. . . Or something like that. Special Operations Speaks is a group of former U.S. military special operations types (beg pardon, but is that descriptor in and of itself not sufficient warning not to screw around with these guys?) that doesn’t like how the present administration is running things and wants it out of office. You know, sort of like that ol’ freedom of opinion thingy, right? This being the 21st Century — except inside the administration’s policy groups, where it’s still 1935 — they’ve got themselves a Facebook page. They have a third-party administrator run it for them.
Their administrator recently posted on their Facebook page a composite picture showing Dear Leader, the late Mr. bin Laden, and the U.S. Navy SEAL trident-and-eagle insignia. You know, the one all SEALs wear on the left breast of their uniforms, as prescribed by official regulations of the U.S. military. Both Dear Leader and Mr. bin Laden were, insofar as their pictures showed them, clothed to their ordinary sartorial standards.
The picture bore a legend, in two parts: “Obama called the SEALs and THEY got bin Laden. When the SEALs called Obama, THEY GOT DENIED.” Oh, and they had the URL of their website.
You can quibble a bit with the second part of that; in truth two of the four Americans that Dear Leader abandoned to their deaths were not active-duty SEALs any more. They’d left the navy and were working for the CIA tracking down all the stray ordnance that’s washing around Libya and finding its way into the militias’ hands. But true to the parole, “Earn your trident every day,” they’d run to the sound of the guns; I suppose just like former Marines (which there aren’t any, except for John Murtha), there aren’t any such animals as former SEALs. My first cousin, currently a four-striper SEAL, would likely confirm that supposition.
Facebook took the picture down, after it had been shared some 30,000 times and got 24,000 “likes,” all within 24 hours. Their message to the account-owner? “We removed content you posted. We removed the content you posted or were admin of because it violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.”
Apparently one has a right to support Dear Leader, irrespective of what he actually, you know, does while in office, and a corresponding responsibility to cheer oneself hoarse for him. Or something like that. The Washington Post has a fuller version of what happened next, together with a deconstruction of the only “rights and responsibilities” that the post might even arguably have been said to violate (plot spoiler: you can’t square that circle).
Whereupon things hit the fan.
Facebook has now graciously allowed a group of people who have quite literally put their lives on the line for their country (that’s you and me, friends), and more than a few of whom have the scars on their bodies to prove it, and who count themselves fortunate, having seen their close friends come home in boxes, to express an opinion about Dear Leader. Facebook admits to an “error” in taking down the post, not once but twice.
Whatever else it was, an “error” it was not. Facebook simply decided that there are some expressions of political opinions which, because of whom they damage and because of how effectively they do so, may not be held, known, or shared if they have anything to do with it. If Facebook’s censoring those special forces guys was an “error,” then the late Mr. Sutton’s transactions with all those banks were nothing more than inadvertent account over-drafts.
Does Facebook not understand they’re a public company now? That their censorship decisions, ex post disclaimers of such intent notwithstanding, will have deleterious effects for their owners, the shareholders? How about the employees, who while they haven’t dumped all their stock (yet), are the ones whose pocketbooks this sort of nonsense will drain?
I make no secret of my thoughts about Dear Leader and the legal and moral plane on which he and his administration operate. Disagree with me if you please, throw facts in my face if you can. But stuff like this is distressing for the same reasons that NOW’s unwavering support for Clinton was distressing. Here’s the President of the United States of America having it off with a 20 year-old intern; here’s a credible accusation of rape against the same man (admittedly while he was still governor of Arkansas); here’s a man willing to perjure himself over the whole mess and use his minions to destroy his accusers’ lives. Christopher Hitchens’s No One Left to Lie To has the full story; one of the most damning passages is when he describes a reporter asking Algore if he thought the woman accusing the president of rape might be telling the truth. As Hitch put it, a man who’d spent some six years working in harness with Clinton at that point could not bring himself to state unequivocally that he refused to believe that we had a rapist in the Oval Office. In fact it was how the Clintons dealt with Bill’s victims that turned Hitchens against him, once and for all. And NOW and all the other feminist hand-wringers closed ranks behind their beloved Bill.
Clinton did everything but drop his trousers and urinate on their skirts, and they kept on cheering. These Facebook people will experience the same from Dear Leader, sooner or later (in fact they have, with his relentless anti-private enterprise agenda), and my prediction is they’ll never miss a single bar of whatever eery Mao-ist ditty his people compose next.