Monday, September 29, 2008
Obama goes to war against freedom of speech
By now a gazillion sites have posted this from the State of Missouri's site, "Gov. Blunt Statement on Obama Campaign’s Abusive Use of Missouri Law Enforcement." What interests me most about it is the eerie parallel between the Obama camp's activity here and the Organization of the Islamic Conference's efforts to stifle all criticism of Islam and destroy the freedom of speech -- also by means of legal intimidation, at the UN and elsewhere. No, I am not saying that Obama is a closet Muslim Manchurian candidate. I am saying that if he values free speech so lightly, as this episodes suggests, it is not at all beyond the realm of possibility that once he becomes President he will acquiesce to the OIC attempts to criminalize criticism of Islam, and pressure the Supreme Court (to which he will probably appoint several key members) to declare a "hate speech" exemption to First Amendment protections. Then it will effectively become illegal to discuss the motives and goals of the jihadists, and to strategize about ways to resist them -- because the OIC and American Islamic groups assail all attempts to do that as "hate speech." "Hate speech" is in the eye of the beholder, and "hate speech" laws are tools by which the powerful can silence criticism from the powerless. In this case, the Islamic groups have already made themselves abundantly clear that any examination of the jihadists' use of Islamic texts and teachings to justify their actions is what they consider "hate speech." Thus if what is labeled "hate speech" about Islam becomes a criminal offense, so will resistance to Islamic supremacism.
But if this were to become an actual live possibility, Americans would rise up and fight for their freedoms, right? I hope so. Yet all too many Americans don't seem to understand or care about the importance of free speech nowadays, and of course no one supports "hate speech" in the first place -- so once the OIC frames the analysis of the jihad threat in terms of "hate," as American Muslim groups do endlessly, the ability to discuss, analyze, understand, and defend ourselves against the jihadist threat will be severely damaged if not utterly destroyed.
Will it happen? I hope not. I pray not. But can it happen? After reading this story out of Missouri, I am beginning to wonder if just maybe it can -- although just days ago I was discussing all this with an attorney, who assured me that precedents protecting free speech in American law are very thick on the ground, and will be hard to overturn. In fact, he maintained that they would be impossible to overturn.
Still -- is this speculation, and that is certainly all that it is, really that far beyond the realm of reasonable possibility? Already those who discuss the jihad threat in its full dimensions honestly and openly are ostracized, marginalized and vilified. If Candidate Obama is willing to have people arrested when they say things about him that he doesn't like, will President Obama have the vision or courage or understanding to stand up against the OIC when it demands restrictions on freedom of speech at precisely the same time that he wants to build bridges to the Islamic world and demonstrate his power to restore hope and bring change to old stalemated conflicts? So maybe a few greasy Islamophobes get silenced, fined, arrested, imprisoned, whatever. What's the big deal? Peace, and the expansionist and supremacist agenda of the Religion of Peace, will then march on unimpeded.
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Matt Blunt today issued the following statement on news reports that have exposed plans by U.S. Senator Barack Obama to use Missouri law enforcement to threaten and intimidate his critics.
“St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.
“What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.
“This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights. The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.
“Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts - not a free society.”