This Is What Freedom Looks Like

When people can speak and assemble as they choose, anything can happen -- in our country, and in others.

So let me get this straight: A washed up softcore porn director and an Egyptian Coptic Christian emigre on probation for financial crimes after becoming a federal informant put together a movie trailer in California that gets translated into Arabic, sparking a firestorm of anti-Western protests in more than a dozen nations and leading to the death of a U.S. Ambassador and two former Navy Seals, as well as widespread assaults on U.S. embassies, all the while the election to be the most powerful man in the world hangs in the balance. And the film is initially blamed on the Jews.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

The big questions that remain: Who put up the money for the movie? And how does the U.S. get out of this mess?

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Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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