Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Attack Watch Warning

At the height of the Cold War, during the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis, my parents warned this day would come, when government censors would lay down the political speech law and neighbors would snitch on neighbors and teachers would encourage gullible students to betray their parents’ conversations, searching for any signs of subversion.

As our Freedom of Speech rights erode before our very eyes, we are returning to the anti-sedition atmosphere of 15th Century England and her American colonies.  On mere hearsay – one neighbor snitching on another – anyone overheard expressing criticism of the King, Parliament, a colonial governor, or one of the colonial assemblies, could be immediately arrested, put in the stocks, have their ears lopped off, fined, imprisoned, and even summarily executed.

In the Soviet Union, children were encouraged to snitch on their parents.  Millions were arrested and sent to Stalin’s labor camps, never to be seen again.  Dissidents were declared mentally ill and forced to undergo psychological treatment for their “delusions” of freedom.  In the 20th Century, businesses and advertisers were easily intimidated.  Liberal control of the news media in the Sixties made it easy for them to peddle their propaganda, most notoriously when CBS’ Walter Cronkite lied to the American public and declared that we’d lost the Vietnam War.

With social media, political correctness has been taken to a whole new level.  No one should be fooled by the Internet’s seeming anonymity.  If someone wants to find you and intimidate you, they can and will.

CNN just reported on a man and woman living near the Mexican border who were hung from a border crossing bridge by a notorious drug cartel.  The pair, in their twenties, were part of a social media watch group reporting on and posting messages criticizing the cartel’s activities.  Even though their identities were supposed to be safe and anonymous, the cartel managed to learn who they were and execute them for daring the challenge the cartel.

According to CNN, the two mangled bodies hung “like cuts of meat from a pedestrian bridge.
[The] woman was hogtied and disemboweled, her intestines protruding from three deep cuts on her abdomen. Attackers left her topless, dangling by her feet and hands from a bridge in the border city of Nuevo Laredo.  A bloodied man next to her was hanging by his hands, his right shoulder severed so deeply the bone was visible.  Signs left near the bodies declared the pair, both apparently in their early 20s, were killed for posting denouncements of drug cartel activities on a social network.”  In addition, their ears and fingers were mutilated.

“’This is going to happen to all of those posting funny things on the Internet,’ one sign said. ‘You better (expletive) pay attention. I'm about to get you.’

“The gruesome scene sent a chilling message at a time when online posts have become some of the loudest voices reporting violence in Mexico. In some parts of the country, threats from cartels have silenced traditional media. Sometimes even local authorities fear speaking out.
Mexico's notoriously ruthless drug gangs regularly hang victims from bridges and highway overpasses.”
“The placards threatened those who report violent incidents through social media networks.  It listed two blogs by name, Al Rojo Vivo and Blog del Narco.  They were signed ‘Z,’ a possible reference for the Zetas cartel, which operates in the area.  Blog del Narco is a website that deals exclusively with news related to drug violence in Mexico. Its creator remains anonymous.  On the Al Rojo Vivo forum, where citizens can make anonymous tips, one person wrote: "Don't be afraid to denounce. It's very difficult for them to find out who denounced. They only want to scare society.”

One blogger retorted, “Enough! If we shut up today, we will have lost the ground that we have gained. This is the time to show what we are made of!”  Blog del Narco told CNN its site is not dedicated to denouncing crime, as are other sites.

“In addition, we are not in favor or against any criminal group, we only inform as things happen," the statement said.

On Attack Watch.com, the content seems more geared towards attacking Republican opponents than reporting any attacks on Democrats.  The Liberals are worried because the new social media gives a forum to their opponents that didn’t exist before.  They’re not as in control of “the message” as they once were and must adapt and create new methods of attack and counterattack.

It’s politics as usual, and yet it’s not.  While you would expect candidates to argue back and forth, debating the issues – it’s the American way – it’s quite another thing to start taking names and issuing vague threats that insinuate legal repercussions for expressing your opinion might be forthcoming from someone who doesn’t agree with you, therefore, making you a liar and culpable for libel and slander.  Fear of criminal charges is what froze free speech and dissent in Colonial America, eventually bringing about our First Amendment.

Criminal gangs believe in the more direct approach:  summarily executing people who denounce them.  Making an example of anti-drug bloggers is a handy way for legislatures to pass drug legalization laws:  look what happens if you don’t.  Just legalize these soul-killing, judgment-warping drugs and you won’t see any more horrible pictures like the graphic photo on CNN.com, for which they have posted a serious warning to anyone about to view the photo.

This has been the way of tyranny since Ancient Times, when Caesar Augustus passed the first, official sedition law:  Thou shalt not criticize the Lord, thy Government, nor its bureaucrats, nor its scribes, nor its laborers, nor its drug-runners.  So sayeth the Marxists, the Liberals, the Islamists, and the U.S. government.  Amen.

 

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