Donald Trump

Which Major Party Presidential Candidate Blamed Free Speech for Terrorism Today?

Trick question-it was both of them.

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Hillary Clinton
Ricky Fitchett / ZUMA Press / Splash News/Newscom

It is fortunate that nobody was killed in the weekend terror attempts in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota, other than the suspect in the mall stabbings.

Since this is an election revolving around blaming and punishing people, of course that's where the political discussion went. Reminding us that they are both terrible on issues of free speech, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both had awful things to say about everybody's civil liberties in the fight against terrorism.

Trump, this morning, on Fox & Friends, blamed the freedom of the press because of the publishing of magazines that instruct people on how to make bombs. He insisted that he believes in the freedom of the press (doubtful), but also called for anybody who provides instructions on how to build bombs to be arrested because they're "participating in crime." He also said some people who operate websites should also be arrested for "inciting violence. … They're making violence possible. They should be arrested immediately" for operating websites that give instructions on making bombs. (You can watch the segment cued up to the comments here)

In typical Trump (and Fox & Friends) fashion, everything discussed is so vague as to be unclear what he means. Does he believe it's a prosecutable offense to simply publish information that can be used to make bombs? It's absolutely not, but it's often worth trying to tease out the bigger issue Trump is trying to get at. I want to maybe guess that what he really wants to do is go after sites that are actively attempting to stir up terrorism on behalf of the Islamic State, but maybe that's giving him too much credit. If he thinks that the providing of information is what makes the violence possible, then he's got a problem because—even if it were legal for the United States to prosecute people simply for providing information that could be used for violent means—the ability to access information on the Internet doesn't end at the U.S. borders. Who is he going to arrest?

Trump's response is awful, but represents a commonly held attitude: Quite a few people want to censor information that can be used for violent means without actually thinking through the unintended consequences (maybe remind them of the court ruling that a school could ban patriotic apparel if it offended students and potentially stirred up violence).

Trust Clinton to match Trump with her own broadside against free speech in response to the attacks and to make it all about Trump himself. Clinton said that the things Trump says is being used as a recruitment tool for ISIS and flat out essentially accused him of treason (without actually using the word).

From New York Magazine:

"We know that a lot of the rhetoric that we've heard from Donald Trump has been seized on by terrorists, in particular ISIS," Clinton said "They are looking to make this into a war against Islam, rather than a war against jihadists, violent terrorists — people who number in the, maybe, tens of thousands, not the tens of millions. They want to use that to recruit more fighters to their cause, by turning it into a religious conflict."

Clinton went on to note that Trump's comments have been used for the recruitment of terrorists online, according to former CIA director Michael Hayden.

"We also know from the former head of our counter-terrorism center Matt Olsen that the kinds of rhetoric and language Mr. Trump has used is giving aid and comfort to our adversaries," Clinton continued. [emphasis added]

Not entirely sure how social signaling is going to help with the war on terror. Also not entirely sure it's going to help with the election. When you're accusing Trump of treasonous language, what are you saying about his supporters? Frankly, this statement is probably much nastier than the "deplorables" comment, but it's probably too subtle to register to a lot of people. (David Harsanyi noticed over at The Federalist.)

And Clinton may not want to prosecute people for posting information that authorities deem dangerous, but she most certainly wants to fight terrorism by censoring the Internet, and she wants Silicon Valley to help. She endorses a very technocratic approach that assumes the right people and the right technology and the right algorithms will somehow make sure only the bad people get censored. But tell that to anybody who has had to suffer the abusive enforcement of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Related reading: Donald Trump is awful on the First Amendment. Hillary Clinton is also awful on the First Amendment.

NEXT: Gary Johnson is slightly good for Hillary

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  1. Rights? what are they?

    1. Impediments to the good works performed by our Dear Leaders!

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    2. Things that are all subject to “reasonable regulation.”

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  2. Nobody was killed?!? Haven’t you heard, nobody was even hurt!

  3. Is anyone else just kind of tired? From this article, to zoning laws, to signage laws, to licensing laws, to permits, to etc, etc etc.

    It is a mess and people just accept it.

    1. That’s why I’m mainlining kratom 24-7/

      1. ::Alerts SWAT team to save DEATFBIRSECIA from himself::

        1. A bullet to the head does wonders.

      2. I get your username, but it takes me awhile to realize it’s not some random Portuguese word.

    2. Well, the good news is that, eventually, the government will be too broke to police anything.

      So, there’s that.

  4. o/t: Hillary’s immunity-protected IT guy actually went on Reddit two years ago to solicit advice on how to scrub email addresses from archived messages.

    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/365894.php

    1. Was that before or after the emails were under subpoena?

      1. A day after.

        On July 24, 2014, stonetear posted to reddit:

        Hello all- I may be facing a very interesting situation where I need to strip out a VIP’s (VERY VIP) email address from a bunch of archived email that I have both in a live Exchange mailbox, as well as a PST file. Basically, they don’t want the VIP’s email address exposed to anyone, and want to be able to either strip out or replace the email address in the to/from fields in all of the emails we want to send out.
        I am not sure if something like this is possible with PowerShell, or exporting all of the emails to MSG and doing find/replaces with a batch processing program of some sort.
        Does anyone have experience with something like this, and/or suggestions on how this might be accomplished?

        On July 23, 2014, the House Select Committee on Benghazi had reached an agreement with the State Department on the production of records, according to an FBI report released earlier this month on the bureau’s probe of her email use.

        1. Now, my question to the law-talking guys – can his immunity be revoked if he’s proven to have been deceitful?

          1. “We find no evidence of *intent* to deceive.”

          2. It doesn’t matter.

            The reddit threads seem pretty definitive, but it still requires digging through a reddit thread and linking it to this guy based on his reddit handle, Gmail address, and Etsy (seriously?) account. That’s way, way too complicated for today’s investigative journalists, let alone law enforcement. Way easier to brush it off as a bunch of nutty conspiracy theories.

            1. That’s way, way too complicated much the wrong narrative for today’s investigative journalists, let alone law enforcement.

          3. What difference, at this point, does it make?

      2. According to Breitbart, there was a subpoena in August of 2013. According to redit, the post was made on 24 July 2014.

        Ooops!

  5. Wait, are we sure Hillary didn’t blame it on a cartoon frog?

    1. +1 Free Beer

    2. Hypnotoad.

  6. In fact, Trump tried to incite terrorism with his aggressive anti-Islamic rhetoric, though he blundered by saying that “Obama is the founder of ISIS”. They were basically laughing at us on that one. Hillary is doing the same thing, but at least she knows that accusing Americans of founding ISIS de-legitimizes them. It’s a savvy move.

    Jill Stein approves this message.

    1. So you ran with your tail between your legs to this thread, I see.

      Listen, child. If you weren’t such an ill-lettered rube, you would have known that in commedia dell’arte, the “clown” is always the most clever and most sympathetic character who consistently outwits the other stock characters. And as dramaturgy recapitulates reality, you unceasingly enter this battle of wits unarmed; leading to your degradation again and again as we hook our fingers in your nostrils and lead you around by the nose.

      Yet, you return time and time again to humiliate yourself in front of us. Why? Because it is your nature.

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  7. Anyone remember the 80s when – I can’t for the life of me remember the publisher, and no, I don’t want to search for it at work – you could buy softbound books about becoming a ninja, or making booby traps, explosives, etc, etc

    Fun to read in my teenager the world-is-going-to-end-in-a-nuclear-war-survivalist phase

    Related

    1. Paladin Press?

      1. yeah that’s it – friend of mine in HS ordered a few of those. I always assumed he got put “on a list” for that. I did have the Vietnam-era Special Forces manual though.

        1. I read “How to be a Hit Man” for shits and giggles. It was actually quite interesting.

          1. It was actually quite interesting.

            “For information purposes only.”

        2. Paladin Press bought a bunch of Loompanics titles when it went out of business. (Loompanics was also a publisher.)

          I did have the Vietnam-era Special Forces manual though.

          Was that the one with all the improvised demolitions? I had that one to! Good times…

    2. Loompanics was a big mail-order distributor of that material.

      1. That’s who I was trying to think of! Thanks.

  8. “called for anybody who provides instructions on how to build bombs to be arrested”

    Blake Snyder is in trouble.

    1. Ban chemistry!

      1. Or at least arrange things so that the general public doesn’t learn much about STEM subjects…wait a minute…

        1. Just raising a generation of pussies that can’t even build an improvised cannon to fight off the Gorn.

  9. And Clinton may not want to prosecute people for posting information that authorities deem dangerous,

    Oh yes she does. Look at the aftermath of the Benghazi consulate storming, or even Citizens United, which was of course Hillary trying to ban a book she didn’t like.

    1. As much as I don’t like Clinton, CU involved Clinton mostly in that the movie in question was about her.

      But she didn’t write and pass McCain-Feingold, which was the law the Supreme Court threw out that made it illegal for CU to show that film when it did.

      And she wasn’t trying to ban anything in the suit – CU filed suit against the FEC, not the other way around.

      She is to blame, fairly, for wanting to stack the Court to get it reversed (I believe that’s her problem; certainly the Sandersnistas are pushing it too), but she was only tangentially related to the CU suit.

      1. Didn’t she vote for McCain-Feingold though? I do agree that her connection is still more indirect in that the film in question happened to be about her, but the case could have gone the same way about another politician.

  10. I guess we’ll have to make it against the law for public schools to teach chemistry?

    1. Yeah, I’m fairly certain my high school chemistry and/or phyisics books had sections explaining how bombs work.

      Also I guess no one can ever train anyone else in the field of demolition.

  11. Where’s Citizen X and Domestic Dissident? I’m sure they would have a few zingers on this one. kbolino?

    1. Stay classy, fuckface.

      1. Zing!

        Jill Stein greenlights this message.

  12. I’m going with both.

    1. I was right. So what do I win?

  13. Personally, I blame the gypsies.

  14. Hmmm.

    But articles criticizing Trump signal that Reason supports Clinton.

    And articles criticizing Clinton signal that Reason supports Trump.

    This is known.

    And this article criticizes… both??

    What could that mean?? Does Reason want BOTH Trump AND Clinton to win??

    1. A liberal friend swore to me yesterday that voting for Johnson was voting for Trump. Go figure…
      Of course the Trumpers swear that voting for Johnson is voting for Hillary.

      1. apparently voting for johnson is voting for everybody….and what better way to celebrate modern society than giving everyone a trophy!

        1. That’s how you leverage your vote. One vote becomes three (or more). You don’t even have to be dead.

        2. I plan to vote with my johnson. And he sure as heck isn’t tapping the screen for Hillary. egads.

    2. Are you trying to undermine the Reason Foundation with comments like that? You will destroy the web site and all that is good in the world. People like you are despicable humans – you create devastation in your wake and then clown dance away like nothing happened. Very, very evil.

      1. Jill Stein approved that message!

      2. Shut up, Satan.

        1. Jill Stein apologizes profusely for the reprehensible behavior of her sockpuppet – again.

    3. They support Gary Johnson, much to SIV’s chagrin.

    4. Does Reason want BOTH Trump AND Clinton to win??

      Donllary Trumpton 2016!

      1. GTFO. It’s Hillnald Clintump 2016!!

        Donllary Trumpton is the WORST candidate you could ever support.

  15. The one that wants to overturn freedom of speech?

    Wait, that does not really narrow it down, does it?

  16. [Trump] called for anybody who provides instructions on how to build bombs to be arrested because they’re “participating in crime.”

    *And* anybody who provides instructions on how to obtain instructions on how to build bombs, right? RIGHT?!

    1. you realize you just let people know that such instructions are out there somewhere. you see, that’s how they get you.

  17. I believe in freedom of speech, but…

    I believe in freedom of the press, but…

    I believe in freedom of ________, but…

    NO. YOU. DON’T.

    1. I believe in freedom of beautiful woman to run around naked, but….

      Wait. There is no “but” here.

      +1 liberty.

      1. Yeah, but there is a shapely butt. +1 callipygian

  18. I think this incident proves the need for pressure cooker control — if only we had leaders who could stand up to the pressure cooker nuts.

    I propose a 48 hr waiting period and a ban on assault pressure cookers. I also propose a background check for all pressure cookers.

    Also, knife control – when will we stop the madness?

  19. i think it’s highly important that we don’t threaten people who use speech with jail or of being a traitor. however, that’s not the same as saying that words matter, and we have to be more responsible in some instances. granted, i don’t think hillary or trump can separate the two, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a difference.

    1. WTF you talkin’ bout, Willis.

  20. RE: Which Major Party Presidential Candidate Blamed Free Speech for Terrorism Today?
    Trick question?it was both of them.

    Correct.
    We all can rest easy that both candidates running for the Soviet Premiership have our welfare at heart by blaming terrorism on free speech. One can bet their lives both candidates will do everything they can to eliminate that burdening yoke from our necks once elected. This way we will all be free to follow the wise diktats emitting from the White House Dascha immediately and be finally liberated from thinking for ourselves, saying what we want, read what we want and openly discuss diverse issues of the day. We already live in a police state as witnessed The State spying on us all, so we might as well finish the grand socialist project by eliminating all vestiges of freedom in this country.
    Next up, give up your guns bitches!

  21. Only one of these two candidates would have the entirety of the Federal bureaucracy lined up against him should he win.

    The other would have carte blanche.

    1. Trump would have plenty of support in law enforcement bureaucracies, which aren’t exactly inconsequential when it comes to carrying out one’s agenda.

  22. the ability to access information on the Internet doesn’t end at the U.S. borders.

    Come on. It’ll probably be far easier to scare Congress into creating the Great American Firewall than the Great Southern Border Wall.

    Where does it say again that Americans have the right to unrestricted access to anything on the Internet? That’s right: nowhere.

  23. Magazines? Really? Like paper and staples magazines? Is his mental model of the world that regressed that he thinks people are setting up newsstands selling magazines that show you how to make a bomb?

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  26. QUOTE: “We also know from the former head of our counter-terrorism center Matt Olsen that the kinds of rhetoric and language Mr. Trump has used is giving aid and comfort to our adversaries,” Clinton continued.

    This is just a fact.
    ISIS wants to see more and more non-Muslim Americans become distrustful of Muslims so that Muslims will feel alienated and hated and driven into the arms of radical jihadists.

    QUOTE: Last week, an ISIS spokesman wrote on the ISIS-affiliated Telegram channel, Nashir, “I ask Allah to deliver America to Trump.” Meanwhile, an ISIS supporter posted on one of the numerous jihadist “channels” hosted by the Telegram messaging application, “The ‘facilitation’ of Trump’s arrival in the White House must be a priority for jihadists at any cost!!!
    This is from an article at http://www.foreignaffairs.com, “Why ISIS is Rooting for Trump.”

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