I have abridged and edited the following.(r.a. note) Tues., Feb.09, 2016
Information Clearing House By John Whitehead Via The Rutherford Institute
“If you can’t say ‘Fuck’ – you can’t say, ‘Fuck the government.’” ? Lenny Bruce
Not only has free speech become a four-letter word – profane, obscene, uncouth, not to be uttered in so-called public places – but in more and more cases, the government deems free speech to be downright dangerous and in some instances illegal.
The U.S. government has become particularly intolerant of speech that challenges the government’s power, reveals the government’s corruption, exposes the government’s lies, and encourages the citizenry to push back against the government’s many injustices.
Indeed, there is a long and growing list of the kinds of speech that the government considers dangerous enough to red flag and subject an individual to censorship, surveillance, investigation and prosecution…
Yet by allowing the government to whittle away at cherished First Amendment freedoms – which form the backbone of the Bill of Rights – we have evolved into a society that would not only be abhorrent to the founders of this country, but would be hostile to the words they used to birth this nation.
Don’t believe me?
Conduct your own experiment into the government’s tolerance of speech that challenges its authority, and see for yourself.
Stand on a street corner—or in a courtroom, at a city council meeting or on a university campus—and recite some of the rhetoric used by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, John Adams and Thomas Paine without referencing them as the authors.
For that matter, just try reciting the Declaration of Independence, which rejects tyranny, establishes Americans as sovereign beings, recognizes God as a Supreme power, portrays the government as evil, and provides a detailed laundry list of abuses that are as relevant today as they were 240 years ago.
My guess is that you won’t last long before you get thrown out, shut up, threatened with arrest or at the very least accused of being a radical, a troublemaker, a sovereign citizen, a conspirator, or an extremist.
Then again, perhaps you don’t need to test the limits of free speech for yourself.
One such test is playing out before our very eyes in Portland, Oregon, where radio “shock jock” Pete Santilli, a new media journalist who broadcasts his news reports over YouTube and streaming internet radio, is sitting in jail. (Santilli on left)
Santilli covered the April 2014 standoff in Nevada between the Bundy ranching family and the federal government over grazing rights. He reported on the occupation in Burns as an embedded journalist, albeit one who was sympathetic to the complaints (although not the tactics) of the occupiers.
Long a thorn in the side of the FBI, Santilli was arrested by the FBI following its ambush and arrest of key leaders of the movement.
Santilli is the only journalist among those covering the occupation to be charged with conspiracy, despite the fact that he did not participate in the takeover of the refuge, nor did he ever spend a night on the grounds of the refuge, nor did he ever represent himself as anything but a journalist covering the occupation.
…the government is really accusing Santilli of employing dangerous speech.…the government is prosecuting Santilli solely as a reporter of information.
In other words, they’re making an example of him, which is consistent with the government’s ongoing efforts to intimidate members of the media who portray the government in a less than favourable light.
What we’re dealing with today is a government that wants to suppress dangerous words—words about its warring empire, words about its land grabs, words about its militarized police, words about its killing, its poisoning and its corruption—in order to keep its lies going.