April 15, 2005

Free speech in wartime 

(Cue the patriotic theme music...) WILLblog likes to stand up for free speech, at least partially because we can't seem to hold our tongue very well. We have principled reasons as well, including a commitment to serving the common good, building community, and faith in the U.S. Constitution. Not surprisingly, political tolerance of free speech is most severely tested in times of conflict and especially times of war. In terms of upholding our own cherished principles, we've reacted badly in past wars, but have always repented when the war was over. According to many of our national leaders, the U.S. is now engaged in a very long-term, possibly endless war on terror. With that as a set-up, I'll point you to the audio archives from today's Focus 580 program on "Perilous Times Free Speech In Wartime: From The Sedition Act of 1798 to The War On Terrorism," with Geoffrey R. Stone, the Harry Kalven Jr. Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. Either it was a great program, or we're guilty of sedition.

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