A Victory for Free Speech

In a victory for free speech and academic discourse, last week the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower-court decision upholding the government's exclusion of Swiss scholar Tariq Ramadan from the United States. Professor Ramadan, a leading scholar of the Muslim world, was offered a tenured professorship at the University of Notre Dame in 2004, but could not take up the post because the government revoked his U.S. visa. The government initially justified its decision by claiming that Professor Ramadan had "endorsed our espoused" terrorism. After the ACLU filed suit, the government abandoned this claim but continued to defend his exclusion on the grounds that he had made small donations to a Swiss charity that the government alleged had given money to Hamas.

But as the court correctly pointed out in the decision issued last Friday, the charity in question wasn't designated as a terrorist group until years after Professor Ramadan made the donations. When he made the donations, Professor Ramadan had no idea that the charity was providing funds to Hamas. The appeals court held that the government could not bar Professor Ramadan (or any other individual accused of providing "material support" for terrorism) without giving him the "opportunity to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he did not know, and reasonably should not have known, that the recipient of his contributions was a terrorist organization."

The appeals court also made clear that barring invited scholars from the United States deprives U.S. citizens of their First Amendment rights to hear ideas and engage in face-to-face debate with foreign scholars. The exclusion of scholars on ideological grounds stymies the global exchange of ideas.

The government should not use its power to police the border as a tool of censorship. The United States has a sad — and long discredited — history of engaging in ideological exclusion. Through the years, many renowned writers and thinkers — including Nobel Prize winners Doris Lessing, Pablo Neruda, and Gabriel García Márquez — have been denied entry to the United States because of their "dangerous" political views. This practice was revived by the Bush administration after 9/11.

The appeals court ruling Friday should serve as an opportunity for the Obama administration to disown the Bush administration's misguided policy of excluding scholars because of their political views. The Obama administration should also end Professor Ramadan's unjustified exclusion and reconsider the exclusion of other foreign scholars, writers and artists who were barred from the country by the Bush administration on ideological grounds. These currently excluded voices could contribute greatly to academic dialogue in the U.S.

The ACLU has an online petition calling on Attorney General Holder and Secretaries Clinton and Napolitano to stop censoring ideas at America's borders. Click here to send your message!

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Vic Livingston

'IDEOLOGICAL EXCLUSION' APPEARS TO BE USED TO JUSTIFY CENSORSHIP AND PRIOR RESTRAINT IMPOSED UPON UNJUSTLY 'TARGETED' AMERICAN CITIZENS.

Still waiting for the day when ACLU crusades against the DOMESTIC BRANCH of the U.S. government's extrajudicial targeting "torture matrix."

Please see the following article, with a link with examples of apparent blatant censorship and malicious interference with the telecommunications of "targeted" Americans -- many of them fingered for their politics, their whistle-blowing, ethnic heritage, or lifestyle:

http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-...

http://blog.aclu.org/2009/01/26/internet-filters-voluntary-ok-not-govern...

Paen

Exactly how do those idiot bureaucrats
think they can keep out ideas in the age of the internet.

Vic Livingston

(ACLU moderator: Please post this revised version. Thank you.)

Anti-’Stalking’ Journo Seeks Lawyer to Fight ‘Stalking’ Charge

• NowPublic.com/scrivener journalist Vic Livingston accuses Falls Township, Bucks County, PA cops of assault, false arrest and imprisonment; considers civil rights lawsuit.

• But first he must find a conscientious defense attorney who won’t charge him 10K to clear his good name against what he says are false charges.

Falls Township, PA authorities charged me with a crime. By mail. First-degree criminal “stalking.” The crime that’s been perpetrated against me by the government-enabled extrajudicial targeting and punishment “matrix” described in my article, “GESTAPO USA.”
The crime that has ruined my life for the past five years.

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-ter...

Pennsylvania law says that for a criminal misdemeanor stalking charge to be applicable, there must be a demonstrated “course of conduct” or “repeatedly” committed acts or communications, with the “intent to place (another) person” in “reasonable fear” of “bodily injury” or “substantial emotional distress.”

That’s a condensed summary by a non-lawyer; the full statute, and relevant case law, can be found here:

http://www.ncvc.org/src/main.aspx?dbID=DB_Pennsylvania206

I did not commit criminal stalking on evening of June 22, 2009.

That’s when I was pulled over while driving my car (which was confiscated and towed); assaulted by a police officer who flung me face-down on the trunk of my car; falsely accused me of “resisting arrest;” handcuffed me so tightly that my wrists ached for a week; did not read me my Miranda rights; kept me confined in a stress position in a parked squad car; threw me into a locked cell for about a half hour; denied me the right to call an attorney or my wife; took fingerprints and mug shots and had me sign three forms; then released me, saying I would be charged by mail with “stalking” (which I was, several days later).

But the “stalking” definition fits what has been done systematically to me for five years, wherever I travel, even out of state.

I am being charged with the very “organized” crime that my articles have exposed. I believe this is an abuse of process, unlawful imprisonment, police misconduct, and quite possibly, entrapment.

My telecommunications are subject to not just surveillance, but malicious tampering and interception, including phone calls. Some of my calls seeking assistance have been returned by persons that sound to this veteran journalist like impostors. My important emails typically do not generate a response.

A defense attorney recommended to me by a neighbor who is an attorney wants $2,000 (plus costs) to represent me at the preliminary hearing, and at least another $7,500 if the case goes to trial, regardless of how much time is spent preparing the case.

So I am still seeking representation — and I want to pursue a police misconduct case. I have requested a police misconduct investigation in a phone conversation with a deputy district attorney. I have received no response. The local ACLU has said they can’t help me; I have found that organization sadly lacking.

My hearing is scheduled for Aug. 18th in Bucks County Magisterial District Court 07-1-10 in Fallsington, PA (subject to postponement if my eventual counsel requires more time).

To my media colleagues: coverage invited. I repeat the request despite the mainstream media’s lack of coverage of the nationwide extrajudicial targeting network that, I believe, has purged mainstream journalism of some of its best.

I also take note of the dearth of media coverage about the proliferation of silent, injury- and illness-inducing microwave and laser radiation “directed energy weapons” that have been widely deployed…

… the weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum, a development every bit as significant as the invention of gunpowder.

http://nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-we...

Skilled, ethical defense/civil rights attorneys who can play both defense and offense: please get in touch ASAP.
As for mainstream media coverage of extrajudicial targeting and punishment:

Why are mainstream media journalists AWOL? Our profession, democracy, and the rule of law are in the cross-hairs of a federally-enabled police state.

Prior to this incident, I had never been arrested. Now I’m asked for fork over 10 grand to defend myself against what I consider to be false charges. When I am the victim.

Is this justice?

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener
scrivener50@verizon.net

Walkie Talkie

You people need to find BETTER ways to help our country. This country was founded on Christianity and by English speaking persons. Quit trying to start a bunch of trouble by changing things that have been part of our American heritage from the begining. Most of the solders in the cemetaries are Christians and deserve to have a CROSS on their graves. HOW DO YOU FIGURE YOU CAN SPEAK FOR THE DEAD. Aparently their not enough constructive things for you people to do. I don't see where you are helping anything at this point.

Elizabeth

Best news I've heard in a while.

A vet who serve...

Did you know that the ACLU has filed a suit to have all military cross-shaped headstones removed and another suit to end prayer from the military completely. They're making great progress. The Navy Chaplains can no longer mention Jesus' name in prayer thanks to the retched ACLU and our new administration.

I'm not breaking this one. If I get it a 1000 times, I'll forward it a 1000 times!

Let us pray...

Prayer chain for our Military...
Don't break it!

Please send this on after a short prayer.. Prayer for our soldiers. Don't break it!

Prayer:

'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.'

Prayer Request: When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops around the world.

There is nothing attached. Just send this to people in your address book. Do not let it stop with you. Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & others deployed in harm's way, prayer is the very best one.

GOD BLESS YOU FOR PASSING IT ON!

Skeptic

Hey "vet who served and wants you bastards" etc...

Feel free to post the actual name and docket number of the case to have military cross-shaped headstones removed. I dare ya. Unless you can, I call bullshit. The ACLU never did anything like that, and you're just swallowing all the BS you get on email and from listening to Limbaugh. Here's a clue: not everything you get in your email is true.

Maggie

I just heard about a Muslim Conference that was held at the Hilton in Chicago. Apparently there was a lot going on. Also some recruitments, so I have heard. Of course you can't always believe what you read in the newspaper.

Anthony Gunn

"The Constitution is not a suicide pact."

Lorain

What are you doing about the White House and this post on their website regarding facts about health care:

These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

Where is the outrage from the ACLU when the White Houses asks people to report casual conversation to their president? Does this not ring of Nazi Germany or KGB activity when contact with your friends could be reported if your thinking does not line up with the president?

Your silence confirms that you are just another arm of the Democratic party, just as suspected. Poorly done, ACLU poorly done. Shame on YOU!

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