Controversial Filmmaker Of “The Innocence of Muslims” Sentenced to One Year In Jail

Mark Basseley Youssef (aka Nakoula Basseley Nakoula), the filmmaker connected to the controversial film “The Innocence of Muslims,” has been sentenced to a year in prison for violations of his probation for his 2010 bank fraud conviction. The arrest of Youssef raised immediate objections that, while the Obama Administration insisted that it would not punish such acts of free speech, it set out to arrest him on any possible grounds to satisfy the “Arab Street.”

U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder sentenced Youssef on four of the eight alleged violations that he admitted to, including obtaining a fraudulent California driver’s license (which can be based on any information deemed inaccurate or false). What is most problematic is the violation of denying his full role in the film. The Obama Administration wanted a two-year sentence for Youssef. He also was found to have used a different name without the approval of his probation officer. At least three names have been associated with Youssef since the film — Sam Bacile, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and Youssef. However, documents show that Youssef legally changed his name from Nakoula in 2002 but continued to occasionally identify himself as Nakoula.

When the Administration arrested Youssef, it seemed to go out of its way to be sure that there were ample opportunities for filming him being dragged way in cuffs — an image that was immediately broadcast around the world. It sent a chilling message to some that the government can generally find some grounds to punish you when you cause a controversy — even if you are not prosecuted for the underlying speech itself. Violations of probation conditions are quite common and rarely result in re-incarceration. Probation terms tend to be sweeping and most such violations result in warnings or brief appearances before the court.

None of this excuses Youssef’s actions, particularly in his acquiring of the driver’s license. Yet, the speedy arrest (and now conviction) leaves many civil libertarians uneasy as to whether the Administration found a way to “hoist the wretch” by other means than blasphemy.

Source: Google

95 thoughts on “Controversial Filmmaker Of “The Innocence of Muslims” Sentenced to One Year In Jail”

  1. Having read Betty Kath’s inquiry I feel her’s was a question worth comtemplating, and answering.

    Having read GeneH’s extensive take, I would like to add a comment.

    What immediately stuck in my craw is GeneH’s contention that he speaks for all here. Prove it.
    And don’t come with the crappy reply that everybody does except me. An exceptional contention needs exceptional proof, I have learned here.

    I have had no problem with Nick Spinelli as he was recognizable as a faulty human searching humbly (initially) but clumsily. He asked me, don’t know why, and I gave him advice. Cautioning against speaking too loudly and taking up too much space—two things which have been a disservice to me.

    Now the problem with many, many of the folks here is that they are not tolerant of folks who deviate from their norms: they expect us to respect their feebly but gentily forwarded arguments, but don’t accept those forwarded more in summary form (a la Nick), or with emphasis. Having had the displeasure of being not addressed with the usual etiquette or courtesy expected, this offending person automatically is suspect and subject to nit-picking examination whenever he opens his mouth.

    It is odd, and I want Nick to notice this, the swings of popularity here at this blog. Just days ago, Nick was popular with serveral who have not said anything in this discussion (the case of NickS). Two outstanding names were quite happy with him and sought his company: Blouise and Swarthmore Mom, to name a couple. Other’s are free to raise their hands too. There were several. I even mentioned it with envy in private communications.

    So, don’t know what has given NickS the blues, but it is a blues that I am well acquainted with.
    You, NickS, have an outgoing, warm, opinionated and giving personality. And you have been a good influence here on many occasions and threads, as witnessed in the comments which then result.

    You have contributed, along with others, to a general loosening up and beginning to talk on personal grounds which is going on here. Not only buddies should have that privilege, and they speak in code only and hardly exert good influence, on the contrary. That is their privilege, but I support the other way.

    Willingness to show emotions and problems are traits we share. And I salute you for that. I don’t believe that men have to be handicapped, it cripples both directions of communication.

    And I hope MikeS does not mind if I cite him as my chief inspirer here on that matter. Who of us has not had their lives enriched by his tales.

    As for GeneH. all know what he is and can do, both positively and otherwise.

    I myself see no reason to meet him on his terrain of logic and the formalities of argument. In fact, I am satisfied to have a truce with him, if it is that, as I believe that he is less inclined to bully when he is not challenged so often.

    Right now, he is just glowing in that he sees a weakening in his currently worst enemy and has pounced for just that reason. Carpe diem.

    So lick wounds and rest easy, Nick. Do not engage GeneH with a reply. He is charged up for battle and wouldn’t accept an apology at all, being as he is.

    Go charge your battery. We await with pleasure your return in your usual form. Your experiences are unique, but so are those of some others here, and sharing is most encouraged by a quiter demeanor—would that I could do so all the time. 😉

  2. Oooo.

    Straight to the ad hominem instead of responding with reason and evidence.

    As demonstrated again here (, your upset over your sister is entirely manufactured. As in “made up”. Fake. Faux. Now to be clear, your emotional state may be real but your reasons for having it are fictional. This is not the reaction of a well-balanced mind.

    Like I said, learn the lesson or don’t. Apparently you chose don’t. Or your emotional problems rather seem to have chosen “don’t” for you.

    But you aren’t at threat to anything at all, nick, let alone me. In any way shape or form. But if that helps you rationalize your bad behavior and inability to understand that you argue like an overemotional child instead of a reasoned adult? You knock yourself out, sport.

    The next time you respond to challenge of your statements with the same irrational pattern of behavior you’ve exhibited up to now (and continue to exhibit in the preceding post)? You’re going to get the pointy stick again. Cause and effect.

    Carry on.

  3. Wow, I’m being lectured to about people skills by a person w/ none. And. I’m told I “piss people off” by the person who compared me to Hitler when I spoke of my deceased sister and who does this to many..driving them off and then gloating. Here’s something we have in common Gene, we both piss people off sometimes. However, I have the ability to assess what I said and when appropriate apologize. You’re oversized ego precludes that as an option. As I said previously, I was raised in a ballbusting culture and it serves me well. That was reinforced by my being a baseball player and coach. You can’t make it in baseball unless you can give it and take it, which I can. You sir, can give it but are incapable of taking it. My lament earlier was just how I felt. As stated, I understand and express my emotions. That’s a strength, not a weakness. I speak often about love, I’ve not seen you do so. However, I understand clearly that having emotions is foreign to Spock, the emotionless logical man from another planet. And, as stated previously, if a ballbust is taken wrong I will apolgize. In that regard, bettykath, we obviously didn’t connect on that. So, I apologize..NO harm was intended. I swear to that.

    Gene, when the grammar school teacher gave the “go along to get along” lesson I threw up and was excused. They kept trying to give me that lecture and the same thing would occur. I think it’s part of my permanent record. Then I read Thoreau in high school and it all made sense. This is, of course a parable, except for the Thoreau part. Gene, I respect you intellect which is immensely important to you. Other than that, I see you as an angry, emotional cripple. I know you feel pain when it is about you, I harken back to your poignant meth post a couple months back. But the emotion that comes to the surface quickly and viciously is anger. And, as I’ve stated many times, I’ve lived a very diverse and interesting life. That’s my threat to your fiefdom here. The irony being I have NO desire to be the alpha male here, or anywhere. I’m an introvert who doesn’t like the limelight. I just find this an interesting blog and like to contribute my experiences to offer perspectives many here don’t have. The fact that this is a threat to some people says everything about them and nothing about me. Gene, your first paragraph is telling. You ask me a question to help ME understand. I guess when you are all knowing you never ask a question to help YOU understand. Hopefully, you’ll say your piece, dissecting what I said and “beating me” which you like to often declare unilaterally, and we can move on to more substantive issues. I don’t like you and you don’t like me, when you break down all these words that’s what it’s all about. With rare instances, I’m civil. And when I’m not, I apologize. I’ve not seen you apologize for ANYTHING yet.

  4. NickS,

    Written directly after reading your comment on HItler, etc.

    1) Consider the source of Hitler loved his dog…..
    2) Such seling of logical proofs seldom are NOT worth the
    turd that they are written with.

    This is simple minded speech suppression. Same as when the gov practices it.

  5. Seems like the issue here is did the Obama Administration somehow cause the probation revocation proceedings and did the guy get treated worse than he otherwise would have because of what he said. The professor suggests that probation violations such as occurred here would usually result in a slap on the wrist or go unpunished even if noticed. For a different perspective I suggest people read Popehat’s latest. Between a law professor in Virginia and a former prosecutor/criminal defense attorney in California, I’ll go with the guy with actual experience every time.

  6. Malisha

    just find some foreign films that have roughly the scenes you want and overdub with english.

    just don’t put your name in the credits. use the names of people you don’t like.

  7. nick, what’s the point of your ball bust comment?

    My comment wasn’t intended as a snark of any kind. You’ve been the recipient of some serious criticism from others and I thought you’d appreciate seeing something that wasn’t criticism. You see it as a ball buster. And then you send one back at me. If that’s your idea of humor, I don’t get it.

    Ball busting is something I’ve done on a couple of occasions. The last time was a few years ago in a GED test in a jail with a rather rambunctious group of 16-20 year old males. I was so accused (under his breath) and I admitted that “I can and will so settle down or you’re out of here.” His balls got busted more with a look than the words. From that point on a very well behaved group.

    That isn’t needed here.

  8. nick,

    I’m going to ask you a question. It’s not a trick question. I’m trying to help you understand.

    Do you have any idea why you get the stick some times? From both me and people like Elaine and Mike (although admittedly I use a really pointed stick)? The key lies in your behavior, nick. That’s not an insult. It’s simply a fact and supported by a pattern easily discernible in your behavior. You think you have people skills but in reality you have a habit that pisses other people off or, as in my case, simply causes them to thrash you on principle.

    I’ll be glad to explain it to you in clear terms and using examples from your own interchanges with others to illustrate the point I am trying to make. I make this offer because you seem wounded.

    Consider our first exchange where I disagreed with you and what your subsequent responses were.
    nick spinelli 1, August 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    This is a superb legal website. I’m amazed @ how intelligent folks, interested or employed in the justice system, can jump to such conclusions. What is provided to us is THE COMPLAINT, THE PLAINTIFF’S VERSION OF WHAT OCCURED. Now, I agree w/ Mr. Turley that if just some of this is true, the key being the alleged strip search, then this is bad and Citrus County had better set aside a big reserve for damages.

    A cursory check by myself, who has worked civil litigation cases as a PI for decades, shows the plainiff is not mother of the year. I will leave it @ that. The Citrus County Court records are available online for free. You can do your own research.

    Having worked both criminal and civil cases I could tell stories that would make you hair stand up about police abuses. Conversely, I could tell you stories about civil complaints that were pure fiction. This looks bad. Things are however not always what they first appear.
    Gene H. 1, August 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm


    Mother of the year or not isn’t the issue here.
    nick spinelli 1, August 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Gene H, Your reaction is emotional. I concede the point that the ALLEGED ABUSE OF AUTHORITY IS UNNACCEPTABLE. My God, I’m just saying we don’t have any facts..JUST HER COMPLAINT. Did you read everything I said??

    Gene H. 1, August 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm


    No. My reaction is rational and focused on the salient issue (which is not the victim’s fitness as a parent). Your shouting response and reflexive defense of authority figures is irrational. And there is nothing alleged about a road side strip search being an abuse of authority unless you’re an idiot. It’s an abuse of authority.

    But please feel free to shout some more. It makes your objections seem that much more credible. And by credible I mean ridiculous.

    nick spinelli 1, August 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Gene H, Unless some extreme circumstances exist, I agree w/ you a roadside strip search is an abuse of authority. And, if you would read what I said about my knowing quite well about police abuse, you would understand I don’t have an agenda; except patience and waiting for the facts to evolve. You’re picking a winner after the opening kickoff just occurred. You must be psychic and know that’s what occurred. Or maybe you just hate cops? Do you have any experience in the law?
    My statement was simple and to the point. It was a statement about the relevance of your “evidence” which is both a fair legal and logical criticism of your argument. It was even handed and there was no jab at you in it whatsoever.

    Yours, in contrast, was highly emotional and based upon a statement that in itself was an appeal to emotion – not the mother of the year – that had nothing to do with her being strip searched. No evidence or counter logic from you, just straw men, insults and bluster. However, your response was not only emotional, it was shouting to the point of raving and you went out of your way to “bust some balls”. Too bad for you some people are simply a lot better at that game than you are. Then you go on to conflate something I never said – namely that you had an agenda – when what I said was your “evidence” was irrelevant before you just went on to be an insulting douche bag.

    This is a pattern I see over and over again whenever anyone challenges what you say not being gospel, nick. You don’t just do it to me. You do it to everyone (with the possible exception of id707, but I’m not going to address that dynamic).

    This behavior of yours is precisely why you keep getting kicked in the balls for your efforts.

    And you wonder why people react poorly to you?

    You is why people react poorly to you. You talk a lot of shit you can’t back up when challenged without resorting to histrionics. You say you are an emotional cripple? Well this is a perfect example of you acting exactly like an emotional cripple and you can’t apparently see it. Everyone else can though.

    If you can’t make a cogent counterargument? Don’t resort to bluster and ball busting. Just say you disagree and move on. If you don’t understand an argument? Ask questions. No one here is unwilling to clarify their positions. If people challenge what you say? Learn to present a counterargument that is both logically sound and built on relevant evidence.

    Many people don’t react well to aggression that comes out of the clear blue like yours does, nick. They often respond to aggression with aggression. In the above exchange, I was calm and even tempered and I remained so until it became apparent you were just going to persist in acting like an aggressive intimidated putz. And it has been that way ever since.

    In a fit of classic projection, you keep claiming I’m angry when it you who are angry. I don’t get angry arguing. I spent years learning how to and practicing just that very skill. Trying to anger me (which is what you are doing with your bluster and ad hominem and insults) is truly an exercise in futility. Ask your buddy Bron if you doubt this. He only recently gave up that habit himself after realizing it just wasn’t going to happen.

    But if you can’t take it when others respond to your aggression with aggression? To your ad hominem and insult with the same? Don’t dish it out. Because puffing out your chest instead of offering a rational reasoned evidence based counterargument is going to get you pushed down to the ground every time. There are people here trained in the rhetorical equivalent of judo. The harder you attack? The worse the results for you. The pattern above repeats over and over. Both Elaine and I were perfectly nice to you several times this week until you gave us reason not to be nice by your freaking out whenever someone has the nerve not to take what you say as gospel or not allow you to put words in their mouth. I just play a lot rougher than she does.

    The bottom line is this: no one cares about your opinion here, nick. You are free to express them however you like as is your right just like anyone else. No one is going to ban you for having unpopular opinions. While you are entitled to your own opinions but you are not entitled to have them go unchallenged, you are not entitled to have your logic go unchallenged and you most certainly are not entitled to you own facts. Logic and evidence are king and challenging the ideas of others is the cornerstone of the marketplace of ideas that results from free speech.

    However, you are going to continue to have problems getting along with people (and not just me) as long as you act like you did in the above conversation (and pretty much almost every subsequent exchange we’ve had since then).

    The above was offered as friendly advice.

    Learn the lesson or don’t.

  9. Nick S, so the “Administration” that arrested him was just the Administration of whatever federal court had convicted him? OK, I get that. I thought the “Administration” meant Obama! That would be super-weird. Like Obama sending out his guys to arrest a guy, like in the movies. (And I don’t even watch the movies.) I pretty much don’t study these cases in depth (there was one exception of course) so I just read quickly and then think I know what went down. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing (other times, too much knowledge is much more dangerous).

    Spinelli Deli Bo-Belli
    Banana Fana Fo-Felli
    Mee Mai Mo-Melli,

    By the way, that film-maker gave me a brilliant idea and within the next couple of months I’m going to put it into action. I’m making a series of short idiotic films with names like, “The Innocence of [fill in blank].” It’s gonna start with “The Innocence of George Zimmerman” and then progress to my personal enemies. Right now I have an ambitious list: a partner in a big DC law firm; a law professor in San Diego; a mediator in Virginia; a retired Chair of the Parole Commission in an Eastern Seacoast State (I don’t want anybody to tip her off before it hits YouTube so I won’t name the state), and a half dozen other public figures. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! I’m going to make those movies WORSE than “The innocence of Muslims!” They’re gonna make “The Innocence of Muslims” look like the Academy winner for 2012! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

  10. bettykath, I just like to express my emotions. It’s something many men aren’t good at doing. My wife has helped me in this regard. Too many men are emotional cripples, so I’m a work in progress. Thanks for the good natured ball bust, I appreciate it. The truth is however, whether I’m welcome or not is almost irrelevant for this blue collar, willful, b@stard. I’ve seen people w/ independent or contrary views driven off by supposed intellects and progressives. My ethnic, blue collar work ethic makes that unacceptable.

    I got my flu shot this week, bettykath. I haven’t died yet. Good natured ball bust!

  11. nick, you seem to be suffering a bit from the challenges here. buck up. you’re still welcome. keep the comments coming. even if i don’t always agree, i enjoy reading. i even agree sometimes : )

  12. Malisha, In a Federal Probation violation usually a Federal Marshall take the person into custody. The probation officer notifies the Federal Judge/magistrate of the violation and the offendor is ordered to be detained. It is also not unusual for the probation officer to take violators into custody. In many offices probation officers are issued weapons, handcuffs and flak jackets. My wife decided to only have a flak jacket issued to her. She didn’t do supervision much. She mostly wrote presentence investigations which give the judge a complete history of the offendor and a reccomendation for sentence. She liked doing those and was very good @ it. They’re a lot of work so in a bureaucracy she was a hero of the office. Supervision is a cake walk in comparison, but presentence investigations are interesting and challenging. My wife is stupid smart and needs challenges.

  13. Malisha, It was an arranged marriage. Neither of us had any say. I won in the deal. She was stuck w/ a [fill in the blank].

    Actually, we’ve been married since 1977 and we love each other dearly. I just hope I don’t get a “Hitler loved his dog” comment on this one.

  14. I don’t get it. “When the Administration arrested Youssef, it seemed to go out of its way to be sure that there were ample opportunities for filming him being dragged way in cuffs — ”

    How does the Administration arrest someone? Who did arrest him? What authority had him under probation? Was he arrested by the same authority that supervised his probation? These may be little details but I think they have to add up.

    Nick S, you say your wife couldn’t help marrying [fill in blank] — you forced her? Say it ain’t so, Nick!

  15. You’re long gone when I arrive, but anyway…..

    I’m glad that CrateDog brought it up.
    There are at least two persons who realize that he was used. He was also picked for hie prior record, susceptibility to falling easily and fast so as to:
    !) make a quick bow to the islamic anti-blasphemists
    2) avoid detail attention by the press.

    3) and give a subtle but clear message to civil rights activists.

    This was clearly pointed out on a film on YouTube.
    Linked from here. This YouTube, film revealing the improbability, also made clear that he oould NOT produce a film with overdubbing etc. So how did this impossibility occur. Guess. Three letter and they are not ABC.

    And that the Justice Department was so quickly there is convincing as to the central control of it all.

    The ways of the devious are more devious than you can imagine.

  16. I think there is a rush to judgement here. Did the administration use this for reasons other then the legit reason for arresting and sentencing him? Honestly I don’t think anyone can know since he did violate, egregiously and publicly, his probation. There is something to be said fro a visible arrest and penalty as a warning for others who decide that probation is a farce and they need not obey the restrictions placed on them.

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