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If I’ve learned one thing over the last seven excruciatingly-lonnnnngg years it has been this: whenever someone; anyone even loosely affiliated with the Bush regime utters any variation of the words in the title above, we’re about to lose another civil liberty.

Note: this subject was broached yesterday here. But, due to its importance, I believe this needs much more exposure -- hence today's effort.

This time it’s everyone’s favorite loathsome Independent Democrat; Connecticut senator Joseph Lieberman who uttered the pernicious pronouncement at the end of his report. Lieberman (through a grave injustice) still wields all the power in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Released yesterday, the committee report details a "growing threat" from terrorists’ use of the internet for training and recruiting. The report concludes that the U.S. government should consider its own outreach program as a counter to the Web strategies of groups such as al-Qaida.

A draft of the staff-generated report obtained by The Courant says that "radicalization is no longer confined to training camps in Afghanistan or other locations far from our shores; it is also occurring right here in the United States." The homeland security committee, led by Sen. Joseph Lieberman, has investigated "the threat of homegrown terrorism" in several hearings since last year.

The committee report characterizes the internet as an infinite resource with unlimited reach; tailor-made for terrorists attempting to recruit disaffected American youth:

The Hartford Courant is running the story:

"a multi-tiered online media operation in which a number of production units associated with [al-Qaeda] or allied violent Islamist organizations produce content consistent with the core terrorist enlistment message."

The "thousands" of terrorist-operated websites have become "an effective distribution system for the core enlistment message and other content," the report contends. There is no longer as much of a need, it suggests, for physical training camps.

The recently minted "independent Democrat," Lieberman, has been an uncompromising advocate of the war against terrorism, putting that issue above all others in his political life. So terrorism has also become a focus of his committee.

Despite the dubious absence of public pronouncements touting the thwarting of a number of them, Lieberman still lists various domestic plots in the reports foiled by U.S. law enforcement that it says were inspired by Islamist extremism – though -- "... not actually affiliated with known terrorism groups. Intelligence officials have characterized the foiled plots as "... not being very sophisticated."

In February, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell stated that "Their efforts, when disrupted, largely have been in the nascent phase, and authorities often were able to take advantage of poor operational tradecraft." But he followed up by saying that material on the internet could give future groups "... opportunities to build relationships and gain expertise that previously were available only in training camps."

The report contends that there are four stages of morphing a vulnerable person into a terrorist, as taught by New York Police Department specialists.

Left unchallenged, it is very possible that the core terrorist enlistment message espoused over the Internet will drive more individuals in the United States all the way through the four stages of the radicalization process," it says.

So, how would it be challenged? Right now "there is no cohesive and comprehensive outreach and communications strategy in place to confront this threat," the report says. Several agencies have existing, narrow missions, but the report argues for a more comprehensive approach. "We must isolate and discredit the violent Islamist ideology as a cause worth supporting."

In conclusion, the report states that new laws should be considered "... to prevent the spread of the ideology." And, those looking for solutions need to act, "... quickly and aggressively."

Leave it to Lieberman to take up the slack with the "Be very afraid" propaganda now that the Bush regime is halfway out the door and retain about as much credibility as Bush has brains. My problem with this whole "parsing the internet" legislature is that if terrorists’ using the internet for recruitment is that pervasive then why haven’t we heard anything about these multiple thwarted plots?

Does anyone really think if all this was true that the White House would keep it secret? Guess what; they think we’re not paying attention again. Now that the primaries are winding down, once again it’s time to man the phones to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and urge your senators to vote no on S.1959.

Please call. Contact information is on the Committee website.


Originally posted to markthshark on Fri May 09, 2008 at 06:01 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Lieberman's on da prowl again.. (12+ / 0-)

    "There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press" -- Mark Twain

    by markthshark on Fri May 09, 2008 at 06:01:55 PM PDT

  •  Why can't we assemble a bunch of experts (6+ / 0-)

    on risk analysis and simply put this whole thing into its proper perspective?  We do not need Chicken Little as a National leader.

    An idea is not responsible for who is carrying it. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Fri May 09, 2008 at 06:05:53 PM PDT

  •  good grief (6+ / 0-)

    what's next, a return of the Alien and Sedition Acts?

    a war on "ideology" makes me want to throw things.

    •  It's actually pretty bizarre. S.1959 calls for... (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avila, cotterperson, cosette, Simplify, cfk, KenBee

      a panel consisting of twelve members (life tenured) who would judge what is terrorist-related and what is not. That includes full spectrum internet surveillance.

      It means every word we speak on dkos is prone to scrutiny on whether we're diffusing terrorist-related discourse.

      It's bullshit and we must stop it.

      Please call.

      "There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press" -- Mark Twain

      by markthshark on Fri May 09, 2008 at 06:16:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mark: 'lock down the internet' ? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Avila, markthshark

        Cmon, you can make your case way better than that. Snooping justifications, privacy, waste of taxpayer money on these all...ALL encompassing projects that only serve to rake money from middle class taxpayers and funnel it to the upper class insiders and leave us with a false sense of (in)security...or as Merle says ''....but 'lockdown'?
         Hype gives me da rash.If you have a way to describe how this is a 'lockdown', have at it.

  •  Expose and shut down room 641A NOW! (6+ / 0-)

    We're pro-choice on everything! - Libertarian slogan

    by CA Libertarian on Fri May 09, 2008 at 06:10:50 PM PDT

  •  I love how the people who claim (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Avila, Translator, markthshark

    that they love America the most are the ones who like the constitution the least.

    This morning the LA Times published a blog post in the California section regarding a group of protesters. The writer said something like 'those hippies shout be arrested, tried and hung if they can't be good citizens.'

    It was either a Doug J type spoofer or a Republican who has no concept of what we are all about.

    •  Where did all these people come from? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike S

      I know many of us simply weren't paying attention for awhile but it's like we just woke up to find our country filled with fascists.

      They scurry like vermin.

      "There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press" -- Mark Twain

      by markthshark on Fri May 09, 2008 at 07:03:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is a matter of interest, take it if you will, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that the regressive (my new term, copyrighted for me for whom we used to call conservatives) mindset.  I find it interestisting that they can not conjugate their verbs properly, but, ignorance is a classic trait for those of that ilk.  Warmest regards, Doc.

      Sometimes I feel like Robert Louis Stevenson created me. -6.25, -6.05

      by Translator on Fri May 09, 2008 at 08:02:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We Democrats should strip Liberman of everything (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    immediately.  Then censure him for being a Republican, and then expel him from the Senate. It can be done, the rules allow it.  Better to smite him now than to have him next year.  Warmest regards, Doc.

    Sometimes I feel like Robert Louis Stevenson created me. -6.25, -6.05

    by Translator on Fri May 09, 2008 at 07:53:31 PM PDT

    •  And what is this Joementum (0+ / 0-)

      thing about personally examining McSames bearings earlier today?  That is pretty strange.  
      Warmest regards, Doc.

      Sometimes I feel like Robert Louis Stevenson created me. -6.25, -6.05

      by Translator on Fri May 09, 2008 at 07:56:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree wholeheartedly. He's backing a Republican (0+ / 0-)

      for president, for crissakes! That alone should at least strip his committee chair from him.

      "There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press" -- Mark Twain

      by markthshark on Fri May 09, 2008 at 08:04:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Harry Reid (0+ / 0-)

      says he won't strip him unless he speaks at the Republican National Convention in support of John McCain. Says Joementum votes with the Democrats as much as some other blue dogs.  

      The guy is shilling for the Republican candidate for President!  Expel him from the Party he doublecrossed to retain his seat in the Senate.


  •  Your diary has inspired me to contact my Senators (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Joe Lieberman and Chris Dodd. Yes, I'm from that conflicted New England state, Connecticut. Such a contrast in my Senators!

    My letter to Holy Joe states:

    Please vote NO to S.1959, a bill designed to further limit my freedoms to use the internet disguised as essential to protect my safety, and blame believers of certain religious ideologies in the face of Article VI of the Constitution of the United States.

    The Government has generally trended in the direction of wanting to snoop and violate my privacy, but historically this has been limited by legislators, sometimes on behalf of grassroots efforts. But since the terrorist attack of 9/11, the Government has made much more progress in this trend. There have been many successful and legal (but Constitutionally questionable) intrusions into my privacy. I think it’s time to stop, and time to stop blaming Muslims.

    The ironic thing to me is that just last week, you and Senator Specter introduced a bill that would protect freedom of the press. This mystifies me, that on the one hand you would support and even introduce legislation that would violate my freedom of the press, yet on the other support and introduce legislation that would protect it.

    And rather than mail it, I faxed it to the fax number available on his web page.

    And my comment on the fax cover sheet? I took a clue from the title of your diary: "Please reconsider your support for this. Anytime any version of the phrase 'Essential for the safety and liberty and rights of the people' is uttered from this Administration, I need to look out for mine."

    I refuse to let my pragmatism get in the way of my idealism.

    by JohnMac on Sun May 11, 2008 at 03:30:30 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for writing! (0+ / 0-)

      "There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press" -- Mark Twain

      by markthshark on Sun May 11, 2008 at 03:44:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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