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Senate attaches hate crimes measure to Iraq spending bill

 
 
Reply Thu 27 Sep, 2007 01:36 pm
~~~Are they scumbags playing politics with lives at stake, or are they noble statesmen, trying any method at their disposal to stop our warmonger president Bush from spending us into oblivion with this new Iraq funding bill? Or is it maybe a little bit of both?

One thing is for sure. They really know how to stretch the definition of the word "terror" to suit their needs...that's the part that makes my stomach turn. The lie in order to make it sound like attaching this hate crime legislation is appropriate in an Iraq war funding bill, because "both initiatives are aimed at combating terrorist acts."

What a load of horseshit.~~~

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2178733,00.html

Associated Press
Thursday September 27, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

Senators today attached a measure to help US states prosecute attacks on homosexuals to an Iraq war funding bill, but opponents predicted their manoeuvre would fail. The bill is named for Matthew Shepard, a gay student who was beaten into a coma in 1998. He died five days later.

Attaching hard-to-pass legislation to must-pass bills, such as funding the war in Iraq, is a well-established strategy used by both parties, no matter who controls the chamber.

The senate agreed by voice vote - with no dissenting votes - to attach the provision. Supporters argued that writing violent attacks on gay people into federal hate crime laws is an appropriate add-on to legislation funding the war because both initiatives are aimed at combating terrorist acts.

"The defense authorisation is about dealing with the challenges of terrorism overseas ... This [bill] is about terrorism in our neighborhood," said Senator Edward Kennedy, the chief Democratic sponsor.

His Republican co-sponsor, Senator Gordon Smith, said "We cannot fight terror abroad and accept terror at home."

Opponents, citing Bush's earlier veto threat of the hate crimes legislation, predicted it ultimately would fail. "The president is not going to agree to this social legislation on the defense authorization bill," said Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican. "This bill will get vetoed."

The White House had no immediate comment. It has previously contended that state and local laws already cover the new crimes defined under the hate crimes proposal, and that there is no need to provide federal sanctions for what could be a wide range of violent crimes. The Senate attached similar legislation to the same authorisation bill in 2004, but it was stripped out in negotiations with the House of Representatives.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,248 • Replies: 28
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Ramafuchs
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Sep, 2007 02:30 pm
I will follow this thread
to get some enlightenment
from the participants.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Sep, 2007 07:31 pm
What's your beef, Kicky?

Are you against the hate crimes bill? ... or are you just against the tactic?

Politics is a rough sport. If you aren't going to play to win... don't play. This is how politics is done and if you don't like it, you shouldn't watch.

Personally I am in favor of the addition protection against hate crimes and I am happy when the Democrats show some spunk.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Sep, 2007 07:36 pm
*shrugs* From what I've seen of the Matthew Sheppard bill/amendment it is fairly benign and matches the current laws in many of the states.

I'm not a huge of riders in general but this one isn't something I'd get worked up abnout in the grand scheme of things. I'd agree that the linkage here between the two is laughable at best but... there have been plenty that were a whole lot worse.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 07:24 am
I agree with everything that's been said in response to kicky's post. But kicky makes a very good point...the broadening use/mis-use of the term "terrorism". As early as 2002 (if I recall correctly) the FBI put out an announcement re their concern regarding "animal rights terrorist acts". And of course there was the Richard Perle description of Seymour Hersch as a terrorist.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 08:32 am
Violent murders designed to intimidate homosexuals into either leaving or "repenting"...

This doesn't count as terrorism?

What definition of terrorism wouldn't include this?
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 09:32 am
ebrown_p wrote:
Violent murders designed to intimidate homosexuals into either leaving or "repenting"...

This doesn't count as terrorism?

What definition of terrorism wouldn't include this?



Is every criminal act committed against gays/lesbains intended to intimidate them to either leave or repent? I suspect the number that actually meets that sort of criteria is extremely low.

The intention of most acts is to directly hurt the specific target - not intimindate others. That makes it a hate crime (criminal activity where the victim's race, gender, age, sexual orientation, etc.. are a motivational factor.)

The over-use of "terrorism" in an attempt to apply it to every criminal act renders it meaningless. Most legal definitions of terrorism include a requirement that the primary motivation for the criminal act is to effect a change in societal or governmental policy.

(The fact that someone else might be intimidated by a criminal act doesn't make it terrorism. The intimidation factor has to be the intent of committing the act.)
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 10:29 am
Obviously some acts of murder are terrorism-- and some acts of murder are not terrorism.

In my opinion the use of brutal violence and threats of violence targeting a specific group of people with the goal of forcing them to leave or to conform is terrorism by any reasonable definition of the word.

I agree with you that intent is an important distinction.

But crimes by American extremists against gays and minorities meet the criteria you mention for terrorism
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 10:51 am
I'll stick with the definition that we already have enshrined in law thanks.

28 C.F.R. Section 0.85

"...the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives"

Quote:
But crimes by American extremists against gays and minorities meet the criteria you mention for terrorism


The number of incidents committed by "American extremists" is minute in comparison to random acts committed by drunken and/or high idiots (which also happens to include gays and minorities).
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 01:33 pm
That is not a very satisfying definition to go by... especially since it isn't the only one in US law to go by. The Patriot act has a different (and equally unsatisfying) definition.

A murder that is designed to intimidate homosexuals would meet the definition you give. It is an unlawful use of force and violence against persons to initimidate a segment of the civilian population in futherance of of social (and maybe political as well) objectives.

Of course the problem with the term "terrorism" is that it has always been used in a very subjective way.

But attacks on people that occur because they are a member of a minority have the intent of intimidating a community. They meet every definition I have seen of terrorism, including yours.

But then, as Reagan said "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 01:56 pm
Quote:
But attacks on people that occur because they are a member of a minority have the intent of intimidating a community. They meet every definition I have seen of terrorism, including yours.


Nonsense. The definition provided requires the intimidation to be a demonstrable motovation for the crime. The fact that someone in Los Angeles gets scared because they heard a news report that someone in NY City got stabbed on a bus in a dispute over the seat they were sitting in doesn't make the stabbing a terrorist action.

Under your concept every anarchist that runs a stop sign is automatically terrorist.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 02:12 pm
You are apparently violently agreeing with me.

I believe we are both saying that the intent to intimidate is a key factor.

I agree with that a stabbing without the intent to intimidate a community is not terrorism (whether people are intimidated or not). I also agree the act of running a stop sign by an anarchist is not terrorism (for several reasons including the fact it is not a violent act.)

I am simply making the point that when someone commits a violent act with the intent to intimidate that it meets the definition of terrorism... but you already gave your definition of terrorism that agrees with this.

Is there a point we on which disagree... or are you just arguing for the sake of arguing?
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 02:32 pm
What I disagree with is the concept of an automatic implied intent to intimidate as you expressed with:

Quote:
"...attacks on people that occur because they are a member of a minority have the intent of intimidating a community."
0 Replies
 
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 02:50 pm
We know that terrorism in this Iraq bill has to do with the type of thing that Jespah is talking about. Expanding the definition to include "hate crimes" is ridiculous, and when someone can actually argue with a straight face that the two things are virtually the same thing, then we've reached a point of absurdity, which is exactly what we deserve for allowing our leaders to indulge in this type of political language-twisting.

My other beef is that I believe hate crime laws are the equivalent of just another layer of unnecessary bureaucracy. If someone attacks someone and beats them up, it should be exactly what it is, assault and battery, no matter who was beat up or why. In the end, the only reason any hate crime legislation ever even got off the ground in the first place is to pacify some group or other, while actually doing essentially nothing to improve the justice system. In fact, these laws probably end up detracting from the expedient delivery of justice. Needlessly. So there.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 03:34 pm
Kicky, I am not sure I understand your argument.

Are you making the argument that all murders should be treated the same without regard to intent?

Would you say that all murders should have the same punishment irregardless of the motive?
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 04:03 pm
I don't accept your theory that all assault and battery is the same.

1) A guy who get's in a fight in a bar.

2) A pimp who beats a young girl who to scare her into doing what he wants.

They aren't the same at all.

The motivation and intent is what makes heinous crimes heinous. The idea that you can treat all of them the same doesn't make sense.
0 Replies
 
Halfback
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Sep, 2007 02:34 am
I kind of agree with kickycan. Hate laws, by their very nature (i.e. ostensibly protecting various segments of the population from violent actions from members of other segments of the population.), constitute UNequal protection under the law.

One poster above stated that he was happy to see added protection from hate laws. (He demonstrates that feels better protected under the hate laws.) Again, unequal treatment/protection.

The Constitution requires equal treatment under the law. No more, no less. How is it, then, can Congress pass legislation which protects certain segments of the population over other segments? (I am anxiously awaiting a test case at the Supreme Court level on that one.)

To argue the relative severity or heniousness of a given crime (i.e. some assaults are worse than others, some murders are worse than others) is already within the Court system and is represented therein by the range of sentences the Judge can pass on the convicted felon.

The judge can, for instance, mete out a stiffer penalty to a vandal who desicrates a mosque than one who merely desicrates a building wall, both cases under the vandalism laws already existant.

I submit, then, that "Hate Laws", as they are being parcelled out, are nothing more than "feel good" laws, pandering to selected segments of the society, in the effort to garner favor with those selected segments.

Did someone say this was an election season?

Halfback
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Sep, 2007 09:15 am
If politicians say something because it is an election season; that must mean they believe a significant amount of voters out there agree with what ever they are saying. I think enough people in general agree that crimes committed against gays or minorities just because they are minorities or gays are crimes of hate. Or even a black man kills a white man just because he is white; it would be a hate crime. Just like a crime committed against someone in a jealous rage is a crime of passion on the spur of the moment is not the same as a premeditated murder.

Having said that; I agree equating terrorism with hate crimes is a stretch.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Sep, 2007 10:16 am
We don't seem to have agreement on the most basic point...

It seems obvious to me that different acts of crime have different severities depending on the intent and the motivation. I have given several examples. Someone who beats up a drunk in a bar doesn't get the same punishment as someone who beats an old lady. Most people understand this.

We even have different types of murder-- for example murder 1 and murder 2 with different penalties.

If we can't agree on these basic points... then we can't have the more interesting discussion about why many of us feel hate crimes are more heinous and deserve stiffer punishments then other crimes.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Sep, 2007 10:37 am
Revel,

I am not arguing that hate crimes are always examples of terrorism.

I am saying that sometimes hate crimes cross the line into terrorism.

The most dramatic example of these were lynching during the Jim Crow era. People who "got out of line" knew that they would be murdered... and this was how people were cowed. This was an effective way to stop all kinds of undesired activities from interracial relationships to registering to vote.

If this isn't an example of terrorism... I don't know what is.

Obviously there are cases that are less extreme than this... but groups oppsed to homosexuality who have their members commit murder for the purpose of repressing them would, in my opinion, also be legitmately termed terrorism.
0 Replies
 
 

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