A brief review of American censorship mechanisms and laws prohibiting it
Censorship is the death knell of democracy
Al Capone’s 1929 Philadelphia mug shot - Public Domain
This article very briefly outlines 1) specific mechanisms of American censorship and 2) relevant laws and court decisions prohibiting such actions.
Government and government sponsored censorship/ manipulation of news in violation of First Amendment Rights, SCOTUS decisions and other laws
1960s Censorship mechanisms
Council on Foreign Relations and later CIA control of American Newspaper Guild (ANG) & Postal, Telephone & Telegraph International (PTTI) though Communication Workers of America (CWA) http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/42a/126.html also see: http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php
Some of today’s censorship entities
Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy
US (State Department) Agency for Global Media - Global Engagement Center
Mis-, Dis-, Malinformation (MDM) / Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) formerly known as FBI’s “Foreign Influence Task Force” (FTIF)
Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab)
https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/in-depth-research-reports/dfrlab-china-reports Page on: “Countering Chinese disinformation reports - In-Depth Research & Reports by Digital Forensic Research Lab” Related Experts: Iain Robertson
The Atlantic Council’s DFRLab runs similar kinds of smear campaigns against Russia.
Graphika an FBI and a Pentagon-backed private intelligence firm
Graphika terminates sites it finds "suspicious" without proof. ...shadowy tech firm Graphika, which has been a key institutional force driving Russiagate conspiracies in the US and Western Europe.
Graphika’s director of investigations, Ben Nimmo is also a senior fellow at NATO’s de facto think tank, the Atlantic Council, which is funded by the governments of the US, Britain, and the United Arab Emirates, along with NATO and the European Union. And he helps lead the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab.
USC Center on Public Diplomacy
Acts as a front for a number of shadowy government propaganda organizations defaming China, Russia, Iran, Syria, etc. https://uscpublicdiplomacy.org/ If an organization wants to publish very negative reviews loaded with false and misleading information about any of American DoD’s target countries, this is the place to do it.
Coda Story – Anonymous attacks on western journalists who investigate D.C.’s narrative about China
Propaganda Or Not? (Propornot)
Created a public black list for publications and journalists that might make Russia look good.
Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
Oversees three bureaus at the Department of State: Educational and Cultural Affairs, Public Affairs, and International Information Programs. Also reporting to the Under Secretary are the Office of Policy, Planning and Resources for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.
The FEC’s murder of News Neutrality
Shadow Regulations are voluntary agreements between companies (sometimes described as codes, principles, standards, or guidelines) to regulate your use of the Internet, often without your knowledge.
Shadow Regulation has become increasingly popular after the monumental failure of restrictive Internet laws such as ACTA, SOPA and PIPA. This is because Shadow Regulation can involve restrictions that are as effective as any law, but without the need for approval by a court or parliament. Indeed, sometimes Shadow Regulation is even initiated by government officials, who offer companies the Hobson's choice of coming up with a "voluntary" solution, or submitting to government regulation.
Censorship as it carried out by the above organizations is illegal according to a number of legislative and judicial precedents, including numerous Supreme Court Decisions and First Amendment rights however, it appears the USA is now in the midst of what can be called the 3rd Red Scare.
https://thegreatlinking.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/alt-news-during-the-3rd-red-scare.pdf (This is a series of five articles I wrote relating to alt-news and the latest “Red Scare” in the US.)
American Laws Prohibiting Censorship
First there is the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
One can presume it was placed as the 1st Amendment, not say, the 3rd or 27th for a reason.
Perhaps today’s US administration believes corporations can choose better leaders than dumbed down American voters. And thus democracy has become the anachronism of a bygone age. There is also the 14th Amendment that needs to be studiously ignored.
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Those “little things” are competing against a multi-trillion dollar so-called “Defense Industry” budget. Forget them. Politicians can be bought. Attorney Generals can be dismissed and replaced. Nothing can stand in the way of the “defense industry” as it pushes the USA ever closer to the real “war to end all wars,” and quite possibly “civilization” as we know it. What about oaths sworn by public officials to protect the security of the United States? Empty formalism, nothing more.
The most definitive Supreme Court decisions in this matter were:
Yates v. United States, 354 U.S. 298 (1957) https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/354/298/
Leaders of the Communist Party in California vs. USA. Decision: The state must prove “imminent threat” to suppress news, which they could not do and so lost this landmark case. The First Amendment right to freedom of the press was upheld. This decision was the primary factor that brought the 2nd Red Scare to an end. But! Back then some people had some respect for law, unlike today.
Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969)
https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/395/444/ (Right wing militia)
Red Lion Broadcasting Co., Inc. v. FCC, 395 U.S. 367 (1969)
“Safeguarding the public’s right to “an uninhibited marketplace of ideas” requires diversity among those who own and control media outlets, to ensure that Americans remain free to choose among many sources of information, viewpoints, and ideas.”
New York Times v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971)
https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/403/713/ The United States, which brought these actions to enjoin publication in the New York Times and in the Washington Post of certain classified material, has not met the "heavy burden of showing justification for the enforcement of such a [prior] restraint."
https://www.lexisnexis.com/community/casebrief/p/casebrief-n-y-times-co-v-united-states The Court held that the government did not meet its burden of showing justification for the imposition of a prior restraint of expression. Furthermore, it stated that under the First Amendment, the press must be left free to publish news, whatever the source, without censorship, injunctions, or prior restraints, and that the guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government was not justified.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/media The Supreme Court found that there is a heavy presumption against prior restraint of the press, and that the respondent's (here, the United States) vague use of the word "security" is not enough to overcome the importance of the freedom of the press guaranteed by the First Amendment.
The following are also relevant cases:
Rex v. Zenger (1735)
People v. Croswell (1804)
Near v. Minnesota (1931) - A state law allowing prior restraint was unconstitutional. This decision also extended protection of press freedom to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.
New York Times v. Sullivan (1964)
Garrison v. Louisiana (1964)
Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts and AP v. Walker (1967)
Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart (1976)
Hustler v. Falwell (1988)
There are also a large number of international treaties the US has signed relating to freedom of expression and the press.
International Treatise & Laws Prohibiting Censorship
The United Nations 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) – Article 19 Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
For a link library relating to international treatise and foundation international law relating to freedom of expression and press, see: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/FreedomOpinion/Pages/Standards.aspx
RUBBISH! They are all rubbish now. Those treatises mean nothing. Smash Russia, China and Iran! Choke the life out of all them like George Floyd and all others who do not worship at the altar of white American supremacy. So say the Lords of Armageddon, and the courts and mainstream news like obedient whipped dogs murmur “Yes master!” How they tremble on their knees before the Great Lords of Unrestrained Capitalism! You have to give Black men credit; they don’t get down on their knees like the spineless courts and mockery of a free press.
Treasonous judges and presstitues have pieces of silver and gold showered upon them and are praised to the heavens now, but in the histories to come they will be viewed as lower than the lowest of slaves for they sold their own integrity and the freedom of others for that silver and gold, whereas slaves had their freedom stolen from them.
Absolute Political Corruption
The 2010 Supreme Court Decision in Citizens United Vs. FEC was a landmark case leading to today’s anonymous donations of unlimited amounts of money, which can be translated into unlimited corruption, distilled in a small erroneous comment in the Citizen’s United decision relating to quid pro quo.
For a history of this treacherous decline into absolute lawless barbarism by the Supreme Court, see: https://www.fec.gov/legal-resources/court-cases. They forged the chains that killed off the last vestiges of the dying democracy and enslaved the world. Those same platinum chains hold them hostage now too. What sublime irony.
Conflict of Interest issues
One can also just blow up the newspapers
Anyone who says that the USA is not censoring news is full of beans.
On February 22, 1975 the office of Milwaukee’s leading alt-newspaper at the time, the Bugle American was blown up.
It was widely believed that the Milwaukee Police Department’s Red Squad was responsible.
Also see: Armstrong, David. A Trumpet to Arms: Alternative Media in America (Houghton Mifflin, 1981), p. 148-149 et seq.
The lawlessness of the US is a contagious disease. America’s closest allies also bomb press buildings in an attempt to silence the truth and spread terror to those who tell the truth.
Israel decimates building housing foreign media in Gaza
The 13-story al-Jalaa tower, one of Gaza's oldest multi-story buildings, had a total of 60 units, including offices of media companies, legal firms, and doctors, May 15, 2021
The USA and its’ criminal state allies’ politicians can point accusing fingers at other countries for censorship of the news, but when they do, it, it’s AOK.
Please recall Supreme Court decisions in effect constitute laws; “case law” is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunals in which the law was analyzed for deciding current cases. These past decisions are called "case law", or precedents.
What does one call people who violate so many laws? Criminals.
When criminals work together in violation of laws, what are they called? Gangsters.
What law is usually used to prosecute gangsters?
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). That those violations of law are profit-motivated is demonstrated in the section above titled: Conflict of Interest Issues.
There was the genocide of the Native Americans, African and African American slavery, and all those instances of attempts to overthrow other people’s governments. Yet somehow generation after generation they continue to commit atrocities in the name of the USA and the people say nothing. Why? Mostly they don’t really know.
Censorship is the death knell of democracy
Censorship helps gangsters. It doesn’t help the people in the USA or world. It is the death knell of democracy, escalating at a logarithmic rate now and unambiguously illegal.
Author’s note: I had two things censored in the past 24 hours in the USA. One was on Facebook, the other I’ll not name as it mysteriously reappeared this morning.
Esteemed readers: I’m retired and living on fumes these days. Throw me a bone, eh? Thanks!