Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. Senate Bill 1959 | December 6, 2007

As I asserted in an earlier post, a prime pastime in Washington DC these days seems to be to find ways to circumscribe, emasculate and otherwise render our Constitution’s Bill of Rights inoperative. Now comes Senate bill 1959, introduced by US Senator Susan Collins of Maine.[ http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s110-1959 ].

If you believe, as I do, that the two Patriot Acts and the Military Commission Act of 2006 were serious attacks on our basic Constitutional rights, then SB 1959 ought to scare the living bejeezus out of you. This bill is the Senate version of a bill, sponsored by California Democratic Representative Jane Harman, that was passed in the House by an overwhelming 405 to 6 vote on October 24th and is now awaiting approval by the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

Harman’s bill contends that the United States will soon have to deal with home grown terrorists and that something must be done to anticipate and neutralize the problem. 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.”” [Huffington Post] [btw: Congressman Dennis Kucinich voted AGAINST the Bill]

The Huffington Post article appeared on 11/26, the link to which is:

Following is a sample letter to your Senator that can be used as is, or, as a template for your own.

Dear Senator

It has come to my attention, that The U.S. House of Representatives has recently passed HR 1955 titled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. This is now up for review in the Senate Judiciary committee, listed as S.1959.

Per the language used in the Act itself, S.1959 defines Homegrown Terrorism as: “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.”

“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.”

Congress found: “The promotion of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence exists in the United States and poses a threat to homeland security.”
Congress also found: “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.”
Congress also noted: “Certain governments, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia have significant experience with homegrown terrorism and the United States can benefit from lessons learned by those nations.”

These findings and definition are of grave concern to us U.S. citizens. The countries listed as having experience and influence of terrorism and terrorism prevention, have consolidated their media under government decree (Canada), leaving almost no room for open, unbiased, investigative journalism that would inform the citizens of the goings on the their countries that should bring concern. The United Kingdom, as well as the United States have begun installing CCTV cameras in public places that will track and monitor, individual faces of persons engaging in loosely defined “suspicious activity”. There have been news reports of business in the process of implementing hovering surveillance devices that can monitor visual and audio activity of suspects, as well as surveillance devices that can assist police and government organizations in deterring aggressive resistance of arrest or detainment, by issuing small electric shocks similar to that of the controversial taser device.

This act also allows for a central organization to be created to monitor, detect, and report on suspicious “homegrown terrorist activity within the United States”. The definition of such activity is vague, leaving room for the possibility of anyone seriously advocating social change, restoration of the constitution, and advocating the organization of protests to “coerce the United States government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof”.

This Act is undermining, and threatening, the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens to organize in dissent of the Patriot Act, NSA surveillance, telecom immunity, social injustice, the War on Terror, or any other program that the citizenry feels is in violation of their inalienable rights as U.S. citizens.

We have had enough. Your constituency, the people you represent, are asking that you vote no when this Act comes up for review.

Here is the website containing the Act (House Resolution HR1955, also S. 1959) in full detail: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill= …

All U.S. citizens who are doing nothing but voicing their opinions against a President and Vice President who have expanded their executive powers, bypassed our congressional check and balance, and has undermined our U.S. Judiciary System, are now at risk, by this new act, of being labeled and prosecuted as a terrorist. Vote NO on S.1959.

Thank you,
Here is a link to all of the Senators, and their contact information (name, address, phone number):
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/ …

Here are the phone numbers for the U.S. Senate switchboard:


How to do this:

1) Make sure you know the names of your Senators.
2) Call the U.S. Senate switchboard using one of the numbers above.
3) Ask to speak to the offices of your Senators.
4) Tell them you are strongly opposed to S. 1959, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act
5) Ask for their fax number.
6) Follow up your phone call with a written, signed letter that you fax to your Senators.

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