Newt Gingrich wants to revive the "Un-American Activities" era, but instead of Nazis and Communist sympathizers he wants to focus on rooting out terrorism.
The former Speaker of the House, frequently mentioned as Donald Trump's VP pick, said reviving the House's Un-American Activities Committee could be a helpful tool against Americans pledging allegiance to radical Islam, reported The Hill
"We originally created the House Un-American Activities Committee to go after the Nazis," Gingrich told "Fox & Friends" on Monday, per The Hill. "We passed several laws in 1938 and 1939 to go after the Nazis. We made it illegal to help the Nazis. We are presently going to have to take similar steps here. We’re going to take much tougher positions."
"We're going to ultimately declare war on Islamic supremacists, and we're going to say, 'If you pledge allegiance to [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria], you are a traitor and you've lost your citizenship."
Gingrich was responding to Sunday's Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting when he brought up the committee which, noted The Hill, also sought to root out those with Communist ties until officially disbanded in 1975.
The Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen who lived in St. Port Lucie, Florida, reportedly voiced support for the Islamic State during the shooting, noted The Hill. He had been investigated by the FBI twice.
Trump said in a speech on Monday that the Muslim community had to do more to identify those who could inflict harm on the United States, reported CNN
"They know what is going on," said Trump. "They know that (the Orlando killer) was bad. They knew the people in San Bernardino were bad. But you know what, they didn't turn them in, and we had death and destruction."
's political and national affairs writer Conor Friedersdorf said that Un-American Activities Committee led to abuses and a new version would not guarantee that those abuses would not re-emerge.
"It is, of course, already illegal to help ISIS, al-Qaeda, or any other terrorist organization," Friedersdorf said. "And Gingrich made sure to note that the committee was created to go after Nazis because it is most associated with the role it later played during America’s second Red Scare, when grandstanding politicians ruined the lives of many by promiscuously accusing them of concealing secret allegiance to international Communism."
The Huffington Post
said the Un-American Activities Committee is often associated with former Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who was eventually censured by the U.S. Senate for using it in his search against alleged communist agents.
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