Sunday, September 09, 2007
Your Worst Enemy Is Your Own Government
We American have grown up under the US Constitution and its Bill of Rights, in which our form of government is spelled out for all to see and understand, and our rights are guaranteed and protected by the Bill of Rights.
Isn't that what we were taught in our history, government and civics classes in the government's children's prisons? If you were a crime suspect, and the police wanted to tap your phone, they had to go to a judge. They had to tell the judge what the crime was of which you were a suspect. They had to show the evidence they had that caused them to suspect you. They had to ask for a warrant to tap your phone to attempt to gather more evidence. They had to tell the judge what they expected to learn. If it all looked reasonable, the judge would sign the warrant.
Now, I know that certain police and certain judges failed to follow the letter of the law, but that failure was roundly known as a breach of the law and it was of such stuff that technical acquittals were made.
Well, not any more.
Since the beginning of the disingenuously named "War on Drugs," and accelerated under the auspices of the even more carelessly named "War on Terror," more and more of the legal protections we've been taught to expect are going away.
A New York Times story, written by Eric Lichtblau, and picked up by the Orange County Register today, exposes the fact that the FBI, an agency nowhere authorized in the US Constitution, is conducting wiretaps without a true warrant, and without a crime even having been alleged to have been committed. They routinely set up wiretaps if they think a crime might just possibly be in the planning stage.
The new revelations in the NYT story show that it's now gone even farther. The FBI is wiretapping various individuals who happen to know and communicate with the individuals who might just possibly be planning a crime. And even to their acquaintances. And their acquaintances. Some of whom might be your acquaintances. Or mine.
Now, I see the value of police agencies sharing data in the case of a crime suspect fleeing the jurisdiction of his accusers. This is what the Amendment process is for. The Founders didn't foresee the size and complexity the US has become. But, there has been no Constitutional Amendment allowing for the establishment of any sort of national police agency.
FBI is notorious, even among local police agencies, for its arrogance, pushiness and its habit of taking over and shoving local police aside. It's also notorious for its utter disdain for the Constitutional protections guaranteed to Americans. Further, it's becoming famous for its major errors and blunders in its investigations.
The FBI, and the alphabet soup of federal police agencies (DEA, BATFE, NSA and others, known and unknown) are in existence in opposition to the US Constitution. Not in the least did the Founders ever intend the United States to have a national police force. Enforcement of the law was always intended to fall 'pon the shoulders of local police, and better yet, in the hands of the individual, in defense of his life, family and property.
People should not be afraid of their governments; governments should be afraid of their people.