An update on this story. This article focuses on Pino’s First Amendment rights to say outrageous things. But the conduct those sympathies may be associated with is quite deserving of scrutiny: Which organizations might Pino support monetarily? What is he telling his students (both in class and in private) at Kent State, a university funded by Ohio taxpayers? And is this really the face Kent State wants to put on its faculty?
“Freedom of speech a debate for some,” from U-Wire:
KENT, Ohio – Although Julio Pino, associate professor of history at Kent State University, wouldn’t acknowledge any association with an extremist blog, his boss did.
John Jameson, professor and chair of the history department, said Pino admitted to him that he contributed articles to “Global War,” a blog that calls itself “a jihadist news service.”
“If he [Pino] sees something that is newsworthy to the mission or purpose of the Web site, he’ll take that and link it to the Web site,” he said, adding that the articles Pino posted were news stories others wrote about in the blog.
Pino declined to comment on the issue.
Journalism professor Tim Smith said Pino has the right to contribute to “Global War.”
“Basically, it comes down to the right for people to disagree with government – it’s their right to do so,” he said. “It’s embedded in our Constitution.”
Smith said the only way Pino could get in trouble is if he was “advocating illegal conditions,” because people cannot urge others to break the law.
The “Global War” blog was posted on blogHi!, a free blogging service. A spokesman from the site said the blog is no longer available for the public to view, and those who try will be redirected to blogHi!’s main page.
Pino’s association with the blog received national attention about two weeks ago after Mike Adams, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, posted a blog on Townhall.com, a conservative news Web site, stating Pino had ties to “Global War.”
Jameson said since Pino did contribute, Adams went after him.
“These are news articles,” said Jameson, referring to ones Pino posted on the site. “My sense was that those are the ones he’s contributing to. That’s why Adams said, ‘Here’s a smoking gun. Pino is actually contributing to this jihadist Web site.'”
If Pino had authorization to post articles on the blog, it stands to reason that his association with it was not as peripheral as Jameson may like to believe, but that Pino was quite enthusiastic about its content, and trusted by Global War’s owners.
Smith said Pino’s contributions reflect all Americans’ rights.
“There’s not much point in having freedom of speech if the only time you can exercise it is when everybody agrees with you,” he said.
But what future does Pino envision for free speech?