Wednesday, December 5, 2007

If you thought the Patriot Act was special

Posted by Scott CavanaghIf you thought the Patriot Act was special, or that the recruitment of phone companies to bug your fellow citizens prior to 9/11 was just fine – you’ll love the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007.

Featuring the opening language “
AN ACT - To prevent homegrown terrorism, and for other purposes," the legislation gives the federal government new wide-ranging powers to investigate, harass and detain American citizens.

Passed recently by an astounding margin of 404-6,
the legislation is based on the RAND Corporation's 2005 study "Trends in Terrorism" -- particularly the chapter titled "Homegrown Terrorist Threats to the United States." RAND is a government think tank with a long history of ties to the military-industrial complex and an even cozier relationship with the bill's co-sponsor, Rep. Jane Harmon (D-Calif.). RAND also has a complex history of connection to this White House. Donald Rumsfeld served as its chairman for six years, while both Scooter Libby and Condoleeza Rice were trustees.

Those connections aside, it's the content of both the congressional legislation and it's mother document that should alarm anyone who reads it.
RAND maintains that "homegrown terrorism" will not be the result of jihadist sleeper cells, but rather will result from anti-globalists and radical environmentalists who "challenge the intrinsic qualities of capitalism, charging that in the insatiable quest for growth and profit, the philosophy is serving to destroy the world's ecology, indigenous cultures, and individual welfare."

So now we need special "anti-terrorist" legislation to protect multi-national corporations from environmental groups and "anti-globalists" concerned with the welfare of individuals? Who then constitutes an anti-globalist? A union organizer tired of his guys' jobs being sent overseas? A tax reformer disgusted by Halliburton squandering millions of American no-bid tax dollars and relocating to Dubai to avoid paying ANY US taxes? How about a citizens group that's just tired of having their toothpaste, pet food and children poisoned by cheap Chinese imports?

The mainstream media has been haplessly quiet on this issue, but there have been some very informative pieces published in print and on the web. Here are a few:Robert Wetzel’s story from Truthout
Video background of the legislation from Democracy NowLee Rogers' breakdown of the legislation
Read at your own risk – Big Brother is already watching.


1 comment:

Talbot in Denver said...

It's amazing that there has been so little discussion in the media about this legislation. This is so vague, the Feds could make a case for picking someone up for just about anything. Why in the world do we need these new laws? We have never uncovered so much as a single sleeper cell in the entire United States, yet we need to trample on our civil rights again? What the hell is going in in Washington?