Controversial blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia was the victim of a car bomb yesterday afternoon. The bomb was powerful enough to leave a 6-foot deep crater. Investigations are still ongoing but it is presumed and widely accepted that the charred cadaver found belongs to Daphne herself.
The murder of Ms. Caruana Galizia has been described as a threat against freedom of expression and even an act of terrorism. From actually studying terrorism I can confidently assert that the terrorists’ intent is almost never to kill “a few” people but to scare a much larger section of the population into changing their behaviour. If that is the case, the best way to protect freedom of speech is to keep stating what, after thorough research and honest analysis, you believe to be true.
Ms. Caruana Galizia was an opinion Columnist on the “Malta Independent” a newspaper owned by the troubled Midi Consortium, Malta Post’s Joe Said, and other local businessmen. However, most of her writing was carried out on her personal blog; which was also her full-time occupation. She was mostly known for gossip blogging, pseudo-investigative journalism, and the vilification of anyone who disagreed with her or her clique.
A long time critic of the Labour Party she had recently turned most of her guns towards the new PN Leader Adrian Delia and his circle. Daphne Caruana Galizia had accused the new PN leader of having ties with drug trafficking, offshore accounts, and prostitution rackets.
I have always profoundly believed in freedom of speech, and while DCG’s (and some others’) behaviour contribute to make me healthily question my stance periodically – I never changed it. Rights come part and parcel with responsibilities, and being able to broadcast statements in public is subject to the ability to substantiate them. Disagreements should be solved through dialogue, civil debate, or (in extreme cases) Court action, never violence. Everyone deserves the right to express their opinion no matter how outrageous, stupid, or misguided it may be – no one should be killed for it.
Always controversial Daphne Caruana Galizia definitely knew how to “make news” and elicit a reaction, perpetually putting herself and her blog in the eye of the storm. Whether to gulp up every word she wrote, vent their disagreement, or sheer curiosity she mastered the art of coercing people to flock to her site which is how she managed to create one of the most commercially successful blogs in Malta.