The “Homegrown Terrorism Prevention” Act

A Democrat, of all people, has actually introduced a type of Homeland Security legislation that will assist and enable Federal agencies to ferret out terrorist cells and individuals in this country.

It was introduced by Rep. Jane Harman [D-CA] and passed the House with a bi-partisan vote. It has now gone to the Senate.

Co-Sponsors:
Rep. Christopher Carney [D-PA]
Del. Donna Christensen [D-VI]
Rep. Yvette Clarke [D-NY]
Rep. Charles Dent [R-PA]
Rep. Norman Dicks [D-WA]
Rep. Al Green [D-TX]
Rep. James Langevin [D-RI]
Rep. Zoe Lofgren [D-CA]
Rep. Nita Lowey [D-NY]
Rep. Daniel Lungren [R-CA]
Rep. Ed Perlmutter [D-CO]
Rep. Ted Poe [R-TX]
Rep. Dave Reichert [R-WA]
Rep. Bennie Thompson [D-MS]

House Resolution 1955 reads in part:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007′.
SEC. 2. PREVENTION OF VIOLENT RADICALIZATION AND HOMEGROWN TERRORISM.

(a) In General- Title VIII of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 is amended by adding at the end the following new subtitle:

Subtitle J–Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism
`SEC. 899A. DEFINITIONS.

(1) COMMISSION- The term `Commission’ means the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism established under section 899C.

(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.

(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term `homegrown terrorism’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

(4) IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE- The term `ideologically based violence’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual’s political, religious, or social beliefs.

Link: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h110-1955

“Homegrown terrorism” should not just apply to U.S.-born citizens, but also those who immigrated here legally or illegally, regardless of country of origin, or current citizenship status.

As long as all of those principles apply, I’ve got no problem with it. The implementation should especially focus on muslim terrorist groups, and not just the ones the Left deems fit for scrutiny.

As you can well imagine, there’s an uproar not just in the MSM but across the blogosphere:

Ralph E. Shaffer and R. William Robinson from the Baltimore Sun:

Not since the “Patriot Act” of 2001 has any bill so threatened our constitutionally guaranteed rights.

The historian Henry Steele Commager, denouncing President John Adams’ suppression of free speech in the 1790s, argued that the Bill of Rights was not written to protect government from dissenters but to provide a legal means for citizens to oppose a government they didn’t trust. Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence not only proclaimed the right to dissent but declared it a people’s duty, under certain conditions, to alter or abolish their government.

In that vein, diverse groups vigorously oppose Ms. Harman’s effort to stifle dissent. Unfortunately, the mainstream press and leading presidential candidates remain silent.

Ms. Harman, a California Democrat, thinks it likely that the United States will face a native brand of terrorism in the immediate future and offers a plan to deal with ideologically based violence.

Link:
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.thoughtpolice19nov19,0,2384977.story

Why would Shaffer and Robinson want to prevent examination of groups and/or individuals who engage in “ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.” Does it get too close to the perpetrators? Jefferson’s declaration is being twisted into an excuse for radical groups to commit anarchy, which is not what was intended. Clearly, he wanted people to use their freedom of speech and voting rights to cause change, not the bombs used so frequently by the very terrorists this bill is meant to target.

The Left is in a snit:

This bill is completely insane. It literally allows the government to define any and all crimes including thought crime as violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism.

Link: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/11/21/18462572.php

Well, we’ve thwarted countless terrorist plots in this country by thugs who want to pick up where the 9/11 hijackers left off. It ain’t just the “thought” that counts.

Up until now, the only “thought crimes” punished so severely have been against conservative students on college campuses, courtesy of the leftwingnut academic intelligentsia.

And of course, the Krazy Kos Kids are having their daily seizures:

Link: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/11/27/194051/37

The main concern on the Right is that it will primarily focus on groups diametrically opposed to the Left. (Read: Patriotic, pro-American, anti-Islamofascist), and that it will result in a broadening of government power. There’s always the point of this just creating another bureaucratic agency that uses taxpayer funds to “study” but does very little else. And then there’s trepidation over the possibility of how much power the DemLeft could wield through this legislation; a KGB clone.

In anycase, I’ll be monitoring this closely, as will other bloggers and pundits.

We’ll see what happens.

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