Rule of Law

Roundup of Basseley Nakoula No Big Deal

It’s not often that I disagree with some of my fellow columnists in these parts, but this time I do.  The roundup, or arrest, of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula by “brownshirts” was neither a shock nor odd.  When I heard that one of the conditions of Nakoula’s probation was that he not interact with the Internet, I thought, why on earth haven’t they taken him in for questioning on whether he violated the terms of his release from prison?

Sure enough, they eventually did.

People in prison want to get out really badly.  They are willing to make deals, deals that to me and you seem odd – like promising not to touch a keyboard connected to the world wide web.  But Nakoula did just that, and in exchange, he got to eat lunches made of something other than cold cheese sandwiches and creamed corn.

An aside, I have been in many prisons, having sent a number of people there in my career.  They are unpleasant places.  The first thing one notices is the noise.  The second is the smell.  If I were stuck in a prison, I’d probably promise not to go online for five years too.  Think about some of the side benefits.  You’d forget that Maureen Dowd or Tom Friedman even exist.

So Nakoula made a deal.  He got out of jail for the price of no more Internet.

He broke the deal, it seems, and the feds have some questions.  When you break the terms of your release, your release can end instantly.  So, contrary to my esteemed fellow columnists, the Rule of Law is more important here.  Pacta sunt servanda – agreements should be kept.