Friday, July 15, 2016

Newt Gingrich says, we are At War, calls for enforcement of sedition laws, but dials down anti-Muslim rhetoric in Facebook Live talk today

Newt Gingrich, not quite chosen as Donald Trump’s VP nominee, went on Facebook Live today explaining his initial remarks (putatively about Muslims who express support for sharia) today, link here. It’s also on my own Facebook timeline.

Gingrich said, in a 25 -minute presentation, that there are three groups of people to be concerned with.  Extremists overseas we can simply exclude from the country.  Non-citizens in the US we can monitor and deport if necessary.  Citizens, however, we can only put in jail.

But Gingrich said, following the Bastille Day Nice attack (for which no responsibility has yet been claimed)  Thursday night, that the United States (and the West) is at war.  A history professor (as well as former US House Speaker) he said that a country can declare war on a mass movement (as with Eric Hoffer) just as it can on another state.  That would also presumably mean declaring war on the Islamic State, even though the State is not formally recognized. Donald Trump has echoed similar ideas.

Gingrich said, “the right of privacy is vital in peacetime” but “the right of survival is vital in wartime”.  He did talk about the Smith Act of 1940.  He suggested citizens could be prosecuted for Sedition if they actively promoted terrorist acts online (but he did not suggest shutting down the Internet, as Trump reportedly did in December, as a potential emergency national security measure).

Gingrich has also been vocal about the possibility of an EMP attack against the US from a rogue state like Iran or North Korea, as he wrote in a foreword to "One Second After" in 2009.
Wikipedia attribution link for anti-Communist poster in 1950.

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