More Liberation


Apparently, we can't bring freedom to Iraq until we (in this case, technically, the governing council we appointed) have shut down all the TV news stations that air material we don't like.

NEXT: Face/Off

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  1. I think I’m going to take out a thirty second spot during the super bowl imploring good Christians to blow up abortion clinics. Maybe follow it up with another one calling for the assassination of a few key public figures. What? You mean I can’t do that? Why not? You mean, I can’t run into a crowded theater and yell “fire!” ? Hey, you’re oppressing me.


  2. al-Arabiya’s big crime was broadcasting a tape (allegedly) of Hussein, which is certainly a newsworthy item.

    Concerns about violence and keeping the peace are the excuse of every single repressive regime for cracking down on hostile media.

  3. Wow, it took Julian all the way till the end of Monday for his first pro-fascist squib. You’re slipping.

  4. While of course no one wants to see media being shut-down, is it not unreasonable to expect such things given the current state of affairs in Iraq?

    I believe the Nazi Party was banned in Germany after the war, and is still banned to this day, correct? (Not that I approve of the current ban on “hate speech” in Europe, but at the time I think it had it’s use.)

    If the goal in Iraq, Julian, is to provide some sort of stability – a goal that can be accomplished only after the pro-Saddam faction of terrorists and ‘resistance’ fighters is defeated – then does it not make sense to you to deprive them of a source of potential communication and propaganda?

    As much as all forms of propaganda are “annoying” to me personally, a step like this does not seem unreasonable in a war-torn country, IMHO.

  5. -snip-

    Earlier this month, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz called them “very well-funded propaganda outlets,” which “just spew poison and lies and misrepresentation day after, and it is hard to fight that.”


    I am a little confused, is he talking about Sky News/Fox News, or Al Jazeera. I just can’t seem to keep my propaganda outlets straight.


  6. I think Anonymous@6:50 may have misunderstood Julian’s post. Sanchez is not supporting state censorship of TV broadcasts. He is describing it, but is opposed to it. I know he referred to it as “more liberation,” but that was supposed to be ironic. So he wasn’t being “pro-fascist” here.

    Unless, of course, you think that opposing state control of the media is itself a “fascist” position. But no one could be that fucking stupid … could they?

  7. He could definitely be talking about any of those media outlets that you’ve mentioned, Steve, but again: Is it unreasonable to shut-down a form of media which is espousing (that is, if I understand the IGC’s reasoning correctly) views that could potentially make the transition to democracy in Iraq even more difficult?

    I mean, it’s obviously plenty hard as it is, why not make it a tad easier on ourselves?

  8. It may be reasonable, but it is still a significant curtailment of freedom, which is ironic since our apparent reason for being there is to promote such freedoms.

  9. How is going through varying degrees of freedom while trying to move from despot to democracy not bringing about freedom? Is it ironic that we didn’t simply snap our fingers or wiggle our noses and go to instantly free? Was the arresting of looters ironic? Was the placing of curfews ironic? Is supplying the Iraqi police with handcuffs ironic?

  10. How significant of a curtailment is this? Is it out of the question to say that their news media should not be used by the enemy or their sympathizers to assemble combatants? Would any of you feel differently if the Michigan Militia was buying commercial time on major American networks calling on anti-government types to plant land mines all over Washington? Would you feel badly if the FCC stepped in and stopped it from happening?

  11. Would any of you feel differently if the Michigan Militia was buying commercial time on major American networks calling on anti-government types to plant land mines all over Washington?

    Um, I’d probably rub my eyes, check the remote guide to see what channel I’d just stumbled onto. And nuke some popcorn.


    PS Of course I wouldn’t support numbnut “patriots,” advocating violence of any sort… was just being sarcastic.

  12. I think the real irony here is in assuming that we’ll like a democractic Iraq, or a democratic Middle East much more.

    Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya represent largely free, if anti-American outlets. They’re a lot more free than the regular state outlets. But we want to ban them. Is there any reason to assume we’ll like democracy in the Arab world more than we like a free press ?

    Incidentally, I think this will be counter-productive. Al Arabiya can still broadcast Saddam Huseein’s tapes, iraqis with satellites can still pick them up. My personal direct experience is that an absence of non governmental news sources means that they’re replaced with rumor and the like, which is worse

  13. i think we should have allowed people to air propaganda aimed at restoring totalitarianism. that way they can have freedom of speech right up until they are gassed or shot in the back of the skull

  14. If there was a major message from a leader of the Michigan militia and it were newsworthy, then I would expect it to be broadcast, yes.

  15. See you guys don’t get it. Julian is being IRONIC. See the Iraqis are not REALLY liberated. Ha ha get it?

  16. “It was necessary to destroy the village in order to save it.”

  17. It may be reasonable, but it is still a significant curtailment of freedom, which is ironic since our apparent reason for being there is to promote such freedoms.

    Yes, and?

    I don’t know, the village does not always have to be razed to save it… I know that Mr. Lincoln was a tyrannt during the US Civil War, but was reuniting the Union and freeing the slaves as a consequence of reunification worth the suspension of some southern media and everything else good ol’ Abe did?

    Yes, our ultimate goal is apparently a democratic Iraq, but to reiterate: Why should we let a “pro-fascist” (if that is actually the case) media source operate? That would seem extremely contradictory to our goal…

  18. A frequent rejoinder to almost any complaint during WWII was “Don’t you know there’s a war on?”

    Iraq is under martial law, and martial law does not pretend to be a democracy. They want more freedoms? Then let them help us root out the rest of Saddam’s shitheads and we can come home and give them back their country, all sanitized.

  19. Is this how the government is going to teach the Iraqis to value liberty?
    Shame on our government! Shame!
    Our government is, by engaging in censorship, bolstering the growing sentiment that THEY are the bad guys; the malicious imperial occupation force. Our government is looking alot like the old Soviet Union to Arabs because they are acting a lot like the old Soviet Union.

    rst wrote:
    “Would any of you feel differently if the Michigan Militia was buying commercial time on major American networks calling on anti-government types to plant land mines all over Washington?”

    I hope we’d be in revolt if the government shutdown the network’s offices and “methodically registered equipment inside and then seized key broadcasting devices as well as the staff’s satellite phones” and forced the networks employees to sign agreements not to broadcast until the government said it was ok under duress of a fine and prison time as the government has done to al-Arabiya.

    From the Shadid piece:
    Throughout the occupation, U.S. officials have been blunt in their judgments that both networks incite violence against U.S. forces with their relentless coverage of attacks on soldiers… and airing of statements by purported guerrilla groups.

    And this justifies censorship? Maybe for Vladamir Putin, but not the US government. These are the actions of a free press. Our government becomes repressive when it moves from complaining to banning. We need to communicate to the Iraqi people, perhaps through the internet,that they should not hold the repressive actions of our government,one that has lost it’s moral compass, against the American people. We are not the same entity as our government!

  20. shut down all the TV news stations that air material we don’t like.

    You mean like CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN?

    Oh, wait… you mean to say that we’re cracking down on precisely ONE news station — a non-Iraqi station, at that — because it broadcast a genocidal fascist dictator’s call for the violent overthrow of the government we’re trying to establish?

    Good point, Sanchez. The US Government’s #1 priority should be to preserve the right of fascists to call for the murder of Americans. That’s definitely #1 on the list of rights we should be protecting. All that trivial stuff like “voting” and “not getting killed” can wait until after we’re done preserving Freedom of Speech for Psychopaths.

  21. preserve the right of fascists to call for the murder of Americans

    Note: to not “preserve” that right, in this case, actually means actively curtailing the right. And “the murder of Americans” properly should be followed by or anything else the government disapproves of.

    You have to appreciate the gall involved in calling for censorship while implying that it’s the opponents of censorship who are “fascists.” Way to go, asshole.

  22. I can understand the argument that the security situatiob in Iraq does not allow for a free press.

    But then the CPA should be clear that this is only because of martial law. The way it was done sets a horrible precedent in what is supposed to be a foundation for democracy.

  23. What’s this we thing? It was zee Germans who banned the Nazis…

    And it was not “we” who banned this media source, it was the IGC.

  24. Mike H.,

    If you’d actually read what I sead more carefully, instead of thinking about your sarcastic reply, you’d notice how I qualified the “didn’t reunite” comment: he didn’t reunite an existing union, but created a new one on a different constitutional basis.

    In much the same way, the British constitution was forcibly refounded in 1689 on the basis of total parliamentary supremacy. But both Lincoln and the Whig Oligarchy downplayed the revolutionary signficance of what they were doing, and paid lip service to continuity with the older tradition.

    For that matter, the Roman principate kept up the pretense of continuity with the old Senatorial constitution until the third century, when Domitian finally got tired of the charade and proclaimed himself “Dominus et Deus.” Every office held by Caesar was an office of the old republic. Of course, the favorite title was “imperator,” which roughly translates into “commander-in-chief.”

    As Bagehot said regarding the British constitution, the real basis of our own government doesn’t bear much vulgar poking and prying into.

  25. Some of you folks are off your freakin’ rockers. For people who often enough badmouth the U.S. Constitution, on the grounds that it grants government waaaayyy too much power over our lives, you sure are trusting of Saudi quasi-governmental press organs.

    Yep, Al Arabiya isn’t the free press. It’s a Saudi government sanctioned propaganda instrument pushing radical islamofascist revolution and insurrection. As with all public enterprises based in Saudi, it couldn’t continue if the ruling family, or the religious police, didn’t want it to. Think thopse folks are supporting anything like a free press in Saudi? Dream on. You shouldn’t think of Al Arabiya as Fox; instead, think of it as PBS, if a cracked out Jerry Falwell and a pack of gun totin’ meth usin’ White Power militia members ran it.

    True, Al Arabiya doesn’t “advocate” violent revolution as an official position. Hell, it’s just a television channel; the press is objective and takes no positions, right? Unfortunately, Al Arabiya is an objective news channel that just happens to unlfaggingly feature speakers, newsmakers, and panel guests who do, giving them a platform to bring about… wait for it… a world under Sharia rule in which libertarians would be the very first people lined up and shot. Oh, after the bloodsucking monkeys and pigs who live in the zionist entity, of course. Nope, it’s not advocating anything like that; it’s just a state supported forum in which that vile “political argument” is pushed. If an infidel bleeds, it leads.

    Shutting down Al Arabiya has little in common with Putin’s actions, or the Comstocks, or McCarthyism for that matter. Putin is taking over domestic media outlets that voice legitimate political dissent, within the framework of a democracy, and stable self rule. He’s doing it to thwart self rule.

    In contrast, Al Arabiya gives voice not to legitimate political dissent, but to the very dangerous folks who think the answer to dissent is to kill the dissenters. Al Arabiya is a voice that regularly pushes the islamofascist idea of good government – a violent islamic fascist state at best, a violent mullahocracy at worst.

    Why would Al Arabiya have to do this now? Because a small minority of Iraqis (and their foreign jihadi benefactors) will not be able to win through democratic means, so they must capture power through a violent revolution.

    A free press is well and good in our country. There’s no doubt in my mind it’s a good thing in Iraq, too. But Al Arabiya isn’t a free press, it’s a Saudi government sanctioned instrument. It is used by the Saudis and their fellow travelers to deflect Middle Eastern anger away from the tyrants who run the place, toward America and Israel specifically, tolerant democracies generally.

    Taking Al Arabiya off the air for broadcasting Saddam (or claimed Saddam) calls for uprising, is therefore no different than bombing Tokyo Rose’ or Lord Haw Haw’s transmitters. Letting Al Arabiya broadcast isn’t about a war of ideas – unless promoting “kill all non-muslims and non-Arabs with any means at hand” is a valid idea, the kind we ought to debate. You might think that violent revolution is as legitimate a debate tactic as a Powerpoint slide diagramming the economics of Chicago school regulated free markets concepts versus Vienna scholl laissez faire markets. I disagree; I don’t think violence is discourse, and I don’t think that people urging violence on ethnic and religious grounds are engaged in discourse.

    Giving Saddam, or some insurgent claiming to be Saddam a nation-wide audience, is in furtherance of the Islamofascists’ war against us, and shutting down Al Arabiya so long as it clearly adheres to the other side in this fight is no different than taking out a suicide bomber before he can trigger his bomb.

  26. “…think of it as PBS, if a cracked out Jerry Falwell and a pack of gun totin’ meth usin’ White Power militia members ran it.”

    Cool! For stoned viewing, that would beat even a Three Stooges film festival.

  27. Tetchett’s rant amounts to “I don’t like what Al Arabiya says, so we should ban it”

    Al Arabiya may be loosely sanctioned by the Saudi Royal family, just as Al Jazeera is by the Emir, but thats as far as it goes. The Saudi royal family has no particular love for Saddam (recall they invited the US in in the first place to fight him). While there are some links between the Saudi Royal Family and Al Qaeda, it is certain that Osama would kill the royals if he could.

    THe Saudi Goverment probably finds Al Jazeera and the like helpful when they broadcast anti-Israel propoganda, unhelpeful when they’re anti Saudi (Al Arabiya is probably never anti-Saudi).

    Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera are indeed very much like FOX — opinionated, biased, catering to the audience, and occasionally virulent.

    Let me repeat something — no one can force the IRaqis to watch Al Arabiya. They can watch state TV, the Coalition TV, BBC, Fox, a dozen other satellite TV channels.

    This is NOT analogous to Saddam Iraqi TV or to Lord Hee Haw’s broadcasts.

  28. They can also turn their TV’s off and do something else.

  29. Just so I’m clear on this-

    It’s nescessary to censor these news networks because the fragile little minds of the Iraqi’s might be overtaken by Saddam’s subliminal mind control? They weren’t GOING to launch rockets from donkey carts, but their fearless leader was on the TV, and they were powerless to resist?

    We’re going to demonstrate what a free society looks like by shutting down news sources that MILLIONS of Iraqi’s have come to rely on? (There are a number of excellent articles on how our “counter-programing” is failing miserably, largely due to our language divide).

    And exactly what message does it send to the Iraqi’s that we don’t trust them enough to hear the message their genocidal, horrific ex-leader is sending them? If the people hate him as we were led to believe, wouldn’t allowing him to broadcast his message of killing only reaffirm the average iraqi’s trust in the coalition?

    It looks like one of those “Every problem has clear obvious solution- and it’s usually wrong” situations…

  30. “I think I’m going to take out a thirty second spot during the super bowl imploring good Christians to blow up abortion clinics.”

    Go for it! Got a couple million bucks burning a hole in your pocket?

  31. Well Sir Real, why don’t we show them what a real free society looks like, and take all our troops out of the country and just let ’em at it. That would be real free, right?

    You are looking at events in Iraq in a vaccuum. Iraq isn’t a free society, and hasn’t been one since the late ’50s, if it even was one then. It won’t be one either if we fail to bring order to the place, and help it become a free society.

    The freedom we enjoy, we can only enjoy because we have a good degree of order, and even if the cops aren’t around, most people follow a tacit agreement to abide by the rules. We need to establish the conditions in which that social contract can be effectuated first, and we wont be able to do it if state sponsored media organs are pumping out a constant drumbeat for violent insurrection. It doesn?t take all the Iraqis signing on ? yes, a tiny minority of easily swayed thugs can pretty much wreck the country for everybody who lives there. Where do you draw the line, Sir Real? Showing pictures of dead bodies over and over again, bemoaning the crusader invaders, until the semi-literate ?street? riots and starts killing U.S. troops? Direct appeals to report to your local Fedayeen headquarters, to kill an infidel for mommy? Ads hyping cash rewards for the heads of U.S. troops, or for U.S. citizens killed anywhere?

    I know, I know, you don?t agree with killing the non-muslim portion of the world?s population, but like Voltaire, you?d be happy to spend a reasonable number of U.S. troops and civilians to defend to the death the jihadis right to do it.

    Cry me a river over Al Arabiya?s shutdown and the horrible things it does to the Iraqi people. If given the choice, I?d deny Hitler television coverage of his podium speech at Nuernburg in 1936, or coverage of Stalin?s speech at the Mayday parade following the crushing of the Hungarian dissenters in 1956. You may think that standing next to somebody, urging them to throw a grenade at local police station, is free speech, but even under our standards in the U.S., it?s not. The Brandenburg doctrine allows suppression of speech that is an immediate incitement to violence, which Sodom Hussein?s missives are. There?s no reason that we should follow a much higher standard of free speech protection, at the cost of our troops? blood, to ?set a good example.? It’s war, man, not domestic politics.

    Moreover, dollars to donuts, I bet you?d find that most Iraqis are happy to be allowed to speak their minds, to have the prospect of democratic rule looming in the near future, and to be rid of Hussein ? and that any reasonable measures to get rid of his holdout thugs and the foreign islamofascist fighters and agitators in Iraq are also well received.

  32. I would like to hear L. Paul Bremer publicly admit that Iraq is not yet ready for a free press.

    Then I will listen to arguments about the need to shut down TV stations to preserve order.

  33. A lot of Saddam’s message was also transmitted by American Media, and by the BBC and other channels. Saddam’s message, like it or not, is news. It is legitimate to broadcast this tape.

    In fact, the craven attitude of MSNBC, Fox, CNN etc. that promptly caved in to the American Administration’s “request” to keep Bin laden tapes off the air (on the rather specious grounds of coded messages being sent).

    In any case, its all useless. I grew up in India — when the radio and TV were governmented controlled, people used to listen to the BBC, they would get all the information anyway.

  34. Just to clarify, I don’t think Al Arabiya’s broadcasting was shut off. Only its local bureau was shut.

    Al Arabiya can still broadcast to Iraqi’s with satellites.

  35. oh my god! how long did it take before Kevin called Lincoln a tyrant? I was waiting for that!

  36. “The freedom we enjoy, we can only enjoy because we have a good degree of order,”

    So we’re really enjoying the good degree of order, not necessarily the freedom.

  37. I was going to address the topic at hand, but Stephen Fetchet said all the smart stuff already.

  38. Note to Stephen Fetchet:

    a. Stalin keeled over in 1953
    b. Invasion of Hungary started in early November of 1956 and was largely over by mid-month.

    Now, *what* speech you are talking about, again?

    Oh, the competence…

  39. Kevin,

    I’m sorry you felt that my reply was sarcastic, and I did read what you “saed.” 🙂

    I assume the point of your post was to demonstrate how smart you are? Excellent. Your knowledge of all things governmental clearly outweighs mine.

    Now, I ask one more time, why O why are the actions of the IGC unreasonable? Ironic, possibly, given that a free press is essential to a democracy. However, you’d do well to take note that no matter what you may have heard to the contrary, Iraq is not yet a functioning democracy.

    Sorry if you were offended by a post on the internet, have a nice day.

  40. Mike,

    What are the criteria Iraq must meet to become a functioning democracy?

    As you can probably surmise, I don’t think the phrase “functioning democracy” has much objective meaning. If Iraq has to be a functioning democracy BEFORE a free press is allowed to exist, does it cease to be a functioning democracy once a free press exists? Fact is, a free press always exists, despite the efforts to control it. Information travels on the unsanctioned market, too.

    The common excuse is to make “exceptions” all the time. How many other things do we not allow Iraq to have until they become a functioning democracy? Is it just this one, or are there others?

  41. Good point, Russ D (though rather abstract), and I unfortunately have no good answers.

    I think it’s a question of whether action or inaction will cause the most amount of damage. And I think it not unreasonable to ban the incitement of violence – if that is the case here.

  42. Mike H.,

    While you were reading my post, you may have also noticed that it didn’t say anything one way or another about the original topic of the IGC. It was entirely in response to your Lincoln comment–a hot button issue with me, obviously.

    While I don’t agree with the U.S. government being in Iraq in the first place, the news in question isn’t that big a deal to me. That kind of press restriction would be pretty much a matter of course for any occupation authority, regardless of what kind of regime it intended to establish in the long run.

    The point of my original point was to argue that the harm from Lincoln’s wartime dictatorship far outweighed the good. The point of the second post was to clarify a point that must have taken a huge effort misconstrue. I mean, I’m not delusional enough (yet) to think there’s an independent CSA south of the Potomac, with an embassy in Washington; so I must have been denying that Lincoln “reunified the Union” in something other than the obvious sense.

    And don’t worry, my day is going pretty well, on the whole.

  43. Kev-o,

    Just pulling your chain, dude. Although I do think you’re taking your dislike of Lincoln and the events of the War of Northern Aggression to an extreme, hey, you could be right.

    And yes, I did notice that you didn’t mention anything about the current topic, at which point I decided not to incite you too much – frankly, Kev-o, you kinda scare me with your wacky anarchist ways. I’ve seen your “comrades” on the telly flipping over cars and beating old ladies in the name of “protest.” 🙂

    Anyhoo, re: Abe the Dictator, do you not think that all of the things which you trace back to Lincoln likely would have occurred regardless of his despotism? In other words, I kinda see it as the natural evolution of our society.

    Glad to hear your day is swell, though. Mine, too!

    (And really, I don’t mean to offend. If it’s any consolation, I’ve a perma-shit-eating grin on my face.)

  44. On the Lincoln thing: I think his presidency itself represented the triumph of one element of American society (those that predominated in the Gilded Age) over the rest. And given that triumph, all the rest that followed was part of a natural evolution, I guess you could say. But since the triumph of big business interests couldn’t have happened without massive state intervention in the market, I’d like to think there was always a decentralist alternative amenable to people like me who prefer the Gadsden flag.

    If it makes you feel any better, though, I despise the slaveocracy almost as much as Lincoln. Unlike some of the Confederate apologists at Lew Rockwell, I don’t think the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    As for the car overturners and window smashers, I have no use for them. Most of the black-clad, Circle-A types, I think, are authoritarians who like breaking things and coercing people for the sheer joy of it, and make up an ideological justification after the fact. There’s a whole “anarchist” subculture of self-appointed “anti-racists” and “anti-fascists” who believe they’re entitled to use force against anyone THEY consider a racist or fascist. I guess I’m just too petty bourgeois for that kind of “freedom.”

    Anyway, glad to know neither one of us is too bent out of shape over this exchange. 🙂

  45. “Hey, buddy, the car was flipped over when I got here, and as for your grandmother, well, she shouldn’t’ve mouthed-off like that!” – Homer Simpson

  46. Rick Barton makes a good point in that the language used sounds very Putin-esque. We are walking a fine line here, especially when we can count on the locals to assume the absolute worst motives for any action we take.

    How to get out of this mess? I heard Ted Galen Carpenter from Cato last night say that we should get a dictator we can live with and leave.

    I am very afraid of setting yet another example of the lack of resolve we displayed in Mogadishu. We can debate the merits of nation building, but nothing could be worse than starting it only to abandon the people we wanted to help when terrorists strike.

    What if we call for general elections rediculously early (say January) and demand UN oversight of the elections, since that is what they are supposed to do?

  47. “They want more freedoms? Then let them help us root out the rest of Saddam’s shitheads and we can come home and give them back their country, all sanitized.”

    This is how libertarians think the government should operate? “Don’t make trouble, I’m going to give you something then leave?” Welcome to Welfare Democracy.

    Give a man a fish, he’ll eat tonight. “Sanitize” his political culture from tyranny, and he’ll have democracy tonight.

  48. Congrats Julian.

    Though posing as a civil libertarian, you’ve now assumed the sublimely nihilistic position mocked three years ago in a classic “Onion” piece here:

    “ACLU Defends Nazi’s Right to Burn Down ACLU Headquarters”

    Money Shot:

    While the ACLU vehemently disagrees with the idea of Nazis torching this building, the principle of freedom of expression must be supported in all cases. If we take away these Nazis’ right to burn down our headquarters, we take away everyone’s right to burn down our headquarters”. . . “The real danger here is what would happen to the rest of us if the [Nazis] of this world were not allowed to commit arson against nigger-loving, bleeding-heart-liberal Jew attorneys.”

  49. If you want to get textually and historically anal about Holmes and the First Amendment, Mark, we can. The only speech protected by the text of the First Amendment, per the framer’s discussions, are political speech, religious speech, printed material. Under an originalist approach to the First Amendment, not only can’t you go into a crowded theater and yell fire, you can’t go into a crowded titty bar and tell somebody to strip down; nor can you go into a crowded book sellers and get a copy of Ulysses. Holmes was drawing a line that made a lot of sense in the common law context (speech that counts as an act) and making it clear that such “acts” can be regulated. For example, should oral contracts be given effect by courts? If you think Holmes was whistling out his ass here, then no way in hell should the state be using someone’s “free speech” to enforce a contract against them. Likewise, written contracts – why what are they, but speech committed to paper? What interest does the government have in regulating such speech? Of course, any Russian businessman could tell you that in the absence of state enforcement of contracts, independent contractors are happy to fill in the gaps, usually with baseball bats, Uzis, and brass knuckles. Holmes’ cynical judicial realism wasn’t pure by originalist standards, but his judicial activism in this particular case wasn’t unmoored from traditional common law standards applicable at the time the Constitution was ratified. Nor was his activism overall in the same league as the judicial activism we decry today.

    And as for the Stalin thing, sorry, meant Kruschev and his “I come here to bury Stalin” agit prop speech in ’56.

    As for free press, there are around a hundred newspapers – ranging from low quality pamphlets to broadsheets now being published in Baghdad, many of them highly critical of the U.S. Sounds like a free press to me.

    Bottom line: It’s war. You know, it’s a violation of people’s rights to kick their ass here at home – but we’re okay with it during war, and especially abroad. The Constitution isn’t in effect, starting about 12 miles East of Cape Cod, maybe 200 miles East at best. Sam thing with free speech – can’t stop it at home, but abroad, folks aren’t covered by the First Amendment, and we can quash it when we need to, to further war aims. Shutting up folks who are our declared enemies, with a great capability to cause our rebuilding (and building, really) efforts no end of trouble is not only expedient, but it’s permissible. There it is.

  50. I’m sorry, did the employees of the teevee station burn down something? Here I’ve been thinking they were talking, and playing videotapes.

  51. Just amazing all the pretend libertarians who are so quick to suspend freedoms for the brown people who aren’t quite up to our standards. All of these inane arguments for controlling speech in Iraq have nothing to do with liberty or freedom, they are basically excuses for why liberty is right for me and not for you.

  52. There is an educated segment of the Iraqi public on the fence who needs to see how it’s going to be different under a democracy. Counter programming is a better alternative than seizing journalist’s equipment with armed soldiers. Show why Sadam’s message will not work. Iraq needs its own Crossfire not a hostile government shoving guns down the throats of the Iraqis who will be there when the dust settles.

    Showing Sadam’s tape is more akin to publishing the unabomber’s tract than yelling fire in a crowded theater.

  53. “I know that Mr. Lincoln was a tyrannt during the US Civil War, but was reuniting the Union and freeing the slaves as a consequence of reunification worth the suspension of some southern media and everything else good ol’ Abe did?”

    No. Lincoln did not “reunite” the Union. He refounded it on a different constitutional basis. Before the war, the Union was a voluntary one between states. An individual state could secede from the Union the same way it acceded to it: by assembling its sovereign people in convention and voting to do so.

    The “Civil War” also set precedents for what Rossiter called “constitutional dictatorship” in wartime–precedents that were expanded by Wilson and FDR, and resulting in recent administrations in reams of executive orders and plans like GARDEN PLOT for martial law in the event of a “national emergency.”

    Besides a constitutional revolution in the central government’s power, Lincoln’s victory led to massive Gilded Age corruption and collusion between the government and big business. In fact, the big business of the turn of the 20th century was essentially a creation of government intervention over the previous forty years.

    And without the energetic government created by Lincoln, it’s much less likely “our” leaders would have been in a position to manipulate us into WWI, and the resulting horrors that have followed it.

    Global intervention, the national security state, and massive military-industrial complex, can all at least in part be traced back to Lincoln.

  54. “An individual state could secede from the Union the same way it acceded to it: by assembling its sovereign people in convention and voting to do so.”

    Actually, the question of whether states could secede was controversial back then, too. Lincoln did not overturn a settled issue; he answered an ongoing question.

  55. Yeah, we’ve really lost ground when our avowed enemies, funded by radical mullahs and terrorist states, who live in a war zone we’re trying to pacify, can’t organize and publicize the mullahs’ command to rise up and kill us all.

    I blame it on the PATRIOT Act.

    Removing tongue from cheek, the Saddam tape was the final straw. Al Arabiya regularly does a lot of things that are much worse. Check out for details.

  56. No. Lincoln did not “reunite” the Union.

    Really? Hmmm, then it appears that my history books have lied to me. (See joe’s answer please.)

    Global intervention, the national security state, and massive military-industrial complex, can all at least in part be traced back to Lincoln.

    Whaa? And I think Mr. Lincoln also liked corn-on-the-cob…just like me! Does that mean that I – never mind.

    And yes, we’re just like the Russians/Soviets in the eyes of the Middle Eastern peoples – just without all of the leveling of towns by artillery fire and slaughtering of civilians by infantry. But other than that, we’re just like the Commies! Get a grip, dude.


    Were we wrong to ban the Nazi Party in Germany following WWII?

    Why or why not?

    Along the same lines, are we now wrong to silence media which appears to be actively against democracy in an extremely fragile situation in current-day Iraq?

  57. I don’t think the Nazi situation is comparable, as Germany had been an open society a decade earlier.

    In Iraq, creating an open society seems to be the main reason we went in.

    It may or may not be wrong to shut down al-Arabiya,
    but it certainly is a big blow to the goal of introducing freedom of press.

  58. Were we wrong to ban the Nazi Party in Germany following WWII?

    What’s this we thing? It was zee Germans who banned the Nazis, for the same reason our Congress passed the PATRIOT USA Act. Fear trumps rational analysis. Regardless of our individual abilities to analyze phenomena rationally, collectively we cannot escape the claws of animal “reasoning”.

  59. Soliciting violent acts is not “free speech”. It’s called misprision of felony, and it’s illegal in the U.S. and AFAIK in every civilised country.

  60. Al Arabiya simply broadcast a tape. They did not solicit violent attacks, AFAIK.

  61. Doing news coverage of people soliciting violent acts is not the same thing as soloiciting them.

    The major American networks usually excerpt from OBL’s messages even though they presumably do not endorse them.

    And the fact that al-Arabiya covers SH more sympathetically than American media cover OBL would not be a crime in a free society.

  62. >>Global intervention, the national security state, and massive military-industrial complex

    i thought it was James K. Polk. and before that the evil federalists. make up your mind!

  63. Thanks Don, for reminding us that it’s mostly the J. E. W. S. behind all of this, as usual. It’s not an authentic internet political conversation until somebody’s argued that it’s all the fault of the international zionist financier conspiracy.

  64. The attempt to cover up widespread corruption and the influence of billionaire campaign donors by smearing critics as anti-Semitic is just one of the lies that Bush supporters use.

    As I noted, Likud supporters are just one of three interest groups skewing our middle east policy in damaging ways. The other two are Big Oil and Defense.

    Dick Cheney spent much of the 1990s trying to get US government support for –and protection of –Houston’s foray into the huge oil deposits around the Caspian Sea. As a billion Chinese buy automobiles in the next several decades, the demand for oil will rise and the profits will be huge. The profits will go to a few politically=connected men while the costs will be dumped onto the common US taxpayer. Already, the “War on terror” is being used to justify construction of several US military bases in Central Asia. Such bases are for the protection of Houston’s investments, not to chase down Al Qaeda.

    It’s also worthwhile remembering that the 52 F16s sold to Sharon in June 2001 are made by Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth Texas. Dick Cheney’s wife, Lynne Cheney, was on Lockheed Martin’s Board of Directors from 1994 until the January 2001 inauguration. The stock of Lockheed Martin and other defense contractors have soared under Bush.

    Finally, there are many wealthy donors who care nothing for Israel but who care greatly about the $2 Trillion that Bush and the Republicans stole from Social Security/Medicare and gave to the rich as tax cuts. Those wealthy donors are happy to support Bush’s pandering to Sharon’s wealthy supporters if it will help the Republicans stay in power.

    Remember that the next time you see President Bush embrace Todd Beamer’s sobbing widow.

  65. Hey – we embed reporters and they can say what they want. What’s wrong with Al-Jazeera having reporters make US look bad? They have a right to be anti-US….

    Wait – there are really no rights there. No gov’t exists and no constitution exists. That’s right, Paul Bremmer is in charge. Freedom my ass.

    While still at war. Freedom of the Press only extends to those countries who have granted that to their citizens. That’s why we allow the BBC. But Iraw has no country right now – we are in the process of giving them one.

  66. Just a quick link for ya Don.

    Thats Lockheed Martin’s stock performance dating back to 1999. If you’ll notice, it’s no higher now, than it was when Clinton was in office. Actually it’s lower now than it was in 99. It had a radical drop down to almost 16 dollars a share, and it had steadily risen back almost to it’s pre Bush numbers. It took me exactly 10 seconds to research that Don. Before you go spouting off, I suggest you do some research instead of posting unsupported bullshit, in order to beef up your anti-war/anti-Israel/anti-US platform. k?

  67. Oh, and Scott. It was not Al-Jazeera, and Al-Arabiya that were paying people to protest, and attack troops. It was also, Al-Arabiya that was “magically” showing up in the area, just moments before an attack would occur. The Provisional Government has discovered that the pro-Saddam insurgents would let their tame reporters know about a bombing before it was going to happen, so that they could be there. The reporters from Al-Arabiya, instead of letting the authorities know about an impending attack, were instead hanging around waiting for it to happen. If our reporters here in the US were doing the same thing, their asses would be under the jail, and not just kicked out of the country.

  68. As we all know, television programs which call for killing American soldiers and officials are a-okay here in the US of A, so we oughta allow the same in Iraq. Good thing our Founding Fathers got together to write that suicide pact, I tell ya…

  69. “Did we shut down pro-Milosivic TV in Yugoslavia?”


  70. I have not read the entire thread, so someone might have mentioned this before, in the case my apologie’s, but have all the people here who defend Al-J. and Al-A. allready forgotten that the last tape from Osama was kept under wraps by Al.J. for a full two months before they choose to air it, and lets certainly not overlook the miracoules appearance of the reporters from both stations at the scene of ambushes even before the U.S. Army itself has a clue of what is going on on that location, or as Zeyad in the “Healing Iraq” blog describes, importing “witnesses” to the scene of the crime and hanging their entire item on the vieuws of those “witnesses”.

    There is a not so fine line between pressfreedom and aiding and abeting the enemy, imho Al.J.and Al-A. have crossed that line once to many and must now suffer the consequences.

  71. The problem is that the US News media is just as censored by Israel’s supporters as the Iraqi media. US voters are being continually lied to and misled –which destroys the very foundation of a republic.

    Some of you may recall Condoleeza Rice going to the CEOs of the major US TV networks and twisting their arms to not air any more Bin Ladin communications in the weeks after 9/11. As a result, the American people never learned what triggered the Sept 11 attack and have been easily manipulated into supporting the agenda of Israel, oil and defense contractors — an agenda contrary to the national interest even if it is wrapped in the flag.

    4) After Sept 11, the New York Times ran an article telling us that the Sept 11 had nothing to do the one-sided US government’s one-sided support of Israel. Bill Kristol went on NBC’s This Week and told us much the same.

    In reality, both Israel’s supporters and Bush were desperately lying to the American people — to prevent them from noticing that Bush’s pandering to Sharon had triggered the death of 3000+ citizens, $100 Billion in direct costs, and $1 Trillion in indirect costs.

    5) The most casual Internet search will show that Bin Ladin gave a series of interviews to US TV networks in 1998 and that he repeatedly cited US support of Israel’s attacks on the Palestinians as one of three main reasons for an Islamic Jihad against the US. See

    6) In his speeches after Sept 11, Bush told America that that “we” (his administration) had “done nothing to deserve this”. He stated that the attack occurred because “they hate our freedom” He also stated that he had been “secretly” working on a plan to create a Palestinian state in the weeks prior to Sept 11.

    7)However, Bin Ladin indicated in an interview, published in a Pakistani newspaper called DAWN, why the Sept 11 attack occurred:

    “The Sept 11 attacks were not targeted at women and children. The real targets were America’s icons of military and economic power. …..The American people should remember that they pay taxes to their government, they elect their president, their government manufactures arms and gives them to Israel and Israel uses them to massacre Palestinians. ”
    (See )

    8) Recall that Clinton’s attempt to pressure Israel into making peace with the Palestinians was disrupted when Monica Lewinsky exposed her affair with him. An Israeli legislator, Sharon, then sabotaged the talks by going into the third most holy Islamic mosque with several hundred policemen. Sharon used the ensuring riots that he triggered to win election as Prime Minister and then hit the Palestinians hard. In spring of 2001, he even used F16s fighters bought from the US to bomb Palestinians, arousing the anger and condemmation of the world.

    Bush, however, halted State Department criticism and encouraged Sharon by selling Sharon 52 more F16s in June 2001, several months before the Sept 11 attack. (See ,,

    9) For the June 20 , 2001 announcement of the F16 sale, go to here : , click on “Archives”, select June 2001 from the list, and then search the resulting page for “Israel” or simply page down to the June 20 entries. )

    10) The final approval on the sale was announced a few days before the Sept 11 attack. One reason why our intelligence received no warning of the attack was the seething anger in the Arab world over the F16 sale. See and
    An excerpt from
    dated September 8,2001:
    ” The timing the US chose to announce its decision to give Israel the dangerous F-16 jets is really strange. It seems as though the US is telling Israel “Go ahead Sharon! Carry on with the assassination of Palestinian children and the destruction of the houses of peaceful civilians! Proceed with the destruction of the Palestinian defenseless people’s infrastructure and with desecrating Islamic sanctities in the holy land!”

    The fact this information has been hidden from the American people– that it has never appeared in the US news media — shows the lengths to which Likud’s supporters will go to mislead Americans.

    11) Bush was pandering to Sharon because some of the largest campaign financiers of the Democratic Party are Supporters of Israel –Haim Saban , for example, alone gave the Democrats $10 million in the past two years.
    See ,

    Bush is trying to seduce those financiers away from the Democrats
    and he is pandering to these donors at the expense of the national interest.

    The problem is not American Jews as a group — many of whom do not support Sharon and Likud’s aggression against the Palestinians. The problem is a small group of arrogant wealthy men — some of whom are not even Jewish –who let their egos,politics, and thirst for manipulation take priority over the loyalty they owe to the United States.

    There is a big difference between supporting Israel’s right to exist versus supporting Likud’s deceit and aggression.

  72. Looks like this goes beyond precting the speech of jihadists:

  73. Looks like this goes beyond protecting the speech of jihadists:

  74. Hey Brad

    Lockheed Martin’s stock was around 33.40 when Bush entered office. It subsequently soared to a high of 71.43 within about 18 months –June 2002.

  75. Did we shut down pro-Milosivic TV in Yugoslavia?

  76. PS to Brad

    Yes , the Lockheed stock began falling circa June 2002, but I think this was the effect of the law requiring more honest accounting plus CEOs having to sign the accounting statements. See,e.g, this post on Yahoo’s Lockheed board (message 113645 from

    Re: Bulls & Bears Recs Sell on LMT
    by: dbtrble2
    Long-Term Sentiment: Strong Sell 07/21/02 10:18 am
    Msg: 113645 of 145360

    “The most recent earnings report was positive, by the way.”

    Yeah … says you!

    Other people think otherwise:

    7/18/02 S&P Marketscope, Stocks in the News
    S&P REITERATES SELL LOCKHEED MARTIN (LMT 60.00): World?s largest defense contractor ostensibly posted a 129% hike in Q2 EPS to $0.78. But after stripping out several non-core items the gain falls dramatically, to 18%, to $0.58. Even the 18% gain is problematic. We have serious issues with LMT?s combining pension gains with other post-retirement costs, which we believe is tantamount to combining oil and water. We believe the stock of this mediocre generator of long term earnings and ROE is trading at least at a 40% premium to its fair market value./R.Friedman-CPA

    We’ll see who’s LOL last … as this dog rapidly descends back into the 30’s.

    None of the above affects the fact that defense contractors like Lockheed have been enjoying a gravy train under Bush. At the beginning of the Bush administration, the DOD budget was roughly $350 billion –more than the defense budgets of the NEXT 23 largest military powers COMBINED (and most of those powers are our allies –NATO countries plus Japan.) Even Russia and China only spend on the order of $50 billion/year –while Bush has raised our budget to $400 billion. In a bit of Orwellian doubletalk, he’s also argued that we need to spend $60 billion/year additional on a Department of Homeland Security. If the Department of Defense is not defending the continental US, then what the hell is it doing with $400 billion/year of our tax dollars?

    Note that Bush and the Republicans never asked why that huge budget did nothing to defend the US on Sept 11. That’s because the defense budget doesn’t defend the US –it defends the foreign investments of rich campaign donors like Big Oil. Plus it shovels billions in corporate welfare to contractors like Lockheed –who, by the way, donated roughly $2.3 million in the 2002 electoral cycle. See

  77. Not true Brad.

    Your assertion that “Also, LM’s stock began falling when Bush took office, and has steadily risen over the last year and a half to almost it’s pre-Bush numbers. It’s still lower than it was before Bush took office. Hardly a “gravy train”. ”

    is wrong.

    As I noted, Lockheed’s stock rose greatly when Bush took office — from around 33.40 when Bush entered office to a high of 71.43 within about 18 months –June 2002. A nice tidy 113% gain for someone.

    Lockheed’s stock had been at around 54 back in 1998, but it fell greatly in 1999 for several reasons. One, Lockheed lost a huge contract –for the next generation of NRO spy satellites –to Boeing. One reason for that was that Lockheed management was considered responsible for three expensive Titan space launches which failed in the 1998-99 timeframe. News reports indicated that the NRO lost a $Billion satellite on one of those launches. Plus I believe three NASA missions to Mars failed — and Lockheed Martin was contractor on those missions. As I recall, one mission failed because Lockheed software failed to convert English units to metric per specification. A government investigation indicated that another mission most likely failed because Lockheed control software turned off a descent engine about 150 feet above the ground during landing. Finally, a successor to the Space Shuttle –the X-33 being built by Lockheed under NASA contract –was deemed a hopeless failure and cancelled after NASA had spent almost $1 Billion on it.

    Lockheed Martin — and other defense contractors hopelessly wedded to the federal pig trough — have been rescued by the corporate welfare of the Bush gravy train.

    The 2002 accounting reforms which have hurt Lockheed stock were driven by the stock market and were forced by events upon reluctant Republican members of Congress. In my opinion, Republican members of Congress –like Senator Phil Gramm — helped cause the Enron, Worldcom, and Wall Street scandals through their efforts in 1996-2000 to “get the government off the backs of the people ” == in reality, to get SEC regulators off the backs of their campaign contributers.

  78. Couple of things Don. Comparing our Defense budget to China, or Russia’s, is comparing apples to oranges and you know it. Also, LM’s stock began falling when Bush took office, and has steadily risen over the last year and a half to almost it’s pre-Bush numbers. It’s still lower than it was before Bush took office. Hardly a “gravy train”. You said that their stock fell because of new laws enacted in 2002, but Bush was in office at that time. Are you saying that this “gravy train”, helped their stock to fall? One last thing for ya Don. Since their stock has risen, they probably added more jobs. Is not one of the Presidents jobs being responsible for the economy? Are you saying that in order for this President to be doing good things, big companies stocks should fall? You’re not making sense Don, and you are contradicting yourself in your efforts to spin everything into a “it’s all the GOP’s fault”. Personally, I don’t own any Lockheed stock, but I’m glad it’s on the rise. Since they have some new laws that have been enacted since this President came into office, that require more accountability from the CEO’s, and the stocks are rising despite those new laws, I’d have to the man is doing a good job so far.

  79. “Lockheed Martin — and other defense contractors hopelessly wedded to the federal pig trough — have been rescued by the corporate welfare of the Bush gravy train.”

    Thats great Don. I can almost see the fuzzy little hat, with the red star in the middle of it, bobbing up and down as you speak. That 113% gain means people who invest in that company have made money Don. I guess that’s a bad thing huh? Maybe, that money being spent on the company, so that they can branch out in new directions, and in the process, give people jobs, is a bad thing. To be real honest with you Don, I’d much rather see the government promoting our businesses as much as they can (creating jobs), instead of our Government using those same tax dollars to keep the slackers in our society flush with beer and cigarette money.

  80. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/26/2004 01:54:18
    In this grand B movie we call life, there is always a girl.

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