A better solution would be to stop clamping down on civil liberties, stop the spying on law-abiding Americans, listen with concern to the voice of the American people, follow up those concerns in actions to prove that concern as real, and stop opening up the purse to fund preemptive wars in which our own kids are needlessly dying for a lie. When people feel that they are “honored” and “heard”, and that they have legitimate resources, they are much less inclined to resort to desperate measures which themselves are a loud cry for justice.ARGUMENTS AGAINST S.1959/H.R.1955
“ To Establish the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism, and for other purposes.”
Full text of the bill:
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves”. ---William Pitt (the younger), House of Commons, November 1783
Referring to the title of your bill, let me ask you first, what exact “other purposes” are you referring to? Why are they not only undefined, but even unmentioned in the bill? What is the purpose of the wiggle room?
The message of this bill rings loud and clear: “Fear ye, fear ye thine American neighbor! The Homegrown AMERICAN terrorists are suddenly appearing out of the woodwork, and they are anywhere and everywhere!”
Such thought coaching is what preceded our rush to war with Iraq, and the attempted rush to war with Iran, which turned out to be based on hoaxes and soap bubbles anyway. And while Anthrax headliners across America taught every one of us to quake in our boots, and Washington residents were even urged to seal their windows with plastic, as it turned out the Anthrax managed to selectively target Democrats in public office. Your bill now echoes: Fear ye, fear ye!
In fact, the term "radical" may be misleading us Americans to think that you are referring to the dictionary's definition meaning "Carried to the farthest limit". However, the American Heritage Dictionary also defines the word "radical" as "favoring or effecting revolutionary changes, as in political organization". Yet your term "Violent Radicalization" leads the public to believe that "violence" is meant to signify physical violence. Could that be a misleading idea based on the title and text of your bill? Could it be that what you really mean here is doing "radical violence" to political agendas? That does not necessarily involve physical violence. Further, the government's agenda itself may be "radical" by attacking the fundaments of our Constitution.
Let me hereby unequivocally state, that I Never stand in favor of violent protests or Violent Anything. I am adamantly opposed to violence, period.
However, I also do favor the use of laws already in effect which are more than adequate for disciplining violence. And I further question the necessity, and frankly the motive, to target Any Particular Cross-sector of Society in Any Legislation. Further, to target free thought and not action, which the ACLU’s legislative director Caroline Frederickson says is just what this bill does, is unconstitutional. Being based on the targeting of thought itself, this bill is too flawed to be amended, and must be altogether scrapped: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/112907J.shtml
In addition to being unconstitutional, to target activists is an act of discrimination and, particularly when cloaked in the disguise of terrorist matters, is a very strategic move. To create a Commission on college campuses to study the thought patterns of the most vocal people in our country, namely our College Students, is even more strategic. The notion of Department of Homeland Security personnel walking around our colleges to “study” the thought patterns leading to “violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism” is spine-chilling. Government officials stomping our college grounds? Funded by our own tax dollars? Never!
While your bill states that “The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization….by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to the United States citizens” a Congressional meeting also targeted 9-11 truth researchers as “terrorists”. Therefore, your use of the word “terrorism” is to be questioned, as are your motives in targeting the internet as a “terrorist”-breeding propaganda machine.
What will follow the Commission’s recommendations? New legislation? Of what content/purpose? What scenarios will be generated? What actions? None of these questions are identified in your bill, let alone answered. It’s not only this bill standing alone, but especially the recommendations in follow-up to it which raise questions and concerns.
Ms Harmon and Ms Collins, may I ask you these questions outright:
1) Why use the legal terms that the Commission’s studies “should not” (a recommendation) affect civil liberties, yet the bill unequivocally states that the citizens “shall not” (an imperative) coerce the Government? Your motives to protect the Government’s best interest, but not that of the citizens, have been hereby confessed, in writing and even in proposed law.