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Saturday, June 28, 2008

No Free Speech for Those Against Obama

If this story in today's Washington Post isn't enough to scare decent Americans into avoiding Obama like the plague then I don't know what will do it.

Seems like an Obama supporter didn't like the Obama is a Muslim email she got. So she used her position at the Institute for Advanced Studies to do some digging in the Internet - which included a little bit of cyberstalking.... Here's a few snips from the article...

The e-mail landed in Danielle Allen's queue one winter morning as she was studying in her office at the Institute for Advanced Study, the renowned haven for some of the nation's most brilliant minds. The missive began: "THIS DEFINITELY WARRANTS LOOKING INTO"

As an Obama supporter -- she had met the senator while she worked as a dean at the University of Chicago -- it made her angry. And curious.
"I started thinking, 'How does one stop it?' "

That search showed that the first mention of the e-mail on the Internet had come more than a year earlier. A participant on the conservative Web site posted a copy of the e-mail on Jan. 8, 2007, and added this line at the end: "Don't know who the original author is, but this email should be sent out to family and friends."

Of the file folders that are spread in neat rows across Allen's desk, only one is bulging. It holds printouts of the reams of conversations about Obama's religion appearing on Free Republic. Since its start in 1996 by Jim Robinson of Fresno, Calif., the site has grown into a home for discussion of all types -- though it is particularly noted for spirited political discussions dominated by conservatives and libertarians. Freepers, as they're called, converse with a varying degree of transparency. Most remain anonymous.

Allen counted 23 freepers among those engaging in regular discussions about Obama's religion, and isolated a handful whom she began to suspect as having a role in the e-mail. Sifting through hundreds of postings, she began to piece together their identities.

Yes - this woman has a list of FReepers who have written "bad" things about Obama. The WaPo in turn published the names and locations of two of the FReepers. Now if that don't scare the beejeebus outta you - chew on this from Byron York at The Corner....

Of course, we have laws that regulate the political activities of unions and political action committees. Is it going too far to guess that the scholar from the Institute for Advanced Study might be searching for some way to do the same for Free Republic?

One little tidbit that the WaPo left outta their article that could be easily found if they WANTED to....

Danielle Allen has contributed $2350 to the Obama for President campaign.
Danielle Allen contributed $400 to the Obama for Senate campaign.
She also contributed $500 to John Kerry's presidential campaign.

Nothing like a little partisan tilt to a bit of research designed to scare people away from speaking freely about Obama. Can anyone say FIRST AMENDMENT?

FReeper Beckwith who was mentioned in the WaPo article has responded.

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