GWB Assassination comic strip, free speech or threat against president?


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Hkmp5sd
July 21, 2003, 07:32 PM
Cartoon by Michael Ramirez in L.A. Times:

Free Speech? Threat? Just Really Bad Taste?

http://www.latimes.com/includes/ramirez/ramirez_20030720.gif
http://www.treefort.org/~cbdoten/rvntanks/sp071632.jpg

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MicroBalrog
July 21, 2003, 07:39 PM
Free Speech AND Very Bad Taste. Sorry, make that Free Speech and Extremely Bad Taste.:barf:

Greg L
July 21, 2003, 07:42 PM
Yes, no, yes

Politicians have been taking the low road to find any mud that might stick, cartoonists are just joining in the latest round.

Greg

Seeker
July 21, 2003, 07:55 PM
At first glance I thought it was Ollie North...

Free Speech.

It's a political cartoon - which tend to be a little blunt... or in bad taste to one group or another, as has bee the tradition for a couple of hundred years.

I think getting bent about it and saying that it is a threat against the president is akin to the airlines getting bent about the palstic G.I. Joe rifle or the handgun lapel pin.

Brett Bellmore
July 21, 2003, 08:03 PM
Editorial cartoonists have been stupid, unfair, in bad taste, and generally not artistically inclined, since at least the 1700's, from what I've seen of old newspapers. They pick that line of work BECAUSE there's no requirement to be fair, or even make sense. You just vent your spleen onto the page, and they pay you, so long as you're expressing views they'd express, if only they had no sense of shame or logic.

But, no, it's not a threat. It would have to be more coherent to carry that much meaning.

Anyway, this whole business of it being seriously illegal to threaten the President, moreso than any other Joe anyway, strikes me as dubious. Too many people have gotten in legal trouble for merely letting off a little steam. Given that the President has 24/7 armed guards, threats against him should actually carry less legal consequences than threats against somebody who could more easily be killed, because they're far, far less likely to be carried out. And speech is supposed to be free...

Hkmp5sd
July 21, 2003, 08:05 PM
threat against the president is akin to the airlines getting bent about the palstic G.I. Joe rifle or the handgun lapel pin.

Not me getting bent. According to Drudge, it's the Secret Service that is getting bent.

As a side note, the story behind the original (and famous) photo was never told by the news media. The shooter is General Nguyen Ngoe Loan, Chief of South Vietnam's National Police. He had just come from the house of one of his officers that had been gunned down, along with the officer's wife and children. The VC had just been caught after machinegunning several civilians on the street.

KC
July 21, 2003, 08:49 PM
"The shooter is General Nguyen Ngoe Loan, Chief of South Vietnam's National Police. He had just come from the house of one of his officers that had been gunned down, along with the officer's wife and children. The VC had just been caught after machinegunning several civilians on the street."

I thought it was the generals own family that had been killed that morning, and the execution-ee was an NVA officer out of uniform in a warzone, and thus a legit target for summary execution. Either way....at least the artist involved got the S&W hammerless right.

FWIW, i not sure that, knowing the backround of the photo, the cartoon makes any sense.
Certainly, it is not a threat, perhapse a convoluted warning of things to come, but that sort of whine has been heard concerning every overseas conflict that the US has gotten into *since* Vietnam. It conveniently ignores ths armed US presence in Germany and Japan since 1945, numerous actions in Central and South America, and American military presence in China from the mid 19th to the mid 20th century. We are still involved in a military occupation of Cuba (Guantanamo), we again have advisors on the ground in Columbia and Panama. We have been propping up the Saud regime since the 1940's, and the Pahlavi's in Iran until Carter screwed that particular pooch. The US has had troops on the Korean Peninsula (off and on) since the late 1870's (i think; it about then) and continuously since the 1950's. And, as of today (20030721), we are again sending troops to Monrovia.

Yes, it is well to have a freeman riding in Caesar's chariot, whispering "Remember, thou art mortal" in the conqueror's ear, but frankly, it gets really old after a while. Think of something new, dammit.
As for this being free speech? How could it be anything but? Should the time come that the citizens of this country are deprived of the ability to raise the sword of Damascoles over the head of any person, public or private, is the day that we have lost the 1st amendment, and with it, everything else.

KC

QuarterBoreGunner
July 21, 2003, 08:57 PM
Free speech: yes, threat: no, bad taste: I've seen worse.

And if the author is surprised that this stirred the ire of the secret service, then he's living in la la land.

You don't make bomb/terrorist jokes/let's kill the president jokes unless you're prepared to deal with the response.

And I'm aware I probably just set off a number of carnivore alarms with that last part.

And I'm prepared to answer any questions that come my way.

Personal responsibility and all that good stuff.


edit- that picture of the street execution is from a longer piece of film from the event, and a more grusome bit of work I've rarely seen.

Head wounds bleed profusely and prodigiously.

Carlos
July 21, 2003, 09:44 PM
Whomever asserted there was a real threat is a moron and should not be working for the government.

I think it's hilarious. Sums it for me. GWB's popularity is diving. His political carreer SHOULD be dead. He kisses gunowner butt, I'll consider voting for da guy.

So, he's asserted BS as real and Tenet (sp? CIA man) takes fall, then

Weapons Expert in UK commits suicide, just like the guy who used to work for Clinton found dead (suicide? I don't think so.).

Hmmm?

Sounds like business as usual to me. :)

Mike Irwin
July 21, 2003, 10:11 PM
It may be bad taste, but it's also fairly accurate assessment of what's pointed at W's head right now, so to speak.

The politics of Iraq are killing Bush. His popularity is starting to slip, and a lot of it has to do with the headlines "1 GI killed," "2 GIs killed," "1 GI killed" that seem to come out of Iraq every day.

Mike Irwin
July 21, 2003, 10:14 PM
"Head wounds bleed profusely and prodigiously."

Yep. The Fountain Effect, as it's sometimes called.

The photographer who took this picture became friends with Loan in the United States, and went to bat for him when some people tried to have Loan expelled from the US for supposed "war crimes."

llanero
July 21, 2003, 10:51 PM
First Post!
That cartoon is in bad taste, but the one which had a fallen US soldier's dripping blood keeping Barbara Busch awake at night, prompting her to say "George, how can you sleep with all that dripping?" To which he replies, "Just pretend it's oil", really went over the line of horrible taste. This went beyond Gary Trudeau-type political humor. The left-wing is getting more and more bitter by the day...(heck, just listen to Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion....).

Bruce H
July 22, 2003, 12:00 AM
Isn't there a saying about the truth hurting. This cartoon is very true and funny at the same time.

Hkmp5sd
July 22, 2003, 06:22 AM
And the artist does have a point.

Officials See Threat in Bush Newspaper Cartoon



Reuters
Monday, July 21, 2003; 8:51 PM



By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Secret Service is studying a pro-Bush cartoon in the Los Angeles Times, showing the president with a gun to his head, as a possible threat, U.S. officials said on Monday.

Cartoonist Michael Ramirez said the drawing, which ran in Sunday's paper, was only meant to call attention to the unjust "political assassination" of Bush over his Iraq policy.

The cartoon, based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph from the Vietnam War, depicts Bush with his hands behind his back as a man labeled "Politics" prepares to shoot him in the head. The background of the drawing is a cityscape labeled "Iraq."

"We're aware of the image and we're in the process of determining what action if any can be taken," John Gill, Secret Service spokesman, said.

An official who asked not to be named said: "The Secret Service does take threats against all of their protectees very seriously and they have an obligation to look into any threat that's made against any of their protectees." The official did not elaborate.

The 1968 photograph on which the cartoon is based showed the instant before South Vietnam's national police commander pulled the trigger in a summary execution of a Vietcong prisoner on the streets of Saigon.

The brutality of the image was credited by many with helping to turn U.S. public opinion against the war.

In a statement issued through the newspaper, Ramirez said that he used the image because it represented to him the "political assassination" of Bush.

"President Bush is the target, metaphorically speaking, of a political assassination because of 16 words that he uttered in the State of the Union," he said, referring to the controversy over Bush's accusation that Iraq was trying to buy uranium in Africa.

The White House later disavowed that statement, saying it was based on faulty documents. Critics of Bush have accused him of hyping intelligence to build a case for war in Iraq.

"Those with political motivations are using the uranium story as a method to attack the president," Ramirez said.

A spokesman for the Times said the cartoon represented the cartoonist's opinion and not that of the paper.



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25376-2003Jul21.html

Feanaro
July 22, 2003, 06:34 AM
Anyone who can put two and two together should be able to tell you this represents a killing of something other than the president, due to the shooter being labeled "Politics" and Iraq being in the background. Politics is going to "execute" his political career over, you guessed it, Iraq.

Nathaniel Firethorn
July 22, 2003, 09:12 AM
Pushes free speech right up to the edge. I think over it, given the number of loonies out there.

- pdmoderator

Alan Smithiee
July 22, 2003, 07:50 PM
"We're aware of the image and we're in the process of determining what action if any can be taken," John Gill, Secret Service spokesman, said.

"can be taken", not "may be taken". sounds like someone has already made up his mind.

nothing about "we're investigating to see if this is a death threat against the president" more along the lines of "we're gonna do something to him as soon as we find some judge who will hand us a secret blank warrent"

Dave Markowitz
July 22, 2003, 08:31 PM
If anything, this is a pro- Bush cartoon.

It shows politics -- probably meant to be partisan politics -- killing Bush's political future.

Anyone in government who thinks the cartoon is a death threat is a moron who shouldn't be earning a living off taxpayer dollars.

:cuss:

PATH
July 23, 2003, 01:04 AM
This uproar is a tempest in a teapot. Much ado about a political cartoon.

tyme
July 23, 2003, 01:19 AM
Blame the SS. They started the whole mess. If it weren't for them, hardly anyone here would have seen it.

Yes; no; no.

Hkmp5sd
July 23, 2003, 06:25 AM
My only complaint about the cartoon is that the artist put Bush in the role of the badguy. Most Americans probably don't know that, but anyone that's knows the history of the original event does. The artist could have found a better example, such as Oswald looking through a scope at JFK or even the MLK assassination.

Augustwest
July 23, 2003, 08:59 AM
We're aware of the image and we're in the process of determining what action if any can be taken," John Gill, Secret Service spokesman, said

IMO, anyone who cares about freedom, and the future of this country, should be chilled by that statement.

An official mouthpiece for the King's elite bodyguards says they're trying to figure out a way to punish someone for something that's protected in the very first amendment to our Constitution.

Not good. At all.

BowStreetRunner
July 23, 2003, 09:15 PM
kinda OT:
Hkmp5sd
thanks for posting the real context of the original photograph that the cartoon was based on
i hate it when that photograph is used to portray everything about the vietnam war as wrong.....
it is a stirring picture.....
but i think so many people find it easy to forget that the man with the muzzle to his noggin was no innocent.....
just my .02
BSR

Silver Bullet
July 23, 2003, 09:41 PM
I guess what bugs me is the inconsistency. Didn't the courts rule a few years ago that web sites showing the addresses of abortion doctors had to be removed ?

Newton
July 23, 2003, 10:23 PM
Typical over-reaction, all I ever see these days is over-reaction. Sometimes I think you could cause a riot with a balloon on a stick.

Cartoons have been a key form of political satire for generations. Historically, those who have been offended by the content of such cartoons only see the picture and not the message, they are victims of their own limitations.

However, for the Secret Service to see this as a threat to the safety of the President is a far bigger joke than the original cartoon, anyway, I'm off to draw a picture of my manager falling off a cliff with "ECONOMY" written on his T-shirt.

Newton

CaesarI
July 24, 2003, 01:00 AM
Ramirez is VERY pro Bush, and has been since the start. Read the rest of his cartoons.

Bad taste?!?! The cartoon CLEARLY shows Wartime politics is killing the President.

I've read Ramirez's stuff daily for years, he's our buddy, leave'em alone.

-Morgan

tyme
July 24, 2003, 01:58 AM
Liberals may whine (or baaaaaa) when people are executed in the manner depicted in the Vietnam photo.
Republicans might whine (or screech) if Bush were executed by politics in the manner depicted.

Is that the point of the cartoon? I dunno...

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