June 17, 2009
James von Brunn, the accused Holocaust museum shooter, has predictably become the poster child for attacking the First Amendment and conducting a purge of free speech on the internet.
|9/11 truth has "become a core part of the belief system of anti-Semites and millions of others around the world," according to ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.|
Christopher Wolf, chair of the Anti-Defamation League’s Internet Task Force and Immediate Past Chair of the International Network Against Cyber-Hate, writes that Web 2.0 technology has transformed “the way the Internet is being used. Any hater and propagandist can reach a mass audience, even an audience that didn’t think itself receptive to such hateful ideas. With the users of Web 2.0 comprised largely of younger people, the impact of the information posted there may persist for generations to come.”
Web 2.0 is characterized as facilitating communication, information sharing, interoperability, and collaboration on the web. Examples include social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, and blogs.
“Blogging and social media sites are changing the way people communicate their reactions to events in the news and interact with each other. Those who harbor anti-Semitic beliefs are comfortable expressing themselves in cyberspace, where they can provoke a reaction from others or find like-minded individuals to affirm their beliefs,” writes Wolf.
Infowars and other truth and patriot movement web sites, according to the ADL, facilitate hatemongers such as Richard Poplawski, the accused Pittsburgh cop killer. “One of Poplawski’s favorite places for such conspiracy theories was the Web site of the right-wing conspiracy radio talk show host Alex Jones. Poplawski visited the site, Infowars, frequently, shared links to it with others, and sometimes even posted to it,” the ADL wrote April 8, 2009. Infowars utilizes Web 2.0 technology in the form of interactive commenting on news articles.
On April 13, Infowars reported on the Department of Homeland Security’s “Rightwing Extremism” document. The DHS conflated white supremacists with activists opposed to gun control, abortion, and illegal immigration. An earlier report issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center specifically denoted Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr supporters as potentially dangerous terrorists. The MIAC report also concentrated on white supremacists and militia groups.
[efoods]Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin said after Alex Jones broke the MIAC story and the DHS report surfaced “that the source of all of these reports is either Morris Dees and his Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) or the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), or both.”
On April 22, DHS Secretary Napolitano appeared before the Anti-Defamation League National Leadership Conference in Washington. In a speech, she said that “the ADL and DHS have had some good partnerships. In recent years, the Department has placed our employees in your advanced training school to educate us on the tactics used by extremists and terrorists.”
“We felt the DHS report was pretty right on,” said Deborah Lauter of the Anti-Defamation League after Von Brunn’s attack. “Clearly the election of Obama, the current financial crisis, and the discussion of immigration reform — those things have certainly fueled the right wing extremist movement in this country… There are clear indications that the rhetoric is manifesting.”
Obama’s Justice Department is now urging Congress to pass “a tougher U.S. hate crimes law” in response to James von Brunn’s attack on the Holocaust museum in Washington.
“Over the last several weeks, we have witnessed brazen acts of violence, committed in places that many would have considered unthinkable,” AG Eric Holder told the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, an organization funded in part by the Ford Foundation. Holder cited attacks over a two-week period that killed a military recruiter, a late-term abortionist and a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
“The First Amendment protects essentially all hate speech, except that consisting of direct threats against specific people. But that does not mean we should throw up our hands and simply accept hate on the Internet as something that will always infect the Internet,” Wolf continues. In response to “hate” as defined by the ADL and the Department of Homeland Security, internet users, internet companies, and educators “should speak up” and “counter the vicious lies,” including 9/11 truth “conspiracy theories,” which “have become a core part of the belief system of anti-Semites and millions of others around the world,” according to ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman. (Note how Foxman links antisemitism and 9/11 truth.)
“Our country is now vulnerable,” declared the disinfo operative Glenn Beck after Von Brunn’s rampage. “Those people who would like to destroy us — our enemies like Al Qaeda. They’d like to destroy us, and they will work with anyone. There are also people like white supremacists or 9/11 truthers that would also like to destroy the country. They’ll work with anybody they can.”
Beck’s talking points are taken right from the DHS report and the ADL with a new twist — portraying the non-violent 9/11 truth movement as fellow travelers of racists and al-Qaeda (both, incidentally, with long track records of collaborating with the government).
Merely “educating” kids (with ADL, SPLC and DHS propaganda) and snitching on websites will of course not be sufficient.
Others have suggested more draconian measures. For instance another CBS scribe, Bonnie Erbe, has demanded the state start “rounding up promoters of hate before they kill.”