Former U.S. Rep Tulsi Gabbard, a former Democratic presidential candidate from Hawaii, is raising concerns about proposed legislation introduced in the House to curb domestic terrorism. She warns that the ambiguity of the measure could be used to undercut civil liberties.
Gabbard’s concern lies in how politicians define the “characteristics” that will determine potential threats, saying the proposed legislation poses “a very dangerous undermining of our civil liberties, our freedoms in our Constitution, and a targeting of almost half of the country.”
The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021 was introduced in the House last week in the aftermath of the mostly peaceful protest at the US Capitol on January 6.
“Unlike after 9/11, the threat that reared its ugly head on January 6th is from domestic terror groups and extremists, often racially-motivated violent individuals,” Representative Brad Schneider (D-IL), said in announcing the legislation.
“Combating the threat of domestic terrorism and white supremacy is not a Democratic or Republican issue, not Left versus Right or urban versus rural. Domestic Terrorism is an American issue, a serious threat we can and must address together,” Schneider said.
But Gabbard cut through the fog of Schneider’s rhetoric to spotlight the enormous threat to American civil liberties should the measure be signed into law, a prospect that is foreseeable given Democrats have one-party rule over the government at present.
“What characteristics are we looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist, what are we talking about? Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians, evangelical Christians, what is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? Where do you take this?” Gabbard asked.
“This is an issue that all Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians should be extremely concerned about, especially because we don’t have to guess about where this goes or how this ends,” Gabbard said.
“It’s so dangerous as you guys have been talking about, this is an issue that all Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians should be extremely concerned about, especially because we don’t have to guess about…how this ends” @TulsiGabbard https://t.co/9tDPVtosnH
— Jack Hunter (@jackhunter74) January 24, 2021
The former-Congresswoman exampled current discussions that have taken place between Obama-era CIA Director John Brennan and proposed and confirmed members of President Biden’s cabinet.
“When you have people like former CIA Director John Brennan openly talking about how he’s spoken with or heard from appointees and nominees in the Biden administration who are already starting to look across our country for these types of movements similar to the insurgencies they’ve seen overseas, that in his words, he says make up this unholy alliance of religious extremists, racists, bigots, he lists a few others and at the end, even libertarians,” Gabbard said.
Gabbard supposed the criteria that the so-called bi-partisan legislation would use, including race, gender, and political leaning.
“You start looking at obviously, have to be a white person, obviously likely male, libertarians, anyone who loves freedom, liberty, maybe has an American flag outside their house, or people who, you know, attended a Trump rally,” Gabbard said.