Friday, April 18, 2003

Freedom of Speech?

This story in InfoWorld is about the DARPA grant that got pulled from the Univ. of Pennsylvania, because the man in charge of the project made anti-war comments in the press. In the Globe and Mail piece deRaadt said the current U.S. war against Iraq "sickens" him. De Raadt also said he was uncomfortable taking money from the U.S. military, but "I try to convince myself that our grant means a half of a cruise missile doesn't get built." Then he wonders why the funding got pulled. He simply got his wish!

What really gets me though is his parting comment: "Freedom of speech in the U.S.doesn't apply to noncitizens." Last time I checked, freedom of speech meant that you were free to say whatever you want, which he did. It doesn't mean that you'd be free from consequences for that speech. Nobody put him in jail or threatened him with bodily harm. They simply gave him what he asked for. Now, I guess you could argue that the government shouldn't take action against you for political speach and I'd buy that. It comes down to grant money and the conditions for receiving it, I suppose.  

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