Martin London, counsel to the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, who has litigated on First Amendment issues, says the federal government “should move decisively to block Inspire on the web.”
Inspire, an online English language magazine, is said to be published by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
“The online magazine proclaims its goals of providing inspiration and justification to inflict harm on the United States as well as Britain, France and other countries, by killing its citizens, preferably in large numbers. It encourages its readers to engage in attacks,” writes London.
After citing instances when the state shut down the First Amendment, London writes: “The federal government should move decisively to block Inspire on the web. It is criminal incitement that has produced lawless action, and no sentient judge would today say otherwise.”
Inspire, which some believe is produced by the CIA, pales when compared to The New York Times.
Hypocrisy On Parade
In 2012, Daniel Simpson, who resigned from The New York Times in disgust, said the newspaper served as a propaganda conduit for Bush neocons pushing the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The invasion and subsequent war led to the death of more than a million Iraqis, far more than ISIS or al-Qaeda could ever hope to kill.
“I was young and naive and idealistic, I suppose. I thought I was going to be holding people in power to account,” Simpson told the Russian government network, RT.
“It turned out instead that when I joined in 2002, the New York Times was very much engaged in doing exactly what those in power wanted them to do, and printing fake intelligence information to start the war in Iraq.”
Simpson said he came under pressure by management to tote the Weapons of Mass Destruction line, which was later revealed to be entirely manufactured by neocons in the Bush administration.
“They were looking for every possible way of getting this weapons-of-mass-destruction story into the news media,” Simpson told RT. “So I came under enormous pressure from my bosses to start looking at it the same way, and I couldn’t see any evidence for doing that.”
More recently, the newspaper has served as a trusted propaganda conduit for U.S. military activity in Syria and the U.S. diplomatic position vis-à-vis Russia and Ukraine.
“The U.S. mainstream media pretends it operates with professional standards of objectivity and fairness, but – especially in its international reporting – the only real standards are double standards, as the New York Times has shown on Ukraine and Syria,” writes Robert Parry.
Setting the Precedent
If the U.S. government blocks websites erroneously attributed to al-Qaeda and Inspire, it will set the precedent to outlaw other publications it arbitrarily deems to be terrorist, including domestically produced publications.
In 2006, the British government passed a law making it a crime to disseminate a publication “likely to be understood as directly or indirectly encouraging terrorism” or “includes information which is likely to be understood as being useful in the commission or preparation of an act of terrorism.” The maximum penalty for producing information the government considers terrorist is seven years in prison.
The U.S. has yet to pass a similar law, mostly due to the Constitution and the First Amendment, but is moving in that direction.
While France arrests and imprisons people the state accuses of disseminating “hate speech,” legal prohibitions against censorship in the United States have made the effort problematic.
A YouGov poll conducted last autumn, however, reveals equal amounts of Americans support and oppose so-called hate speech laws, mostly related to social issues concerning race and gender.
The state, following the British and French precedent, will eventually apply hate speech laws to political activity deemed terrorist.
The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have worked closely with the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that has worked to conflate the distinctions between racism and domestic terrorism.
In August, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a University of Maryland project funded by the Department of Homeland Security, designated the so-called sovereign citizen movement as the number one domestic terrorist threat in America.
“The FBI’s latest national threat assessment lists so-called sovereign citizens and the militia as threats to ‘U.S. internal security’ while completely omitting Islamic terrorists,” Kit Daniels wrote for Infowars.com.
In 2013, the Southern Poverty Law Center sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urging the government to establish a task force to investigate the supposed domestic terror threat posed by the likes of Alex Jones, We Are Change, Oath Keepers, the Constitution Party, the Tyranny Response Team and thousands of other Americans.