And to warn them not to fall into the trap
B) Last but not least, this S 1959-created division among the grassroots could be a very good topic to write about, right here on Opednews. I will be very interested to read your thoughts about how to effectively undercut the perhaps intentionally-created Great Divide.
Nobody can do anything TO us. We are the ones who ourselves engage in any given dynamic. Therefore, using the power of awareness, we can studiously observe the dynamics for what they are and consciously decide not to go down that path.
I must add though that I think The Pen makes some important points, and some of which we can learn from.
A) For example, our arguments must be based on sound fact, for credibility’s sake, as clearly asked for by The Pen‘s letter.
B) By saying that the bill provides for civil liberties protections, they are forgetting that the bill states that the government “should not” (a recommendation) crack down on civil liberties and “should not” target any one group (Even while the bill specifically plans to set up Government study centers on college campuses, an act of targeted discrimination itself. What is the purpose of that target, in that particular social cross-sector? That‘s a question to ask ourselves).
They also forget that the bill specifically protects the Government‘s best interest with the inarguable words “Shall not“ as imperative. IE the Commission to study violent radicalization “should not” (recommendation) crack down on civil liberties but the citizens “shall not” (imperative) “coerce” the government. A confession of intent, right there.
C) Finally, “homegrown terrorism and violent radicalization” are so rare to begin with that there is no need for special legislation to “Protect” ---whom?? Not us! The GOVERNMENT---from them.
Last but not least, and let me point this out unequivocally:
There are “legal” (if not unconstitutional) loopholes opened up between the Patriot Act and S. 1959, acting together as a hand-and-glove pair. The overly-loose definition of “Terrorism” in the Patriot Act is such that it sweeps up religious and peace groups in its definition, according to so many organizations of every partisanship that to quote them all would be exhausting. www.aclu.org
Further, the Patriot Act grants the FBI the unilateral power to arrest us without warrant, probable cause, or connection to criminal activity at all. Former FBI agent Ted Gunderson calls it “a giant step toward a police state” www.patriotsaints.com/News/911/Conspiracy/IntelligenceKnew/ (be sure to click on back-up file: The original has been removed from the Web). And look at what the ultra-conservative Gun Owners of America have to say about this: http://www.gunowners.org/patriotii.htm
Even bird watchers are grilled as “terrorists” by the agenda-crazed FBI:
"Since when did feeding the homeless become a terrorist activity?" asked ACLU Associate Legal Director Ann Beeson. "When the FBI and local law enforcement target groups like Food Not Bombs under the guise of fighting terrorism, many Americans who oppose government policies will be discouraged from speaking out and exercising their rights." See also: www.aclu.org/safefree/general/20073prs20050718.html
And here is a 25-page free speech report done recently by the ACLU, as if such a thing even needs to be done: http://www.aclu.org/freespeech/gen/31878prs20070920.html