Voices from Russia

Thursday, 15 January 2015

US Government Lacks Moral Authority to March for Freedom of Speech

00 free speech march in paris. 14.01.15


On Monday, Daniel McAdams, Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, told Sputnik in an interview that the current US administration doesn’t have the moral right to take part in rallies for freedom of expression like the one held in Paris on Sunday, saying, “The Obama Administration invoked the Espionage Act more times than all its predecessors combined to silence or imprison whistleblowers. Why would a representative of one of the worst violators of the US First Amendment have any moral authority to march in a rally for free speech?” The unity rally in Paris had the aim of expressing solidarity with the victims of last week’s terror attacks on the office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the hostages killed during a subsequent attack on a kosher supermarket outside Paris. Over a million people attended the unity march, including 40 top world officials. British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel, and Minister of Foreign Affairs S V Lavrov showed up at the rally, however, the USA didn’t send a leading figure to the event, only sending US Ambassador to France Jane Hartley. According to McAdams, some foreign leaders present at the march for “freedom of speech”, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ukrainian President (sic) P A Poroshenko, are responsible for “innumerable violations of free speech in their own countries”.

He also emphasised that France, Germany, and the UK routinely imprison their own citizens for expressing opinions that the government finds objectionable, noting, “France has gone so far as to ban a comedian from performing in the country, because his controversial speech was not of the approved variety”, adding that in addition to disrespecting the freedom of speech, Western governments, including the USA, “arm and support terrorists. France, the UK, Germany, and the USA actively supported terrorists in Syria and Libya for years in their efforts to overthrow governments they don’t like”. According to McAdam, the Kouachi brothers, the suspects in the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office, later killed by French police, “were essentially promoting French foreign policy when they were in Syria last summer fighting against the Assad government. They may have even used French weapons in Syria, as France shipped plenty of weapons to terrorists fighting there”.

On Monday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said during a press briefing that the USA should’ve sent a higher profile official to the Paris unity march. According to Earnest, US President Barack Obama didn’t attend the event because of security concerns.

13 January 2015

Sputnik International


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