My continually growing influence

Now it’s not just the Vatican, it’s the White House that’s being influenced by me.  I know it’s being said that Anwar al-Awlaki might have been involved in some actual terrorism attempts, but from what I can tell, Exhibit A in the case for why he had to be taken out was that he was making propaganda against us.  So restricting speech isn’t so bad after all?  I thought that, if al-Awlaki’s message was bad, the “free marketplace of ideas” was supposed to have have rooted it out on its own.  Presumably, President Obama read my Defense of Censorship and realized that this doesn’t work.  Or maybe he’s been reading Marcuse and has learned to be creative about the meaning of the word “tolerance”.  I prefer to believe, though, that he’s been reading me.

Welcome to Throne and Altar, Mr. President.  As a loyal American subject (stick around here and you’ll get used to words like “subject”), I am happy to provide my best advice, that your regime may go from glory to glory.  A little warning, Your Excellency:  having seen past the foolishness of “freedom of speech”, many of the newly enlightened are tempted to error in the opposite direction, striking out against sedition clumsily rather than with precision and justice.  I’m a bit of a softie myself, and I prefer the way the Inquisition did things.  The inquisitors wouldn’t have just gone out and assassinated this man.  He would have been captured and given a chance to repent and, thus, save his life.  A repented revolutionary is a much more convenient thing than a martyred one.  If he relapsed into error, then of course no mercy should have been shown him.  But he would have been given a lawful trial and a chance to avert capital punishment, so that we could hardly be responsible had he stobbornly remained on the path of death.

2 Responses

  1. Or maybe the POTUS used the execution of the execrable propagandist Julius Streicher as a precedent. Streicher had a “trial”, but he was hanged solely because of his hate speech.

  2. The journalist, Robert Brasillach was shot on 8 February 1945 (after a trial on 19 January) Having visited French volunteers of the Charlemagne Division on the Eastern front, he wrote in his paper, “Je suis partout,” that “De collaborationiste de raison, je suis devenu collaborationiste de coeur.” [From being a collaborator of the intellect, I have become a collaborator of the heart]. He has been described as “the James Dean of French Fascism.”

    His sardonic last words, “Vive la France quand même!” [Long live France, anyway!] had a certain panache.

    William Joyce (“Lord Haw Haw”) was hanged for broadcasting Nazi propaganda to Britain (“traitorously adhering to the King’s enemies). An American citizen of Irish extraction, he was born in Brooklyn NY, but brought up in Galway. He had obtained a British passport, when living in England, making him ” a person owing allegiance to our Lord the King” Sentenced to death on 19 September 1945, his appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal was dismissed on 1 November, His appeal to the House of Lords was not dismissed until 13 December. The general opinion of the legal profession was that this inordinate delay of nearly three months, unprecedented in English practice, of itself justified a commutation of his sentence, but he was hanged on 3 January 1946.

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