Democrats & Liberals Archives

Free Speech Or Censorship?

This story could end up being pivotal in terms of both free speech and censorship issues. The US government arrested and charged Javed Iqbal - an American businessman originally from Pakistan - for providing customers in New York with broadcasts from Al Manar (a “Hizbullah” television station in Lebanon).

According to the prosecutor (Stephen A Miller), "The charge lurking in the background is material support for terrorism." Mr. Stephens said he did not know of any other cases of people "accused of breaking US law by offering access to news outlets via satellite dish."

Mr Iqbal was arrested under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act ("IEEPA") (pdf) as Al Manar was listed as a terrorist organization in March 2006. Al Manar was bombed by Israel on June 12, 2006. Al Manar is one of the 10 most watched Arab stations.

The IEEPA was first passed in 1977 (Wikipedia), but was amended by the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism). However, I am not clear what that amendment actually was. One interesting piece in the original IEEPA is that it is to be used in cases of extraordinary threat (see below), and it is difficult to see how a satellite broadcast falls i into that category. This is particularly true when CNN showed Al Manar broadcasts as part of their news on the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

(emphases are mine) Sec. 1701. Unusual and extraordinary threat; declaration of national emergency; exercise of Presidential authorities (a) Any authority granted to the President by section 1702 of this title may be exercised to deal with any unusual and extraordinary threat, which has its source in whole or substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States, if the President declares a national emergency with respect to such threat.

(b) The authorities granted to the President by section 1702 of this title may only be exercised to deal with an unusual and extraordinary threat with respect to which a national emergency has been declared for purposes of this chapter and may not be exercised for any other purpose. Any exercise of such authorities to deal with any new threat shall be based on a new declaration of national emergency which must be with respect to such threat.

The issue of national emergency goes back to an old concern of mine. President Bush declared a national state of emergency on 9/11/01, and to the best of my knowledge, that declaration has never been lifted.

I predict that this case will throw a lot of flags if it proceeds. It looks to be a test case by the government. It seems a stretch to me to say that providing satellite access is "materially supporting terrorism." This smacks of censorship, though I am not clear that moneys from Al Manar (a Lebanese television station) directly benefits Hizbullah.

-------
Law Put to Unusual Use in Hezbollah TV Case, Some Legal Experts Say

Satellite TV provider arrested for offering Hezbollah's TV channel

Prosecution of TV Provider Raises Free Speech Questions, NYCLU Says

New Yorker arrested for broadcasting al-Manar

War soars al-Manar popularity

International Emergency Economic Powers Act

International Emergency Economic Powers Act

International Emergency Economic Powers Act ("IEEPA") pdf

U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism)

Expansion of forfeiture powers under the USA PATRIOT Act

Posted by Rowan Wolf at August 27, 2006 11:17 AM
Comments
Comment #177719

In the 50s, our “government” saw a Communist behind every tree…every “left-leaning” government….

Now our “government” sees a terrorist behind every tree…every “left-leaning” government…

There are too many knee-jerk reactions…too much “fear”…if the U.S. is such a strong democracy, why does it constantly fear anything and everything???

Posted by: Lynne at August 27, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #177727

Lynne,
To answer your question, fear is a terriffic motivator. The current administration uses fear to keep the nations attention diverted from their actions and inactions.
Fear benefits those in power. This administration uses fear to mitigate the voice of those opposed to their philosphy.

Rowan,
Thank you for speaking out against the irrational fears of this administration and their followers.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 27, 2006 12:30 PM
Comment #177733

>>To answer your question, fear is a terriffic motivator. The current administration uses fear to keep the nations attention diverted from their actions and inactions.
Fear benefits those in power. This administration uses fear to mitigate the voice of those opposed to their philosphy.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 27, 2006 12:30 PM


Much of the current climate of fear is perpitrated by the religious right. The same fear the government foments on the threat of ‘terrorism’ is the same for stem cell research, the morning after pill, etc.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 27, 2006 1:06 PM
Comment #177737

So I wonder if one can be arrested simply for viewing the broadcast? Or thinking about viewing it? Or thinking? Okay, I’m stretching it a bit, but it makes my point. There has to be a limit on how far our government can go in keeping information from its citizens.

If this guy was providing the broadcast to terrorists in the US who were planning a crime, and were receiving pertinent info from the broadcast which would aid them in doing so, then I’m all for arresting the guy. But if this is a freely available legitimate tv station which goes out to millions of viewers, like Fox News Channel, for example, then there is no way this guy should be arrested or convicted.

I sometimes watch LINK tv, (on my directv service) which sometimes broadcasts news from Arab sources. One is Al Jazeera. So is that station committing a crime? (By the way, LINK tv also shows “Democracy Now” and many other programs which have nothing to do with the middle east.)

I guess there are some unanswered questions, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know what this guy was doing specifically. He may really be providing support to terrorists, or fomenting some sort of rebellion here in the US. Or he may just be innocently providing foreign broadcasts to his customers. Too little info to really form an informed opinion.

Posted by: Cole at August 27, 2006 1:19 PM
Comment #177742

Interesting article, Rowan. Thanks for sharing this info.
And good reply Cole, my thoughts exactly.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 27, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #177747

Limiting peoples freedoms? Under this Administration?
Yea, RIGHT…like thats a “new thing”!

Posted by: PlayNice at August 27, 2006 1:50 PM
Comment #177748

Freedom of speach is a hard thing sometimes to support. But, that is what makes America and Americans Great.

It is very hard to listen to the garbage of what the KKK spews out. But, under our form of government, its not the speach that has to be acceptable, only the right to.

Posted by: PlayNice at August 27, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #177749

I agree with Cole here, I was going to say something similar on this issue, there is not enough information to make a legitimate comment.

In this day in age our government is going to taking every precaution necessary because of the high alert and paranoia that has captivated our leaders.

It is crazy to arrest every person we feel is against but lets look at a possible reason for their actions. In pot 9/11 there were the all so famous Osama Bin Laden speeches that were broadcasted around the globe about the attacks. Experts were stating that bin Laden was sending messages in his speeches that triggered sleeper cells in America and around the globe.

Now we can see the paranoia that could ensue from statements like that and the government is using that same sort of reasoning when they want to ban the viewing of the Hezbollah broadcasting station.

Even if bin Laden was making signals it is extremely hard to bring that rational into this situation where we have no proof of bin Laden doing that or that the Hezbollah station is doing it as well. But the fact is that our country is in a high paranoid state especially after the foiled terrorist plot in Britain. Their rational about anything remotely that could have ties with terrorism has become twisted and almost to a point of hysteria.

If this man was promoting terrorism in America and/or around the globe then he should of been arrested and prosectued but if hes just trying to make some money by exploiting a market that has been shielded from its perspective then we should tolerate what he is doing, we dont have to agree with him but we have to tolerate it, that is what a democracy is all about.

Posted by: Matt Quirin at August 27, 2006 2:13 PM
Comment #177750

I find it odd that many ascribe “fear” to this administration’s actions but conveniently forget how “fear” is used by opponents. Specifically, the fear generated by the Left over Social Security Reform.
I can already hear the loud voices saying that in the case of SS reform they were only “truth tellers”…not fear mongering.
I also find it odd that we have blogs already debating a “so-called” free speech issue that can only be resolved by courts. To what end will we have all these opinions expressed which mean absoutely nothing except the futile flapping of lips (tapping of fingers)? I must admit tho…I do appreciate the opportunity to try and understand the thinking process of liberals. How else to thwart their good intentions but sad logic and twisted view of American values.

Posted by: Jim at August 27, 2006 2:20 PM
Comment #177755

Jim,

Free speach is not granted or up for “reform” by the “courts”. It is a priviledge granted by the Constitution of the United States of America (to all Americans). However, if you want to limit free speach, you are sure behind the right Administration to get that little job done. Why not change that part of the Constitution, every thing else is up for grabs.

And, Fear… about S.S.? You work for 30 years, put into the program for your retirement, (like you had a choice?) Get a year of two from that goal, and have your S.S. in danger and your potential future medical benifits … gutted ….

Fear? Na,
No fear here,
just wet underware!

Posted by: PlayNice at August 27, 2006 3:07 PM
Comment #177756

Jim,
The way I remember the social security issue is we were told by the administration, its lackeys and W hisself that it was in danger of collapse. We were told the best way to fix this is to let wall street take care of it for us. So yes I consider that fear mongering by the conservatives to attain certain goals based upon a failed ideology. Is that what you were referring to?

Posted by: j2t2 at August 27, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #177757

Fear is what Terrorism is all about. How can anyone honestly be surprised at the level of fear in this and other countries? I was fearful during 9/11, wondering what would happen next. There is no denying that the tactic works.

We are an open society. We have innumerable soft targets. We are literally waiting for the next attack without the ability to cover all possibilites. The stress this puts on those in charge must really take a toll.

I’m not trying apologize for this Administration or Congress or even City Hall. But I am trying to inject a little perspective.

I’m glad someone is watching this guy and Al Manar, but I can’t see how this can be legitimately censored.

Posted by: Charles Adams at August 27, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #177764

Its not just this guy they are watchung. I read a news story yesterday about this guy in Alton,Illinois going to a Core of Engineers meeting and making a statement, in response to a questions on how to help the fish in the river, to get rid of the dam. Seems the news paper reported it as “blow up the dam” and the core decided to report the guy to the FBI. According to the article the guy said he was well known to the core and was a pain in their sides. He is currently under investigation. Fear, caution, you tell me.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 27, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #177768

“The way I remember the social security issue is we were told by the administration, its lackeys and W hisself that it was in danger of collapse. We were told the best way to fix this is to let wall street take care of it for us.” Posted by: j2t2 at August 27, 2006 03:16 PM

Speaking the truth about the collapse of Social Security is certainly not pedaling fear as you suggest. Every major study done by any Congressional committee or any politically neutral private study has come up with the same conclusion. SS will fail unless fixed. President Bush and conservatives have the best solution and it has nothing to do with wall street. What it has to do with is being a responsible American and doing for yourself those things which government will always mess up. I believe in self-directed social security with certain goverment oversight to help the IGNORANT! I understand that you believe in craddle to grave care from Washington. I don’t!

Posted by: Jim at August 27, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #177769

You Morons should know that the founding fathers crafted the constitution around Americas right to protect itsself against any and all who would harm it in any way.
free speach is only constitutional if it dosen’t hurt the U.S. Any speach that is borderline destructive should be banned and the trash spewing it should not be given the right to speak. Anything less is 5th column crap.

Posted by: white bigot at August 27, 2006 4:58 PM
Comment #177771

Jim,
The reason SS is in trouble is an extra money paid in to SS now is used now and has been that way for years. By not spending the excess now but saving it for the future we could go a long way to getting it out of trouble. Telling me its gonna collapse and needs to be dismantled now is playing the fear card.
I basically have a self directed social security now, its called a 401K. Why would I want the governemnt to get rid of SS after I have paid in for years? If my 401k goes south with the stock market in the future, I might need the SS when I retire. I would have to disagree that Bush and the conservatives have the best answer if it’s privatizing SS, trust me wall st would get a big cut of it. Thats just cradle to grave care for the rich and powerful wall st. brokers, which I guess is OK by you, be myself I would prefer those companies to be self sufficient and work for their profits.
So you see Jim, I do for myself and I contribute to SS both. Its win win , lets just fix SS and keep it, you never know what the future brings and what kind of insurance you may need.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 27, 2006 5:07 PM
Comment #177772

Big brother is watching it along with all the other channels, wonder if they are breaking the law by doing so.

George Orwell called it 1984, guess he was off by about 22 years, should have called it 2006.

People should not be afraid of their government, the government should be afraid of the people. Great line I heard in the movie V for Vindicative.

How much freedom are we going to give up before we do not have any left?

Posted by: KT at August 27, 2006 5:20 PM
Comment #177773

“Every major study done by any Congressional committee or any politically neutral private study has come up with the same conclusion.”

Wrong Jim! Do not pass go, do not collect $200!

The EPI is non-partisan and they have vastly different views:

http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/issueguide_socialsecurity

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at August 27, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #177776

“You Morons should know that the founding fathers crafted the constitution around Americas right to protect itsself against any and all who would harm it in any way. “

That’s odd. John Adams would disagree:

“We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other. “

It seems even a religious people can threaten our Constitution. If John Adams were alive today, it sounds like he would be ready to suspend Constitutional rights to fight this war against Islamic Fascists. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War. This is nearly the same as what Bush has done with the Gitmo detainees.

Can we do better than these great early Americans? I hope so. I truly do.

Posted by: Charles Adams at August 27, 2006 7:39 PM
Comment #177777
Speaking the truth about the collapse of Social Security is certainly not pedaling fear as you suggest. Every major study done by any Congressional committee or any politically neutral private study has come up with the same conclusion. SS will fail unless fixed.

The last statistics/studies I read said it would run out of $$$ around 2047 (which doesn’t mean it should be totally ignored until 2046)…however, Medicare will go belly up within the next 2 years and it has hardly been mentioned (in fact, never, that I’ve read) by this administration…but this administration sure made sure that the drug companies will get their monies out of the government and the elderly by foisting the Medicare drug plan on the elderly…many who signed up in May are already in the “doughnut hole”, paying thru the teeth for their prescriptions while also still paying for their premiums…a scam pure and simple.

Posted by: Lynne at August 27, 2006 7:45 PM
Comment #177778
Speaking the truth about the collapse of Social Security is certainly not pedaling fear as you suggest. Every major study done by any Congressional committee or any politically neutral private study has come up with the same conclusion. SS will fail unless fixed.

The last statistics/studies I read said it would run out of $$$ around 2047 (which doesn’t mean it should be totally ignored until 2046)…however, Medicare will go belly up within the next 2 years and it has hardly been mentioned (in fact, never, that I’ve read) by this administration…but this administration sure made sure that the drug companies will get their monies out of the government and the elderly by foisting the Medicare drug plan on the elderly…many who signed up in May are already in the “doughnut hole”, paying thru the teeth for their prescriptions while also still paying for their premiums…a scam pure and simple.

Posted by: Lynne at August 27, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #177782

Charles Adams, there is a difference between what Lincoln did and what Bush is doing. Lincoln broke the law even the Supreme Court of the time said so, as he suspended Habaes Corpus against American citizens, took their rights away. This was against those that did not agree with him. He also raised an Army without Congress giving it ok. He might be thought of as a great president, but he sure stepped on the Constitution.

Those in Gitmo are not citizens for therefore they do not fall under the Constitution, but if they are military prisoners then they should fall under the Geneva Convention which before Bush most Presidents followed. Seems BUSH and cronies set their own rules as they go along.

Difference between Lincoln and Bush, Lincoln knew what he was doing, Bush doesn’t have a clue about anything.

Posted by: KT at August 27, 2006 9:24 PM
Comment #177783

KT,

Lincoln knew he was about to break the law and went to congress hoping for approval, and he got it. Bush knew he was breaking the law, knew congress wouldn’t give him the permission, and continues to do it anyway.
The first worked across the balance-of-power boundaries for the common good. The second decided he is king and the constitution is just a “damn piece of paper”.

Posted by: Dave1 at August 27, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #177786

The funny thing here is that it’s pretty difficult to counter propaganda when one doesn’t know its shape and form. You could arrest the guy for paying fees to Hezbollah, I guess, if he’s doing that, but for broadcasting material? That’s free speech there.

Which brings up an interesting quandary- if it’s illegal to pay fees to Hezbollah for al-Manar, wouldn’t the only legal way to broadcast it here be by pirating it?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 27, 2006 10:15 PM
Comment #177790

From the articles I read, one is lead to assume that the business Iqbal was in was selling private satellite programs. One of the articles stated that the bulk of what he provided was global Christian evangelical programming. None of the articles stated how long he had been providing Al Manar. In other words, if he started that service before March of 2006. That would seem to be important since before March 2006 it was legal to provide Al Manar.

When that station was bombed by Israel in July, CNN reported it as a Lebanese station that also carried Hizbullah programming - not as a station owned and operated by Hizbullah.

I agree that it would be great to have more information, but at this point, I am not finding any more detail.

Posted by: Rowan Wolf at August 27, 2006 11:29 PM
Comment #177791

Jim,

A) There is no pending collapse of S.S.
B) To say there is fear mongering
C) Bush wants us to believe that it needs fixing.
D) It doesnt
E) Lynne is right, no problem here until 2047+
F) If you think that Bush can “fix” S.S. ???

Is that like he has fixed Iraq, Osama Ben Lauden, New Orleans, or Medicare Part B?

He will “fix” it alright!
Why dont you just shoot S.S. in the head?
It would be a much kinder and less painful death!

Posted by: PlayNice at August 27, 2006 11:48 PM
Comment #177795

Can we use the same laws to arrest the folks at Fox News for being a terrorist mouthpiece?

Posted by: ChristianLeft at August 28, 2006 2:27 AM
Comment #177797

—- These stations should all be regulated the
the same as ours, NO Tokyo Rose !!!B.S.!! Dealing with some of the spin an down right lies
we hear from some our own people is a stretch sometimes ! Since the Supream Court ruled that politicians could lie in their T.V.
comericals, put the frosting on the cake for
me. Lousy cake I might add,yak! yak!

Posted by: DAVID at August 28, 2006 3:57 AM
Comment #177805

playnice,

Now I get it…

Ignore it all and it will eventually all go away…

Posted by: discerner at August 28, 2006 8:21 AM
Comment #177806

My perspective is that the larger issue is not one of the potential indirect support of Hezbolla, but one of true censorship. There is such a spin on most broadcast news that it is nearly impossible for a moderately intelligent person to form an educated opinion on how these terrorists might affect us. It becomes a game of heresay, where you really must trust the media and those that control the media, rather than get input from sources closer to the issue at hand to draw your own set of conclusions.

It seems increasingly clear that this administration will take any opportunity to limit information to that which they control, and demonize those media sources that extend beyond those limits.

Posted by: DOC at August 28, 2006 9:10 AM
Comment #177808
Speaking the truth about the collapse of Social Security is certainly not pedaling fear as you suggest. Every major study done by any Congressional committee or any politically neutral private study has come up with the same conclusion. SS will fail unless fixed.

The last statistics/studies I read said it would run out of $$$ around 2047 (which doesn’t mean it should be totally ignored until 2046)…however, Medicare will go belly up within the next 2 years and it has hardly been mentioned (in fact, never, that I’ve read) by this administration…but this administration sure made sure that the drug companies will get their monies out of the government and the elderly by foisting the Medicare drug plan on the elderly…many who signed up in May are already in the “doughnut hole”, paying thru the teeth for their prescriptions while also still paying for their premiums…a scam pure and simple.

One does have to wonder why they are ignoring the huge financial fiasco that is about to overtake Medicare, yet be so insistent (wasn’t that 60 cities that Bush flew to with his dog-and-pony show?)on promoting moving everyone’s money into Wall Street…follow the money, always follow the money!

Posted by: Lynne at August 28, 2006 10:23 AM
Comment #177809

Sorry for what seems like a double post…yesterday my computer wouldn’t post anything…at least that’s what it said! Obviously, it was actually working in the background and lying in the foreground!!

Hmmmm…that sounds like what some political regimes are currently doing!!

Posted by: Lynne at August 28, 2006 10:26 AM
Comment #177814

You cannot deny free speech or civil rights. But you can deny treason.We need to be more vigilant and stop terrorist ideals. Before they become terrorist acts. I think the patriot act is an is a great idea.I think its time to be americans.And quit trying to please other countrys . and treasure what ours. You’ve got to think of this way this man was showing americans what islamic fascist think of the war. Its bad to put it this way but when we look out for the opposition.We’re hurting ourselves.Because they hate us anyway,they hate anything and everything west of them if we did go against our government ,in the end the terrorist would stab us in the back.
lets face it folks were we’re joining the opposition against us.

Please people get
on the right side.

Sincerly,Greyson

Posted by: Greyson at August 28, 2006 11:36 AM
Comment #177828

Ideas, especially the kind spouted by the likes of Hezbollah, become much more powerful when they are forced underground. By allowing what these people say to be broadcast, and allowing their ideas to be heard, you show people their true colors. Allow them to be heard, and they’re just another lunatic predicting the end of the world.

Posted by: David S at August 28, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #177829

—- Any one entering a movie Theater an yells
fire, would be arrested. Free speech has some
limits, an to enable free speech to continue
we must not allow any group or individual to cross that common sense line of responsibility to
inalienable rights for all, an prosecute all those trying to dismantle them.

Posted by: DAVID at August 28, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #177839

Is there any law on the books that liberals are willing to enforce?The hatred for George Bush by Liberal Democrats will be the downfall of the United States Of America.May the Bombs fall on your neiborhoods first!

Posted by: offyhehook at August 28, 2006 2:43 PM
Comment #177841

Greyson-
The constitution narrowly defines treason, and for good reason: it is the weapon of choice for tyrants wishing to bludgeon opposition, and elevate loyalty to themselves to loyalty to the nation. Truth be told, I’m not a big fan of al-Manar broadcasting in the United States, but I think Americans are patriotic and intelligent enough in this country not to need a nursemaiding nanny-ocracy to think for themselves.

We have survived over 200 years with one government, far longer than any other nation on the planet because our constitution inhibits stupid sons of bitches from trying to shut people up, even when its other idiots. You see, when people are allowed to do that, they often make other people feel like they need to fight for what they believe. Then you get people actually fighting, and stuff degenerates from there. People get lost in the battle, in both senses of the term “lost”.

We don’t need protection from Hezbollah’s point of view, just Hezbollah. We’re Americans. We can take a difference of opinion just fine. You kill Americans, though, like on 9/11 and at Pearl Harbor, and you’ll find that Americans do just fine in responding to our enemies.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 28, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #177849
Is there any law on the books that liberals are willing to enforce?

Whereas the Executive Branch of the federal government is mandated by our Constitution (AKA “goddamned piece of paper” by some)to enforce the laws of the land; and

Whereas the Executive Branch of the federal government is being run by the Republicans (cons, neocons, clowns, regime) now in office; and

Whereas the federal laws against employers hiring illegal workers are not being enforced;

Therefore let it be agreed that it is not the “liberals” who are not enforcing the federal laws.

Posted by: Lynne at August 28, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #177855

Im talking about life and death laws lady.Like the laws that say its the Presidents Job to protect the American People no matter4 what Liberal Ding Bats has to say about it.Dems. have got it made they are never willing to take Responcibility its easier to blame every thing on George Bush.

Posted by: offthehook at August 28, 2006 3:23 PM
Comment #177859

Stephen,

If Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, and you pay to subscribe to their TV station, then aren’t you giving money to a terrorist organization? This does not seem to be a simple “free speech” issue. I would think he is free to broadcast the station as long as he isn’t paying for it. Of course if it showed bare breasts during prime time, then we could really nab the bastard :-)

DAVID,

Free speech doesn’t mean you can say anything you want. It means you can express any idea you want. Yelling “fire” in a theater is not an idea, it is either a warning or a disturbance.

hook,

This is the presidents oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
I don’t see “its the Presidents Job to protect the American People no matter4 what Liberal Ding Bats has to say about it.” anywhere. Do you? Posted by: Dave1 at August 28, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #177862
Presidents Job to protect the American People no matter

It’s the president’s “job” to uphold the Constitution…no one said he can’t do phone taps…he has to get a court order from a “secret” court…and he can even get them retroactively…and that’s a problem? Don’t think so!!

The problem is people (like you?) who are so scared of democracy and freedom that you’re so willing to give it up to be “safe”…

Where was Bush on 9/11, by the way??? He’d been warned many times…his party refused to pass legislation in Congress that would’ve made the American people more “safe”…but Bushie was reading “The Pet Goat” and flying all over like a scaredy cat instead of taking over and actually running the nation that day…what a whimp we have for “president”…

Posted by: Lynne at August 28, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #177863

Dave1 Are you saying there are limits to what the President should do to save American lives?If so Who should take the blame if another disaster happens?Will you come to his defence if these terrorest kill your son or daughter in a shopping mall?You can not have your cake and eat it too!

Posted by: offthehook at August 28, 2006 3:52 PM
Comment #177864

To all you patriotic Democrats out there in blog land i ask one question this is easy who do you hate most George Bush or Osama Bin-Laden?Im sure no one will comment on this Question but we will see.

Posted by: offthehook at August 28, 2006 3:59 PM
Comment #177865

Bin Laden, of course. What’s your point?

Posted by: Trent at August 28, 2006 4:05 PM
Comment #177867

My point is some want to blame the president for 9-11 and dems. seem to want to weaken the President while thier actions strengthen the enemy.For this America will pay its just a matter of time.

Posted by: offthehook at August 28, 2006 4:14 PM
Comment #177868
they are never willing to take Responcibility its easier to blame every thing on George Bush.

Would you kindly inform us of when Bush has taken full responsibility for the Iraq quagmire? for 9/11? for falling wages? for increased poverty? for anything at all????

Posted by: Lynne at August 28, 2006 4:14 PM
Comment #177872

Lynne Where were your Law makers hiding for the past 40 years while these killers were planning attack after attack on the American People?Im talking republican and democrat they were warned well in advance that these days were coming.We sat back and did nothing but give them all the time they needed.This did not start in 2001.We tried sucking up and in return we got 9-11.

Posted by: offthehook at August 28, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #177873

offthehook-

If you take some time to actually read the posts in this and other similar threads, you’ll see that no one is blaming Bush for 9/11. They ARE blaming Bush for his inept response to 9/11. We Americans, and especially those of us who were actually in southern manhattan that day, deserve better. We deserve a competent, well crafted and effective response. What we got was the opposite.

The president weakened himself by brushing aside everything America stands for so that he could achieve some kind of “victory”. Toppling Saddam was not a victory for the US. It MAY have been a victory for SOME Iraqi’s, but the new polls show quite clearly how much Iraqis trust the US…they certainly couldn’t throw us that far.

America will pay? You mean like $300 Billion? You’re right then, it IS a matter of time before our grandkids assume that debt.

And please tell me how my being a prototypical American (reading and critisizing the public servants…that whole accountability thing that makes democracy work) is making my enemies stronger? If the only way to be strong is to be un-american, then I’m all for being weak, but still American! There is something really ironic about the idea of an insurgent sitting in front of the TV watching a peace rally in the US NOT get broken up by the military, and then try to derive some kind of tactical advantage from it. I think that our true strength is not the perception of an militarily obediant and determined population, but rather the perception that we are just. In this regard, Bush and his cronies have soiled this reputation and made our fighting force the poster child for what results from confused and contradictory policy making.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 28, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #177876

Kevin23 If your side wins this battle at home 300 billion Dollors will be the least of our grandchildrens problems!

Posted by: offthehook at August 28, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #177878

“May the Bombs fall on your neiborhoods first!”

Perfect example of someone who is interested in solving more problems than they create, right?

Where does the impression come from that we are safer because of Iraq? It is utterly laughable. The logic that doing nothing brought 9/11, so doing something is better …this is just ignorant. And a falacy.

Even if we were to leave out all surrounding circumstances (99% of the equation), then if doing nothing gets us 9/11, and “democracy building” gets us 50-100 dead troops per day with no end in sight (and we haven’t even reached civil war status yet), then I’ll take risking a 9/11 every 10-20 years. Meanwhile I will take the money I’m saving and maybe even do some GOOD things with it like helping families to get medical insurance. Maybe invest in some intelligence networks that actually communicate with one another, and secure the ports and borders. It is not rocket science. Yet I STILL keep hearing idiotic statements like “you’re either with us [in invading and crippling completely un-related sovereign nations], or you’re with the terrorists”.

Yet, it is those of us who raise an eyebrow to this aimless and counterproductive demonization crap who are against America? Honestly, when I read your post Offthehook, my first reaction was that you were a crazy religous nut who believes that a holy war against Islam would be rightous. THAT is how crazy your statements sound…they rival those of your extemist Islamic enemies as far as logic and reasoning. They’ve got you beat only in tone…they basically yell louder than you, but thats about it for differences.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 28, 2006 4:55 PM
Comment #177880

Someone tell me where there are people more deserving of being able to have access to this programming if they want it than in New York. What better people to react to it in a critical way?

Anyone?

Posted by: DOC at August 28, 2006 4:56 PM
Comment #177882

Mr. Kevin23 This is a Holy War Where have you Been?Dude you are scary.

Posted by: offthehook at August 28, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #177883

Thanks DOC,

The biggest victim of all of this is NYC. We just got shafted on federal homeland security money (Idaho was more deserving apparently … maybe because they voted the right way?) After 9/11, literally the next day, every NY business put out a sign saying “We Will Re-Build”. Yet the hole still exists 6 years later. The economy there was hit hard and many people lost friends and family or were directly affected.

Then come the mid-westerners and southern republicans with their sentiments: Go attack somebody…anybody! Remember 9/11!

Yes, thanks. I do remember. And I do care…deeply. I just can’t sit back and watch the as we carry out policies that were obviously in place even before 9/11, and justify them WITH 9/11. Sorry, but that is stupid. Beyond stupid.

Show me a well intentioned plan with a chance of working to avoid future attacks on America, and I’ll give you my support. Iraq is not well intentioned (violating UN resolutions that we pushed for is call for nothing but UN action…not an invasion of the willing), and it has zero chance of working (as evidenced every day with more frequent and bold attacks).

People could learn a lot about responding to a crisis by looking to NYC. I will always have the utmost respect for that city because of the solidarity shown in the wake of 9/11. I went to the hospital to donate blood that day, and the line was around the corner. THAT is nobility. Using mass suffering to promote an ill-concieved and un-just war is to take the hearts and minds of millions of NYers and stomp on them.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 28, 2006 5:14 PM
Comment #177884

Thanks offthehook-

Now everyone knows where you really stand, they need not take you seriously any longer. Unless they feel 7 crusades was not enough.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 28, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #177888

—-Dave1—- I have a trick question for you ?
Can you name five good accomplishments,
President Bush has made-this a no spin zone!

Posted by: DAVID at August 28, 2006 5:35 PM
Comment #177890

I know that in the United States, cable and satalite delivery companies are rarely responsible for content creation. You don’t see HBO, selling directly to the public. Comcast, TimeWarner, Cox, among others are clearing houses for this. They purchase the programming and deliver it to the local supplier.

If it turns out that Mr. Iqbal was not doing business with Al Manar directly, and that his ability to get the programming was through an independent third party with no attachment to Hezbollah, what should the outcome be?

Should he be prosecuted for doing business with someone else who does business with Al Manar? Or should he be allowed to resume his business with the Al Manar programming included?

Posted by: DOC at August 28, 2006 5:41 PM
Comment #177893

Doc—- This case is similar to the case of Janet
Jackson. The fines should divided between them.
When you run a Business, the right hand must always know what the left is doing.

Posted by: DAVID at August 28, 2006 5:53 PM
Comment #177982

Offthehook (our outtolunch, or whatever):

Clinton repeatedly tried to get anti-terror legislation thru Congress, but repeatedly the Republican-held Congress refused…I have yet to hear any Republicans stand up and do a mea culpa for standing in the way of making U.S. citizens safer. Yes, we can lay a good deal of the blame for 9/11 at their feet…

Here’s just a sampling of what could’ve been done if the Republicans hadn’t been standing in the way:

Republicans Sabotage Clinton’s Anti-Terror Legislation

Clinton Asks Senate to Hurry Anti-Terror Legislation (1996)

What Bill Clinton tried to do…but Republicans Foiled

Posted by: Lynne at August 28, 2006 10:05 PM
Comment #178041

Greyson, you said we need to stop terrorist idea, and exactly what is a terrorist idea? If it is killing and destroying to put fear into people and governments I agree, but with the current misadminstration if you do not agree with them you are helping the terrorist by not standing beside the misadminstration.

Now someone said that the Hezbollah station should be under control like our’s are. Well the US stations are controlled by the FCC, they do not control any radio or tv station outside of the US controlled land. Each nation has it’s own form off FCC and each nation has it own rules and regulations, and with some basically it is no control. Hey listen to George Carlin on the 7 things you can not say :-)

All news stations be it here or foreign put a spin on how they report the news. We as intelligent people need to weed thru the spin to find the truth as we see it. I look at Canadian news to see how they report the news, and yes a lot of time it is anti-us, but at others very pro-us. I even watch FOX national mouth of the Republican Party, and Bill O, to see what their spin is. But other then watching, you also have to read.

Back to the original post, the guy was providing a service, but based on the government standing he is aiding and abetting Hezoballh. Using that line of reasoning, during the cold war I use to listen to Radio Moscow, Radio Cuba and Radio Hanoi, so I must have been helping them.

Posted by: KT at August 29, 2006 8:19 AM
Comment #178072

playnice,

Now I get it…

Ignore it all and it will eventually all go away…

Posted by: discerner at August 28, 2006 08:21 AM

DISCERNER,
oh, and your point? Stick your finger in it and make it worse? Or is it, fix it when it aint broke?

Posted by: PlayNice at August 29, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #179149

I just wanted to say that they should not still be going back to the ‘Monica deal’. How about this Bush and Condy?

It’s been pretty well rumored about THAT duo,so maybe they better cool it about Monica before it comes out MORE about Bush that is being kept under cover at this time of elections!

Posted by: grandmom at September 4, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #251661

I believe in free speech but in the same time, I need to tell you that I don’t believe people are prepared for it, that’s why we still need Censorship. Humans act like animals sometimes, and there most be someone to take over control from time to time, otherwise…

Posted by: Drug Rehab at April 29, 2008 9:27 AM
Comment #277025

The channel provided wide coverage of the war between Hezbollah and Israel last summer, broadcasting exclusive footage shot by Hezbollah guerillas. It was attacked by Israeli airstrikes during the fighting.
—————-
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Posted by: shehanaaz at March 7, 2009 11:21 AM
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