Obama leads the charge AGAINST freedom of speech?!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 Comments


I posted on this video a while back (video reposted below for reference), with the comment:

Obviously this would be unconstitional in the United States, and I don't see any indication in the report that the U.S. is actually considering this (thank goodness) but I think it's good to be aware that this is out there.

Well, I stand corrected. Not only is the U.S. considering this, apparently the Obama administration is taking the lead in pushing it forward.

From the Weekly Standard, dated Monday 10/5:
The Obama administration has marked its first foray into the UN human rights establishment by backing calls for limits on freedom of expression. The newly-minted American policy was rolled out at the latest session of the UN Human Rights Council, which ended in Geneva on Friday. American diplomats were there for the first time as full Council members and intent on making friends.
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So it cosponsored a resolution on the subject with none other than Egypt--a country characterized by an absence of freedom of expression.
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The new resolution, championed by the Obama administration, has a number of disturbing elements. It emphasizes that "the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities . . ." which include taking action against anything meeting the description of "negative racial and religious stereotyping." It also purports to "recognize . . . the moral and social responsibilities of the media" and supports "the media's elaboration of voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct" in relation to "combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."
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Pakistan's Ambassador Zamir Akram, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, made it clear that they understand the resolution and its protection against religious stereotyping as allowing free speech to be trumped by anything that defames or negatively stereotypes religion. The idea of protecting the human rights "of religions" instead of individuals is a favorite of those countries that do not protect free speech and which use religion--as defined by government--to curtail it.
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In 1992 when the United States ratified the main international law treaty which addresses freedom of expression, the government carefully attached reservations to ensure that the treaty could not "restrict the right of free speech and association protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States."

The Obama administration's debut at the Human Rights Council laid bare its very different priorities. Threatening freedom of expression is a price for engagement with the Islamic world that it is evidently prepared to pay.
Click here to read the whole article.

Interestingly enough, although they speak in terms of "religious tolerance" the only religion any of the folks supporting this seem interested in "protecting" is Islam. I see no reference to complaints about defamation of Christians or Jews, or Buddhists or Hindus, or atheists or anyone else. I would not want any such "protections" in the form of limits on free speech - the freedom of expression is a fundamental right that must be protected at all costs, even if it means that someone (probably everyone) is going to be offended at some point in time. I would much rather risk being offended than give up such a vital freedom as that of free expression.

That our own government seems willing to not only sign on but lead the charge to violate our own Constitutional rights in the name of fostering international "consensus" is absolutely unacceptable. If they think such actions will garner favor among our enemies, they are wrong. It will only garner further contempt from both enemies and allies (and the current administration seems quite confused as to which is which) as we will be seen as weak, abandoning our principles.

More on this here:
Obama signs up to stop YOUR freedom of speech at UN. Happy now?
Obama Introduced UN Resolution To Limit Free Speech

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Here is the video referenced above:

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