Oppose the Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

Action Alert: Contact your Senators today and urge them to refuse to pass the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. As I wrote a month ago, it's a thought crimes bill aimed at preventing domestic terrorism by judging the thoughts, including those expressed on the Internet, of American citizens.

From the National Lawyers Guild and the Society of American Law Teachers:

On October 23, 2007, the House of Representatives passed the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 by a vote of 404-6. The bill will be referred out of committee this week and will then go to the Senate floor. The National Lawyers Guild and the Society of American Law Teachers strongly oppose this legislation because it will likely lead to the criminalization of beliefs, dissent and protest, and invite more draconian surveillance of Internet communications.

This bill would establish a Commission to study and report on "facts and causes" of "violent radicalism" and "extremist belief systems." It defines "violent radicalism" as "adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change." The term "extremist belief system" is not defined; it could refer to liberalism, nationalism, socialism, anarchism, communism, etc.


"Ideologically based violence" is defined in the bill as the "use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual's political, religious, or social beliefs." Thus, "force" and "violence" are used interchangeably. If a group of people blocked the doorway of a corporation that manufactured weapons, or blocked a sidewalk during an anti-war demonstration, it might constitute the use of "force" to promote "political beliefs."

The bill charges that the Internet "has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens." This provision could be used to conduct more intrusive surveillance of our Internet communications without warrants.

This legislation does not criminalize conduct, but may well lead to criminalizing ideas or beliefs in violation of the First Amendment. By targeting the Internet, it may result in increased surveillance of Internet communications in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

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    The Bill doesn't criminalize anything. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 01:16:25 PM EST
    Lot's of overheated mongering around the net suggesting that the "findings'give the Administration new powers, when in fact it's empty rhetoric, plus pork. There is a real danger, tho, that in the wake of a future 'incident' a lazy Congress will succumb to demands tro "pass the Commission's Recomendations" without proper vetting. Remember the Democratic calls to "pass the 9/11 Commission;''s recomendations" leading to the creation of DHS.

    Meanwhile, the "Centers of Excellence" lend credibility to a cadre of selfserving "terrorism experts..'

    reparations for rights violations (none / 0) (#2)
    by Sumner on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 02:02:57 PM EST
    "Inalienable rights" are those rights that cannot be surrendered by citizens to the sovereign.

    They cannot legally be taken away, even when the laws which presume to do so are all gussied up it artful language like "PATRIOT Act".

    We really all should be figuring out the scope of reparations already due for those encroachments so far, nevermind those yet to come if we don't make a stand now.

    The People can demand those reparations, as it is clear that the courts have already been packed with dutiful totalitarian shills.

    If you understand government double-speak... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 02:55:34 PM EST
    you just know this bill is bad news.

    Just relax (none / 0) (#4)
    by LonewackoDotCom on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 03:28:45 PM EST
    No one should call about this bill, unless they're going to support it. President Clinton II will certainly use this bill wisely and to go after the real enemies of the state.

    Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (none / 0) (#5)
    by joejoejoe on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 04:07:20 PM EST
    This bill has been read twice in the SHSGAC and there is no action scheduled as far as I can tell. The equivalent Senate bill S. 1959 is sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins and only has one co-sponsor. My guess is Chairman Lieberman will offer his own bill that is far worse than S. 1959.

    Giving authoritarians their due (none / 0) (#6)
    by aahpat on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 04:16:04 PM EST
    While new legislation out of this fundamentally right-wing authoritarian congress will not be any good for America or our constitutional form of government there are issues percolating in our nation's social structure that could lead to massive anarchic or social justice insurrection any day soon. I have been writing about these issues for awhile.

    This is a letter that I sent to my U.S. senator, Bob Casey, on the potential. Seeds of Insurrection in America's Field of Dreams...

    And this I wrote awhile back. U.S. drug war prisons: "A Radicalizing Cauldron"

    According to the newly released New York City Police Department report, "Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat" (PDF) by Mitchell D. Silber and Arvin Bhatt Senior Intelligence Analysts NYPD Intelligence Division, prisons are "A Radicalizing Cauldron".

    "Prisons can play a critical role in both triggering and reinforcing the radicalization process. The prison's isolated environment, ability to create a "captive audience" atmosphere, its absence of day-to-day distractions, and its large population of disaffected young men, makes it an excellent breeding ground for radicalization."

    Gee. And America has the largest prison population on the planet. The drug war, that has created America's world record prison population, permanently criminalizes millions of Americans consigning them to the heavily armed, contemptuous of life and the rule of law black market distribution of illegal intoxicants.

    All that this nation needs is a spark.

    Left/Right strings handled by SAME PUPPETEERS (none / 0) (#7)
    by davboz on Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 12:23:39 AM EST
    Trolling is not tolerated here. Any comment may be deleted by a site admin, and all trolls will be deleted. This is fair warning

    Interesting. Aren't you doing what you are opposing in this bill? Why is it up to you to determine what the easily ill-defined term "trolling" really means?
    ALSO This is not an issue of the left by ANY means.Watch Hillary in office and the thing works in the favor of the left.(disregarding complications of Congress,etc.)
    And don't you all realize that issues of "the left" like global warming and socialized medicine are just sneakier ways of the same monster?They are after control OF YOU !
    ALSOPlease suggest how to eliminate radical muslims,or otherwise,from broadcasting signals to terrorists who will blow up your family; who really ARE sending violent messages of destruction.