Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Subversive Activities Registration Act": a.k.a. Terrorists Required to Register

Yes. Stumbled upon it and thought it is TOO invaluable not to share!

As ridiculous as it may sound, South Carolina's Legistlature has passed an act requiring "every member of a subversive organization, or an organization subject to foreign control, every foreign agent and every person who advocates, teaches, advises or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States [...] [to] register with the Secretary of State on the forms and at the times prescribed by him." [Image from Wikipedia]

The Subversive Activities Registration Act requires potential revolutionaries and "foreign agents" (read: terrorists) to submit a "Subversive Agent Registration Form" with the name of their "subversive organization," names of all members, and a copy of the bylaws or minutes of meetings from the last year ("if applicable"). There is a $5 filing fee. Oh, and those who plan subversive activities but fail to report and register might face up to ten years of imprisonment and/or a $25,000 fine. (Logically: if you were planning subversive or terrorist acts, you are granted the liberty of continuing with them, as long as you register, voluntarily. PRICELESS!!!)

This falls into the same category as Point 38/3 of the American Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-156 form), which asks the applicant:

"Do you seek to enter the United States to engage in export control violations, subversive or terrorist activities, or any other unlawful purpose? Are you a member or representative of a terrorist organization as currently designated by the U.S. Secretary of State? Have you ever participated in persecutions directed by the Nazi government of Germany; or have you ever participated in genocide?"

The noble intentions of such legislation are clear enough. What I am not sure about is whether the authorities really think that anyone planning (and/or someone who has participated in) such an activity would report it in the first place? Or is it just a cosmetic precautionary measure to further prop up the general perception of threat, and everything else that it enables...?


  1. Yeah... Seems like hard-earned taxpayers' money is spent well. I guess many SC residents will think twice before voting for such a crowd...
    As regards the visa application form, I think the point is to rule out a situation when subsequently a perpetrator is able to claim he or she was not aware, etc. ... I think it may to some extent carry weight in legal proceedings and deliberations... May be I am wrong...

  2. I agree. It MIGHT make sense to have these "precautions" for legal proceedings. It's just the first part - regarding the use of taxpayers' money - that's worrisome. Such moves not only undercut the credibility of government IN GENERAL, but they make them laughable. Feels like they were so bored and had so much time/resources, that they decided to start passing legislation just for the sake of having another "passed act" on the list.

  3. It's definitely got a McCarthyesque tone, but I like the idea of a terrorist waiting in line to fill out the form and proudly declare his intention to destroy the country from within. Could it be that the South Carolina legislature is simply trying to get Jenny Sanford out of the headlines?

  4. haha! yeah, i can SEE the line! :))

    as for Sanford - you might be very right! just wondering if they got a Republican majority in the SC Legislature... any idea?