Here’s Grahamnesty twisting himself into a pretzel trying in vain to defend/justify his comments yesterday, at which he fails miserably and manages to offend everyone who holds the American flag dear by equating it with the Koran.
NRO: Some of my National Review colleagues are being pretty rough on you today. What is your response to some of the outrage on the right about your comments regarding free speech?
GRAHAM: General Petraeus sent a statement out to all news organizations yesterday, urging our government to [condemn] Koran burning. Free speech probably allows that, but I don’t like that. I don’t like burning the flag under the idea of free speech. That bothers me; I have been one of the chief sponsors of legislation against burning the flag. I don’t like the idea that these people picket funerals of slain servicemen. If I had my way, that wouldn’t be free speech. So there are a lot of things under the guise of free speech that I think are harmful and hateful. . . .
NRO: But don’t you understand the concerns about a U.S. senator determining the limits of free speech?
GRAHAM: Not really. Nobody said anything to me when I said that you can’t burn the flag. People say that is free speech, but I don’t agree. What I was saying is, if I could hold people accountable, I would. But I know that we can’t. I just don’t like the idea of free speech being used as a reason to put our troops at risk. They’ve got enough problems already. I really believe that responsibility ought to be part of free speech. You can’t yell “fire” in a theater. There are a lot of things that you can’t do under the guise of free speech. I just hate it when somebody here, some crazy person, acts in a way that puts our troops in jeopardy. I really feel the need to condemn that. To me, that is not a responsible use of free speech.
NRO: Couldn’t any kind of speech be interpreted as something that could put the troops at risk? Something the president says? Something a U.S. senator says? You could point to any speech and blame it for something.
GRAHAM: Well, that’s what I’m saying. I agree with that. We live in a free-speech society. But when Harry Reid said that the war was lost in Iraq, I didn’t like it. But he has the right to say it. I just want us to be responsible and realize that we are at war. I guess that is my point.
NRO: So you don’t want to do anything legally to limit speech. You’re making a political point.
GRAHAM: Right. I want to push back and say, “be responsible.” But I would vote for a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning, okay.
NRO: What about Koran burning?
GRAHAM: If not a particular act, I would like to be able to push back against things that put our troops in harm’s way, at home and abroad. But there is no way to regulate all of the speech that you are talking about. I am not suggesting that we have a constitutional amendment to ban Koran burning, or Bible burning, or anything else. I am suggesting that I wish that we could make people accountable.
John Difool adds:
Whoever sent King a bloody pigs foot please send this guy a rabid cougar.