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Are Homegrown Terrorists Growing on the Internet?

computerscreen.thumbnail.jpgIn the threads the other night there were multiple requests for a front page post on The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act.  This bill is the brainchild of Representative Jane Harmon.

She wrote in the following "finding"

(3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.

In truth this bill was not even on my radar until I saw it in the threads (I would give proper hat tips, but I am totally tech freaked by the move to the new digs that I’m still not sure if this thing will get a picture, so trying to figure out how to get back on the old site, is way way beyond my skillz).

The bill provides for the creation of a Commission, allegedly patterned after the 9-11 Commission, to inquire into and report upon "violent radical" and "homegrown terrorists."  The real problem of course lies in how they define these groups.

(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.

And the method the Commissioners will employ has a bit of a three ring circus thing going for it.

The act deals with the issue through the creation of a Congressional commission that will be empowered to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and designate various groups as "homegrown terrorists."

The commission will be tasked to propose new legislation that will enable the government to take punitive action against both the groups and the individuals who are affiliated with them. Like Joe McCarthy and HUAC in the past, the commission will travel around the United States and hold hearings to find the terrorists and root them out.

Unlike inquiries in the past where the activity was carried out collectively, the act establishing the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Commission will empower all the members on the commission to arrange hearings, obtain testimony, and even to administer oaths to witnesses, meaning that multiple hearings could be running simultaneously in various parts of the country.

Over at the Left Coaster, Jeff Dinelli, plays out some of the scenarios that could come about if we head down this slippery slope.

Sigh, This is coming from a Dem and being voted into law by a Dem controlled Congress.  Unfreakinbelievable!

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