Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 6 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/29/15

Those Demanding Free Speech Limits to Fight ISIS Pose a Greater Threat to U.S. Than ISIS

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   4 comments
Become a Premium Member Would you like to know how many people have read this article? Or how reputable the author is? Simply sign up for a Advocate premium membership and you'll automatically see this data on every article. Plus a lot more, too.
Author 4807
Message Glenn Greenwald
Become a Fan
  (150 fans)
An honor guard stands next to original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

In 2006 -- years before ISIS replaced Al Qaeda as the New and Unprecedentedly Evil Villain -- Newt Gingrich gave a speech in New Hampshire in which, as he put it afterward, he "called for a serious debate about the First Amendment and how terrorists are abusing our rights -- using them as they once used passenger jets -- to threaten and kill Americans." In that speech, Gingrich argued:

"Either before we lose a city, or, if we are truly stupid, after we lose a city, we will adopt rules of engagement that use every technology we can find to break up (terrorists') capacity to use the Internet, to break up their capacity to use free speech [protections] and to go after people who want to kill us -- to stop them from recruiting people before they get to reach out and convince young people to destroy their lives while destroying us."

In a follow-up article entitled "The First Amendment is Not a Suicide Pact," Gingrich went even further, arguing that terrorists should be "subject to a totally different set of rules," and called for an international convention to decide "on what activities will not be protected by free speech claims."

To make his case, Gingrich cited a 2005 Commentary article by the extremist former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, entitled "Free Speech for Terrorists?," the central premise of which was that "the free-speech clause was never intended to frustrate government's ability to suppress true threats to national security." In general, McCarthy argued, we must say that "some things are truly evil," and "that advocating them not only fails to serve any socially desirable purpose but guarantees more evil." Thus, the U.S. Government must "convey in the strongest terms that the advocacy of terrorism in this day and age is entitled to no First Amendment protection."

Back then -- just nine years ago -- Gingrich's anti-free-speech remarks were, for the most part, quickly dismissed as unworthy of serious debate. Even National Review, which employs McCarthy, included Gingrich's anti-free speech proposal on its 2011 list of the bad ideas the former speaker has espoused in his career. In 2006, I argued that the Gingrich/McCarthy desire to alter the First Amendment to fight The Terrorists was extremist even when judged by the increasingly radical standards of the Bush/Cheney War on Terror, which by that point had already imprisoned Americans arrested on U.S. soil with no due process and no access to lawyers. With rare exception, Gingrich's desire to abridge Free Speech rights in the name of fighting terrorism was dismissed as a fringe idea.

Click Here to Read Whole Article

 

Supported 2   Valuable 2   Must Read 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Glenn Greenwald Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

[Subscribe to Glenn Greenwald] Glenn Greenwald is a journalist,former constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times bestselling books on politics and law. His most recent book, "No Place to Hide," is about the U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the Snowden documents around the world. His forthcoming book, to be published in April, 2021, is about Brazilian history and current politics, with a focus on his experience in reporting a series of expose's in 2019 and 2020 which exposed high-level corruption by powerful officials in the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, which subsequently attempted to prosecute him for that reporting.

Foreign Policy magazine named Greenwald one of the top 100 Global Thinkers for 2013. He was the debut winner, along with "Democracy Now's" Amy Goodman, of the Park Center I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism in 2008, and also received the 2010 Online Journalism Award for his investigative work breaking the story of the abusive (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

HSBC, too big to jail, is the new poster child for US two-tiered justice system

US investigates possible WikiLeaks leaker for "communicating with the enemy"

Prosecution of Anonymous activists highlights war for Internet control

4 quick points about the MSNBC discussion

The myth of Obama's "blunders" and "weakness"

The Remarkable, Unfathomable Ignorance of Debbie Wasserman Schultz

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: