The Washington Post went so far as to editorialize the hearings as the new "Red Scare", with the opening paragraph in this "hard news story" reporting that the hearings were held in the same room as the House Un-American Activities Committee. This is what passes for reporting these days at the Washington Post.
The hearings should have been a start to a dialogue to determine the process of radicalization and how, if at all, it can be thwarted, and King certainly did his level best to rise above the screeching of leftists determined to put a stop to even the mere discussion of the topic. One has to wonder why.
One of the more amusing accusations came from Congressman Al Green (D-TX) who claimed that the KKK was far more of a threat than radicalized Muslims and demanded that the KKK be labeled a terrorist organization. This is clearly a huge disconnect for liberals. They cannot seem to discern the difference between terrorism and domestic criminal elements. To compare the toothless, uneducated fools parading around in bedsheets to the well-funded, well-organized, extremely determined networks of a terrorist cell is not merely ludicrous, it is outright dangerous.
But it is far from the first time.
During the Patriot Act debate, one of the main issues that liberals had was wanting to apply the US Constitution to a terrorist problem that clearly should remain in the purview of the military. The main goal of the Obama Administration in closing Guantanamo Bay is to try to get the detainees into the US judicial system. Of course, the reality of the situation seems to have slowed down that pipe dream, but the mistaken notion that the detainees should be treated like mere criminals rather than terrorists has not diminished.
When soldiers were attacked and killed in Germany by a young man from Kosovo who had been visiting radical Islamic websites, may have had contacts with a radical cleric, openly confessed to wanting to kill as many Americans as possible because of the war in Afghanistan, and was witnessed screaming "Allah Akbar" while fufilling his desire, what else can one conclude but that this was a terrorist attack? And yet, the Obama Administration not only refuses to call this attack a terrorist attack, but had the gall to compare it to the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
The difference between a terrorist operation and domestic criminal activity is night and day and to not clearly recognize the difference is naive, dangerous, regrettable and downright reckless.
There was one good piece of news that came out of the hearings in the Senate on the Patriot Act -- which, by the way, doesn't seem to have received much if any attention. A press release from Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking member Charles Grassley announced the passage of an amendment to the Patriot Act that would allow the death penalty for some terrorist acts:
"During debate of a controversial bill to extend, amend and add provisions to the USA PATRIOT Act, the Senate Judiciary Committee today adopted an amendment offered by Ranking Member Chuck Grassley that would make terrorists who commit a crime using a weapon of mass destruction eligible for the death penalty. Current law does not carry the possibility of the death penalty for when someone uses these weapons.
The amendment would add the death penalty for five specific crimes that cause death, including participating in, or providing material support to, developing, using, or threatening to use a nuclear weapon; producing or using a missile to destroy an aircraft; using or threatening to use atomic weapons; using a dirty bomb, or radiological dispersal device; and producing or using a virus.
'The most serious of crimes, should have the most serious of penalties. When a terrorist commits one of these horrific crimes with weapons of mass destruction, the death penalty should be an option on the table,' Grassley said."
The good news is that the death penalty, which should have been applicable to terrorist acts in the first place, is on the track to becoming law. The bad news is that if it is applied with the frequency that the death penalty is for domestic crimes, it will hardly be a deterrent. It will only deter terrorists if it is used. Criminals and terrorists have one thing in common -- they don't want to get caught and pay the price for their activities. When citizens are armed via a Concealed Carry Law, when penalties are swift and sure, when there is an increased chance of getting caught, multiple studies show definitively that the crime rate goes down.
Given that liberals seem to have the desire to classify terrorists as run of the mill criminals.....Given that most liberals believe that criminals are misunderstood, can't help their crimes, are fighting against oppression, etc. etc. etc......Given that most liberals are very much against the death penalty for any reason......Given that the U.S. Senate is controlled by liberals, the Grassley Amendment may not see the light of day.
But back in the good news column is the best news of all -- November, 2012 is a comin'.