February 9, 2006


WMD Gear Found In British Mosque (NewsMax, 2/08/06)

A radical British imam was stockpiling protection gear for a weapons of mass destruction attack in a notorious North London mosque, British police revealed on Wednesday.

London authorities told Reuters that the discovery of the WMD-gear actually happened in 2003, but could not be disclosed until Tuesday, after Abu Hamza al Masri was convicted of 11 charges related to terrorism - including soliciting murder and possessing a terrorist training manual.

Hamza preached jihad at the notorious Finsbury Park mosque, where convicted shoe bomber Richard Reid and alleged 20th 9/11 hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui both worshipped.

If you don't punish the hate speech you court disaster.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 9, 2006 8:35 AM

Just curious. Other than political correctness fights on campus', can anyone think of a major free speech battle in the West since World War 11 that didn't involve fighting for: porn, obscene art, insulting a faith, denying the Holocaust, inciting sectarian hatred or burning the flag?

Posted by: Peter B at February 9, 2006 9:15 AM

No, but those are what freedom of speech protects.

Posted by: David Cohen at February 9, 2006 9:42 AM

Oh, wait, there's one more: leaking of military secrets in order to undercut our war effort.

Posted by: David Cohen at February 9, 2006 9:44 AM

David: I don't see any of those things in the preamble to the Constitution. As with the fetishization of "democracy", the peculiar modern obsession with absolutely unlimited "free speech" risks missing the whole point of the Republic...

Posted by: b at February 9, 2006 10:08 AM

b: Remember that free speech wasn't constitutionally protected until the 1920s, and yet Americans enjoyed free speech before that. Free speech is a cultural tenet of American society and not something that exists because it is forced upon us by the Constitution. There is essentially zero chance that core political speech within shouting distance of the mainstream is going to be prohibited in the US, constitution or no constitution.

What then does the constitutional protection achieve? It protects potentially socially destructive speech. The only difference between the US with the modern First Amendment and without it is the protection of ugly speech -- Nazis, Kluxers, traitors, pornographers, etc.

Posted by: David Cohen at February 9, 2006 10:20 AM

And I've let the preamble thing go because it's one of OJ's more touching idiosyncracies, but legally the preamble is meaningless.

Posted by: David Cohen at February 9, 2006 10:21 AM

David: I was just picking up the slack for oj on the Preamble thing...

Posted by: b at February 9, 2006 10:26 AM

Legally it's all meaningless. All that matters is what 5 guys say.

Posted by: oj at February 9, 2006 10:47 AM

Watch out - Ruth Bader G. will take exception to that. And, we can hope, one day JRB will, too.

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 9, 2006 11:26 AM

They were just testing to see if prayers said in such suits can still reach Allah.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 9, 2006 4:49 PM

So Peter, what conclusion do you draw from this?

Posted by: Robert Duquette at February 9, 2006 5:34 PM


That we are responding to threats from murderous, dangerous thugs by proudly defending our freedom to wallow in the gutter.


Yes, but on the assumption that no society will forever tolerate unlimited doses of those noble objectives, does that mean our rights to freedom of speech and expression are dependent on their being exercised rarely and sparingly? Sort of "Don't use it or lose it."?

Posted by: Peter B at February 10, 2006 7:00 AM

Peter: Depends what you mean by freedom of speech. It's possible to envision (although it is highly unlikely) a return to pre-1921 law, freeing the states to regulate speech. They still wouldn't regulate core political speech, and some might not regulate speech at all.

Actually, I think that it's the opposite. The more speech there is, the less it matters.

Posted by: David Cohen at February 10, 2006 1:26 PM