Sunday, November 08, 2009
Watch this piece from CNN (running this weekend), filed by Drew Griffin:
Clearly, these guys might be playing with less than a full deck, but I cannot understand how they are able to walk right up to the line of protected speech without ever stepping over it.
I realize that there is a difference between (A) saying you are going to kill a specific political figure, and (B) writing a letter to a just-released John Hinckley, notifying him that the same political figure is dating Jodie Foster, but it seems to me that the Revolution Muslim characters are advocating violence against the U.S. How is that not yelling fire in a crowded theater?
It's OK. As John Hinderaker points out, Janet Napolitano is on the case and protecting Americans from the crazies. Maybe not all Americans, but certainly the ones most at risk.
There have only been three periods in American history (outside a declaration of war) when people were prosecuted for "speech," or threatened with it.
The first was in the administration of John Adams, when the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed. Never challenged in court, they were criticized by the Supreme Court in the 1960s decision, New York Times v. Sullivan.
The second was the one to which you refer, indirectly. The phrase "yelling fire in a crowded theatre" comes from a decision, Schenck v. United States, and was penned by none other than Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. The prosecutions of socialists during WWI, including Eugene V. Debs (later pardoned) was upheld.
The third was during the 1950s, when communists were prosecuted for "speech." As a law school classmate who is now Dean of Michigan Law School put it to me then, the basic rule is that you can say whatever you want, unless you are a communist.
The gist of these decisions, and history, is that people in America just are not prosecuted for what they say unless it is planning criminal activity. (While an "overt step" is not technically required under federal conspiracy law, it sure does help if you want a conviction in the real world.)
For lots of reasons, such prosecutions are extraordinarily difficult (and should be). You will also note that the FBI is constantly watching these guys, as our police officers. I am not sure, as a practical matter, that such prosecutions would be of any real help. I do tend to think that close surveillance is much more important (because any one person can eat up huge amounts of gov't time in a proseuction, but surveillance is comparativiely cheap- comparatively).
In brief, "walking up to the line" isn't really that difficult. You can get away in this country with saying just about anything (unless it is clear planning of crimes) other than "I am going to kill the President." That lands you in jail real quick.
his group has the funding, public exposure, travel, promotion in the media, activities with young people, protection from the government from prosecution, all the halmarks, of an FBI or foreign government operation similar to the COINTELPRO actions used against the civil rights movement. Muslims should be susipicious of any group that promotes violence and terrorism in the name of Muslims, especially when its leader is a Jew from Israel.
Number one, I can't believe that CNN was actually reporting this information. Are they turning a new leaf?? Second, when is someone going to reach out and touch these individuals? When have we become such a country that doesn't fight for what we believe in? Oh wait, there is litigation, hate crime charges, the perverbial "black" eye that comes with attacking a "minority" (what in the hell that means anymore, I couldn't tell you) and the fact no one has balls anymore. Get me and about eight 0311's walking down the street and hear that garbage, we would clean that crap up!! America, America loving American's, you better stand up for your country and do a little house cleaning before it gets to messy.
I was lucky to see this broadcast on CNN yesterday. This opened my eyes to how a couple of people with media coverage can pretty much try to bring a bad name to any community.
But guess what, Islam does not need media exposure or money to be protected from nut bags. Our Almighty is sufficient for us.