Newt Gingrich suggests reforming House Un-American Committee in wake of Orlando shooting

Huffington Post reports: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) on Monday suggested taking broader federal action to investigate and prosecute U.S. citizens with ties to terrorism in the wake of the nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, that left 49 people dead and 53 others injured.

Gingrich, who has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential running mate to presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, told Fox News that the United States ought to investigate possible “Islamic supremacists” the same way it sought to ferret out Nazi sympathizers during the 20th century.

Let me go a step further, because remember, San Bernardino, Fort Hood, and Orlando involve American citizens. We’re going to ultimately declare a war on Islamic supremacists and we’re going to say, if you pledge allegiance to ISIS, you are a traitor and you have lost your citizenship. And we’re going take much tougher positions. In the late 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt was faced with Nazi penetration in the United States. We originally created the House Un-American Activities Committee to go after Nazis. We passed several laws in 1938 and 1939 to go after Nazis and we made it illegal to help the Nazis. We’re going to presently have to go take the similar steps here.

The Special Committee on Un-American Activities was formed in 1934 to investigate Nazi propaganda and organizations spreading propaganda inside the U.S. It later shifted its focus, investigating disloyalty and subversive activities by U.S. citizens. By 1945, however, the panel was largely focused on investigating purported communist ties — using its power to subpoena and blacklist Hollywood actors, screenwriters and directors. It is commonly associated with Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.), whose notorious witch hunts against purported communist agents earned him censure by the U.S. Senate. [Continue reading…]

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