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Freedom of Speech is not Sedition

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

Submitted by Steve (United States), May 3, 2005 at 06:54

Let us not confuse rights of "freedom of speech" with sedition and conspiracy to commit a crime. We all admit that yelling "fire" in a crowded movie theatre isn't an action supported by concepts of freedom of speech. Equally, conspiracy to commit murder or another crime (discussing, planning) is also something not protected by concepts of "freedom of speech." Further, the same "civil rights" advocates questioning whether this guy can be prosecuted for his remarks are generally the first ones demanding that a spoken racial epithet or any comment construed as "racist" be illegal or grounds for dismissal of a public official. Let's not couch freedom of speech as an all or nothing arguement. It isn't and it never was!

Freedom of Speech is about the PEACEFUL exchange of ideas, not for rabble rousing and advocating the violent overthrow of the government. Remember, we are at war against those who use terror. During WW II could you imagine some Bundist making public statements in the US that followers should join the German army? Of course that would be sedition! Why is this any different?
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