. . . or HR: 1955 and why you've never heard of it.
Until quite recently, I hadn't even heard of HR 1955: the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, sponsored by none other than the Honorable? Rep. Jane Harman, [D - CA]. Now I'm no Constitutional scholar, but a quick reading of this bill sent shivers down by spine, right through to my toes. Like I said, I'm no expert, but this frightening piece of legislation, which has already passed the House 404-6, makes the Military Commissions Act and the Patriot Act look like minor bumps along the road to tyranny.
Check this . . . .
The full text of this legislation can be read here, from Guvtrack.us. If you follow the hyperlink, you'll find that the first two, very long sections of the bill (899C & 899D) establish a very capitalized NATIONAL COMMISSION ON THE PREVENTION OF VIOLENT RADICALIZATION AND IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE, as well as CENTER OF EXCELLENCE FOR THE STUDY OF VIOLENT RADICALIZATION AND HOMEGROWN TERRORISM IN THE UNITED STATES.
What are "violent radicalization and ideologically-based violence?"--besides a great big mouthful of fear-mongering? Who knows? Where are they? Everywhere I guess! They aren't really defined in the bill, although I'm sure with great folks like Jane Harman and Bennie Reichert behind this language, we can safely assume that it's a huuuuuuuge problem. We are told in the "findings" section that:
' (2) The promotion of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence exists in the United States and poses a threat to homeland security.
`(3) 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.
`(4) While the United States must continue its vigilant efforts to combat international terrorism, it must also strengthen efforts to combat the threat posed by homegrown terrorists based and operating within the United States.
So granted, those Homegrown terrorists are probably in my closet right now; and granted my friendly government is just trying to expose the evil homegrown terrorists from wherever in my house it is that they choose to lurk. Thanks folks . . . particularly sponsors: Rep. Jane Harman [D-CA]; Rep. Christopher Carney [D-PA]; Del. Donna Christensen [D-VI]; Rep. Yvette Clarke [D-NY]; Rep. Charles Dent [R-PA]; Rep. Norman Dicks [D-WA]; Rep. Al Green [D-TX]; Rep. James Langevin [D-RI]; Rep. Zoe Lofgren [D-CA]; Rep. Nita Lowey [D-NY]; Rep. Daniel Lungren [R-CA]; Rep. Ed Perlmutter [D-CO]; Rep. Ted Poe [R-TX]; Rep. Dave Reichert [R-WA]; and Rep. Bennie Thompson [D-MS]. GOOD LOOKIN OUT!!
Frankly, it's not really the establishment of these Homegrown Terrorism and Violent Radicalization Commissions & "Centers for Excellence in the Study Ofs" that I have a problem with, although I no doubt could spend a few thousand words on how god-damned paranoid and fear-shilling our corpstate has become.
But having established this wonderful wonderful Homegrown Terror and Commission and Center, this bill moves forward into a couple of more sections, that are masterfully unspecific, and a little more frightening:
`SEC. 899E. PREVENTING VIOLENT RADICALIZATION AND HOMEGROWN TERRORISM THROUGH INTERNATIONAL COOPERATIVE EFFORTS.
`(a) International Effort- The Secretary [of Homeland Security] shall, in cooperation with the Department of State, the Attorney General, and other Federal Government entities, as appropriate, conduct a survey of methodologies implemented by foreign nations to prevent violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism in their respective nations.
So we're gonna ask other nations how they handle violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism. Probably folks like Musharraff, or maybe Vlad Putin. You know, good people. I'm sure Myanmar (Burma) has a big problem with homegrown radicals these days, they'll know just what to do. Here's the fun part:
`(b) Implementation- To the extent that methodologies are permissible under the Constitution, the Secretary shall use the results of the survey as an aid in developing, in consultation with the Attorney General, a national policy in the United States on addressing radicalization and homegrown terrorism.The Secretary of Homeland Security - which as I recall can already knock down your door and haul you off - can develop a policy "addressing" the huuuuuuuge "problem" of "radicalization and homegrown terrorism." To be fair, the language does say the they must do it "to the extent that methodologies are permissible under the Constitution." I'm sure that makes us all feel a lot better, given that this "Administration" thinks waterboarding Constitutional.
I'm not trying to fear-monger here. Certainly we don't need more of that, but this legislation is pretty fucking fishy if you ask me. What's more scary is that the thing passed 404-6 just a couple of weeks ago! 404-6!!! (Thank you Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich - as near as I can tell the only Democrat to vote against this turd of a bill.)
What's more scary than that, is that this is probably the first time you've ever heard of it. There has been virtually no coverage, or outcry against this bill that I'm aware of.
If there's any good news to this (apparent) non-story it's that it hasn't passed the Senate yet.
CALL YOUR SENATORS NOW! This legislation cannot be allowed to become law. It's a complete disaster for civil liberties, and God only knows what someone like Bush, Cheney, and Chertoff would do with complete approval to go after some ill-defined "homegrown terrorist."
ARE YOU A HOMEGROWN TERRORIST?
STOP HR 1955!