Monday, November 5, 2007

Be Very Afraid Mr. Jefferson

Naomi Wolf lists 10 things rulers do to close an open society. One of those it to highlight a grave and material threat to national security. While the enemy starts out looking very different than the common citizen, it soon morphs, potentially into your next door neighbor. Such is the current war on terror.

The head of Great Britain's expert intelligence service MI5 said there at least 2,000 people in the UK who pose a threat due to their support for terrorism. The United Kingdom has 60 million people. The internal threat is .036% of the total population.

The United States Congress wants to grow the pool of potential domestic terrorists with H.R. 1955: The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. The law seeks to identify "homegrown terrorists" that advocate "ideologically based violence". This comes after a report saying there is little evidence of Islamic radicals in the U.S. Out of 300 million residents, only 158 terror cases were prosecuted with only 4 convictions since 9-11.

If Congress were to apply the same definitions in the bill to our founding fathers how would the creators of democracy fare? Would Thomas Jefferson be jailed and his university shuttered?

"As revolutionary instruments (when nothing but revolution will cure the evils of the State) [secret societies] are necessary and indispensable, and the right to use them is inalienable by the people." --Thomas Jefferson to William Duane, 1803. FE 8:256

His language clearly meets the standard of "advocating ideologically based violence" set by our current elected officials. Jefferson proposes using secret societies to accomplish revolution. What would happen to him under H.R. 1955? Would he find himself back under King George? (The above picture is a statue of Thomas Jefferson at the College of William and Mary. There Jefferson participated in a secret society known as the Flat Hat Club. The picture was taken over Halloween, a most scary time of our already deeply disturbing year.)