Volume 21, Number 2
N.O. Dollar Day
Readers & writers
Journal of 21st Yr
2008: What's New?
Waiting for War
Iraq War Vet
Dylan & Wainwright
Charlie Wilson's War
César cuauhtémoc garcía Hernández
NYT on Kosovo
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
The Ideological Profiling Act of 2007
ZMO ONLINE-ONLY ARTICLE
On October 23, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 passed 404 to 6 in the House (HR 1955). Its Senate companion (S.1959) is under evaluation by the Senate Committee of Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
This bill would implement an expansion of the 2002 Homeland Security Act with the creation of a National Commission authorized to study and identify individuals and groups whose social values, political associations, or religious beliefs “might” lead them to commit violent acts. However, this does not refer to CIA assassinations, police brutality, murder of unarmed civilians, or torture at secret prisons. This Commission is targeting political dissidents and social activists who are critical of U.S. foreign policy, corporate abuse, and practices that threaten the life of our planet.
These ideological epithets, “violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism” were coined by the the RAND Corporation in its 2005 monograph, “Trends in Terrorism: Threats to the United States and the Future of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.” The title of the bill is taken verbatim from this monograph. RAND spokespeople testified before the House Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment, chaired by Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), who sponsored this legislation. Harman has admitted to a long and productive relationship with RAND Corporation, a California- based think-tank with close ties to the military-industrial-intelligence complex. Donald Rumsfeld was its chair from 1981 to 1986. Lewis Libby, Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, and Condoleezza Rice were trustees.
The introductory summary to this monograph highlights the “homegrown terrorists” who “pose an evolving threat to corporate interests…. In addition to the terrorist threats posed by al Qaeda and both associated and independent radical jihadists, a growing groundswell of domestically inspired radicalism has emerged that appears to be based on the spreading phenomenon of anti-globalization (AG). The AG movement has had an impact on at least three homegrown entities—all of which have demonstrated, in varying degrees, an explicit penchant for violence and civilian-directed action.
“Anarchists, who resonate with the claim that international trade and commerce are, in fact, a mask designed to hide and covertly advance U.S. global economic, cultural and political power.
“Far-right extremists, who reject the loss of individual identity associated with international movements of people, commodities and money; who oppose the concentration of power that globalization entails; and who argue that globalization is an American-led conspiracy conducted by and for the benefit of Jewish capitalists.
“Radical environmentalists, who now routinely denigrate corporate power and capitalism (and the unrestrained discretionary spending that they entail) as posing the single greatest threat to the planet and its life.
“A notable common thread in many of the trends is an increased risk for the private sector. This increase arises from the changes in the operational environment because of the Global War on Terror; the hardening of government facilities, which is shifting risk to softer targets; the rise of extremists motivated by AG and therefore hostile to corporate power; and the increased focus by al Qaeda on attacks that yield magnified economic consequences.”
This monograph appears to be a plea for more “robust” reimbursement of taxpayer-funded insurance claims by expanding the definitions of “certified terrorist attacks” to include acts committed by U.S. citizens in addition to those of foreign terrorists. (Were you aware that taxpayers are underwriting “terrorist attack” insurance claims that qualify for reimbursement if property damage is at least $5 million and capped at $100 billion, but not personal claims for homeowners, autos, or life insurance? Why are taxpayers reimbursing big business while they’re not protected themselves?)
The dragnet of individuals encompassed by RAND’s perceived “evolving threats to corporate interests” includes just about everyone who isn’t in favor of war, corporate globalization, destruction of the earth’s biosphere, and trampling human rights. In Chapter Four these homegrown terrorists are described in detail, citing the following themes as major concerns of this “radical fringe”:
- International debt relief; civil rights; opposition to corporate power; socioeconomic and political dislocations; capitalism’s insatiable quest for profit; destruction of the world’s ecology, indigenous cultures and individual welfare; illegitimate and unjust concentrations of public, state and private power; capitalist indifference to the needs of the weak and dispossessed.
- International trade and commerce as a mask designed to hide and covertly advance US global economic, cultural and political power.
- Aversion to harm inflicted on animals and the biosphere; preserving ‘Mother Earth’ from rapacious degradation and exploitation; preservation of the wilderness; restoring destroyed ecosystems.
- Corporate greed is the greatest threat to the planet and its life; multinational companies are guilty of exploitative labor practices, union busting and human rights violations in the developing world.
RAND concludes in Chapter Four: “The goal of ecological preservation is likely to fully morph with the wider imperative of anti-globalization…. Growing discontent over a variety of U.S. foreign policy decisions could lead to the emergence of a new radical left-wing fringe across American society that is jointly directed against big business, big money, corporate power and uncaring government.… Civil disobedience may be directed against global capitalism, corporate greed and conglomerate interests such as Boeing, Microsoft, and Sears.… The prevailing trends within the domestic terrorist environment have been toward AG, which carries a clear threat to private-sector corporate interests, especially large multinational businesses.… Whether the threat emerges from the Christian Patriot Militia, the Black Bloc, the ELF, or some other AG-inspired movement, all exist in much the same operational environment as al Qaeda.”
And there you have it: the subversive ideas of America’s “homegrown terrorists” are posited as equivalent to the threat from al Qaeda. But why a National Commission to defeat these networks of “dangerous radicals?” Why not the usual disinformation campaign of drivel delivered by corporate television and radio sock puppets, plus articles planted in the press and then quoted as fact, lies repeated ad nauseam, personal attacks and character assassinations, demolishing reality, framing debates with false premises, distorting language, and reversing truth?
That brings us to one of the most insidious assertions of this bill: “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.”
This assertion presumably lays the groundwork for corporate control of the Internet, blocking out IP addresses that expose inconvenient truths, government cover-ups or corporate abuse; interrupting the momentum of groups organized around social justice while keeping the shopping lane open for corporate profit. Perhaps the 404 members of the House Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment who voted for the bill were bamboozled during their hearing on “Using the Web as a Weapon: the Internet as a Tool for Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism.” The hearing featured presentations from politically biased groups, including RAND’s Brian Michael Jenkins. Mark Weitzman delivered a Power Point presentation under the heading “Internet: Incubator of 9/11 Conspiracies and Disinformation” in which he juxtaposed websites showing violent militants with the website of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, a compendium of scientific research conducted by scholars and supported by 800 members.
The bill also authorizes a taxpayer-funded university-based Center of Excellence “to study the social, criminal, political, psychological and economic roots of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism in the United States and methods that can be used by homeland security officials of Federal, State, local, and tribal governments to mitigate violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism… [the Center] shall assist [these law enforcement officials] through training, education, and research in preventing violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism in the United States.” Why would a university- based center coordinate its activities with law enforcement? Embedding this operation in the university system brings to mind the chilling dismissal, recently, of tenured professors in both Colorado and Utah who published research on the Internet which exposed government lies.
Given the unlawful government surveillance of innocent American citizens that has been underway since at least January 2001, this bill raises concerns about freedom of thought, free speech, freedom to associate with others, Internet freedom, and the criminalization of so-called belief systems considered politically threatening by the militant corporate conglomerate which has already subverted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, militarizing local law enforcement, privatizing public assets, and converting the U.S. into a privately held corporation.
Will this National Commission spawn another McCarthy-style inquisition to silence dissent and ruin lives, interrogating citizens about their values, condemning them for guilt by association, and accusing them of being “homegrown terrorists?” There is too much at stake to wait and see what might result from the passage of this bill. If history is any indication, Hoover’s FBI did not use its authority to eliminate Organized Crime or Ku Klux Klan violence. It used its resources to silence, eliminate, and murder civil rights leaders, progressive activists, social critics, and even visionary musicians.
This bill would more appropriately be titled The Ideological Profiling Act of 2007, a bill to criminalize expressions of social conscience that conflict with the corporate security state.
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; firstname.lastname@example.org; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; email@example.com; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.