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The Sedition Act of 1918 was a measure put forth at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson during World War I as an amendment to the Espionage Act. Its primary purpose was to squash the publication and voicing of dissent about the war effort.
Now, 90 years later, the campaign of Barack Obama has reached deep into history and are attempting to apply the principles of the Sedition Act to any unfavorable news story about Sen. Obama. The latest example has come from the office of Sen. Claire McCaskill, the National Chairperson of the Obama campaign. Sen. McCaskill has announced the members of the Obama Truth Squad: St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer.
From the American Issues Project in Washington DC:
Washington, DC – September 26, 2008 – Barack Obama is now using local law enforcement officials to carry out his campaign of legal intimidation by assembling a group of high-ranking Missouri police officials and prosecutors – including St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCullough and City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce – to identify and target anyone the campaign determines is producing “misleading” political advertisements.
“This is an outrageous and shocking attempt by the Obama campaign to again employ Stalinist, police state tactics against those who dare to disagree with Barack Obama,” said Ed Martin, American Issues Projects president. “I am frankly stunned to see public officials like McCullough and Joyce abusing their official prosecutorial positions to serve as attack dogs for a national political campaign. I am quite certain Missourians elected these individuals to enforce the laws and arrest criminals, not to throw people in jail for daring to practicing free speech.
“The Obama campaign continues to provide a chilling preview of what would happen to political freedom in an Obama administration.”
This new effort is only the most recent attempt by the Obama campaign to crack down on free speech. Obama’s lawyers twice demanded the Department of Justice investigate and prosecute the American Issues Project, its officers, board of directors, and donors. The campaign also threatened stations running American Issues Project’s ad in an unsuccessful attempt to compel them to pull the spot, and ran its own ad in response.
Notably, this ad failed to dispute a single fact the American Issues Project has put forth.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Contact: Jessica Robinson, 573-751-0290
Gov. Blunt Statement on Obama Campaign’s Abusive Use of Missouri Law Enforcement
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Matt Blunt today issued the following statement on news reports that have exposed plans by U.S. Senator Barack Obama to use Missouri law enforcement to threaten and intimidate his critics.
“St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.
“What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.
“This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights. The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.
“Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts – not a free society.”
Question to Missouri residents: When are the members of the Obama Truth Squad up for re-election?