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Free Speech And National Security

805 words - 4 pages

Free Speech and National Security
Harlan D. Almon
HSM 305
Instructor William Barker
May 20, 2013

Free Speech and National Security
We, as a nation, have prided ourselves as a country with many freedoms. Freedom of speech being probably the most important. It allows us to say or print what we are feeling about a subject and not have to worry about consequences. Although living in a society that allows free speech is great, it has its consequences as well when it comes to keeping our nation safe. During war time, there have been times that our freedom of speech has been curbed.
One could say that freedom of speech could actually help professionals in the Homeland Security field. ...view middle of the document...

In the United States, our freedom of speech has never been taken away from us, until the time of war. The first time this happened was in World War 1, when the government thought public opinion would interfere with the recruitment of soldiers. In June of 1917, congress passed the Espionage Act. Originally this act was to catch and punish spies but in one paragraph of the bill states “That that anyone who made false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces or caused or attempted to cause “insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service could receive a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years or both” (Dewitt, 2005).
Than in 1918, public offices started to demand stricter laws against disloyal acts committed by spies and other individuals. So Congress introduced the Sedition Amendment to the Espionage Act. Om may 16, 1918, President Wilson signed it into law. Under this new law, it made it a crime to “Willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language” about the U.S. government, the Constitution, the flag, or armed forces or to use “language intended to cause contempt, scorn, contumely, or disrepute.” (Dewitt, 2005). If convicted under...

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