AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: Punishing Thought Crime

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Here's an interesting article from AlterNet on House Resolution 1955, the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Protection Act."

Sure, I'm against homegrown terrorism. But the perpetrator of this little puppy, already passed with little fanfare, one Jane Harman (D-CA), assumes that the wildfire spread of violent radicalization in this great nation will be facilitated by what medium? Care to guess? I'll bet you guessed the World Wide Web, right? And you'd be right! Because Ms. Harman's prepared statement in committee for this legislative atrocity was entitled "Using the Web as a Weapon: the Internet as a Tool for Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism."

Gee. I wonder where that national debate will be headed? "These people," says the intrepid Ms. Harman, "No longer need to travel to foreign countries or isolated backwoods compounds to become indoctrinated by extremists and learn how to kill their neighbors."

Wow.

Because everybody knows that nobody ever killed neighbors before the advent of the Web, unless they'd had the chance to travel abroad to become indoctrinated by extremists. I'm pretty sure I heard somebody on TV saying that the American Civil War was started when a whole bunch of Americans ventured over to Europe and got inculcated there.

Ms. Harman, I fear, needs a little refresher on a few of the basic tenets of American civics. Where I grew up, we had this quaint document we called the Constitution of the United States of America, and in that document we were guaranteed the right to talk to any person -- and about any damn thing -- we pleased. Now, it appears that Ms. Harman wants to make sure I'm not talking to anybody she considers an extremist. Because I could then become violently radicalized. And to prevent that dire event, she wants a new bureaucracy put in place to police the Internet, just to make sure I'm safe from dangerous ideas.

My question to Jane Harman: when did you forget that Americans can be trusted to talk to foreigners? When did you take that upon yourself, to vet our communication for dangerous elements? What country do you take this to be? Are you still even interested in America? Do you even know what America means?

I've grown complacent in assuming that Republicans are the ones out to rob me of my freedoms. Ms. Harman, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for reminding me that I can't trust Democrats, either.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael published on January 18, 2008 3:58 AM.

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