Secret Service As Art Critics

In some countries, if you post something that is critical of the Maximum Leader, the police come around and suggest that maybe you are psychologically disturbed. Maybe they mention this idea to your family and your boss. Maybe they 'suggest' you'd like to retract your critique.

Amazingly, that's the United States today: When Bears Growl (Or how I become the subject of a Secret Service Investigation).

I don't object to the Secret Service following up on complaints. And if the subject of the complaint is web art on “Bush and guns” I don't think it is unreasonable to go and visit the author to see if he seems like someone likely to engage in violence.

But if the account linked above is accurate, then I think its fairly clear that somewhere in the investigative process the Secret Service crossed a line.

Bad apples or agency policy?

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5 Responses to Secret Service As Art Critics

  1. dilbert dogbert says:

    Ah!, the joys of the “National Security State”.

  2. Feh says:

    I realize that process can be important in governance. But when did people lose the ability to notice the difference between irony and a coup attempt?

  3. paul says:

    From the Secret Service’s point of view, I can sorta see the desirability of making sure that the ostensible artist isn’t a homicidal nutjob (something we know may be common among sysadmins) or a provocateur posing as an artist (right). But I have to wonder about the “retraction” idea. Even if the agents were ignorant enough to think that it might be their place to advocate such a thing during an informational interview, they should be well-read enough in tactics to recognize the probable outcome of such an act.

    This is why so many people turn to conspiracy theories — at least it lets them cling to the idea that the villains know what they’re doing.

  4. thomas says:

    This guy didn’t need to be visited by the Secret Service.

    He needed a visit from The Spelling Police.

  5. thomas says:

    This guy didn’t need to be visited by the Secret Service.

    He needed a visit from The Spelling Police.

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