Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich last night defended his call to limit freedom of speech to combat terrorism, comments that last month provoked strident criticism from liberal groups.
Gingrich said the threat of biological or nuclear attack requires America to consider curbs to speech to fight terrorists, if it is to protect the society that makes the First Amendment possible.
Gingrich cited last month’s ejection of six Muslim scholars from a plane in Minneapolis for suspicious behavior, which included reports they prayed before the flight and had sat in the same seats as the Sept. 11 hijackers.
“Those six people should have been arrested and prosecuted for pretending to be terrorists,” Gingrich said. “And the crew of the U.S. airplane should have been invited to the White House and congratulated for being correct in the protection of citizens.”
I agree that they should be charged with terrorizing, but what does curbing the 1st Amendment have to do with that?
Newt seems to be saying that there is no way to go after terrorists without curbing the 1st Amendment – I didn’t realize that the problem of terrorism was speech, I thought it was the killing of Americans that was the problem.