Rights versus What’s Right

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Revised 20121110

The conventional wisdom is that the country backs the incumbent during crisis. The term “October surprise” originated from the Nixon’s using Kissinger to declare that peace was at hand in Vietnam.

But I see no evidence for conspiracy here, just chaos. Any opportunist can make a film, and did. Any demagogue can whip up desperate people into frenzy, and they did. The Libyan attack is currently suspected to be a planned two-stage operation under cover of the riot. Still in our national interest we can’t close the embassies and hope to have any constructive influence upon these fractured lands. So we again send 19 year-olds into harm’s way.

If you find this story strangely disconcerting it may be because it forces the nation to ask the ethical question of how many diplomats or soldiers have to die for some shmuck’s free speech, and necessarily your own rights to promulgate a crappy ‘film.’

That ground shifting from under your ideologies could be the realization that it is so much simpler to spout within social media extremism of any ilk, or chicken-hawk jingoistic platitudes, when you are totally insulated from the consequences. When no one you know or for which you have responsibility is at risk. As someone you will never meet is now sitting ready to die for you in sand that burns even at night.

If managers at Google/YouTube were not incurring ethical if not legal dilemmas, they would not be selectively blocking the video depending on the degree of rioting in the market country. But now that corporations are persons, I suggest that a highly pertinent question arises of complicity to murderwhich has nothing to do with free speech.

Manslaughter is a person causing death without prior intention. This would seem to be a slam-dunk case of YouTube guilt.

If the person continues, knowing their actions are likely to produce death, as they are, it becomes murder.

Sleep tight, YouTube, now obviously choosing to sustain international violence for revenue, leveraged on the backs of yet another innocent generation.

I am now informed that the rationale, liberty, and indemnification for this situation derives from Federal Statute 47 U.S.C. §230; which I would identify as now deserving review.

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