Apparently, Rand Paul responded to a question about profiling with this:
I’m not for profiling people on the color of their skin, or on their religion, but I would take into account where they’ve been traveling and perhaps, you might have to indirectly take into account whether or not they’ve been going to radical political speeches by religious leaders. It wouldn’t be that they are Islamic. But if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison.
Eugene Volokh explains his discomfort with Sen. Rand Paul’s statement on the Ignoramus Sean Hannity Show, and gives some legal history with court decisions on due process and free speech/First Amendment.
And Glenn Greenwald points out that, not only is our right to attend speeches by people advocating the “violent overthrow” of the government protected, but the people’s right to give such speeches is also protected, referring to this Supreme Corpse decision as an example.
Greenwald also cites the American Revolution as an example.It was perfectly reasonable for the “Founders” to give speeches and openly advocate the “violent overthrow” of the then-ruling British regime to break free of tyranny.
This is not an academic question. The right at stake here is absolutely vital. It is crucial to protect and preserve the right to argue that a government has become so tyrannical or dangerous that violence is justified against it. That, after all, was the argument on which the American Founding was based; it is pure political speech; and criminalizing the expression of that idea poses a grave danger to free speech generally and the specific ability to organize against abusive governments. To allow the government to punish citizens — let alone to kill them — because their political advocacy is threatening to the government is infinitely more dangerous than whatever ideas are being targeted for punishment, even if that idea is violent jihad.
Please read the essay by Greenwald with an open mind. These rights of speech that we have — that are inherent in all of us as human beings — as well as our right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, are all being “violently overthrown” by our government run amok in its drive for always-expanding power and control. We see this every day with the TSA and the police, thanks to the government-monopolization of community policing which is counter-productive to community security because the police are more and more a threat to the people, more than “private” criminals. Thanks in large part to the Drug Socialism and National Security Socialism in which the Supreme Corpse have endorsed total police power of life- and property-intrusions.
Greenwald becomes a little cynical in his essay (although, as I continue to hear on the idiot talk radio shows, the cynicism is justified):
The government “needs to do all it can” in the name of Terrorism: even targeting its own citizens with assassination without a trial based on the mere suspicion that he’s doing something criminal — or invading other countries that haven’t attacked us — or dropping a continuous stream of missiles on people’s homes who are purely innocent — or locking people up for life without a trial. This is the sociopathic mindset of the security fetishist that dominates our political discourse — Terrorism: the meaningless though all-justifying slogan — and, more than anything else, this is what explains why something as radical and dangerous as the President’s due-process-free assassination program aimed at American citizens triggers so little objection. ”Washington needs to do all it can” — no matter how violent and lawless — “to reduce the risk of another attack.” To a militarized, authoritarian, collapsing Empire in a posture of Endless War, security is the only cognizable value.
There is no bigger terrorist organization than the U.S. government, as we have seen in its exploitation of the 9/11/01 attacks for the purpose of expanding federal government power over the people and over the states, and for the purpose of feeding the parasites of the military-congressional-industrial complex.
More crimes are being committed against innocent people by the government than ever before, with the criminal PATRIOT Act and spying on innocent Americans without reasonable suspicion, the police murdering innocent people every day (and yes, sooooo many more people are being murdered by brutes with badges than the other way around, every year, and that’s the truth!), one criminal regulation of private business after another and “insider trading” laws even though congressmen and senators are getting rich off their own insider trading and getting away with it.
And the more centralized the government, the more powerful it is becoming, and the more corrupt and criminal as well, and the more violent as well. There is no way out of this but decentralization and state secession. (Or perhaps when Obomber declares martial law and turns the government guns on us — after having disarmed the citizenry, of course — then maybe then you’ll start to understand what I’m saying.)