Ted Nugent and I go way back, though the relationship has been somewhat one-sided. For example, I saw the ‘Nuge in concert in 1977 when he was the headliner and I was in high school. It was one of the wicked coolest nights of my life, and I guess Ted enjoyed the show too, least as best I could tell from the back of some 20,000 screaming fans. For an encore, Ted slammed his guitar into an amp stack and sent feedback into the concert hall that must have almost blinded several people. It was cool.
Yet here we are in 2012, both of us on some US Secret Service watch list.
Ted’s Problem with the US Secret Service
Ted got into Secret Service trouble for saying things like this:
If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.
Ted also owns more guns than the 82nd Airborne and used to feature a bow hunting kill demo as part of his stage act. He wrote songs like “Wango Tango,” “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” and “Cat Scratch Fever.” Regardless, the Secret Service met with Ted, shook hands and the matter was resolved.
My Problem with the US Secret Service
I got into trouble with the Secret Service because of this blog post.
Based on that blog post, the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) notified the US Secret Service about me:
I own no guns and do not bow hunt. I have never written a song with the word “Wang” in it, to my knowledge. No one from DS or the Secret Service ever met with me to discuss the “threat” and I only learned that I was on the list several months after the fact. I was and still have not been given a chance to clear my name or even understand what threat I supposedly posed. Just a smear tactic, really, part of a series of retaliatory acts by the Department of State because of this blog and my book. A neat example of the use of security to smear an unwanted employee.
Today We are All Ted Nugent
But at the end of the day, Ted did speak for both of us when he said:
By no stretch of the imagination did I threaten anyone’s life or hint at violence or mayhem. Metaphors needn’t be explained to educated people.
And that is the point. No one seriously believes that Ted Nugent was going to kill the President, and no one seriously could believe I was going to assassinate Hillary Clinton. Yet in our current era, no one can question “security,” so when a has-been rocker speaks out of turn, the Secret Service has to step in to set an example. And when a has-been foreign service officer exercises his right to criticize a government official, State Department Diplomatic Security has to step in and set an example: no free speech on their watch.
God bless you Ted, and God Bless America. Also, rock on.
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