House Passes Thought Crime Prevention Bill — I thought this was a hoax and still doubt the validity of this. Then I looked it up. It’s indeed real. The funny thing is that only 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted against the bill. Balance!

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed HR 1955 titled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. This bill is one of the most blatant attacks against the Constitution yet and actually defines thought crimes as homegrown terrorism. If passed into law, it will also establish a commission and a Center of Excellence to study and defeat so called thought criminals. Unlike previous anti-terror legislation, this bill specifically targets the civilian population of the United States and uses vague language to define homegrown terrorism. Amazingly, 404 of our elected representatives from both the Democrat and Republican parties voted in favor of this bill. There is little doubt that this bill is specifically targeting the growing patriot community that is demanding the restoration of the Constitution.

First let’s take a look at the definitions of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism as defined in Section 899A of the bill.

The definition of violent radicalization uses vague language to define this term of promoting any belief system that the government considers to be an extremist agenda. Since the bill doesn’t specifically define what an extremist belief system is, it is entirely up to the interpretation of the government. Considering how much the government has done to destroy the Constitution they could even define Ron Paul supporters as promoting an extremist belief system. Literally, the government according to this definition can define whatever they want as an extremist belief system. Essentially they have defined violent radicalization as thought crime.

found by Guy Fawkes

  1. Not Lauren the Ghoti says:

    #19, jezcoe

    Allowing congress to vote for some sort of “Security” measure that actually does nothng.

    This is not a security measure. It is authorization by Congress for the Department of Homeland Security to undertake a study on domestic terrorism.

    In other words, they would like to know what makes people like Timothy McVie tick. Or the KKK. Or those who would pour red paint on someone wearing a fur coat. Or drive spikes into tree trunks.

    Congress could hold hearings into domestic terrorism, but would not be nearly as thorough or inclusive as an outside study. The results of such a study would help us understand why these people do what they do.

  2. Mr Fusion says:

    #30, MikeN

    This sounds like they are seeing if they can emulate the British, who deport imams promoting radicalism.

    Mike, you never cease to amaze me at how silly you can be.

  3. #31 – Not Lauren,

    I hope your interpretation is correct. It still leaves illegals with no rights of any kind though. Of course Massachusetts’ state constitution does exactly the same for atheists. Let’s hope neither is used to any dramatically awful outcome.

  4. Phillep says:

    Not Lauren, if you are right, and I expect you are…

    The extremists of all political positions are going to go nuts (nuttier?). The Unibomber on the left and McVeigh on the right? Plus the Earth Firsters, Animal Liberation Front, Westboro Baptist Church, plus…?

    I was going to add Oswald for the left, but he was not a terrorist. He killed exactly who he intended to kill.

  5. Li says:

    It’s not so bad in the ‘police state’ sense, more like a waste of money in the ‘bad expensive science’ category. By my reading of the law, the committee would have no law enforcement power, but rather would be a group designed to bring together scientific research and conduct research and hold hearings on radicalization. One thing I am sure of is that science by committee, let alone a ‘balanced’ committee from both parties top liars, isn’t gonna make good science, if it even comes to a conclusion. Apparatchiks are not very good at peer review, because they know nothing but their positions and their politics.

  6. Jezcoe says:

    #20 Scott I only brought up Congressman Paul in an attempt to point out the irony in the piece.

    “…they could even define Ron Paul supporters as promoting an extremist belief system. ”

    And then pointing put that he didn’t vote on it.

  7. Jezcoe says:

    #32 Not Lauren… I understand that the bill is not a security measure. But by voting yea on it a Representative can go back to their constituents and say that they have been voting on security measures about terrorism.

    As for the usefulness of the bill.The bill calls for 10 political appointees.

    (1) one member shall be appointed by the President from among officers or employees of the executive branch and private citizens of the United States;

    `(2) one member shall be appointed by the Secretary;

    `(3) one member shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate;

    `(4) one member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate;

    `(5) one member shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

    `(6) one member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives;

    `(7) one member shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives;

    `(8) one member shall be appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives;

    `(9) one member shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate; and

    `(10) one member shall be appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate.

    They have 18 month to deliver a report. and that is after the 60 days it takes to appoint them and the maximum of 30 until their first meeting after appointment. Sounds like a useless study to me. Sorry if you disagree.

  8. Pat says:

    Believe me I should be arrested for thought crime because you would not believe what I am thinking! ha!

  9. Joshua says:

    I think the **In General** phrase is meant to cover their butt’s if they seem to be concentrating to heavily in their study on *Muslim’s*.

    MS….I don’t get your almost fanatical worry that some horrendous harm is going to desend upon the poor unwashed **Illegals** because of this RESEARCH STUDY.
    I’m pretty open minded about about immigration, I’m all for it, as long as it is legal. But to be honest, when it comes to worry’s about people’s right’s in this country, the illegal alian’s, who snuck into the US illegally, are way down my list of concerns.

  10. #41 – Joshua,

    Firefox 2.0 or higher has a built in spell checker.

    I don’t get your almost fanatical worry that some horrendous harm is going to desend [sic] upon the poor unwashed **Illegals** because of this RESEARCH STUDY.

    I’m not really sure how a research study will violate rights either. However, the authors of the bill seemed quite concerned about it. And, it’s from the Department of Homeland Security, whose track record is somewhat less than perfect on human rights thus far.

    But to be honest, when it comes to worry’s [sic] about people’s right’s [sic] in this country, the illegal alian’s [sic], who snuck into the US illegally, are way down my list of concerns.

    Well, the difference starts from considering whether they are human beings and entitled to any rights at all. It also helps if you remember that there are many countries where life is so horrifically bad that people will take a lot of risks to get out. If you recognize the situations these human beings are trying to escape, it’s hard not to care about them.

    It also helps to remember that very few of the people living in this country are not immigrants or descendants of immigrants who came to this country in hopes of a better life. Those of European descent whose families have been here the longest not only came without permission, but came and slaughtered the people living here through warfare, especially germ warfare. So let’s try not to be too holier than thou on the subject.

  11. MikeN says:

    Weren’t you just now supporting charging Dave with a thought crime over drunken driving?

  12. #43 – MikeN,

    Only if he actually hurts or kills someone. I was saying that in that hypothetical case, his post could show intent.

  13. Patrick says:

    I agree the law is completely absurd. One can only hope it will be challenged the first time they attempt to use it. Am I missing thing, when did Canada become a police state?

  14. Guy Fawkes says:

    #13 Mr. Fusion


    YOU BET YOUR ASS, we can also put the pieces together. Check out the cover story of the November 2007 edition of Popular Science titled, “Digital Thought Police”

    “Our ability to guess what a person is thinking about binary decisions is not super dramatic,” he says . “But we’re doing it with really crude image resolution of samples from the brain. If we could access every neuron, and spent long enough analyzing the data, we could figure out in great detail what a person is seeing or thinking.”

    In the past decade, a wave of researchers using scans has laid bare the rough schematics of how our brains handle fear, memory, risk-taking, romantic love and other mental processes. Soon , the technology could go even further, pulling back the curtain guarding our most private selves. Indeed boosters say, a nearly fool proof lie detector based on brain scanning is just around the corner.”

    If they’re right, then there may come a day when others – the government, employers, even your spouse – might turn to technology to determine whether you are a law-abiding citizen, a promising new hire or a faithful partner.

  15. Guy Fawkes says:

    #46 OOPS, It’s the November 2007 issue of Popular Mechanics not Popular Science.

  16. Jezcoe says:

    #47 As far as I can tell from the article, the only thoughts they would be able is how I am pissed about being put in and MRI machine. I don’t think anyone has done studies to see if the stress of being strapped to a gurney and shoved into a big magnet would skew the results. Oh wait thats at the end of the same article.

    “For all the promise of fMRI, some critics think the technique is critically flawed. For one thing, though neurons typically fire on a scale of milliseconds, changes measured by fMRI occur about 5 seconds later, so that fast, complex neurological events may be lumped together. Other critics worry more that the algorithms needed to create images from complex, noise-ridden data introduce the possibility that scans can be misinterpreted. ”

    ” Current scanning technology does not work with nonconsenting subjects. In fact, even tiny movements inside the scanner can negate results. ”

  17. Guy Fawkes says:

    #48 Jezcoe

    Re: Current scanning technology

    Television can trace it’s roots back to the 1880’s. Can you imagine what Paul Gottlieb Nipkow who patented the first electromechanical television system in 1884 would say if he could see an HDTV, video iPod, video game, or a Movie Theater? The speed of technological advancement is ten to twenty times what it was in the 1880’s. You do the math.

  18. Jezcoe says:

    I would rather spend my time concerned about actual and real attacks on my civil liberties than dubious scientific claims of mind control and thought reading. The human body and mind is much more than a mere mortal engine that can be picked apart like an automobile. We are much more complicated creatures than that. The plastic nature of the brain will cause way too many false positives in order to make this sort of mind reading tech of any use to anybody.

  19. Sincty says:

    I think these worries about the government being able to define whatever they want a thought crime are exaggerated. I think, the only purpose of this bill is to finally make anti-semitism a crime, and from there any criticizing Israel, denying Holocaust, etc. – already achieved in Europe, but so far not in the US. The overwhelming majority of congresspeople who voted for it is the best proof, since such majority on even much less controversial issue would be impossible to achieve by any other entity but AIPAC.

  20. groc22 says:

    To Mr. Fusion, Erik, and others who say “not to worry, it’s only a study”. Here’s from the original text:

    The Congress finds the following:

    `(1) The development and implementation of methods and processes that can be utilized to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States is critical to combating domestic terrorism.

    `(2) The promotion of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence exists in the United States and poses a threat to homeland security.

    `(3) 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.

    (4) While the United States must continue its vigilant efforts to combat international terrorism, it must also strengthen efforts to combat the threat posed by homegrown terrorists based and operating within the United States.


    `(b) Implementation- To the extent that methodologies are permissible under the Constitution, the Secretary shall use the results of the survey as an aid in developing, in consultation with the Attorney General, a national policy in the United States on addressing radicalization and homegrown terrorism.

    Still thinking it’s only a study?

  21. Jezcoe says:

    Grocc22. It is sad but I cannot disagree with any of the findings of the bill.
    #1 seems reasonable. Yes we want to curb homegrown violence.
    #2 Yes the promotion of radicalization is a threat
    #3 The internet does help in the communication between these groups. Heck i wrote a thesis paper in college about this happening between deviant groups of all types and that was with usenet.
    #4 We want to combat it

    And (b) I want the methods permissible under the constitution to secure the safety of the people people whether the threat be foreign or domestic.

    So don’t cherry pick the parts that sound scary to you. Look at the parts that establish a study of the perceived problem. Look at what the bill is actually trying to accomplish. My own opinion is that the bill tries to accomplish very little over a long period in order to give those who voted for it some sort of “homeland security” rating for some group that rates congress on those sort of things.

    When you see what the actual propositions and solutions to the terror are and they are tyranical then I can see hysteria. But for now if you care enough, Write to your senators. Express an interest in your government to change it for the better. They might even listen.

  22. groc22 says:

    There’s only one little problem with all this, Jezcoe: the threat all this is supposed to fight in fact does not exist.

    No homegrown violence, except police brutality that is increasing by the hour.

    No radicalization, except by the police, FBI, and such.

    Nothing real to combat, besides own own fears imposed on us by the mass media.

    From all the threats that the government was scaring us with, so far not one turned out to be real. Each one sooner or later was exposed as another hoax.

    They might as well fight against the threat from the space aliens, or from the live trees, or from green flies with big pink eyes.

    Read “The factory of Fear” in RollingStone magazine, it gives very good perspective.


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