Florida man in UAE prison over Facebook comments posted in the US

One of my maxims is “when tolerance becomes a one way street, it leads to cultural suicide.” And it is playing out once again with horrific ramifications for a Florida man. Due to political correctness, we are constrained in what we say at home — even though we “supposedly” have a first amendment right to free speech. Here’s what UN Resolution 16/18 would look like if it comes to pass. And if you don’t know what that resolution is – it’s not condemning ISIS — look it up.

As reported by Foxnews.com, “A hallmark of American life — griping about work — has landed a Florida man in a Middle Eastern jail. Ryan Pate, a helicopter mechanic from Belleair Bluffs, Florida, took to Facebook after a dispute over sick leave with the company he was working for in the United Arab Emirates.”

“He was home in Florida at the time, but when he returned to Abu Dhabi last month, he was told to report to the police station, where he was arrested for breaking an Emirates law on slandering his employer. He spent about 10 days in jail, he said, and is now free on bail awaiting a March 17 trial.

His supporters say he faces up to five years in prison and a steep fine if convicted.”

Apparently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) it is illegal to defame a person or a business even on the Internet, where it is referred to as cyber-slander. As well, any disparaging comments regarding Islam carries a punishment. Mind you, Mr. Pate committed these so-called offenses while here in Florida.

It’s funny how we’re in such a rush to release Islamic terrorists because their detention is cause for concern and hatred towards America — supposedly. They’ve done far more than make disparaging comments – they’ve participated in operations to kill Americans, but some feel their being kept off the battlefield is, well, not nice.

So here we have an American citizen potentially facing a prison sentence of five years? Now, I am going to ask a simple but rhetorical question, where are President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry? Then again, it was President Obama who stated at the United Nations that the future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Like I said, purely a rhetorical inquiry.

“I just couldn’t register it in my head because as an American growing up in the United States, the First Amendment right is just ingrained in my brain,” Pate said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I never even entertained the fact that I would wind up in prison out here for something I put on Facebook in the United States.”

“Pate, 30, said the incident stemmed from a trip to Florida in December. During his return, he spent the holidays with family and proposed to his girlfriend, Jillian Cardoza, but also was trying to get treatment for a back injury. There was disagreement with his bosses about extending his leave to see a doctor, he said, and after a particularly unsatisfactory phone call with them, he took to a Facebook. He says he can’t remember precisely what he wrote, but knows he called his bosses “backstabbers” and warned other contractors not to work for them.”

I just want everyone to consider the precedent and ramifications for Americans here. Basically what is being stated is that our freedom of speech and expression, our First Amendment rights do not carry forward with us.

It’s no different than our troops deployed in Muslim nations being told they cannot display or speak of their faith — meaning, their freedom of religion means nothing outside the United States. Yet, others come to America and we’re told to be tolerant and accepting of beliefs that are antithetical to our basic fundamental principles and values.

Let us never forget that Jews and Christians are not allowed anywhere near Mecca or Medina, yet we allow Muslim clerics in the National Cathedral, Muslim prayers to be given on the Capitol lawn, and even have Muslims with affiliations to the Muslim Brotherhood meeting with the president in the Oval Office.

Now, the Islamapologists will come back with the retort, “we’re better than they are.” Hmm, well, I don’t see it that way — and neither do they. The true perception is one of supremacy and surrender on our part.

We allow heads of state in certain Islamic nations to speak ill of America and yet they’re free to travel to this country — the current and past leader of Iran come to mind.

Fox news writes, “Pate’s congressman, Rep. David Jolly, intervened on his constituent’s behalf, lobbying the State Department and Emirates officials for help. In a letter to the Emirati attorney general, Jolly emphasized respect for the sovereignty of the country, but argued because the posts occurred while Pate was on American soil, those laws shouldn’t apply.”

“It is deeply troubling that Mr. Pate now faces judicial proceedings over an action that was done legally in his home country,” the Republican said. The Emirati Embassy in Washington said it did not have much information about the case and couldn’t comment. An after-hours email to the company, Global Aerospace Logistics, did not get an immediate reply. A State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf, said a consular officer had visited Pate in prison and that the embassy in Abu Dhabi would continue providing assistance.”

Ok, let me digest this — an American citizen is arrested for something he posted on Facebook while in America in the UAE and the state department spokesperson says that he was visited and that assistance will be provided? There is only one answer: we are escorting Mr. Pate out of the UAE and he will be landing back in the United States within the next 12 hours. If Mr. Pate had assaulted a UAE citizen in any manner, I wouldn’t think a second about his being detained, charged, and incarcerated — without bail. But this is unconscionable, an American is being arrested in a foreign country because his freedom of expression is not respected.

And I reject the notion of Mr. Pate having to apologize. How about the next time someone travels to America who refers to our Jewish allies as being descended from apes travels they’re detained? Now, just how well would that go over?

Did you read up on UN Resolution 16/18 as presented by the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC)? If you did you realize how it is materializing by way of this case. Locally here in Irving, Texas we have a Sharia law court being established — funny, I thought there was only one rule of law in America.

Do not portend to bore me with the typical progressive socialist left religious relativism argument. It holds no weight. As the Muslim Brotherhood’s Explanatory Memorandum states, they will destroy us by our own hand by way of using our own liberties and freedoms against us.

The case of Ryan Pate is chilling in that it says American freedom and liberties stop at water’s edge — in essence, we are prisoners in our own land. We are censored within and without — as groups like CAIR dictates who should be allowed to speak in our own doggone country. Yes, it has occurred, speaking against Islam is becoming a crime — punishable by imprisonment. Mr. Pate should be immediately redeployed out of the UAE and not stand some kangaroo court of 7th century origin.

I suppose my ever visiting Dubai again or Abu Dhabi is now off the table — unless I do so enjoying another fundamental American right — the right to keep and bear arms, which is even under attack here at home.

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53 Comments on "Florida man in UAE prison over Facebook comments posted in the US"

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Sanka Coffey
Guest

Don’t have tons of sympathy for the guy. If you’re going to draw a nice paycheck from a foreign employer, you should have the common sense to learn the laws and know that everywhere is not the USA.

Brian Harvel
Guest

He was in the USA when he posted it….you need to learn nobody else’s laws follow us home…

icwydt
Guest

1) And if he had staid home he would have been fine.
2) Yes they can, it’s called extradition.

Jacqueline H.
Guest

He wasn’t even extradited. He went back willingly for his job

Celtic Crazy
Guest

America used to be feared and revered. Since we have had the panty waste, POS as POTUS, Americans are more at risk when traveling overseas.

Jacqueline H.
Guest

He wasn’t arrested by the U.S. He chose to live in the UAE. He isn’t protected by the first amendment. Wrong battle to fight.

Brian Harvel
Guest

Am I the only one reading the damn article? He was on American soil when he posted it….he was not in the jurisdiction of their laws.

Jacqueline H.
Guest

Are you dumb enough to believe that? If you hack into government server from overseas, that government will still come after you. He’s not in America on the internet. The guy was a dumbass.

Dave the Retired Marine MSgt
Guest
Dave the Retired Marine MSgt

Yes, he was in America, on the internet, on FaceBook. FaceBook is world wide. And yes, the guy is a dumbass.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Doesn’t matter…he knew he was going back and I doubt their law specified that it only applies to things written in their country

Rena
Guest

It would have to since he was a citizen of this country and wrote it while being here.. He was not on their soil when he wrote it. For instance, if this state allowed drinking at age 18, and kids come here to drink, another state who doesn’t allow it can’t arrest that person because they drank here and returned home the next day.

Unless he signed something when entering that country allowing them to take away his rights if he wrote something in another country then they are going against his rights.

Dave the Retired Marine MSgt
Guest
Dave the Retired Marine MSgt

He HAS NO rights in that other country, except for the rights granted to him by that country. You can’t pack up your American rights and take them to another country.

ronl11
Guest

Well Dave then all these ragheads that live in this country ought to shut the F up and obey our laws, and quit refusing to haul dogs or booze in their taxis, and they can stick sharia where the sun dont shine, we have our own laws they need to obey while here. I propose we be more like Egypt, and close 27,0000 mosques.

Dave the Retired Marine MSgt
Guest
Dave the Retired Marine MSgt
Well Ron, I kind of agree with you, but then there’s that pesky 1st Amendment , and those other nine Amendments, that constitute The Bill of Rights that tend to get in the way. Oh, by the way, where is it against the law to refuse to let a dog, or maybe a drunken sot, get in your cab? Ever hear of the maxim “We reserve the right to refuse service to anybody”? Now then, the cabbie might deny service to somebody who decides to take him to court for that denial. In court, his actions to deny service MIGHT… Read more »
ronl11
Guest

Well Dave if that were true then cake makers should be forced to bake cakes for lesbians or other homosexuals…but they get sued…this is nothing more than hypocrisy.

Dave the Retired Marine MSgt
Guest
Dave the Retired Marine MSgt

Well then, it looks like in some circumstances that a baker WAS forced to bake a cake for a pair of perverts. But .. there’s no law, or any way that the baker could be forced to bake a cake that “tasted” good. Check out that pie “The Help” baked for her employer, in the movie. Payback can be a real bitch.

Jacqueline H.
Guest

The internet is on every countries’ soil. He went back willingly. He was a dumbass. How can you not understand that?

Stop comparing the U.S. to other countries. You don’t have rights in other countries. Comparing it to states is ridiculous. You have zero rights the second you step foot in another country.

Rena
Guest
Im not comparing our freedoms to other backwards countries. The point is, its not a fair law, if it is even a law there and should be brought to the attention of the people so for 1. they dont do the same thing, and 2 to ensure his rights are not violated just because he is an American. We still have some rights even though we go into other countries, just like their people have some rights even though they come here. Its something somewhat of an agreement we have between most countries. I am not a stupid person, I… Read more »
Uncle Ruckus
Guest

He was on their soil when he got arrested. It was up to him to determine if he was in violation of the law if posted in the US.

AynRand
Guest

His first mistake was going to UAE – FOR ANY REASON!

icwydt
Guest

I don’t think Ayn Rand would approve of your comment.

Thomas Gilmore
Guest

when you go to another country , you need to watch what you say,and do, this guy was aware he would be returning there. Never belittle a former empoler, it can come back and bite you on the ass

icwydt
Guest

I support Allen West, but he is confused here. You don’t go to another country and expect not to live by their rules. We don’t want to allow people to come here and practice Shaira law, right? They have to live by our rules. If you don’t understand that stay home and you will be fine.

My wife and I were in Dubai last month and it is a wonderful place, frequently mentioned as one of the safest cities in the world.

Brian Harvel
Guest

I think you are confused, he didn’t do anything on their soil. The post was made on U.S. soil. He broke no laws in their country…

Dave the Retired Marine MSgt
Guest
Dave the Retired Marine MSgt

He posted on Facebook. Facebook is world wide, just like the WWW (World Wide Web).
He slandered his employer. If he had opted to stay here in the USA, he would have been okay. But NO, the fool returned to their country where he was immediately arrested. His 1st Amendment rights protect him while IN the USA, not when he “returns to the scene of the crime”.

icwydt
Guest

If a citizen of the UAE working in the US went back to the UAE and broke a US law while in the UAE (income tax non-reporting for example), I’m pretty sure he would be in trouble if he came back to the US.

Dave the Retired Marine MSgt
Guest
Dave the Retired Marine MSgt

The operative phrase is “if he came back to the US”.

Jacqueline H.
Guest

The internet is on every countries soil. He was stupid. Plain and simple. It’s called the world wide web for a reason. Don’t feel bad for the guy. There are much more tragic situations.

ronl11
Guest

I agree like Obama being in the peoples house.

Bryan Fullerton
Guest

In almost every comment below people fail to realize that when he was in a foreign country he did abide by THEIR laws. The whole point of this story is that he is being punished for something that did not even happen in THEIR country.
This generally means that if you travel there you could be arrested for something you said HERE in the US that you didnt even know was illegal there.

icwydt
Guest

“Ignorance of the law is no excuse” is a fairly universal concept.

The HoG
Guest

The only problem with your supposition is that it applies to all law, everywhere. Ignorance of US law only applies to the laws of the USA as applied to US citizens and legal visitors.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

If he chose to work there it was up to him to research the laws of that country….he knew he was going back. Just another prime example of the negative of Allen west. Just complain about everything ….but as they say misery loves company and Allen west is one misable individual

The HoG
Guest

I guess that it takes a “misable individual” to have a misable viewpoint. You appear to be the poster BOY for misable. And your use of the language is misable.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

LOL!!!! Nah…that would be the MISABLE ALLEN (I”M NOT BLACK I”M LIKE YOU) WEST!!

The HoG
Guest

Well then “Uncle Ruckus”, you STILL haven’t figured out how to spell “miserable”, have you?

Brendan
Guest

Wow… this article was stupid.
Mr West is outraged that US law doesn’t apply in other nations.
Seriously?
Of course the rights guaranteed by the US Constitution do not apply in other nations.

And, I’m sorry, but the continued stupidity of suggesting that we should treat people badly because other countries do is beyond stupid.
Your gripe is with the laws of the United Arab Emirates… not US law.
jeez!

Andy Martin
Guest

[[ Of course the rights guaranteed by the US Constitution do not apply in other nations.]]

Then you agree that the detainees in Gitmo should have never been given Constitutional rights.

Rafael X
Guest

If get the logic right someone who goes to another country to have sex with children should not be prosecuted when he comes back.

Dave the Retired Marine MSgt
Guest
Dave the Retired Marine MSgt

That’s right. He’s back in the States; what, if any, of our laws has he broken while here in the USA? None? Then he shouldn’t be prosecuted for something he did in another country. However, if he’s dumb enough to return to that other country, where he broke their law, then he deserves what he gets. We, as citizens of the USA, don’t “carry” our Constitutional rights with us when we leave the country. Those rights apply only if you are inside the USA, or its possessions or protectorates.

Rafael X
Guest

Should go both ways. An American should not be prosecuted here for something he did overseas.

Steve
Guest

Operative word, “should.” Pointless.

Dave the Retired Marine MSgt
Guest
Dave the Retired Marine MSgt

If, an American, while out of the country, posts something on FaceBook that slanders his employer, or an individual, etc. he can be held accountable by his company or by that individual. If an American breaks the laws of a country and then returns to the States to avoid taking responsibility for his action, he must be extradited back to that country before he can be held accountable.
It does go both ways.

Andy Martin
Guest

Only an ignorant @pe equates free speech in the US with child rape.

Rafael X
Guest

The old Andy I’ve grown to love. The guy is an helicopter mechanic. He could have worked anywhere in world. He chose to go there.

Andy Martin
Guest

Non responsive @pe. You equated speech with child rape. You have a severe mental problem.

Rebecca
Guest
Colonel West points out an interesting and frightening situation. We need to be aware of what is going on with Americans overseas to focus on our American stateside values. The time is now the place is here. Many “devout” Muslims that emigrated to the US are trying to push Sharia law on Muslims living here and also one Americans. I can tell you with 100% certainty that when any foreigner lives or visits in a Muslim country they are required to submit to the rule of laws and customs for that country. Case in point: a very good friend of… Read more »
Guest
Guest

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Nunnyah Biz
Guest

If it wasn’t for western companies the middle east would still be back in the stone age!

Time to get out of the middle east and see how long it takes them to devolve back into their beloved 7th century mentality!

Steve
Guest

Not long. For the most part, they never left it.

Nunnyah Biz
Guest

You’ve got that right!!!

Steve
Guest

Surely the administration will expidite his release, just as it did for Sgt Tamourisi while he was held in Mexican prison.

malabathri
Guest

This is difficult to understand. American law was supposed to facilitate removal of dictators and autocrats, or stop attempts by power-mad politicians. Obama and gang have obviously crossed these thresholds of definition by extreme degrees yet no one seems to take action take him down. Is the US a democracy anymore or has a totalitarian regime already staged a silent coup ? Will there be another free election or will a Successor President be appointed next ?