Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The new crime of thinking

A new Federal bill that looks like passing goes beyond the usual attempts to restrict speech. This one explicitly criminalizes THOUGHT. See for yourself:

"It looks like the term `thought police' just might take on a whole new and real meaning. This depends on what happens in the U.S. Senate after receiving House bill H.R. 1955: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007.

This act (now S-1959 - Senate version) is now being considered by Senate committees and, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, will become law. Common sense would indicate that something this vague and dangerous would not make it out of committee, but considering that the House passed it on October 23 with 404 ayes, 6 nays, and 22 present/not voting, I'm not holding my breath."

The most disturbing aspects of this bill, and there are many, are the definitions noted in Section 899a. The three offenses defined in this document that will warrant prosecution are:

"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."


SCOTUS would probably knock this one of the head but you never know. They let stand the huge restriction on political speech in McCain/Feingold.