We can add another victim to the Tucson tragedy â€“ the right to criticize government without fear of getting a knock on your door from the feds. Despite the fact that shooter Jared Loughner was not politically motivated, the FBI is now compiling a list of Americans deemed a potential threat because they criticized their representative â€“ and targeting them with home visits.
An Ozark man who ran a blog last year critical of Republican Congressman Billy Long was shocked to see an FBI agent turn up on his doorstep asking questions. The agent was accompanied by Green County Sheriff Jim Arnott, who had stepped outside of his jurisdiction to become involved in this act of political repression directed against Clay Bowler, a resident of Christian County.
The FBI agent wanted to know if Bowler was a threat to Long because he had used an Internet blog to highlight claims of cronyism and corruption involving the Congressman before the southwest Missouri election in November, in which Long defeated Democrat Scott Eckersley to replace outgoing Rep. Roy Blunt.
The most heated confrontation Bowler had with Long was when he asked him a question about political donations Long had made. The video clip of the incident shows Bowler calmly asking Long a question as the Congressman walks away. He ran a website called â€œLong is wrongâ€ in an attempt to prevent Long from being elected last year. The website has since been discontinued and Bowler hasnâ€™t had any contact with Long since September.
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