The innocence of Obama is intertwined with the innocence of Muslims. If Muslims are innocent of terror, then so is the foreign policy that has empowered them. But if Muslims are guilty of terror then the politicians who have pandered to them are guilty of enabling it at the least. If Muslims are innocent of terror, then Obama is innocent of complicity in their terror. But if Muslim terror is a true thing, then the man who helped them unleash it by toppling stable governments and replacing them with Islamist movements and militias shares in their guilt.
Censorship is only truly necessary when censoring the guilt of governments and protecting their policies. And the censorship of the War on Terror is not the censorship of dissent from the policy of fighting terrorists. Such dissent can be found in every newspaper editorial office and in the offices of every third Northeastern Congressman. It is the dissent from the policy of fighting the symptoms of terror, rather than the roots of terror, from the policy of not fighting Islamic terrorism, that is censored and punished, that is a firing offense and a locking away offense.
In the age of terror, the dangerous ones are not those who denounce the war, but those who denounce the lack of a war, who upset the balance of an inept policy that seeks a small controllable conflict by closing our eyes to the larger threat. It is these dangerous ones who must be censored so that we may go on safely losing our nation building wars, bringing home coffins, Korans and refugees without ever questioning whether this should be so.
The War on Terror has not impeded the civil liberties of those who oppose the war, but of those who oppose the terror.
In 1919, the same year that Goldstein’s appeal was being heard, the Supreme Court ruled on Schenck v. United States. The case is obscure, but it has given us a famous phrase from the legal mouth of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater.”
This timeless phrase, long since legally discredited, came to life when Muslims began burning embassies while the White House claimed that the fault lay not in its foreign policy, which had overturned allies and replaced them with murderous Islamists, but with a movie. Pundits dug up Schenck and began penning essays suggesting that offending a Muslim should be as illegal as shouting fire in a crowded mosque.
Under the new civil liberties, the right of a Muslim to praise terrorists, upload videos promoting terrorism and even funding terrorist charities would be sacrosanct under the Bill of Rights. But make a movie mocking Mohammed and suddenly the Bill of Rights won’t be returning your phone calls as you are being frog-marched to your new cell.
In civil liberties circles it is claimed that the war against terrorism has deprived Muslims of their civil rights, but in reality Muslims have gained rights, while we have lost them. The balance between the civil rights of Americans and the need to avoid offending Muslims has been shifting their way and we all pay the price when we fly and soon enough we will begin paying it when we talk.
America’s first political prisoner in generations is under arrest for offending Muslims and as a cover for the failed policy of appeasing Muslims. If history is any guide, then he will not be the last. The more bombs go off, the more buildings burn and the more questions are asked, the more Youssefs will be needed to deflect those questions and protect the innocence of Muslims and of their political panderers.
“The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater,” Holmes said, and modern day Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has suggested that burning a Koran may be considered a modern day version of the same thing. But what if a man isn’t falsely shouting fire, what if there really is a fire? And what if the theater management has him dragged away for causing a panic even while the smell of charred flesh rises into the air and the red curtains around the screen begin to burn?