13 June 2007


House Un-American Activities Committee...

This committee was in existence until 1975 and held hearings on anything and everything that possibly threaten the security of the U.S keeping lists of people/citizens who it considered a threat to national security. It began in 1938 to investigate the growing Soviet threat to the nation's security. The committee of nine representatives investigated suspected threats of subversion or propaganda that attacked "the form of government guaranteed by our Constitution." Its most notable accomplishment was the arrest and conviction of Alger Hiss for perjury. They believed he lied to the committee, though the controversy still rages.

The Senate had its counterpart.

The Committee on Government Operations was the Senate counterpart. It had the most notoriety. Does the name Joseph McCarthy ring a bell? He had quite a list, hunting down a perceived threat by Communists. [That's big C, not little c.]

Oh, the Senate committee actually is still in existence. It's now called the United States Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

It, as we are all aware, has its own list. Though it doesn't hunt down Communists any more, it now has terrorists.

There is a third group with a list also - the FBI. It probably is working with the Senate committee.

This is HUAC and the Senate committee and the FBI circa June 2007 -
FBI Terror Watch List 'Out of Control'
A terrorist watch list compiled by the FBI has apparently swelled to include more that half a million names.

Privacy and civil liberties advocates say the list is growing uncontrollably, threatening its usefulness in the war on terror.
ABCNews, The Blotter
509,000 people to be exact. As the Federal 4th District Court of Appeals pointed out in its ruling yesterday, there seems to be a lot to be desired about these lists and their legitimacy. They are legal, but that does not mean that they are legitimate. Constitutional safeguards have been under attack since 2001.

Now, don't get me wrong. I have no problem with preventing attacks on the country and its citizens. I question the extent, the fairness and the actual workability of so vast a program. Who is actually in control and who is controlling them? Appeals courts over the last couple of weeks are asking these questions and with their rulings are taking some control.

I have the utmost trust in the Rule of Law. It has served and protected the US since 1789. It's going to continue to work.

oh, wait...

do these guys count as activist judges?

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