July 1, 2010

YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GET ANYONE TO DISAGREE WITH THE RULING...:

The Roberts Court's Free Speech Problem (David Cole, NY Review of Books)

The material-support law, enacted as part of the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act and expanded by the 2001 Patriot Act, gives the Secretary of State virtually unchecked authority to place organizations on a list of “foreign terrorist organizations.” The list includes, among others, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party of Turkey. It is a crime to provide “material support” to listed groups, not only in the form of money or weapons, but also in the form of speech; the law specifically prohibits anyone from providing them with “expert advice,” “training,” and “services.” According to the government the law prohibits even speech that advocates only lawful, nonviolent activity, including speech designed to discourage violence by encouraging lawful alternatives.

Under this law, when President Jimmy Carter monitored the June 2009 elections in Lebanon, and met with all of the parties to advise them on fair election practices, he could have been prosecuted for providing “material support,” in the form of “expert advice” to a designated group, because he advised Hezbollah.


...if you offer us the prospect of Jimmy Carter being frog-marched off to prison.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 1, 2010 5:47 AM
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