“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” —George Washington
Shutting Down Political Opposition
Obama is trying to shut down the free speech of his political opponents. His first plan was to turn over the Internet to the United Nations. But Congress helped put that plan beyond his reach by extending the contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to a date after the president has left office. (Read more here.)
But this is a war that Obama has been fighting on multiple fronts. After Congress extended the ICANN contract, the president had his Federal Communications Commission (FCC) pull a Marbury-versus-Madison and rule itself jurisdiction to regulate the Internet. (Read more about this issue here.) But, since this technically violates Congressional jurisdiction over the Net, and may well be a short-lived solution for Obama, other strategies are being set in place.
Finding a Backdoor
Obama’s operatives have been setting the wheels in motion to end ICANN’s management of the Internet altogether, so that international entities can be allowed to co-manage the Internet. (Read more about this plan here.) This plan will end in nothing less than government censorship of the Internet, where the president’s statist political friends will be able to censor libertarians, Constitutional conservatives, tea partiers, and other classical liberals; and foreign governments will be able to outlaw discussion of such things as Islamic terror.
Filtering the Net
The US contract with ICANN has been a more-than-adequate means to ensure that a fair and free Internet exists for all users. While Internet filtering does occur in freedom-compromised countries, this does not emanate from the US-run back-end. Any set of compromises that might be made with authoritarian and Muslim governments of the world, under Chinese, Russian, or Sharia-compliant policy preferences, would—at a bare minimum—do away with web sites selling any erotic paraphernalia, alcoholic beverages, or other objectionable business sites connected with these.
No Longer Free to Choose
In America, people are free to choose the kinds of web sites they wish to visit. Under an authoritarian plan, run in cooperation with socialistic or Islamic regimes, censorship would become a fact of life for everyone on the planet. American businesses would, as a result, suffer even more than they are suffering currently under Obama’s big-government regulatory apparatus. As the expressive freedom we all currently enjoy dies, so will a good portion of our financial freedom as well.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal that Obama is striving to institute represents trouble of a kind never seen before in an American trade deal. The ICANN contract could be set up, once it expires, to devolve from Congressional oversight to an international group of TPP trading partners (the United States and 11 other countries—Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam); and the membership of that regulatory body could be extended, at a future time, to include more countries, such as Russia, China, and Muslim countries that oppose freedom of expression. The current oversight plan allows all special interests—business-minded groups and freedom-advocacy supporters—co-equal input into how the Internet is managed. And the watchdog function of the Congress has worked well in maintaining an Internet that has achieved a high level of both freedom of commerce and freedom of expression. If Obama’s Internet scheme succeeds, this reality would cease to exist.
Here are some things that could happen, given a freedom-compromised Internet: 1) censorship for all, at the behest of governments who oppose free speech; 2) restrictions on technological innovations that might improve the speed of information access and delivery; 3) Trans-Pacific taxation of domain name registrations and other internet-based financial transactions; 4) excommunication of unpopular nation-states, such as Israel; and 5) future utilization of the Internet in ways that might harm Americans, including war- or jihad-related uses. In the end, management of the American-taxpayer-developed Internet will be given over to the control of dictators and jihadists who never would have allowed its development in the first place.
De Facto Repeal of the First Amendment
Article VI, Clause 2, of the US Constitution, known as the Supremacy Clause, reads as follows: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding.” According to Obama’s strategic plan, the TPP deal, once ratified by the US Senate, becomes the law of the land—in effect, repealing the First Amendment of the US Constitution, because of the way in which a statist Trans-Pacific Partnership can, in cooperation with the US government, coerce and regulate the six media companies that control the large majority of the information flow in the US. Under this treaty, regulatory fiat can be enforced by having the US government threaten to deny FCC licenses to TV and radio broadcasters or to pull the business licenses for print media and publishing companies who do not toe the line with respect to the Partnership-enforced narrative. And citizen journalists could be targeted for opposing the preferred official narrative of the Partnership in concert with the US government.
The Obama Police State
The American tradition of celebrating political dissidents, rather than criminalizing them, could be about to change. In a column written by Wendy Benjaminson, of the Associated Press, it has been revealed that President Obama has added reporters to the ranks of “belligerents” in his overall scheme to criminalize political dissent. (See the AP story, courtesy of the Denver Post, here.) This policy would allow the US military to target and punish journalists and bloggers as “unprivileged belligerents.” This policy of President Obama’s more than smacks of police-state thinking, for it actually enables police-state actions, whereby the military might be employed, in genuine KGB-style, to silence—or even kill—journalists the same way dissident Russian journalists have been dealt with under Putin.
The Posse Comitatus Act is a US law, signed on June 18, 1878, by President Rutherford B. Hayes. The purpose of the act—as a complement to the Insurrection Act of 1807—is to limit government power to use military personnel to enforce US domestic policy. In 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. Section 1021(b)(2) of that act extended the definition of a “covered person” subject to detention under the law to include “[a] person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.”
Section 1021(e) of the act supposedly limits the scope of the aforesaid authority by stating that “[n]othing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.” But there are situations in which the act does not apply, including: Army, Air National Guard, and state defense forces under the authority of the governor of a state, as well as federal military forces used in compliance with the Insurrection Act. (Read more here.)
Statist Vilification of Dissenters
We now live in an age when statist Democrats are naming their fellow Americans as enemies—in recent political rhetoric by Hillary Clinton during the Democrat debates and by Barack Obama in recent overseas speeches, vilifying Republicans and conservatives as enemies rather than opponents. Is it far-fetched to think that language referring to “any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces” might be so broadly applied as to designate a journalist who has been critical of government policy? A blogger criticizing Obama’s so-called “anti-terrorism policy” of NSA data-collection on all Americans could be viewed as being supportive of terrorism, when he is truly doing nothing more than expressing privacy-infringement concerns.
Obama’s threat to American liberty is real. Informed Americans must write to their Senators and Congresspersons—and do so without delay—for only by protesting en masse, through political action, can Americans hope to thwart President Obama’s anti-freedom agenda.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com