More on un-freedom of speech *UPDATE*

Do you recall that, on the day I posted the Fitna video, I wrote the following?

LiveLeak explains why it is showing this video, despite the fact that some at LiveLeak strongly disagree with its content. I note two things. First, LiveLeak understands free speech. Second, the LifeLeak discussion about its decision to show the video is based upon disagreeing with the content, not upon fearing the dangerous results of publishing such content. I find that interesting. Even though this type of speech, in Europe, sparked dangerous riots and enormous numbers of death threats, that’s simply not a concern LiveLeak voices. Is this the difference between America and Europe, or are the LifeLeak people just exceptionally brave?

Well, it turns out that, while they spoke in terms of free speech, the threats have begun and free speech has already gone out the window:

Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers. This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one. Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one anothers culture.

We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high. (Emphasis mine.)

And there you see the victory of the violent, and the dhimmitude of the rest of us.

You can still see the video here. Keep in mind as you watch it that the Islamists are stopping a presentation of their own words and acts. Fortunately, the nature of the internet is that, no matter the threats, once information is out there, it’s hard to stop.

UPDATE: Hurrah! LiveLeak has upgraded its security and restored Fitna. I applaud their principled bravery:

On the 28th of March LiveLeak.com was left with no other choice but to remove the film “fitna” from our servers following serious threats to our staff and their families. Since that time we have worked constantly on upgrading all security measures thus offering better protection for our staff and families. With these measures in place we have decided to once more make this video live on our site. We will not be pressured into censoring material which is legal and within our rules. We apologise for the removal and the delay in getting it back, but when you run a website you don’t consider that some people would be insecure enough to threaten our lives simply because they do not like the content of a video we neither produced nor endorsed but merely hosted.

Incidentally, when it first ran Fitna, LiveLeak noted that some on its staff disgreed with its contents, but agreed to free speech (good for them).  I wonder if those same people, having been on the receiving end of the behavior described in the video, have changed their point of view about Fitna‘s merits?

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  • http://thomaschronicles.com Thomas

    Here, here!

  • Deana

    I’m just so thrilled and relieved that it is back up on LiveLeak. I was actually depressed about it being taken down originally – it just feels like the forces of darkness and ignorance are winning.

    I can’t help but think about this: why does it seem like humans are rarely inclined to stop a problem in its tracks when the problem and the costs in financial and human terms are relatively small? Why do we always have to wait until the problem is enormous and the costs unbearable?

    That’s what I was thinking about this weekend. If we don’t fight against radical Islam now, we will pay dearly for it in the near future. And I shudder to think how bad it would have to get before most Americans would get behind the fight.

    Deana

  • Danny Lemieux

    Deana, history repeats itself precisely because people prefer to avert their gaze in the face of unpleasant events. I think that some day historians will praise GW Bush and the neo-cons precisely because they were able to confront the future and had the courage to act.

    Love you comments in previous posts, by the way.

  • Ymarsakar

    This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else.

    You have to ask yourself, Book, why that is. If liberty and freedom of speech is so valuable, how come everybody cares for their won safety and security at the expense of essential liberties?

    The truth is, not everyone is in the civilian-societal lock loop or aka sheep athon.

    Some people are involved in a war to defend liberty and to destroy its enemies. Those people, do not sacrifice their liberty in return for security. The military sacrifices security for liberty, by knowingly endangering themselves and their friends. “We have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else” is not a thing you will ever hear from the US Marine Corps, Book. Unless it’s Murtha and Company.

    With these measures in place we have decided to once more make this video live on our site. We will not be pressured into censoring material which is legal and within our rules.

    Private security contractors, what the Left calls mercenaries, offers their experience and capabilities to civilian companies in need of a war fighter’s edge in thinking.

    There are plenty of Private security contractors that aren’t as high priced as Blackwater executive protection. Many consultants, like Tim Larkin, can provide on hands training for your personnel against every threat excepting sniper fire, bombs, WMDs, and engines of war.

    Decreasing the threat from stabbings, kidnappings, targeted assassination of family members via insertion of the “government employee” in the front doors, etc should make things safe enough for the civilian population that the civilian population can once again afford the luxury that is liberty, Book.

    The Left claims that people shouldn’t have to live under security plans that take away freedom of action and choice. The truth, however, is that people will often willingly forsake their liberties if their lives can be saved through it. If you are not willing to back what the Left sees as “slippery slope” security protections, then you’re just going to end up like a person under Shariah. You won’t have any rights because you will have given them all away in order to not die under Shariah.

    How that is better than sacrificing liberties for security now, when it is still your choice which non-essential liberties you are going to sacrifice, is something only a Leftist can contemplate.

    why does it seem like humans are rarely inclined to stop a problem in its tracks when the problem and the costs in financial and human terms are relatively small?

    Because people are sheep and thus follow the hierarchy from which a leader at the top tells them what is going to happen. Taking steps to solve problems when the relative costs are still small, would require initiative and individual action. That’s not exactly a strong point of normal human systems of government. America and the West, after all, rare rarities and could easily have been wiped out from history’s roll call just like Carthage.

    For example, many people, Leftists or Democrats, don’t like the Patriot Act because they saw and still see it as a “slipper slope”. Meaning, they fear it because they fear what “might” happen. People that fear the future so much that they get paralyzed in the present and lead into making foolish decisions, can be more accurately classified as “sheep” rather than individuals and leaders.

    Leaders have to face the future and make hard choices today. They can’t use the future as an excuse for not taking risks now. But sheep can sure as hell use future uncertainties to say “we have a good thing here, why risk it by prodding the wolves?”

    Love you comments in previous posts, by the way.

    Deana’s a kind and compassionate soul.

    I have strict standards for who I consider classical liberals, given how many fakes there are.

  • Ymarsakar

    after all, rare rarities

    Are, after all, rare rarities.

    Unintended alliteration.

    I’ve “progressed” to the point where I no longer have to think about misspelling words unless it is a word I have rarely written before. Now I only have to worry about thinking up the correct sentence structure and word placement, while having my fingers miss entire words in the sentence structure.

  • Deana

    Thank you, Danny.

    And I hope you are right about President Bush. Earlier this afternoon, I saw the video of President Bush throwing out the first ball at the National’s game. Listening to all of those people booing and jeering at him was just awful. I haven’t agreed with everything he has done but he is a good man and I thank God that he was president following Sept. 11th.

    As John Hinderaker over at PowerLineBlog commented: It’s a constant effort to remind oneself that not all liberals are jerks.

    And thanks to you, too, Y.

    Deana