Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Free Speech Should Be Curtailed To Fight Terrorism

Earlier this month, on Friday, December 1, (“We Americans Need to Make Some Hard Decisions”) I argued that our nation’s military can never again win a war unless the press is censored and forced to follow rules similar to those imposed during World War II. The press totally misled us during the Vietnam War, over-hyped the disaster in Somalia, and is spreading lies and distortions and revealing secrets indiscriminately almost on a daily basis in Iraq. Our military can defeat any enemy so long as it is not undermined on the home front, but a defeat in Iraq by Iranian and Syrian terrorists would be a disaster that may eventually finish us as a free and prosperous nation.

It seems I am not alone in seeing this dangerous development. The following comments were made recently by Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives:

Gingrich: Free Speech Should Be Curtailed To Fight Terrorism
November 29, 2006

A former House speaker, Newt Gingrich, is causing a stir by proposing that free speech may have to be curtailed in order to fight terrorism.

"We need to get ahead of the curve rather than wait until we actually literally lose a city, which I think could literally happen in the next decade if we're unfortunate," Mr. Gingrich said Monday night during a speech in New Hampshire. "We now should be impaneling people to look seriously at a level of supervision that we would never dream of if it weren't for the scale of the threat."

Speaking at an award dinner billed as a tribute to crusaders for the First Amendment, Mr. Gingrich, who is considering a run for the White House in 2008, painted an ominous picture of the dangers facing America.

"This is a serious, long-term war," the former speaker said, according an audio excerpt of his remarks made available yesterday by his office. "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 their capacity to use the Internet, to break up their capacity to use free speech, and to go after people who want to kill us to stop them from recruiting people."

Mr. Gingrich acknowledged that these proposals would trigger "a serious debate about the First Amendment." He also said international law must be revised to address the exigencies posed by international terrorists.

"We should propose a Geneva Convention for fighting terrorism, which makes very clear that those who would fight outside the rules of law, those who would use weapons of mass destruction, and those who would target civilians are, in fact, subject to a totally different set of rules that allow us to protect civilization by defeating barbarism before it gains so much strength that it is truly horrendous," he said.

The former speaker also pointed approvingly to England, where suspects in terrorism cases can be detained for several weeks without charge. Some of Mr. Gingrich's remarks about balancing freedom and terrorism were reported by the Associated Press on Monday and the Union Leader of Manchester yesterday.

In the same speech Monday, the former speaker expressed a more expansive view of First Amendment rights in the American political arena. Mr. Gingrich picked a fight of sorts with a potential rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Senator McCain of Arizona, by branding as a failure the campaign finance restrictions known as McCain-Feingold. The former speaker said the limitations have not stemmed the flow of money into politics and failed to curtail negative political advertising.


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At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Joe Alves Jr. said...

I think that Mr. Gingrich is one of the few people in this country that knows exactly the kind of threat that these rogue terrorists pose, not only in this country, but the entire world, and he has the answers needed to combat this threat. It's unfortunate that most of the politicians in this country are too wrapped up in political ideologies, and power plays to use some good common sense in picking new potential leaders. A good example is Nancy Pelosi's latest pick, Texas Rep. Silvestre Reyes over Jane Harman because of deep personal differences, to head a committee on National Security. Rep. Reyes knows absolutely nothing about terrorism. Thank God she didn't get Jack Murtha on this committee. These type of individuals will have our soldiers try to fight a war with their hands tied behind their backs. Nobody likes wars, but if you have to fight a war, you fight to win. The Liberal Left is incompetent and ridicules! They've proved that over and over again going all the way back to the Johnson Administration.

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous steve said...

Fighting opponents that are not under country flag and uniform need not be afforded the same "rights" as LEGITIMATE opponents. We should use all means available to us - just like they use any/all means at their disposal.

Dare I say we could go even further...history is covered with gains for countries by conquest....when in recent history did conquest become so inappropriate it's no longer an option? And under whose "rules" are these conquests no longer politically correct?

At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

congress would like approval for another hundred billion or so to continue to fight this mission accomplished that is killing and maiming hundreds of people monthly! colen powell said it best. to fight terrorism eliminate global poverty!

At 7:21 AM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

The war on Islamic terrorism is a war to save western civilization. It almost dosn't matter what it costs because, if we lose, we lose all. Poverty is irrelevant; the Islamists are driven by religion, shame, false propaganda and a desire to restore the caliphate.


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