While the Democrats in general, and the administration of Barack Obama, in particular, have shown little to no interest in actually preventing Islamic terrorists from entering the country, finding them once they are here, or even acknowledging that their outrages are terrorism. The have, however, shown a lot of energy in attempting to use terrorist attacks as a means of expanding the reach of the federal government and curtailing the rights of citizens. In this endeavor they are not only blatant but they are shameless.
Last week, Trey Gowdy’s committee had a hearing on the visa waiver program and how it might be used by terrorists. One of the witnessess was Department of Homeland Security’s Deputy Assistant Secretary Kelli Ann Burriesci. The subject of the administration’s proposal to ban anyone on the “no-fly” list from purchasing a firearm. It must be noted that this would have prevented exactly zero terrorist attacks and probably zero attacks of any kind. I provoked this analysis from Gowdy:
“What process is afforded a U.S. citizen, not someone who has overstayed a visa, not someone who crossed the border without permission, but an American citizen; what process is currently afforded an American citizen before they go on that list?” Gowdy asked. The vast majority of the nearly 300,000 people thought to be on the list do not live in the United States, according to Townhall. There are no more than 10,000 U.S. citizens on the No Fly List.
After a long pause, Burriesci responded, “I’m sorry, um, there’s not a process afforded the citizen prior to getting on the list; there is a process should someone feel they are unduly placed on the list.”
“Yes, there is,” interjected Gowdy.
“When I say process, I’m actually using half of the term due process, which is a phrase we find in the Constitution–that you cannot deprive people of certain things without due process. So I understand Mr. Gude’s [liberal with Center for American Progress] idea, which is wait until your right has taken from you, and then you petition the government to get it back; I understand that’s his idea. My question is can you name another constitutional right that we have that is chilled, until you find out it’s chilled–and then you have to petition the government to get it back. Is that true with the First Amendment?”
“Sir, there are strict criteria before anybody…,” Burriesci hesitantly began to reply.
Then Gowdy closed in for the coup de grace:
“What process is afforded a United States citizen before that person’s Constitutional right is infringed. That [The President] is fine with doing it with the Second Amendment. My question is, how about the First? How about we not let them set up a website, or a Google account? How about we not let them join a church until they petition Government to get off the list? How about not get a lawyer? How about the 6th amendment? How about you can’t get a lawyer until you petition the government to get off the list? Or my favorite, how about the 8th amendment? We’re going to subject you to cruel and unusual punishment until you petition the government to get off the list? Is there another Constitutional right that we treat the same way for American citizens than we do the Second Amendment? Can you think of one?”
“Can you think of one?”
Finally, a response from Obama’s DHS official…
“I don’t have an answer for you, sir.”
Unfortunately, Gowdy, seems to have provoked leftwing wacko law professor Eric Posner. He has an answer.
Consider a law that makes it a crime to access websites that glorify, express support for, or provide encouragement for ISIS or support recruitment by ISIS; to distribute links to those websites or videos, images, or text taken from those websites; or to encourage people to access such websites by supplying them with links or instructions. Such a law would be directed at people like Amin: naïve people, rather than sophisticated terrorists, who are initially driven by curiosity to research ISIS on the Web.
The law would provide graduated penalties. After the first violation, a person would receive a warning letter from the government; subsequent violations would result in fines or prison sentences. The idea would be to get out the word that looking at ISIS-related websites, like looking at websites that display child pornography, is strictly forbidden. As word spread, people like Amin would be discouraged from searching for ISIS-related websites and perhaps be spared radicalization and draconian punishment for more serious terrorism-related crimes.
The Amin referred to is Ali Amin, a 17-year-old who is looking at a 11 years in federal prison for raising money for ISIS.
This proposed law, much like the no-fly proposal, allows the government to criminalize quintessentially protected speech. Moreover, it is difficult to see how such a law could be tailored to fit only ISIS. For instance, it is easy to see how were such a law on the books in the 70s and 80s that Rep. Peter King (R-NY) 35%, instead of being in Congress, would be doing hard time for material support of the IRA. Plus, once it is on the books the possibility it would be repealed with the end of ISIS approaches zero. Given the White House’s multi-year push to combat “domestic” extremism — one of their proposals after San Bernardino was to create a Homeland Security office devoted to tracking domestic extremists — and the way they have used the IRS and FBI as a cudgel to punish their political enemies, it is easy to see what would happen here. In fact, under Posner’s proposal if I, as a blogger, pull a screen cap from an ISIS video or use an ISIS image, I could be prosecuted.
But all of this goes to underscore how the real threat of terrorism is not death in a fusillade of rifle fire from a disturbed, homely woman or from a homemade pressure-cooker bomb. The real danger is from progressives who use the imagined dangers conjured up from the depths of their souls (okay, so that wouldn’t be depths, that would be shallowness) to further limit individual liberties and freedoms.
The post Trey Gowdy Underestimates the Progressive Hate Of the Bill Of Rights [VIDEO] appeared first on RedState.
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