Let's Hope the Rumors About Jane Harman in an Obama Admin Aren't Serious
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According to the local Los Angeles newspaper, The Daily Breeze, California Congresswoman, Jane Harman, a blue dog conservative Democrat, is up for a high-level intelligence position in the Obama administration. The positions being considered are CIA Director, Director of National Intelligence, and Secretary of Homeland Security. If this speculation becomes fact, and Harman is appointed overseer of the freedoms of the American people, the people's freedoms are in deep trouble. Conservative Democrat Harman consistently legislates against participatory democracy and against personal freedom.
The most egregious example of Harman's disregard for participatory democracy is HR 1955 -- the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007" -- a frightening bill she slipped in the House for passage just over a year ago. HR 1955 is very anti-dissent, very anti-freedom and so McCarthy-like in its establishment of citizen review Commissions. Fortunately, its Senate clone, S 1959, has not yet come up for a vote. Unfortunately, Mrs. Harman was so covert when sneaking in "1955" that no citizens could lobby to stop it in the House.
Here is a passage from an article I wrote on "1955" which describes Jane Harman's assault on our freedoms::
"On October 23rd , Congress voted to stifle Americans' right to dissent when it passed House Resolution 1955, the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007," sponsored by California Congresswoman, Jane Harman. In sanctioning the ambiguous definitions for "homeland terrorism" contained in this bill, Congress equated American participatory democracy to American "homegrown terror." The First Amendment is under assault:
H.R. 1955 DEFINITIONS:
(1) COMMISSION -- The term 'Commission' means the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism established under section 899C.
(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION -- The term 'violent radicalization' means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.
(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM -- The term 'homegrown terrorism' means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
(4) IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE -- The term 'ideologically based violence' means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual's political, religious, or social beliefs. Despite the ambiguity of the language in H.R. 1955, it still passed the House by an overwhelming 404 to 6 -- rammed through by Jane Harman, under the guise of deterring another American mass murderer like Timothy McVeigh."
There is ample proof Jane Harman intentionally slid this undemocratic legislation past her Congressional colleagues to conceal from them how extreme an assault on freedom it would be. According to her colleague, Henry Waxman, Harman's bill had been placed on the " suspension calendar for non-controversial bills ." In other words, Mrs. Harman casually slipped in a bill that could declare anyone in America a terrorist based on the vaguest definitions and then she just asked everyone to sign on. Even activist-friendly Maxine Waters signed the bill before she ever read it.
Below is a youtube of Rep. Henry Waxman being confronted at a Los Angeles Town Hall on December 26, 2007, and challenged for his support of "1955:"
It's hard to fathom why Jane Harman would feel the need to suppress Americans' freedom so severely that she'd author and advance such a vague and oppressive bill. It's even harder to fathom why President-elect Obama would consider Mrs. Harman for a key role in the Homeland Security Department or the CIA considering how little regard she has for participatory democracy, how wrong she was about the war in Iraq and the existence of WMDs.
Regarding S 1959, there is the slight possibility that President-elect Obama is unaware that it exists. However, this is doubtful since it's currently under review in the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, of which Mr. Obama is a member. One would hope President-elect Obama would be just as offended by this bill as are we in The Public. Even the ultra conservative John Birch Society opposes the police state/thought police mentality of the House and Senate versions of Mrs. Harman's bill.
As I said in my article last December,
"A nation that views its own people as enemies creates laws to suppress them. A Congress that ignores the will of its people creates laws to redefine them. Homegrown activists become homegrown terrorists. Per the vague designations in H.R. 1955 [and S 1959], activists and terrorists are the same."
We the people need to inform President-elect Obama of our opposition to his proposed high level appointment of Congresswoman Harman, and of our opposition to S 1959 and HR 1955. We need to let him know that its HIS job to safeguard our freedoms as he has promised, and NOT to weaken or remove them. We can start by contacting the website the President-elect created to gather our opinions.
Linda Milazzo is a Los Angeles based writer, educator and activist. Since 1974, she has divided her time between the entertainment industry, government organizations & community development projects, and educational programs.