Glenn Greenwald Should Not Enter the U.S.

The risks are way too great. He knows their size but he values the First Amendment more, writing: “But I take more seriously the Constitution’s guarantee of a free press in the First Amendment.” Taking on the empire here in the U.S. in order to make effective or verify the force of this valuation would be a big error, in my opinion, both pragmatically and strategically.

Glenn Greenwald and everyone else have free speech rights regardless of the First Amendment and the U.S. government, by virtue of being human beings. To return to the U.S. will almost surely lead to such measures as gag orders, investigation, indictment, arrest, being held without bail, prosecution, judicial proceedings, and eventually maybe even a Supreme Court case. The issues will bog down in technicalities and diversions concerning speech vs. security, state secrets, and on and on.

Judicial procedures concede to authorities a power to decide about speech what they have no moral power to decide. Telling the truth about the empire is one thing, and that can be done from outside America. Fighting it on its own turf is another. This elevates the empire and treats it as if it has a moral standing that it does not have. Whatever shred of moral foundation the Constitution once gave to the United States has long since been destroyed. Even less does that document morally support the existing empire. The empire is a morally irrelevant and empty construction when it comes to free speech and should be treated as such.


4:15 pm on August 20, 2013