Tuesday, November 14, 2006

FBI Arrests Conservative Blogger Accused Of Threatening Democrats, Celebrities. Should Coulter Be Next?

A California man has been arrested by the FBI and accused of mailing threatening letters over the last three months, along with white powder, to MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), late night talk show hosts David Letterman and Jon Stewart, and other high-profile figures.

The man, 39-year-old Chad Castagana of Woodland Hills, Calif., is a sometime conservative blogger.

FBI agents took Castagana into custody Saturday on charges of conveying false information and sending threats via the U.S. mail. He was to appear in court Monday.

Castagana has posted on several conservative sites. Earlier this year, for example, at ExposeTheLeft.com, he wrote: "Congresswoman Katherine Harris is a remarkable lady! She has perservered a lot to advance the Conservative Cause. We Red-Bloooded (sic) Americans are obligated to support her, siritualy (sic), not just politically!"

***

Some letters, which were sent over the past three months, included phrases like "Death to Demagogues" and pictures of victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami, authorities said. Some letters had references to Alan Berg, a Jewish talk radio host murdered by white supremacists in Denver in 1984, the document said.

The FBI said federal agents watched Castagana, of Los Angeles, walk from his home to a public mailbox Thursday and deposit several letters. One was allegedly addressed to someone previously targeted and contained the white powder.

While the FBI is still trying to identify the white powder, preliminary tests revealed it does not pose a hazard.

***

Now that Castagana is in custody, isn't it time for the FBI to turn its attention to another conservative, Ann Coulter?

As JABBS noted in September, Coulter admitted that she sent the New York Times an envelope with an X scrawled through it and a suspicious powder inside. The powder was later determined to be cornstarch."So glad to hear that the New York Times got my letter and that your friend at the Times thinks I'm funny," she e-mailed a journalist after the incident.

And that wasn't an isolated deathwish for the Times. In June, Coulter told Fox News Channel's Alan Colmes that she stood behind her claim that Timothy McVeigh -- who was executed for his role in bombing a federal building in Oklahoma City -- should have instead bombed the Times office, especially if the reporters were inside.

Castagana is a no-name. It doesn't matter whether he's conservative or liberal. Should he be proven guilty, he deserves a lengthy prison sentence for terrorism -- he could face 15 years, MSNBC reported last night.

But should there be two tiers of justice -- one for no-names and one for celebrities? Because frankly, I don't see much difference between what Castagana allegedly did, and what Coulter admitted to doing.

25 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess John Kerry should be arrested for talking about killing George Bush on Bill Mahers show. Or is that ok because he's a limo lib?

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ann said that McVeigh should have done it, not herself. So where is the crime? And whats the problem? The Slimes in taking up prime real estate just like the U.N. Wouldnt you libs love some affordable housing with those two buildings.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The really scary thing about you conservative anonymous is you think you are being taken seriously.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Here's the thing to worry about. Coulter has openly threatened a Supreme Court justice, the NY Times staff, etc., but when pressed says she was just kidding, and that liberals should not be hyper-sensitive.

What if Castagana uses the same defense? He was just joking. Haha.

I don't know if Coulter should be arrested, but she should be investigated -- at least for whatever tie she has to the powder sent to the Times office.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

David R. Mark said...
"But should there be two tiers of justice -- one for no-names and one for celebrities? Because frankly, I don't see much difference between what Castagana allegedly did, and what Coulter admitted to doing."


I think the FBI most likely evaluates these things on a case by case basis. Since this guy in California has sent more than a dozen threatening letters to media outlets, as well as to the private homes of various public figures, they probably took his threats a lot more seriously than they did Ann Coulter's one letter to the NYT.

Having said that, I would agree that what Ann did was unwise and rather foolish on her part in this age of real terrorism, and she really should have known better. I don't know if she got an official warning from authorities about it or not, but I would hope that she is smart enough to refrain from such stupidity in the future.

I don't think she should be given a prison term because of it, however. That would be rather extreme, imo, especially in view of the fact that you have the NYT going unpunished for their part in unlawfully revealing classified secrets to the world. In fact, that was what led Coulter to send the letter to them in the first place.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

Having said that, I would agree that what Ann did was unwise and rather foolish on her part in this age of real terrorism, and she really should have known better.

Indeed. There's a difference between simply saying asinine things, which ain't a crime, and doing something like that.


I don't know if she got an official warning from authorities about it or not, but I would hope that she is smart enough to refrain from such stupidity in the future.
I would too, and if she isn't, she surely should be arrested as well.

That would be rather extreme, imo, especially in view of the fact that you have the NYT going unpunished for their part in unlawfully revealing classified secrets to the world. In fact, that was what led Coulter to send the letter to them in the first place.

Ah, of course. Ann is somehow justified in sending a letter to them because of an article they wrote. Nice rationalization. What "led" Coulter to send this letter was the fact that she's unhinged and has no morals. You're pretty pissed off at the NYT for these articles, but did you send them a letter, trinity? Of course not.

11:13 AM  
Anonymous FormerDem06 said...

When Coulter starts mailing white powder... lock her up. Otherwise there are several Hollywood celebrities who have made statements about Bush who would fit into that scheme as well.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous chat_noir said...

Is Bill O'Reilly to Blame for the Threats to Letterman and Stewart? And Where the Hell is the FCC?!

Words have consequences.

The commodity successful talk radio hosts produce is talk. Usually, the consequences of their talk come in the form of lucrative syndication deals and big time book sales. Or soft ball interviews with the President.

Some times manufacturers are held accountable when their product kills.. Like cigarettes. Okay, bad example.

Let's try, the Pinto. Better.

So, would we be able to hold Bill O'Reilly, in any way, culpable in the case of the Woodland Hills, California man, Chad Conrad Castagana, who was arrested for mailing threatening letters laced with white powder to Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Charles Schumer and "Late Show" host David Letterman, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and other high-profile political and entertainment figures.

Much more here: link

11:26 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Dave G. said...
"Ah, of course. Ann is somehow justified in sending a letter to them because of an article they wrote. Nice rationalization."


I guess there's just no pleasing you, Dave G. I said that Ann was wrong to do what she did, but I guess that's not enough. I never said she was justified in sending that letter, did I? No. I did not.

She was righteously angry about what the NYTs did, as was I, and frustrated that they weren't held accountable, as was I. Unfortunately, she let her anger overrule her common sense, which is never a good idea. She should have slept on it.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous BushOut06 said...

You don't have to actually threaten someone or commit the act yourself. I bring your attention to some of these white-supremacist groups - the Church of the Creator in particular. I believe a jury found the group's leader guilty although he hadn't actually done the act. The jury found that he created an atmosphere that encouraged people to carry out acts. This is how we've been able to help bring down several of these groups, especially the KKK.

Many of these RWers have been spouting off over the past several years about how "liberals" are traitors to this country, how they're giving "aid & comfort" to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Anyone recall Timothy McVeigh, and all the rabid anti-government hype spewing over RW radio in the early 90s?

I don't think it will happen either, but there is precedent.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

Unfortunately, she let her anger overrule her common sense, which is never a good idea. She should have slept on it.

You didn't say she was justified. The construction of the sentence looked as if there was a cause-and-effect there, however. So I withdraw on that. (Although I'd argue whether she has any common sense...she seems to have very little.)

11:29 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Dave G. said...
"You didn't say she was justified. The construction of the sentence looked as if there was a cause-and-effect there, however."


Well as far as Coulter's rationale is concerned, I'm sure there was an element of cause and effect, Dave G. That doesn't change the fact that it was still irresponsible of her to do it.

As far as all that crap about O'Reilly being responsible for what that guy in CA did, that's where you libs lose me.

Please, the last thing we need are more thought police in this country. Why some of you have such a problem with the concept of personal responsibility, I can't understand. It's definitely a lib thing though.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

Please, the last thing we need are more thought police in this country. Why some of you have such a problem with the concept of personal responsibility, I can't understand. It's definitely a lib thing though.

Yeah, it's a lib thing, unless, of course, you're covering up a colleague emailing underage kids. Then it's Bill Clinton and George Soros' fault.

Or if you've completely botched a war and gotten 150,000 troops in a lousy situation. This is of course the media's fault, or of unnamed appeasers, or something.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

or, if you're Richard Mellon Scaife, and you fund the "Arkansas Project" to conduct lengthy investigation by John Fund and his friends, dredge up old and unproven rumors about Bill Clinton, with the goal of giving them a fresh coat of paint and publishing them via the partisan Regnery Books, that's Clinton's fault, or something.

11:49 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

AND YET AGAIN AND AGAIN, it needs to be pointed out that Trinity and her conservative ilk act as hypocrites whenever they crap all over the NYT for leaking news of the Bush Administration breaking the law.
These hypocrites have no problem when Bush acknowledges selectively leaking the identity of Plame, a covert CIA agent reportedly working on WMD issues in Iran, to rebut a Bush critic.
Here is a nice post providing a summary of the MSM reports on the Bush leak.
http://tinyurl.com/tmw7e
I know. I shouldn't open up a can of worms with this one because Bush/Libby apologists like Trinity will forever dispute Plame's covert status when Fitzgerald's indictment clearly states she was indeed covert, or her status was classified info (same thing).
http://tinyurl.com/tfmgm

And what about Bush and Cheney selective leaking of their trumped-up, incompetent and phooney intelligence (that turned out to be wrong, of course) to the New York Times prior to the Iraq invasion that greatly contributed to dragging the country into this quagmire.

If an investigation of the NYT is in order for leaks, so then is one of Bush and Cheney.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

What a bunch of non sequiturs. Why do I bother?

12:30 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity said: What a bunch of non sequiturs. Why do I bother?

How so?
Explain to me why is it okay when the Bush Administration selectively leaks classified info potentially lethal to national security, not limited to instructions on how to build an atomic bomb, or the identity of a covert CIA agent working on WMDs (when I must remind you it was REPUBLICAN CIA agents who demanded Fitzgerald launch the investigation)?
But not okay when the New York Times reports that Bush is engaged in illegal wiretaps purportedly to listen in on Al Queda (when terrorists already knew they were being monitored because this info had previously been disclosed by Clinton and others)?

1:01 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

the waronterrible said...
"Explain to me why is it okay when the Bush Administration selectively leaks classified info potentially lethal to national security, not limited to instructions on how to build an atomic bomb"


Such as? With regard to the instructions that were posted on the government website, that wasn't exactly an intentional leak. There is a difference between deliberately leaking secrets and accidently leaking them, at least to reasonable people.

"or the identity of a covert CIA agent working on WMDs (when I must remind you it was REPUBLICAN CIA agents who demanded Fitzgerald launch the investigation)?"

I think you mean Fitzpatrick. But that aside, explain something to me, twot. If this was an illegal leak, then why hasn't Richard Armitage been prosecuted for making it? And why haven't he and Colin Powell been prosecuted for allowing another person to be wrongly blamed for being the source, when they both knew, as did Fitzpatrick, that it was Armitage?

I'll save you the trouble of responding. The entire Plame mess was political, that's why. And CIA and State are not "Republican", just so you know. In any case, didn't Janet Reno, Clinton's AG, appoint Kenneth Starr to investigate possible perjury and obstruction of justice by President Clinton? So I'm not sure what your point was.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

the waronterrible said...
"But not okay when the New York Times reports that Bush is engaged in illegal wiretaps purportedly to listen in on Al Queda"


Also, since you seem to be a bit confused about this, the NYT is not the arbiter of whether or not the NSA foreign surveillance program is illegal or not. Just thought I'd clear that up.

4:32 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Awww shucks, Trinity. I wanted to give you at least that I screwed up Fitzgerald's name.
But I didn't.
It is indeed Patrick Fitzgerald, not "Fitzpatrick".
http://tinyurl.com/tfmgm
I could go on for pages the other fallacies in your arguments, but I won't since I've already beaten this issue to death on this blog in a vain attempt to crack through a few Republican skulls.
Just a couple of quick points. It is COMMON KNOWLEDGE the three CIA agents who demanded the investigation on the Plame leak were indeed Republicans.
I provided several links proving this in the past. This time do your own research.
So much for your argument that the investigation and subsequent Libby indictment were "political".
A Supreme Court Judge has found the NSA wiretapping program illegal and unconstitutional.
I long for the day hopefully soon when the High Court affirms the decision. After the elections last week, the court would have the wind of popular opinion on its back.
Just wanted to clear that up.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"Awww shucks, Trinity. I wanted to give you at least that I screwed up Fitzgerald's name.
But I didn't.
It is indeed Patrick Fitzgerald, not "Fitzpatrick"."


You're right. My apologies. It's not the first time I've screwed that up. Sorry. I thought I'd finally gotten it straight.

As for the rest of it, I ask again, what was your point? Even if the investigation was initiated by individuals who were Republicans, that is not what I have the problem with.

My point is that there was no great big spiteful conspiracy involving the adminstration, and that was clear from the very beginning, yet FITZGERALD kept the investigation going on and on and on, for no good reason. It's bogus. And it certainly is political from Wilson/Plame's point of view, since there were big critics of the war in Iraq.

6:59 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

What is my point. Clinton investigation: political. An investigation fails to turn up anything against the Clintons pertaining to Whitewater so the focus shifts to Clinton's extramarital blowjob.

Fitzgerald investigation: Non-political. Why? Because unlike the case with Clinton's BJ, something actually SERIOUS, ILLEGAL AND DAMAGING TO THE COUNTRY at stake: The illegal outing of a covert agent working on WMDs as a threat to national security.

Dah!

"My point is that there was no great big spiteful conspiracy involving the adminstration, and that was clear from the very beginning, yet FITZGERALD kept the investigation going on and on and on, for no good reason. It's bogus. And it certainly is political from Wilson/Plame's point of view, since there were big critics of the war in Iraq."

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how baseless and factless, I guess.

7:30 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity said..."explain something to me, twot. If this was an illegal leak, then why hasn't Richard Armitage been prosecuted for making it? And why haven't he and Colin Powell been prosecuted for allowing another person to be wrongly blamed for being the source, when they both knew, as did Fitzpatrick, that it was Armitage?"

I'll tell you why directly from Fitzgerald's indictment you probably never read.
Fitzgerald said he was not able to move forward in the investigation due to Libby's lying and stonewalling.
So you Repukes (1) blame Fitzgerald on one hand for not properly concluding the investigation.
Then on the other hand (2) you hold Libby blameless for preventing the very thing for which you fault Fitzgerald.

Well, Fitzgerald did let Rove off the hook. And for this you Republicans should not be grateful.
Had Libby been indicted, maybe you would have gotten a sane political strategist who would not have lost the entire Congress for you.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"Fitzgerald said he was not able to move forward in the investigation due to Libby's lying and stonewalling."


That's just so lame. Fitzgerald has not indicted Libby, nor anyone else for that matter, for leaking the CIA identity of Valerie Plame, and that was his original mandate from the Justice Department.

Libby's "lying and stonewalling" providing that was what Libby was doing, (which has by no means been proven) didn't in any way prevent Fitzgerald from finding out that it was ARMITAGE who leaked Plame's identity. He had that knowledge very early on in the investigation. This whole thing smells like rotten fish.

1:58 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity said: "Libby's "lying and stonewalling" providing that was what Libby was doing, (which has by no means been proven) didn't in any way prevent Fitzgerald from finding out that it was ARMITAGE who leaked Plame's identity"

Talk about things that have never been proven!
Who are you going to believe Fitzgerald, some conservative hack columnist Novak, or Armitage?

This supposed "big revealation"* about Armitage earlier in the year only answers to a small part of the case and may or may not be relevant to the entire situation. For one, I would have to double check but I don't believe Libby has used the claim of Armitage allegedly being the initial or only pertinent source of the leak as a defense in his many publicly disclosed filings in preparing for his trial in the case.
My point still holds. If Fitzgerald is correct, and he has no reason to lie if for no other reason than for preserving his reputation and career, Libby's stonewalling, i.e. taking the knife for his superiors, Cheney, prevented him from getting to the bottom of the case.
Must I remind you of Libby's tell-tale charge: OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE.

*Republican spin

7:44 AM  

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