Friday, September 29, 2006

Definition of terrorism

Quiet day at work, so I surfed out to the Library of Congress to check out the text of the latest terror bill, HR 6166. (note - big-old-pdf file there, 90 pages)

Specifically, the definition of a terrorist (page 76, starting on line 21). As I read it, it's rather fuzzy, so I sent the following letter to Dennis Moore, my representative here, who voted for this measure.

In the recently passed HR6166, I have a question about paragraph 24 of section 950v, the definition of a terrorist:

It reads that a terrorist is any person who (kills) or (engages in an act of wanton disregard for human life to intimidate the gov't or civilians)

Then it gets fuzzy. The next clause says "or to retaliate against government conduct" - is that an explanation of (engages in an act), or is that a separate clause that could be read as:

"A terrorist is a person who engages in an act to retaliate against government conduct".

If it's the second reading, I have a real problem with that - Donating to the Green party, attending a demonstration or voting against Bush could all be seen as acts retaliating against government conduct. This e-mail could be seen as such an act.

Could you please have your staff research this and get back with me?

I wonder what I'll get back on this. . .
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