By: Gary J Verdes
To The President and Congress:
As you sit and debate gun control, and how to take the 2nd Amendment “right of the people to keep and bear arms” away from Patriotic Americans. The Terrorists are using the Internet to spread propaganda, recruit volunteers, raise funds and yes the teaching of other terrorist on how to build bombs and kill Americans.
Maybe just maybe it’s time for you Mr. President and Congress to act.
If we consider the Internet analogous to geography, virtual space as it were, we begin to witness a mirror or map of the world and its inhabitants. Terrorist groups, in all their variety and complexity, feel compelled to stake a claim to this virtual territory. Their methods vary from those of extremely nationalistic, such as the Tamil Tigers or the Basque Separatists, for whom a single website is their resident home, to Al-Qaeda, Hamas, The Taliban and Islamic Jihad, groups less concerned with national boundaries and more with the boundaries of hearts and minds. Al-Qaeda, just as a multinational corporation, is a product of the 21st century and operates with a fluidity that largely ignores national boundaries. The Internet also provides a global pool of potential recruits and donors. Online terrorist fundraising has become so commonplace that some organizations are able to accept donations via the popular online payment service PayPal.
Terrorist websites can serve as virtual training grounds, offering tutorials on building bombs, firing surface-to-air missiles, shooting at U.S. soldiers and killing American’s both home and abroad. Some Israeli and U.S. officials believe that terrorists from Hamas and Islamic Jihad use the Internet to provide specific instructions to fellow terrorists including maps, photographs, directions, codes and technical details of how to use explosives. In addition to terrorist sites, the World Wide Web also contains dozens of sites run by domestic white supremacist and militia groups using the Internet to promote their radical, Anti- Government agendas to explain their killing of Americans. Other sites actually provide information on how to build bombs as well as instructions for making dangerous chemical and explosive weapons. Many other sites post the “Terrorist’s Handbook” and “The Anarchist Cookbook” that offer detailed instructions of how to construct a wide range of bombs.
So now what can be done in a society that has a 1st Amendment that in part states “Congress shall make no law…. abridging the freedom of speech…” So that is the big question what is “Freedom of Speech” Since my childhood I was told that I could not yell fire in a movie theater, well isn’t that my right under the 1st Amendment?
The idea of falsely shouting “fire” in a crowded theater arose from the Supreme Court’s 1919 decision in the case Schenck v. United States. The Court ruled unanimously that the 1st Amendment, though it protects freedom of speech and expression, does not protect dangerous speech. In the decision, Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote that no free speech safeguard would cover someone “falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic.”
So what would Oliver Wendell Holmes think about Web sites that promotes Terrorists using the Internet to spread propaganda, recruit volunteers, raise funds and yes the teaching of other terrorist on how to build bombs and kill Americans? Would Judge Holmes think that building bombs and exploding them in an American city to kill and mane as many Americans as they can be “causing a panic”. Just look at the news reels of the Oklahoma City Bombing, 9/11 and the Boston Marathon Bombing and you tell me about “causing a panic”. Enough is Enough it’s time “We the People” demand that the President and Congress act, not by taking away guns from Patriotic Americans, but by taking down Terrorists and their Web sites that are use to spread propaganda, recruit volunteers, raise funds and yes teach other terrorist how to build bombs and kill Americans there by “causing a panic”.
Mr. President and Congress think you can handle taking away the Terrorists right’s to kill Americans, and leave Patriotic Americans in peace.