Skip to comments.At the UN, the Obama administration backs limits on free speech.
Posted on 10/05/2009 4:17:13 PM PDT by SJackson
At the UN, the Obama administration backs limits on free speech.
Eye on the UN
For Immediate Release:
October 5, 2009
Contact: Anne Bayefsky
You Can't Say That:
At the UN, the Obama administration backs limits on free speech.
This article, by Anne Bayefsky, originally appeared in The Weekly Standard.
The Obama administration has marked its first foray into the UN human rights establishment by backing calls for limits on freedom of expression. The newly-minted American policy was rolled out at the latest session of the UN Human Rights Council, which ended in Geneva on Friday. American diplomats were there for the first time as full Council members and intent on making friends.
President Obama chose to join the Council despite the fact that the Organization of the Islamic Conference holds the balance of power and human rights abusers are among its lead actors, including China, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia. Islamic states quickly interpreted the president's penchant for "engagement" as meaning fundamental rights were now up for grabs. Few would have predicted, however, that the shift would begin with America's most treasured freedom.
For more than a decade, a UN resolution on the freedom of expression was shepherded through the Council, and the now defunct Commission on Human Rights which it replaced, by Canada. Over the years, Canada tried mightily to garner consensus on certain minimum standards, but the "reformed" Council changed the distribution of seats on the UN's lead human rights body. In 2008, against the backdrop of the publication of images of Mohammed in a Danish newspaper, Cuba and various Islamic countries destroyed the consensus and rammed through an amendment which introduced a limit on any speech they claimed was an "abuse . . . [that] constitutes an act of racial or religious discrimination."
The Obama administration decided that a revamped freedom of expression resolution, extracted from Canadian hands, would be an ideal emblem for its new engagement policy. So it cosponsored a resolution on the subject with none other than Egypt--a country characterized by an absence of freedom of expression.
Privately, other Western governments were taken aback and watched the weeks of negotiations with dismay as it became clear that American negotiators wanted consensus at all costs. In introducing the resolution on Thursday, October 1--adopted by consensus the following day--the ranking U.S. diplomat, Chargé d'Affaires Douglas Griffiths, crowed:
"The United States is very pleased to present this joint project with Egypt. This initiative is a manifestation of the Obama administration's commitment to multilateral engagement throughout the United Nations and of our genuine desire to seek and build cooperation based upon mutual interest and mutual respect in pursuit of our shared common principles of tolerance and the dignity of all human beings." His Egyptian counterpart, Ambassador Hisham Badr, was equally pleased--for all the wrong reasons. He praised the development by telling the Council that "freedom of expression . . . has been sometimes misused," insisting on limits consistent with the "true nature of this right" and demanding that the "the media must . . . conduct . . . itself in a professional and ethical manner."
The new resolution, championed by the Obama administration, has a number of disturbing elements. It emphasizes that "the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities . . ." which include taking action against anything meeting the description of "negative racial and religious stereotyping." It also purports to "recognize . . . the moral and social responsibilities of the media" and supports "the media's elaboration of voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct" in relation to "combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."
Pakistan's Ambassador Zamir Akram, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, made it clear that they understand the resolution and its protection against religious stereotyping as allowing free speech to be trumped by anything that defames or negatively stereotypes religion. The idea of protecting the human rights "of religions" instead of individuals is a favorite of those countries that do not protect free speech and which use religion--as defined by government--to curtail it.
Even the normally feeble European Union tried to salvage the American capitulation by expressing the hope that the resolution might be read a different way. Speaking on behalf of the EU following the resolution's adoption, French Ambassador Jean-Baptiste Mattéi declared that "human rights law does not, and should not, protect religions or belief systems, hence the language on stereotyping only applies to stereotyping of individuals . . . and not of ideologies, religions or abstract values. The EU rejects the concept of defamation of religions." The EU also distanced itself from the American compromise on the media, declaring that "the notion of a moral and social responsibility of the media" goes "well beyond" existing international law and "the EU cannot subscribe to this concept in such general terms."
In 1992 when the United States ratified the main international law treaty which addresses freedom of expression, the government carefully attached reservations to ensure that the treaty could not "restrict the right of free speech and association protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States."
The Obama administration's debut at the Human Rights Council laid bare its very different priorities. Threatening freedom of expression is a price for engagement with the Islamic world that it is evidently prepared to pay.
For more United Nations coverage see www.EYEontheUN.org .
so does this mean that you can still call the Jeeeeeewwwwwwsssssss the scum of the earth and still denied the Holocaust but you can’t say that Mohamed was a pedophile?
Interesting how similar this is to what Hitler did when he became head of Germany. He limited free speech and defined the “Jews” as the problem. The only difference with Obama is his enemy is the Christian!
and Obama endorses it!
Should be front page news coast to coast.
'American training will be utilized to kill Jews'
NORTHERN WEST BANK security forces who recently received training
at U.S.-run bases as part of a stated effort to reform the PA's militias
All the trainings we received from Dayton and company will not affect our loyalty to
our people and the resistance," said the former Brigades leader.
The others present concurred.
The gunman was referring to Keith Dayton, the U.S. security coordinator to the
Palestinian territories who has been overseeing the training of Palestinian militias.
Since the late 1990s, the U.S. has run training bases for PA militias. The U.S. also has
provided hundreds of millions of dollars in financial aid and weapons to build up the PA militias.
" What we received from Dayton, we will use when the day comes for a confrontation."
"I do not think that the operations of the Palestinian resistance would have been so
successful and would have killed more than 1,000 Israelis since 2000 and defeated the
Israelis in Gaza without these [American] trainings," said Yousuf.
Yousuf received U.S. training in Jericho in 1999 as a member of the Preventative
Security Services. He is a Brigades chief in Ramallah, where he is accused of
participating in anti-Israel terrorism, including recent shootings, attacks against Israeli
forces operating in the city and a shooting attack in northern Samaria in December 2000
that killed Benyamin Kahane, leader of the ultranationalist Kahane Chai organization.
Yousuf said his American training sessions were instrumental in killing Jews:
"All the methods and techniques that we studied in these trainings, we applied them against the Israelis," he said.
"We sniped at Israeli settlers and soldiers. We broke into settlements and Israeli army
bases and posts. We collected information on the movements of soldiers and settlers. We
collected information about the best timing to infiltrate our bombers inside Israel. We
used weapons and we produced explosives, and of course the trainings we received from
the Americans and the Europeans were a great help to the resistance."
"I myself received American trainings in Jericho. Together with my Preventative
comrades, I received trainings in intelligence methods and military trainings," he said. "In
the intelligence part, we learned collection of information regarding suspected persons,
how to follow suspected guys, how to infiltrate organizations and penetrate cells of
groups that we were working on and how to prevent attacks and to steal in places.
"On the military level, we received trainings on the use of weapons, all kind of weapons
and explosives," Yousuf said. "We received sniping trainings, work of special units
especially as part of what they call the fight against terror. We learned how to put siege,
how to break into places where our enemies closed themselves in, how to oppress protest
movements, demonstrations and other activities of opposition.
"I'm just telling you the truth," he said. "We applied against Israel all that we learned
from the Americans."
I would think so.
Every good dictator does it!
Those hideous traitorous bustards from hell.
May they fall in the pits they have dug and that speedily.
INDEED TO THE MAX!
He's playing the Designated Destroyer from Hell very faithfully.
AND MARCHING IN THE STREETS UNTIL HE RESCINDED IT.
Ain’t mass mind control wonderful?
More example of the suicidal traitorousness
of our globalist overlords.
Ain’t treason cute.
Libtards for ya.
Freedom of speech is only reserved for libtards....
And the more horrid ones do it more hideously.
. . . as though degrees of hell make a lot of difference.
Give him time....
Combine this with the FCC control of the airwaves, the attempt to control the internet and everything else that zer0 and Cass Sunstein and all the rest want this is getting pretty damn serious and scary.
If they can suppress “hate” speech they can suppress anything THEY determine is hate.
But FReepers know this already. I’m just getting more and more worried that they might make some progress along these lines if they have leverage from outside the country and a willing (and unconstitutional) set of CZARS to set policy.
I think I’d rather pray . . .
that he confess, repent, convert wholesale ASAP
that The Lord remove him from any position of any capacity to do any damage to anything ever again.