January 22, 2013
During today’s coronation of King Obama His Majesty graciously set aside a small “strip of [Freedom] plaza” in D.C. as a “free speech zone.” In keeping with the theme of Coronation Week, I can’t help thinking of the comparison to King Lincoln, whose own free speech zones were prisons like Fort Lafayette in New York harbor, where civilian dissenters to the Lincoln regime were imprisoned. Having illegally suspended Habeas Corpus, the Lincoln regime rounded up tens of thousands of Northern political opponents, including elected officials, newspaper editors and owners, and just about anyone overheard criticizing Lincoln or his regime. Among the residents of Fort Lafayette were members of the Maryland state assembly, Baltimore police commissioners, and Francis Key Howard, the grandson of Francis Scott Key who was imprisoned for publishing an editorial in his newspaper that was critical of the illegal suspension of Habeas Corpus. In his book Freedom Under Lincoln, historian Dean Sprague wrote that the only place in the Northern states where freedom of speech existed during the Lincoln administration was in these gulags. Compared to this I suppose King Obama looks like a Jeffersonian champion of free speech.