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 Post subject: JOE CONASON: DESTROYING FREEDOM TO SAVE AMERICA
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:10 pm 
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Joe Conason: Destroying Freedom to Save America

Dec 20, 2006
By Joe Conason

The flimsy philosophizing of Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House and aspiring presidential candidate, isn’t designed to bear any great weight. For many years, he has been willing to say anything that would win him the public attention and political power he still craves. Yet in the mainstream media and among Republicans, his intellectual pretensions are often taken seriously—and when he promotes authoritarian “solutions” to national problems, that must be taken seriously, too.

His latest insight is that America can survive only if we impose severe curbs on freedom of speech.

At a recent event in New Hampshire—where he shows up often these days—Gingrich explained why he believes that the First Amendment must be reconsidered in these trying times. He chose to deliver these remarks at an annual dinner held in memory of the late publisher of the Manchester Union-Leader, honoring individuals who stand up for free speech.

We confront an existential threat, he said, “that will inevitably lead us to want to know what is said in every suspect place in the country, that will lead us to learn how to close down every website that is dangerous, and it will lead us to a very severe approach to people who advocate the killing of Americans and advocate the use of nuclear or biological weapons.”

He went on to advocate measures that “use every technology we can find to break up [the terrorists’] capacity to use the Internet, to break up their capacity to use free speech, and to go after people who want to kill us, to stop them from recruiting people before they get to reach out and convince young people to destroy their lives while destroying us.”



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