Monthly Archives: December 2007

Senate Bill 1959 to Criminalize Thoughts, Blogs, Books and Free Speech Across America

Originally published November 28 2007
By Mike Adams

The end of Free Speech in America has arrived at our doorstep. It’s a new law called the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, and it is worded in a clever way that could allow the U.S. government to arrest and incarcerate any individual who speaks out against the Bush Administration, the war on Iraq, the Department of Homeland Security or any government agency (including the FDA). The law has already passed the House on a traitorous vote of 405 to 6, and it is now being considered in the Senate where a vote is imminent. All over the internet, intelligent people who care about freedom are speaking out against this extremely dangerous law: Philip Giraldi at the Huffington Post, Declan McCullagh at CNET’s News.com , Kathryn Smith at OpEdNews.com , and of course Alex Jones at PrisonPlanet.com

This bill is the beginning of the end of Free Speech in America. If it passes, all the information sources you know and trust could be shut down and their authors imprisoned. NewsTarget could be taken offline and I could be arrested as a “terrorist.” Jeff Rense at www.Rense.com could be labeled a “terrorist” and arrested. Byron Richards, Len Horowitz, Paul Craig Roberts, Greg Palast, Ron Paul and even Al Gore could all be arrested, silenced and incarcerated. This is not an exaggeration. It is a literal reading of the law, which you can check yourself here: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc110/h1955_rfs.xml

The bill states:

…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…

Note that this means the “planned use of force to promote a political or social belief” would be considered an act of terrorism. This all hinges on the definition of “force,” of course. Based on the loose use of logic in Washington these days, and the slippery interpretation of the meaning of words, “force” could mean:

• A grassroots campaign to barrage Congress with faxes
• A non-violent street protest
• A letter-writing campaign that deluges the Senate with too much mail
• A sit-in protest that blocks access to a business or organization
• A grassroots e-mail campaign that overloads the e-mail servers of any government department or agency

You get the idea. “Force” could be defined as practically anything. And since the “planned use of force” would be considered a criminal act of terrorism, anyone who simply thinks about a grassroots action campaign would be engaged in terrorist acts.

If you stopped someone on the street and handed them a Bible, for example, this could be considered an act of terrorism (“…use of force to promote the individual’s religious beliefs…”)

If you sent a barrage of angry letters to Washington about global warming and the destruction of the environment by the U.S. military, this could also be considered an act of terrorism (“…to promote the individual’s political beliefs…”)

If you believe in same-sex marriage and you wrote a letter threatning a sit-in protest in front of your state’s capitol building, this could also be considered an act of terrorism, even if you never carried it out! (“…planned use of force to promote a social belief…”)

The United States is on the fast track to fascism, and the Congress is working right alongside this nation’s traitorous leaders to criminalize any thoughts, words or speeches that disagree with current government policies regarding war, terrorism, domestic surveillance and civil liberties. Simply speaking out against the war on Iraq could soon be labeled a crime. Merely thinking thoughts against the war on Iraq could be considered a criminal act.

Must-see video: Naomi Wolf’s lecture on 10 steps to fascism

There’s a video lecture you simply MUST watch. It’s by Naomi Wolf, author of The End of America. She covers this topic with great elegance and a deep understanding of history. See her video on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjALf12PAWc

Click here to see her book on Amazon.com.

In her lecture and book, Naomi reveals the ten steps to fascist , then reveals how the United States of America is pursuing all ten! This S.1959 legislation, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, represents one of the ten steps to achieve a fascist state!

It is designed to squash all opposition to the State’s ongoing march towards blatant fascism, where secret police and secret prisons dominate the law enforcement landscape, stripping U.S. citizens of all civil liberties and Constitutional protections.

‘Thought’ crimes are about to become a reality in the United States of America, and Congress is pushing this through as quickly as possible so that each individual member of Congress can claim that he or she is “against terrorism.” But this bill doesn’t merely target terrorism: It targets anyone who speaks or even thinks thoughts against the U.S. federal government.

With this bill, the U.S. government is officially labeling the People of the United States as criminals. It is drawing a line in the sand and stating that from now on, it’s the Government vs. the People.

If we don’t stop this bill from becoming law, we are lost as a nation.

There is no turning back from tyranny once the government turns its own citizens into criminals, enforcing only the thoughts, ideas, words and speeches that it approves or tolerates. Everything is at stake here!

Take action now, or lose your freedoms forever

If you live in the U.S., it is urgent that you call your senators right now and voice your strong opposition against this extremely dangerous law.

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

1-877-851-6437
1-800-833-6354
1-888-355-3588
1-866-220-0044
1-866-808-0065
1-877-762-8762
1-866-340-9281
1-800-862-5530

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.

Stopping this bill from becoming law is the single most important thing all Americans can do right now. If this becomes law, all free speech about health freedom, the crimes of the FDA, the crimes of the Bush Administration, America’s role in global warming and any other topics could all be criminalized. YOU could be labeled a terrorist, kidnapped by government thugs, taken from your home, thrown in a secret prison, denied access to legal representation, denied due process and essentially “disappeared” into a system of such corruption and evil that it now begins to blatantly mirror Nazi Germany.

Think it couldn’t happen here? It’s happening right now! This is exactly how it happened in Nazi Germany. First, burn the Reichstag and blame it on the “enemy.” Pass new police state laws. Disarm the people. Spread fear. Erect secret prisons and secret police. Call anyone who disagrees with you a “traitor.” Control the mainstream media. Sound familiar? This is all happening right now in the United States of Amerika, and if we don’t work to stop it, this nation will rapidly devolve into a fascist police state where no one is truly free.

We are but a few small steps away from it right now. All it would take is one dirty bomb in a major U.S. city. Bush would declare Martial Law and take over the National Guard. Troops on the streets. Anyone who writes a blog against the government would be arrested. Authors of “alternative” books would be kidnapped and have their books burned on the street. It could all happen at the stroke of a pen. The infrastructure for tyranny is in place right now, just waiting to be invoked.

Our best weapons: Non-violent protest and speaking the truth

How can we fight back against this onslaught of tyranny? We must use what remaining free speech freedoms we have right now to alert our fellow citizens to what’s happening. We must rise up and tell the truth while urging our representatives in Washington to resist the temptation to vote for more “anti-terrorism” legislation that only works to enslave the American people.

We must use our phones, faxes, emails and blogs to rally our friends, family members and anyone who will listen to oppose these police state laws, and we must organize mass (peaceful) protests against this government that is attempting to marginalize the rights and freedoms of our People.

We must not be lulled into a sense of false security by the purveyors of hatred and fear — the Sean Hannitys, Rush Limbaughs and Bill O’Reillys of the world. Instead, we must listen to the voices of freedom. In terms of the upcoming election for U.S. President, there is only one candidate that actually believes in freedom: Ron Paul. He needs your support to win: www.RonPaul2008.com

All the other candidates are nothing more than tyrants of different political affiliations. Ron Paul is the only candidate that truly understands the fundamentals of freedom. That’s why he’s the only real choice for our next President. Can you imagine what Hillary Clinton would do with the police state powers that Bush has now created? That’s the danger of all laws that centralize power in Washington: It’s not necessarily what today’s President will do with them, but what some future President will do with them.

That’s why it’s never good enough to say, “Well, we intend to only apply these laws to terrorists and not to U.S. citizens at home.” That may be the intention right NOW, but virtually all such laws creep into areas of enforcement for which they were never intended. Just look at the application of RICO laws which were originally designed to fight organized crime operations but are now applied to virtually anyone (and yet they are never applied to Big Pharma, which operates almost exactly like organized crime!). All these anti-terrorism laws run the danger of expanding in enforcement to the point where they are applied against the People of this country. At first, it’s only illegal for “terrorists” to think thought crimes, but before long, it’s illegal for anyone to think those same thoughts. That when the domestic arrests of authors, journalists, bloggers and thought leaders will kick off, and the country will plunge itself into outright tyrannical fascism.

Again, we’re on the track right now. This is happening, folks. You’re LIVING through an amazing chapter of history right now. You’re actually witnessing the downfall of a free nation and the rise of a superpower fascist state. You’re actually part of it.

When it’s all over, will you look back and realize you did nothing? Or will you now take a stand against tyranny and oppose these dangerous laws and lawmakers who threaten the Constitutional freedoms of you and your children?

Barack Obama, Distant Cousin Of Dick Cheney Supports Homegrown Terrorism Act (S. 1959)

Obama Supports Homegrown Terrorism Bill

The Indypendent | December 10, 2007
Jessica Lee

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama says that he will support the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act (S. 1959). According to the automatic email responses constituents are receiving from his office, Obama appears to be straddling the fence between preserving civil liberties and being tough on terrorism.

The American people understand that new threats require flexible responses to keep them safe. They also insist that our responses to threats respect the constitution and do not violate the basic tenets of our democracy, Obama’s email said. Several people who have written to Obama have posted his response on various blogs, including Justin who’s personal blog was picked up on diggs.com.

I wrote Senator Obama (my senator from Illinois) about this act, which is now in a committee of his (the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs). I asked that he read the bill (not to insult his intelligence, but after the Patriot Act it appears this is a necessary request for most senators), and that he recognize the dire consequences that could result from its vague language, Justin wrote Dec. 6 below the post of Obama’s email. He’s quite eloquent, you’ve got to give him that. This act includes provisions prohibiting the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts from violating civil rights and civil liberties of U.S. citizens. Didn’t we used to have something like that? What was it called? Oh right� The Constitution.

The House version of the bill, H.R. 1955, passed Oct. 23 by a vote of 404-6 under the suspension of the rules, a provision that is available to quickly pass bills considered non-controversial.

Obama is on the 17-member Senate Committee for Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, where S. 1959 was introduced by Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) Aug. 2. I will keep your important comments in mind as I work with my colleagues on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. I will work to ensure that this legislation helps to achieve our domestic security objectives while protecting civil liberties and constitutional rights,� Obama stated in his email to Justin.

Many scholars, historians and civil liberties experts say they fear that the proposed bill will set the stage for future criminal legislation that be used against U.S.-based groups engaged in legal but unpopular political activism, ranging from political Islamists to animal-rights and environmental campaigners to radical right-wing organizations.

This bill fits the pattern we are seeing coming out of Congress both Republican and Democratic of a continued campaign of fear, which gets into heads of Americans that we now need to start criminalizing ideology, said Alejandro Queral, executive director of the Northwest Constitutional Rights Center. He said he is very concerned about the bill’s vague definitions of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and the terms within the definitions including extremist belief system, violence and force.

What is an extremist belief system? Who defines this?� Queral questioned. Planes flying into the World Trade Center is an extremist belief, but are anti-abortion activists extremists? Are individuals who liberate mink extremists? These are broad definitions that encompass so much, which need to rather be very narrowly tailored. It is criminalizing thought and ideology, rather than criminal activity.

Jules Boykoff, an assistant professor of politics and government at Pacific University and author of Beyond Bullets: The Suppression of Dissent in the United States , told The Independent said he is concerned about how the government is broadening the definition of terrorism.

Section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act is a law that created a new brand of terrorists, the domestic terrorist.’ Under this definition, the civil rights work Martin Luther King, Jr. did could have been construed as an act of domestic terrorism, Boykoff said.

In a Nov. 30 Common Dreams article, Homegrown’ Suppression of Dissent,’ Boykoff provided a historical-based critique of who could be included under the umbrella definition of terrorism. Even a cursory look backward through U.S. history reveals heroic figures who could be dubbed violent radicals’ or homegrown terrorists’ under the proposed bill, from U.S. revolutionaries like Sam Adams to gun-toting slavery abolitionists like John Brown to militant civil-rights organizers like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Kamau Franklin, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), also expressed concern that H.R. 1955/S. 1959 will foster a legislative momentum on criminalizing a broad range of dissident voices. The Commission’s broad mandate can lead to the ability to turn civil disobedience, a form of protest that is centuries old, into a terrorist act, he said. My biggest fear is that they [the commission] will call for some new criminal penalties and federal crimes, says Franklin. Activists are nervous about how the broad definitions could be used for criminalizing civil disobedience and squashing the momentum of the left.

It’s possible that someone who would have been charged with disorderly conduct or obstruction of governmental administration may soon be charged with a federal terrorist statute, Franklin said.

Many activists and civil liberties advocates have expressed concern across the nation on blogs and radio shows about how the bill’s use of vaguely defined terms can be seen within a historical pattern of sweeping government repression of dissenting voices throughout the history of the United States where citizens have been targeted for their political beliefs. Two generations of Americans experienced first hand the two Red Scares (1917-1920 and 1940-50s) and the FBI’s secret Counter Intelligence Program, nicknamed COINTELPRO, which enabled the FBI to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize domestic protest groups for subversive activities and potential crimes.

To many, the similarities between COINTELPRO and the bill are unsettling. The proposed legislation calls for the National Commission to examine and report upon the facts and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism and ideologically based violence in the United States in order to develop policy for prevention, disruption and mitigation.This investigation is needed, according to stated Congressional findings, due to possible threats to national security.

The secret program continued until it was discovered COINTELPRO was investigated by a U.S. Senate select committee on intelligence activities (commonly known as the Church Committee) which convened in 1975. The Church Committee found that from 1956 to 1971, the Bureau conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association, on the theory that preventing the growth of dangerous groups and the propagation of dangerous ideas would protect the national security and deter violence.�

In the last 30 years, significant evidence has surfaced about how the FBI and local law enforcement disrupted non-violent social and political movements, even neutralizing individuals through target assassinations. The secret program was vast, with agents monitoring and agitating people involved in the New Left,�including anti-Vietnam War efforts, the civil rights movement, the Black Panthers, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the American Indian Movement, Puerto Rican independence groups, popular musicians and counter-cultural and revolutionary independent newspapers.

OTHER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE VIEWS ON THE BILL

Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said that he believes the proposed bill is unconstitutional.

Speaking to a crowd of supporters in New York City Nov. 29, Kucinich took several questions from the audience, including my question asking why he voted against the bill. Kucinich was one of only six representatives to oppose the bill on Oct. 23.

If you understand what his bill does, it really sets the stage for further criminalization of protest, Kucinich said. This is the way our democracy little, by little, by little, is being stripped away from us. This bill, I believe, is a clear violation of the first amendment.

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul was one of the 22 House members not present for the vote.

A small demonstration against S. 1959 took place outside Senator Hillary Clinton’s office in New York City Dec. 10. Her office did not return an Indypendent’s call for comment.

US Secret Court (FISC) Rejects Call To Release Wiretap Documents To Public

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The top secret US court overseeing electronic surveillance programs rejected Tuesday a petition to release documents on the legal status of the government’s “war-on-terror” wiretap operations.

In only the third time the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has publicly released a ruling, it turned back a request to reveal documents that would shed light on the government’s program to spy on the communications of terror suspects without first obtaining warrants.

FISC’s ruling argued that its role as a unique court dealing with national security issues necessarily meant its case documents and decisions would be classified, and that US constitutional provisions did not require it to release case materials.

It also said that even first deleting sensitive material from the papers sought by the American Civil Liberties Union — secret documents related to the legality of the surveillance programs — risked accidentally damaging the country’s security.

“That possibility itself may be a price too high to pay,” the court said in rejecting the ACLU request.

Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU National Security Project, called the decision disappointing.

“A federal court’s interpretation of federal law should not be kept secret from the American public,” Jaffer said.

“The Bush administration is seeking expanded surveillance powers from Congress because of the rulings issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court earlier this year. Under this decision, those rulings may remain secret forever.”

In August the ACLU sought access to FISC rulings and orders made earlier this year that were cited in a new law, the Protect America Act, which expanded the government’s powers to spy on the international communications of US citizens without first seeking a warrant.

The civil liberties advocates argued that the public had a right to know the content of those rulings and orders as they were used by the government to widen the parameters of its surveillance powers.

In the decision signed by FISC judge John Bates, the court said that, even if the court first removed justifiably secret materials to oblige the ACLU request, it still “might err by releasing information that in fact should remain classified (and) damage to national security would result.”

Election Fraud Diebold Wants Ohio To Switch To Optical Scan Voting Machines

Saturday, December 15, 2007
BY PAUL E. KOSTYU
REPOSITORY COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF

COLUMBUS A study that says Ohio’s election systems are not secure is an indictment of the way the nation votes, according to Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

That’s because the same electronic voting machines used in Ohio, including those made by a subsidiary of North Canton-based Diebold, are used throughout the country and they all have “critical security failures.”

There’s not enough time in Ohio to fix the problems by the March 2008 primary, but Brunner said it is possible to have replacement systems ready for the November presidential election. She wants the state to switch entirely to optical scan devices instead of the touch screens now used.

COSTLY CHANGE

Switching, however, could be a time-consuming and costly process. Brunner didn’t know how much the cost would be, and neither did House Speaker Jon Husted, R-Kettering, who joined Brunner at a press conference Friday.

Husted said the only money available is in the state’s $1 billion rainy-day fund. He wouldn’t take a position on whether a fix is needed, saying he needs to read the massive report and meet with other lawmakers. He said any legislative action will have to wait until the Legislature is back in session next month.

Brunner wants to craft a bipartisan solution with the governor’s office and leaders of the General Assembly. It would have to be in effect by mid-April to be ready for the November election, she said.

Brunner compared the state’s elections system to a car with a problem axle. She said eventually the axle will fail. She’s hoping local boards of elections can keep the system working to get through the March primary.

She acknowledged that her predecessor, Republican J. Kenneth Blackwell, initially wanted to move the state from a punch card system to optical scan until some boards of elections sued him so they could use touch screen devices.

She also said the federal government through the Help America Vote Act pushed the states too quickly to implement changes. Now she said there is no federal money available to help states move to other systems.

‘EXPENSIVE EXPERIMENT’

“It definitely was an expensive experiment” to use touch screen machines, she said.

Matt Damschroder, president of the Ohio Association of Election Officials, said the group needed to review the report before responding. Twelve local election officials from across the state were involved in the study.

“I know first hand the amount of effort that went into drafting this report,” said Shannon Leininger, deputy director of the Ashland County board of elections. “But now the real work begins as we … decide how we move forward.”

“It is important to note that there has not been a single documented case of a successful attack against an electronic voting system in Ohio or anywhere in the United States,” said Chris Riggall, a spokesman for Premier Election Solutions, a Texas-based subsidiary of Diebold.

He said many of the issues listed in Brunner’s report were identified in earlier studies and the company has modified its software to strengthen security.