May 21st, 2008 16:31 EST
Joe Lieberman Demands YouTube Remove al Qaida Videos
I'm a liberal from San Francisco who is now living in a small town in the Bible Belt. I write an editorial column for a newspaper with a conservative orientation; I'm grateful to the publisher/owner for giving me a wide latitude to express my sometimes controversial views. But on a couple of occasions the editor has nixed my submissions because she deemed them too out of the mainstream for our bucolic small town.
I have published hundreds of essays online, and I have never had an article rejected because of its content. A couple of times an editor has rejected or asked me to revise an essay because it needed further documentation, but I've never experienced censorship online.
The Internet should be a "censorship-free zone", we should vigorously resist all efforts to regulate or censor content in cyberspace. The United States should not copy the attempts of totalitarian regimes like China to censor the Internet.
The federal government should only interfere with the freedom of the Internet, when a Web site publishes child porn or commits any other criminal action.
Sen. Joe Lieberman never tires of railing against sex and violence on TV, and now he has focused his attention on the Internet:
"Sen. Joe Lieberman wants YouTube and its rivals to delete any videos produced by al-Qaida, other Islamic terrorist groups, and any suspected sympathizers. But because there's no U.S. law requiring deletion--at least not yet--there's not much the onetime veep candidate can do except complain.
On Monday, the chairman of the U.S. Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee suggested in a letter to Google CEO Eric Schmidt that the company wasn't doing enough to remove videos that are violent or could be used by terrorist groups to enlist followers. "By taking action to curtail the use of YouTube to disseminate the goals and methods of those who wish to kill innocent civilians, Google will make a singularly important contribution to this important national effort," Lieberman wrote."
The full text of Anne Broache's article can be read here:
I'm a big fan of YouTube and the last person I want censoring content on my favorite Web site is the prudish senator.
I'm glad al Qaida publishes their propaganda online; it's an invaluable source for those seeking an insight into how they think. al Qaida propaganda has been an invaluable resource for many of the essays I have written denouncing the terrorist organization.
A YouTube video by an Islamic militant organization is no more disturbing than a video posted by the American military depicting our "successes" in Iraq. The American public is smart enough to recognize propaganda, whether it's made in America or in a cave in Afghanistan.
I know I will get at least a couple of emails condemning me for comparing al Qaida with the American military. First let me make it clear that my fury is aimed at the clueless commander-in-chief and his hapless generals, and not at our brave soldiers.
The 9/11 terrorist attacks killed almost three thousand innocent civilians, and this act of inhumanity has been condemned by me and every other individual with a sense of moral outrage.
The pre-emptive, illegal and immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq ( a country that posed no threat to us) has resulted in the death of some 4,000 American soldiers and the extermination of hundred of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians. I would like to see more Americans share my sense of moral outrage at this ongoing crime against the people of Iraq.
I love the eclectic mix of material on YouTube: The deep thoughts of Miley Cyrus, babies burping and farting, political commercials, the latest Beyonce offering, cute animal antics, and yes al Qaida propaganda.
Stand up for freedom of speech online. Write an email to Sen. Joe Lieberman telling him to go to hell.