The Violent Radicalisation and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act /Thought-crime bill update
We Are Change LA visits the office of Jane Harmon, sponsor of HR 1955 the House version of S. 1959
I had some downtime at work yesterday, so I decided to go to GovTrack to find out if there were any new updates on S. 1959: the Violent Radicalisation and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, or better known throughout the blogosphere as ‘the thought-crime bill.’
The thought crime bill was passed almost overwhelmingly by the House of Representatives probably because much like the Patriot Act, the name of the bill alone convinced most of the House that the Violent Radicalisation and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act was a bill that would be good for America.
But just as the Patriot Act has nothing to do with to do with patriotism, or being a patriot, the Violent Radicalisation and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention act has little to do with actually combating terrorism. Both bills are all about limiting civil liberties of American citizens. In fact, the Violent Radicalisation and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act has been called ‘Patriot Act lite’.
Since GovTrack listed August 2, 2007 as the last action of the thought-crime bill by the Senate (it was read twice and referred by the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs), I wanted to know when the though-crime bill would be voted on by the Senate. I called the office of the Senator that introduced the bill, Senator Susan Collins, who sits on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
I wasn’t able to speak with anyone besides the receptionist regarding the though-crime bill, and while she was polite and helpful, I could detect a bit of annoyance in her voice at being asked about S. 1959. The young lady informed me that S.1959 was still pending with the Senate Committee due to lack of support.
While this is great news for the many bloggers and civil rights activists, it should be known that S. 1959 is not going anywhere. The offices of Rep. Jane Harmon, who also sits on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs have let it be known that the committee wants the thought crime bill to be signed into law. In other words, S. 1959 will most likely be edited and attached to another bill as covertly as possible, just like many parts of the John Warner Defense Authorization Act.
It is of my opinion that the Senate didn’t vote on the thought-crime bill because of groups like We Are Change and other civil liberty advocates groups and the pressure they put on their representatives.