Editor's note: Co-written by Oliver North and Tom Kilgannon.
Blacklist (n.): a list of persons who are disapproved of or are to be punished or boycotted.
The definition above, from an old Webster's dictionary, was common parlance in the late 1940s and early 1950s as the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee investigated subversive activity, Soviet espionage and pro-communist propaganda. The committee unearthed spies and traitors -- Alger Hiss among them. But when the HUAC turned its attention to Hollywood writers, directors and actors, civil libertarians cried foul. The American Civil Liberties Union and others insist those on the "Hollywood blacklist" were unfairly persecuted for exercising their constitutionally protected rights to freedom of assembly and speech.
Now there's a new-millennium blacklist for American patriots who fail today's political correctness test. Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, a highly decorated special operations soldier with 36 years of service in uniform, is the newest name on the roster. The silence from the "civil liberties lobby" is deafening.
It often is said that our soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen and Marines serve to "protect our freedoms" and "defend our liberties." All true. Now consider what took place this week at the United States Military Academy at West Point -- an institution responsible for training young men and women to protect America from those who mean us harm. West Point cadets take an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," and to "bear true faith and allegiance to the same." Many West Point graduates will deploy to fight radical Islamists who commit acts of terror against Americans and our allies.
Yet when the West Point National Prayer Breakfast convenes Feb. 8, the cadets will be deprived of hearing from a world-renowned expert on counterterrorism. Boykin was a founding member of the elite Delta Force. He commanded the Joint Special Operations Command and served as deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence. But this week, the Council on American-Islamic Relations put Boykin on the new blacklist. He won't be at West Point next week.
CAIR lobbied the academy's superintendent, Lt. Gen. David Huntoon, to rescind Boykin's invitation. Apparently, the self-esteem of Muslim cadets and Allah's adherents elsewhere would suffer lasting damage if Boykin -- who is unashamed of his Christian faith, an expert on radical Islam and one of the planet's foremost practitioners of unconventional warfare -- were to speak on those matters.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.