Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Disagree with officials, lose property and go to jail

Excerpt of text [found here]:

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed HR 1955, titled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. It was passed with 404 votes in favor.

A close reading within an historical context – keeping especially in mind the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and Presidential Executive Orders, pursuant to which the government has engaged in massive surveillance of its own citizens, as well as detentions, extraordinary renditions, assassinations, and torture – leads me to the following conclusions:

  • This is a "Thought Crime" bill of the type so often discussed in an Orwellian context.
  • It specifically targets the civilian population of the United States.
  • It defines "Violent Radicalization" as promoting any belief system that the government considers to be extremist.
  • "Homegrown Terrorism" and "Violent Radicalization" are defined as thought crimes.
  • Since the bill does not provide a specific definition of extremist belief system, it will be whatever the government at any given time deems it to be


* * * *

Excerpt of text [found here]:
... such as the Credit Rating Agency Reform Act, the Third Higher Education Extension Act, ratification requests for extradition treaties with Malta, Estonia, and Latvia; his proclamation of German-American Day, the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Act; and his proclamation of Leif Erickson Day.

Still, getting the Military Commission’s Act to the president so he could immediately mull it over for two weeks was so important, some members of Congress did not even read the bill before voting on it. Thus, as some of its minutia escaped scrutiny.

One bit of trivia that caught our eye was the elimination of habeas corpus, which apparently use to be the right of anyone who’s tossed in prison to appear in court and say “Hey, why am I in prison?”

OLBERMANN: Why does habeas corpus hate America? And how is it so bad for us? Mr. Bush says it gets in the way of him doing his job.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) Olbermann makes comments between clips of speeches by different politicians below.

BUSH: This legislation passed in the House yesterday is a part of making sure that we do have the capacity to protect you. Our most solemn job is the security of this country.

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