By an Overwhelming Majority
Congress Brings You…
Thought Control on the Internet
By Michael Collins
Washington, D.C. - Part 1
Cracking the Code – Who's to Blame for "Violent Radicalization"?
The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a 404 to 6 vote on Oct. 23. Not since the Iraq War Resolution have Democrats and Republicans found such a unifying cause. We're told that House Resolution 1955 (H.R. 1955) will be an essential tool enabling law enforcement to peg the sources of "homegrown terrorism" on the Internet.
The overwhelming bipartisan support makes it no surprise that the legislation presents a significant danger to citizens and the nation. This sentence is the new heart of darkness for free speech.
(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION - The term 'violent radicalization' means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change. (Author's emphasis) (House Resolution 1955)
That one word, "facilitating," takes the bill beyond aiding the hunt for terrorists on the Internet. It creates an emerging standard for wrongdoing that can be applied to everyone who exercises net-based free speech. Senate 1959, the equivalent of H.R. 1955, is up for consideration now.
Here are some scenarios under the bill that could easily be called "thought crimes", i.e., "facilitating violent radicalization."
You post one of these statements on the Internet …
• You are extremely upset about what you see as the nation's most serious problem – illegal immigration. You go to your Internet forum of choice and write a barn burner stating clearly that this administration and Congress are attacking the nation, breaking laws, and a threat to the safety of the people.
• You find the deaths of American soldiers and 1.1 million Iraqi civilians totally unacceptable. You go to your Internet forum of choice and write a very strong post accusing the president and his henchmen with war crimes.
• You're a former Reagan official, a "paleo-conservative." You argue that this administration's behavior represents tyrannical rule. You write a column published on the Internet where you ask questions about 911: "Who benefits? This question was conspicuously absent from the official investigation." You answer by naming Bush, Cheney, the Federalist Society and others.
You question the collapse of the WTC towers and conclude by arguing that a major casualty of 911"is the civil liberties that protect Americans from tyranny. President Bush and his corrupt Department of Justice (sic) have declared our constitutional protections to be null and void at the whim of the executive." Paul Craig Roberts, Sept. 10, 2007