Where I was going with this is (gotta work won't have long to see how it develops, or even if it does for that matter) that if we did seriously discuss how to start it rolling, we could become criminals per the homegrown terrorism act. Doesn't that give you a warm fuzzy feeling?
Summary back to top
The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act of 2007 (S.1959 / H.R.1955), with an estimated budget of $22 million over four years, would establish a national bipartisan commission to “[e]xamine and report upon the facts and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States” through convening hearings and issuing reports and would establish a university-based “center of excellence” that would bring together academic specialists to recommend laws and other measures to combat homegrown terrorism and violent radicalization. The bill would also broadly define “violent radicalization,” “homegrown terrorism,” and “ideologically-based violence.” The intent and language of S.1959, its resulting commission, and its “center of excellence” will undoubtedly erode civil liberties. It poses a serious threat for the following reasons:
S.1959’s focus on ideology rather than criminal behavior threatens First Amendment-protected activity. Representative Jane Harman (D-CA), the author of the bill, said, “Our plan must be to intervene before a person crosses that line separating radical views from violent behavior.” It is precisely that line and that activity that the First Amendment protects, as the Supreme Court has made clear in the landmark decision in Brandenburg v. Ohio.
S. 1959 jeopardizes the Internet as a critical free speech zone. In a unanimous decision in Reno v. ACLU, the Supreme Court recognized the Internet as a free speech zone to be afforded no less First Amendment protection than books, newspapers, and magazines. This bill specifically targets the Internet for investigative scrutiny and, in doing so, will undermine the existing protections afforded to the Internet.
There's a lot more meat down there (check out number 6 where it talks about detention) but we don't want to aggravate the ADD too much...