Monday, December 18, 2006

The "war on terror" erodes freedom of speech

An Australian man was refused permission to board several international and internal flights recently. His "crime"? Wearing a "George Bush: World's #1 Terrorist" T-shirt (he was of course allowed to board after he had changed to a T-shirt less critical of the hegemon). It's a perfect example of how the "war on terror" has eroded freedom of speech, and how rights we take for granted - for example, the right to criticise our political leaders and their policies - are being abrogated in the name of "security" by the fearful and the cowed, even without formal censorship from the government.

(If anyone is wondering, the airlines in question were Qantas and Virgin Blue).


You _have_ to ask here, how does this compromise aircraft security? Can a tshirt be an offensive weapon? Was he going to smother the pilot to death with it? Offend the GOP voting co-pilot to such an extent that she/he was unable to do their job?

Perhaps the tshirt's message was going to induce some elderly Muslim grandma into hijacking the plane instead of visiting her grandkids in Melbourne? Was some vicious Southern Baptist tourist going to take such offense at the thing that they were going to be provoked into a physical combat a mile up in the air?

No really... One wonders.


Posted by Anonymous : 12/18/2006 02:57:00 PM