|- Joan R. Neubauer Friday, February 17, 2012|
In September of 2011, a very dangerous website made its debut without a single blaring trumpet and AttackWatch remains online.
The dark, ominous looking page greets the visitor with, “Join Attack Wire—and help stop the attacks on the President before they start. When another unfounded attack surfaces, we’ll arm you with the truth so you can share the facts with your friends and family.” The options on the homepage have changed since September. Now, you can only sign in by giving some pertinent information like your name, email, and zip code. From there, you can report relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and acquaintances who speak out against the president or his policies.
The idea of reporting people who have differing opinions of the president or any other elected official is unconstitutional, unAmerican, and otherwise reprehensible. The Founding Fathers gave us the First Amendment to guarantee freedom of speech, particularly political speech. As Americans, we have the right to express that disagreement in the media in the spirit of open debate and honest discourse. We have the right to do so without fear of recrimination of any kind. Sadly and frighteningly, this administrations feels differently.
Even the United Nations, a left-leaning organization recognizes freedom of expression as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized that right in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which states that, “[e]veryone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”
A companion site, AttackWatch.com is far less oppressive looking but relates the same message. Visitors can click on various tabs to learn the “truth” on certain matters from Obama’s birth certificate to Israel. Other tabs take you to the blog, a place to report attacks, or ways to spread Obama’s message. Once again, it’s a way for the administration to gather names and emails of supporters and detractors, a most dangerous practice for any administration.
Americans must understand, realize, and internalize the fact that our freedoms are more precious than gold. Throughout our nation’s history, more than a million brave men and women have fought and died to protect it. And today, they are still fighting to protect our liberty. We owe it to them to speak out against any infringement of our freedoms, of any undermining of our liberty, including the encouragement of neighbor reporting neighbor, of father reporting son.
We must shout loud and clear that the intention of these websites far oversteps what is acceptably American and within our founding principles.
Joan R. Neubauer
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Joan R. Neubauer, is an author, public speaker, and works as the Public Liaison Officer for the Davis Mountains Trans-Pecos Heritage Association in Alpine, Texas. Joan can be reached:firstname.lastname@example.org