In Germany, saying you’re “glad” Osama bin Laden is dead is a crime??
May 10, 2011 8 Comments
A German judge filed a criminal complaint against Chancellor Angela Merkel for saying she was “glad” Osama bin Laden was dead. (!)
He cites section 140 of the German Criminal Code, which forbids the “rewarding and approving” of crimes. In this case, Merkel endorsed a “homicide,” which is punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment or a fine. (!)
A month ago, I wrote that the UK, France and Egypt need a First Amendment. Desperately. Oh my must I urgently now add Germany.
Chancellor Merkel says she is “glad” Osama bin Laden is dead — and she faces criminal charges? Could political silliness get more profound? Has Europe gone completely bonkers?
Hang on — no problem insisting that the death of Osama bin Laden shouldn’t be an occasion to rejoice. Go with it. But… um… you say in Germany you’re glad Osama bin Laden is dead, and you’re looking at three years in jail??
This is an American gotcha’ moment. This is exactly how America’s First Amendment tradition confers adulthood on American political dialogue, while Europe languishes in childhood — for lack of a true free speech tradition.
On one thing Europeans enjoy agreeing: Americans are stupid.
But ask any American, should President Obama face criminal charges for welcoming the death of Osama bin Laden? Every American would sound profoundly intelligent. The First Amendment confers that intelligence on all Americans as a birthright.
Are Germans stupid?
No, Germans aren’t stupid — just a little behind Americans in recognizing the profound political value of free speech.