Department of Justice Sputters on Censorship
by EDWARD CLINE
August 3, 2012
I emailed this letter to Thomas Perez, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, at the Department of Justice:
27 July 2012
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
Department of Justice
Your astoundingly evasive and nearly comical response to Representative Trent Franks's direct, simple question today, during a session of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, about whether or not the Justice Department would criminalize speech against any religion (Franks: "Will you tell us here today that this Administration's Department of Justice will never entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion?" and three other variations of the same question) tipped your hand and that of your boss, Attorney General Holder, that you and your cohorts would certainly "entertain or advance" the criminalization of any and all such speech, especially in regards to your friends, the Islamic supremacists and lobbyists who apparently hold more sway in Washington than do Americans who value their freedom of speech. I have watched the video of that exchange, as have countless other Americans, and like them wonder just what level of disgusting and craven dhimmitude you and your ilk have stooped to.
You kept begging for "context" but the context was a question that required a simple, honest, straightforward denial or affirmation. That you could not answer such a simple question without sounding like a malevolent Elmer Fudd and fidgeting like a criminal suspect being given the third degree, telegraphed your sleazy, weasel character and informed anyone with a modicum of character judgment that lying is an integral part of your makeup. No decent person could watch your behavior with feeling revulsion. It was with great satisfaction to me that Representative Franks would not let you scurry from your corner and allow you to change the subject.
Be forewarned: I write extensively on the perils of Islam and its barbaric and nihilist nature, and in particular about the brutality of Sharia law - which so many Islamic supremacists have boasted will replace our Constitution, the loudest having been the doyens of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other Islamic organizations in this country - if the Justice Department ever does issue such a totalitarian measure, I shall continue to write what I wish about Islam, which is simply a totalitarian ideology garbed in religious dogma. You are obviously, like your boss, and his boss, and all their advisors, of the Left, and there is an ideological symbiosis between the Left and Islam.
Oh, and I mustn't forget to mention Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her "close" advisor, Huma Abedin, and their efforts to silence criticism of Islam, most notably in partnership with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to have speech critical of Islam treated as legally enforceable "hate speech," whatever its form or intent.
You are a coward, a traitor, and a discredit to your country. You are a perfect fit for this administration. In the context of the principles on which this country was founded, you and your cohorts are the "blasphemers."
The letter is self-explanatory and contains all the information one would need to grasp the context that Perez attempted to evade and switch.
I sent a copy of it to Representative Trent Franks, as well. There has been no response from Perez, and none is expected, although it is likely that my blog articles, here and elsewhere, will come under scrutiny. But I take that scrutiny for granted, because the federal government is already monitoring blog sites for "national security reasons."
The threat contained in Perez's waffling responses extends of course to any kind of speech, particularly speech the government deems "hate speech" or "seditious speech" or "revolutionary speech" directed against its growing powers to regulate, stifle, gag, and destroy. If the Department of Justice criminalizes speech "against religion" (specifically Islam) or imposes any kind of "anti-blasphemy" law, that in itself would be anti-Constitutional, but would, of course, open the door to prohibitions against any kind of speech deemed "dangerous" or "harmful" or "defamatory."
It is clear from the video that Perez did not care for Rep. Franks's context, and wished to switch the focus from an admission of totalitarian ambition to one that would rationalize totalitarianism.
Perez is one of those political creatures whose careers have been solely in government "service." It would not be fair to claim that he knows nothing about the First Amendment of the Constitution. Creatures like him always know what absolutes they are dodging. It was a "hard" question to answer, Franks allegedly "threatened" Perez, and Perez was obviously in need of rescue. Some member of the committee came to his rescue by interrupting Franks on some procedural matter. The video ends there, and we don't know how the questioning ended.
Perez's nomination for the post of Assistant Attorney General was endorsed or recommended to the Senate Judiciary Committee by literal menagerie of collectivist groups and statist politicians. And there is this revealing "credit" in his "vitae": "He also served as Special Counsel to the late Senator Edward Kennedy, and was Senator Kennedy's principal adviser on civil rights, criminal justice and constitutional issues." Kennedy also endorsed his nomination for the position. That speaks for itself, and is nearly as much an indictment of him as his wanting to leave the door open to censorship.
Instances of Perez's friendliness towards Islam and his willingness to criminalize any speech that smacks of "religious intolerance" (the term preferred by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Hillary Clinton) are numerous. In June of 2012, The New English Review, for example, offered these tidbits about Perez's inclinations:
On October 7, 2010, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Thomas E. Perez, paid a visit to the US Attorney Nashville office and met with local Muslim groups including members of the board of the ICM. Perez told the group that included the Imams the both the ICM and Nashville mosques [about the controversial Murfreesboro mega mosque} that "his office has their back if it turns out that opponents [of the mosque] aren't as interested in zoning esoteric as they are in sidelining the practice of Islam in Murfreesboro."
Later in December 2011, Secretary of State Clinton would convene an international plenary session with OIC members and other foreign representatives at the State Department. The so-called Istanbul Process conference was directed at developing best practices for combating religious intolerance, a code word for Shariah blasphemy codes adopted by the Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez of the USDOJ Civil Rights Division spoke about development of best practices to comply with the UN religious intolerance resolution.
Call the Assistant Attorney General an infidel "Activist for Allah."
Perez can pontificate on "human rights" with the best of them. In December 2011 he addressed Clinton's State Department on the importance of protecting "religious freedom," in conjunction with the OIC conference chaired by Hillary in Washington that month.
The United Nations Human Rights Council echoed the Universal Declaration in resolution 16/18, which is the basis for this conference. As important as it is to assert such principles, however, it is equally or even more important to ensure that such principles are put into practice.
What is Resolution 16/18? Forbes Magazine published a post-OIC conference article by Abigail R. Esman. She isn't quite sure that it's such a bad thing. However, she begins:
While you were out scavenging the Wal-Mart super sales or trying on trinkets at Tiffany and Cartier, your government has been quietly wrapping up a Christmas gift of its own: adoption of UN resolution 16/18. An initiative of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (formerly Organization of Islamic Conferences), the confederacy of 56 Islamic states, Resolution 16/18 seeks to limit speech that is viewed as "discriminatory" or which involves the "defamation of religion" - specifically that which can be viewed as "incitement to imminent violence"....
....But this latest version, which includes the "incitement to imminent violence" phrase - that is, which criminalizes speech which incites violence against others on the basis of religion, race, or national origin - has succeeded in winning US approval -despite the fact that it (indirectly) places limitations as well on speech considered "blasphemous."
Resolution 16/18 has undergone many revisions over the years in attempts to create ambiguous enough a language but still seem pseudo-specific enough to lock especially the United States into a commitment to "tweak" the First Amendment to suit Islamic notions of "blasphemy," "defamation," and "intolerance." This is in the notable tradition of Thomas Perez, to switch the context and establish the terms of "legal" censorship. Esman writes:
The background to all of this, unsurprisingly, is an effort on the part of Muslim countries to limit what they consider to be defamatory and blasphemous speech: criticism of Islam, say, or insulting the prophet Mohammed - which, as we've learned, can mean anything from drawing a cartoon or making a joke in a comedy sketch to burning a Koran. Such acts - according to some readings of the Koran and, indeed, according to law in some OIC countries - are punishable by death. Hence the riots that met the publication of the so-called "Danish cartoons," the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the murder of Theo van Gogh, and on and on.
Books, novels, cartoons, and literature of all kinds could all be charged with "incitement to imminent violence." Prove that they aren't inciting anything. For Islam and Muslims, there is always a handy mob of demonstrators on call ready to claim "offense" and "defamation" and to carry signs that read, "To Hell with Freedom of Speech." They'll always be hovering in the background, prepared to initiate violence just to back up or make credible some attorney's charge that the violence is "imminent." This fact has been demonstrated countless times over the last few decades.
Dhimmified politicians and public figures who endorse restrictions on speech against Islam out of fear of "inciting" such violence are merely cowards. Figures such as Perez do not fear such violence; to judge by Perez's career and the careers of his ilk in the DHS and FBI, they take pleasure in suppressing speech for the sake of suppressing it. That would go far in explaining Perez's behavior when he chose not to answer Representative Franks' s question. He wished to change the subject and present a rationalized, "legalized" option of "entertaining or advancing" censorship.
For the reader's edification, here is a partial list of the organizations that endorsed Perez's nomination:
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights: Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, ADA Watch, Alliance for Justice, American Association of University Women (AAUW), American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Americans for Democratic Action, Asian American Justice Center, Bazelon Center, Feminist Majority, Human Rights Campaign, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, National Abortion Federatino, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Association of Consumer Advocates, National Coalition for Disability Rights (NCDR), National Council of Jewish Women, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), National Education Association, National Fair Housing Alliance, National Health Law Program, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women's Law Center, People for the American Way, The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law
As you can see, these are the organizations that are united in an alliance against the individual, against individual rights, and against reason, and all believe that the Constitution can be "tweaked" to sanction their collectivist "rights" and "entitlements." In Perez's view, individuals do not have "civil rights."
One would not otherwise waste time on detailing the career of a political wonk such as Perez, except that his contemptible but signature performance before the Subcommittee on the Constitution revealed the insouciant attitude the Department of Justice, under the aegis of a Marxist, Attorney General Eric Holder, has towards the Constitution and individual rights. In Perez's warped universe, there are only collectivized rights. Remember that he was nominated by President Obama. That also speaks for itself.
I encourage readers to send their own letters of protest to Thomas Perez (to AskDOJ@usdoj.gov - there is no direct email address for him), and a letter of support to Representative Trent Franks (at http://www.franks.house.gov/contacts/new - you will need to use his District's Arizona Zip code, 85308, for a letter to be accepted, but you can use your own address and contact information).
It is important that we let all wannabe totalitarians and career "humanitarians" such as Perez know that the American people are on to him and his "context" games. It is also important that we let Congressmen such as Trent Franks know that Americans are behind him.
It is crucial that we stand up for freedom of speech. Without that freedom, we cannot protect any of our other rights.
Edward Cline is the author of the Sparrowhawk novels set in England and Virginia in the pre-Revolutionary period, of several detective and suspense novels, and three collections of his commentaries and columns, all available on Amazon Books. His essays, book reviews, and other articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Journal of Information Ethics and other publications. He is a frequent contributor to Rule of Reason, Family Security Matters, Capitalism Magazine and other Web publications.