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UK Teen Banned From US Over Obscene Obama Email

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the sticks-and-stones dept.

The Internet 555

British teenager Luke Angel has been banned from the US for sending an email to the White House calling President Obama an obscenity. The 17-year-old says he was drunk when he sent the mail and doesn't understand what the big deal is. "I don't remember exactly what I wrote as I was drunk. But I think I called Barack Obama a p***k. It was silly -- the sort of thing you do when you're a teenager and have had a few," he said. The FBI contacted local police who in turn confronted Luke and let him know that the US Department of Homeland Security didn't think his email was funny. "The police came and took my picture and told me I was banned from America forever. I don't really care but my parents aren't very happy," Angel said.

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Now that's just stupid. (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574234)

But I think I called Barack Obama a p***k.

So what? I mean ... so what? A lot of Americans feel the same way and we don't have to be drunk to say it ... free speech and all that. Or do we believe that people in other countries shouldn't be able to express negative opinions about our leaders? What kind of example are we trying to set here?

Low hanging fruit, I guess. As if a drunken teenager's ramblings constituted some credible threat against the President. Besides, I'm a little confused on how a kid gets banned from the United States forever for performing an action that isn't illegal in this country, probably isn't illegal in his, and should have been entirely beneath law enforcement's radar anyway? Why didn't his local cops tell the FBI to go pound sand? What if he'd been visiting the United States when he wrote that? Would we have imprisoned or deported him? Does the FBI use lead plumbing?

Yeah, I'm kinda embarrassed by this. Don't try to tell me that every President since the we starting having them hasn't received thousands of messages a year calling him all kinds of names. It's part and parcel of the job: if you don't have a pretty thick skin you have no business being a politician in the first place. So, what made them single this kid out from the rest of the pack? Does the FBI ban every foreigner who expresses a negative opinion of the President from ever setting foot in our country?

Personally, I'd like to know what Obama thinks of this silliness, what he thinks has been accomplished here. It sounds to me like a couple of Federal agents need to have their wings clipped, or at least should be assigned duties more suitable for their temperament. Reading obituaries, maybe.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (1)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574298)

If anything, ban him til the end of Obama's term...

Re:Now that's just stupid. (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574352)

If anything, ban him til the end of Obama's term...

Really. Who knows, he might have something nice to say about our next President.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574874)

So what, when a president ends his term we take em out back with a shotgun and end their miserable life? Obama wills till be here, and he will still need to be protected by Secret Service.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (4, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574320)

Love the lack of free speech here.

Burn a flag, protest, do whatever, but HOW DARE YOU CALL OUR PRESIDENT A PRICK!

You sir, will never visit our country!

Sometimes I can't believe I live in this country, it's so goddamned weird.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574368)

Love the fact that you cite lack of free speech, yet cite burning the flag and protesting as things that you can legally do in this country.

I swear, most Americans don't realize how good we actually have it.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574462)

Love the fact that you cite lack of free speech, yet cite burning the flag and protesting as things that you can legally do in this country.

Yeah ... he didn't actually make his case very well, did he.

I swear, most Americans don't realize how good we actually have it.

No, we don't, and it's that complacency that's virtually guaranteed to lose us everything we have left, eventually.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574682)

No, we don't, and it's that complacency that's virtually guaranteed to lose us everything we have left, eventually.

I didn't say things were perfect, just better than most people make it out to be.

Compare living in America to many other countries in the world, and tell me we don't have, in the grand scheme of things, relatively easy and free lives. Could it be better? Certainly. Do we have to be careful that we don't lose that relatively easy and free living? Absolutely. But it's not all doom and gloom...I'd much rather live here than dozens of other countries.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (4, Funny)

feepness (543479) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574864)

I'd much rather live here than dozens of other countries.

The constant travel leave you exhausted!

Re:Now that's just stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574524)

Reading comprehension is your friend.

"Here" referred to the situation, not the country.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574706)

Reading comprehension is your friend.

You're right, it is. Good thing I have it.

"Here" referred to the situation, not the country.

If it was just in reference to the situation, why bring up flag burning and protests...two things which have nothing to do with someone being banned from the US for an "obscene" email?

Re:Now that's just stupid. (0, Troll)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574764)

I served my country, 5 years in the Marine Corps. I've been all over the world, to countries that saying anything about the leader of that country could get you thrown in prison or worse.
This is a knee-jerk reaction to a kid's momentary lapse of judgement.

You know nothing about me, and it seems, not a whole lot about anything.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (0, Flamebait)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574908)

So let me get this straight. Because you were a Marine, that automatically means your opinion is "correct" and mine is "wrong"? Was I wrong in stating that you mentioned flag burning as a legal form of free speech, immediately after citing our lack of free speech in America?

Oh, and also:

I've been all over the world, to countries that saying anything about the leader of that country could get you thrown in prison or worse.

I already covered that. Not that it matters, since you seem to assume things about me personally, whereas I responded directly to (and only to) what you've written. [slashdot.org]

Re:Now that's just stupid. (2, Insightful)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574448)

No suppression of his free speech in this case. He's still got the freedom to speak as far as the US is concerned. We've just asked him never to come onto our property. Any property owner in the US has that right.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (4, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574506)

The President doesn't own the US soil, airports, etc. Hell, some Presidents (Clinton) didn't even own their own home.

And "freedom of speech, but there will be consequences" is not the same as "freedom of speech".

Re:Now that's just stupid. (2, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574608)

Tell that to the people who don't think enforcing our immigration laws is important.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574836)

So if Gary McKinnon calls Obama a prick does he get banned from the US?

Re:Now that's just stupid. (1)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574812)

Depends on where he was when he sent the text. It's widely recognized that constitutional protections don't only apply to citizens, although they've never been construed as applying to non-citizens in other sovereign nations, as far as I know.

The US of A is not the government's property, and is not "collectively owned" by the nation, as much as I love Woody Guthrie, so that's a pretty terrible analogy.

But with all that said, this sounds really, really stupid and fishy to me. Like, "is there something else going on here" fishy. Like one of those "evil vs. stupid" debates, a la Wyatt Cenac and John Oliver.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574928)

I'm not sure who made came to this determination... But it's We The People of the United Stats, not We The Anonymous Spooks of the United States, who are solely capable of deciding these things. If he was banned by an act of Congress, fine.

I am completely apathetic to the idea of his visiting our wönderful country.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (1, Troll)

horatio (127595) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574480)

I'm trying to figure out how "prick" is obscenity, so much so to get you banned from the United States? I don't think this is about the kid or the word. I think this is more about the kid is British. Whatever you think of them or us or Bush or whatever, there are plenty of examples of thinly veiled hostility from this administration toward our most important ally in the world.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574738)

I'm trying to figure out how "prick" is obscenity

"You can prick your finger, but don't finger your prick, no no!" -George Carlin

Re:Now that's just stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574786)

Granted, it's an overreaction, but realize the kid is probably lying and likely said a lot more than "prick." I'm sure that not only was the email in his sent box, and it was probably shoved in his face a couple of times in the process. He may not have "remembered" it at the time the cops came, but I'm sure he's figured it out since. I'm guessing the email was at least mildly threatening, in a way that was recognizably juvenile enough that they didn't take further steps.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574840)

Damn it, you caught us. Now we'll have to move the White House's We Hate the Brits tea parties into some other quarters. Sheesh, a government can't even enjoy a bit of incomprehensible silly hi-jinks any more.

"Say, Barack, d'ya see what we did to that kid with the "prick" email."

"Hehehehe, that one never gets old. Hey, about we find some visiting Russian scientist and prevent him from returning without a visa for Russia. I can't get enough of that."

"Snicker, good one, Barack. Let's make him go to the British Embassy for that visa too, he'll spend the next year in bureaucratic limbo."

Re:Now that's just stupid. (1, Insightful)

craftycoder (1851452) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574378)

They can express a negative opinion, they just don't have the right too do it and expect to be welcome here. It is a privilege to enter a nation that you are not a citizen of and young Luke was rude and lost that privilege. I don't see a problem with it at all. This is not a value judgment about Obama or a rebuke of "free speech". You don't visit a friend's house, call his father p***k and expect to be invited back either. Exactly the same thing as I see it.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (3, Insightful)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574566)

Bullshit. This is the United States of America, one of the core principles is that you should be allowed to call your elected representatives pricks. Especially when they are, like this administration is proving to be. It takes quite a bit to be even more secretive than the Bush administration, but damn it, they're succeeding.

There had better be more to this story, because simply calling the president a prick is just - well, boring. Hell, it's downright kind compared to other things he's been called by the press in the US. About the only thing I could see that would warrant a ban from the US over an email is making death threats against the President with a clear intention of carrying them out. And I'd bet that if we were able to get details from the FBI, we'd find that the former is in fact true. But without the latter, it should be treated as just "boys will be boys" - people say stupid things all the time, especially when teenagers, and especially when drunk.

If it's not an actual imminent threat, it should just be ignored.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (2, Insightful)

craftycoder (1851452) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574790)

If your point is, "If it's not an actual imminent threat, it should just be ignored." that seems like a reasonable point of view. Many people would argue with you, but not I. I'd love to see every single person on the dole involved in this silliness to be fired. When I say the dole, I mean the police and FBI guys sucking on the bloated breast of government when they should go find a real job so this absurd deficit can be done with and those people can be productive members of society instead of just parasites on our society.

Your suggestion that, "you should be allowed to call your elected representatives pricks", only makes sense if young Luke was a citizen which he is not. He is just some rude boy in some country that doesn't bother to teach its youth manners. That he is banned, if it's true (dubious at best I'd say), then good on him. At least someone is trying to teach manners, clearly his parents never bothered. That my tax dollars are being spent to teach him manners bothers me greatly, but not that someone is doing it at all.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (2, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574822)

Bullshit. This is the United States of America, one of the core principles is that you should be allowed to call your elected representatives pricks.

And punks. Dickheads. Douchebags. And ugly. With bad odor.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574884)

Bullshit. This is the United States of America, one of the core principles is that you should be allowed to call your elected representatives pricks.

And punks. Dickheads. Douchebags. And ugly. With bad odor.

Thanks, I think we get the idea.

Obama ISN'T his elected representative (1, Troll)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574918)

I know this is hard to grasp for an American, but England is NOT a state of the United States of America. Not yet anyway. So Obama is NOT his president. And since he is 17, he hasn't yet voted for anybody either.

The US is not obliged to allow anyone in.

And I would think that the Brits have NOTHING to complain about since they have blocked Geert Wilders from entering because they didn't like what he had to say.

So the US can't keep out of a drunk teen, but the UK can keep out an elected citizen of an EU nation and a Nato ally?

Double standards, thou name is Britain.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (3, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574406)

Or do we believe that people in other countries shouldn't be able to express negative opinions about our leaders?

Of course we believe other countries should have freedom of speech, which is why we invade them. Obviously, it is even worth killing thousands upon thousands of people (or more) for it. Me thinks that this won't last, as any court in the US would see this as problematic. The 1st Amendment *clearly* is not limited to citizens.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (3, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574778)

Of course we believe other countries should have freedom of speech, which is why we invade them. Obviously, it is even worth killing thousands upon thousands of people (or more) for it. Me thinks that this won't last, as any court in the US would see this as problematic. The 1st Amendment *clearly* is not limited to citizens.

True, but unless you are a US citizen or apply for a permit you have no right to be allowed into the US. Many, many people are turned away at the border or departed and it's not a breach of their rights in any way. And I don't know what if any international agreements the US has with the UK, but I'm quite sure they'd contain a provision to reject anyone they wish. So legally no, I don't think he's got a leg to stand on. Not because of his actions, but because he was never entitled to in the first place.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (2, Informative)

david.given (6740) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574838)

The 1st Amendment *clearly* is not limited to citizens.

Well, no --- that was what the whole Guantanamo Bay thing was about; the legal fiction was that since the interns were neither citizens nor prisoners of war, and were not held on non-US soil, then constitutional and international treaty rights did not apply.

And as a visitor to the US, the piece of paper they made me sign on entry was very scary. As a non-citizen on US soil I can be deported at any time, for any reason, with no right to appeal... and if they did decide to deport me, I wouldn't even be allowed to complain. At least they didn't make me carry identification papers at all times.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574470)

I think there's more to it. According to the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-11296303) his email was "full of abusive and threatening language". The 'threatening' part is the problem. All threats aimed at the white house get investigated, regardless of who makes them. If you're in the US, they'll come visit you (a relative-of-a-friend of mine had it happen to them several years ago). Outside of the US, apparently they just ban you. This isn't new to this President.

Yes, it does seem a lot of fuss over not a lot though.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574512)

I think there's more to it. According to the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-11296303) his email was "full of abusive and threatening language". The 'threatening' part is the problem. All threats aimed at the white house get investigated, regardless of who makes them. If you're in the US, they'll come visit you (a relative-of-a-friend of mine had it happen to them several years ago). Outside of the US, apparently they just ban you. This isn't new to this President.

Yes, it does seem a lot of fuss over not a lot though.

According to the article (not that I place much faith in it, but whatever) there are some sixty things you can do that will get you banned, of course, they aren't allowed to actually tell anyone what they are. Does anyone know what that DHS person was reputedly talking about?

USSR joke (4, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574740)

There was a joke in the former USSR, it went like so:

An American and a Soviet are arguing who has more freedom in their respective countries.
American says:
-In USA anybody can just stand in front of the White House and yell "Down with Reagan!", nobody will do anything to do him, it's legal.
Soviet says:
-In USSR ANYBODY can just stand in front of the Kremlin and yell "Down with Reagan!" too, and nobody will touch him either.

-----

But of-course this kid was not an American standing right in front of the White House and yelling 'Down with Reagan!', I suppose that's the difference here.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (5, Informative)

Music2Eat (1878664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574792)

According to the BBC article he also threatened the President. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-11296303 [bbc.co.uk] Of course mentioning that in the summary wouldn't have gotten the /. Free Speach RAH RAH RAH cheerleaders dancing.

In case you were unaware, threatening the President of the United States is against the law in the US. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00000871----000-.html [cornell.edu] If he'd done it in the US, my guess is he would have been arrested and deported.

Re:Now that's just stupid. (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574798)

> Why didn't his local cops tell the FBI to go pound sand?

Actually, having chatted with some people who lived in the UK, I am not surprised. Frankly, they seem to civil to tell anyone to pound sand. A friend was relating a story about a loud party that the police came to deal with. In this country, these things tend to end with the police acting like a bunch of violent douchebags itching for a fight, with lots of threats and chest pounding.

There it was more like: "Say old chap, I am from the noise commission, you really can't be making so much noise after 11 pm".
"what are you going to do about it"
"Well we would like it if you would turn it down"
"No"
"Fine then, well I am writing that down, next time you want to have a party like this you wont be able to"
"Why Not"
"well because its against the law to make so much noise after 11".

No police comming in the door, no people being arrested, nobody using violence to stop... noise.

It made the place sound so civil that I almost want to move there.

Also... what is a p***k anyway? They really should translate their damned slurs into English.

-Steve

Re:Now that's just stupid. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574858)

Yes, but this is from the same president who asked a religious official to abandon his freedom of expression. If this administration doesn't understand that the First Amendment is to keep the government from doing that sort of thing to it's own citizens, then I doubt the administration understands that the First Amendment is not the source of any rights - citizen or non-citizen. So in that light, I think this non-citizen is democratically screwed. (Well, it's certainly not royally screwed).

Re:Now that's just stupid. (1)

jorenko (238937) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574894)

"You know Greg, this obituary reading business is getting rather dull. Let's go make some more interesting ones."

America...FUCK yeah! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574288)

The guy should feel lucky that a drone didn't drop a hellfire missile on his ass, because that's how Team America does it baby!

America, fuck yeah! Comin' again to save the motherfucking day, yeah!
America, fuck yeah! Freedom is the only way, yeah!
Terrorists, your game is through, 'cause now you have to answer to
America, fuck yeah! So lick my butt and suck on my balls!
America, fuck yeah! What you gonna do when we come for you now!

What did he call him? (5, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574292)

A prick?

The first article I read about this just showed it as p****, so I thought it might be pussy.

Just show the fucking word, people. It's not that big of a deal.

Re:What did he call him? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574382)

A prick?

The first article I read about this just showed it as p****, so I thought it might be pussy.

Just show the fucking word, people. It's not that big of a deal.

Yes, well, us Yanks are a big prudish about such things you know.

Now, if he'd called the President a "prick" vs. a "pussy" or even a "punk", would the FBI have reacted differently to his choice of words?

Re:What did he call him? (2, Funny)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574716)

He should have called him a wanker and then gotten away with it.

Re:What did he call him? (3, Funny)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574762)

A prick?

The first article I read about this just showed it as p****, so I thought it might be pussy.

Yes, well, us Yanks are a big prudish about such things you know.

The article is in the Sun. Pussy is on Page 3 [wikipedia.org] (NSFW [page3.com] ).

The BBC [bbc.co.uk] have the story, so it may even be true. It's a bit disappointing to see The Sun relying on facts -- have they run out of imagination?

Re:What did he call him? (5, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574416)

"Remember son, if an upper-classman calls you a pussy, just respond 'I am what I eat'" -Advice from my Dad on my first day of high school

Re:What did he call him? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574558)

"Remember son, if an upper-classman calls you a pussy, just respond 'I am what I eat'" -Advice from my Dad on my first day of high school

Your Dad sounds like a pretty cool dude. Good advice anyway.

Re:What did he call him? (3, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574854)

yeah, I tried that comeback with a bully once. I ended up eating dirt.

Re:What did he call him? (2, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574518)

I suspect he actually called him a nigger, and just doesn't want to admit it publicly. And that's pretty ignorant. He obviously doesn't even know that Obama is half white.

Re:What did he call him? (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574722)

Yes, the word was "prick".

Apparently it was after he'd watched a load of 9/11 conspiracy nut films, assuming the whole story is even true of course.

What's the bet though, true or not, this story will result in a Streisand type effect and before you know it the Whitehouse inbox will be full of "Prick", "Prick Prick Prick Prick Prick Prick", e-mails.

p***k? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574330)

WTF is a p***k? prick? 99.99% of politicians are pricks, if that is what p***k means. p***k is obscene?

Re:p***k? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574570)

He said he was drunk, and thinks he called him a prick. That means he was sober and ranted for hours about how he hates Obama.

Even so, it seems like a fair thing to say to a president. What, are world leaders not capable of facing a teenager's comments on their leadership?

So, when? (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574336)

So when does calling the president an unsavory name get you exiled? Ya, emailing the White House and calling the president a name isn't "smart" but it isn't illegal unless it constitutes a threat either. If you can be banned from ever entering the country for that "offense", when are we going to be exiled for doing the same?

Re:So, when? (2, Informative)

craftycoder (1851452) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574498)

Exile: The state of being banished from one's home or country.

He wasn't exiled because he is not a citizen. He is just an obnoxious child who lost the privilege to visit our nation. We have enough rude and obnoxious people of our own already, why do need to invite them in from other countries as well?

Re:So, when? (5, Funny)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574618)

EVERYONE in Britain is rude. Have you ever been there? Hell, look up Wii Fit Plus on Youtube...

American Wii Fit trainer chick: That's it. Focus on your breathing. Let's try to do ten. One... two... three... you're doing good so far... four... five... six...

British Wii Fit trainer chick: Let's do ten now! One.. two... come on can't you put some muscle into it?! Three... four... just five more ya fat lump! Six... seven... eight... nine... come on now... ten! There, thought ye were gonna cry for a minute there!

Re:So, when? (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574564)

Not exile. He isn't an American. He has simply been told that he is not welcome on American soil. This is a right that any sovereign nation has and they don't have to give a reason. You can have your access to another country denied simply because the guy at immigration didn't like the way you looked at him.

It's all fun and games until it happens to you

So says the Sun? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574338)

Shenanigans!

Re:So says the Sun? (3, Insightful)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574828)

I'd say shenanigans by the police. Most likely this is what happened:

The White House got the email. Secret Service calls the police near the kid and ask them to check if he's harmless, trying to impress Jodie Foster, whatever. The cops show up, ask a couple of questions. They decide to yank his chain, making it sound more serious than it is. The coup de gras is telling him he's banned from the US.

Ha ha, good one. That'll teach him.

That'll show him! (1, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574340)

We'll teach him that America doesn't tolerate someone speaking freely!

Streisand effect (3, Funny)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574350)

I suspect that the Whitehouse is going to be getting A LOT of emails from angsty edgy teenagers calling him more than just a prick.

Hey, Obama. (3, Informative)

Sean_Inconsequential (1883900) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574356)

You are a prick. Sincerely, a guy that lives in America.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574366)

Why did this get slashdotted? The Sun is a tabloid under Murdoch's domain, knuckleheads.

Re:What? (1)

QuiGonGene (791278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574424)

Exactly what I was about to type.

Just called him a "p***k"? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574396)

Guys gets interviewed by a newspaper after getting tracked down by the FBI and banned from the US for life, says it was just a "silly" email, "think I called [him] a prick".

Suuuuure. "Abusive and threatening" is all the other side will say, but I suspect Mr Angel's email was a little worse than he was letting on. My guess is racial abuse and death threats. But hey, play the innocent, because those Tea Party guys with mildly offensive signs are also getting tracked down by the FBI, right? Right?

HAHA HAHAH AHAHAH AHAHAHA HAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574420)

cough.. cough..... HA!

He THINKS he knows (4, Interesting)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574446)

"I don't remember exactly what I wrote as I was drunk. "

He said he thinks that he called the president a prick. If the provider didn't delete the email (I doubt it), I bet he knows EXACTLY what he wrote since he can look up the damned thing. Probably made some comment like "If I ever see you I'm going to..." but decided not to 'remember' that part in order to not have the rest of the world respond with, "What did you THINK would happen?"

Personally, I can think of a lot more worse things that could happen, especially if instead of the president, I emailed my boss while drunk.

What *exactly* did the e-mail say? (4, Insightful)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574454)

I'm going to reserve judgement until the exact text of the e-mail is published. He can't remember what he wrote? BS. There will be a copy in his Sent E-mail folder. I'm guessing he did a lot more than call the POS a bad name. He probably included some threats, veiled or not, and that is the real reason he was paid a visit and banned from entering the country. But until we know what the e-mail says, we can't tell if the reaction was proportionate to the action. Basically, it's a chance for political bashing. Worthless journalism.

Re:What *exactly* did the e-mail say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574592)

I could agree, except for the fact that speech is supposedly free both in the UK and the US, and otherwise threats are actionable crimial offenses.

In other words: the Secret Service shoud send the accusation to trial or STFU.

Re:What *exactly* did the e-mail say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574758)

If they feel he is a threat to the president, they aren't going to try a foreign citizen in a foreign country. They're going to ban him from entering the country.

Re:What *exactly* did the e-mail say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574594)

Just curious, did you mean to write "POTUS" or are you trying to get banned from the USA?

Re:What *exactly* did the e-mail say? (1)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574660)

If I do, that would at least be a real news story! But yes, I meant POTUS.

Re:What *exactly* did the e-mail say? (1)

bareman (60518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574602)

I'm guessing that you're correct and there was much more to the message threat-wise rather than just a bit of drunken ad hominem.

I'd have to see the whole thing to pass judgement and I'd be rather disgusted if it was just about name calling. I'm guessing there's more to it than that.

Re:What *exactly* did the e-mail say? (1)

TitusC3v5 (608284) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574728)

The article is by the Sun. It was worthless to begin with. I would not be surprised if the entire article was fabricated or severely stretching the facts.

Re:What *exactly* did the e-mail say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574904)

But until we know what the e-mail says, we can't tell if the reaction was proportionate to the action. Basically, it's a chance for political bashing. Worthless journalism.

Shhhh. You'll disturb the conservative hive-mind if you speak too much of such possibilities. Slashdot is still working hard to label Obama as a great fascist dictator communist pig leftist Muslim Christian Atheist yada yada yada. If you suggest not only that the great satan did not himself conduct such action; but that such action might not have occurred at all, you will invoke the anger of the slashdot conservative base.

The best choice of action is to stand back and laugh as they grasp at straws while their argument falls apart...

Where is the entire e-mail? (2, Interesting)

Blindman (36862) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574460)

From the article, it seems that he might have said a little more than the one sentence quoted above. Not that he is an American citizen, but calling the President names should qualify as protected speech, albeit juvenile protected speech. However, if he also made threats against the President, then that is an entirely different matter.

Land of the free, home of the brave? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574464)

"No sense of humour" is a hallmark of police states. You do the math. No, not the "new math", silly. Real Math.

Though if you'd rather blame a couple rogue bureaucrats for these shenanigans, we're left with the question why the UK police was so obliging. Hmm.

Back to the US, this does look like a wonderful opportunity for Obama to step in and smack down some of his more security obsessed flunkies. Can he? Probably. Will he? We'll se.

Re:Land of the free, home of the brave? (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574656)

Maybe he'll invite him over to have a case of beer or two.

Verification, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574502)

I have not seen it verified, anywhere, that the boy was "banned from the US". Maybe some local officials in the UK told him that - I have no idea - this is not verification.
People can say anything they want and no one will bother to verify if it is sensational.

Re:Verification, please (2, Insightful)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574734)

"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story."

Not sure who said that, but when it comes to journalism, it's as true to today as when it was first uttered (which was something like 50 or 100 years ago - maybe longer).

Still, I'd like to know what else was in the email. I'm not sure someone would actually get banned just for calling the President a vulgar name.

Interesting question though - the First Amendment limits government limitations on speech. I'm not sure if the Constitution actually applies to foreign nationals, but in the case of the First Amendment, it is a limitation on the government, not a privilege afforded to people. What I mean is, the text of the First Amendment, of course, is:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

It doesn't say Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion of U.S. Citizens, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof for U.S. Citizens; or abridging the freedom of speech of U.S. Citizens, or of the U.S. press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It might be argued that it might be implied/obvious that it only applies to U.S. citizens - guess that would really be a SCOTUS question. Still, it seems to me that as it stands, the government can't use laws to suppress speech anywhere - doesn't seem like it would only limit Congress's powers with regards to U.S. citizens but give them complete unfettered power w.r.t. foreign nationals.

I mean, I suppose it's completely reasonable to prevent someone from entering the country if they've actually made *threats* against the President, or any person in the U.S., or against the military, or any property (e.g. a threat to blow up a building or a subway, or any other thing), or to harm the environment (e.g. set off a dirty bomb, contaminate a water supply, etc), etc.

But calling someone a name isn't a threat against them. That would seem to fall under protected speech.

Change we can believe in? (3, Funny)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574538)

I can't believe how little changed. What has seems for the worse.

What a colossal disappointment this administration is.

Go to the "Sent" or "Out" box to find out. (1)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574548)

So a drunk kid doesn't remember what he sent. Okay, I can see that. Now go to the sent messages folder and see what you sent. I bet it was more than calling the president a punk.

Original article is from the Sun, and not true. (5, Informative)

abqaussie (1250734) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574574)

Um, the original article is from the UK Sun, which is pretty much equivalent to the Weekly World News or any other made up tabloid. Gizmodo linked to it and has since retracted their reporting because the article is false. http://gizmodo.com/5637203/drunk-email-to-obama-gets-british-teen-banned-from-america-for-life [gizmodo.com] Way to believe everything you read on the internet.

Re:Original article is from the Sun, and not true. (2, Informative)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574900)

From what I understand it's more like The Post, also owned by Murdoch, than Weekly World News. Rubbish nonetheless. Watch for the The Post write it's own story about it then The Washington Post, again owned by Murdoch, to write about the 'controversy'.

The Sun has no credibility (4, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574586)

I'm not saying that this *didn't* happen, but the Sun is gutter trash with as much credibility as the National Enquirer.

The Sun is also owned by Rupert Murdoch of Fox News fame.

I'll need to have a report from a trustworthy source to believe this one, especially around election time.

Re:The Sun has no credibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574698)

Exactly. Yet, this article gets slashdotted, and now people are trying to seriously deal with the ramifications of this supposed (and unverified) act on the details presented in the trash tabloid.

What the hell? I am ashamed - I'm sure almost everyone of you here has the right to vote, some in this country, and this is a demonstration of your grasp of information? No questioning the source? Only a few people in the comments are even dealing with the problems presented in the article if taken at face value - that the use of the word 'threatening' is contained, but subdued, while the sensationalist name calling is highlighted.

Many of you are fellow US citizens - how dare you be so easily cowed and manipulated by false information. Shame on slashdot for posting this trash and shame on you for being gullible sheeple.

Re:The Sun has no credibility (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574746)

Many of you are fellow US citizens - how dare you be so easily cowed and manipulated by false information. Shame on slashdot for posting this trash and shame on you for being gullible sheeple.

Hey, Slashdot is entertainment, and this is a forum where we get to post opinions, and other people get to vote on how entertaining our opinions are. That's pretty much the long and the short of it. Sooner or later, if there's anything meaningful about this incident anywhere on the Web, somebody will post it here and we'll all get to go "oh my, how we overreacted" or "Jesus, it's even worse than I thought!" In the meantime, we get to have fun ragging on each other.

Re:The Sun has no credibility (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574832)

And your uninformed opinion at the top of this discussion marks you as a moron. Congratulations, I guess.

Slippery slope... (1)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574604)

It was handled poorly, but it needed to be handled. There's an evolution to things like this that get away from you if you take small enough steps...

"Your leader is a punk"...
"Your leader is awful"...
"I hate your leader"...
"I wish your leader was removed from office"...
"I wish your leader was dead"...
"I wish someone would kill your leader"...
"I'm going to kill your leader"

It doesn't take very long to get from calling someone a punk to saying you're going to kill them. You can argue that wishing or threatening harm to someone is where the line is drawn, but it's all about baby steps. If you take small enough ones eventually you'll get there, and the administration knows that.

That said, banning someone from the country is too much, certainly for that statement anyway. It should have been handled, but certainly not that harshly. If my kid calls 911, they call back and say don't do that. They don't pick him up and throw him in juvi for 6 months.

China (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574634)

You know, I wrote the Chinese government years ago, about their invasion of Tibet. A few times over the years, I've wondered if going to China after that would be a bad idea. However, nothing ever came of it. Interesting that the US got so much more worked up.

Re:China (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574784)

However, nothing ever came of it. Interesting that the US got so much more worked up.

Still, if a government is going to behave poorly, it's best that it do so right out in the open. Were you wise to be concerned about a message you sent to the Chinese government, assuming you were being critical of it? I don't know. But I would be very surprised if that didn't get a file opened on you somewhere, and you'll never know if that will come back to haunt you some day.

Re:China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574888)

The reason nothing was done at the time is because the Chinese government is patient, very patient! They are actually hoping that you will visit China. That is when they will throw you in jail. Don't think they forgot about it!

Butthurt much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574642)

Some kid on the other side of the globe calls somebody a non-nice word - on the internet no less - and gets perma-banned in real life? Is Obama a vindictive, Internet-tough-guy IRC op? Quite pathetic really.

Well at least it shows that the often touted "free speech" is only valid until somebody in power objects; which is certainly more harmful to the US than some kid calling the president names.

More people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574678)

I wonder what what the reaction would be if a lot of people suddenly sent emails to the white house, calling Obama a p***k...

corepirate nazi illuminati call to arms/life0cide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574736)

it could be something else, but what could that possibly be?

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=blair+bush+cheney+rumsfeld+wolfowitz+obama&fr=ush-news&ygmasrchbtn=Web+Search

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=manufactured+weather&fr=ush-news&ygmasrchbtn=Web+Search

Uh (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574742)

"criticising the US Government after seeing a TV programme about 9/11."

Did I fall into a wormhole or something? Or was 9/11 a few years before Obama came into power?

He's unlikely to be a complete prick (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574824)

after all, most men here are circumcised.

Post retraction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33574850)

Edit the article with the retraction (a la Gizmodo) or you have no integrity:

http://gizmodo.com/5637203/drunk-email-to-obama-gets-british-teen-banned-from-america-for-life

Its from the Sun (3, Informative)

Hungus (585181) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574860)

The article is from The Sun [thesun.co.uk] , a newspaper known mostly for its page 3 girls [page3.com] (NSFW). The Sun is slightly more reliable than the Weekly World News [weeklyworldnews.com] slightly less reliable than most guests on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory [coasttocoastam.com] .

The Sun? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33574942)

The fucking son? are you shitting me? what next the world weekly news? Yeah I know it doesn't exist anymore, but you get my point.

Man, people are going to stupidly extreme crap to find anything on this man.

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