To Assault Free Speech Again
Paul Joseph Watson
Not content with last week's brazen attack on the First Amendment during a speaking engagement in New Hampshire, Newt Gingrich has swung another right hook in the direction of freedom of speech, by exploiting non-existent statements and Neo-Con propaganda as a reason for shutting down websites and gagging political dissent in America.
Unrepentant, the former Speaker of the House returns again to trash the sanctity of the First Amendment, this time in an article for Neo-Con rag Human Events.
Last week's diatribe in which Gingrich threatened Americans that if they didn't curtail websites and restrict free speech they would "lose a city," provoked a firestorm of reaction from bloggers and pundits alike.
Keith Olbermann devoted a section of his Countdown program to Gingrich's abomination and commented "If you're going to destroy freedom of speech Bub, you've already lost all the cities.", whilst comparing the speech to the rhetoric of Nazi politicians in Germany in the 1930s.
Gingrich's latest attempt to chill dissent in America relies on fraudulent claims and biased sources to present an argument that terrorists are hiding behind the First Amendment in order to recruit for jihad. It echoes similar rhetoric contained in the White House's own strategy document for "winning the war on terror," which identifies conspiracy theorists as terrorist wellsprings.
"We should be allowed to close down websites that recruit suicide bombers and provide instructions to indiscriminately kill civilians by suicide or other means, or advocate killing people from the West or the destruction of Western civilization," writes Gingrich.
The problem with this superficially reasonable statement is that Gingrich and his Neo-Fascist sympathizers classify any dissent against the Bush administration as "aiding the enemy," "hating America," and thus in effect calling for "the destruction of Western civilization," and won't hesitate to tar everyone with the same brush as we have seen all too may times on Fox News in the past.
Indeed, in his own article Gingrich links Hezbollah to leftist and anti-globalization political organizations, making it crystal clear who he thinks should be shut down and shut up.
Gingrich cites Iranian President Ahmadinejad's letter last week as another reason for erecting checkpoints around the First Amendment, erroneously claiming he, "threatens to kill Americans in large numbers if we don't submit to his demands."
Firstly, Gingrich is exploiting the words of an Iranian national who as a non US citizen doesn't even have a First Amendment right, to attack the foundation of freedom of speech in America. Whatever Ahmadinejad chooses to say has no bearing on any debate about regulating free speech in America. The media decides whether to carry his statements or not, they are not forced into doing so by the terms of the First Amendment. Would George W. Bush have any grounds for complaint under the First Amendment if Iranian state TV refused to broadcast his speeches? No, and yet Gingrich wastes no time in wagging the Ahmadinejad boogeyman stereotype to try and convince Americans that their words should be controlled.
Secondly, the claim that Ahmadinejad "threatens to kill Americans in large numbers if we don't submit to his demands," is to be found nowhere in the Iranian leader's letter. Gingrich has carte blanche invented this supposition out of thin air as an excuse to craft his warped argument that the First Amendment should not be a "suicide pact."
Go and read the letter for yourselves! At no point does Ahmadinejad in any context "threaten to kill Americans in large numbers."
This fallacy is moored on an even less stable footing that the "wipe Israel off the map" baloney, in which Ahmadinejad merely called for the end of the barbarous political system of Zionism. It's from the same school of lurid Neo-Con propaganda that brought you the wild-eyed crystal ball prophecy that Ahmadinejad would initiate world war three or the apocalypse on August 22nd.
The second prong of Gingrich's attack cites a report from the MEMRI website which in turn highlights a supposed terrorist website that promises "to use the Internet for the sake of jihad."
Besides the fact that on several occasions so-called terrorist propaganda disseminated via the Internet has led back to the U.S. government, including campaigns to boost profiles of terrorists such as Musab Al-Zarqawi, who was the subject of a Pentagon psy-op aimed at "the American home audience," MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) is a well known Israeli intelligence front.
Founded by former Israeli military intelligence officer Yigal Carmon and Meyrav Wurmser, wife of the neo-con David Wurmser, MEMRI is notorious for selectively quoting, taking out of context and distorting Muslim news reports and editorials, having been the source for the vaunted "wipe Israel off the map" lie.
A London Guardian investigation into MEMRI further highlighted the fact that this shadowy organization is infested with Israeli military intelligence veterans.
"Retrieving another now-deleted page from the archives of Memri's website also throws up a list of its staff. Of the six people named, three - including Col Carmon - are described as having worked for Israeli intelligence," reported Brian Whitaker.
Whitaker details the website's link to Richard Perle and the numerous instances in which MEMRI exercised "selective memory" in falsely attributing statements, using sweeping generalizations and taking information out of context in order to tar Muslim nations and cheerlead for the Neo-Con war machine.
Gingrich is simply inflating already hyped Israeli military propaganda to try and justify nixing dissent in America, fearmongering in the all too familiar context of terrorist threats in order to scare Americans into keeping quiet while leftists, anti-globalists, "conspiracy theorists," and anyone who opposes the Neo-Con agenda has their website deleted and their First Amendment right stolen.
Freedom to dissent is the lifeblood of any society with a modicum of liberty. Wrapping his argument in a camouflage of fighting the phony war on terror, Gingrich's real targets are those who are wise enough to ignore all the chilling attempts on freedom of speech and exercise their inalienable rights without recourse.
Under the terms of reference defined by the Founding Fathers, it is people like Gingrich himself, not ghost terrorists in far-flung caves, that are the real threat to the American way of life, and their creed of tyrants rhetoric should be countered at every turn.
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