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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/2/11

Targeting Professor Terri Ginsberg's Academic and Speech Freedoms

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Targeting Professor Terri Ginsberg's Academic and Speech Freedoms - by Stephen Lendman

Post-9/11, anyone challenging America's war on terrorism faces possible recrimination, especially vulnerable Muslims, targeted for political advantage to incite fear to justify war.

Moreover, anyone critical of Israel leaves them vulnerable to vilification, intimidation and persecution. Even university professors are targeted, including distinguished tenured ones - censured, suspended and/or fired unjustly.

Yet America's First Amendment states:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Of all Bill of Rights freedoms, this one's most important because without it all others are at risk.

Some would also argue that academic freedom derives from First Amendment rights, including US Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas (1939 - 1975). In 1952, he cited it in an Adler v. Board of Education opinion, calling its denial a violation of speech freedom.

He also believed that doing so is "the most dangerous of all subversions....There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies."

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