Friday, September 08, 2006

Judge Taylor Fosters Hatred and Intolerance

But, speaking of chilling free speech, it isn’t all bad, because, as noted elsewhere, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has wisely guaranteed the free speech rights of, well, terrorists' lawyers, so they can safely have telephone and email exchanges with members of terrorist groups without having to worry about Homeland Security listening in. I wonder what the chances are that while Nabih Ayad, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit who made a declaration in court that he is providing legal advice to "individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects," (quoted in Judge Taylor's opinion), if there are ever any statements made that “foster hatred and intolerance,” something some of our own Michigan lawmakers have frowned on in a proposed Resolution HR 214, discussed below? It’s nice to know that at least some people’s opinions are still protected, even if the opinions happen to include “death to America.”

The Taylor opinion has been fairly heavily raked by scholars, as, for instance, by Ann Althouse in the New York Times. But what shocked me most in reading it was the frankness of the plaintiff-lawyers, including Ayad and fellow traveler Mohammed Abdrabboh, that they are communicating by email and telephone with guys they know the US government is looking for. Bear that in mind when you read about how local Muslims can't figure out why Americans keep thinking of them as pro-terrorist. But the NSA program keeps messing these poor lawyers up. The terrorists were so worried their calls were being overheard they wouldn't come to the phone any more, so their poor lawyers had to actually fork out to travel overseas to meet with them. That's how the lawyers suffered "damages" that gave them standing to sue the USA and stop a program that is saving American lives.

No one could make this up.

No comments: