By Rady Ananda
Walking like an Egyptian pharaoh more than an Egyptian, during Hillary Clinton’s talk on free speech on Tuesday at George Washington University, she allowed the arrest and brutalization of a silent protester, Ray McGovern, who since his retirement from the CIA has been actively protesting war. The university’s newspaper, GW Hatchet, reported Clinton’s words:
“What happened in Egypt and what happened in Iran, which this week is once again using violence against protesters seeking basic freedoms, was about a great deal more than the Internet,” Clinton said. “In each case people protested because of deep frustrations with the political and economic division of their lives.”
Try looking in the mirror, Clinton.
Civil rights law firm, Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF), now represents McGovern in a clear case of civil rights violations. It noted, “71-year-old Ray McGovern was grabbed from the audience in plain view of her by police and an unidentified official in plain clothes, brutalized and left bleeding in jail. She never paused speaking.”
Various media reports all agree that McGovern was asked to sit down, but when he refused, security officers dragged him from the auditorium. During the scuffle, McGovern asked, “So this is America? This is America for you!”
He is now “covered with bruises, lacerations and contusions inflicted in the assault,” notes PCJF.
Sibel Edmonds, a close personal friend of McGovern, was horrified by the news. “We live less than 10 miles apart. Together we have participated in many events and protests. He is one of the most informed, articulate, gentle, peace-loving and peace-seeking human beings I’ve ever known.”
She added, “For me, this hits too close to home: My father was similarly brutalized by dictator regimes, and that was only the beginning, before it escalated to being tortured and having his toenails pulled out by the state police. Why? He was a doctor, a surgeon with an inquiring mind, and he spoke out whenever he could against dictatorships and for liberties. Participating in peaceful demonstrations, encouraging others to rise up for their rights, and reading authors such as Steinbeck (the American author black-listed there as ‘communist and anarchist’) landed him on the list of to-be-punished and pacified.”
Although Clinton decried internet censorship in her speech, she hypocritically condemned the release of documents by WikiLeaks, believing that government should operate in secret for “security” reasons. Like those secret torture sites? Like the Department of Justice shutting down over 80 internet sites without due process of law?
In a related matter, though the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) never passed, it would have allowed the government to seize Internet sites that infringe on the copyrights of others without due process. But, despite its failure to pass, the DOJ has acted as if it did. Some of the 80+ sites “seized” last year were “in no way connected to counterfeit goods,” notes Piracy Network:
“The legitimacy of the Torrent-Finder domain seizure was questioned from the start, and the owner of the site is now fighting to get his domain back through an expensive legal procedure. In the past several weeks the authorities involved in the seizures have not responded to the critique, but at the Congressional Internet Caucus’ State of the Net conference, [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] director John Morton broke the silence.
Instead of blasting other nations for censoring their citizens, Hillary Clinton would do well to remove the practice here in the states, perhaps starting with WikiLeaks, and certainly extending to private citizens like Ray McGovern.