Monday, 7 January 2008

"To Prevent Homegrown Terrorism, and For Other Purposes"

Manuscripts Don't Burn has recently read the Bill "H.R. 1955: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007", which passed the House back in late 2007 and is now up for Senate approval. Its stated aim is "To Prevent Homegrown Terrorism, and For Other Purposes". Ignoring that rather throwaway "And For Other Purposes" for a moment, the Bill creates a Commission of permanent unelected members tasked with surveying the US population AND worldwide Internet activity and identifying any activity which may, in any way at all, be considered to contribute towards "violent radicalisation, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence". In particular, Manuscripts Don't Burn notes the Bill's definition of "violent radicalisation" as:

"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"

Yup. Read it again. You were right the first time. According to this Bill, you don't actually have to DO anything. You just have to be - even a little bit - thinking about, say, becoming a Marxist. You know, the little guys with the red flags who believe in revolution? If you think any one of a number of things - in fact, if you pretty much think at all, for after all our very political and economic system is based on violence and deprivation by force at some point along the chain - then you're "It".

The Bill seems oblivious to the irony that the US is currently embarked upon a huge project of "facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change" throughout the Middle East, Africa, and doubtless Latin and South America too: no government passes Bills which effectively criminalise its own activities. No, Dear Reader, this Bill is aimed at You and I. It is designed to make us think, "heck, should I even be thinking this - I could be arrested!" When the Proles start policing themselves through fear of The Unseen Hand of Despotism, then the darkness is almost complete.

Watch this space. Thought-crime legislation is becoming all too frequent these days, and the process is far too dull and boring for most people to be bothered following. Manuscripts Don't Burn notes that this law only establishes a Commission to "identify" who these homegrown turrists, free-thinkers, and dissidents are - it conveniently leaves out what is to be done about them. That bit, clearly, is yet to come - and in the meantime Halliburton continues to build its mysterious "refugee camps" up and down the country.

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