I don’t think that the inflammatory video “Innocence of Muslims” is just the work of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (aka Sam Bacile), a Coptic Christian who lives in L. A. and is now being questioned for possible parole violations. Nakoula has a criminal history that includes bank fraud and making meth.
But who is behind him? Who wanted this video made and why? Is Nakoula the Lee Harvey Oswald of this bizarre episode?
It also seems to me that Americans who make and post such videos with the intent of stirring up anger and violence among Muslims can’t just claim a First Amendment right to free speech and not be held responsible for the threat to fellow Americans serving overseas as diplomats or in the military.
Way back in 1919, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote:
“The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre causing a panic…. The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger.”
I would argue that if an American posts such a video with the intent of offending and inflaming Muslims, he creates a clear and present danger to other Americans who may become the targets of Muslim outrage.