White House Asks YouTube To Review “Innocence of Muslims” Film

The Obama Administration has formally asked YouTube “to review” the anti-Muslim film “Innocence of Muslims.” In a perfectly incoherent position, White House press secretary Jay Carney stressed that the White House was not asking for it to be removed . . . only “reviewed.” I have been discussing this controversy on NPR and CNN. The latest White House move appears to be an effort to get YouTube to remove the video without taking responsibility for expressly asking for the removal. For civil libertarians, the announcement leaves an uneasy — and all-too-familiar — feeling with this Administration. The White House has repeated compromised on civil liberties in favor of political advantage in areas like torture, immunity, and surveillance policies.

Carney announced that “The White House asked YouTube to review the video to see if it was in compliance with their terms of use.” Despite asking for such a review, Carney insisted “We cannot and will not squelch freedom of expression in this country.”

We have seen this type of double talk before — in the aftermath of the Danish cartoon violence. The Administration has joined Muslim allies in trying to develop what has been called an “international blasphemy” standard. (For prior columns, click here and here). The West has steadily yielded to the demands of religious groups that free speech must be curtailed in the name of faith. At the same time, Western governmental and religious leaders have denounced agnostics and atheists as one of the greatest threats facing the West (here and here and here and here). President Obama and Hillary Clinton have been facilitating this trend by working with Muslim nations to develop an international standard allowing for the prosecution of those who insult religion. The Administration has drawn a dangerous line with Muslim countries in first supporting the concept of an international blasphemy standard. As I have mentioned before, the efforts of the Obama Administration to work with these countries on an international blasphemy standard is a threat to free speech around the world. After first supporting an international blasphemy standard, the Administration sought to get Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and other countries to adopt the Brandenburg standard as the basis for such prosecutions. This case also shows why the use of the Brandenburg standard is so dangerous in the hands of such officials who view free speech as the cause of imminent violence. Past cases show that even the suggestion of blasphemy is enough to trigger violent riots in some Muslim nations. Because any joke or image of the Prophet can trigger violence, the standard is immediately satisfied in countries like Egypt and Pakistan, which can then claim some legal legitimacy under the standard created with the United States.

YouTube should resist such efforts to withdraw the video in my view. Today in an exchange with Howard Kurtz on CNN is disagreed with his view that the video should be at least withdrawn from the sites on other countries. This suggests that free speech is an American value. Civil libertarians believe it is a basis human right. YouTube does not produce cars or widgets. It supplies a unique forum for a global dialogue. While it clearly has the right to remove material from its site, such an act (even with the obvious encouragement of the White House) would be an act of private censorship. If this video is removed, then why not any video that is deemed insulting to a given religious or religious figure. These deaths were not caused be any film. They were caused by religious extremism. It is not a question of whether the film is “worth” these lives. It isn’t. Free speech is.

The request from the White House reflects the same dishonest approach of some of our closest allies who refused to punish the Danish cartoonists while then quietly cracking down on anti-religious speech. The correct and only answer is that he filmmaker has a right to express his views of Muhammad and Islam. Muslims have a right to respond in kind. However, we cannot allow murderous mobs to turn this into a debate over free speech. These mobs are in countries that have long killed and arrested those who speak out against their beliefs. We cannot yield to such demands.

Source: Politico

78 thoughts on “White House Asks YouTube To Review “Innocence of Muslims” Film

  1. Meanwhile in reality-land, it seems there was no protest in Benghazi – just a pre-planned attack.
    Who would have thiunk?


    “It is always more enjoyable to scorn the acts of the Other Side than it is to acknowledge the bad acts of one’s own. That’s the self-loving mindset that enables the New York Times to write an entire editorial today purporting to analyze Muslim rage without once mentioning the numerous acts of American violence aimed at them (much of which the Times editorial page supports). Falsely claiming that the Benghazi attacks were about this film perfectly flattered those jingoistic prejudices.”

  2. There is something rather confusing to me here. My ‘understanding’ was that Google bought out youtube and owns them. Since Google works hand in glove with the government, if the government wanted it removed, why not have the government guy inform the Google guy, who has youtube remove it?

    If the government really wanted it gone, wouldn’t that have been the preferred procedure? Instead there’s a big deal made out of ‘reviewing’ the video to decide if it should be taken down.

  3. its not surprising to see muslims going crazy after a hateful trailer…..the truth is that they were just looking for a reason to kill!!!
    Has christianity ever attacked someone because they said something? from the daily jesus jokes, the countless poundings by southpark, family guy, simpsons, and other shows….never heard someone lose a finger in a door slamming accident… No, we are in the 21st century you guys and the only people who hqvent evolved are the ones who butcher people…..where’s the peace islam, where is it? You keep saying that you are all about peace, but you are always always always the first ones to land the blow….
    Now when that’person’ wrote those things about jesus and a rabbi, that was because he was pretty sure he wasnt going to get threatned and killed…..because christianity is peaceful….but when a person tries to express his anguish….the whole world goes into overdrive….
    Tue truth is the only ones who cared about the film were the muslims, everybody was laughing their butt off…. Even governments and hate to say it churches are denouncing it because they are afraid of death!!! Hahaha ‘PEACE’ HAHHAHAHA
    if you are so diplomatic and reasonable, why dont you do this every time they attack christianity?
    You would be here every day:)
    No, the reason you are on this page saying its wrong and its a bad film is because you are afraid… And deep down your empty cores there is a little nudge that says
    ‘who the hell do these guys think they are?’
    but its time to see the religion for what it really is, its time we open our eyes and realize what is going on….

  4. SlingTrebuchet 1, September 20, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Falsely claiming that the Benghazi attacks were about this film perfectly flattered those jingoistic prejudices.”
    Why did Iraq blow up the oil fields in Kuwait? Who had to fix that? Do you want to talk about jingoistic prejudices?

  5. Okay so YouTube can remove episodes of reality shows but not something that has been so hurtful to a whole religion & faith?? Good to see they’ve got their priorities in order!

  6. but when it gets down to protecting their name, muslims and i mean the entire population would slaughter…..
    @ leejcarrol
    Dont you get it? Its what they preach, its what they grew up listening….’death to infidels’, ‘slaughter’ you cant possibly tell me that its not on everyone’s mind?
    If islam was about peace, they would keep quiet about what ever the free world had to say
    and besides the reaction was felt all over the world, you saw violence and flag burning all over…..where is the peaceful muslim, because all i see are a mass population of terrorists counting the days when they will break into every home, slaughter women and children, and butcher innocent lives, because they didnt denounce their faith!
    And if you seriously believe that al qaeda and other religious groups are the only ones violent, open your eyes bucko, because every muslim man, womqn, and child would do the same thing for salvation

  7. @me
    why would they bring it down?
    If they do that they should also bring down the entire channels dedicated on insulting christianity….you just want them to bring it down because they will murder countless more….
    It was hurtful?well, its free speech and people have the right to speak their mind….you dont hear mass protests, killings of ambassadors, because of a jesus joke do you?
    No, why because christianity is all about peace….
    A lot of people have a lot to say about this religion, but they are too afraid to say anything… OPEN UR EYES OPEN UR EYES WHY DO WE LET THEM GET AWAY WITH THAT?????

  8. isn’t anybody going to say anything, love this frolicky dude!!!
    fear has got the best sides of you, you can say what you feel dude, just dont right your real email address, and use a computer that’s not yours, that way they wont kill you or anyone you know!!!!
    i love innocence of Muslims!!!! loved it!!!! Its about time, somebody got insuleted for a turn…. just have an awkward laugh and shake it off, mustafa!!! wait wait, i got it,\…. go kill someone your own size..hahahah lol lol

  9. Well frolicky, where is the peaceful Muslim, in the US, England, in many, many other countries other then the middle east, and not every single person in the middle east who is Muslim is protesting, in Tripoli, they had a pro US rally. Don;t paint a whole group with one stroke because you may be i n the group people decide to hate as a whole next.

  10. … Oh you wanted the entire population to go out protesting????
    One stroke, i am not pulling the feeds out of my butt, its out there, its not news that muslims are violent…their every day actions prove it, if they are a peaceful bunch they would actually sit back qnd take it, not enter into a nouse and kill ambassadors, burn flags and knock cops unconscious….still have no idea why you are defending them…. And i’ll give them another stroke when they show another side to their life:)

  11. YouTube has already edited MY videos, which were the SAME videos as posted by a news agency.

    The only difference is that I posted PROOF of what was really going on, and listed it in the description section of the video. I also posted in the comments section on the corruption of the police, Ohio State investigators, & the FBI.

    They violated their own rules to edit my video….(yeah, I read them…)

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