First we found out that President Obama’s “Justice Department used a secret subpoena to obtain two months of phone records for Associated Press reporters and editors without notifying the news organization,” a move which AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt called a “‘massive and unprecedented intrusion’ into news-gathering operations.” Pruitt also “on Sunday called the Justice Department’s actions ‘unconstitutional’ and said the AP hasn’t ruled out legal action.” The head of the Project on Government Oversight, Danielle Brian, said “The Justice Department’s seizure of the Associated Press’ phone records is Nixonian.” Now we find that this was not the Obama administration’s only instance of menacing actions towards the media — and an attack on the First Amendment. We’ve now learned that the “Obama administration spied on Fox News reporter James Rosen:”
Archive for the 'Free Speech' Category
By Barry Rubin
Consider five factors that had no effect on the very warm reception given by President Barack Obama to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan:
–While the U.S. government has pressured Erdogan not to visit the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, Erdogan announced in the White House Rose Garden that he would do so. An alleged U.S. ally says publicly in front of Obama while being hosted by him that he is going to defy the United States.
This is not some routine matter. With previous presidents, if an ally was going to do something like that he would say nothing at the time and then months later would subvert U.S. policy. Or better yet the foreign leader would not do so. To announce defiance in such a way is a serious sign of how little respect Middle East leaders have for Obama — and U.S. policy nowadays — and how little Obama will do about it.
by Andrew E. Harrod*
Yet again depictions of Islam’s prophet Muhammad are causing controversy. The French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo has published a special edition released in January 2013 entitled La Vie de Mahomet, 1ère partie: Les débuts d’un prophète (“The Life of Muhammad, Part One: The Debut of a Prophet“; part two will follow in June 2013). Press reaction in both France and Germany, however, has not been uniformly welcoming, demonstrating once more a media aversion to open examination of Islam.
After multiple scandals — using the IRS as a political weapon, covering up Americans being killed in Benghazi — the Obama administration may have just put the last nail in its own political coffin. The President has alienated a key ally: the mainstream media. According to the Yahoo! News:
Exactly ten days ago, President Barack Obama was piously telling reporters who cover him that free speech and an independent press are “essential pillars of our democracy.” On Monday, the Associated Press accused his administration of undermining that very pillar by secretly obtaining two months’ worth of telephone records of AP reporters and editors. …
The latest revelations are sure to pour fuel on the fire of Republican-driven Richard Nixon comparisons. They come in the wake of revelations that the IRS may have improperly scrutinized the tax-exempt status of conservative, tea party-linked groups. This might, in order words, not be a great time to announce a groundbreaking trip to China.
And the news threatens to pile fresh political woes on a second term already burdened by a painful gun-control defeat, a seemingly stalled economic agenda, and Republican rage at the botched response to the Sept. 12, 2012 terrorist attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. …
For a long time, many have suspected that Obama has made “the US media its mouthpiece.” Perhaps the “US media” wanted to be Obama’s mouthpiece — until they got targeted. The AP wasn’t too happy, according to NBC:
… In a letter of protest to Attorney General Eric Holder, [AP President and CEO Gary] Pruitt called [sic] said obtaining more than two months of AP phone records on 20 separate telephone lines without prior notice was a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into news-gathering operations. …
… also drew a swift rebuke Monday from members of Congress and freedom of the press watchdogs, one of whom called the move ‘Nixonian.’ …
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, vowed to investigate.
“This is obviously disturbing,” he said. Coming in the wake of other disclosures about the administration’s response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the IRS’s targeting of conservative nonprofit groups, he said it showed “top Obama administration officials increasingly see themselves as above the law and emboldened by the belief that they don’t have to answer to anyone.”
Rep. Issa hit the nail on the head: “top Obama administration officials increasingly see themselves as above the law and emboldened by the belief that they don’t have to answer to anyone.” With the pileup of scandals, Obama will surely lose the trust of the majority of the American people.
Americans should be very wary of the tyrannical tendencies of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as he wants to rewrite our nation’s Constitution and is using his massive personal fortune to “try to defeat opponents of the [gun] background-check proposal who are up for re-election next year.” Below I’ve provided snippets from several articles which you must read in their entirety, and take action, warning your elected officials of his intentions. Please distribute this information via email, social media, word of mouth, etc. You should also note that “Judicial Watch is now analyzing the ethical and legal implications of [Bloomberg's] secretive campaign” vis-a-vis his attacks on the Second Amendment.
Before we review the winning numbers… Because of sour grapes over losing their crusade to destroy the Second Amendment, “gun control” advocates are trying to smear those Americans who used our great democratic system to preserve gun rights. Citizens must continue to contact their senators and remind them that good law-abiding Americans peaceably stopped an obvious move to limit the constitutional right to bear arms. Tell senators that citizens never “‘caved to the pressure’ from what [Obama] called a vocal minority of people who support gun rights.” Please easily contact your senators now by calling (202) 224-3121 and sending emails. Remember to mention: 1) Republican senators like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Jerry Moran, Jim Inhofe, Richard Burr, Ron Johnson, Mike Enzi, Jim Risch, Mike Crapo, Dan Coats, and Pat Roberts (see here, too); and 2) Democratic senators Heidi Heitkamp, Mark Begich, Mark Pryor, and Max Baucus. They stepped up to the plate for gun rights full-well knowing that they will be targeted by special interest groups for being “soft” on gun control. Here, you can thank those senators who voted yesterday against the destruction of the Second Amendment via phone, email, Twitter, and Facebook.
WE WON! The Toomey/Manchin botched “background check” bill, rather an unconstitutional and erosion-of-personal-privacy bill, lost in the Senate by a vote of 54-46. Senator Feinstein’s amendment to ban assault weapons — which are not “assault” weapons — lost by a vote of 60-40. Her equally nonsensical “proposal” to place limits on the size of ammo magazines lost by a vote of 54-46. Of course, President Obama threw a tantrum for not being able to trample on the constitutional right to bear arms. He “flashed anger as he said that the gun rights lobby had ‘willfully lied’ about the legislation, and that Republicans and Democrats had ‘caved to the pressure’” of the supposedly nefarious gun lobby. But who was doing the “lying?”
by Teri Blumenfeld*
More than a decade after the deadliest attack on U.S. soil, the U.S. administration seems no closer to identifying let alone repelling Islamist terrorists in the homeland. The 9/11 committee used the term “failure of imagination” to explain why the U.S. government was unable to prevent the catastrophic events of that day. But although the enemy was identified at that time, the Federal government and one of its most important branches, the FBI, have adopted a policy of scrubbing Islamism from public consciousness though since bin Laden’s 2011 demise, “at least nine publicly known Islamist-inspired terror plots against the United States have been foiled, bringing the total number of foiled plots as of April 2012, to 50.”
The Obama administration’s response to the 2009 Fort Hood terror attack by U.S. Army major Nidal Hasan offers a vivid illustration of this practice. In August 2012, an independent commission charged with reviewing the FBI’s failure to prevent the attack issued its report, recommending eighteen changes in policies and operations. However, the commission, headed by Judge William H. Webster, upheld the government’s policy of excluding Islamism from the findings, concluding that despite the intelligence failure, FBI personnel had faithfully followed protocols and procedure, and there occurred “no misconduct that would warrant administrative or disciplinary action.”
There appeared to be little appetite for finding the attack’s root causes and its failed detection. Nor was corrective action an apparent priority. Instead, the directive focused on exploring “whether there are other policy or procedural steps the FBI should consider … while still respecting privacy and civil-liberty interests” and “whether any administrative action should be taken against any employee.”
Forget the Five Pillars of Islam. It is the Five Stages of Islam that threaten the fundamental freedoms of Western Democracy. Freedoms which include freedom of thought, expression, and association and the crucial derived right of freedom of the press. We should never forget that “Islam” means submission — the opposite of self-determination and Enlightenment values.
Six years ago Dr. Peter Hammond published a remarkable book which included a statistical study of the correlation between Muslim to non-Muslim population ratios and the transition from conciliatory Islam to fascist Islam. The stages are the same in 2011 but the demographics have changed to show an alarming progression. Many European nations and the U.S. are on the cusp of moving to a higher bracket. The demographics change but the story is the same. First comes the taqiyya and the kitman; then comes the Sword of Islam. Imam Rauf, the Ground Zero Mosque promoter, is the current master of taqiyya. He has gulled everyone from Bloomberg to Maureen Dowd of the NYT — who fanaticizes over male Muslims. Expect doppelgangers of Khomeini for stage 5 and Islamic PEACE at last.
Successful activism involves lobbying your elected representatives, but sometimes the most effective means is economic action. Pro-gun supporters have been fighting back against the current wave of anti-gun legislation being pushed on Americans by national and state “activists.” Individuals and groups have been using the democratic process by contacting their state and federal representatives, circulating petitions, and holding rallies. You can get involved by using the resources netwmd.com has collected below. Gun-related manufacturers really may put the hurts on anti-gun “progressives” this way:
The list of companies that have stopped selling firearms and ammunition to law enforcement agencies in states that are restricting the Second Amendment has more than doubled since Wednesday and is more than five times larger than just one week ago. There are 44 companies on our list, with more being added as we receive notification. Here are the additions since Wednesday:
- Barrett Firearms
- Exile Machine
- Tier One Arms
- Bravo Company USA
- Primary Weapons Systems
- Crusader Weaponry
- Top Gun Supply
- Kiss Tactical
- Clark Fork Tactical
- OFA Tactical
- One Source Tactical
- Templar Tactical Arms
- NEMO Arms
- Old Grouch’s Military Surplus
- Big Horn Armory
- Midway USA
- CMMG Inc
- Rocky Top Tactical
- Badger Peak
- Controlled Chaos Arms
- SRT Arms
- Norton Firearms
- Citizen Arms
- Evolution Weaponry
- Doublestar Corp
- JCW Industries
- Huntertown Arms
by Daniel Pipes*
Terrorism broadly takes two forms: against random individuals who happen to be at a market place or on a bus at the wrong time; or against specific individuals because of who they are. The latter in turn divides into two: against broad categories of people (the military, Jews, people who wear eyeglasses) and against specific public figures, either individuals or institutions. In effect, these last are assassinations (defined by Merriam-Webster as “to murder (a usually prominent person) by sudden or secret attack often for political reasons”).
by Raymond Ibrahim*
Tunisia, one of the most secular Arab countries in modern times—and the first country to experience the “Arab Spring”—was also recently the first Arab country to experience a high level political Islamic assassination since the Arab Spring began. The BBC explains:
Tunisian opposition politician Chokri Belaid has been shot dead outside his home in the capital, Tunis. Relatives say Mr Belaid was shot in the neck and head on his way to work. He was a prominent secular opponent of the moderate [sic] Islamist-led government and his murder has sparked protests around the country, with police firing tear gas to disperse angry crowds.
by Raymond Ibrahim*
Four foreign Christians—including one who holds American-Swedish citizenship—were arrested days ago in Libya. According to the Guardian, their crime is arousing “suspicion of being missionaries and distributing Christian literature, a charge that could carry the death penalty.”
Apparently the four Christians had “contracted a local printer to produce pamphlets explaining Christianity.” Proselytizing to Muslims—that is, preaching to them another religion—was banned even under the late Col. Muammar Gaddafi.
A few weeks ago, the New York Times reported Pro Palestinian speakers attract protests outside. The event at Brooklyn college was a Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) event focused on delegitimizing Israel. To read the New York Times account, one doesn’t get a sense of what was controversial about the event:
Controversy had grown over the past week at the Midwood college, where nearly a fifth of the undergraduate population is Jewish, over the event organized by a student group, Students for Justice in Palestine. The college’s political science department agreed to co-sponsor the speakers along with more than two dozen other groups.
Jewish leaders on and off campus had criticized the college and its president, Karen L. Gould, for sponsoring the talk, which they said helped legitimize the B.D.S. movement, which refers to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. Its goal is to pressure Israel to restore disputed territories and grant equal rights to Palestinians.
Throughout the week, the right to academic freedom served as the backbone to arguments in favor of the college’s sponsorship of the event.
by Adam Turner*
In September of 2012, supposedly because of an obscure “anti-Islam” film named “Innocence of Muslims,” the Islamic world erupted with violent protests towards Westerners for exercising their right to free speech. Although subsequent information has revealed that most of this violence was actually instigated beforehand by Islamist radicals, often for reasons having nothing to do with the scapegoated film, this has not lessened Western government’s extreme sensitivity to free speech in the West regarding Islam. Just this December, we saw another person targeted by European nations for his critical speech about Islam.
Lawfare infringes on the rights of investigative journalists, steps on free speech, ruins lives and wastes the resources of the courtsFriday, December 28th, 2012
By Gary Gerofsky
The court systems are being abused by serial lawfare agents working on behalf of international governments and in some cases, terrorist-connected or terrorist-supporting Islamist groups. Where there is money, there is always a lawyer waiting to get a piece of the pie regardless of the merit or morality of the case. Frivolous lawsuits waste tax dollars, ruin lives, and tie up valuable court resources so that others are delayed or denied justice. We must act now to prevent our courts from becoming vehicles for Islamist and other groups who want to silence journalists and citizens; anyone who challenges and exposes their hateful, violent and vengeful ways.