Friday, April 04, 2008

Policing Thought

The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 is a bill sponsored by Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) in the 110th United States Congress. Its stated purpose is to deal with "homegrown terrorism and violent radicalization" by establishing a national commission, establishing a center for study, and cooperating with other nations.

The bill was introduced to the House on April 19 2007, and passed on Oct 23, 2007. It was introduced to the Senate on August 2, 2007 as S-1959. The bill defines some terms including "violent radicalization," "homegrown terrorism," and "ideologically based violence," which have provoked controversy from some quarters. Although Section 899F of HR 1955 specifically prohibits "the violation of Civil Rights and Liberties in the enforcement of the bill," critics claim its enactment would pave the way for violations of Civil Rights and Liberties.

Former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has said he believes the bill is "unconstitutional" and has referred to the bill as a "thought crime bill".

Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), addressed the bill in he House on Dec. 5, 2007 saying: "This seems to be an unwise and dangerous solution in search of a real problem. Previous acts of ideologically motivated violence, though rare, have been resolved successfully using law enforcement techniques, existing laws against violence, and our court system," despite the fact that this bill does not "solve" anything and enacts no new laws of or pertaining to speech in the United States.