Freedom of Speech Not Freedom From Consequences...Sam Bacile Edition

While I have often written about my admiration for the speech freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment, I have also noted that the protection of these freedoms does not exclude any negative consequences which might stem from their exercise...especially when the speaker is on probation. From CNN:

"Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man allegedly behind the inflammatory film "Innocence of Muslims," was ordered held without bail Thursday after being arrested in California and accused of violating his probation.

"He engaged in a likely pattern of deception both to his probation officers and the court," Judge Suzanne Segal said in issuing her ruling.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale told the judge that the man -- whom he referred to as Nakoula or Bassil -- had engaged in a "pattern of deception" and "a person who cannot be trusted."
Dugdale pointed to a probation report citing eight allegations in which Nakoula had allegedly violated his probation. One of those was a requirement not to use aliases without permission from his probation officer, something the prosecutor said Nakoula did on at least three instances: during his fraud case, when he tried to get a passport in 2011 and during the making of the film. Dugdale said Nakoula had deceived the cast of the film as well as his probation officers."
While I have been critical of the US government's handling of this situation, particularly with its seeming elevation of religious freedoms over speech rights, Nakoula's arrest was a logical and just result of his actions. It was not, as some have suggested, a muzzling of free speech, but rather an example of the system playing itself out. He certainly violated his probation, and he certainly did so in a very public and recognizable way. As such, and like many others before him, Nakoula has found that freedom of speech is most certainly not freedom from consequences.  

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