UnAmerican

To the best of my knowledge, I have never called any American “unAmerican.” I have generally thought people who complain of this are making up strawmen.

But life is full of changes. Today I read this:

The White House asked YouTube on Tuesday to review an anti-Muslim film posted to the site that has been blamed for igniting the violent protests this week in the Middle East.

Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council, said the White House has “reached out to YouTube to call the video to their attention and ask them to review whether it violates their terms of use.”

However, the video remained on the site as of Friday afternoon, and it is posted many other places on the Internet.

This activity is unAmerican. It is a direct assault on the First Amendment, because the White House finds it easier to censor American speech than defend it from terrorists.

Those individuals who authorized or participated in this are unAmerican.

It is important that they be removed from office.

I am not talking here of President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, or others. It seems deeply improbable that either of them would be stupid or evil enough to authorize this. Evil tends to be to banal to directly be the result of great men (or women).

Rather, I am talking of the individual who “reached out to YouTube to call the video to their attention and ask them to review whether it violates their terms of use.,” in the words of Tom Vietor.

That individual or those individuals should be removed from office.

The Constitutional form of government would face less harm if the unknown person or person who engaged in this act are removed from office by means of violence (assassination, bombing, intimidation, or otherwise), than if they were allowed to stay.

Thank God that Google stood up to the White House:

Messages to YouTube, and Google, which owns the site, were not immediately returned Friday. On Wednesday, a YouTube spokesperson said the video “is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube.”

Google, of course, is a private company. What they do with the video should be their concern.

But for an Administration flunky to try to remove speech because it is politically troublesome is un American. That flunky must be removed.

9 thoughts on “UnAmerican”

  1. I promise this won’t become a habit, but I agree with you here too. The possibility that this person might be part of the military or intelligence communities makes the request even more inappropriate.

  2. Adam,

    Hah! :-)

    I can’t recall a similar episode of the military or security services attempting to silence a large media company over political speech. It is so disturbing.

    Purpleslog,

    Thanks!

  3. One of my items on my “the republic is over” checklist is normally sober people starting to signal that they are ok with assassination as a domestic political tool. A further item on the list is that they stop as the activity has become too dangerous.

  4. Curtis,

    You’re smarter than the stupid forced dichotomy that characterizes your first comment, and too good of a human being to make the accusation that you appeared to be making in the second comment.

    So I’ve deleted both.

    TM Lutas,

    Reading Alistair Horne’s books about France [1,2] is an eye-opening experience in the sort of problems a country that is regarded as a “western democracy” can have.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2011/05/15/review-of-to-lose-a-battle-france-1940-by-alistair-horne.html
    [2] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2011/04/01/review-of-a-savage-war-of-peace-algeria-1954-1962-by-alistair-horne.html

  5. Curtis,

    An insightful comment. Thanks for sharing.

    Google has their terms of use. I have my policy on trolling. Individuals and companies are free to do what they wish.

    Indeed, compelled speech is as ghastly as prior restrait. There is no freedom of speech without the abilit to control what one does not say, as much as what one does say.

    This is what is so horrifying about the actions of the US security services in this case. They attempted to strong-arm a major media company into censoring speech, because it was politically problematic to them. They attempted even to hide their own role in this, doing their work sub rosa and making it appear that US government policy was actually the preference of an individual company.

    [1] http://itlaw.wikia.com/wiki/Compelled_speech

  6. The flunkies said it because they got away with it in regards to censoring Wikileaks. The media was willing to go along the last time.

  7. Tangurena, if you don’t have an understanding of the difference between political speech and publishing opsec details, you’re knowledge of the real world is pretty limited :)

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