Could you please mark this crap with OT: so those of us who have real work
to do, do not have to be bothered with your divagations. If you can't
handle your email client, might I suggest that you stop using email and go
back to pencil and paper.

Thank you very much,


-----Original Message-----
From: HP-3000 Systems Discussion [mailto:HP3000-L@RAVEN.UTC.EDU] On Behalf
Of James B. Byrne
Sent: Friday, November 07, 2008 10:31 AM
Subject: [HP3000-L] Civil Discourse

Someone wrote:

> Since this list is not a Post Office, how does this statute apply?

"... or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat against
the President, President-elect, ..."

The word "otherwise" provides for any and all other forms of utterance.

As for the OP not being a threat. I grant that it was not a creditable
threat and that the words were carefully chosen to avoid the appearance of
direct action.

However, there exists in law the concept of inflammatory speech with
intent to incite lawless action. That renders the utterer as guilty of the
offence they promoted as if they committed it themselves. The OP's first
statement makes a direct reference to someone assassinating the
president-elect, indisputably a lawless act. The second makes specific
reference to that it should happen before inauguration day, "If it is
going to happen, hopefully it will happen before January 20...".

This is clearly an expression of the OP's desire, the word hopefully in
this context having no other possible interpretation. The juxtaposition
of both statements by the OP are clearly inflammatory. "Dirtbag" is not
generally considered a complementary term nor one commonly found in civil
discourse. These elements in combination makes the entire passage an
utterance of a threat; the conditionals are taken for what they are, a fig
leaf to evade personal responsibility for the words. Whether its contents
are considered by some believable or not does not change the essence of
the utterance.

There are further inferences that can be drawn form the OP's statement.
For instance, was this utterance intended to inoculate fear for their
person in a public official? This is an act of intimidation and whether
or not the utterer had personal intent or addressed it directly to the
target is quite beside the point. It is sufficient that it be made

I would point out for those too dull to make the connection with the OP's
statement, that violence and the threat of violence, against lawful
institutions, their officers and the populace that they serve, is the
essence of "terrorism". One person's "fair comment" is easily taken to
be "promoting terrorism" by someone so inclined and the OP's message went
far beyond the pale of "fair comment."

It is well to recall that around the world there are very many people held
in custody, often under deplorable conditions, for having made utterances
with no more evil intent than that of the OP. A number of them are
imprisoned by the United States Government itself or by national
authorities acting on its behest.

*** E-Mail is NOT a SECURE channel ***
James B. Byrne
Harte & Lyne Limited
9 Brockley Drive vox: +1 905 561 1241
Hamilton, Ontario fax: +1 905 561 0757
Canada L8E 3C3

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