Why we have a 1st Amendment

I am rather perturbed by the event depicted in this Quickmeme:

Here is a news report of what happened, but Glenn Reynolds has a better description:
By sending — literally — brownshirted enforcers to engage in — literally — a midnight knock at the door of a man for the non-crime of embarrassing the President of the United States and his administration, President Obama violated that oath. You can try to pretty this up (It’s just about possible probation violations! Sure.), or make excuses or draw distinctions, but that’s what’s happened. It is a betrayal of his duties as President, and a disgrace.
I wouldn't go so far as to say this (the hauling into the police station of the man who supposedly made the "Innocence of Muslims" film) happened in response to embarrassment of the President, but it was indeed "deputies assisting the federal probation department" who carried this out. In other words, it was the feds.

The probation violation excuse is indeed a fig leaf to explain what is an act of intimidation and warning to other provocateurs. It dilutes the impact of statements like that of SecState Clinton, who said, "...we do not stop individual citizens from expressing their views no matter how distasteful they may be." How does it look when this happens two days after Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi  "asked Obama to 'to put an end to such behavior?'" We are told that the protesters don't understand that, in America, government doesn't control speech, and thus that when they see this video, they assume the US government authorized it. Well, what does it tell those people when they see this photo? Eugene Volokh makes a point to this effect.

It is easy to say, in this case, "Oh, this video is stupid, he shouldn't have made it." But it takes a lot less than this to set off riots. Recall the reaction to the Danish Muhammed cartoons a few years back. Or this: "Since Mubarak's fall, several churches have been attacked by mobs, stoked in part by hard-line Islamic clerics warning that Christians were trying to convert Muslim women or trying to take over the country." Attempting to find a line that we can stay behind, speech-wise, to prevent such outrage in the Middle East would amount to slowly painting ourselves into a corner of silence.

On a related note, we are told that the causation of the current conflagrations is: video posted to Youtube --> video translated to Arabic --> riots. That assumes that this video just organically went viral, like a Rebecca Black song or something, but that is unlikely. It is certain that this video was promoted widely by those who are eager to incite riots. We know it appeared on an Egyptian TV station, which would have exposed many people to it for the first time.

Here is the video that is said to have set everything off (note: I haven't watched it). I applaud Google for refusing the White House's request (ahem) to consider taking it down from Youtube in this country (they have restricted access to it in some countries)

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