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Obama DOJ vs. the First Amendment

Those Euro-style and Canadian-style laws against "hate speech" that threaten those who criticize Islam could never happen here. We have the First Amendment. Right?

Not necessarily. See here. (Emphasis added.)

A special meeting has been scheduled for the stated purpose of increasing awareness and understanding that American Muslims are not the terrorists some have made them out to be in social media and other circles.

“Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society” will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4, at the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center, 147 Hospitality Blvd.

Special speakers for the event will be Bill Killian, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and Kenneth Moore, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Knoxville Division.


Killian and Moore will provide input on how civil rights can be violated by those who post inflammatory documents targeted at Muslims on social media.

“This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion,” Killian told The News Monday. “This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.”

Does that sound a mite threatening? It's obviously supposed to.

This is a federal DOJ attorney and a representative of the FBI, taking it as their mission to "educate" people about how they might be breaking federal law if they post "inflammatory" things about Muslims on Facebook and Twitter. I can only imagine what they would say about blogs!

Much of the rest of the article is filled with baloney of the sort that we've all heard ad nauseum. Timothy McVeigh was a Christian terrorist. Islam is no different from any other religion. You know the drill. But it's particularly bad when it's coming from someone whose job is to protect us. For one thing, it means he's clueless about Islam. But worse than that, much worse than that, it means that Killian associates in his own mind posting something that disagrees with his views about Islam with doing something illegal. And I believe he's looking for an excuse to bring charges.

Yes, I did. I attributed an internal motive to someone I don't know. So sue me.

Are there any examples in the article of these allegedly illegal "inflammatory" postings? Just one:

Killian referred to a Facebook posting made by Coffee County Commissioner Barry West that showed a picture of a man pointing a double-barreled shotgun at a camera lens with the caption saying, “How to Wink at a Muslim.”

Killian said he and Moore had discussed the issue.

“If a Muslim had posted ‘How to Wink at a Christian,’ could you imagine what would have happened?” he said. “We need to educate people about Muslims and their civil rights, and as long as we’re here, they’re going to be protected.”

He and Moore have discussed the issue, have they? Hmmm, Barry West, Tennessee county commissioner, is probably going to have the FBI knocking on his door and had better hire a lawyer post haste.

Now, we all know why they picked that example, don't we? Because they can find a way to spin the post as a physical threat to Muslims, and because anything like that can then be combined with motive-seeking federal "hate crimes" law to up it to a federal crime. There allegedly has to be some "underlying crime," but if they can find one, however minor, they will then turn it into a federal offense by the alchemy of hate crimes statutes.

Just how much comfort should bloggers like, say, me take from the fact that this was the example Killian selected when he had to give a real-life example of something putatively illegal, anti-Muslim, and "inflammatory"? After all, I've never in my life posted a picture, anywhere, with a header suggestive of a physical threat. Nor has any contributor here at W4 done so.

So perhaps we anti-jihad bloggers can take a teensy bit of comfort from the fact that Killian had to reach for something that could be construed as implying a threat, however non-specific. (Newsflash, Mr. Killian: Islam critics such as Robert Spencer and even the less high-profile David Wood of Answering Muslims receive specific, personal death threats. But I assume the FBI and the DOJ are all over those already, right?)

But only a teensy bit. Killian's remarks, and his agenda, are likely to have a chilling effect on criticism and truth-telling about Islam and the jihad. Moreover, that's clearly his intent. That's his idea of "protecting Muslims' civil rights." You know, their "civil right" not to have terrorism associated with their religion any more than with any other. Their "civil right" not to have "inflammatory" things posted on social media about their religion. Their "civil right" not to be offended. The fact that these civil rights are figments of Mr. Killian's imagination is not likely to slow him down too much. After all, if the law is just a prediction about what the enforcers are going to do, then he can make the law up as he goes along, because he's the guy with the enforcement powers.

The Obama administration has repeatedly shown that it wishes conservatives had fewer constitutional rights. Obama and co. wish that the U.S. were more like the UK, Canada, or Europe where they would have more power to enforce political correctness and their own left-wing agenda. This is evident, inter alia, in the attempt to redefine "freedom of religion" to mean merely "freedom of worship." It is evident here in the attempt to wrest existing U.S. "hate crime" law (which is already questionably constitutional) into outright Euro-style law against speech that is offensive to Muslims.

Let's hope and pray they don't get away with it. And let's keep an eye out for attempts to enforce Mr. Killian's...creative idea of Muslim civil rights.

Comments (15)

In addition to saying McVeigh was a Christian terrorist, Killian says Wade Michael Page was one, too. There is no evidence McVeigh's motives were religious, and in fact he claimed to have fallen away from his religious beliefs long before the Oklahoma City bombing. Page seems to have subscribed to the "Racial Holy War" theology of the "Church of the Creator" - according to which Christianity is a Jewish plot to subvert the white race. That high government officials spout this nonsense is a scandal.

If the poster had said "how to wink at a Christian' precisely zero "would have happened." Zero, zilch, nada. No outcry, no riots, no murders, no nothing.

So what's his point again?

Sorry about the double post. My computer and phone are not on good terms and I can't always tell what they have or have not done. :(

If the poster had said "how to wink at a Christian' precisely zero "would have happened." Zero, zilch, nada.

I don't know if I agree with that, actually. If it made it into the right hands, it might end up making the news in some capacity, in the same way that "stomp on Jesus" fiasco did.

This might seem counterintuitive but I wonder how much of the erosion of rights comes through 'security crisis' and perceived threats? The Patriot Act, the Dept. of Homeland Security, and many of the knee-jerk reactions to terrorism have resulted in a massive increase in government surveillance power and - with that - government intrusion into places that should be bastions of privacy: (phone records, emails, internet histories,) and free speech: (the media, the internet, etc.)

I can't help but think we've been hoodwinked into letting our guard down in this country. We've accepted a lessening of rights for an 'increase' in security. These things may be coming back to haunt us.

We've accepted a lessening of rights for an 'increase' in [diversity].

There, fixed it.

What might happen if the putatively reasonable standards Mr. Killian maintains violate civil rights or other federal laws were applied to Islam (qua religious organization)? Would membership in an organization which maintains a directly revealed divine mandate to slaughter unbelievers count as membership in a terrorist organization which would at least make the state department's list if not domestic watchlists as well? Does not Islam (at least the propositional content of the Koran) already have fairly clear notions of how to violate civil rights? (I.e. Civil rights are difficult to exercise when the souls of the infidels are disembodied.)
If the "wink" picture bothers the silly-liberals,
I am wondering how long the Charles Martel image on this site will last. That hammer ain't for hammering out love... How much longer will Santiago Matamoros be allowed to be displayed in churches across Spain?

A couple of points about Killian's comment. The Internet is, like Mos Eisley Spaceport, a wretched hive of scum and villainy. *Of course* there are hateful comments encouraging the killing of Christians out there. I don't think we need to have any doubt about this, even if we don't feel like googling various phrases like "shoot all the Christians" or "kill a Christian" or "slit the throats of the unbelievers" or what-not, which I certainly do not. Nor, likely, do all such memes or postings come from Muslims. The loony left can produce plenty of hate speech of its own. Just check out Michelle Malkin's book _Unhinged_ for plenty of examples.

There simply wouldn't be time to do a news story on every nasty thing that every person posts on the Internet about Christians, and that's why we don't try. So Killian's comment is utterly stupid. The reason the "stomp on Jesus" story made it into the news was because it was an *exercise in a textbook* being used in allegedly objective American college classrooms, and because the teacher was using a position of power to pressure students to do it. Some random meme showing someone pointing a gun and suggesting that it should be pointed at Christians would never have the same legs.

Moreover, "making the news" is a far cry from being the subject of discussion between the FBI and the regional DOJ prosecutor! Killian is obviously implying that he might bring charges. And his silly comment implies that there would be some kind of widespread outcry and pressure for him to bring charges in parallel cases involving Christians, which is absurd. As I pointed out, people like Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and David Wood get _personal_ death threats fairly frequently, which IMO _should_ be subject to criminal investigation and prosecution but which as far as I can tell usually are not.

If the idea is that this merits criminal investigation because it was posted by a county commissioner, then that's a violation of the principle of equality before the law. Something doesn't magically become a violation of federal civil rights law because a county commissioner happens to be the one who put it up on a personal social media page.

Here's a great visual of Traditional Christianity that was just sent on a Trad Christian email list:


That is so OT as to be somewhere in outer space, Julie. I don't know if you're a right-wing troll or a left-wing troll, but bag it.

Sage McLaughlin:

We've accepted a lessening of rights for an 'increase' in [diversity].
There, fixed it.

Well, I think the weakening of constitutional rights came about through a "crisis", (it usually does), and then, precedent established, these newfound government powers are being used to police "diversity".

That's the thing - once we agree to compromise freedom for ANY REASON, we seldom regain those freedoms afterwards. Just look at the massive growth of US government power since WWI. Almost every increase in power came about during a crisis of some sort - either financial or security.

Now - with the "War on Terror" AND the "Great Recession" - the Constitution has received a one-two punch right to the gut! The thing is, nobody wants to oppose measures that will "avert disaster" so there's often bipartisan agreement to "temporarily" increase government authority in times of crisis. Then, well, the rest is recent history.

So far, Daniel, I don't see and don't expect any bipartisan agreement on the nonsense in the main post. It's a Democrat thing. Don't get me wrong; it was GWB who gave us the phrase "the religion of peace." But I think the Reps. would still balk at trying to finagle around the First Amendment so as to punish politically incorrect criticism of Islam. I'm no yes-man to the Republican Party, but it's only fair to admit when one side is worse than the other, and in this case the pro-Muslim threat is coming squarely from the Democrat side of the aisle. Try to restrain your tendency to "webbing." (Webbing df. Going off at tangents in a discussion.)

Not the point I was making Daniel, but sometimes brevity is the soul of miscommunication.

I mean to say that it is our obsession with diversity, not with security, that ultimately drives the lessening of our rights. We do not shake every man, woman, and infant down at the airport because it's the smartest approach to security, and in fact no one in charge is under the slightest illusion that it is so.

We do it to affirm our commitment to diversity. That's a fact. Moreover, in the absence of our insane obsession to minimize the proportion of European-descended people in this country (and for that matter, in Europe), there would literally be no security "crisis" to use as a pretext to begin with.

Sage McLaughlin:

I mean to say that it is our obsession with diversity, not with security, that ultimately drives the lessening of our rights.

It's both. Security is the pretext and diversity is applied during the execution - "to be fair".

The R's go hog wild for security, and the D's for diversity, but both increase government intrusion into areas previously protected by the Constitution (and we all end up less free in the end).

Recent events illustrate my point quite well. The NSA has records of our emails, and internet and phone history via the Patriot Act and FISA. They are only collecting this data to "root out foreign terrorist correspondence" - or so we are told. This is the "security" pretext.

So let's say that one of your illustrious bloggers here is accused by the federal government of "hate speech" for a post critical of gay marriage. Let's say also that the government has internet history, phone records and emails that show the accused blogger of being "affiliated with" other "gay hate groups".

Does anyone here think the government won't use the phone records or emails to bolster its case?

So the security pretext (which so many unwittingly agreed to) gives way to the diversity prosecution (or whatever else a current administration finds unacceptable).

Wash, rinse, repeat.

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