The film is not really the point. It is a red herring. The film has been on YouTube since 2011. Someone was casting about for a pretext, and found one in this film. And so, we now see renewed calls for restrictions on the freedom of speech, just as I predicted when the stories of the embassy storming in Egypt and the murder of Ambassador Stevens first broke.
This is an increasing drumbeat on the Left. They can’t refute us, and so they have to shut us down. The odious thug Nathan Lean calls for censorship in the Los Angeles Times and now the Washington Post (I’ll get to it), and now Andrew Brown chimes in with the same call for authoritarian control of free speech. Andrew Brown has displayed his superior journalistic fairness and analytical skills in the past, when he equated me with the murderous jihadist Anwar al-Awlaki — as Cheradenine Zakalwe observes, “as if practising murderous jihad and merely describing it were morally equivalent.” The Guardian, true to form, denied me space for a rebuttal.
But in any case, the film is completely irrelevant. If it weren’t this, it would be something else.
I have just watched a YouTube video of clips from a film which, it is claimed, provoked the attack on the American embassy in Libya. It is impossible to completely authenticate them at this stage, or exclude the possibility the clips could have been doctored in some way by the uploaders. However, we do know that the film has been linked to riots in Egypt and the attack in Benghazi in which four embassy staff, including the ambassador, were killed. It’s a really nasty piece of lying propaganda: something which deserves to be called hate speech, since hatred is its wellspring and the propagation of hatred is its goal.
I haven’t seen this film. I don’t intend to do so. I don’t care what is in it. It doesn’t matter what is in it, because nothing in it could possibly justify murdering anyone. Andrew Brown calling for authoritarian censorship in the wake of that murder only reinforces the proposition that terrorism works, and violent intimidation gets you exactly what you want.