Once bastions of free thought and speech, colleges are now leftist censorship centers.
By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Georgetown University law professor Jonathan Turley notes that the University of California, once a bastion of free speech, now is opposed to it. The university now punishes people for opinions expressed outside the classroom and the university.
Not that long ago, American universities emphasized tolerance of all views so that truth would not be obscured by dogmas. Little doubt this emphasis traced its heritage back to the church’s interference in the scientific question whether the Earth was the center of the solar system. In order to save their lives, astronomers were forced to renounce their findings and to assert the truth of dogmas that they knew to be wrong.
Today the same thing is happening in American universities, only the deadly controversies are over race and gender issues, not whether the Sun revolves around the Earth.
When I was a student, liberal professors found Voltaire to be an exemplar of the correct attitude toward free speech. Voltaire quotes were used everywhere in the halls of learning:
“Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too.”
“I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it.”
“Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.”
“Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.”
“It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.”
Today, Voltaire is never heard from. Dogma has shoved aside tolerance and taken control of American universities in which political correctness, an ideology or religion in which emotion-based beliefs of certain “preferred” groups with aristocratic or Vatican privileges, such as black activists, abortionists, and sexual deviants, cannot be “offended” by facts or by someone’s contrary opinion.
The latest case of academic persecution is Laura Tanner, a doctoral candidate and teaching assistant in the Department of Feminist Studies at the Santa Barbara campus of the University of California, formerly a great university, now a cesspool of intolerance and identity politics.
Despite her feminist credentials, Tanner is under attack, not for what she said in the classroom, but for what she expressed in social media tweets. She expressed her opinion that “It’s not possible to be born in the wrong body.” Therefore, a man in a man’s body cannot claim to be a woman. This exercise in plausible deductive reasoning resulted in Tanner being labeled “transphobic.”
A former student of Tanner’s, an academic terrorist—Kremina Youssef—seems set on destroying Tanner’s career prospects simply because Tanner expressed an opinion on Twitter with which Youssef disagrees. Students and alumni have taken the position that although Tanner excels in her teaching role, she should be fired for her “distressing” view on transgenderism. The fact that the vast majority of Americans do not find Tanner’s view distressing is considered irrelevant.
Laury Oaks, the chairperson of the Feminist Studies department, believes that a Title IX civil rights complaint can be filed against Tanner. The position taken by the intolerant freaks attempting to destroy Tanner for “distressing” a newly invented gender based on self-declaration is:
We acknowledge that the gender binary, as it is commonly understood in the U.S., is rooted in the logics of colonialism, racism, and gendered domination, and that fighting transphobia is integral to resisting and healing from the harms that these systems create. The violence of transphobia, particularly trans-misogyny, falls especially hard on communities of color and contributes to the exploitation, criminalization, and incarceration disproportionately experienced by black, brown, immigrant, and working-class people. As queer students, students of color, and/or allies, our visions of feminist futures include and affirm people made invisible by and marginalized by the gender binary. In our classrooms, we are committed to holding space for trans students, including taking seriously trans students’ experiences, standpoints, and intellectual contributions.
Note that among this collection of nonsense words there is space “in our classrooms” for transgender ideology, but no space outside the classroom for other views on the subject.
To see the undeniable total collapse of university education and the very pillars of Western civilization, ask yourself what Voltaire would have said about this.
What is happening in American universities is far worse than papal objections to astronomers’ findings. It seemed to the church that the astronomers were contradicting the very basis of the church’s religious teachings. But Tanner, who, unlike the pope in those long-ago days, is powerless to impose her views on anyone. Yet, the “transgender community” is determined to impose their views on everyone and to destroy the career of a young feminist. It looks like they will succeed.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury under President Ronald Reagan and was associate editor and columnist at The Wall Street Journal. He has been a professor of economics in six universities and is the author of numerous books available at the AFP Online Store.
A former Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division (MLGW) employee won an important lawsuit earlier this summer when U.S. District Judge Jon McCalla ruled the man had his constitutionally protected rights to free speech and equal protection under the law violated when he was forced out of his job as a result of holding politically incorrect political views.
Michael Goza, who had worked as a customer service field technician for the local Memphis public utility, filed a lawsuit against his former employer in December 2017 after initially being suspended by MLGW for statements he made on Facebook and participating in a rally protesting the removal of Confederate memorials in downtown Memphis earlier that summer.
While attending the rally, Goza spoke to local media outlets explaining his reasoning for participating, and was later identified by members of the public as an MLGW employee. The public utility then suspended Goza while an investigation was launched, and he was subsequently offered an ultimatum: Assume a new role with the public utility that offered less pay and no field contact with African-American customers of the public utility, or be fired from his job. Goza refused the utility’s offer and was immediately fired.
In his lawsuit, Goza argued that his First Amendment rights to free speech were violated by the public utility, and that his termination was retaliatory in nature. Black employees of the utility engaged in similar constitutionally protected expressions of free speech, yet they were not punished or terminated from their jobs, according to Goza. According to local reports, a black employee of MLGW had previously advocated on social media killing Asian- Americans, which eventually came to the attention of the public utility. The black employee was merely suspended for three days rather than being demoted or potentially terminated, as was the case with Goza.
The judge ruled in Goza’s favor, agreeing with his arguments that he was treated unfairly by the public utility and that his First Amendment rights were violated.
“The government does not have to turn a blind eye to the speech of its employees, but MLGW’s decisions in this case were based on unconstitutional factors,” Judge McCalla argued in his ruling decision, which was handed down earlier this summer. The judge also noted that Goza’s participation in a pro-Confederate monument rally was done as a private citizen rather than as a public employee, noting that “Goza was speaking as a private citizen and on matters of public concern.”
While attending the rally, Goza spoke to The Commercial Appeal, a local Memphis news outlet. “What I’m tired of is being portrayed as KKK or a white supremacist simply because I’m a white guy who wants to preserve my heritage,” Goza said at the time, according to the lawsuit.
“Some of Goza’s statements may have been insensitive, offensive, and even bigoted, but they were protected by the Constitution nonetheless,” Judge McCalla wrote. “MLGW thus violated Goza’s First Amendment rights when it demoted and fired him.”
According to the Daily Memphian, MLGW must pay Goza roughly $160,000 in back pay and benefits, and an additional $30,000 in compensatory damages. The public utility must also rehire Goza.
“We’re really happy with the result,” Bryce Ashby, one of Goza’s lawyers, stated shortly after the ruling was released. “We put MLGW on notice early on that we thought this was a First Amendment violation. And we’re pleased that the court saw it our way.”
Goza’s successful case is a breath of fresh air to millions of Americans across the country concerned about the stifling impact of political correctness and extreme anti-white bigotry that is so prevalent in society today.
John Friend is a freelance writer based in California.
Assange, Free Speech in Peril
By Dr. Ron Paul
More than seven years ago, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was granted asylum by the government of Ecuador over fears that espionage charges were being prepared against him by Washington. He spent those years in a small room in the Ecuadorian embassy in London without sunlight. Without fresh air. Without exercise. Without medical treatment.
Assange’s critics mocked him for entering the embassy, saying his fear that the U.S. government would indict him was paranoia. Then the U.S.-controlled International Monetary Fund dangled a $4 billion loan in front of Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno (elected in 2017, replacing the president who granted Assange asylum), and Moreno eagerly handed Assange over to British authorities who the same day hauled him before the court to answer for skipping bail. No medical examination after what was seven years of house arrest. Straight to court. He was sentenced to 50 weeks—the maximum sentence.
And what happened while he was serving time in the notorious Belmarsh prison? The Trump administration decided to go where the Obama Administration before him did not dare to tread: He was indicted on 17 counts under the U.S. Espionage Act and now faces 170 years in prison—or worse—once the formality of his extradition hearing is over. He faces life in prison for acting as a journalist—publishing information about the U.S. government that is clearly in the public interest.
But do they really want to put him up on trial?
When U.S. citizen Otto Warmbier died in a wretched North Korean prison cell after being denied proper medical treatment, the Western world was disgusted by Pyongyang’s disregard for basic human rights. Now we have Julian Assange reportedly too sick to even appear by video at his own court hearings. UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer has investigated the treatment of Assange over the past nine years and has determined that the journalist has been the “victim of brutal psychological torture.”
Melzer concluded, “In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence, and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic states ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonize, and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for . . . the rule of law.”
Governments hate it when the truth is told about them. They prefer to kill the messenger than face the message.
Judge Andrew Napolitano wrote last week that, “the whole purpose of the First Amendment . . . is to promote and provoke open, wide, robust political debate about the policies of the government.”
We need to understand that it is our First Amendment that is on trial right there along with Assange. The Obama administration—no defenders of civil liberties—wanted to prosecute Assange but determined that his “crime” was the same kind of journalism that the U.S. mainstream media engages in every day.
Let’s hope President Donald Trump recovers from his amnesia—on the campaign trail he praised WikiLeaks more than 100 times but now claims to know nothing about them—and orders his attorney general to stand down. Assange deserves our gratitude, not a lifetime in prison.
Ron Paul, a former U.S. representative from Texas and medical doctor, continues to write his weekly column for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, online at www.ronpaulinstitute.org.
Does Assange’s Arrest Mean He’ll Face Charges in the U.S?
With the UK’s arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after Ecuador withdrew asylum, accusing him of “interfering in internal affairs of other states,” questions arise over free speech and journalistic credentials. Not only does he face charges in Britain but also “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion (hacking)” in the U.S. and whatever other crimes the Department of Justice chooses to accuse him of. The public debate over just who and what the First Amendment applies to will continue to rage at least until the U.S. presents its legal argument for extradition to the UK.
By S.T. Patrick
As he screamed, “This is unlawful. I am not leaving,” a bearded, disheveled Julian Assange was dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy where he had resided under asylum since June 2012. Assange, the founder and director of WikiLeaks, was immediately taken to a central London police station before pleading not guilty in court on a 2012 charge of failing to surrender. District Judge Michael Snow quickly found Assange guilty and rushed him to Southwark Crown Court for sentencing.
Assange faces up to 12 months in a British prison, but a more immediate concern for attorney Jennifer Robinson is his possible extradition to the United States, where an awaiting conspiracy to commit computer intrusion (hacking) charge carries a maximum of five years in prison.
“It’s called conspiracy. It’s conspiracy to commit journalism,” a representative of Assange said outside of the British court, adding, “There is no assurance that there will not be additional charges when he is on U.S. soil.”
CNN later reported that Department of Justice (DoJ) officials do intend to bring additional charges against Assange.
Assange, an Australian national, had entered the Ecuadorian embassy under asylum when the UK’s Supreme Court ruled that he must be extradited to Sweden to face charges of sexual molestation, sexual coercion, and rape. Assange contended that the charges were “without basis.” Swedish prosecutors dropped the molestation and coercion charges in 2015; the rape charge was dropped in 2017. Ecuador had withdrawn asylum last week, which allowed its ambassador to legally invite Scotland Yard into the embassy to arrest Assange.
Assange had been at odds with Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno for over a year. According to Moreno, the tipping point was the WikiLeaks release of Vatican documents in January. Ecuador had “reached its limit on the behavior of Mr. Assange,” Moreno said. “This and other publications have confirmed the world’s suspicion that Mr. Assange is still linked to WikiLeaks and therefore involved in interfering in internal affairs of other states.”
Ecuador’s decision to withdraw asylum had come on the heels of a WikiLeaks accusation that the embassy had been involved in an “extensive spying operation” against Assange. Ecuador had also recently denied an accusation that it was planning to expel Assange.
The U.S. extradition request and the pending charges behind it specifically relate to the Justice Department claim that Assange conspired with the currently jailed Chelsea Manning to hack into classified U.S. government computers. The charges are very narrow so as to try to escape the debate over whether Assange and WikiLeaks are entitled to freedom of the press protections.
Who gets protected under the freedom of the press? U.S. law is intentionally vague regarding press freedoms. The freedoms apply to all citizens and are litigated on a case-by-case basis. Extending constitutional protections to a specific group of people called journalists would force the courts to decide who is and who isn’t a journalist. Glenn Greenwald of news website “The Intercept” wrote:
To begin with, the press freedom guarantee of the First Amendment isn’t confined to ‘legitimate news outlets’—whatever that might mean. The First Amendment isn’t available only to a certain class of people licensed as ‘journalists.’ It protects not a privileged group of people called ‘professional journalists’ but rather an activity: namely, using the press (which at the time of the First Amendment’s enactment meant the literal printing press) to inform the public about what the government was doing. Everyone is entitled to that constitutional protection equally: There is no cogent way to justify why the Guardian, ex-DoJ officials-turned-bloggers, or [national security blogger] Marcy Wheeler are free to publish classified information but Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are not.
Kathleen Parker, writing for The Washington Post and defending the profession of establishment journalism, wrote, “The difference between someone like Assange publishing whatever leaks and lands in his lap and, say, the Post, which published the leaked documents known as the ‘Pentagon Papers,’ is mostly a lot of worry and process. … He is not, after all, a journalist, despite his claiming to be, because he isn’t accountable to anyone. No filters, no standards.”
Blogger Caitlin Johnstone noted that WikiLeaks has won six awards for journalism since 2011, though she also believes the “journalist-or-not” argument is a false debate.
The claim that Assange is ‘not a journalist’ is both an irrelevant red herring and a self-evident falsehood,” wrote Johnstone. “It is made not by people with an interest in maintaining a small and specific linguistic understanding of what the word journalism means, but by people who want to see Julian Assange imprisoned by the same government which tortured Manning because he made them feel emotionally upset. It’s a fact-free argument made entirely in bad faith for inexcusable motives: the desire to see a journalist imprisoned for telling the truth.
The U.S. has until June to present its legal argument for extradition to the UK. Until then, the public debate over Assange, Manning, the definition of journalism, leaking classified information, and the role of the growing “citizen journalist” movement will impact the public and political debate nationally.
S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent 10 years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is [email protected] He is also an occasional contributor to TBR history magazine and the current managing editor of Deep Truth Journal (DTJ), a new conspiracy-focused publication.
Real Purpose of Assange Indictment
The U.S. government wants to make sure nobody exposes its crimes ever again.
By Paul Craig Roberts
Let’s be sure that we understand that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is not charged with anything related to Russia or Russiagate or even with breaking a law. Assange is charged with being in a conspiracy with whistleblower Chelsea Manning “to commit computer intrusion.” The charge is not that Assange succeeded in hacking a government computer and obtaining classified information. It merely says that Assange discussed the possibility with Manning and had an intention to hack a computer. Most likely, even this non-crime is an invention of prosecutors instructed to indict Assange in the absence of any evidence. It is all that they could come up with.
It is impossible to respect the indictment. It is the product of evil, and the evil indictment is a direct assault on the First Amendment. Those who have brought this false charge have violated their oath to protect the Constitution from enemies abroad and at home. It is the enemies at home who we have to be concerned about, as it is these enemies who have power over us.
If the U.S. government had any evidence that Assange actually hacked a government computer, he would be charged with that. But as there is no evidence of an actual crime, the corrupt American prosecutors and a stupid and manipulated grand jury rolled out the conspiracy charge. A conspiracy is when a couple of people planned a bank robbery but didn’t do it. In other words, they thought about it and talked about it. Therefore, a conspiracy existed although nothing really happened.
Prosecutors and courts have corrupted the actual law to the point that a person can be arrested for considering a crime. In other words, “thought crimes” already exist. They are called “conspiracies.” Now that they have machines that they claim can read our minds, if you think about murdering someone, you can be arrested for “conspiracy to commit murder.”
Another example is when two or more people talk about getting some narcotics and having a high evening but instead watch a movie and go to bed. They could be charged with “conspiracy to obtain illegal narcotics.”
This is the type of charge for which Assange faces extradition to Washington.
Why? The answer is that the criminal, petty, and vindictive U.S. government wants to get revenge on Assange for publishing documents leaked to him, allegedly by Manning—but we don’t have any proof of that, either, other than a coerced admission from a tortured person—that reveal U.S. war crimes and deception of allies, and to shut down the First Amendment so that the government’s crimes can never again be revealed by journalists. This is Washington’s way of solving the whistleblower problem.
The charge against Assange has nothing to do with the leak of the emails that revealed how Hillary Clinton stole the Democratic presidential nomination from Bernie Sanders. Computer experts such as William Binney have proven that the Democratic emails were downloaded on a thumb drive, not hacked over the Internet. Most likely the Democratic National Committee (DNC) employee who leaked the incriminating emails is [Seth Rich] who was mysteriously shot down in the street in an unsolved murder that Hillary and the DNC most certainly do not want solved.
The British government, a vassal of Washington, arrested Assange inside the Ecuadoran embassy in London on the pretext that he was wanted for skipping bail.
This arrest is the end result of the British, in compliance with Washington’s orders, seizing Assange in response to a request from a Swedish prosecutor who was put up to renewing the investigation of Assange and requested Assange’s extradition to Sweden for questioning.
According to law, extradition requires a formal charge or indictment against the person whose extradition is requested. It is outside the law to extradite people for questioning. The extradition request was doubly troubling as Assange while in Sweden had already been questioned by prosecutors who found that there was no case against him. No charges were ever filed against Assange, and the investigation was closed.
The media and crazed feminists have lied through their teeth for years that Assange used his political asylum to escape rape charges. Even non-media, such as Russian English language media, have repeated this disinformation.
There were never any rape charges against Assange. What happened is this: Two Swedish women took Assange into their beds in their homes and had consensual sex with him. No condom was used. The women or one of them wanted Assange to take a test so she could be reassured that he had no disease that could be sexually transmitted. Assange foolishly refused. The woman went to the police to see if Assange could be coerced to take the test. Out of this came the investigation that was closed without charges. Assange was free to leave Sweden.
He foolishly went to the UK, Washington’s prime puppet state. Once there Washington prevailed on a female Swedish prosecutor to reopen questioning of Assange.
No real reason was ever given for the female Swedish prosecutor to reopen the questioning. One possible reason is Washington’s money. It was clear to Assange’s lawyers that the extradition request was a trick to get him back in Swedish hands so that he could be handed over to Washington. Assange fought the extradition, but a corrupt British court complied with Washington and ruled that Assange could be extradited for questioning even though there were no charges against him. This ruling shocked everyone who thought British judges had integrity.
Seeing what was coming, Assange sought and was granted political asylum by Ecuador and fled his British house arrest to the Ecuadoran embassy in London.
Eventually the Swedish feminist prosecutor who attempted to reopen the investigation of Assange consented to question him in the embassy with the result that she closed her investigation. This ended all excuses for the UK to hold Assange for Sweden. As there was no charge, Assange was not guilty of violating bail. Without a charge there is no bail. That is the way the law used to be before the corrupted British courts undermined the law and dishonored British justice.
The U.S. and UK governments refused to honor Assange’s political asylum, just as the Soviet government refused to honor the political asylum that the United States gave to Hungarian Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty, who ended up living in the U.S. embassy in Hungary for 15 years. At least the Soviets had more integrity than to arrest the cardinal inside the U.S. embassy. But the British are devoid of integrity. The only concern of the British government is to obey Washington. They all hope for the 60 million pounds that is Tony Blair’s reward for supporting Washington’s Iraq invasion.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury under President Ronald Reagan and was associate editor and columnist at The Wall Street Journal. He has been a professor of economics in six universities and is the author of numerous books available at the AFP Online Store.
The Greatest Threat to Our Freedom of Speech Rights?
The Justice Department’s revival of the 1968 Anti-Riot Act is designed to suppress unwanted dissent in response to the Charlottesville rally. But the government should put the Anti-Riot Act back to sleep.
By the AFP Legal Staff
For the last 50 years, except for one case, the so-called 1968 Federal Anti-Riot Act lay dormant and forgotten, but now the Justice Department has revived this constitutional monster, awakening it because of media outrage over the Charlottesville turmoil. Its revival represents the greatest current threat to our First Amendment rights.
Last October, teams of FBI agents swooped down on eight young men for allegedly intending to incite a riot and for conspiring to riot. The men are accused of violating 18 U.S.C. §2101 and 18 U.S.C. §2102, the Federal Anti-Riot Act of 1968.
The act was Congress’s heavy-handed response to the anti-war, civil rights, and counterculture disturbances of the late 1960s, particularly the riots in Washington, D.C. that followed the assassination of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A pall of smoke still hung over Washington, D.C. and troops circled the Capitol when the act was enacted on April 11. The act was specifically designed to battle social dissent and was based on the idea that sinister groups of “outside agitators” were riling up students and blacks. It was first used to prosecute the Chicago Eight, the leaders of the protests at the 1968 Democratic convention.
The act pushes the limits of the Constitution in many ways. The operative passage reads:
Whoever travels in interstate or foreign commerce or uses any facility of interstate or foreign commerce, including, but not limited to, the mail, telegraph, telephone, radio, or television, with intent—
(1) to incite a riot; . . .
(2) to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot; or . . .
(4) to aid or abet any person in inciting or participating in or carrying on a riot . . . shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
A riot is defined as any assembly of three people, one of whom makes a threat against property or people. Think of someone standing in front of a window and picking up a rock. That is a riot under the act. If you were standing next to that potential thrower of a rock, you are a participant in a riot.
The act casts a wide net, proscribing communication along a chain of parties separated by many degrees. It is a felony to encourage, over the telephone or by Internet, some second party to participate in an assembly where a third party makes a threat to the property of a fourth.
Consider the example of Bernie, who sends a quick text: “Hey Alexandra, head down to the rally in front of the bank at 11. Tell Liz to give those bloodsuckers heck.” Bernie is in clear violation of the act despite the fact that Bernie was not even at the rally. In fact, Alexandra doesn’t even have to get the text nor Elizabeth hear the encouragement.
The Act makes Bernie’s mere attempt at encouraging Liz enough for a criminal conviction. Even worse, under a separate paragraph of the act, the attempt is “proof” that you intended to promote a riot when you “crossed state lines” even though the message was sent weeks before. The act is unique in allowing such a chronological separation of intent and overt act.
In the case of the so-called Charlottesville Four, the overt act was buying an airplane ticket to a legal rally. In the case of the California Four, it was renting a van with a credit card and driving on an interstate highway to a legal rally in Berkeley. In both rallies, the defendants clashed with antifa groups, which were trying to disrupt the legal assemblies.
The government is making the “Through the Looking Glass” claim that the eight defendants actually intended to be attacked when they bought the airplane tickets or drove on the interstate highway.
The act also pushes the jurisdictional limits of the Constitution. Once upon a time, the federal government did not involve itself with local issues of brawling or public disorder. Over the years, however, Congress has used the Commerce Clause of the Constitution to expand its power and jurisdiction to control what people could take across state lines, prohibiting the transport of drugs, weapons to be used in a crime, or minors subject to a court order. The act takes the last step in this process. It is not an object or a person that is proscribed from being moved across a state line but a thought or an intent to incite, to encourage, or to promote dissent and discontent, to rebel. Ironically, these are the very crimes that the founders of our nation and many of the authors of the First Amendment personally committed.
The Anti-Riot Act debases the dignity of our government. The act has our government stoop to see if one of three people might be incited to throw a rock, if a rebel writes an unsent letter full of tears and anger, if students talk of a different future on the Internet. The act questions the very thoughts of our citizens as they buy an airplane ticket or drive on an interstate highway. While concern to prevent the type of tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville is understandable, the Anti-Riot Act is a reactionary, repressive law that subverts the principles upon which our nation was created.
Because the act is reactionary and repressive it is susceptible to misuse and selective prosecution against any politically unpopular group. While it was created to bash leftist hotheads and civil rights activists, the Justice Department has bowed to political pressure and resurrected the act to bash the alt-right. With the current prosecution the government has averted its eyes from the clear evidence that antifa groups attacked and disrupted the pro-Trump rallies in Huntington Beach and Berkeley and the Charlottesville alt-right assembly. Among the hundreds of rowdy people at the three political rallies, only the eight have been charged by the government.
In order to justify the current prosecutions, the Justice Department twists both facts and law. In its “Omnibus Response to [Charlottesville] Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss,” the Justice Department asserts, “This case is not about free speech or the right to assemble for political purposes.” This is a bold claim considering the Anti-Riot Act was promulgated precisely to control speech that “incited, promoted, encouraged, or organized,” that the government has accused these defendants of the political speech crimes of incitement, promotion, and encouragement, and that the courts have already dismissed similar governmental obfuscation.
In the leading case from 1972 reviewing the Anti-Riot Act, United States v. Dellinger (Dellinger was one of the Chicago Eight), Judge Fairchild discussed the obvious connection between the act and the First Amendment.
As to the Anti-Riot Act, the government at times argues that travel with intent and not expression is the “gravamen of the offense” and that, therefore, the doctrines of the First Amendment are not relevant to our determination of constitutionality. We are unable to accept this argument. . . .
A realistic approach compels application of a First Amendment test to a statute which punishes activity leading up to and furthering a riot, for at least two reasons. One is that rioting, in history and by nature, almost invariably occurs as an expression of political, social, or economic reactions, if not ideas. The rioting assemblage is usually protesting the policies of a government, an employer, or some other institution, or the social fabric in general, as was probably the case in the riots of 1967 and 1968 which are the backdrop for this legislation. A second reason is that a riot may well erupt out of an originally peaceful demonstration which many participants intended to maintain as such.
It is by expression, in whatever form, that causation adequate to bring on punishment must be most likely to occur.
Since 1968 and the Dellinger opinion, the Supreme Court has expanded First Amendment protections for political speech. Rather than follow the law, the Justice Department pretends the Anti-Riot Act has nothing to do with the First Amendment. In fact, the current prosecution threatens to unravel 50 years of First Amendment progress.
The Justice Department should step back and reconsider the dangerous effects of this case on First Amendment rights. Instead, the Justice Department has made the bureaucratic response: Try to justify the prosecution by distorting facts. To read the government’s response one would get the impression that not a single antifa-affiliated person showed up to disrupt the Unite the Right rally or that the Charlottesville police, after having promised to keep the two sides separated, ensured the confrontation. There is no indication that the highly unpopular guys from out of town are being scapegoated for the acts of others.
This underscores another flaw with the act: It is not designed for the current conditions of polarization politics. The legislative history of the Anti-Riot Act manifests an intent on the part of a legislative faction to destroy what was believed to be a close-knit group of outside agitators. The idea that the riot would be caused by people “incited” to attack the organizers was not considered by Congress in 1968. The Justice Department is continuing this error. The government is essentially taking the position that the organizers and attendees of a legal assembly can become criminally liable if scuffles break out at the event, even if they are caused by the acts of counter-protestors.
Congress spread its net too widely when drafting the Anti-Riot Act. It was always constitutionally questionable, but its defects have become manifest in the last 50 years, given recent Supreme Court rulings on protected expression. Congress did not consider that its definition of riot was too broad, that its imposition of liability was too expansive, or that its definition of intent was too amorphous and inclusive, all to the effect of denying First Amendment protections to marginal groups most in need of them.
The government should put the Anti-Riot Act back to sleep.
Father Seeks Justice for Activist Son
A young man who went to Virginia to protest the tearing down of a monument now faces years in jail. Recently, AFP spoke with Thomas Gillen’s father about the case and what can be done to help him.
By John Friend
Last October, four young men associated with the Rise Above Movement (RAM)—a physical fitness and self-improvement club affiliated with the broader alt-right movement—were arrested in California and eventually flown to Virginia to face federal conspiracy to riot charges as a result of their participation in the Unite the Right rally in August 2017.
The four men—Benjamin Drake Daley, 25, Thomas Walter Gillen, 24, Michael Paul Miselis, 29, and Cole Evan White, 24—are all native Californians who had been active with the RAM organization and had participated in various political rallies both in California and Virginia.
Thomas T. Cullen, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, announced the charges in early October 2018, yet all four men are still awaiting adjudication. The men stand accused by federal prosecutors of traveling “to Charlottesville for the August 2017 United the Right rally with the intent to encourage, promote, incite, participate in, and commit violent acts in furtherance of a riot,” an incredibly dubious charge that is largely based on malicious “journalism” emanating from left-wing news outlets and activist organizations, including Pro-Publica and the Southern Poverty Law Center as well as radical antifa activist groups.
“This case should serve as another example of the Department of Justice’s commitment to protecting the life, liberty, and civil rights of all our citizens,” Cullen stated in a press release when announcing the highly questionable charges. “Any individual who has or plans to travel to this District with the intent to engage in acts of violence will be prosecuted and held accountable for those actions.”
All four men accused are facing at least five years in federal prison if found guilty. Other members of RAM, as well as countless conservative and alt-right activists who have engaged in public demonstrations and political rallies protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution, have also been maliciously slandered by left-wing news outlets, and dubiously prosecuted by authorities.
Jim Gillen, the father of Thomas, recently spoke with this reporter to offer more insight into the truly outrageous federal criminal charges being pursued against his son and his fellow activists.
“My son has been held in solitary confinement, without bail, in a Charlottesville jail,” Gillen stated.
Thomas Gillen and the other RAM members facing federal charges have since been transferred to the general prison population, but all were held in solitary confinement for a significant portion of their time in federal custody. Gillen went on to describe the charges his son is facing as well as the treatment he has received by federal authorities as “unjust, unfair, un-American, and outrageous.”
“I am a fair and honorable man and I want you to know my son Tom is, too,” said Gillen, a Southern California resident who works as a fireman. “He does not mistreat anyone. I might not agree with all his opinions, but I know the narrative that has appeared in some mainstream media that Tom and the other Charlottesville defendants plotted to intentionally hurt people is simply not true. That is not Tom, and not what the evidence shows.”
Gillen believes the federal charges leveled against his son and others are politically motivated. “I strongly feel the charges against Tom and the others—which threaten them with felony convictions and five years in federal prison—are political in nature,” Gillen stated. “Any impartial person who looks at the evidence would think so. If these charges are not political, why have the antifa demonstrators who openly provoked and committed violence in Charlottesville not been charged with conspiracy to riot?”
Gillen went on to note that antifa activists “have a history of committing and provoking violence all around the country,” as demonstrated at countless conservative rallies and political events over the course of the past four years at least.
“They don’t deny it. They brag about it,” Gillen noted. “They have specifically admitted they did so at Charlottesville.”
“I have looked at numerous videos from Charlottesville and California, and I do not think Tom did anything wrong,” Gillen continued. “At most he was involved in some scuffles in which no one was seriously hurt or injured and which the antifa [activists] themselves provoked. And I am not the only one who thinks antifa provoked these violent encounters. Timothy Heaphy, a prominent Virginia attorney and the former U.S. federal attorney for Virginia, was hired by the City of Charlottesville to investigate the Unite the Right rally and the city’s response, and he and his team did a thorough job. Mr. Heaphy’s report describes how antifa and other counter-protesters blockaded the Unite the Right protesters, who had obtained legal permits to hold their rally, preventing them from carrying on their legal demonstration, while Charlottesville police stood idly by and allowed the inevitable confrontations to take place.”
Gillen was referring to the independent review of the Unite the Right rally published by Hutton & Williams LLP, the law firm where Heaphy formerly worked while conducting the independent review.
Heaphy’s report made clear that the Charlottesville police failed to keep the Unite the Right attendees and counter-protesters, which included radical, violent antifa activists, separated during the day’s events. Even worse, local authorities and law enforcement officials appeared to want the inevitable violent confrontation to take place in order to justify declaring an unlawful assembly, which is precisely what took place.
“We have evidence from the command center that the chief actually said, ‘Let them fight’,” Heaphy stated during a press conference in December 2017 when his report was initially released. “Let them fight for a little while and it’ll make it easier to declare an unlawful assembly.”
Since publishing his damning report, Heaphy has moved on to accept a position as the top lawyer for the University of Virginia.
“We have the facts from a respected source, and they show that antifa and their hard-left allies provoked confrontations, and the Charlottesville police did nothing to stop them,” Gillen concluded during his conversation with this reporter. “The hard left gets a free pass, but my son and the other defendants face years in prison, are falsely portrayed in the media, and have been miserably treated while in federal custody, held without bail. This should not be happening in America.”
Readers are encouraged to support the Gillens in their efforts to free their son, who is still in federal custody in the state of Virginia. Tax deductible donations may be sent to: Free Expression Foundation, P.O. Box 1479, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772.
John Friend is a freelance author based in California.
Attorney Filing Unique Lawsuit Against SPLC Speaks With AFP
Glen K. Allen, an attorney in Baltimore, Maryland, is the plaintiff in a lawsuit he filed in December 2018 in federal court in Maryland against Heidi Beirich, Mark Potok, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Recently, Allen sat down with AFP to talk about his case as well as free speech in the current political environment in the United States.
* * * * *
AFP: Mr. Allen, could you give us a summary of your lawsuit?
Allen: Sure. In August 2016, Heidi Beirich and the SPLC improperly orchestrated my termination as an attorney for the City of Baltimore, where I was doing competent and ethical work.
The SPLC, in its remarkable arrogance, not only does not deny it did this but has boasted about it on one of its so-called “hate maps,” together, of course, with the most unflattering photo of me it could find. I have brought suit in federal court alleging three federal and six state law claims.
My claims are based on the SPLC’s actions against me but also on its conduct over decades that I contend is inconsistent with its status as a law firm and a purported 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to an educational mission. So, in essence, I’m seeking to redress the harms done to me but also to vindicate basic principles of free expression and the rule of law.
AFP: You mentioned free expression. Did you have an interest in that subject prior to this case?
Allen: Yes, for half a century I have seen our American traditions of free expression and free assembly as unique and fragile and have advocated constant vigilance to preserve them. I have tried to do my part to protect them.
AFP: Do you recall when you first became interested in these kinds of issues?
Allen: Actually, I do. When I was a young teenager growing up in western Colorado, I became friends with the son of the local judge, Judge William Ela. Judge Ela and his son were active with the Great Books Reading Program created by the University of Chicago and helped get me involved. That opened my eyes to the importance of free and open discussion of even controversial and unpopular ideas. And there was a specific incident that made a deep impression on me. At one point a young man who had burglarized a bookstore was coming before Ela to be sentenced. Burglarizing a bookstore is a bad act, for sure, but to the man’s credit the books he stole were mostly books of philosophy and history. I was invited to the sentencing. Ela said to the young man: “It is within my power to send you to prison for a year or more, but I’m going to give you a break. I’m putting you on probation for three years, but on condition that you read those books you stole, at least most of them, and report on them to your probation officer.” So the guy had to spend the next few years reading these books of philosophy and history and trying to understand them.
AFP: What was the effect?
Allen: He never got in trouble with the law again.
AFP: Maybe more judges should try that approach.
Allen: You are probably right. Judge Ela was a great judge.
AFP: Was it experiences like that which led you to law school?
Allen: Yes, but it took a while. After graduating from a liberal arts college as a philosophy major, after a few years’ delay I joined the Army as an enlisted man. I learned a lot in the Army that I didn’t learn at a liberal arts college, believe me, and not all of it was enjoyable. But the Army did carry through on its promise to station me in Germany, where I lived for about a year off-post with a German family. I learned a little about World War II from the Germans’ point of view. That experience confirmed me in my views of the importance of traditions of free speech that allow even highly unpopular perspectives to be expressed.
AFP: And from the Army into law school?
AFP: Did you focus on the First Amendment in law school?
Allen: Well, one takes a range of classes in law school, but yes, the First Amendment was the topic I loved best. In particular I became fascinated by the role of two famed Supreme Court justices, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis Brandeis, in the development of our country’s First Amendment doctrines.
AFP: Justice Holmes, the Civil War hero and Yankee from Olympus?
Allen: That’s the man. Few people realize that until the dissents of Holmes and Brandeis a hundred years ago in several cases relating to criminal sentences for persons protesting America’s entry into World War I, the First Amendment was basically a dead letter, toothless and rarely invoked. Holmes breathed life into it with his metaphor of the marketplace of ideas and his contention that the First Amendment protects, above all, the views we hate. He and Brandeis set our courts on a free speech path unlike any other in the world.
AFP: In what respects is the First Amendment so unique?
Allen: Many. For one, in every other tradition with which I am familiar—in Canada, for example—it is permissible to criminalize or restrict speech based on the offensiveness of the speech—that is, the hurt feelings of the audience—and principles of good order, that is, how disruptive the speech may be. But under our leading Supreme Court cases, the offended and hostile reactions of an audience to speech are not reasons to limit the speech but the exact opposite—reasons it must be protected. And I would say American cases go beyond the traditions of other nations in protecting against vague laws that keep people guessing and therefore chill their willingness to express themselves.
AFP: What is your assessment of the state of free expression and free assembly in the U.S. today?
Allen: Ominous. The threats arise not so much from the courts, although there are some troubling developments there, but from massive surveillance and censorship organizations such as the SPLC and from deplatforming by social media and payment processing giants such as Twitter, Facebook, and PayPal, which are not, so they contend, subject to First Amendment principles.
Worse yet, these two sources of speech suppression are working together. The result is a complete abandonment of the principles that Holmes and Brandeis helped establish. These groups will accept a marketplace of ideas only if they control the marketplace. And chilling free expression is exactly what the SPLC aims to do. It creates a climate of fear by shaming people in public and harming them in their vocations as a warning to others not to step beyond the SPLC’s approved boundaries.
AFP: What is to be done?
Allen: There is no denying we are in a perilous environment for free speech and assembly. Unfortunately, it is likely to get worse before it gets better. One critical step must be to state loudly and clearly that we are opposed to violence and intimidation as means to resolve our differences. If we do, I think in time the tide will turn, because the enemies of free expression can’t keep themselves from ever more onerous restrictions on unapproved viewpoints. We must remain defiant, speaking our mind forthrightly, providing moral and financial support to others across the political spectrum who suffer for speaking their minds forthrightly, and calling out those who would enforce their narrow orthodoxies.
AFP: Has your lawsuit against the SPLC received much publicity?
Allen: Virtually none from the mainstream media, which is quite a contrast to the dozen calls I received from mainstream reporters when the SPLC orchestrated a media frenzy against me in August 2016. They were on me like piranhas. There were even reporters outside my house with television cameras. But now, when I’ve fought back with a lawsuit, only a few non-mainstream media, such as AFP and PJ Media, have taken an interest. And God bless you for doing so.
AFP: How can our readers help you?
Allen: My legal expenses are significant. The SPLC—with its bulging bank accounts of over $450 million—does not need to worry about legal expenses, but I do. Please consider a donation to www.breathing-space-for-dissent.com, which is my website. Your readers should first consider giving financial support to 501(c)(3) nonprofits such as the Free Expression Foundation Inc. (P.O. Box 1479, Upper Marlboro, Md. 20772), which helps causes such as mine.
Get AFP for Free
This week only, you can download a free copy of the latest edition of American Free Press by clicking the link here. We feel this issue is one of the most important we’ve put out in years. Please take a moment now to download it and check it out.
By AFP Staff
In this issue of American Free Press, we’re featuring some exceptional organizations and individuals, who have been taking a stand for free speech and thought in America today. We also are setting our sights on the leading anti-free-speech groups in this country that have been actively working to censor and block free expression in the U.S., the worst offender, of course, being the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
We are dedicating considerable editorial space to this, which we consider to be the most important issue facing Americans today. After all, without the ability to think and speak clearly, how can we be expected to solve other pressing matters facing this great nation, such as immigration, joblessness, war, crime, and poverty, to name a few of the issues plaguing society?
Please read this edition carefully, and help support the individuals and the groups we profile in any way you can. We feature a new nonprofit, the FREE EXPRESSION FOUNDATION, which is standing up to anyone who seeks to censor free speech and thought in America today.
Never before in our history has free speech been under attack like it is right now. Download a free copy of AFP and find out more about this important issue.
Slandered Kentucky Students Fight Back
Those who accused the Catholic kids of bogus hate crime have been told to retract their stories or face court.
By Donald Jeffries
On Feb. 4, lawyers representing Kentucky’s Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann and his family announced that they’d sent letters to media outlets, individual journalists, celebrities, and Catholic organizations. The letters warned that, after a brief grace period, if they didn’t issue a retraction or public apology, they risked libel and defamation lawsuits.
Among those receiving the letters were presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren, actress Alyssa Milano, “journalists” Erin Burnett, Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd, Bill Maher, and David Brooks, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, HBO, TMZ, the dioceses of Covington and Lexington, the archdioceses of Louisville and Baltimore, and celebrities Kathy Griffin and Jim Carrey.
Attorney Todd McMurtry declared that the endless public slurs against the youngster “permanently stained Nick’s reputation.”
He added: “They know they crossed the line. Do they want 12 people in Kentucky to decide their fate? I don’t think so.”
McMurtry offered his services pro bono, and is working in tandem with high-powered lawyer Lin Wood, best known for representing the parents of Jon Benet Ramsey.
“We want to change the conversation. We don’t want this to happen again,” McMurtry stated. “We want to teach people a lesson. There was a rush by the media to believe what it wanted to believe versus what actually happened.”
The Catholic students were on a field trip to Washington, D.C., attending a March for Life Event. While virtually every mainstream media outlet aired only a brief snippet of video and blasted the 16-year-old Sandmann for “disrespecting” 64-year-old Native American elder Nathan Phillips by “smirking” at him and blocking his path, extended video of the incident posted online quickly told a far different story. A group of Black Hebrew Israelites can be seen and heard for several minutes, shouting profanities, anti- Catholic, homophobic, and racial slurs, first at the Native Americans and then with even greater fervor at the high school kids from Kentucky.
The kids never responded with anything more than their school spirit chants, and they asked the permission of their chaperones before doing that. The footage also shows that Phillips and the Native Americans approached the high school kids, and their path was never blocked. Phillips focused in on Sandmann, and kept beating his drum until he was only a few inches from the youngster’s face. If anyone was doing the intimidating, it was Phillips.
Initially, Phillips was converted into a saintly figure in the media. He claimed to be a Vietnam veteran, but this was subsequently disproved. It was also discovered that Phillips had recently tried to disrupt a Catholic mass, and has a history of social activism.
Press accounts and celebrity tweets concentrated on the fact that some of the students, including Sandmann, were wearing “Make America Great Again” hats. Most shocking was the fact that Covington High School officials immediately condemned their own students, and Catholic Bishop John Stowe of the Diocese of Lexington wrote an op-ed in the Lexington Herald-Leader in which he criticized the Catholic students.
Diocese of Covington Bishop Roger Foys publicly condemned the students as well, although he did later apologize. Stowe, however, would not back down, standing by his op-ed, which declared, “Without . . . placing the blame entirely on these adolescents, it astonishes me that any students participating in a pro-life activity on behalf of their school and their Catholic faith could be wearing apparel sporting the slogans of a president who denigrates the lives of immigrants, refugees, and people from countries that he describes with indecent words and haphazardly endangers with life-threatening policies.” After later ludicrously calling the incident an opportunity for “a teaching moment,” Stowe continued to be triggered by their head gear, maintaining, “I come back to that they shouldn’t have been wearing those hats in the first place.”
“For the mob to just go tear apart a 16-year-old boy is inexcusable,” McMurtry said. “He’ll never be able to get away from this.”
CNN and other mainstream media organs grudgingly admitted their rush to judgment, and by Feb. 13, headlined one story, “Report finds no evidence of ‘offensive or racist statements’ by Kentucky students,” regarding an inquiry conducted by the Diocese of Covington. Just what kind of investigation was necessary beyond watching the entire incident on videotape was unclear. The initially critical Bishop Foys was quoted as saying that the Covington kids “were placed in a situation that was at once bizarre and even threatening” and their reaction was “expected and one might even say laudatory.”
In a Feb. 8 public statement, attorney Lin Wood announced that “Nathan Phillips will be sued” and that the first round of lawsuits would begin “within two weeks.” Wood has followed through on his promise. On Feb. 19, the first lawsuit was filed on behalf of Sandmann against The Washington Post, seeking $250 million in both compensatory and punitive damages.
Donald Jeffries is a highly respected author and researcher whose work on the JFK, RFK and MLK assassinations and other high crimes of the Deep State has been read by millions of people across the world. Jeffries is also the author of two books currently being sold by AFP BOOKSTORE.
Censorship Always Targets Truth
The campaign to rid the nation of so-called “fake news” is fake news in itself, as censors target both left and right in their unending attempt to cover up the truth.
By Dr. Kevin Barrett
A rising tide of censorship is drowning what is left of liberty on these shores. The censors target people on both the left and right. They claim they are just trying to stop “fake news,” but they lie. The real impetus of censorship is always the same: to cover up the truth.
The witch hunt against Alex Jones is a case in point. The mainstream media campaign against Jones would have you believe that they want to silence Jones due to his allegedly false and defamatory statements.
Has Jones ever made false and defamatory statements? Perhaps. He has certainly spread misinformation about Islam and Muslims. His fact-checking is not always what it should be, nor is the portrait of national and global events he paints entirely accurate.
But there is a simple legal remedy for false and defamatory statements: the libel courts. Jones is currently being sued for libel by individuals who say he defamed them by misrepresenting their connection to the December 2012 events at Sandy Hook Elementary. If they can prove that Jones’s statements were false and damaging, and that he should have known that they were false, they will prevail in court. But the mainstream media (MSM) campaign against Jones, which has gotten him banned from Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms, does not abide by the rules of American jurisprudence or the First Amendment. Nor is it motivated by any genuine concern about Jones’s faults. This horrendous, illegal, unconstitutional censorship campaign is going after Jones for one reason and one reason only: because Jones tells too much truth about certain sensitive issues that the mainstream is charged with covering up.
Every MSM attack on Jones charges him with spreading “9/11 conspiracy theories.” What they leave out is the fact that these theories—which blame neocons not Muslims for 9/11—are true. As Jones has repeatedly stated, 9/11 was an “inside job,” in the same way that a bank heist assisted by insiders is an inside job. In the case of 9/11, the neocon insiders helped the “bank robbers”—Israel—pull off the attack.
The MSM is dominated by Zionists. It includes plenty of Operation Mockingbird CIA assets. These people are charged with covering up the truth of 9/11. As the audience for alternative media like Jones and AFP grows, while the MSM audience shrinks, the truth about 9/11 and other explosive issues has been steadily leaking out. The censorship campaign against Jones is part of the larger campaign to plug those leaks by taking down the alternative media.
It isn’t just conservatives like Jones who are being censored and silenced. In Berkeley, Calif., home of the 1960s Free Speech Movement, left-leaning radio host Bonnie Faulkner has been banned by KPFA radio, flagship of the Pacifica Radio Network.
Kevin Cartwright of KPFA management recently announced: “After an avalanche of negative calls and emails from listeners about the airing of views of a holocaust denier, climate change denial and casting the Parkland mass shooting survivors as crisis actors. [sic] KPFA cannot defend this content. Please direct all comments to KPFA’s comment line at [email protected] or 510-848-6767 ext. 622.”
Cartwright’s illiterate statement (please learn to write complete sentences!) toes the MSM propaganda line: He pretends that the “avalanche of calls and emails” was driven by concern that Ms. Faulkner’s show sometimes includes guests who make false statements about current or historical events. The reality is precisely the opposite: The “avalanche” was orchestrated by Israeli government pressure groups who hate Ms. Faulkner not because of any untruths uttered on her show but because so many of her guests tell the truth about Israel and its crimes, including the 9/11 false-flag operation.
If a guest on Ms. Faulkner’s “Guns and Butter,” or any other radio show, makes false statements, the remedy is simple and obvious: Bring on another guest to expose the lies and explain what the truth is and how we know it is the truth. Free and unfettered debate is the only context in which truth can emerge.
The current MSM moral panic over “fake news” is really a panic over “true news.” It is the scandalous truths—that 9/11 was a neocon-Zionist inside job, that Robert Mueller is a serial coverup criminal and deep state operative, that Jeffrey Epstein’s Israeli pedophile/blackmail ring has compromised America’s top leadership, that Bill Clinton is a Jeffrey Epstein client and credibly accused serial rapist, that the CIA is the world’s biggest drug dealer, that our elections are fake spectacles controlled by rigged voting machines, that America’s best leaders are assassinated by the deep state, and so on—that are the problem.
Censors never fear lies. They only fear truth.
Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions.
If This Woman Still Has a Job by the End of Today…
By AFP Staff
Why is it that radical liberal activists only believe free speech and the First Amendment apply to them? Take the case of Allison Hrabar. According to conservative news and commentary website “The Daily Caller,” Ms. Hrabar was one of the activists who chased Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen out of a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C. on the evening of June 12 over the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
A Trump staffer outed Ms. Hrabar to “The Daily Caller,” saying she was part of the group that walked into the restaurant and then proceeded to harass Ms. Nielsen until she left the establishment.
In video that was posted to the Internet documenting the demonstration, activists can be heard chanting, “Kirstjen Nielsen, you’re a villain, locking up immigrant children.”
Well, it turns out that Ms. Hrabar gets her paycheck from the Department of Justice working as a paralegal.
Over the past few years, dozens of conservatives have lost their jobs because of extracurricular activity that someone somewhere found to be offensive. AFP’s own reporter John Friend was one such victim when a radical keyboard activist tracked Friend down at his job with a local California government agency. Friend operates his own website where he writes about politics and history and occasionally dabbles in contentious issues.
This individual in question ended up harassing Friend’s boss, threatening to “expose” them for having Friend as an employee. Even though Friend was an exemplary employee who didn’t bring his politics to work, he was still unceremoniously fired.
Now, with her job apparently on the line, Ms. Hrabar is crying that she has a First Amendment right to protest after work hours.
This is how another conservative news website reported it: “The Washington Examiner spoke with Hrabar Wednesday and she defended her behavior as off government time and a use of her First Amendment rights.”
The problem is, apparently, Ms. Hrabar reportedly uses company time to tweet about politics.
According to “The Daily Caller,” Ms. Hrabar tweeted June 13 at 1:56 p.m., “Keeping families together in jail is not an acceptable solution.”
We at American Free Press actually support Ms. Hrabar’s First Amendment right to protest on her own time. However, you can’t have it both ways. If conservatives can be fired for their political views outside of work, then extreme liberals should not expect to be safe in their jobs, either.
You can watch the protest video here:
They Disagree on Everything But Israel
The U.S. legislators voting to gut the U.S. Constitution to promote “free speech” for Israel may be trying to help Israel, but some believe they’re committing treason.
By Philip Giraldi
There is currently considerable agitation in Congress over what is loosely being referred to as “free speech.” The crux of the matter appears to be that many self-identified conservatives appear to believe that rules put in place by many college and university administrations unfairly discriminate against them, establishing restrictions on speakers whose opinions might be viewed as offensive to liberals and minority constituencies. This has lately led to the blocking of attempts by notable conservative lecturers to speak on campus and in other public fora lest they cause a breakdown in public order. It is interesting to note that the campaign against conservatives is never packaged quite as an actual free speech issue. It is generally expressed as a desire to sustain community values and to avoid violent confrontations.
Many of the groups engaging in agitprop seeking to redefine the First Amendment at the college level are inevitably Jewish, many of them politically liberal, seeking to eliminate hurtful commentary or actions that involve criticism of Israel. A common complaint is that demonstrations or speakers on campus make Jews feel uncomfortable and therefore should be banned. Ironically, the political conservatives, who believe themselves to be victims of a suppression of free speech, often hypocritically support the Jewish students’ drive to curtail the same commodity because they are strong supporters of Israel. That reality demonstrates that the complaints from both parties are more ideologically driven than based on any perception of the need to maintain basic constitutional rights.
More curious still are the actions of some Jewish legislators in Congress. The debate over free speech on campus to allow conservative voices is much in the media, but the desire of many of America’s normally liberal Jews to curtail any and all criticism of Israel is hardly mentioned at all, even though it is in many respects far more serious an attack against the First Amendment, as support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement would be enshrined in federal legislation with draconian penalties attached.
Two leading Jewish senators, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Chuck Schumer of New York, are the driving forces behind the so-called Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which is continuing to make its way through Congress. It was introduced by Cardin and quickly attracted a number of co-sponsors and supporters, many of whom were predictably Republicans. The irony inherent in the bill comes from the fact that both Cardin and Schumer are solidly liberal in their voting records, to include support of issues generally regarded as protective of constitutional rights and liberties.
Theirs might reasonably be considered reliable votes whenever the Bill of Rights is challenged, but when it comes to Israel they are quite willing to flip 180 degrees.
Schumer might be considered Israel’s senator in Congress now that Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has finally disappeared from the scene. Schumer has referred to himself as Israel’s “shomer” or protector, a derivation of his own name. If he is challenged at all in that status it would be by Cardin, who votes a straight pro-Israel line when called upon to do so and who is the product of Maryland’s largely Jewish dominated Democratic Party machine. Both are, not coincidentally, major recipients of campaign contributions coming from the Israel lobby. Two years ago both Schumer and Cardin opposed President Barack Obama’s agreement to the plan adopted to monitor Iran’s nuclear program, placing them in line with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in opposition to their own party’s president.
So here is the problem. Many American Jews in politics support Israel right or wrong without any regard for the impact on the rest of their constituents. This is obviously wrong, but they do it shamelessly because they believe that they will never be held to account. Unfortunately for them, attitudes toward Israel and its criminal regime are shifting, particularly in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.
Cardin has indeed faced some problems with his promotion of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. The generally Israel-friendly American Civil Liberties Union objected strongly both to the obvious unconstitutionality of the bill as well as the punitive measures that it mandated, which included in the original version civil fines up to $250,000, criminal fines of up to $1 million, as well as a possible 20 years in prison. Two elements of the bill are particularly appalling. One criminalizes anyone even making inquiries about BDS and the other specifies that Israel includes by definition “settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories.” That means that the settlements, which all the world including the United States considers illegal, cannot be criticized under penalty of law.
These draconian features, which essentially criminalize a broad range of any criticism of Israel if implemented, were recently watered down but have not been completely eliminated from the current version of the bill. To be sure, a number of liberal Jewish organizations have come out against the bill but have been unable to make much progress, as the well-funded and much more numerous organizations that constitute the lobby have better access to both politicians and the mainstream media.
Against those who find the bill a bridge too far, even in defense of the Jewish state, one indeed finds an array of Jewish oligarchs who support Israel reflexively as well as the formidable power of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) with its hundreds of employees and $100 million annual budget. AIPAC is America’s most powerful foreign policy lobby. In terms of getting out the votes in Congress it is comparable to the gun lobby for the GOP. It is committed to the Cardin bill and considers it its top priority because it, echoing the repeated warnings issued by Netanyahu, believes that BDS is the greatest internal threat to Israel. Netanyahu is, of course, not rational on threats to Israel. He has long promoted attacking a militarily inferior Iran because it is an alleged threat and his judgment on BDS is similarly 90% scaremongering.
So here we have it again. Two prominent Jewish senators are working to destroy the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and they are doing it to “help” Israel. Some might call it treason.
Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. Other articles by Giraldi can be found on the website of the Unz Review.
Antifa: Left Wing Fascism?
Kevin Barrett’s political incorrectness recently got him un-invited from a radio program. Here he argues, “The two biggest factors behind the demise of First Amendment America are the rise of identity politics, and the 9/11-launched “war on terror.” Identity politics has made political correctness into the monster it has become, but “the dirty little secret” the American public is finally realizing, in spite of mainstream media’s deception, is that, “It is not white identity advocates who are instigating the violence at these rallies, but their antifa opponents.”
By Kevin Barrett
On Thursday, March 8, I was informed that my scheduled appearance the next day on Portland’s KBOO community radio had been cancelled by station management—over the strong objections of the host, John Shuck. The reason? Portland’s antifa chapter, led by a graduate student named Alexander Reid Ross, had led a defamation campaign calling me an “anti-Semite,” “holocaust denier,” and “conspiracy theorist” who shouldn’t be allowed to speak.
Since when could mindless insults shout down free and fair debate based on logic and evidence? Since when did America become such a fearful place that non-mainstream ideas had to be silenced rather than refuted?
The two biggest factors behind the demise of First Amendment America are the rise of identity politics, and the 9/11-launched “war on terror.” Identity politics brought political correctness and the fear of offending this or that “disadvantaged” group. 9/11 and the war on terror destroyed America’s self-confidence, led to the shredding of constitutional liberties, and created a toxic atmosphere of fear and hysteria.
Trump’s “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) agenda was in many respects a reaction against America’s post-9/11 decline. In reaction to the prevailing leftist identity politics, heterosexual, white, working-class males began asserting themselves, often identifying with Trump and MAGA. Trump’s attacks on the U.S. decision to invade Iraq (“the worst decision ever made”) and his incoherent but provocative insinuations questioning the official version of 9/11 resonated with a broad segment of the population that vaguely sensed something in America had gone badly wrong.
Many leftists (as well as much of the centrist establishment) view the rise of the Trump-supporting alt-right as a national emergency. The most extreme among them have joined antifa.
Antifa shows little interest in critiquing or debating its opponents in order to explain why they are wrong. It is dedicated to shutting them down, silencing them, making sure they can’t be heard—using slanderous witch hunts, mindless name-calling, and even violence.
At universities all across America, antifa thugs are physically attacking speakers identified with the alt-right, and even brutalizing audiences who come out to hear them. The Chicago Tribune reported on March 14:
“At Michigan State University last week, anti-fascist protesters marched toward the venue where (Richard) Spencer planned to speak, intent on keeping his supporters out. Fights quickly broke out, and people were shoved to the ground, punched, and pelted with sticks and dirt. Some people wanting to attend Spencer’s speech were forced back. More than 20 people were arrested, most of them people protesting Spencer.”
This is the dirty little secret that is slowly leaking out to the American public: It is not white identity advocates who are instigating the violence at these rallies, but their antifa opponents. This was clearly the case at Charlottesville, where the police shut down the pro-Robert E. Lee statue rally, forced ralliers to exit through an antifa mob that had come primed for violence, and then disappeared as the provocateur-driven riot broke out. (For a detailed analysis of the events in Charlottesville, read Political Theater in Charlottesville, edited by Jim Fetzer and Mike Palecek, available from Moon Rock Books.)
How can self-styled anti-fascists be rioting in the street and attacking people to shut down free speech? Isn’t their behavior . . . well, fascist? After all, fascism is based on using mob violence to shut down opposition and install a tyranny of one party and one opinion that tolerates no dissent.
Antifa’s violent, authoritarian attack on free speech exemplifies the core essence of fascism. Other characteristics of historical fascism include: extreme glorification of the race or nation, scapegoating of internal and external enemies, militarism, and socialism, including an attempt to replace private bank-issued usury currency with national currency. On all but the last of these counts, Zionism represents by far the biggest and most dangerous fascist movement on Earth. Antifa, a subsidiary of Zionism, carries the Zionists’ fascist thuggery into the streets.
As an American loyal to our Constitution, and to our history as a tolerant “melting pot” of different cultures, religions, and worldviews, I am strongly opposed to most aspects of fascism. I loathe intolerance, authoritarianism, censorship, racism, extreme nationalism, militarism, and scapegoating. But I do think some fascists, such as America’s greatest 20th-century poet. Ezra Pound, were right in their critique of usury and their support for overthrowing the dictatorship of the international bankers. And I think much of the so-called alt-right consists of patriotic Americans—not fascists—who are gradually waking up to oppose the global Zionist dictatorship in the making sometimes known as the New World Order.
Oppose fascism; support free speech! I have challenged Alexander Reid Ross to debate me on the nature and history of fascism. Please urge him to accept my challenge. Email: [email protected] or Tweet https://twitter.com/areidross.
Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions. Since 2007, Dr. Barrett has been informally blacklisted from teaching in American colleges and universities. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, public speaker, author, and talk radio host. He lives in rural western Wisconsin.