Thread: Can a nation restrict political speech for the interest of national security?

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  1. #1 Can a nation restrict political speech for the interest of national security? 
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
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    For freedom-loving Americans, freedom of speech is one of the most treasured rights guaranteed to us.'

    Obviously, there are limits to free speech (shouting Fire in a crowded theater, threatening to harm the president, ect.), but what about when the danger of the speech is political?


    Some examples:


    If we are in a war, should it be illegal to speak out against the war?

    Should it be illegal to condemn our allies or America during peacetime or wartime? Should it be illegal to write a book that portrays America or our allies in a negative light?

    If someone were to say (only say, not actually do anything mind you) "I will not participate in Obamacare and if they want to steal my tax money to punish me they can come get it themselves and if they put me in jail so be it because that's what I believe in" - should this person be arrested for speaking about doing something illegal (not complying with the health law or tax law)?

    Suppose someone doesn't have any weapons or anything illegal or dangerous like that, but they talk a lot with their friends about a revolution and publically speak out against the president? Should they be arrested, executed, or deported for trying to undermine the United States Government?


    Which of these examples should be illegal and prosecuting in the United States of America?

    or if none of these, where do you draw the limits of free speech when it comes to issues of loyalty to the nation, and possible subversion or anti-American speech? At what point do they become traitors? At what point should dissent be considered treason?
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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  2. #2  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
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    Also I probably shouldn't say "can a nation do X", because history shows that obviously nations can, but can the United States of America do this, and still remain true to it's values and principles?
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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  3. #3  
    Power CUer NJCardFan's Avatar
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    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    There is nothing ambiguous about this.
    "Inequality is a false notion propagated by those who are made to feel guilty for what they have by those who are jealous for what they don't"-Former MTV Host Kennedy
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  4. #4  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJCardFan View Post
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    There is nothing ambiguous about this.
    So in all of the hypothetical examples above, you say free speech should be respected above patriotism and these people should not be arrested?
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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  5. #5  
    Power CUer NJCardFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    So in all of the hypothetical examples above, you say free speech should be respected above patriotism and these people should not be arrested?
    There is nothing ambiguous about the Amendment stated above.
    "Inequality is a false notion propagated by those who are made to feel guilty for what they have by those who are jealous for what they don't"-Former MTV Host Kennedy
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  6. #6  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
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    You can try using your own words to explain what that amendment means to you. This is what arguments of constituionality are all about, whether specific acts or laws fall within the scope of what the specific amendment says. If there was "nothing ambigious" about it, we wouldn't have any need for the supreme court.

    There's nothing in that amendment that says "except in cases of yelling fire in a crowded theater" but we all know that it's established that it doesn't apply there, as well as in other situations.

    You know as well as I know that every law is ambiguous around the edges, and has exceptions. I think we can all agree that publically plotting to assissinate a public official is not preotected free speech as well. Clearly there are limits.

    My question here is what do you consider the limits to be when the issue is patriotism and national security? Criticizing public policy, criticizing our allies in war, trying to convince people that a law or war is unjust, speaking about wanting to overthrow the government, stuff like that?

    Do you think it's constitutional to arrest people for those things?
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member Arroyo_Doble's Avatar
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    *shrug*

    Suspend habeas corpus and get back to me after the war is over.


    As far as the 1st Amendment, one of the signitors of the Declaration of Independence, a delegate to the Continental Convention, and Founding Father (he nominated George Washington for president) was probably the one who attacked freedom of speech and the press more than any other in our nation's history.

    Although putting Eugene Debs into prison might be considered worse.
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  8. #8  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
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    How about being sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for making a film about the American Revolution because it portreyed the British in a negative light?


    How about a year in prison for a civilian (not yet being drafted) simply stating out loud that he would rather go to jail than fight in a war?
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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  9. #9  
    Power CUer NJCardFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    You can try using your own words to explain what that amendment means to you. This is what arguments of constituionality are all about, whether specific acts or laws fall within the scope of what the specific amendment says. If there was "nothing ambigious" about it, we wouldn't have any need for the supreme court.

    There's nothing in that amendment that says "except in cases of yelling fire in a crowded theater" but we all know that it's established that it doesn't apply there, as well as in other situations.

    You know as well as I know that every law is ambiguous around the edges, and has exceptions. I think we can all agree that publically plotting to assissinate a public official is not preotected free speech as well. Clearly there are limits.

    My question here is what do you consider the limits to be when the issue is patriotism and national security? Criticizing public policy, criticizing our allies in war, trying to convince people that a law or war is unjust, speaking about wanting to overthrow the government, stuff like that?

    Do you think it's constitutional to arrest people for those things?
    My own words reflect the amendment word for word. It's the first amendment for a reason. Again, it's not ambiguous. What another country does does not concern me. What this country does, does. Even if it's speech I don't agree with, that person or persons have the right to spew it. Even you. All speech is protected as in you have the right to say it. However, you have to choose your words carefully.
    "Inequality is a false notion propagated by those who are made to feel guilty for what they have by those who are jealous for what they don't"-Former MTV Host Kennedy
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member txradioguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    How about being sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for making a film about the American Revolution because it portreyed the British in a negative light?


    How about a year in prison for a civilian (not yet being drafted) simply stating out loud that he would rather go to jail than fight in a war?



    I get the feeling our little Communist agitator here is fishing for a gotcha moment.

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