Bill of Rights Lives On

Former N.Y. Times Vice President Talks First Amendment

Thursday, December 6, 2012
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To print or not to print? That’s the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in mind to take arms against a sea of troubles in the public interest, while in doing so inviting the slings and arrows of a powerful government?

The First Amendment prohibits the feds from interfering with the right of free speech or the press. Never. Well, as it turns out, hardly ever, if I may borrow a line from Gilbert and Sullivan while stealing from Shakespeare.

George Freeman, former vice president and assistant general counsel for The New York Times, told of a few instances in a talk Wednesday night marking Bill of Rights Day, sponsored by the Miller-McCune Center, SAGE Publications, and Antioch University. Exhibit A was the original newspaper printing of James Madison’s proposed first 10 amendments to the new-born U.S. Constitution, by the New-York Daily Gazette, on June 13, 1789.

That very page, acquired by SAGE’s Sara Miller McCune, was there, behind glass, full of “f”s instead of “s”s, and will be on display at the new SAGE Library at Antioch.

Everyone knows that the Times won in the Supreme Court (by a 6-3 vote) after it began publishing the Pentagon Papers, the classified account of how we got involved in Vietnam. Big deal at the time and drew the wrath of President Nixon, Freeman pointed out.

It took guts to publish, and Freeman said the Times’s business department was opposed, fearing such things as loss of advertising from adverse public reaction and that Nixon could retaliate by jerking the newspaper’s radio licenses. (The Bill of Rights doesn’t mention radio, TV, Internet, Twitter, or the like.)

On the other hand, a president can talk a newspaper out of printing a scoop, claiming that it would lead to bloodshed. Freeman recalled the Bay of Pigs disaster. President John Kennedy had just taken office in early 1961 and learned that the CIA, under President Eisenhower, was about to launch an attack on Fidel Castro’s Cuba. The Times learned of the plan and was about to publish a story. Didn’t the public have a right to know? Kennedy appealed to the Times to hold off, worried that it would lead to a disaster on the beach.

The Times did, but there was a disaster on the beach anyway, and Kennedy’s political nose was bloodied. Later, as Freeman told the group Wednesday night, Kennedy was famously quoted as saying he wished that the Times had printed the story so he would have had reason to cancel the operation.

As for the Bill of Rights, probed and dissected by the Supreme Court ever since being enacted as the first 10 Constitutional amendments, sometimes even mauled, it’s a wonder that it even exists. When the Founding Fathers signed off on the Constitution in 1789, they went home, awaiting ratification by the various states. But there was a rub. Objections were raised that individual rights weren’t sufficiently protected. Ratification was in jeopardy. So James Madison set to work on what he called a “nauseous project,” the brainteaser work of setting to print such things as protection against cruel and unusual punishment (still being debated; is the death penalty cruel?).

Not until December 15, 1791, when Virginia became the 11th state to ratify those 10 amendments, did the Bill of Rights become law. The Supreme Court has been interpreting and reinterpreting ever since. But it stands.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

The Bill of Rights is dead; most of you don't realize it because you've never needed it.

UCSB Mafia directed my arrest on trumped charge of "threats to bomb or injure property," in response to my free speech counter propaganda campaign against them.
I outed them as organized criminals and incited a strike at UCSB demanding an independent, fully funded and fully empowered 9/11 investigation.

UCSB Mafia was powerful enough to have me arrested on bogus charge and jailed as a political prisoner for 10 days, then committed for 12 days in a mental hospital as a political dissident before three psychiatrists concluded I had no mental illness, no personality disorders and required no meds. (I doubt most could pass the test)

Upon release, I read the prosecution's (UCSB's) evidence folder, more than 500 documents (nothing about a bomb) There were, however, several emails exchanged between UCSB Mafia and the Washington authorities used to arrest me that indicate desperate collusion to have me arrested for anything. They finally decided to arrest me for allegedly violating two obscure elements included in Washington State's law regarding "threats." I allegedly committed felonies by "threatening" to accuse UCSB of crimes and "threatening" to incite a strike at UCSB. But I didn't "threaten" anything. I DID accuse UCSB of crimes and I DID incite (unsuccessfully) a strike at UCSB. Both legal.

I didn't break the law; UCSB mafia did. They still do.
UCSB is an unaccountable criminal mafia organization.
No university in the history of the world has betrayed the human species and TRUTH more than UCSB.

After dragging court proceedings out for nearly a year in hopes of squeezing me financially into accepting an absurd plea bargain, UCSB mafia dismissed the bogus charge days before the scheduled trial because they knew they would lose and be exposed in court as unaccountable criminal thugs.

I've been responsibly accountable for the false charge made against me; UCSB Mafia remains unaccountable and I continue to suffer from their unredressed criminal activity.

My 1st Amendment rights to free speech were violated by UCSB Mafia.

My 4th Amendment right against unreasonable search was violated when UCSB directed a raid and theft of property from my home.

My 6th Amendment right to a speedy and public trial by impartial jury was denied me when UCSB Mafia dismissed the charge without my consent. I wanted that trial. I wanted UCSB exposed. That trial was my RIGHT!

My 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms has been theoretically stripped from me by a criminal UCSB mafia despite my not having broken any law. I've been informed that I can have my right returned if I petition a court but I refuse as it would be treason on my part to sanction any government presumption that they grant rights. GOVERNMENT DOES NOT GRANT RIGHTS! Our rights are endowed by our creator and are unalienable.

The BofR is dead and UCSB mafia needs to atone and redress.

WooWoo (anonymous profile)
December 7, 2012 at 1:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ah, @WooWoo's name IS Neil Baker as I suspected after reading his bio. There you go Adonis.

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
December 7, 2012 at 1:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Weren't there more than two comments on this thread before?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
December 7, 2012 at 7:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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