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Remarks - Convicting the "Paintball Sheikh"

Reader comment on item: Convicting [Ali al-Timimi,] the "Paintball Sheikh"

Submitted by Charles Maxwell (United States), May 2, 2005 at 14:51

Mr Pipes,

First, let me say thank you for all your work in identifying the greatest threat to our 21st century national survival, Islamo-Facism. I fully agree with your article and I believe that we as a nation need to start paying closer attention to the "protected" words that often precede the deeds of these Islamic killers.

I would take your article one step further and suggest that we have, in addition to an out of control liberal media, many elected officials who hide behind the veil of "freedom of speech" to incite a separate political agenda. By way of example, Ali al-Timimi used our 1st amendment "Freedoms to speak" to invoke hatred and recruit more Islamic killers that would be pitted against our coalition troops. His hate speech is not unlike shouting fire in a crowded theater! You are at liberty to shout whatever you like in the empty theater, but once a crowd has assembled, you no longer have that liberty as people get hurt and sometimes die as a result of irresponsible speech.

By way of extension, doesn't our "free speech" in the media sometimes bring comfort to our enemy? I suggest that we extend the ramifications of the Timimi case to our politicians and liberal minded media who seem to be using the war in Iraq (and GWOT in general) to further their own political agendas at the expense of the lives of our soldiers. Is this responsible behavior for citizens of a nation in a struggle for survival? It certainly is! When a nation is at war, struggling for survival as we are now, speech must be governed by a principal that separates free speech from irresponsible speech. Just as you cannot shout fire in a crowded theater, so you should not be allowed to shout words that contradict the national mission and create conditions for American soldiers to lose in battle or die. This is precisely what Al Gore, Ted Kennedy and other liberals have been doing since we entered Iraq! And, I suggest that Americans have died as a result of their irresponsible speech.

In addition, their speech and general anti-war positions has certainly given the enemy comfort and cause to continue with greater resolve. I believe you can make the case that shouting blatant lies about our war efforts, as so many liberals did and continue to do, is no different than shouting fire in a crowded theater! I'd love to see you take this idea and write a piece to make the broader case for "more governed speech" during a time of war.

Thanks for listening.

Charles Maxwell
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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