Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Newt Gingrich Says Basic Constitutional Rights Should Be Curtailed

Gingrich: Free Speech Should Be Curtailed To Fight Terrorism

Staff Reporter of the Sun
November 29, 2006

A former House speaker, Newt Gingrich, is causing a stir by proposing that free speech may have to be curtailed in order to fight terrorism.

"We need to get ahead of the curve rather than wait until we actually literally lose a city, which I think could literally happen in the next decade if we're unfortunate," Mr. Gingrich said Monday night during a speech in New Hampshire. "We now should be impaneling people to look seriously at a level of supervision that we would never dream of if it weren't for the scale of the threat."

Speaking at an award dinner billed as a tribute to crusaders for the First Amendment, Mr. Gingrich, who is considering a run for the White House in 2008, painted an ominous picture of the dangers facing America.

What was Gingrich even doing at a tribute event for crusaders of the First Amendment in the first place? Didn't they realize that he was a neo-conservative, ideolog who was no particular friend of the First Amendment?

"This is a serious, long-term war," the former speaker said, according an audio excerpt of his remarks made available yesterday by his office. "Either before we lose a city or, if we are truly stupid, after we lose a city, we will adopt rules of engagement that use every technology we can find to break up their capacity to use the Internet, to break up their capacity to use free speech, and to go after people who want to kill us to stop them from recruiting people."

Mr. Gingrich acknowledged that these proposals would trigger "a serious debate about the First Amendment." He also said international law must be revised to address the exigencies posed by international terrorists.

"We should propose a Geneva Convention for fighting terrorism, which makes very clear that those would fight outside the rules of law, those who would use weapons of mass destruction, and those who would target civilians are, in fact, subject to a totally different set of rules that allow us to protect civilization before it gains so much strength that it is truly horrendous," he said.

The former speaker also pointed approvingly to England, where suspects in terrorism cases can be detained for several weeks without charge. Some of Mr. Gingrich's remarks about balancing freedom and terrorism were reported by the Associated Press on Monday and the Union Leader of Manchester yesterday.

In the same speech Monday, the former speaker expressed a more expansive view of First Amendment rights in the American political arena. Mr. Gingrich picked a fight of sorts with a potential rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Senator McCain of Arizona, by branding as a failure the campaign finance restrictions known as McCain-Feingold. The former speaker said the limitations have not stemmed the flow of money into politics and failed to curtail negative political advertising.

Mr. Gingrich has been traveling to politically important states, like New Hampshire, but said Monday he would not decide on a White House bid until September 2007.



Response to Newt Gingrich From The Huffington Post

Commentary from Mark Jeffrey

Commentary from Bob Cesca


I fall somewhere in the middle on this issue. I believe that some of the Patriot Act policies are useful. I believe that we should do just about whatever we can, within the Constitution, to protect ourselves from Terrorism. I believe in most Homeland Security initiatives, and even initiatives that are not being taken. I believe that our Homeland Security efforts (policies to protect our own soil) do not go far enough and are not creative enough.

But I don't believe that my First Amendment rights should be handed over..... That is just way over the top. And such a step would do nothing to stop Terrorists from attacking us. Much of the internet activity that Georgia Good Old Boy Newt was speaking of takes place overseas where our laws regarding free speech would have no jurisdiction anyway.

Newt simply doesn't know what he is talking about when it comes to Terrorism.


John from Queens NY said...

What an idiot to be suggesting we are not safe (0 / 0)

Shove the contract for America up his ass and send him out to Elba. And this is for you, Newt: We don't need to be warned, schmuck.

Some of us live in NYC, one big target. I live in a Jewish neighborhood & I have seen the look of assessment beaming in the eyes of a suspicious-looking Middle Easterner as he admires the architecture of a big bank building for a target here.

I am a moderate Democrat, and 9/11 was a wake-up call for me to check my moderation. I have come up empty for you and your ilk of neocons. Either protect us with our CIA, NSA, DIA or we will vote you down and out. The failure is Bush '43 when he turned his back on men with "their hair on fire."

If we lose a city it will be on your head. Make no mistake, we know who the real enemy is: It is government Neocons who rule with lies to get power, fear and manipulation to keep it.

Republicans & Democrats in government cannot con us anymore. And the quote is from my recovery class, President Dummy: Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

(-7.63,-6.21) Between Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama - Huh, and I'm a moderate Democrat with a NY license plate that says VOTEBLUE.

by ezdidit on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 04:31:07 AM PST

African American Political Pundit said...

Newt Gingrich is a moron. Just another Red-Neck politican that no one listens to except the folks at FOX News and the neo cons.