Tuesday, December 29, 2009



"Support for terrorism" too vague and sweeping

Is mere speech sufficient to warrant a criminal conviction?
"In February, the Supreme Court will hear on appeal what many consider to be among the most important cases that speaks to the constitutionality of political speech in recent times, Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project.

The plaintiff in the case, Humanitarian Law Project, is a human rights group that often consults with the United Nations, and that has in the past assisted the Kurdistan Workers' Party, as well as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eela. They, along with administrative law judges and others, have had their right to free association challenged under legislation that dates back to Newt Gingrich's Contract with America, and the mid-1990's, in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing; legislation that was signed into law by then President Bill Clinton.

The "Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act" was unmistakeably every inch a bipartisan effort, and is easily recognizable as the precursor to the USA Patriot Act. The objective of AEDPA was to cut off all sources of material assistance to any groups the State Department deems to be sources of international terror.

According to Free Expression Policy Project, the measure empowers the State Department to construct a list of "foreign terrorist organizations," and criminalize any "material support" to these groups. While parts of the law were struck down several times by federal courts, plaintiffs in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project are taking legislation that has had the chilling effect of derailing the First Amendment all the way to the Supreme Court.

So, on February 23rd, the highest court in the land will get to decide whether any of the four provisions of AEDPA constitute criminal activity. The penalty for being convicted of providing material support to a State Department blacklisted group can be as much as fifteen years behind bars. The definition of terrorism is said to be simply "any actual or threatened use of a weapon against people or property."

Two years ago, an appeals court found much of the law to be "unconstitutionally vague," and it will soon be the Supreme's turn up at bat to hear a challenge to a measure that, in the words of attorney for the plaintiffs, is "so sweeping that it treats human rights advocates as criminal terrorists...and makes advocating human rights or other lawful, peaceable activity a crime simply because it is done for the benefit of, or in conjunction with, a group the Secretary of State has blacklisted."

Source

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

"so sweeping that it treats human rights advocates as criminal terrorists...and makes advocating human rights or other lawful, peaceable activity a crime simply because it is done for the benefit of, or in conjunction with, a group the Secretary of State has blacklisted."

So where's the problem? Most of these so-called "human rights groups" are more pro-terrorist than anyhting else. These are the fuzzy-brained Leftists who believe prisons shouldn't exist, and criminals are always treated too harshly. They are a definite part of the problem, not the solution.

Anonymous said...

So 3:59, when you find yourself arrested on a "fuzzy" charge, or jailed you won't mind at all.

Anonymous said...

No i won't mind because i don't break the law. But if i did, well, that's why Satan made lawyers.

Don't let a compassionate-sounding name like, "human rights advocate" fool you. That's not at all what they're about. They are motivated by politics. Leftist politics.

Anonymous said...

In the Orwellian state you are never innocent - laws will be found to convict you!

Anonymous said...

That's true, unless you're among the lawmakers. Then, you can simply change the laws to suite yourself. Example;

What distinguishes campaign contributions from bribery ?

Answer: The corrupt politicians who write the laws.

Anonymous said...

Any of the ture believers on this site should be concerned by this. Likewise any of the true believers know that rights have nothing to do with 'if you're not doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about'.
This criminalises association with a group or person simply because someone put it on a list. This should ring warning bells in anyone who remembers their history.

Robert said...

One would think that giving moral support to enemies of all humanity, which includes pure terrorists, would be treason if they are making war against your country, and actionable. Though the Kurdistan Workers Party and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eela are not to my knowledge at war with the United States, they are at war with nations with whom the United States is at peace, and a citizen giving them support would be a participant in making war against a country with whom the U.S. is at peace. That is a possible finding if support is found to have taken place.

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