On 9/11, as radical Islamic terrorists were attacking the U.S. consulate in Libya and their sympathizers were raising Al Qaeda banners above the U.S. embassy in Cairo--all, we were later told by the Obama administration, due to outrage at a film--a debate was held at the city council meeting of Santa Monica, CA. Troubled residents wanted to know why the city had banned non-profit groups from running ads on the sides of city buses.
Why couldn’t a good cause, such as the AIDS Walk, be promoted? one man asked. Is it fair that only for-profit companies can make use of such a visible public asset?
The city’s attorney and several council members explained patiently, and not too subtly, that if the city began allowing liberal groups to advertise on buses, it would have to allow all groups--including, for example, Christian family organizations--to run ads on buses also.
The danger, one council member said, was that residents might find such views deeply offensive. To avoid hurt feelings, and to avoid the legal problems of discriminating based on the content of speech, the city had set a policy of prohibiting non-profit ads entirely.
In order to prevent controversial speech--the type that might challenge the political status quo--the left-wing city council decided there should be less speech of any kind.
Half a world away, the U.S. embassy in Cairo was tweeting out its apologetic sentiments about an anti-Islamic film produced back in California--sentiments that the White House supposedly disavowed, but which were repeated by the State Department, and have since become a staple of President Barack Obama’s response to the attacks, calculated to deflect responsibility for security failures before and after the events of 9/11/12.
The filmmaker, instead of enjoying the protection of the Constitution, is now under arrest on the flimsiest of pretexts--a parole violation--after being described in respected media sources as an Israeli Jew (he is neither) who made his anti-Islamic film with money from a fictitious group of 100 Jewish donors.
And the Obama administration is inflaming the outrage by proclaiming all over the world that the film is the reason for the violence.
President Obama carried that message to the UN General Assembly this week, adding a few perfunctory words about the Constitution, explaining (almost regretfully) why he could not ban insults to Islam or its prophet. And yet the Obama administration co-sponsored a resolution with Egypt in the Human Rights Council that violates our First Amendment principles by enabling governments to restrict "offensive" religious speech.
This week, anti-Israel activist and sometime MSNBC contributor Mona Eltahawy tried to deface pro-Israel posters on the New York City subway by spray-painting over them.
As the police arrested her, she claimed that her freedom of expression was being denied--that her freedom includes the right to silence others and the right not to be offended.
The worst part? The authorities caved, and prohibited future such ads from the subway.
And who could forget the attacks on the Chick-fil-A restaurants by Obama’s Chicago cronies--including Mayor Rahm Emanuel--for their owners’ belief in traditional marriage, a position held by the president himself until a few months ago?
After denouncing the restaurant for not sharing “Chicago values,” Emanuel met with the execrable Louis Farrakhan, an anti-gay antisemite whose hatred is excused because he is on the far-left.
The Obama campaign has operated in the same vein, targeting political donors to the GOP, using religious bigotry to attack casino magnate Sheldon Adelson--and doing so without comment or complain from the compliant media.
Its Department of Justice has collaborated with external left-wing groups to monitor and attack critics of its policies--including this author--and yet the mainstream media have chosen to look the other way.
The left--led by its community-organizing President--is destroying our most basic right. And the supposed defenders of that right--Hollywood, the Democratic Party, the media--are silent and often complicit. They mocked Mitt Romney for standing up for the obvious principle at stake.
From California to Cairo and back again, they are destroying our security and freedom. They will continue to do so--unless we stop them in November.