Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Bad Situations Make for Bad Laws

First, you should go read this piece on Lawfare about the need for domestic terrorism legislation.

I am against that. First off, I believe that there are enough ways to convict people who are committing crimes in furtherance of political goals.

Second, looking at this issue through the lens of both the January 6th Trumpist Coup Attempt and far-right terrorism yields a distorted result. Remember that, when people were protesting the Wars of the Chimperor, that the Department of Defense labelled the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker peace group, as a terrorist group. The long track record of police surveillance and government spying has shown that the security services of this country, from the local cops up through the Feds, have prioritized keeping tabs on antiwar groups while turning a near blind eye to the far-right. It was to the point that the last president regarded groups like the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys and various neo-Nazis both as very fine people and as his base, while asking if it was possible to shoot protesters in the legs.

Anyone who doesn't believe that a politician like Trump, Abbott or DeSantis wouldn't weaponize the ability to designate groups as domestic terrorist organizations as a tool to crush opponents hasn't been paying attention. The idea of having domestic terrorism legislation is a horrible one.

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