Wednesday, November 28, 2007


i'm all for stopping the activities of homegrown terrorists, but legislation with such broad and vague language scares me.

Harman's bill does not spell out terrorist behavior and leaves it up to the Commission itself to identify what is terrorism and what isn't. Language inserted in the act does partially define "homegrown terrorism" as "planning" or "threatening" to use force to promote a political objective, meaning that just thinking about doing something could be enough to merit the terrorist label.
instead of using the terms "planning" or "threatening", i would use standard "conspiracy" language. the crime of conspiracy requires an "overt act" to further said conspiracy before it becomes a crime. just sitting around and blabbing about a vague fantasy that will never happen shouldn't be a crime.
The act also describes "violent radicalization" as the promotion of an "extremist belief system" without attempting to define "extremist."
instead of focusing on the definition of "extremist," why not focus on an intent to commit violent acts that could cause death or severe bodily injury to further some objective? [update: never mind. it seems to do just that.
`(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.
but just a nitpicky detail... instead of "facilitating," use something less wishy washy.]

anyway, i appreciate the effort to stamp out violent terrorist cells in the u.s., but i think the language is too vague and broad, and this piece of legislation can be abused. tighten it up, folks.

who voted against it:

Nay AZ-6 Flake, Jeff [R]
Nay CA-46 Rohrabacher, Dana [R]
Nay HI-1 Abercrombie, Neil [D]
Nay IL-12 Costello, Jerry [D]
Nay OH-10 Kucinich, Dennis [D]
Nay TN-2 Duncan, John [R]

who didn't vote:

No Vote CA-6 Woolsey, Lynn [D]
No Vote CA-25 McKeon, Howard [R]
No Vote CA-27 Sherman, Brad [D]
No Vote CA-49 Issa, Darrell [R]
No Vote CA-50 Bilbray, Brian [R]
No Vote CA-52 Hunter, Duncan [R]
No Vote FL-24 Feeney, Tom [R]
No Vote IL-7 Davis, Danny [D]
No Vote IN-7 Carson, Julia [D]
No Vote KS-3 Moore, Dennis [D]
No Vote LA-1 Jindal, Bobby [R]
No Vote MI-14 Conyers, John [D]
No Vote OH-6 Wilson, Charles [D]
No Vote PA-5 Peterson, John [R]
No Vote SC-3 Barrett, James [R]
No Vote TN-5 Cooper, Jim [D]
No Vote TX-14 Paul, Ronald [R]
No Vote TX-16 Reyes, Silvestre [D]
No Vote TX-30 Johnson, Eddie [D]
No Vote UT-1 Bishop, Rob [R]
No Vote VA-11 Davis, Thomas [R]
No Vote WY-0 Cubin, Barbara [R]

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