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Free Speech Under Foreign Assault
by Robert Spencer
Does the United States Constitution protect the freedom of speech of American citizens, or does it not? In this era of globalization, the answer is becoming increasingly muddled. Thursday, an American citizen, Paul Williams, went on trial in Canada. He is charged with violating Canadian libel laws in charges he made in his book The Dunces of Doomsday about a jihad terror cell at McMaster University in Ontario. Likewise in Brazil, an American business writer, Joseph Sharkey, is on trial for what he wrote about Brazilian air-traffic controllers after he survived an airplane crash in Brazil.
Williams and Sharkey both live in the United States, which guarantees that its citizens' freedom of speech not be infringed. Should Canadian and Brazilian libel laws apply to them? Williams has already had to pay enormous amounts of money for his defense, and Sharkey is likely to be found guilty and given a $500,000 fine. McMaster University wants a cool two million dollars from Williams.
Shouldn't the United States government protect American citizens from such bullying by foreign powers?
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