The question's been raised on here--is calling for Terry Jones to be held accountable for his numerous financial misdeeds a backhanded way of punishing free speech? I couldn't disagree more.
For those who don't know, it turns out that Jones has been engaging in a massive intercontinental financial shell game. Yesterday, I suggested that given the possibility that Jones is engaging in money laundering, it might be a good idea to consider RICO charges against him.
Is this punishing speech by proxy? Not by a longshot. The only reason it appears that way rests with Jones alone. If he hadn't actively solicited support from other churches across the nation for his idiotic enterprise, it's not likely his financial shell game would have even come to light. However, I believe that to avoid even the appearance of prior restraint, Jones shouldn't be racked up for any financial misdeeds until after Saturday.
About the only justifiable reason to punish Jones BEFORE the burning would be if a terrorist attack took place and it could be conclusively proven the perps were motivated to act by the burning. And even then that would be stretching it--any yayhoo could make that claim and just be blowing smoke. But bear in mind--the moment Jones drops a match on the Qurans, there's no longer any prior restraint. Indeed, based on numerous reports, he'll not only be arrested on the spot, but the city's sending him the bill.
The question also has been asked--why RICO Jones and not the likes of Pat Robertson? Well, based on Backgr0und N015e's diary, Jones isn't even making a cursory effort to comply with the law. Robertson, however, might be violating the spirit of the law, but not the letter--and I suspect First Amendment concerns might preclude moving on him without an absolutely ironclad case, given his political connections.