The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed HR 1955, titled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. It was passed with 404 votes in favor.
A close reading within an historical context — keeping especially in mind the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and Presidential Executive Orders, pursuant to which the government has engaged in massive surveillance of its own citizens, as well as detentions, extraordinary renditions, assassinations, and torture — leads me to the following conclusions:
- This is a "Thought Crime" bill of the type so often discussed in an Orwellian context.
- It specifically targets the civilian population of the United States.
- It defines "Violent Radicalization" as promoting any belief system that the government considers to be extremist.
- "Homegrown Terrorism" and "Violent Radicalization" are defined as thought crimes.
- Since the bill does not provide a specific definition of extremist belief system, it will be whatever the government at any given time deems it to be.
A few extracts of the Bill are presented below to show you its tone or "flavor."
"(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term `violent radicalization’ means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system… to advance political, religious, or social change."
SECTION 899B. FINDINGS.
"(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."
"(6) The potential rise of self radicalized, unaffiliated terrorists domestically cannot be easily prevented through traditional Federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts, and requires the incorporation of State and local solutions."
Section 899D of the bill establishes a Center for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States. This will be an institution affiliated with the Department of Homeland Security. It will study and determine how to detain thought criminals.
THIS LEGISLATION ENDS THE POSSIBILITY OF A CULTURE OF REASON.
It is an attempt at legislative lobotomy of conscience. It aims to eviscerate ethical sensibilities of an entire culture.
Having usurped the power of war and peace, life and death, the Corporatocracy now bludgeons even the thought of speaking for conscience. This is State murder of the mind.
It is just too awesomely obscene for words. It exceeds not only the scope of my vocabulary, but my imagination as well.
The minions and hired agents of politicians are free to murder, rape and pillage on government hire using our money, but to imagine alternatives to them and the degraded, psychopathic political "leaders" who design and perpetrate these atrocities is legislated as a thought crime!
This is the legislated, politically promulgated end of man as a thinking, self-directed being. Surely this must be the outer limit of "positive law," that is, statutory laws passed by "Lawmakers."
It further entrenches the Power Elite as separate from and above their "subjects." It clearly demonstrates the paranoid delusions of the Establishment, pursuant to which it legislates a massive defense mechanism to protect itself from the populace that it subjugates.
I use these terms deliberately, because the so-called freedom of the vote has turned out to be a big con game. It is only the "freedom" to choose one set of thieves over the other. The blue suits or the red suits… all of them manufactured suits of the corporations.
Following in the train of this legislation will doubtless be internal travel documents, neighborhood snoops and spies, rewards granted for turning in politically incorrect thought criminals, mass civilian detention centers — in short, the whole totalitarian control mechanism that we associate with the SS, KGB and other code words of criminal regimes. There will be "re-programming / rehabilitation" centers to correct errant free thinkers.
Take note that the Department of Homeland Security already has more than 750,000 persons on its watch list. For a glimpse of past as prologue, read Solzhenitsyn.
Who Will Be Thought Police and Under What Standards?
Who will define radical thought, and by what standards? For example, how about the reported millions who believe that 9-11 was an inside job, citing a mass of evidence from eye witnesses, physicists, engineers, and recorded statements such as "We pulled it," essentially a confession by the building’s owner of the planned demolition of Building 7?
Will the writings of John Perkins in Confessions of An Economic Hit Man and The Secret History of The American Empire be thought crimes? Will this very essay be a thought crime?
What about Operation Northwoods, pursuant to which the Joint Chiefs of the United States planned for innocent people to be shot on American streets, for boats carrying passengers to be sunk on the high seas, for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched within the country, and for other depraved acts conceived in the minds of government-hired psychopaths? Previously top-secret documents about this were released on 18 November 1997 and can be researched at www.wikipedia.org. Evidently, members of the Establishment will be permitted to engage in thought crime.
Soon enough, we will all be killing each other, and the statement of Mohandas Gandhi will be borne out: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
Will thinking about cleansing the national soul of our atrocities — of Iraq, Guantanamo, Abu Gharib, the advanced plans underway to nuke Iran, the crimes of Blackwater murderers, the government’s domestic coercion and violence — be "Thought Crimes?"
Will it be thought crime to conceive of a domestic Truth and Reconciliation Commission pursuant to which high government officials are brought to book for crimes against humanity?
Will it be "radicalization" to think of alternatives to a government of, by, and for the Corporatocracy, which accumulates its vast wealth through the blood money of endless war?
What about imagination-consideration of a non-coercive society of free individuals acting in voluntary cooperation, what is commonly referred to as anarchy?
Will it be radical to conceive of preventing the Cheney-Bush cabal from launching WWIII and the incineration of earth through a false flag operation against Iran?
WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF OUR GOVERNMENT
BECAUSE WE PAY FOR IT
It has taken me too many years — and too much income tax — to come to the awful realization that these "public servants" are only hired mouthpieces and puppets of the Money Powers who operate behind the scenes to orchestrate war, to coordinate the Military Industrial Complex, the Homeland Security Complex, the NGO Help-The-Poor Complex, the "Third World Corporate Development" Complex. In short, the Exploitation Complex.
The roaring inside me is about the self-disgust at living by the whims of Nice Government Men and their intellectual and financial pimps — men who, for just one example, can force starvation upon Indian farmers by their money printing press maneuvers to save their own hides from the overreach of blind greed. Men like those in Goldman Sachs who have the power to bail out their own companies and pay billions in bonuses while manipulating currencies such that basic food staples become priced out of reach of the rural Indian poor.
Let our excuse for the sorry state in which we find ourselves be not ignorance, for history is quite clear to those who would study. I quote founding father James Madison, "History records that money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible, to maintain their control over governments, by controlling money and its issuance." A more honest excuse would be our own greed and laziness. The quick buck. Buy now, pay later.
Statement of Conscientious Objection
HR 1955 as recently passed by the House of Representatives is in effect a Thought Crime Prevention Bill. This action simply stops my mind. It cannot be absorbed. This ultimate Police State freezes my imagination.
This newest version of draconian legislation on thought control is where Jeff Knaebel says enough is enough. Speaking truth to Power, I say, I am not your puppet. I declare my self-ownership. Come and get me if you wish. If you wish to own my body, you will have to imprison it. I am breaking the paper chains by which I have allowed you to enslave me.
Imagine with me for a moment (it may not yet be a thought crime). I say to Dick Cheney, "I refuse to obey. Come and get me, boss. Come alone — I’ll not run, and I am unarmed and harmless. Meet me in yonder open field." Standing in front of him, I remove my shirt, challenging him to do likewise. To prove his manhood equal, he follows along until we stand facing each other naked in the open field. I ask, "Now, what is your business with me?"
You see, it is all a mind game. The government is powerless before our non-cooperation. Of course, although an abstraction, it is a heavily armed abstraction. This argues for the right to bear arms and a well-armed citizenry in the American tradition. But if the mind behind the gun is cowardly and subdued, the gun is of no use. I suggest that nonviolent civil disobedience has proven to be a more effective method of regaining control of our lives. There would be significant loss of life, but much less than with an armed struggle.
Is murder an act that involves the human conscience? Can any other hear the voice of my inner conscience? Then, how can any such other claim the power to "represent" me in choosing to kill? How can such other "represent" me in determining which of my thoughts is criminal?
To say, or even to imply, that these people "represent" me cannot be described as an obscenity. It is an absurdity. Really, I should laugh. Instead it generates a roaring inside me — the inner roar of a man who would be free.
THIS IS MY PLACE OF "LIVE FREE OR DIE."
One cannot deal with this except to speak out and be willing to put his life on the line. One must resist this legislation and this government, or else surrender his humanity and become a dead thing.
This is the place where the soles of my feet meet the path of Liberty. This is where Jeff Knaebel refuses to renew his "permission to live" identification documents pursuant to which Big Brother tracks him like an owned domestic animal. Any situation in which I am not free to leave means that my presence is by coercion or threat of coercion. If one cannot leave some "place" except by permission of the "owners" (passport), then he is a slave. To learn more about issues of expatriation and "man without a country," visit my website at www.statelessfreedom.org.
I was never the property even of my biological father, leave aside the absurdly stupid abstract concept of Nations — bounded by arbitrary lines drawn on maps — across which opposing armies of blood relations gun down the other.
My body is not the property of the U.S. Government. I will challenge the U.S. Government for ownership of my body, with my body itself. My mind will be forever free.
I did not ask for US citizenship, and I will not accept its rules even if forced upon me.
Any situation in which I am not free to leave means that my presence is by coercion or threat of coercion. If I cannot leave some "place" except by permission of the "owners" (passport), then I am a slave.
The US State does not own the land called America, and it does not own anybody who was born there or lives there.
No bureaucrat has the right to define who I am — and the murder of which other person I may be forced to finance — by his stamp upon some arbitrary piece of paper.
I belong to none, other than Almighty Creation.
I claim my freedom to respect the lives of others, as I would be respected. Freedom to do no harm, and to eschew violence. Freedom to express compassion in action. Freedom to support life. Freedom not to finance murder.
No other can hear the voice of my conscience, let alone "represent" it, or speak for it. My conscience will be muffled by no person and by no law. Nor will I ever knowingly aggress against another.
It Is Man’s Duty To Love.
It now must be of the "tough love" variety. We must see clearly and face bravely the reality of what we continue to create for ourselves. We must take up tough ethical positions.
We have proved again and again, over spans of millennia, that any kind of violent revolution will only turn the wheel of violence another revolution, around and around.
If we will but cease to destroy, we may live. We cannot negotiate with melting glaciers. Perhaps we can negotiate with the storms of insatiable greed and desire raging within our own minds. Perhaps we can come out of our addiction to more, more and faster, faster.
The revolution we must undertake to save ourselves is a revolution within our own minds toward loving kindness, truth, and respect for life.
To those who would accept a legislated statutory slavery, I say — may your shackles bind you without too much pain. May you go quietly into oblivion, and may you not burden me with the memory that you ever stood a watch with me on Spaceship Earth.
If you are interested in further exploration of personal statelessness, stop by and visit www.statelessfreedom.org.
Jeff Knaebel [send him mail] is an expatriate American domiciled in India since 1995. He formerly practiced as a registered professional engineer, having been trained at Cornell Univ. and the Colorado School of Mines.