To our esteemed US Senators: even jerks have the right of free speech

**Posted by Phineas

So, some jackass preacher in Florida decided he was in need of attention and that the best way to get it would be to burn a Qur’an — publicly, making sure all the media knew about it:

The Islam-hating Florida preacher who scuttled plans to burn the Koran last year, changed his mind and had a copy of the holy book set on fire this weekend.

Pastor Terry Jones supervised the book barbecue at his tiny Gainesville, Fla., church Sunday – after declaring the Muslim holy text “guilty” of crimes.

Jones drew widespread condemnation last year when he threatened to burn a stack of Korans on the Sept. 11 anniversary – sparking wild protests around the world.

He agreed to stand down after receiving a call from Defense Secretary Robert Gates warning him that the provocative act could endanger U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jones said at the time that he had made his point and vowed not to carry out the bizarre plan.

He went back on his word, he said, because he had been “trying to give the Muslim world an opportunity to defend their book” – but had not received a response.

And the predictable thing happened afterwards: riots in Afghanistan in which outrageously outraged members of the Religion of Perpetual Outrage went berserk and rioted in Mazar-i-Sharif, killing at least ten UN workers, including beheading two.

Naturally, our US Senators sprang into action, condemning the killings and defending the right of free speech and… No, wait. What really happened is that they bent over backwards to appease murderous savages and condemn an American exercising his unalienable right to freedom of speech:

U.S. lawmakers said Sunday they would consider a request by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to formally condemn a Florida pastor’s decision to burn the Koran, after the act triggered deadly riots in Afghanistan.

Senate Cowboy Poet Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the Senate is considering a resolution condemning the pastor, while saying nothing about the utter barbarism perpetrated by the Afghan rioters. Even worse, however, was this gem from Lindsey Graham, showing that craven appeasement and stupidity is a bipartisan phenomenon. Allahpundit quotes him and describes the problem:

As for Graham, “I wish we could find some way to hold people accountable,” he laments, clearly deflated by the thought that the First Amendment applies even while we’re “at war.” And if you’re not sure what he means by “at war” — well, I’m not either. Are we “at war” only if troops are in the field? No Koran-burning, in other words, until the last U.S. serviceman has left Iraq and Afghanistan (and Libya)? Or are we “at war” as long as Al Qaeda and other anti-American jihadist movements exist, ready and willing to demagogue acts like Jones’s for their own uses? Even if all Islamist outfits in the world were eliminated, wouldn’t Graham want to continue the ban on Koran-burning lest it inspire new jihadist outfits to spring up? There’s no limiting principle to this idea, realistically. It’d end up being his own version of an “emergency law.”

Click the above link for video, if you can stomach looking at the weasel.

One last quote, for those senators anxious to punish an American for speaking his mind:

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.

Senators Reid and Graham, that is the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, that document you’ve sworn to uphold and defend. I suggest you read it again and pay special attention to the parts in bold, because your duty includes defending the rights even of jerks like Pastor Terry Jones.

Don’t get me wrong: I am not defending what Jones did. After over a decade in which we’ve seen Muslims riot and kill seemingly at the drop of a hat –over cartoons, for Pete’s sake– he had to have known that his actions carried the risk of serious consequences. He is, at the least, a selfish, publicity-seeking wretch.

But, notwithstanding all that, he had every right to do what he did, and I for once would like to see our political figures defend those rights loudly and proudly, instead of cravenly appeasing a bunch of Islamic supremacists for fear that they might, again, be unable to control themselves. The only persons responsible for the deaths in Mazar are the Muslim rioters, themselves.

My dear Senators, we’re in a war to defend Western civilization. Try to act like you really care about its values, okay?

PS: Sorry for my absence over the weekend, folks. The video card on my home PC had a stroke and died. Argh.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Holder DOJ reversal in the works on civilian trial for KSM and other 9-11 co-conspirators?

Fox News is among the multiple news outlets reporting that the US AG Eric Holder has reversed course and will announce later today his decision to have confessed 9-11 terrorist mastermind KSM and other hardcore 9-11 Gitmo detainees tried in front of a military commission rather than in civilian courts:

The alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the U.S. will be referred to the Defense Department for trial, three sources familiar with the case told Fox News on Monday. 

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has been incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since 2006, after being captured in Pakistan in 2003, and five alleged Sept. 11 co-conspirators will face prosecution by a military commission in Guantanamo, a Justice Department official said. 

A formal announcement is expected by Attorney General Eric Holder later in the day. The decision is a turn-around after Holder said in November 2009 that he had decided the conspirators — Mohammed, Walid Muhammed Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, Ali Abdul-Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Al Hawsawi — should be prosecuted in civilian court.

At the time, President Obama said he left the decision to Holder. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday that the decision to reverse himself remained with Holder, but he didn’t want to get ahead of the announcement. 

“The president’s primary concern here is that the perpetrators …  of that terrible attack on the American people be brought to justice as swiftly as possible and as fairly as possible,” he said. 

[…]

J.D. Gordon, a former Defense Department spokesman for secretaries Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates, said Mohammad and the other co-conspirators were already going through the military commission process before the Obama administration halted the case. He said the administration must have realized that popular opinion was against using civilian courtrooms in the United States.

“I think they ran into the buzz saw of reality where the American public didn’t see it in their best interest to hold Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian trial where he could theoretically be acquitted there and also where he’d have a chance to have his rhetoric used against us,” Gordon said. 

“I think that to trust the civilian jury with some of the most dangerous terror suspects is really a flawed mistake,” Gordon added.

With the case now returning to the military commission, the process will start all over again. After the administration announced in 2009 it planned to move the trials to federal court, the military withdrew its charges without prejudice — an action that effectively allowed it to preserve its legal position so that if the cases returned to the commissions in the future, the men could be charged again. 

Anyone else think it’s not a coincidence that this announcement will come on the very day President Obama has officially launched his re-election campaign?  It would be kinda hard for our celebrity President while on the campaign trail to defend his indefensible position on supposedly wanting to demonstrate to the world the “fairness” of our justice system when his own AG, not to mention his former spokesdude Robert Fibbs, had already declared KSM guilty before trial.    Not only that, but Holder himself made it clear in the middle of all this that no matter whether KSM was found guilty or not, that the US would still hold him indefinitely.  Even Obama’s best spinmaestros would have a hard time trying to find a way for him to credibly wiggle out of that one.

This is a first of sorts for President Obama, as far as I can recall.  As a Senator, he was for a military trial for KSM before he was against it – before he was, apparently, for it, if news of today’s announcement holds true.  With the official launch of his re-election campaign this morning, expect more of this in the months to come as the President tries to pull one Bill Clinton triangulation move after another in his quest for four more years in office.  He’s fooled the masses once before – don’t think he won’t try to do it again.