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Hillary Clinton Channels FDR in Internet Freedom Speech

Some people call us Hillary Die Hards like that’s a *bad* thing.  But there’s a reason we supported her for president of the US.  She leads from her principles.

That’s it.  The whole shebang.  We didn’t think she was perfect or transformative or a magical change agent.  We figured that she’d piss us off occasionally.  But in general, there’s a bedrock foundation of belief and commitment to her values and we can pretty much predict what side she’s going to come down on an issue.

That’s why the speech she gave yesterday at the Newseum in Washington came as no surprise to me.  The earthquake in Haiti has obscured the seismic activity in China that occurred last week when Google refused to continue censoring its search engine for the Chinese audience at their government’s demands.  It is also alleged that government sanctioned hackers have accessed 40 0r more companies, including Google, in order to look for information on Chinese dissidents and to steal source code and intellectual property.  These are very serious allegations.  Censorship and persecution of dissidence  are abhorrent and anyone who works with proprietary information in large databases knows how valuable that information is.

Yesterday, Hillary threw down the gauntlet and committed the State Department to preserving and extending the ability of all countries to use the internet as a means of expression, commerce, education and connection with each other.  Here’s a small sample of that speech:

On their own, new technologies do not take sides in the struggle for freedom and progress, but the United States does. We stand for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas. And we recognize that the world’s information infrastructure will become what we and others make of it. Now, this challenge may be new, but our responsibility to help ensure the free exchange of ideas goes back to the birth of our republic. The words of the First Amendment to our Constitution are carved in 50 tons of Tennessee marble on the front of this building. And every generation of Americans has worked to protect the values etched in that stone.

Franklin Roosevelt built on these ideas when he delivered his Four Freedoms speech in 1941. Now, at the time, Americans faced a cavalcade of crises and a crisis of confidence. But the vision of a world in which all people enjoyed freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear transcended the troubles of his day. And years later, one of my heroes, Eleanor Roosevelt, worked to have these principles adopted as a cornerstone of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They have provided a lodestar to every succeeding generation, guiding us, galvanizing us, and enabling us to move forward in the face of uncertainty.

So as technology hurtles forward, we must think back to that legacy. We need to synchronize our technological progress with our principles. In accepting the Nobel Prize, President Obama spoke about the need to build a world in which peace rests on the inherent rights and dignities of every individual. And in my speech on human rights at Georgetown a few days later, I talked about how we must find ways to make human rights a reality. Today, we find an urgent need to protect these freedoms on the digital frontiers of the 21st century.

There are many other networks in the world. Some aid in the movement of people or resources, and some facilitate exchanges between individuals with the same work or interests. But the internet is a network that magnifies the power and potential of all others. And that’s why we believe it’s critical that its users are assured certain basic freedoms. Freedom of expression is first among them. This freedom is no longer defined solely by whether citizens can go into the town square and criticize their government without fear of retribution. Blogs, emails, social networks, and text messages have opened up new forums for exchanging ideas, and created new targets for censorship.

As I speak to you today, government censors somewhere are working furiously to erase my words from the records of history. But history itself has already condemned these tactics. Two months ago, I was in Germany to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The leaders gathered at that ceremony paid tribute to the courageous men and women on the far side of that barrier who made the case against oppression by circulating small pamphlets called samizdat. Now, these leaflets questioned the claims and intentions of dictatorships in the Eastern Bloc and many people paid dearly for distributing them. But their words helped pierce the concrete and concertina wire of the Iron Curtain.

There was a reason why Hillary voted no on retroactive immunity for telecomms in the FISA legislation.  It wasn’t to make Obama look bad.  He did that all on his own.  No, she wanted to protect our privacy so that we could call our president on his boneheaded moves without fear of retribution.

The full text of the speech and a video of the event is available at 21st Century Statecraft at State.gov.

Democrats who fear yesterday’s Supreme Court Ruling on corporate campaign donations should get crackin’.  The internet provides a wealth of low cost or free methods of spreading the word, like blogtalkradio, blogging, facebook.  Some candidates have made use of these tools but online media is still in its infancy and has the potential to reach a lot of people who might otherwise get their information from TV.  If you’d thrown your weight behind Hillary, you’d have a friend in the WH right now who would help you protect your precious access.  Looks like you’ll have to do this on your own now.  Get to work!

62 Responses

  1. it’s posts like this one that keep me here as a regular reader.

    thank you.

  2. She’s so amazing. Anywhere you put her, she does good.

  3. it is funny to see a decent post about Hillary at joetrippi.com, but here it is. Excerpt:

    FCC Chairman Julius Genachowsk praised Clinton’s address: “Secretary Clinton’s inspiring remarks are a compelling argument for the power of Internet freedom to promote economic opportunity and the rights of all people,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowsk.

    And Leslie Harris, President of the Center for Democracy and Technology said:

    “We applaud Secretary Clinton for placing global Internet freedom at the heart of 21st century diplomacy. This is a critical moment in the evolution of the Internet. Authoritarian regimes are remaking the Internet into a tool of political control; meanwhile, democratic countries are struggling to manage old social ills in the new digital world. The United States must take bold action to ensure that the global Internet remains a powerful force for democracy and human rights, Secretary Clinton’s speech is an historic first step toward that end.”

  4. In case I didn’t make it clear to the congressional lurkers, and I know you’re there, give her money. Whatever she asks for. You would be helping yourselves and us. She’s asking for ciders and application specialists to volunteer their efforts. Better still would be to fund her efforts generously and specifically to require that she hire Americans to do the work.
    Time’s a-wastin’. Don’t put it off. You have very little time left and you spent far too much of it already giving in to the right. Fix your messaging apparatus and fight back before the right wing nannies block us by conjuring up kiddie porn scenarios.

  5. Obama is no different from the Chinese. He wants to control the internet for the same reasons they do.

  6. I’m new to this blog and happy to find you.

    • It seems there are a lot of new people here at TC.

      I am curious – how did you find us?

      I can’t remember exactly how I got here early on but it saved my life because it lowered my blood pressure.

    • Welcome Yeaoh425. Don’t be a stranger.

  7. It’s a great speech, the whole thing. Also reads like a call to action to her supporters. 🙂

  8. thanks for this–she is incredible. OT–has anyone considered what the letting loose of the corp. hounds by the SCOTUS decision will be affected by foreign corp. money?

    • I’ve seen it mentioned on twitter. It’s very scary.

    • If we start pointing out that this will allow Chinese corporations and corporations based in countries friendly to Al-Qaida to buy the politicians who are supposed to be working for Us The People, we might actually awaken some of our tea-partying fellow citizens to the nature of the REAL, corporate-supremacist enemy.

  9. More Obama Populist Duplicity
    -Clinton Backstabbing?

    HOW appropriate it’s happening today in Ohio:

    Obama is in Ohio today at a town hall test driving his new aggressive populist push on jobs: Bad banks tp big me tough guy “If these folks want a fight, it’s a fight I’m ready to have,” Obama said.

    And simultaneously reported in the non US media UK Reuters this:

    A sources, speaking anonymously LEAKS THAT U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has expressed some skepticism behind closed doors about the broad bank limits proposed on Thursday by his boss, President Barack Obama, according to financial industry sources.

    For those that don’t recall during the Ohio Primaries Obama got caught playing the same game………….

    Obama send out mailers promises Ohio Voters he will: “use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage” to renegotiate NAFTA on his own terms.

    And simultaneously reported in the non US media Canada CTV this:

    Canada’s CTV television network reported that, in early February, a representative of the Obama campaign assured Canadian officials that they need not take Obama’s NAFTA threats seriously

    Axelrove take a hint we may be rubes but we are smart rubes!

    • Yes, he’s in my old hometown Lorain, making some more promises I’m sure.

    • “If these folks want a fight, it’s a fight I’m ready to have,” Obama said.

      OMG, he said that so many times during the primary debates. What a f*cking liar!

      • He sounds like such a baby. Like he has his little pretend war chest and is gonna take his plastic guns and hammers and make people do what he wants. B0=Plastic President Petulant. (and what you said)

      • He really knows how to stand tough; of course, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and Nelson, and Stupak and GM and Chrysler and Goldman and AIG and the big financial 3 and, and, and—-have backed him down—but he is tough. YOU BETCHA.

      • He’s back in campaign mode….it worked once, he thinks it will work again. Was that a stump speech, or WHAT?!

        He’s never, ever shown himself to fight for anything that was good for the people…some people behind him didn’t look like they were buying it, though 🙂

    • Isn’t Obama saying he’s ready to fight getting to be like the boy who cried wolf? It seems a little late for that now. He spent his first year hosting gala events at the White House, golfing, picking out a dog, jetting around for dates and dinners in Air Force One, letting others write legislation, delegating the tough negotiations and not appearing to do a heck of a lot of hard work (just like in all his prior positions). All just a bit too passive for POTUS, but for some reason his supporters liked that aspect of his personality. He was cool and detached ya know–above the fray. How did they think that was actually going to work in actual practice?

  10. And meanwhile, in the papers in states where voters picked her in the primary, the regrets are now headlines(and articles)

  11. psst Gov Strickland get out of the photo shot Obama’s test driving a politcal retread that’s going to blow!

  12. Thanks for this RD – let’s re-elect Hillary in 2012! She got the most primary votes the first time – would they dare take them away again???? 🙄

  13. As time goes on, I become more and more of a Hillary Clinton admirer. I’m so proud to have voted for her in 2008, and so embarrassed that I orginally thought John Edwards would be better. I guess I bought into the CDS at some level, but never again will I fall for the media propaganda!

  14. She’s so fabulous!

    OT, but this article is right wing, but is a real warning to the Dems. Some may disagree with me, but I’ve been saying for AGES that the whole tea party thing was not ONLY a fringe group of crazy neo-cons (though the right establishment have done their best to co-opt it.) It doesn’t even matter if the thing was “astro-turfed” in the beginning – by the time the thing mushroomed it was out of even their control. The point is that real people were very angry, and it is STUPIDITY to ignore and dismiss that. Look beyond the handful of laughable signs to the REAL issues underneath.

    The reason both wings of American liberalism — congressional and mainstream media — were so surprised at the force of anti-Democratic sentiment is that they’d spent Obama’s first year either ignoring or disdaining the clear early signs of resistance: the tea-party movement of the spring and the town-hall meetings of the summer. With characteristic condescension, they contemptuously dismissed the protests as the mere excrescences of a redneck, retrograde, probably racist rabble.

    You would think lefties could discern a proletarian vanguard when they see one. Yet they kept denying the reality of the rising opposition to Obama’s social democratic agenda when summer turned to fall and Virginia and New Jersey turned Republican in the year’s two gubernatorial elections.


    Yep. Dumber than a box of rocks, these Dems. Told ya so. What would have happened if the Democrats had been the ones to jump on and co-opt that populist anger for themselves? Say “Yes, I hear you, and here is what we are going to do about it…” Instead, the stupid fuckers called the People raycist morons on the loony fringe. They are trying to hop on the train now, but it’s too little too late.

    God, I cannot believe how dumb the current Democrats are.

    • That’s why I think there is no real left in the USA. The so-called left can’t recognize the proletariat even when it is shaking its fist in their faces.

      • Yep. And they allowed the right to be the ONLY ones who were offering an respect for that anger. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

        • Grrrrrrrrr! Sorry, but I am still fuming here. The freaking Republicans said “We hear you” (even though many of their solutions are wrong), and the Left said….um…um…..

          “Go away and shut up, you peons!”

          • Mike Nichols and Elaine May said of Obama’s neighborhood: “Hyde Park, black and white together, shoulder to shoulder against the lower classes.”

            That could’ve been the slogan of the Obama campaign.

    • Some may disagree with me, but I’ve been saying for AGES that the whole tea party thing was not ONLY a fringe group of crazy neo-cons (though the right establishment have done their best to co-opt it.) It doesn’t even matter if the thing was “astro-turfed” in the beginning – by the time the thing mushroomed it was out of even their control. The point is that real people were very angry, and it is STUPIDITY to ignore and dismiss that. Look beyond the handful of laughable signs to the REAL issues underneath.

      I have been harping on this too. The GOP exploited populist frustration yes, however there is real and deep frustration there for them to exploit. Tea party ideology is anathema to me, but I believe in attacking their IDEAS, not their exercise of their right to protest.

      • In order to believe that it’s all hard-core rightwing ideologues at those rallies and townhalls, you have to believe that a substantial portion of this country is truly hard hard right. I don’t believe that. There are a lot of centrist and moderate people gravitating to that movement for reasons that have little to do with ideology, and a lot to do with being abused by BOTH parties, and not being HEARD by anyone else.

        Saying “Pfffft, just a bunch o wingers” was a really bad move.

        • and they labeled them an unpatriotic mob! The DNC turned into the RNC right before our eyes.

        • I certainly have agreed with you take on all of this and have observed here in NJ that the Tea Parties here were made up of many, MANY Independents. The average Joe caught on to O early on but didn’t know what to do about it – in fact there has been a great deal of “why can we impeach this guy” talk in this neck of the woods.

          No, it’s not just the right wing who saw that this emperor has no clothes. But then we knew that very early on – even before he was crowned emperor.

        • Jon Stewart

          Just got around to that Jon Stewart take-down of Olbermann. Good stuff. Still don’t know if I can watch John or Stephen regularly yet, but man, Olbermann and his ilk make the left look like raving idiots. The words KO uses to describe Michelle Malkin, on mainstream media, despicable.

          • The man’s a misogynist a$$. KO calling Scott Brown sexist was a most absurd pot/kettle moment.

        • You can only disdain folks and ask “where you gonna go?” so many times before they figure out some place to go. B0’s disregard for common American’s was on full display during the primary, and it is eventually going to bite him, big time.

    • Yes, but we resisted first, and we were the first to be disdained and ignored.

      • Yep. We were the original clueless uneducated rayscist Republican ratfuckers. I wear the badge proudly.

  15. Gotta love this: The executive editor of the National Enquirer says he plans to enter his paper’s work on the John Edwards scandal for a Pulitzer Prize.


  16. Hill-a-ree! Hill-a-ree! Hill-a-ree!


    • I can’t completely doubt a 2012 run. Especially now that there will be no health care.

      “it is a fight I will continue until every single American is insured – no exceptions, no excuses”.

  17. Awesome post, RD and it just reminds us of what could have been.

  18. Go Hillary Go!

  19. You do realize that the clearest liberal initiatives of this administration come from our SOS. She put the US squarely in front of women’s rights internationally; this initiative that is such a clarion call for universal freedom of speech and information is another liberal leg. And in typical Hillary fashion it is not just words but she stakes a claim and outlines a plan for what is needed to make it happen. If Eleanor Roosevelt were alive today, she would be HRC political godess mother; Eleanor is her muse.

  20. I want to add my support to the comments of those above who note that the rude dismissal of the tea party crowd by the Obots and the One in particular was a big mistake. It struck all the wrong notes and that first impression can never be erased. There is no way that O can connect with that populist discontent now; he has burned his bridges or had them burned for him. WMCB mentioned that she thought Os CDS would inevitably hurt him; I agree and I think the other thing that adds critical weight to this destructive force is the arrogance and disdain for others, particularly the working class and traditional Dems like us. Nothing captures the littleness of the man’s mind like his giving the finger to HRC and symbolically brushing her off. That says more than words or pictures.

  21. …” Nothing captures the littleness of the man’s mind like his giving the finger to HRC and symbolically brushing her off. That says more than words or pictures” oh how true, that’s when i said this man is a pompous ass and will never get my vote.
    Thank you RD for this overview and substitive report on our hero. The one thing you can always count on is Hillarys ability to call us all to stand up and take action!! I read every speech she gives, and always she gives us ways to see what can be done.

  22. It can’t have escaped notice that Hillary is the only one actually implementing Change! out of the whole administration so far.

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