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> Whatever the reason, the mainstream German media has dropped the ball on this story.

What makes this look even more suspicious: The story did actually appear on sueddeutsche.de, but it seems it's been revoked.

So they can't say it was just not relevant enough to be reported and therefore not worth the effort, but somebody actively decided to delete it again.

Is Oskar Lafontaine German for Roderick Spode?

@ Martina,

Wow...how did you find out about that? I am even having trouble believing they could go so low...

--For us - the Left - terrorism is the killing of innocent people to achieve political objectives," said Lafontaine in Koblenz. ---

Boy would I like to have asked him a question about Uncle Joe.

Martina, welcome aboard. Are the shades just coming off your eyes, or have you been aware for some time?

@Martina,

What makes this look even more suspicious: The story did actually appear on sueddeutsche.de, but it seems it's been revoked.

I tell you, it's those unbalanced berks at Mediakritik they are afraid of!

Well, Lafontaine is being investigated by the Verfassungschutz. What's the equivalent agency in US?

Does the FBI investigate whether politicians are violating the constitution?
http://morgenpost.berlin1.de/desk/862818.html

Jorg, what do you mean by "violating the constitution?" If you mean saying things that are forbidden by the constitution, well the US Constitution does not forbid specific speech, but rather just the opposite. Plus, I do not believe there are any applicable laws in the US that would prevent an elected official, or one running for election, from labeling the citizens of another country as terrorists -- especially, if he clearly states that that is his opinion (notwithstanding any possible violations of local slander or libel laws). More likely, extreme or outrageous claims such as this would lead to marginalization of the politician or candidate (some good examples are Sen. Kennedy and Howard Dean).

I'm no lawyer, but there are slander and libel laws. I believe each state has its own laws. Since these are generally local in nature, to the extent that someone would be investigated for suspicion of slandering or libeling someone, this would be investigated by local authorities.

In general, the FBI only investigates violations of federal law unless invited by local authorities to help in their local investigations. I do not know if there is a separate set of federal slander and libel laws, but I found some sources that claimed 25% of all slander/libel cases are filed in federal courts (thus, 75% are filed in state courts).

Imagine the outrage if a major political figure in the US gave a speech at a rally and labelled the current citizens of Germany as "cohorts or direct decendants of genocidal maniacs." Do you think that would get much coverage in Germany or the US?

I guess the ruling principle of the day is, "What have you done for me, lately?"

"extreme or outrageous claims such as this would lead to marginalization of the politician"

Lafontaine has been marginalized for some time now. The coalition between the WASG and PDS is in the process of imploding, and Lafontaine's outrageous comments about "Fremdarbeiter" have been widely criticized in all kinds of media. He is still very well known in Germany because of his colorful personality and rhetoric, but he seems to have a screw loose. I would compare his status to someone like George Galloway. Very well known, and great fodder for the media, but only so many people would still vote for him. He's certainly prominent, but not that popular.

Scott, I was just wondering what the US equivalent of the German Verfassungsschutz is. Is there such an agency? Does it have a similar mandate as the German Verfassungsschutz?

The Verfassungsschutz consists of both NSA and Homeland Security elements. One significant difference though: Nazi rhetoric, unlike Communist activities, is not covered by Freedom of Speech in Germany. Hence their investigations in that direction.

Jorg, in the context of "Protection of the Constitution," I'm not sure there is a single equivalent organization in the US tasked with such a thing. In the context of protecting the US from "internal" threats to security or internal terrorism, I believe that is now a primary mandate of the FBI (however, with this whole "Homeland Security" thing, there are a whole host of organizations that "assist" with these sorts of matters).

I know it's offtopic, but finally my patience has paid off:

http://www.zombietime.com/global_day_of_action_march_18_2006/

Alex

lafontaine now is member of the "linkspartei", a party that hasn't got anything to do but attacking the usa. here are two other things lafontaine and the linkspartei were saying:

- last month, lafontaine said, the left had much in common with islam. islam is against usary and in islam the strong one is helping the weak. then he said iran needed an assurance not to be attacked. he also said, that the usa just invaded irak to get oil. so in one thing he's right: he has a lot in common with RoP.

(the german statements you're going to find here)

- one member of the linkspartei, ulla jelpke, who is also a member of the bundestag went to cuba. there she signed a resolution against a "nuclear war against iran". the resolution also said, that there is a network of state-terrorism that is lead by the usa and that the world had to respect the democratic decision of the palestinians to vote hamas.

(the german statements you're going to find here)

these statements weren't big news either.

@Jorg
Scott, I was just wondering what the US equivalent of the German Verfassungsschutz is. Is there such an agency? Does it have a similar mandate as the German Verfassungsschutz?

Jorg, there is no equivalent agency in the U.S. Questions of Federal (i.e., national) constitutionality are decided by the Supreme Court. They pick and choose among the lawsuites brought before them.

At the state level, compliance with the state's constitution are decided by state-level courts.

Re: these statements by what's-his-name. This is a politician getting his speaking themes from the banners in the streets. I swear, looking at France, I'm beginning to wonder if Europe's instinct for totalitarian political constructs (in which I include the EU) aren't simply a bureaucratic response to an inate instinct for mob rule.

And I bet this will be my last post for the day, as typekey for some reason doesn't like my cookies or something.

grrrr.

Scott,
"In general, the FBI only investigates violations of federal law unless invited by local authorities to help in their local investigations."

The FBI can only be called if there is a violation of federal law, i.e. Kidnaping, or if a crime was committed and the perpetrator(s) cross state lines, (Lee Malvo case).

"I do not know if there is a separate set of federal slander and libel laws, but I found some sources that claimed 25% of all slander/libel cases are filed in federal courts (thus, 75% are filed in state courts)."

There is no federal tort law (Pennoyer v. Kneff).

A plaintiff may bring a slander or libel suit into Federal Court if 1) the plaintiff was damaged over $100,000 and 2) if the defendant lives in a different state than the plaintiff.

"I'm no lawyer, but there are slander and libel laws. I believe each state has its own laws. Since these are generally local in nature, to the extent that someone would be investigated for suspicion of slandering or libeling someone, this would be investigated by local authorities."

Slander and Libel are common law torts. It is not a criminal act to libel or slander someone.

It is also substantially protected by the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court made it hard for a "public person" to sue someone for libel or slander, (Sullivan v. New York Times).

The police would never get involved in a slander or libel suit.

Also, members of the United States Congress and Senate have immunity against someone suing them for slander so long as they are in office

Members of Congress are immune from libel and slander only for what they say on the floor of the Senate or House of Representatives. Even then there are Senate and Congressional rules in place that limit what a member may say about another member only. They can be hauled into civil court if they write or say something actionable in a public forum.

Pat,

My fifth edition of "Prosser" still states that there is absolute immunity for judges and legislators as long as their acts are "judicial" or "legislative."

I'd be interested in hearing about case law that says that legislators can be sued in civil court if they write something actionable in a public forum.

There were two congressmen from Massachusetts who made statements on talkshows that President Bush was just seeking publicity when Air Force One was diverted on 9/11/01. I wonder if their immunity would still apply if President Bush was a private person:-)

Now the link to the Google-Cache has also expired :-(

@ Sandy P
> Martina, welcome aboard. Are the shades just coming off your eyes, or have you been aware for some time?

Not so fast ;-)
I still don't agree with the authors' view on Anti-Americanism in the German MSM and the German public in general, because my personal experiences are different (I can still accept their point of view, so let's not argue about that now).
I have, however, undergone the development which many people experienced in the last few years due to the emergence of blogs and other information sources abundant on the internet, namely that they have become enabled to independently scrutinize what is being fed to them by the media, when I started my physics degree in 1994. That was when I realized that virtually everything that the MSM wrote about physics was, to say the least, only partly correct.
It is only a small logical step to generalize this to other topics as well, and since then a deep mistrust to everything that's published by media outlets (and blogs!) permeates my attitude towards life. According to my experience, most of the irregularities can ultimately be traced to the fact that our world is (by definition) ruled by mediocrity. But still, that is of course no argument against at least trying to improve things.

I should have emphasized that this immunity is when Congress is in session. Even then a legislator could be charged and arrested for "treason, felony and breach of peace". This immunity was from arrest in case the executive was intent on keeping the congress or parliament from meeting to fulfill its constitutional duties. Congressmen, state legislators and judges are charged, handcuffed and convicted all the time in the US, even when in session. Witness James Trafficant, Duke Cunningham, etc. As to the two congressmen they could be charged with libel if they said the President knew of the 9/11 plot but not if they merely said they believed he knew. The first is the statement of a fact, which can be verified or not while the latter is a opinion that is protected speech. There is no absolute immunity, "they are privileged from arrest", in the Constitution even though there is a theory of absolute immunity which shares some attributes of the immunity given to the members of Congress in Article 1.

Shoot, meant slander not libel.

Oscar is right. Americans ARE terrorists. And I for one and proud of that distinction.

I was really PO'ed earlier this year when little Denmark threatened to take the US' place as #1 enemy.

It took years, generations of work to put the 'great' in 'Great Satan', and suddenly the Danish come horning in on us? It's not fair, almost enough to make a feller visit the Left Bank and start throwing rocks at Les Flics...

Thankfully, Oscar is an appreciative audience. I applaud him!

I prefer to be the original rogue nation.

The shades are off and that's all that counts.

The rest will follow.

If recent past history serves as a guide, the comparison of Americans to terrorists must be the start of a positive new relationship. Perhaps Oskar will push a EU loan to the US in the amount of 46 Million Euros.

In the car yesterday, I listened somewhat perfunctorily to the radio (WDR2). The said, and they made a point of having quoted him literally, that OL has stated that we need "französische Verhältnisse" here.

Here about the "intersections between Leftist politics and Islam" he sees: http://editrixblog.blogspot.com/2006/04/germrabian-mathematics.html

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