April 7, 2007
The Independent

The True Story of Free Speech in America

This systematic censorship of Middle East reality continues even in schools

by Robert Fisk

. . . it's really all about shutting the reality of the Middle East off from us. It's to prevent the British and American people from questioning the immoral and cruel and internationally illegal occupation of Muslim lands. And in the Land of the Free, this systematic censorship of Middle East reality continues even in the country's schools. Now the principal of a Connecticut high school has banned a play by pupils, based on the letters and words of US soldiers serving in Iraq. Entitled Voices in Conflict, Natalie Kropf, Seth Koproski, James Presson and their fellow pupils at Wilton High School compiled the reflections of soldiers and others - including a 19-year-old Wilton High graduate killed in Iraq - to create their own play. To no avail. The drama might hurt those "who had lost loved ones or who had individuals serving as we speak", proclaimed Timothy Canty, Wilton High's principal. And - my favourite line - Canty believed there was not enough rehearsal time to ensure the play would provide "a legitimate instructional experience for our students".

And of course, I can quite see Mr Canty's point. Students who have produced Arthur Miller's The Crucible were told by Mr Canty - whose own war experiences, if any, have gone unrecorded - that it wasn't their place to tell audiences what soldiers were thinking. The pupils of Wilton High are now being inundated with offers to perform at other venues. Personally, I think Mr Canty may have a point. He would do much better to encourage his students to perform Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, a drama of massive violence, torture, rape, mutilation and honour killing. It would make Iraq perfectly explicable to the good people of Connecticut. A "legitimate instructional experience" if ever there was one.


"U.S. Attacks Foreign Websites," The Wisdom Fund, September 9, 1999

John Pilger, "The Media's Culpability for Iraq,", October 1, 2004

VIDEO: CNN, along with the local media co-sponsors, have announced that Mike Gravel will not be invited to their planned debate in June in New Hampshire. Fox News has also announced that Ron Paul will not be included in their upcoming Republican debate.--Eric Garris, "Gravel Won't Be Buried,", April 27, 2007

[As soon as he gets the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 passed, it will become a crime for any American to tell the truth about Israel's treatment of Palestinians and theft of their lands.--Paul Craig Roberts, "Criminalizing Criticism of Israel: The End of Free Speech?,", May 7, 2009]

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), is a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States regarding campaign finance laws and free speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The court held 5-4 that the freedom of speech clause of the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for political campaigns by corporations, nonprofit organizations, labor unions, and other associations.--Decided January 21, 2010

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