Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Gingrich attacks free speech

Newt Gingrich spouts more nonsense. From the (Manchester, N.H.) Union Leader:
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich yesterday said the country will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism.

Gingrich, speaking at a Manchester awards banquet, said a "different set of rules" may be needed to reduce terrorists' ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message.

"We need to get ahead of the curve before we actually lose a city, which I think could happen in the next decade," said Gingrich, a Republican who helped engineer the GOP's takeover of Congress in 1994.
I suppose all those Republicans "with a libertarian bent" will be quick to denounce this fear-mongering by Gingrich. It's worth noting Gingrich talked about dismantling the First Amendment at a dinner celebrating free speech.

While the Nov. 7 election was a turning point, it's clear that those who would sell out our freedom for the illusion of safety have not changed their repugnant views.

It's not really clear what Gingich has in mind. Whose web sites are to be monitored and perhaps shut down? How will this eliminate the chances for terrorism?

Our rights are not Gingrich's to eliminate, we are endowed with them by our Creator, as some dude named Jefferson wrote in 1776.

Unfortunately, the danger has not passed in this country, either from crazed religious terrorists nor from those who would use that threat to create an authoritarian state.

Gingrich has the reputation as a deep thinker, and still carries with him something of the manners of the history teacher he once was. But he seems to be ignoring one of the most vital lessons our founding fathers learned: if the government is allowed to control speech, it will do so, and will do so for nefarious purposes.

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