BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, you introduced a resolution to condemn this by the Congress... or where do you go from here?
SENATOR HARRY REID: We’ll-- we’ll take a look at this, of course. John Kerry, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, has been on top of this. He’s made many trips to Afghanistan. And I think we’ll take a look at this as to whether we need hearings or not, I don’t know.Later in the show, Lindsey Graham opines on the same issue:
BOB SCHIEFFER: I want to get to this Afghanistan thing. General Petraeus today condemned the actions of this Florida preacher, who burned the Koran. You heard what Senator Reid said . . . Is there anything that actually can be done along this line?
SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: You know I wish we could find some way to-- to-- to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea but we’re in a war. During World War II, you had limits on what you could say if it would inspire the enemy. So burning a Koran is a terrible thing. But it doesn’t justify killing someone. Burning a bible would be a terrible thing but it doesn’t justify murder. But having said that, any time we can push back here in America against actions like this that put our troops at risk we ought to do it. So I look forward to working with Senator Kerry and Reid and others to condemn this, condemn violence all over the world based in the name of religion. [Emphasis added.]Allow me to repeat that: "Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war . . . any time we can push back here in America against actions like this that put our troops at risk we ought to do it." The so-called war on terror – including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – was sold to the American people in part as a means of expanding freedom and liberty abroad, but it has resulted in a dangerous erosion of respect for freedom and liberty at home on the ground that freedom and liberty at home endangers troops abroad. The war on terror has become one of the primary reasons cited by Democratic and Republican lawmakers to justify their ongoing war on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and they are not above instrumentalizing soldiers in the field to legitimize that war. Freedom isn't free, as the slogan goes. But for the Orwellian double-thinkers in the Democratic and Republican parties, the loss of liberty is the price of freedom.
Update: George Will provides a choice quote underscoring the "horror" of an elected official in St. Louis at the prospect of free speech. Alderman Phyllis Young objects to a property owner's display of a sign denouncing eminent domain abuse:
St. Louis Alderman Phyllis Young is distressed that Roos’s speech might escape government control: “If this sign is allowed to remain, then anyone with property along any thoroughfare can paint signs indicating the opinion or current matter relevant to the owner to influence passersby with no control by any City agency. The precedent should not be allowed.”