March 09, 2007

We are all Terrorists

Section 802 of the Patriot Act has expanded the definition of "Domestic Terrorism" as follows:
A person engages in domestic terrorism if they do an act "dangerous to human life" that is a violation of the criminal laws of a state or the United States, if the act appears to be intended to: (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping. Additionally, the acts have to occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States and if they do not, may be regarded as international terrorism.
This is a big change to a previous law on the books that you might all recognize from your Civics classes:
Amendment I :Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
So what we have here is the fact that some peaceful protesters can be charged with Domestic Terrorism if they do so much as jaywalk, fail to disperse when asked to, or even if they protest without valid permits. "Dangerous to human life" can become as elastic as the government or police want it to be. (e.g. "blocking the roads MIGHT cause an accident.")

I just wish that Congress would use these new definitions against the Bush Administration.
`(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
. Can soneone tell me that sending us into an illegal war with faked intelligence doesn't fit this definition? It's still costing us thousands of lives, and it was done to coerce a civilian population, namely Iraq.

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