see our government in a sad, shameful display, staged — presumably — to cajole the enemies of free speech into blaming a private individual instead of our country — our country, the caretaker of the freedom that allowed him to speak.
ADDED: That's a scarf wrapped around his face, not a "towel." Is the L.A. Times nudging us to think of this man as a "towelhead"? And look at this headline in the Daily Mail: "The man who set the Middle East ablaze hides his face in shame...." Shame? If I were imputing a motivation to this man, I'd say he has a fully justified fear of becoming a recognizable face.
But I think our government is delusional if it thinks the people who are rioting in Africa and killing our diplomats would — if they knew the facts — see individuals like Nakoula as the proper focus of their rage. They don't believe the necessary premise: freedom as the superior value. As long as they favor a system in which blasphemy is outlawed and severely punished, they will continue to blame the American government for standing back and allowing blasphemy to flourish and flow everywhere. What good does it do to ask them to please understand our system? They hate this system.
Meanwhile, our government would scapegoat a