The Death of Free Speech - Part 1: "Demonizing Dissent"
The first in a series on 'Freedom of Speech'
By S. Anderson
Illustrations by David Dees
Once upon a time people who carried out crimes such as murder, rape, burglary etc were the people that were deemed to be a threat to society and subsequently bore the penalty of the law for their actions.
Free speech was viewed as a basic right, especially in countries considered ‘democracies’.
In the United States this right is enshrined in the Constitution – the First Amendment.
Although criminal activities continue to be a threat to society, over the last decade a subtle shift began to take place, driven by the corporate media and government legislation where not only are criminal activities considered a threat (and rightly so) but the expression of personal views have come to be seen as threatening ... especially if they are at odds with government policy. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the USA at the current time.
The Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC), an American Legal Advocacy Organization set up in 1971 in Alabama is known internationally for its tolerance education programmes in relation to racial, gender and sexual orientation issues and tracking of hate groups, militias and extreme organizations. This organization has become very vocal in recent times labeling any group or individual who peacefully expresses an opinion on political or social issues as ‘extremist’ or ‘radical’ and placing them in the same category as white supremacists and right wing militias. Corporate media channels such as CNN, ABC, NBC etc gives the SPLC credence and a prominent profile.
In 1989 the SPLC warned about a growing threat of skinhead groups and progressed in 1996 to right wing militias, 1998 internet based hate groups, 2002 post September 11 groups and in 2010 patriot groups.
In April this year SPLC published their top 40 Patriot Hit list. Many of the people on this list are respected writers and columnists, attorneys, pastors and lecturers whose work is posted on newswithviews.com such as Chuck Baldwin, Cliff Kinkaid and Devvy Kidd and also includes Alex Jones, Andrew Napolitano a former State Judge from New Jersey and Congressman Ron Paul of Texas. They have dared to question the undermining of the constitution, healthcare reform, the power of the banking houses and the growing police state, and are subsequently regarded as extremists.
If an individual is concerned about illegal immigration,
abortion, same sex marriage, new world order,
global governance, the loss of manufacturing jobs
or any other topical issues then they are
regarded as a ‘hater’ and a ‘potential terrorist’.
Cass Sunstein, Obama’s Administrator for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is on record as stating that conspiracy theories should be banned, taxes or penalties should be applied to people who disseminate these and that free speech should be diluted.
The attack on free speech is promoted by both Democrats and Republicans. Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman introduced a Bill on the 4th March this year entitled “The Enemy, Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act of 2010".
This 'Act' aims to put any American citizen either in or outside the country in military hands, and to ban civil trials and deny them legal rights. Refer to link A Detention Bill You Ought to Read More Carefully. The term ‘enemy belligerent’ is open to interpretation and could include a law abiding citizen who dissents from the official point of view. At this time the Bill has gone to committee stage.
What is apparent is that the media is portraying people who belong to the Tea Party Movement, 9/11 Truth Movement and Libertarians; in fact anyone with a dissenting political opinion as a domestic terrorist.
The corporate media would rather the public accept what they say as 'gospel' and have them not think for themselves.
The second article in the "The Death of Free Speech" series
by S. Anderson will be on "Internet Censorship"