". . . but everyone's afraid to use it"

Jimmy Breslin continues to cover the war from the subways of New York.

This subway is my base for this war, the subways of the city, a battlefield that could be the most important action in the war. Because you can lose through enemy action, an attack on the subway now, and 10 and 20 years from now, or by your own people snatching freedom from you on the grubby pretext of security.
Yesterday afternoon Breslin sat at the counter of a coffee shop at the Port Authority Bus Terminal while on the wall CNN enjoyed a coffee counter exclusive on showing the war.
Now on television was a story about Peter Arnett, a correspondent in Baghdad for NBC, who was fired for saying something on Arab television in Baghdad. His words were about the same as what is reported on television and newspapers here.

It was silly for Arnett to go on the Arab television because they were only going to steal it from Arnett's NBC anyway.

However, if Arnett said this on Arab television because NBC wouldn't let him say it to America, then there is deep trouble.

Newsday's intrepid reporter ends his column today with an anecdote culled from years of professional duties sitting with New York's most quotable bar and cafe denizens.
Perched on a barstool [years ago] in the old Costello's on 44th Street, visitor I.I. Rabi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for the CAT scan and MRI, and who also was a consulting engineer on the first atom bomb, told us:

"It is a fact in this country that you have free speech. But everybody is afraid to use it."

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Published on April 1, 2003 1:01 PM.

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