Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Gingrich: Free Speech Laws May Need to be Altered

Former Speaker of the House and possible Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said that the threat of terrorism may require an altering in this country's free speech laws. Speaking at the Manchester Awards Banquet, Gingrich signaled that a "different set of rules" need to be implemented in order to stop terrorist recruiting. What do you think?

http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Gingrich+raises+alarm+at+event+honoring+those+who+stand+up+for+freedom+of+speech&articleId=d3f4ee4e-1e90-475a-b1b0-bbcd5baedd78

LWS

6 comments:

Elizabeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...

Wow. Well, without trying to foster a "doomsday" mentality, I am highly suspicious of any "solution" that involves altering/limiting the protection of people's basic rights. That article was very vague, though. It also went on to talk about how Gingrich spoke strongly about other government policies which he believed limited free speech. Slightly confusing (or perhaps I am missing something?).

LWS said...

It appeared that Gingrich was not suggesting a dramatic rollback of freedom of speech. In my opinion, he was suggesting certain measures which would limit freedom of speech only in specific areas. Though there is a good chance I would be in favor of these measures, we must not forget the lessons of history. The Alien and Sedition acts were measures designed to protect our country from those wishing its demise. However, these acts were also used to silence any views against the current administration. There needs to be a balance between the pragmatic needs of our security and the ideals of freedom.

Elizabeth said...

Yes, if there was one thing I learned last year it was that history is riddled with accounts of innocent-looking limitations on certain freedoms that turned out rather badly.

However, you're right...there is a point at which we need to practically take into account our national security.

Morgan said...

We certainly must be careful of the limitation of freedom of the press. Historically, one example that comes to mind is Germany when Hitler said that Communists, trying to overthrow the government, were responsible for The Great Reichstag fire of 1943(when really it was started by the Nazis). He then had a bill signed by Pres. von Hindenburg "For the protection of the people and the state"; ultimately, this took away the rights of dissenting parties and of the entire country. Not that I'm saying that some restrictions are bad; however, it has to be carefully considered before we take such a step.

Elizabeth said...

^hi Morgan! *waves*

*ahem*

Good example (you must be a debater or something ;)).

Again, however, that article was extremely vague. I'd be interested in hearing more detail as to what types of "rule changes" he was thinking of.