In a society where speech is suppressed, truth is the prime casualty. Dragged along in the fatal process are cognition, logic, and creativity.
This is exactly what has been going on in our society for far too long with an insidious incremental smothering of free speech.
Now we find ourselves at a tipping point that promises to inexorably alter our First Amendment rights, and the response from leaders thus far, as well as the public at large, appears to be woefully insufficient.
Global warming advocates are seeking to use a criminal statute that was originally designed to assist in the prosecution of organized crime figures.
Twenty so-called scientific experts recently signed a letter, which was sent to the Obama administration.
The correspondence included a demand that individuals who hold an opposing viewpoint on the subject of global warming be investigated and prosecuted via the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
The RICO Act is a 1970 federal law, which was passed in order for law enforcement agencies to be able to make arrests, and the justice system to ultimately prosecute members of organized crime.
The RICO statute includes within it potential sentences of 20 years in prison for those who are convicted.
“We strongly endorse Senator Whitehouse’s call for a RICO investigation,” the “scientists” wrote in the letter to the president. The writers claimed that the “methods of these organizations are quite similar to those used earlier by the tobacco industry,” adding that “A RICO investigation (1999 to 2006) played an important role in stopping the tobacco industry from continuing to deceive the American people about the dangers of smoking.”
The politician to which the letter refers, Rhode Island Sen. Whitehouse, had penned an article, which was published in the Washington Post in May 2015, calling for those individuals and institutions deemed to be global warming deniers to be criminally prosecuted.
Whitehouse drew flawed comparisons to the 1990s prosecution of the tobacco industry using RICO, as demonstrated in the following:
“In 1999, the Justice Department filed a civil RICO lawsuit against the major tobacco companies . . . alleging that the companies ‘engaged in and executed — and continue to engage in and execute — a massive 50-year scheme to defraud the public, including consumers of cigarettes, in violation of RICO.’”
The senator focused on a prominent individual particularly bothersome to Al Gore adulators, climate scientist Willie Soon, a solar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Soon concluded that changes in solar radiation, as opposed to carbon emissions, are the primary reason for global warming.
Whitehouse is not the first U.S. legislator to attempt to eradicate opposing points of view. In February of 2015, Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., launched an investigation of seven other climate scientists for daring to debate the human-caused global warming narrative.
None of the scientists Grijalva probed was found to have done anything inappropriate; however, the intended message was sent to those who would express incorrect scientific thoughts.
“Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Climate Skeptic?” asked a headline that appeared on the Power Line blog.
The current crop of speech snuffers may have been inspired by Rochester Institute of Technology philosophy professor Lawrence Torcello, who published an article in 2014 on an academic website, The Conversation, advocating that criminal negligence and “science misinformation” must be linked when it comes to dissenters and deniers of global warming.
Torcello urged the U.S. to look to Italy to find the legal framework to pursue non-believers in the global warming narrative. Italian courts had convicted six seismologists in 2009 for not properly warning the country of earthquake risks.
The truth sets us free. Likewise, the suppression of free expression eventually leads to tyranny.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
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