Hr 1955 was passed on the House Floor October 23rd, 2007. Since that date, there is still a “press blackout” in effect, and now, while most of America thought HR 1955/S 1959 was in committee pending further review until it was brought up for a vote in the Senate; None of us were aware that this Bill is taking on a life of its own, and some parts of this measure are already being implemented! I found an article from The Nation this morning, and what it describes is the enacting of certain parts of this Bill, even though it hasn’t become law yet. Maybe this is part of the reason there’s been a press blackout in regard this Bill, and now that it is effecting our colleges and resembling something out of Soviet Russia’s past, it’s time to get this out in the open and find a way to circumvent the press blackout so Americans will become aware that once again, the government is running programs that undermine what our colleges are attempting to accomplish and are threatening free speech on our campuses:
by MICHAEL GOULD-WARTOFSKY
[from the January 28, 2008 issue]
Free-speech zones. Taser guns. Hidden cameras. Data mining. A new security curriculum. Private security contractors. Welcome to the homeland security campus.
From Harvard to UCLA, the ivory tower is fast becoming the latest watchtower in Fortress America. The terror warriors, having turned their attention to “violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism prevention”–as it was recently dubbed in a House of Representatives bill of the same name–have set out to reconquer that traditional hotbed of radicalization, the university.
But wait, there’s more: DHS has founded and funded six of its very own “Centers of Excellence,” research facilities that span dozens of universities from coast to coast. The latest is a Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism, the funding for which cleared the House in October. The center is mandated to assist a national commission in combating those “adopting or promoting an extremist belief system…to advance political, religious or social change.”
It’s not a secret that the Pentagon, for its part, hopes to turn campuses into recruitment centers for its overstretched, overstressed forces. The Defense Department has built its own database for just this purpose. Known as Joint Advertising Market Research and Studies, this program tracks 30 million young people, ages 16 to 25. According to a Pentagon spokesperson, the department has partnered with private marketing and data-mining firms, which in turn sell the government reams of information on students and other potential recruits. (Emphasis added.) MUCH MORE
This Bill was passed in the House, however still sits in “committee” in the Senate. Is it legal to begin implementing a Bill before its been passed into law? Is it moral and thus “legal” to run a program in our colleges like this without the public being aware that they are in operation? The above excerpts do not do the story justice and the above referenced article contains a huge amount of information in regard the transition(s) that are taking place on our campuses; it’s an excellent read and if you’ve read this much, please make sure and read the full article from The Nation.
Couple that with an article which was posted on January 20th, Spychief Plan To Police Internet Is Likely Tied To S 1959, Thought Crime Prevention Bill and it becomes clear that even though this Bill is supposedly in committee, its intent and dogma is being implemented whether it’s been signed into law or not. Why? The American people have a right to know where and how their tax money is being spent, and parents that are plowing hard earned money and savings into their children’s education should be aware that they may be sending their kids into a hotbed of political opportunism that our Neo-conservative government is attempting to capitalize upon at the taxpayers expense.
Whatever the government is attempting to accomplish with S 1959, it’s obvious that they consider it important enough to circumvent the press and appear to be implementing parts of this program very quickly and quietly, a sure sign that civil rights and freedom are being compromised in the name of national security. When this issue was first being discussed, an argument that was often presented was that “it’s still in committee” and “most of these Bills don’t get our of committee anyway.” Evidently, those arguments don’t pertain to S 1959 - and whether it’s in committee or not, parts of it are being implemented, some aspects which are being set-up to monitor all of our personal computer communications and now it’s reaching into our colleges…
Now that we know Homeland security is moving forward with S-1959, it’s time to reinvigorate our resistance and objection to a program that is unconstitutional on its face and appears hell-bent on destroying the last bit of privacy and freedom that Americans possess.