New York

It’s the Thought That Counts


An “ideologically based” witchhunt law from an ideologically based congresswoman.

Jane Harman‘s proposed thought-police law, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, is no surprise. The measure, aimed at “preventing ideologically based violence,” comes from a Democratic congresswoman who herself is ideologically based.

The biggest clump of her campaign contributions since the late ’80s — $1.5 million — has come from the ideology/single-issue sector, according to the crack site And a big chunk of that has come from the pro-Israel lobby. Harman has been probed for sleazy lobbying links to AIPAC, as Time reported in October 2006.

The only thing that’s even remotely amusing about the chilling attempt to silence dissent is that Harman’s husband, Sidney, is the hugely wealthy founder of sound-blasting audio giant Harman Kardon.

I take that back. Another funny part of the Thought Police Act is its call for the establishment of a “Center Of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States.” But that would be only after we have a “national commission” — with subpoena powers — study the issue and scare the shit out of lefty professors who dare to mention Palestinians in their classrooms. Broadly, such a wack-HUAC law would of course chill all sorts of dissenting views on all sorts of subjects.

Trying to make up for the lack of mainstream coverage of this creepy law is Philip Giraldi, who noted the other day:

One would have thought that the systematic dismantling of the Constitution of the United States would have been enough to satisfy even the most Jacobin neoconservative, but there is more on the horizon, and it is coming from people who call themselves Democrats. The mainstream media has made no effort to inform the public of the impending Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act. The Act, which was sponsored by Congresswoman Jane Harman of California, was passed in the House by an overwhelming 405 to 6 vote on October 24th and is now awaiting approval by the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which is headed by Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. It is believed that approval by the committee will take place shortly, to be followed by passage by the entire Senate.

No surprise that the hard-line pro-Israel Lieberman is involved. The only federal campaign contributions made by Sidney Harman, Jane’s 89-year-old hubby, in the past three years have been to Lieberman.

It’s also no shock that such a Draconian law would come from a Democrat. The Smith Act of 1940 was introduced by a Democrat and passed under FDR in an attempt to ferret out pro-Nazis and other right-wingers. After the war, of course, it became a handy tool with which to hound lefties — not just Commies, but Socialists, trade unionists, and other left-leaners as well.

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