U.S. Representative Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) has proposed a bill that would essentially ban tens of millions of Americans from serving in the Armed Forces or being employed by any federal agency.
The proposed bill would add these two questions to an existing security clearance application:
Question 1: ‘‘Have you ever been a member of, associated with, or knowingly engaged in activities conducted by an organization or movement that spreads conspiracy theories and false information about the United States Government?’’
Question 2: ‘‘Did you participate in the activities occurring at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, or in any similar activity?’’
The term “conspiracy theory” is not defined, nor is “false information about the United States Government”. Apparently, a “conspiracy theory” is anything that may be defined as “false information”. If a person, or a member of a group, or an organization raised concern about election fraud or alleged that the Russia investigation into Trump was motivated by his political enemies, it would likely consider these people, and much more, to require a “Yes” answer.
If an applicant answers “No” to the first question, and some biased reviewer determined the applicant posted on social media about election fraud, that person will be “lying” in their eyes and subject to punishment.
The second question could punish the hundreds of thousands of peaceful, law-abiding people who attended any rally in Washington D.C. on January 6, including those who organized buses or who may have supported gathering in DC on January 6. This question is not limited to people who caused a disturbance, engaged in violence, or entered the Capitol building. Moreover, the question goes beyond January 6 with no time frame when it includes the words “or any similar activity”. Therefore, this question includes any rally anywhere in the country on, before, or after January 6. Any pro-Trump rally at any time could be included.
Murphy, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, proposed this bill titled the ‘‘Security Clearance Improvement Act of 2021”, which would add the two above questions to the 130-page national security questionnaire. This is given to anyone seeking clearances, and covers a wide range of topics, including an applicant’s work history, foreign activities, psychological health, police record and associations. That includes associations with organizations dedicated to terrorism, the use of violence or force to overthrow the U.S. government, or advocacy of force or violence to discourage others from exercising their rights under the U.S. Constitution.
Liberty Counsel Action Chairman Mat Staver said, “This bill by Rep. Murphy is a modern form of McCarthyism that would ban peaceful, law-abiding Americans from the Armed Services and from holding federal employment. As McCarthyism was wrong in the past, it is wrong now.”
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