Posted By Joseph Klein On September 23, 2010
Kathy Shaidle, who resides in Canada where protection of free speech is weak to say the least, has unfortunately run right into the George Soros’ legal buzz saw. Threatened with a lawsuit by Soros’ Canadian counsel for referencing and excerpting from an article in the Toronto Sun which claimed that George Soros, as a teenager in his native land of Hungary, had “collaborated with the Nazis,” Kathy revised her post and removed the reference.
Ironically, the main thrust of Kathy’s post was an ongoing effort by Avaaz.org, a left-wing organization that is supported by the George-Soros- funded MoveOn.org, to suppress free speech in Canada . Avaaz filed a petition to keep Sun TV News from getting a license for the rarest of phenomena in Canada – a non-leftist, politically incorrect news channel.
Part of the rationale given by Soros’ legal counsel for demanding that Kathy take down the portion of her post referring to Soros’ alleged behavior as a teenager in Hungary was that the Toronto Sun had retracted the claim and apologized. However, it turns out, the Toronto Sun did so only after having received the same threat of legal action in Canada from Soros’ legal counsel.
Soros and his legal-eagle bullies are exploiting Canada’s defamation laws to suppress free speech, something they know would not work in the United States. It’s the legal counterpart to the political bullying being used to keep a conservative voice off the Canadian airwaves.
By way of background, under Canadian common law, defamation covers any communication that tends to lower the esteem of the subject in the minds of ordinary members of the public. Statements that are probably true but considered harmful are not excluded, nor are political opinions. Intent is always presumed, and it is not necessary to prove that the defendant intended to defame.
Canada even goes further in its criminal law. The crime of defamatory libel is punishable by up to two years in prison. Defamatory libel is defined as “matter published, without lawful justification or excuse, that is likely to injure the reputation of any person by exposing him to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or that is designed to insult the person of or concerning whom it is published.”
Fortunately, in the United States, Soros cannot hide as easily behind such legal barriers to free speech. He would be considered what the U.S. Supreme Court has defined as a “public figure.” Therefore, under the “actual malice” legal test protecting things said or written about public figures established by the landmark 1964 U.S. Supreme Court case New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, Soros could win a libel or defamation suit only if he could demonstrate the publisher’s “knowledge that the information was false” or that the information was published “with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.”
How can anyone know with reasonable certainty what Mr. Soros did or believed as a teenager in Nazi-ruled Hungary unless we are forced to take his own word for it - expressed years after the fact – as the undisputed version of what happened?
The whole issue of Soros’ teenage experiences would not likely have come up but for Soros’ own tendency to throw the Nazi epithet at policies he decides are threatening his vision of the ideal society. For example, Soros was quoted as saying this about President Bush’s war on terrorism:
We are working
with a very false frame when we talk about a ‘war on terror,’ and yet it is universally accepted. President Bush is exploiting it even further ahead of these elections. I would voice my concerns about the similarities between this administration and the Nazis and communist regimes.”
Soros also related the Bush administration to his own early years living under Nazi and Soviet rule.
When I hear Bush say, ‘You’re either with us or against us’, it reminds me of the Germans. My experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule have sensitized me.
Are those experiences under Nazi rule which Soros invokes fair game to examine? Is it legitimate for reporters to question Soros’ account of those experiences, particularly when Soros has chosen to speak about them himself as providing him with some sort of unique moral authority to denounce policies that he disagrees with?
Consider Soros’ own admission on 60 Minutes that he felt no remorse for whatever role, if any, he may have played in connection with the confiscation of Jewish property as he accompanied his Christian godfather on his rounds. Here is an extended excerpt from the 60 Minutes transcript.
KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.
Mr. SOROS: Yes. Yes.
KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.
Mr. SOROS: Yes. That’s right. Yes.
KROFT: I mean, that’s–that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?
Mr. SOROS: Not–not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don’t–you don’t see the connection. But it was–it created no–no problem at all.
KROFT: No feeling of guilt?
Mr. SOROS: No.
KROFT: For example that, ‘I’m Jewish and here I am, watching these people go. I could just as easily be there. I should be there.’ None of that?
Mr. SOROS: Well, of course I c–I could be on the other side or I could be the one from whom the thing is being taken away. But there was no sense that I shouldn’t be there, because that was–well, actually, in a funny way, it’s just like in markets–that if I weren’t there–of course, I wasn’t doing it, but somebody else would–would–would be taking it away anyhow. And it was the–whether I was there or not, I was only a spectator, the property was being taken away. So the–I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt.? (George Soros, 60 Minutes interview transcript, December 20, 1998)
Years after his searing childhood experience in Nazi-occupied Hungary, and while living as a mature adult in the United States, Soros admitted that he felt not the slightest bit of guilt knowing that his savior was busy confiscating the property of Jews who were not so lucky as Soros was. He said he was just a “spectator.” That’s his story and he is sticking to it, using the threat of lawsuits where he can to knock down any other version.
As a teenager living in fear in Nazi-ruled Hungary, George Soros did what he believed he had to do to survive, which is perfectly understandable. But what is highly disturbing to many people is the amoral detachment with which he looks at that experience today. Soros’ casual comparison of what he witnessed being taken away from Jews in Nazi-ruled Hungary to the “markets” is beyond comprehension.
Soros’ amoral detachment from the consequences of his actions also permeates his financial dealings in the market. Here is an excerpt from Soros’ 2003 interview on PBS with David Brancaccio
BRANCACCIO: Does it worry you, for instance, that maybe some of your actions in the past would have hurt some people, when you withdrew capital from certain countries?
SOROS: Yes. No, you see you can’t… as a market participant, if you want to be successful, I think you just have to look out for your own interests.
BRANCACCIO: It sounds amoral.
BRANCACCIO: It sounds amoral.
SOROS: It is amoral. Now, it’s very often understood and understood as immoral. And that is a very different, being immoral. If you hurt people deliberately or you know, that’s immoral. If you break the law, that’s immoral. If you play by the rules, that is the market itself is amoral.
If you impose morality on it, it means that you are actually with your hands tied behind your back and you’re not going to be successful. It’s extremely hard to be successful.
George Soros conducts his political interventions with the same attitude as he does his market interventions - he is not going to be successful in achieving his goals if his hands are tied behind his back. Thus, he feels entitled to go after, in any manner he chooses, any individuals or organizations whom he personally believes are a threat to his notion of a democratic society.
Yet George Soros seeks to tie his opponents’ hands behind their backs by unleashing his legal team and his Media Matters attack dogs to threaten and smear anyone who dares question his credibility.
What is George Soros afraid of?
Article printed from NewsReal Blog: http://www.newsrealblog.com