Jihad comes to Google Video

Jihad comes to Google Video

Summary: Turning from its network of jihadist sites, an insurgent cell delivers anti-American video on Google. What does it mean for civil liberties?

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TOPICS: Google
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John Robb points to a video, which is hideous and awful, posted on Google Video that touts the mission of snipers who kill U.S. troops. it We live in very strange and troubling times, but the least of our troubles is the expression of repulsive ideas.is described on Google Video as "Sniper(s) carries out attacks in Baghdad against allied forces. Skilled sniper or sniper team is said to be named "Juba" and supposedly operates in southern Baghdad, Iraq."

I'm not going to point to it, because I don't want to endorse its message in any way. However, it raises some interesting questions:

  • Having watched the first couple minutes of the video, which made me sick to my stomach, am I now on a U.S. government watch list?
  • Can Google be subpoenaed to identify who posted it? It is, after all and despite the wretchedness of the content, an act of free expression. The self-evident answer is "Yes, anyone can receive a subpoena," but the issue is whether the subpoena would be Constitutional.
  • Would we even know it was issued, as Google isn't inclined to discuss when it cooperates with government?
  • Does Google store the IP addresses of viewers of the clip? (The answer, based on the company's response to the Department of Justice subpoena last fall is likely "yes.") Will the government stop before it goes to any length to get that information?

Finally, it's repulsive footage and it's the enemy's propaganda, but it is just information. It shouldn't be censored. A free society can't pick and choose its discourse, its members can only vote with attention and energy for the ideas they and, collectively, the society endorses, otherwise it is no longer free.

I'm not giving this video a link, but I'm not upset that Google hosts it, because we don't need censorship in any form to protect us from these snipers.

We live in very strange and troubling times, but the least of our troubles is the expression of repulsive ideas. 

Topic: Google

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4 comments
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  • Turning the tables...

    For what it's worth, I agree - the video should NOT be censored.

    In fact, if anything, it should be used to educate the misguided left wing anti-war types as to the nature of the enemy. Perhaps then, the Cindy Sheehans of the world might wake up and realize that all is not warm and fuzzy in the world and there are tasks that need to be done.

    Sure, they will argue that this is taking place in Bagdad - somewhere far, far away and it's not our problem. The problem with that line of thinking though, is that with the holes in our fences it wouldn't be difficult for said Juba team to smuggle themselves into the US, find themselves a nice perch in any one of our major cities and start popping off rounds in a crowded mall, public event, or other location where people gather in huge numbers.
    Wolfie2K3
    • That's about as absurd an argument as I could imagine

      Wolfie?that is?really?not a rational analysis of the situation. A
      sniper terror campaign? Come on, it's not the way any terror
      groups operate, because they go for maximum damage. It is
      especially true of a terror campaign that would have to penetrate
      a foreign country that is hard to enter, which would call for more
      return on the investment.

      Yes, we can all come to our conclusions about what the video
      means, but we also can question one another and I defy you to
      justify your reasoning.
      Mitch Ratcliffe
  • Freedom2choose

    WELL HAVE ANYBODY HEARD THAT YOU CAN FORCE PEOPLE FROM THEIR OWN CULTURE RELIGION & WAY OF LIFE SUCCESFULLY AND IN THIS CASE MUSLIMS WHO ARE 1 FIFTH OF THE WORLDS POPULATION WOULD ACCEPT THAT AND NOT RESIST IN FACE OF THIS TYRANNY BY GOD WE WILL TERRORIZE THE TYRANTS AND LIARS WHO SUPPORT THESE WARS AND DICTATORS AGAINST US.
    POIHJ FUYRTV
  • THE WORLD IS NOT BLACK & WHITE

    THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN RESISTANCE: FOR YOUR COUNTRY OR RELIGION OR WHATEVER. THE ONES WHO WE ASSUME ATTACKED AMERICA WERE A SMALL GROUP CALLED AL QAIDA WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AMERICANS AND AL QAIDA BOTH KILL CIVILIANS AL QAIDA 2971. AMERICA 1MILLION&95 000 AMERICANS TORTURE RAIPE & IMPRISON CHILDREN SUPPORTED SADDAM AGAINST IRAN SOLD HIM THOSE CHEMICALS THEN FORBIDS USING THEM THEN THEY THEMSELVES USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN FALLUJA (WHITE PHOSFOR) SUPPORTS ISRAEL TO DRIVE AWAY THE PALESTINIANS FROM THEIR HOMES. WHY? BECAUSE THEY ARE MUSLIMS OR ARABS OR BOTH? ISLAAM FORBIDS THE KILLING OF NON COMBATANTS IF WE WOULD NOT BELIEVE IN THIS WE WOULD BE LIKE AL QAIDA OR THE AMERICANS.
    POIHJ FUYRTV