Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Weaponizing Free Speech


This is the dystopia you were warned about. A mind-controlled populace thinking, speaking, shopping, moving and voting in accordance with the will of the powerful. All that's left now is to secure the few dissidents on the fringes and keep bolstering the mind control matrix.

This doesn't mean it's hopeless, it just means we've got to acknowledge reality and start working from where we're at. The biggest obstacle to real freedom is the belief that we already have it. --Caitlin Johnstone, The Empire of Hypocrisy


Weaponizing Free Speech

by C. A. Matthews

Most Americans believe that no one has ever gotten into trouble simply for speaking their mind. No matter how much you might disagree with a fellow American, you probably agree that they have the right to free speech. You believe that freedom of speech is a basic right protected by our Constitution. You feel confident that all Americans have the right to believe and express themselves as they deem fit. 

Sorry to break it to y’all, but you really don’t.  

Free speech is not guaranteed, as demonstrated by the latest US government shenanigans. The feds have charged four African Americans simply because they are members of the African People’s Socialist Party and expressed opinions that don’t align with the current administration’s viewpoint. 

According to the Black Alliance for Peace

The unsealed indictment states that on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, a federal grand jury in Tampa, Florida, levied charges of “conspiring to covertly sow discord in U.S. society, spread Russian propaganda and interfere illegally in U.S. elections.” While no evidence of conspiracy, propagandizing, or interference has been presented, the APSP and its members have the right, as all US citizens do, to freely criticize U.S. domestic and foreign policy.

Not since the Palmer Raids of the early 20th century, nor since the indictment of W.E.B DuBois in 1951, or the confiscation of Paul Robeson’s U.S. passport during the anti-communist “McCarthyist” era, has there been such a hysterical response to African people asserting their rights and freedom of speech in the United States.

The Department of Justice claims APSP members had “weaponized” free speech by expressing solidarity with the Russian people and “conspiring to interfere” with US elections. Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen in the DOJ's press release regarding the indictments stated, “The department will not hesitate to expose and prosecute those who sow discord and corrupt US elections in service of hostile foreign interests, regardless of whether the culprits are US citizens or foreign individuals abroad.”

Quick translation: The DOJ is prosecuting US citizens for political speech and related activities because they’re worried that more and more Americans don’t agree with the status quo of the uniparty and might not support the incumbent in the upcoming presidential election. The grand jury alleges that a Russian national "directed" these Americans to "publish pro-Russian propaganda" and "information designed to cause dissension in the United States." 


(Watch this excellent short video to learn more about the case: https://youtu.be/fvwhHouTZh0. Omali Yeshitela, APSP co-founder, voices how the US government apparently doesn't believe that African Americans are intelligent enough to come up with a socialist philosophy all on their own or know if they're being used by a foreign power. Obviously the FBI feels scared enough of an 82 year old African American man that they had to use violent tactics to break into his home to handcuff him and arrest him.)

I take all the Biden administration's legal mumbo-jumbo to mean that the Dems can’t afford to have any real competition running against the corpse of Joe Biden for a second term because he and his war in Ukraine are that unpopular. They must shut all dissenting voices down no matter how fascistic it makes them look. I suppose the white supremacists at the FBI couldn't wait to do something this evil, too.

(Did I just say that part out loud about Biden being a corpse and the FBI being Klansmen? Should I be watching out the window for the feds to arrive any minute on my doorstep carrying flash bang grenades?)

I do believe in “The pen is mightier than the sword,” and “The truth shall set you free.” But when an army’s worth of federal agents can show up at your front door and take you away simply because you’re an 82 year old African People’s Socialist Party member who doesn’t agree with the US government's racist and warmongering actions, can anyone ever too be careful speaking their mind? Will believing in the truth and the power of free speech save us from government abuse?

It's not reasonable for the government to just dismiss the First Amendment on the grounds that it is being "weaponized". You can't have your government dictating what speech is valid and what counts as "agitprop" and "disinformation", because they'll always define those terms in ways which benefit the government, thus giving more power to the powerful and taking power away from the people. -- Caitlin Johnstone

Speaking of abuse, although this is nothing quite as horrific as what’s happening to the APSP members, I was accused of using “weaponized” free speech this past week as well. I found myself a victim of corporate censorship. For the first time in eight years of writing and editing this weekly blog, a warning appeared at the top of the Blogger posting page. It read:

Your post titled "Who Is Stealing Our Election? " was flagged to us for review. We have determined that it violates our guidelines and have unpublished the URL http://bernie2016.blogspot.com/2016/05/who-is-stealing-our-elections
making it unavailable to blog readers.
Say what? What could we have published that was so heinous that it had to be hidden from public view now? Why was Google (who owns Blogger) all of a sudden so upset that it had to censor the post, “Who Is Stealing Our Election?” after seven years? The post was published in early May 2016, long before Trump and his followers’ denials of the 2020 election results began. The date of the post should have been a dead giveaway about whose election was being “stolen” and by whom.

Flashback: Bernie Sanders was being royally screwed over by the Hillary Clinton campaign in early 2016. The trolling of “Berners” online was dreadful. As editor of what was then known as The Bernie Blog, I gladly published almost every decently written submission sent in by Bernie supporters. A short piece called, “Who Is Stealing Our Election?” was the first of two short pieces that I edited and published that week, so I titled the entire posting with that catchy question.

Who would have thought that seven years later a bunch of neoliberals would get their knickers in a twist (or panties in a bunch) so much that anything that sounds remotely like something a Trump supporter might say about the 2020 election must be completely blocked from public view, censored forever?

After a quick edit or “self-censoring” of the title, Blogger allowed the post to go live again. I didn’t change a word of the posting, just its title. Somehow that change made it acceptable to Google for public consumption. The English-speaking public once again has been saved by the brave censorship of private agents working behind the scenes for the US government, or, in this case, the Joe Biden re-election campaign.

And what exactly are we being saved from by corporate censorship? What didn’t you have the right to read because the powers-that-be wanted to protect your delicate sensibilities? From what I can gather from the Blogger policy page, it’s most likely this:

Misleading Content

Do not distribute content that deceives, misleads, or confuses users. This includes:

Misleading content related to civic and democratic processes: content that is demonstrably false and could significantly undermine participation or trust in civic or democratic processes. This includes information about public voting procedures, political candidate eligibility based on age / birthplace, election results, or census participation that contradicts official government records. It also includes incorrect claims that a political figure or government official has died, been involved in an accident, or is suffering from a sudden serious illness.

Now, why would anyone have any doubts about Joe Biden based on his “age” or from“suffering from a sudden serious illness,” such as having a stroke or dementia or that he hasn't "died" already and is simply a walking zombie? It's not like he's ever been seen babbling like an idiot on camera or wandering off a stage or looking to shake invisible hands, is it?

I apologize if we’ve ever mislead you with the content here at The Revolution Continues or made you not trust in “civic or democratic processes,” but that was never our intent. The post from seven years ago was simply a Berner’s lament over how the Clinton campaign had “stolen” Bernie’s primary wins. Well, we live and learn and move on, don’t we? The Dems haven’t “stolen” any primaries from their rightful winners since 2016, right? And it's not like they're cancelling the Democratic Party primaries and debates in 2024, either!

(If you believe those last two statements, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you, or its equivalent in the Midwest. Your choice!)

Free speech is a right no American should ever take lightly. People have fought and died for your right to express yourself freely. People have been imprisoned around the world for expressing themselves and sharing important—and sometimes embarrassing and incriminating—information about governments. 
One such journalist springs to mind: Julian Assange. This week marks the fourth anniversary of Assange becoming the guest of His Majesty King Charles in England's Belmarsh Prison. In other words, an Australian journalist has been imprisoned in the UK because of his “crime” of journalism that has made the US government very angry. Assange dared to publish on his online platform, Wikileaks, the infamous “Collateral Murder” video. He exposed the lies of many governments, but he was particularly prolific in sharing information about the US involvement in the bloody war in Iraq and the tortures of detainees at our super-secret base at Guantanamo Bay. And, so far, nothing Wikileaks has ever published has been proven false.
Assange is being charged under the 1917 Espionage Act. His case raises troubling questions about whether it breaches both the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution. The Espionage Act criminalizes journalism by ignoring the fact that the First Amendment makes an exception for a journalist possessing and informing the public about state secrets that reveal government crimes and corruption. 
Assange’s indictment should be dismissed on the ground that the Espionage Act’s overreach is an existential threat to First Amendment freedoms. For a US court to do otherwise is to undermine due process and threaten the First Amendment’s guarantee of a free press. But we will see. This administration's paranoid take on free speech being used as a "weapon" seems to be the driving force in his continued imprisonment.

Just like the APSP members speaking their minds, and our blog posting a short piece with an incendiary title implying that elections can actually be stolen in the US, Julian Assange is being actively censored. He is by being blotted out of human memory, locked up to wither away behind bars without trial, his reputation smeared by Western governments because they didn’t like what he had to say, and they don’t want the rest of the world to know what he has yet to say. 

Other independent journalists have been censored, mocked, and threatened recently. Remember Matt Taibbi and Seymour Hersh? We featured both on them on the blog not too long ago. They're also being harassed by the US government and their corporate media partners.  

To all of you who are still reading at this point, I have just one word of advice to you in case you ever feel compelled to censor yourself and not use your right of free speech as a “weapon” for good in the world.
No matter what the corrupt government threatens, no matter what the corrupt corporations that do their bidding threaten, nothing—absolutely nothing—is as important as free speech and your right to express yourself fully. It is your inborn right, and it is your duty to continue to speak and write freely. It is your inborn right and your duty not to believe, agree with, or even acknowledge the lies and propaganda put out by untrustworthy powers-that-be.
Because if you don’t believe in and practice free speech in spite of the risks, then who else will?


Related Links:

Why Is The Government Targeting Black Socialists? (video) https://youtu.be/fvwhHouTZh0

Indictment Of African People’s Socialist Party Is A Racist Assault On The Black Liberation Movement https://popularresistance.org/indictment-of-african-peoples-socialist-party-is-a-racist-assault-on-the-black-liberation-movement/

Biden DOJ Just Indicted 4 Americans For Free Speech! Who's Next? (video)  https://www.youtube.com/live/EzvJIBfIYu4

Biden DOJ Indicts Four Americans For "Weaponized" Free Speech

Biden DOJ Charges Black Activists For Supporting Russia (video)

You're Not Immune To Propaganda (video) https://youtu.be/dl2fnWIlDZg

The Empire of Hypocrisy https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/the-empire-of-hypocrisy-notes-from 

The American Empire and its Media

1st Amendment Authorized Assange’s Possession of Classified Data

Corporate Media Are The Anti-Wikileaks https://popularresistance.org/corporate-media-are-the-anti-wikileaks/

Facebook Brands Seymour Hersh Reporting As ‘False’ & What Does This Mean For A Free Press (video) https://odysee.com/@HardLensMedia:9/facebook-brands-seymour-hersh-reporting:2

Matt Taibbi: House Democrats Have Lost Their Minds

Here Come the Militarized Robots (But There Go Our Civil Liberties) https://scheerpost.com/2023/04/18/here-come-the-militarized-robots-but-there-go-our-civil-liberties/

House Democrat Threatens Twitter Files Journalist with Prosecution and Imprisonment  https://leefang.substack.com/p/house-democrat-threatens-twitter

Today In Empire: War Machine-Funded War Games, Facebook Censors Hersh, And More  https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/today-in-empire-war-machine-funded

Universal Public Services: The Power of Decommodifying Survival

Fossil Fuel Giants with Most Emissions Paid $118 Billion to CEOs in the Last Decade https://truthout.org/articles/fossil-fuel-giants-with-most-emissions-paid-1-18-billion-to-ceos-in-last-decade/

You Won't Believe Who Got The Richest From The Afghanistan War



  1. There's a definite smell of desperation about these attempts to shut down free speech/writing. With both 'mainstream' parties' support in free-fall, I wonder where it'll end? Sooner or later people will wake up to the fact that these two parties select a government with zero input from the electorate. People can and must question such a government's legitimacy.

  2. The desperation stench is definitely in the air. Nobody who has any confidence in what they're saying/doing would take such extreme measures against others simply practicing their right of free speech. The US oligarchy (duopoly) knows their time is almost up, hence their dangerously unconstitutional overreactions to the APSP members and Julian Assange. Let's keep the pressure up on them, people!


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