back to article Petraeus appeal: STOP BUBBA the Love Sponge FRYING a KORAN

Socialite Jill Kelley, whose allegations of cyberstalking sparked the downfall of love-rat CIA director David Petraeus, was pressured by the spy boss and a top US general to prevent a radio DJ deep-frying a Koran. Petraeus, who quit over an extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, and Gen. John R. Allen, who …

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Happy

Blimey guv'ner, for a second there I thought I was reading The Onion front page. Would you adam and eve it.

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It gets weirder...

He was the one who released the Hulk Hogan sex tape. He left Hogan and his wife after sanctioning the tryst, but failed to tell either of them about the camera.

We need a "Twilight Zone" icon.

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Re: It gets weirder...

Bubba the Love Sponge released the tape, that is. Not Petraeus.

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Anonymous Coward

I originally misread the headline as "[...] FRYING a KOREAN" which was even more disconcerting...

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Re: It gets weirder...

Bubba's wife was fully aware of the camera before she started working on Hogan.

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WTF?

"Both generals were also friends with Natalie Khawam Wolfe, Kelley's identical twin. "

Good grief! if this had been submitted as a script for a day-time soap series in the US it would have been rejected out of hand for its lack of realism. Yet this is, apparently, real life - God help us all.

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Wierd yes, but I'm not unhappy to see them (Petraeus and Allen) making use of any and all available resources to deter an act that would assuredly have led to more spilled blood.

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Black Helicopters

Free speech? Freedom of religion?

Not so much, apparently.

Deep frying the Koran is provocative and stupid -- even unnecessarily offensive. (but so is burning the US flag, or putting crosses in jars of piss) But it's our guaranteed right called "free speech". Is free speech to take a back seat to implementing what amounts to Shariah law in the US? Stopping this kind of speech in order to 'prevent bloodshed' is either cowardice or selective outrage -- which is it? Which other speech is to be stopped next? Why not just force the rest of the world to convert to Islam, (atheists and all) in order to prevent bloodshed?

Oh, for a US leader to say "Here we have free speech, it's a guarantee in our Constitution, and we can't do anything about it. I suggest you get used to it." instead of calling to put pressure on people, abusing their power. If you give in to mobs, you will be ruled by mobs. I can't see the advantage in that.

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Meh

Re: Free speech? Freedom of religion?

Maybe the modern version of "Shout 'Fire!' in a crowded theatre" is "Shout 'I'm setting fire to the Koran!' on a radio station"

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Re: Free speech? Freedom of religion?

Not even close and I think you know it.

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Headmaster

Re: Free speech? Freedom of religion?

Not to be pedantic but:

1. Speech is defined as verbal communication, whether it be via someone's mouth orifice, or written word. I might be using the wrong dictionary here, but speech does not appear to cover inducing a rapid exothermic oxidation of pressed wood pulp.

2. Even if 'freedom of speech' covered such arbitrary acts such as burning an object, it was never in jeopardy. Bubba the love sponge would have broken no law if he had burned the Koran (as opposed to if he had burned the US flag in the state of Florida). It was just a strong suggestion that he withhold from doing it based on the projected global outcome. Freedom of speech, as enshrined by law, was never in jeopardy. It was just a quiet word advising that what he was about to do was pretty reckless and irresponsible way of ensuring his DJ contract was renewed at the end of the year.

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The General has no legal authority over Mister Bubba. It is perfectly within his rights to ask the man not to burn the Koran. He was actively involved in the violence over there and had a good enough angle on it to say it would rile people up and incite real world violence.

Torching a Koran is not shouting fire – but a general making a phone call or email or whatever is not a law.

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Black Helicopters

re: "...but a general making a phone call or email or whatever is not a law."

Let's try this little exercise. If a uniformed policeman told you you could not put a sign in your front yard advocating, say, to legalize marijuana (a worthy cause, IMO) -- is he impacting your free speech as an agent of the government? How about if he was *not* in uniform, and *clearly* not connected with the government -- just doing that as another citizen? In the first, this is restricting your free speech. No law needed. The potential threat of enforcement is all you need. In the second, it is two citizens both exercising their right.

Now, assume a General in the Army calls you personally, *as has happened*, to tell you not to say/do something. Legal authority or no, I'm telling you that as a representative of the government, he needs to have his tit put in the wringer. It is an ugly precedent. What's the next acceptable rank to tell you what to do or what not to do? Colonel? Major? Captain? Lieutenant? Where does it stop, when it never should have started in the first place? As a general, he should know the legality and ethics of this, but then, if he was so smart, he'd have kept his fly buttoned and saved us all a lot of trouble.

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Childcatcher

Re: Free speech? Freedom of religion?

Speech is defined as verbal communication, whether it be via someone's mouth orifice, or written word...but speech does not appear to cover inducing a rapid exothermic oxidation of pressed wood pulp

Sorry to be joining the discussion so late, but this caught my eye. Actually, this sort of action is covered as free speech, more widely interpreted as freedom of expression. It is interesting, too, that the first amendment to the US constitution addresses freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press as well as the right to assemble peaceably and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. These are all entwined issues and have been for quite some time.

In no case is there an absolute right to any of the above; none of these offer carte blanche on our behavior.

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Re: Free speech? Freedom of religion?

Apparently perlcat does not understand what the First Amendment guarantees.

The US government did nothing to prevent the Complete Moron from exercising his freedom of expression. Two members of the military apparently asked a third party, who is not a government official, to attempt to persuade the CM from performing a particular expressive act. The third party in turn contacted a fourth party (a local government official), who contacted a fifth (also a local government official), who argued - successfully - with the CM.

That's precisely what Freedom of Speech is for. The matter was settled by various interlocutors engaging in argument.

Freedom of expression, under US constitutional law, lies in the opportunity to perform expressive acts, not in the performance thereof. There is no evidence here that the CM's freedom of expression was in any way curtailed by the US Federal government, or by the government of the state of Florida, or even by local government. (It's possible that Buckthorn brought illegal pressure to bear, of course; that would be a crime, but it's not the issue you raised.) Government officials have the right to urge citizens to avoid particular expressive acts, just as any other citizens do.

Freedom of expression is a hollow right if it is not exercised in general. It does not have to be exercised in every particular circumstance to retain its force, provided the speaker is not compelled by the government to refrain (except under highly-constrained conditions[1]).

[1] Of course, much ink has been spilt over what does and should constitute those conditions and the constraints thereon, and certainly many - myself included - feel that too many constraints have been endorsed by SCOTUS. That's a separate issue, however.

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Re: Free speech? Freedom of religion?

Speech is defined as verbal communication, whether it be via someone's mouth orifice, or written word. I might be using the wrong dictionary here, but speech does not appear to cover inducing a rapid exothermic oxidation of pressed wood pulp.

You're using the wrong dictionary there. There's a substantial tradition of using "speech" in a broad sense to include many or all forms of symbolic expression, and not simply oral (or verbal[1]) ones. This tradition is well-established in US legal philosophy [2] and cognate fields.

[1] "Verbal" means "with words". Is that actually what you meant? If so, your definition is even odder than I first thought, since it's neither the common strict nor loose definition of "speech".

[2] See for example http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/freedom-speech/, where it's quite obvious that "speech" includes non-oral, non-verbal forms of expression; the discussion of pornography in 2.2, for example, includes "film" and other non-verbal media.

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Not even 'reportedly'?

At the risk of being overly pedantic, the emails from Kelley to Buckthorn may give the impression that Petraeus et al wanted to stop the frying stunt, but it's the only evidence so far that they did.

In other words, we only have Kelley's word for it that anyone in the military was at all concerned, and there is considerable doubt as to whether Kelley wasn't, on occasion, susceptible to stretching the truth.

That you've reported Petraeus's interest as fact, but the content of the published emails as 'reported' is odd. Unless you're angling for a job at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

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Re: Not even 'reportedly'?

The only evidence?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11209738

"It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort," Gen Petraeus said in a statement to US media. Mind you, he's referring to the 'original' idiots threatening to burn the Koran and not the copycats, but logically wanting to stop one would imply he wanted to stop the other one too.

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Socialite & Volunteer

Socialite and volunteer, sounds like an Arny tramp to me....

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Sorry, Bubba

We had a police security detail assigned to your radio station. But it seems that someone announced a special over at Krispy Kreme Donuts and they all headed over.

We've got an APB out for the bunch of Muslim looking guys who burned down the station. But we're not allowed to profile. So we'll be starting the TSA on the little old ladies with knitting needles.

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Anonymous Coward

What's going on here?

The authorities presumably have a search warrant, obviously perfectly justified, to rummage around in the email accounts of those involved. But why are all the interesting tidbits ending up in the media? Are they 'crowd sourcing' the effort of digging through 30,000 emails? Is this the e-quivalent of a 'perp walk', parading the info around in public? Are these official releases, or leaks?

.:thoroughly confused:.

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Devil

America ... even our hate speech involves a fry-o-lator.

"All that righteous anger must build up an appetite, want fries with that?"

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Joke

"....deep-frying a Koran."

Scots cuisine has made it to Florida?

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Bronze badge

What would a socialite do as a volunteer at an airforce base?

Oh, right...

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Mushroom

I really hate it when fucktards like this try to be controversial by burning bibles and korans. All they do is try to attract attention and shameless self promotion at the expense of others beliefs. As an athiest I am sick of mentally retarded individuals who society should have stopped early on via enforced sterilisation or their parents (aunt/ uncle). This shit puts our troops at risk. Knock it off arseholes.

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Anonymous Coward

@Joe Schmo - Your troops at risk ?

I was under the impression the US military are the most powerful force we ever had on this planet, fully capable of winning two or three simultaneous war campaigns around the globe. And you are coming here to tell us that the mere burning of a religious book is putting them at risk ? Are we talking here about a bunch of fragile kindergarteners or real soldiers armed to their teeth ready to deal with any possible threat ?

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