Can you imagine Adolf Hitler owning a TV news network that spewed his hateful rhetoric across the United States either before or during World War II?
Certainly not, but let’s be more creative. Imagine a German citizen, maybe a Nazi Party member or maybe not, who talked about free exchange of ideas and a balanced approach that would find common ground between the Germans and the Americans.
Sounds more inviting, doesn’t it? You could air the Nazi point-of-view as a “counterpoint” to anti-Nazi “propaganda” in order to make sure that Americans were able to make an “informed decision” about their supposed “enemies.”
But yet, one can’t imagine the America of Franklin Roosevelt tolerating or even contemplating the possibility of a beachhead of foreign Nazi rhetoric on our shores, even though plenty of homegrown sympathizers certainly had a large bullhorn prior to Pearl Harbor.
That model should still be in place. Let Americans say what they want, no matter how horrible, because of the First Amendment, but don’t allow foreigners to gain constitutional protections for their attempts to undermine our government, our way of life, or our vital national interests.
This principle doesn’t have anything to do with the First Amendment or tolerance of other people’s ideas. It has to do with self-preservation. If you are engaged in a war for cultural survival, you don’t just turn a blind eye to a foreign effort to subvert your nation from within.
Unfortunately, that instinct for survival no longer exists in modern America — which, like it or not, is engaged in a long-term battle of wills with Islamism, the movement to impose the political and cultural version of Islam known across the globe in a worldwide caliphate dedicated to the implementation of sharia (Islamic law).
Consider the little-heralded arrival on Aug. 20 of Al Jazeera America, an English language version of the worldwide Al Jazeera network owned by the royal family of Qatar and which has well-documented ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Hamas terrorist organization.
With such innocuous slogans as “Shouldn’t news just give the facts?” and “Change the way you look at news,” Al Jazeera America hopes to paint itself as just one more news network, only better. And they have spared no expense in working to look like just that.
Well-known news personalities such as John Siegenthaler of NBC, Soledad O’Brien and Ali Velshi of CNN, and David Shuster, who worked at both Fox News and MSNBC, are among the many familiar faces on the new channel. Shuster most recently had a gig on Current TV, the left-wing cable channel that Al Gore and his cronies sold to Al Jazeera in January for a tidy profit of filthy petro-dollars.
With all that high-paid window dressing, Al Jazeera America is well-positioned to claim that it is just one more channel trying to make a buck by serving its viewers with interesting and entertaining news coverage.
And from the response so far, Al Jazeera doesn’t even really have to make a case to justify its existence. In the America of 2013, hardly anyone cares that this foreign source of propaganda has taken its place at the table with NBC, CBS, CNN and Fox News. (And, yes, I know that Fox News has a major Arab investor, and I don’t like that either, but there is a difference between investing and having a controlling interest.)
This is where the true danger arises. Forget about the foreign propaganda element, and think about how dangerous it is to give a foreign national interest which harbors anti-American sentiments full access to the protections of the First Amendment’s press guarantees.
Just last week, Al Jazeera America’s website ran a story headlined, “Snowden leaks intelligence ‘black budget’ to Washington Post.” This story should never have been printed in the first place as its reveals classified information provided to the Post by national-security thief Edward Snowden and only serves the purpose of weakening our government’s efforts to keep us safe from foreign enemies across the globe.
We can debate for years whether or not the First Amendment should protect a domestic newspaper such as the Washington Post that publishes top-secret information. It is easy to make the case that the newspaper is working against America’s interest, but we do have to have at least some confidence that the owners of the Washington Post are not anti-American.
It is noteworthy that the Post published the following disclaimer in its story: “The Post only revealed select portions of the U.S. intelligence budget to prevent opposing intelligence agencies from apprehending Washington’s priorities and modes of operation.”
I would argue that what the Post did publish has already aided and abetted “opposing intelligence agencies” from Korea, Russia, China, Iran and elsewhere, but more importantly the Post is providing cover for the inevitable day when Al Jazeera America gets classified national-security data leaked to it and decides to publish ALL of it — or, God forbid, to send it directly to Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria or Iran. Just another milestone of investigative reporting, right? And all protected by the First Amendment!
Is the world really that different today than it was in 1940? Are we so utterly naive these days that we no longer believe foreign agents want to corrupt and destroy our American institutions? Or are we just so afraid of being called politically incorrect that we will no longer rise up to defend our own interests?
Unfortunately the answers to those questions redound to our approaching doom. No... the world is not different than it was in 1940 when it comes to global ambitions, but YES we are increasingly naive and fearful about how to respond to global threats. That combination leaves us at the mercy of our enemies, and I suspect they will show no mercy at all.