When Will the Bird Really Be Free?
Twitter suspends Scott Ritter yet again.
In last week’s episode of Ask the Inspector, I objected when Scott Ritter criticized Elon Musk more harshly than I felt the new Twitter owner deserves. On the other hand, I lauded Scott’s basic strategy, which is to aggressively demand immediate reinstatement rather than docilely waiting and hoping. It’s just that when Elon said he needed some time to figure out whose accounts should be restored, it seemed reasonable.
His failure to commit to a specific date was annoying and worrisome, but I was at first willing to cut Elon some slack. Now that he has reinstated Dr. Stella Immanuel’s account, however, forcing Scott to endure a prolonged vetting process won’t wash.
It’s now clear Elon needs to be made aware that Scott’s massive worldwide audience isn’t going to tolerate the inexplicable shunning any longer. I still say there’s no need to be hostile toward a potentially important ally. But I’m hoping that so many of Scott’s supporters tweet at Elon as I did Monday night, he simply won’t be able to avoid making a decision, and making the right one.
Dr. Immanuel should not have had her account suspended, and I’m glad she’s back on Twitter. However, a physician is entitled to no more free speech protection than a geopolitical/military affairs expert who opines on matters of war and peace. Elon has himself generated controversy by provocatively addressing the Russia-Ukraine conflict, a clear sign that such commentary is hardly a punishable offense. Yet Scott Ritter is being punished for exactly the same thing. As he explained in his most recent Substack post, Scott’s supposedly unforgivable sin was to tweet this assessment: “The Ukrainian National Police committed numerous crimes against humanity in Bucha.”
Let’s give Elon Musk a chance to say it’s permissible to express such opinions on Twitter. Let’s give him no chance at all to continue avoiding the issue. Tell the Chief Twit he should reinstate Scott’s account immediately.