illegalizing peacemaking. only the american supreme court
So you said you wanted to fuck the solidarity movement? First, pass legislation that allows “enemy” groups that assume the mantle of government in terror-bombed territories to be labeled “terrorists.”
Then pass more laws ensuring that materiel aid to those groups is illegal and punishable by jail sentences. Then, with a packed, crypto-fascist Supreme Court busily making politicized decisions, prevent American organizations from offering non-material counsel to fragments of that group that in no way engage in any activity that could be construed as “terrorism.”
In the process—after you’ve incinerated your constitution—you can throw human rights activists in prison simply for offering advice to elements within the “terrorist” organization. Or as David Cole comments about the recent Supreme Court decision:
In the peculiar universe defined by the Supreme Court’s recent First Amendment rulings, corporations have speech rights that allow them to drown out the voices of ordinary human beings, but human rights activists can be sent to jail for fifteen years merely for advocating for peace and human rights.
In Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, the Court ruled on June 21 that the First Amendment does not protect a human rights group that sought to provide rights training and peacemaking assistance to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey.
The United States has designated the PKK as a terrorist organization and prohibited all “material support” to it, including speech advocating human rights. Six justices ruled, for the first time in the Court’s history, that Congress can make it a crime to advocate for wholly lawful, nonviolent ends.
According to the Obama administration (and the Bush administration before it), the “material support” law makes it a crime to write an amicus brief in the Supreme Court on behalf of a designated group, to assist it in advocating before the UN or Congress, or to write or publish an op-ed in conjunction with such a group.
The Obama administration made the untenable argument that the law did not regulate speech at all but only conduct, and therefore it need not satisfy First Amendment review.
The Supreme Court dismissed that contention, acknowledging that the law criminalized speech on the basis of its content and therefore had to satisfy the same scrutiny, at least in theory, that the Court used to invalidate the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.
But in fact, the Court applied only the most deferential review. It reasoned that the mere possibility, unsupported by any evidence, that human rights advocacy might somehow advance a designated group’s illegal ends was enough to justify prosecuting human rights advocates as “terrorists” for their speech, even when that speech was indisputably designed to discourage terrorism.
In the eyes of this Court, then, multinational corporations must be allowed to spend millions on political campaigns, but a human rights activist can be sent to jail for pursuing peace.
I guess this does put a resounding kibosh on the solidarity movement’s ridiculous efforts to advise Islamists on how to the resist occupation that we pay for, but I do think we could have done so without setting alight what was left of the constitution. This is also a good reason to donate to forthcoming flotillas and not George Galloway’s convoys.
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