FBI Visits Missouri Blogger Who Opposed Congressman Billy Long

Categories: Politics
billy long.png
Congressman Billy Long holds the seat long held by now-Senator Roy Blunt.
Call it the Tucson effect.

Less than a week after a 22-year-old Jared Loughner shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the head outside a Tucson supermarket, killing six bystanders and wounding fourteen others, the FBI paid a visit on the Springfield-area blogger behind "Long is Wrong" -- a now-defunct web site that criticized now-Congressman Billy Long, R-Springfield.

The sheriff who accompanied the FBI on the visit, Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott, told KSPR that the visit was part of a broader effort to identify "potential threats to members of Congress."

According to the Springfield TV station:

Arnott said U.S. Capitol police canvassed members of Congress to come up with a list of people across the country who might be considered potential threats to members of Congress. It's up to local law enforcement to protect members of Congress when they return to their home districts.

But if this is the biggest threat faced by Congressman Long, we have to admit to being none too worried. The blogger in question, Clay Bowler, took down his anti-Long blog soon after the election. And while he'd made a point of asking Long tough questions during the campaign -- and videotaping his answers, he says he stopped attending Long's events back in September. 

Per KSPR:

Bowler, an avowed conservative, says the FBI visit was cordial. He videotaped the encounter and said the agent was polite throughout the brief encounter.

But Bowler says the FBI visit left him shaken.

"I don't sit 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thinking about Billy Long," Bowler said. "I stopped going to campaign events in September where Billy attended."

We have to admit, as much as we're horrified by what happened to Congresswoman Giffords, we're pretty skeptical about this visit. Initial reports suggest that the Tucson suspect was less politically active than he was arrogant and mentally troubled. We'd rather see the FBI spend more time on background checks for gun purchases when a person has a history of acting out ... and less time interviewing reasonable critics of candidates for office.

That said: Have any other local bloggers or gadflies gotten a social call from the FBI lately? We're curious to see just how wide a net the feds are casting -- if you hear more reports of visits like this one, let us know.


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Juststeve
Juststeve

What a Bozo! EVERYONE has comments about a Politician, be it a local City Councilperson, all the way to the President. None has mentioned harm to them. If someone ever does , I encourage and support the FBI for paying a visit to that individual. These days, one cannot be too sure. In the past, had someone taken heed to the content, there would be alot of people alive today, and the culprits doing time.

RisenPeople
RisenPeople

The FBI can ask questions and the Citizen can answer or not answer. I think the focus needs to be on our mental health laws and how difficult it is to get help for someone before they go off. What if he had stabbed everyone instead of shooting them, would we be focused on knife laws and knife owners? I think not. It is easier to get help for a stray dog then it is to get help for a stray human.

Shar Pei
Shar Pei

And what happens when a blogger tells the Federal Bureau of Intimidation to jam it? Tell them to come back with a warrant. Then I want a lawyer. We'll just be old fashioned, and do things in accordance with the Constitution, instead of genuflecting every time a cop walks into the room.

KEN ANGEL
KEN ANGEL

you don't know until you visit

The FBI would look pretty stupid if they didn't at least visit individuals the congressman himself had concerns about.

They didn't seem to be aggressive in the visit and afterwards they don't seem to be concerned or doing anything.

to have ignored acongressman's concerns would have been negligent and if something ever happened YOU, the press would have been all over them.

you want total privacy AND total protection......

LOOK AT THE HISTORY AND BEHAVIOR OF THE CONGRESSWOMANS SHOOTER.. HE'S A CLASSIC PERSONALITY DISORDER WHO WAS GOING TO HURT SOMEONE SOMETIME...

IT TAKES TRAINING BUT SUCH PEOPLE CAN BE IDENTIFIED AS "INDIVIDUALS NEEDING HELP''

BUT YOU'VE GOT TO START BY A SIMPLE VISIT TO GET TO KNOW SOME BASICS ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL

WHO BLOWS SOMETHING SO BASIC AND CIVIL AS A ''WITCH HUNT''

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