Obama considering top national security post for Jane Harmon, author of HR 1955, successor to the Patriot Act

Obama is considering a top national security post for Rep. Jane Harmon, author of HR 1955, The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, and its Senate equivalent S 1959. These bills are as dangerous as the Patriot Act. Read the Gray Panthers page on these bills.

OpEd News, November 10, 2008


By Linda Milazzo

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 toast. 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 so anti-dissent, so anti-freedom and so McCarthy-like in its establishment of citizen review Commissions that I’ve written on it twice – both times appealing to the public to stop passage of its Senate clone, S 1959, which luckily has not yet come up for vote. Unfortunately, Mrs. Harman was so covert when sneaking in “1955” that no citizens could lobby to stop it.

Here is a passage from my December 19, 2007 article, Don’t Call Us If You Call Us Terrorists, which describes Jane Harman’s Machiavellian assault on Americans’ freedoms in the form of this reckless and hysterical bill:

“On October 23rd [2007], 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:


(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.

Here is a youtube of 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:

We also need to inform the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee that we oppose the passage of S 1959. As of the November 4th election, the make-up of the committee has changed, and it will further change when the Senate returns for its session in 2009. But the time is always right to get our voices heard. To inform the current Homeland Security Committee of our EXTREME OPPOSITION to S 1959, we need to contact its membership.

Our battle as citizens to protect and preserve our rights NEVER takes a recess. The full Senate should hear our anger over “1959,” now, in January, and every day until it’s completely dismissed. The bill’s sponsor, Maine Republican Susan Collins, can be reached at: (202) 224-2523

Finally, and perhaps most notably, we need to demand that every member of the Legislature read all legislation before they sign. To do otherwise, as in the case of Waxman, Waters et al, is an extreme dereliction of duty.

Authors Bio: 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. Linda began her writing career over 30 years ago, starting out in advertising and promotions. From 1976 to 1989, she operated an independent public relations service providing specialty writing for individual and corporate clients. For the past six years, Linda has focused on political writing. Her essays, letters and commentaries have appeared in domestic and international journals, newspapers and magazines. She’s an educator and creator of a writers’ program she’s taught privately and in public schools. She currently facilitates an advocacy writing workshop and is developing an advocacy writing program to be implemented in public and private educational institutions and in community based organizations. Linda is a senior editor at OEN, a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, and to other respected news and opinion websites. A political and social activist since the Vietnam War, Linda attributes her revitalized-fully-engaged-intense-head-on-non-stop-political activism to the UNFORTUNATE EXISTENCE OF GEORGE W. BUSH and her disgust with greed-ridden American imperialism, environmental atrocities, egregious war, nuclear proliferation, lying leaders, and global tyranny!

1 Response to “Obama considering top national security post for Jane Harmon, author of HR 1955, successor to the Patriot Act”

  1. 1 Jim Smith November 10, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    I agree with all the reasons mentioned above that should disqualify Jane Harman from consideration.

    In addition, I was a peace candidate running against Jane Harman in Nov. 2006. During the campaign, I discovered that her family fortune (approx. $1 billion at that time, making her the richest member of Congress) was based in part on sweat shops in the third world. I visited one in Tijuana – Harman audio – and filmed a video that is on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKKSiC0BOeo. It seems incredible to me that someone who sends jobs to Mexico and pays workers $1 per hour could be in the U.S. Congress, let alone be considered for an “Intelligence” appointment. Jane Harman is so not-change!

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