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View Diary: New York Times (again) Conflates Extremist Views With Violent Action (30 comments)

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  •  Extremist views that counsel violent action... (2+ / 0-)
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    Be Skeptical, erush1345

    ...are themselves illegal.  It's legal to say that there's a coming (or ongoing) extralegal reckoning in which people are going to have to choose sides and do illegal things, while it's illegal to say that people should choose sides via illegal actions right now.  That's why the convictions of Communist Party USA leaders in the 1950s were overturned--they said revolution was inevitable, not that people should instigate it.  Al Qaeda-inspired propagandists tell people their revolution is now, and that they should join it by committing illegal acts.  That's illegal, not just "including" US citizens, but "especially" US citizens.

    Mandatory disclaimer: I am not a lawyer (not that actually being one necessarily gives you a privileged understanding, based on present evidence), so if you are considering specific advocacy of violent acts in the US, you should consult with a lawyer.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon May 06, 2013 at 11:01:01 AM PDT

    •  You're wrong about this... (0+ / 0-)

      Brandenburg (and later, Hess) is very clear about there needing to be an imminent lawless action that will result from said advocacy.  I am not sure about which Al Qadea-inspired propagandist you're referencing here, but I am making this argument with al-Awlaki's videos in mind because I know that you have previously compared his videos to the propaganda put out by Tokyo Rose.

      His online speeches are squarely protected under Brandenburg and Hess because arguing for violence and lawless action in the abstract future is protected speech.  This follows clearly from Hess where the defendant had been arrested, in part, for allegedly exhorting a group of students to violate the law and "take the bridge later" after his grop had been told to stay off the birdge.  The court found that calling for a lawless action in the future failed the imminent aspect of Bandenburg's imminent lawless action requirement.

      Therefore, al-Awlaki's calls for people to wage jihad on America in a future abstract sense, no matter how vile, are clearly protected.

      •  It's not a future abstract sense.... (1+ / 0-)
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        ...any more than my request that you kill my mother-in-law is future (because you haven't killed her already) and abstract (because we haven't agreed to the specific terms and conditions).  You're setting the standard too high.

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:17:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not the one setting the standard... (0+ / 0-)

          the Supreme Court is the one doiing that.

          Requesting that I kill your mother-in-law is considerably more concrete than making a video telling people that they have a religious obligation to take up arms against the US.

          In one case, you have a specific crime in mind and you are encouraging (cf: requesting) me to committ the act.  In the latter case, everything is far more generalized.

          Please go read the Hess decision and we can discuss what you think differs between that situation and al-Awlaki's.

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