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I Think I Thought a Thought-Crime

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years ago

I Think I Thought a Thought-Crime

 

Josh Wolf

http://joshwolf.net/blog/

 

The news that the U.S. Attorney’s office was seeking to revoke my bail began circulating on September 11th, 2006: five years after you-know-what, a date that, according to a friend, is also known as “Patriot Day”. If there’s one thing the right and the left can agree upon, it’s that 9/11 changed the face of America. My own situation should be a testament to that.

 

One week later, schools throughout the nation were following through on their reponsibilities to observe Constitution Day as stipulated by Federal mandate. Ironically, it was this very day, September 18th, that I was notified that I would be returning to prison by the end of the week. Happy Constitution Day to you too!

 

The First Amendment states:

 

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establisment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

 

And yet, as a member of the press, I find my freedom curtailed significantly here in this Federal Detention Center; and, unfortunately, I am not the only one under the gun.

 

From the looks of things, it’s only just the beginning. A recent article in USA today (9/18/06) cited a statistic that left me terrified for our future. According to a survey of nearly 15,000 high school students, only 54% felt that “newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval.”

 

No, that wasn’t a typo, friends, over 40% of our high school students feel that the press should need governmental approval to publish the news! Not the sort of thing one wants to read while sitting in jail asserting my constitutional rights.

 

Meanwhile, in Staten Island, a man named Javed Iqbal found himself held in federal prison with $250,000 bail for simply providing his community with television programming that he harvested off the 8 satellite dishes that decorated his backyard. You see, one of the stations available through Iqbal is Ai Manar, a station controlled by Hezbollah and therein considered a terrorist entity.

 

The disturbing worlds put forth by the likes of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley have swiftly become reality, and judging by the study in USA Today, half of our young people couldn’t care less. The time to wake up has long since passed — quit hitting snooze and hope it’s not too late. Whatever you do, don’t succumb to the notion that you can’t make a difference — that’s just another form of cowardice. You can’t even fail if you don’t try, and you just might succeed.

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