Thought crimes

Freedom-loving Americans are all talking about the same thing: Is it legal to talk about how great it would be to kill George W. Bush?

As proven by last week's arrest of seven oddball black guys in Florida who wanted superhero uniforms so they could dream about exciting attacks on federal cops and a building in Chicago, it turns out that simply talking about how awesome it would be to do something illegal is enough to get you hauled away to prison forever.

With all but a delusional 30% of Americans finally realizing their country is run by a murderous criminal mafia -- and with U.S. spy agencies and telecommunications companies illegally recording every word you say, hear, type or read -- there's a good chance "Homeland Security" will bust down your door tonight and torture you forever in Cuba or Poland. (Or they'll just shoot you in the head, leaving valuable interrogators free for more important duties, such as torturing retarded people.)

So the question of "Can I say what I actually think?" is hardly an academic exercise -- it's a matter of life and death, or at least life and liberty.

Writing in Harper's magazine this month, Ben Metcalf explored the dangers of saying or writing anything "bad" about the president:

Because I am loath to violate whatever fresh new mores the people have agreed upon, or have been told they agree upon, and because I do not care to have my ass kicked repeatedly in a holding cell while I beg to see a lawyer, I almost hesitate to ask the following question. I will ask it, though, out of what used to be called simple human decency:

Am I allowed to write that I would like to hunt down George W. Bush, the president of the United States, and kill him with my bare hands?

Metcalf made clear that he didn't actually desire to personally kill George W. Bush with his bare hands, because Bush was a fellow human being -- "at least in the technical sense."

The problem, or one of the problems, is that the president was given special protections in 1917 to prevent citizens from rising up and -- as Thomas Jefferson wrote -- refreshing the "tree of liberty" with the "blood of patriots and tyrants."

Before that time, existing laws against murder were used against those who killed presidents. It was enough. But after 1917, it became a federal crime to express thoughts about "taking out the trash."

As the journalist Metcalf explains, "What I mean to imply is that his free ride on our backs was made possible by the clever solution Congress found to its conundrum back in 1917: a law that deems guilty of a federal offense anyone who knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail ... any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States ... or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat....

In one swift draconian move, Washington made it illegal to share the opinion that a president should be killed. The law cleverly covered all books, newspapers, magazines and letters (all travel by mail) and then tossed in "or knowingly and willfully otherwise" expressing the desire for the sudden violent death of an American chief executive -- covering every conceivable circumstance in which a moral American might utter the illegal words.

(Legal scholars have ignored the crucial contradiction of the federal law: Would judge and jury at a president's criminal trial be barred from mentioning his death sentence? Would prosecutors find themselves hauled away in chains every time they brought up the death penalty? Would newspaper reporters be jailed for simply reporting on the death penalty phase of the president's trial? Would the whole thing be done in pantomime, or some sort of code such as Pig Latin?)

Experts say it's best to just keep your mouth shut, considering the way things are going in the country. Washington is not exactly run by thoughtful men who wile away their hours discussing the literary intricacies of contextual theory. In fact, Washington is run by dangerous thugs who delight in torturing, murdering and otherwise doing away with as many "enemies" as they can, whether foreign innocents, retarded "terrorists" or the poor black population of an American city.

It seems one way to semi-safely discuss such things is to do so under the protection of "satire" -- and happily for this publication, no less an authority than Google News makes it clear that "satire" is exactly what you'll find at SPLOID.

But Metcalf has a better, safer idea: Rather than attract unwanted attention by simply using the "k" word, Americans who are losing their minds over the White House's America-hating crime lords should stick to the kind of "legal" scenarios defended daily by all the president's men:

"In place of the initial question I might ask instead, 'Am I allowed to write that I would like to kidnap George W. Bush and fly him to a prison in some faraway land where his 'rights' are no longer an issue, there to put a bag over his head and make him stand for hours on one leg while I defecate on his New Testament before chaining his arms to the ceiling until he dies of a heart attack, after which I will claim that he never existed?'"

For Americans who hope to make it through this regime alive, the answer is a happy "Yes!"

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