The Constitution and National Security: The First Amendment Under Attack
Last week at NYU Law School, I was on a panel — along with NYU Law Professor Burt Neuborne, Chicago Law Professor Geoffrey Stone, and FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force Supervsiory Agent Niall Brennan, moderated by Time’s Barton Gellman — which examined whether the threat of Terrorism was being exploited to erode core First Amendment/free speech rights, including the First Amendment right to advocate violence as recognized by the 1969 Supreme Court case Brandenburg v. Ohio.
The 1-hour event — which contained discussion of Obama’s assassination program and Anwar al-Awlaki — is worth listening to. The video is below. My initial presentation was the last one of the four panelists and begins at 30:00, and a quick rebuttal from me of a few of the other panelists’ points begins at 50:50.
* Continue readingAt roughly 53:00, the Q-and-A session with the audience began, and the first questioner was NPR’s national security reporter Dina Temple-Raston, whose Awlaki reporting I had criticized just a couple days earlier for uncritically repeating claims told to her by anonymous Pentagon officials.
She directed her rather critical multi-part question to me, claiming, among other things, that she had seen evidence of Awlaki’s guilt as a Terrorist (which she had not previously reported or described in any detail), and that led to a rather contentious — and, in my view, quite revealing — exchange about the role of journalists and how Awlaki can and should be punished if he is, in fact, guilty of any actual crime:
Vodpod videos no longer available.