The PJ Tatler

Jeh Johnson's Short Memory: 'We Do Not Attempt To Restrain' Speech

Just a short while ago, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson brought up the 2006 movie Death of a President, a classic example of the leftist “it’s intellectual when we do it” impulse, which fictionalized what might happen following the assassination of George W. Bush. The film received praise from the expected quarters, which hailed it as some sort of envelope-pushing edgy discourse, and not at all an example of subjective morality and ideology.

But Johnson just used it this morning during an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell — he seems to have arrived prepared with Death of a President to use as an analogy — as an overarching example of how speech is tolerated in this country as compared to how Sony has been threatened for its speech that denigrates the DPRK. Said Johnson:

I was offended by the movie, but people in this country have the right to produce all sorts of different accounts of things that we do not attempt to restrain in any way.

 

Yes, “all sorts,” but not all sorts.

Here’s a link to Glenn Woods, father of hero Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, murdered in Benghazi, claiming that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told him she “would make sure the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.” That film, the one which offended the 23 or so Muslims who had actually seen it at the time of Woods’ murder. The making of the film itself was a violation of the filmmaker’s parole, but Clinton was not aware of the filmmaker’s identity at the time of her statement to Glenn Woods. She simply happened to find certain speech to be actionable, in opposition to the Constitution and to Jeh Johnson’s statement today.

Clinton had no such prosecutorial tendencies about Death of a President.

And she followed through, too:

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As did Lois Lerner, and those who targeted Sharyl Attkisson.

And those who, under the supervision and direction of Johnson’s DHS, censor counterterrorist training material that challenges Islam, to the detriment of our security.

Johnson is credibly referring to the First Amendment, but not to his administration. I am terribly bothered by representatives of this administration who refer to America as they administer it to be representative of America as codified by law. Had Sony produced a film depicting the assassination of President Obama — or at the very least, a film offending the sensibilities of Muslims, or a film championing the Tea Party — this administration has a track record of taking deliberate, severe, illegal actions to restrain speech.