Would the #NDAA Lock up the #MSM?

Journalists are terrorists.

That line of thought was brought up in my college class on international reporting back in 2009, when we were discussing the Swine Flu and SARS and how the media was covering those things. One student asked that, if journalists were hyping these stories, getting people alarmed over things that probably not going to harm them, and especially if said journalists were not doing proper fact-checking and were spreading around myths, then aren’t journalists terrorists?

That was in my mind as I read about the National Defense Authorization Act and its idiotic langauge that would require the US military to lock up anyone who is merely “suspected” of being a terrorist without any trial or due process. The same line of thought, apparently, hit Jason Kuznicki:

If I were president, I would start with a round of mass imprisonments.

As Machiavelli advises, I’d do it quickly, perhaps all in one night. A few tens of thousands should be enough.

No, no, you’ve got me all wrong — these aren’t political prisoners. Yes, they just happen to include the members of the Democratic and Republican National Committees. There are a lot of big-time political donors. (Which ones? Don’t ask!) Industrialists, financiers, labor leaders, community organizers. Academics. Journalists. Judges. A few members of Congress. (I wouldn’t need too many of those. It only needs a few pour encourager les autres.)

The NDAA, I think, would lead to many members of the mainstream media being jailed pretty quickly. If they ever made tweets about a developing story—like, for instance, today’s shooting at Virginia Tech—that might contain inaccuracies, a government official might say they’re trying to alarm the public, and that could constitute terrorism. In one move, the entire American journalism industry would be silenced, aside from some bloggers (though I have no doubts that the federal government would eventually round them up too.)

E.D. Kain at Forbes says that “The National Defense Authorization Act is the Greatest Threat to Civil Liberties Americans Face”, and I completely agree—he should just have added “and to the Press” specifically.

I actually thought that, with the Tea Party (even though it’s going the wrong way) and the unsustainability of government spending in the long term, that even though it would be painfully dark in the short term, long term would be very good for liberty. The past year, however, has made me question that, and if we don’t stop this bill right now, we can kiss our liberties and our free press goodbye.

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