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08/02/2004 Archived Entry: "Liberty Post deletes Loompanics"
WOW. LIBERTY POST HAS JUST BANNED ALL MENTION OF LOOMPANICS. Really. See for yourself. A poster on that site merely mentioned (and apparently linked to) Loompanics as a source of interesting books ... and LOP!
The reason? The owner of Liberty Post (whose name I don't know) claims that linking to that evil, bad, dangerous publisher could violate the Patriot Act and get her (?) and her webmaster pitched into prison. Removing not only the link but the very name "Loompanics," she (?) cited the case of Sherman Austin. Austin posted bomb-making info on his web pages, advocated violence, and went to prison for it. His case isn't even remotely analogous to this one.
Below are the ringing endorsements of liberty and ringing denunciations of cowardice from my editor and publisher. You go, Gia and Mike! First however, I want to make my own position perfectly clear:
Yeah, I'm standing here waiting for the black helicopters to come and get me. ... Still waiting ...
Now, we do live with a government that's gone power mad and hates free speech. But if anybody really believes John Ashcroft is going to send ninjas after somebody for linking to a perfectly legal publisher of perfectly legal books, then the proper response is
to fight like hell -- not whimper, pee on yourself like a puppy, and roll over for tyranny.
The owner of Liberty Post has a right to do whatever the heck she (?) wishes with her property. And I sympathize with anybody who's trying to figure out how to stay mentally alive these days without running afoul of the Bush-Ashcroft terror squads. There is no need to take unnecessary risks, and no reason at all to put oneself at risk for the sake of letting strangers use one's web site for foolish pro-violence rants (which, BTW, was not the case here). But if somebody's going to self-censor that readily, maybe they ought to change the name of their site to "Cowering Post" or "State-Worshipping Post" or maybe "Pabulum Post."
Now, with double thanks to Tim Osman and muleDemon and others for the kind mentions of
Loompanics on Liberty Post ... here's what editor Gia and publisherMike have to say.
Statement from editor Gia Cosindas
Liberty Post.org seems to suffer from a lack of backbone. On the one hand, they state on their home page that they "do not
limit discussion to any specific political point of view, since truth can only exist where there is freedom to discuss those issues." Yet they self-censor to a ridiculous extent using the flimsiest of excuses. They'd probably run into more danger of being arrested by speeding on the way home from work.
We were able to discern within minutes that Sherman Austin was offering far more than graphic information about bomb making. He personally was encouraging people to take a stand through violence and then denying it in court. It's quite evident that LibertyPost.org will never get arrested on the basis of the news they feel it is safe to rehash. But they should change their home page to reflect their self-censorship as eventually their hypocrisy will get out.
Statement from publisher and Loompanics president Mike Hoy:
Yes, I do "blame" the owner of the site LibertyPost.org. The only person arrested was Sherman Austin himself, not some other person who was a "webmaster." And he was not arrested for "linking" to anything. The yarn this idiot spins (that if she mentions the existence of Loompanics that her webmaster would be arrested by the FBI) is so at odds with what actually happened--that there is no chance she is mistaken--she is deliberately lying and consciously trying to spread fear and ignorance. At the present time, our civil liberties are under unprecedented attack, and it is more important than ever for all boosters of individual liberty to be open and honest and accurate with each other. Cowardly, dishonest fear mongers like the big-talking "LibertyPost.org" creep are directly serving the interests of Big Brother. With enemies like LibertyPost.org and the like, the State doesn't need any friends. Thank you very much for exposing this worm.
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Port Townsend, WA 98368
NOTE: I edited this post on 8/3/04 to correct info about the person who posted the original message at LP and to clarify my position on risk taking.
Posted by Claire @ 05:58 PM CST