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digg Outlawing Freedom of Speech
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posted by sysrpl on Friday July 14, 2006 3:45 PM

Before reading the opinion piece below, I'd like you the reader know I am not taking the side of Lebanon in this article. I am only stating my opinion it would be fairer to publicly show the vantage points and arguments of both entities involved in the Israel/Lebabon conflict.

While analyzing the reporting of the current conflict between Israel and Lebanon I was surprised to learn the following fact: The airing of any footage from Lebanese television networks in the United States is a crime. Contravening free-speech and free-press rights, American broadcasters are prohibited from showing footage of the Lebanese Al-Manar satellite television network. Al-Manar, a news organization, represents the voice of Lebanon; a voice which some might argue is important to hear from during this period.

It's reasonable to me that news networks should be allowed to air portions of Al-Manar news. Currently they cannot. Both CNN and FOX News have stated they are restricted by U.S. law from airing footage coming from Lebanese news.

One gets the distinct impression that this sort of thing would be unconstitutional ...

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Researching the facts further I found George Bush categorized this form of speech a crime when he signed into law Executive Order 13224. On March 23, 2006 the United States Treasury folded to pressure asserted by Bush's order, adding the Al-Manar television network to the Terrorism Exclusion List. This move prohibits U.S. citizens acessing Lebanese radio and television news outlets.

It would seem George Bush has decided the American people are incapable of independent thought, banning the speech we might be unable to resist. Is our American position so weak that it cannot withstand the voice of the enemy? Who can disagree with that logic?

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