Here is the episode guide:
All episodes are a must-see!
Here are some highly recommended ones:
Here is the episode guide:
All episodes are a must-see!
Here are some highly recommended ones:
By ADAM COHEN
Adam Cohen, a lawyer, is a former TIME writer and a former member of the New York Times editorial board.
Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn’t violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway – and no reasonable expectation that the government isn’t tracking your movements.
That is the bizarre – and scary – rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants – with no need for a search warrant. (See a TIME photoessay on Cannabis Culture.)
It is a dangerous decision – one that, as the dissenting judges warned, could turn America into the sort of totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell. It is particularly offensive because the judges added insult to injury with some shocking class bias: the little personal privacy that still exists, the court suggested, should belong mainly to the rich.
“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Added: 22. October 2009
Fall Of The Republic documents how an offshore corporate cartel is bankrupting the US economy by design. Leaders are now declaring that world government has arrived and that the dollar will be replaced by a new global currency.
President Obama has brazenly violated Article 1 Section 9 of the US Constitution by seating himself at the head of United Nations’ Security Council, thus becoming the first US president to chair the world body.
A scientific dictatorship is in its final stages of completion, and laws protecting basic human rights are being abolished worldwide; an iron curtain of high-tech tyranny is now descending over the planet.
A worldwide regime controlled by an unelected corporate elite is implementing a planetary carbon tax system that will dominate all human activity and establish a system of neo-feudal slavery.
Obama, the Bush’s, the Clinton’s, Bernanke, Paulson, Geithner are all puppets of the elite and so was Hitler.
– Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts: Americans: Serfs Ruled by Oligarchs:
“Will Americans realize that they are not ruled by elected representatives but by an oligarchy that owns the Washington whorehouse? Will Americans ever understand that they are impotent serfs?”
(NaturalNews) The United States of America is devolving into medical fascism and Massachusetts is leading the way with the passage of a new bill, the “Pandemic Response Bill” 2028, reportedly just passed by the MA state Senate and now awaiting approval in the House. This bill suspends virtually all Constitutional rights of Massachusetts citizens and forces anyone “suspected” of being infected to submit to interrogations, “decontaminations” and vaccines.
It’s also sets fines up to $1,000 per day for anyone who refuses to submit to quarantines, vaccinations, decontamination efforts or to follow any other verbal order by virtually any state-licensed law enforcement or medical personnel. You can read the text yourself here: http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/sen…
Here’s some of the language contained in the bill:
(Violation of 4th Amendment: Illegal search and seizure)
During either type of declared emergency, a local public health authority… may exercise authority… to require the owner or occupier of premises to permit entry into and investigation of the premises; to close, direct, and compel the evacuation of, or to decontaminate or cause to be
decontaminated any building or facility; to destroy any material; to restrict or prohibit assemblages of persons;
(Violation of 14th Amendment; illegal arrest without a warrant)
…an officer authorized to serve criminal process may arrest without a warrant any person whom the officer has probable cause to believe has violated an order given to effectuate the purposes of this subsection and shall use reasonable diligence to enforce such order. [Gunpoint]
(Government price controls)
The attorney general, in consultation with the office of consumer affairs and business regulation, and upon the declaration by the governor that a supply emergency exists, shall take appropriate action to ensure that no person shall sell a product or service that is at a price that unreasonably exceeds the price charged before the emergency.
“Involuntary Transportation” (also known as kidnapping)
Law enforcement authorities, upon order of the commissioner or his agent or at the request of a local public health authority pursuant to such order, shall assist emergency medical technicians or other appropriate medical personnel in the involuntary transportation of such person to the tuberculosis treatment center.
$1,000 / day in fines
Any person who knowingly violates an order, as to which noncompliance
poses a serious danger to public health as determined by the commissioner or the local public health authority, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 30 days or a fine of not more than one thousand dollars per day that the violation continues, or both.
Furthermore, when the commissioner or a local public health authority within its jurisdiction determines that either or both of the following measures are necessary to prevent a serious danger to the public health the commissioner or local public health authority may exercise the following authority: (1) to vaccinate or provide precautionary prophylaxis to individuals as protection against communicable disease…
Forced quarantine for those who refuse (illegal imprisonment without charge)
An individual who is unable or unwilling to submit to vaccination or treatment shall not be required to submit to such procedures but may be isolated or quarantined pursuant to section 96 of chapter 111 if his or her refusal poses a serious danger to public health or results in uncertainty whether he or she has been exposed to or is infected with a disease or condition that poses a serious danger to public health, as determined by the commissioner, or a local public health authority operating within its jurisdiction.
Arrest for refusal to be “decontaminated”
If an individual is unable or unwilling to submit to decontamination or procedures necessary for diagnosis, the decontamination or diagnosis procedures may proceed only pursuant to an order of the superior court… During the time necessary to obtain such court order, such individual may be isolated or quarantined pursuant to section 96 of chapter 111 if his or her refusal to submit to decontamination or diagnosis procedures poses a serious danger to public health or results in uncertainty whether he or she has been exposed to or is infected with a disease or condition that poses a serious danger to public health.
When the commissioner or a local public health authority within its jurisdiction reasonably believes that a person may have been exposed to a disease or condition that poses a threat to the public health, in addition to their authority under section 96 of chapter 111, the commissioner or the local public health authority may detain the person for as long as may be reasonably necessary for the commissioner or the local public health authority, to convey information to the person regarding the disease or condition and to obtain contact information… If a person detained under subsection (1) refuses to provide the information requested, the person may be isolated or quarantined pursuant to section 96 of chapter 111 if his or her refusal poses a serious danger to public health…
Forced isolation and quarantine
An order for isolation or quarantine may include any individual who is unwilling or unable to undergo vaccination, precautionary prophylaxis, medical treatment, decontamination, medical examinations, tests, or specimen collection and whose refusal of one or more of these measures poses a serious danger to public health or results in uncertainty whether he or she has been exposed to or is infected with a disease or condition that poses a serious danger to public health.
Forced entry into any home or building…
There’s a lot more in this bill, including language that allows Mass. police to enter any home or building without a search warrant, to destroy any object or building they suspect may pose a threat to public safety, to order the closing and / or decontamination of any facility using highly toxic chemical decontamination agents, and to arrest, detain and interrogate anyone who gets in their way.
Meanwhile, all state law enforcement and medical personnel are granted complete immunity from prosecution for their part in violating your Constitutional rights. So if they violate your right to due process, or they accidentally destroy your home, or they kill your family dog because they suspect it might be infected, you have absolutely zero recourse.
Under this bill, Massachusetts becomes a medical police state. There is no debating it. It’s all written, clear as day, in this law: The citizens of Massachusetts will have no rights, period. The Constitution is ancient history. You are now the property of the State.
An airport screener looks at a laptop computer. The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol now has the ability to copy the contents of laptops from any travelers entering the United States. (AP)
The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday sued the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to uncover documents related to laptop searches at the border.
“The ACLU believes that suspicionless searches of laptops violate the First and Fourth Amendments,” the group wrote in the suit, filed in a New York District Court.
In July 2008, the Customs and Border Protection agency within DHS published formal guidelines for laptop border searches that gave CBP officials permission to search laptops and electronic devices at the border. Court cases on the topic have generally found that citizens should have diminished expectations of privacy when re-entering the country because the U.S. has a right to protect itself and control what crosses its borders.
Critics of the policy claim that laptop searches are an invasion of privacy – a personal computer holds a lot more information than a suitcase full of clothes or briefcase full of paperwork. What’s to stop CBP from copying the contents of your computer and keeping it on file indefinitely, they have argued
As a result, the ACLU wants to know exactly what types of data the government has collected. The organization first filed a Freedom of Information request in June 2009, but after some back and forth between the ACLU and DHS, the ACLU said that it had “exhausted the applicable administrative remedies” and that “DHS and its components have wrongfully withheld the requested records from the ACLU.”
In case you have missed this: G. W. Bush and Adolf Hitler signed a Directive 51
In early March, more shocking details emerged about George W. Bush legal counsel John Yoo’s memos outlining the destruction of the republic.
The memos lay the legal groundwork for the president to send the military to wage war against U.S. citizens; take them from their homes to Navy brigs without trial and keep them forever; close down the First Amendment; and invade whatever country he chooses without regard to any treaty or objection by Congress.
Republican state Rep. Judy Burges, the primary sponsor of the sovereignty resolution in the Arizona House, told WND the federal government “has been trouncing on our constitutional rights.”
“The real turning point for me was the Real ID act, which involved both a violation of the Fourth Amendments rights against the illegal searches and seizures and the Tenth Amendment,” she said.
Burges told WND she is concerned that the overreaching of federal powers could lead to new legislation aimed at confiscating weapons from citizens or encoding ammunition.
“The Real ID Act was so broadly written that we are afraid that it involves the potential for “mission-creep,” that could easily involve confiscation of firearms and violations of the Second Amendment,” she said.
Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Randy Brogdon
NEW YORK – As the Obama administration attempts to push through Congress a nearly $1 trillion deficit spending plan that is weighted heavily toward advancing typically Democratic-supported social welfare programs, a rebellion against the growing dominance of federal control is beginning to spread at the state level.
So far, eight states have introduced resolutions declaring state sovereignty under the Ninth and Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, including Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington.
Analysts expect that in addition, another 20 states may see similar measures introduced this year, including Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, Maine and Pennsylvania.
“What we are trying to do is to get the U.S. Congress out of the state’s business,” Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Randy Brogdon told WND.
“Congress is completely out of line spending trillions of dollars over the last 10 years putting the nation into a debt crisis like we’ve never seen before,” Brogdon said, arguing that the Obama stimulus plan is the last straw taxing state patience in the brewing sovereignty dispute.
“This particular 111th Congress is the biggest bunch of over-reachers and underachievers we’ve ever had in Congress,” he said.
“A sixth-grader should realize you can’t borrow money to pay off your debt, and that is the Obama administration’s answer for a stimulus package,” he added.
Like millions of motorists, Eric Hanson used a Global Positioning System device in his Chevrolet TrailBlazer to find his way around. He probably did not expect that prosecutors would use it, too – to help convict him of killing four family members.
Prosecutors in suburban Chicago analyzed data from the Garmin G.P.S. device to pinpoint where Mr. Hanson had been on the morning after his parents were fatally shot and his sister and brother-in-law bludgeoned to death in 2005. He was convicted of the killings this year and sentenced to death.
The TSA’s “no fly” terrorism watch list contains between 400,000 and 1,000,000 names. If you’re on the list by mistake, good luck getting off of it.
After having begun a series of investigative stories criticizing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in May 2008, CNN reporter Drew Griffin reports being placed with more than a million other names on TSA’s swollen terrorism watch list.
Although TSA insists Griffin’s name is not on the list and pooh-poohs any possibility of retaliation for Griffin’s negative reporting, the reporter has been hassled by various airlines on 11 flights since May. The airlines insist that Griffin’s name is on the list.
Congress has asked TSA to look into the tribulations of this prominent passenger.
Group Also Asks Secret Intelligence Court Not To Exclude Public From Any Proceedings On New Law’s Constitutionality
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union filed a landmark lawsuit today to stop the government from conducting surveillance under a new wiretapping law that gives the Bush administration virtually unchecked power to intercept Americans’ international e-mails and telephone calls. The case was filed on behalf of a broad coalition of attorneys and human rights, labor, legal and media organizations whose ability to perform their work – which relies on confidential communications – will be greatly compromised by the new law.
The FISA Amendments Act of 2008, passed by Congress on Wednesday and signed by President Bush today, not only legalizes the secret warrantless surveillance program the president approved in late 2001, it gives the government new spying powers, including the power to conduct dragnet surveillance of Americans’ international communications.
“Spying on Americans without warrants or judicial approval is an abuse of government power – and that’s exactly what this law allows. The ACLU will not sit by and let this evisceration of the Fourth Amendment go unchallenged,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “Electronic surveillance must be conducted in a constitutional manner that affords the greatest possible protection for individual privacy and free speech rights. The new wiretapping law fails to provide fundamental safeguards that the Constitution unambiguously requires.”
The federal government’s attempt to stop a group of gold-standard activists from minting an alternative to the greenback is about to face its first legal test.
A dozen people around the country filed suit in U.S. District Court in Idaho this week demanding the return of all the copper, silver, gold, and platinum coins – more than seven tons of metal in all – that the FBI and Secret Service seized in November during raids of a mint in Idaho and a strip mall storefront in Indiana.
The Justice Department had decided that the coins, many of which bear the familiar symbol of Lady Liberty and the phrase “TRUST IN GOD,” were being illegally marketed as government-sanctioned currency, according to the sworn affidavit of an FBI agent.
The creator of the coins, Bernard von NotHaus, who lives in Miami, claims that the federal government is trying to shut down production of his liberty dollars, as the coins are called, because of the competition they pose to the greenback. In recent years, his precious metal coins have outperformed the dollar, whose value has plunged in relation to gold.
The raids in November were the result of a two-year undercover investigation of Mr. Von NotHaus and how he sold liberty dollars. The Justice Department has not followed up with any criminal charges against Mr. Von NotHaus or the regional distributors of his coins.
In the suit filed in Idaho, the various plaintiffs say the federal government has no right to continue holding onto their coins any longer.
While it is common for agents to warehouse property seized during criminal investigations, such as firearms or surveillance equipment, the plaintiffs say coins of precious metal should be off-limits.
The coins “do not constitute contraband or other property subject to seizure,” the legal papers state, adding that the seizures violated the Fourth Amendment rights of the plaintiffs.
Pat Manning writes on the Denver Direct website:
Denver, City Park West, 8:00 pm – According to a Denver Police spokesperson, the invasion of black helicopters with uniformed men hanging off of them, experienced by this neighborhood this evening, is a practice run of Navy Seals and SWAT teams, landing at the Civic Center, Childrens Hospital, and City Park, in preparation for the Democratic National Convention. Hmmmm….
The Rocky Mountain News, after an unflattering article on the Black Hawks – yes, tinfoil hatters, black helicopters – invading Denver, came back with a clarification. It’s all part of the GWOT, or Global War on Terrorism, in response to the reservations of mayor John Hickenlooper. “The federal agencies sponsoring the ongoing multi-agency training in Denver agreed to make the proper notifications regarding the exercises to prevent surprise and inconvenience to Denver residents,” Hickenlooper said. “There seems to have been a misunderstanding about the reach and scope of these notifications, and they did not occur in the manner expected by the City.”
Mr. Hickenlooper, the feds don’t need no stinkin’ notifications. Mr. Hickenlooper also declares the “exercises” have nothing to do with the DNC. It’s all a coincidence, Mr. Mayor – sure, and I’m expecting a visit by the tooth fairy tonight, that is after Santa makes an early appearance and brings me a Lamborghini.
As Erin Rosa reports for the Colorado Independent, the original “angle” on the “exercises” “quickly disappeared,” replaced by the official version of events. “Either way, countless numbers of residents called the police department and the city’s 311 line last night wondering why their neighborhoods sounded like a war zone.”
Um, because they live in a police state?
Here’s the official explanation:
The exercise by special ops troops, supported by Denver police SWAT teams and firefighters, is intended to prepare for any terrorism threat in a “realistic urban environment,” said Lt. Steve Ruh, a spokesman for the U.S. Special Operations Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. …
“It’s all in preparation for anything that could possibly happen with the global war on terrorism,” said Ruh, whose command coordinates all the military branches’ crack commando units – from Army Rangers to Navy SEALS.
The Special Operations Command calls itself the “Tip of the Spear” against the nation’s gravest threats.
Ruh noted that the exercises are conducted in major cities in the U.S., usually at the invitation of the cities, but that doesn’t mean those cities are necessarily possible targets for terrorism.
Oh, no, of course not, but Denver will be “targeted” by Americans, exercising their constitutional right to petition the government, who are upset with the way things are going.
It wasn’t just black helicopters, though.
From ABC News 7 in Denver:
There was also activity on the streets of Denver as well. On Tuesday, a special team from the Department of Defense rumbled through downtown, with big sport utility vehicles carrying sophisticated communication equipment that belong to the Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, or CST.
The CST team, based in Wyoming, is designed to respond immediately to any act of terrorism. Team members would not comment on their mission.
“Is this a normal occurrence here or is there something funky going on that we should be wondering what we ought to be doing next?” said witness Bill Whitaker.
U.S. military Special Operations commandos will continue conducting the counter-terrorism training from early afternoon until 11 p.m. through Friday night, according to the Rocky Mountain News.
None of the agencies involved informed the public or news agencies about the drill and that may have had an effect on Denver’s 911 system.
No, you think? Imagine if you had no idea the government was conducting this “exercise” and one of these Black Hawk Down birds swooped over your house, rattling the windows and upsetting your children and pets. You might think it’s a scene out of Red Dawn. Your confusion, fear, and anger, of course, would be a small price to pay in the GWOT. Never know when Osama might crawl out from under your bed.
“A new coalition of protest groups promises free concerts, art displays, classes for activists and a ‘massive’ anti-war march during this summer’s Democratic National Convention,” writes Sara Burnett for the Rocky Mountain News.
The Alliance for Real Democracy is made up of 12 groups, many led by activists in their early 20s and 30s.
Organizers said Tuesday their nonviolent events will urge an end to the war in Iraq and raise awareness of “the global climate crisis.”
The alliance is open to people of all ages, but will especially target young people. It also plans to invite convention delegates to the events.
“This is as much a part of the process as going to a very formal convention,” said Jojo Pease, an organizer with Students for a Democratic Society.
Some of the groups were previously affiliated with the Re-Create 68 Alliance, but split off after a disagreement over tactics.
Re-Create 68 has promised demonstrations that will rival those at the notorious Democratic convention in Chicago held in 1968, which was accompanied by street battles between police and anti-Vietnam War demonstrators.
Members of the Alliance for Real Democracy wouldn’t talk Tuesday about Re-Create 68 or the split.
But they released bylaws that say the group “will not use or return violence – verbal or physical – toward any person or other creature,” and will not damage property, bring weapons to protests or use illegal drugs or alcohol during events.
It will be Re-Create 68’s “tactics” – confronting the cops, verbally and physically – that will give the GWOT boys an excuse to crack-down on activists from the Alliance for Real Democracy. If you’d like more background on Re-Create 68, see the video above.
June 18, 2008
Cops break down doors, threaten residents who question them as part of martial law conditioning, authorities prevent people from re-entering their homes
Shocking footage out of Cedar Rapids Iowa shows cops and government employee “strike teams” breaking into houses of flood victims and threatening anyone who questions their actions in complete violation of the 4th amendment right that protects against unlawful search and seizure.
No warrant, no knock home invasions are being carried out on the flimsy pretext of “checking for structural damage” as cops harass and threaten with arrest people who refuse to have their homes ransacked by thugs in uniforms.
Cedar Rapids police chief Greg Graham promised residents over the weekend that “Law enforcement officers are not entering homes,” and that firefighters would only enter homes through unlocked doors and windows yet the video clearly shows locked houses being broken in to.
People who attempt to gain access to their home before it has been “cleared” by authorities are being apprehended, and those who attempt to drive around police checkpoints that have been set up in the affected areas are arrested at gunpoint.
“Each strike team consisted of six or seven people, including police, firefighters, utilities workers, and city employees,” reports the Iowa Gazette.
Angela Tague, a member of the STAR 1 search and rescue team from Ames, ran into any angry homeowner on E Avenue NW.
“He was saying ‘Where do you live?’ and ‘How would you like it if someone busted your door open?,” Tague said.
Police Officer Josh Bell later had a heated exchange with the man, and told him that if he didn’t go back inside his house and stop harassing the strike team, he would be escorted out of the area.
The man was visibly agitated about his broken door and pointed at Bell.
“It’s wrong,” the man said, over and over.
So people who are uncomfortable with jackbooted thugs breaking down their door without even knocking and express their distaste for it are to blame for “harassing the strike team”?
Respondents to the You Tube clip and the newspaper article expressed their outrage at the behavior of those in the video tasked with “helping” flood-stricken people yet doing nothing more than intimidating and invading their homes.
“You break down the door of my private residence and when I object you threaten to escort me off my own property. Fine example of police work. Did anyone think to knock first? Thomas Jefferson said that the main reason for citizens to be armed was to protect themselves from tyrannical government. If this isn’t tyranny then I don’t know what is. A man’s home is his castle,” states Steve Delaloye.
“A sad day for America when government thugs abuse the trust of the citizenry like this,” writes one.
“So these cops and fire fighters are part time structural engineers, or what?? What are they inspecting for in the structures? Gas and electric could be shut off at the source, and any spills are so diluted they wont catch fire. The police chief said no police would enter any homes, and what do you know, mr fat ass cop goes piling through the window thinking he’s T.J Hooker. Damn, this is just sad, sad , sad,” adds another.
One Iowa resident expresses her anger that authorities will not let her re-enter her home.
“I sit here with tears streaming down my face. I have been trying to be patient and await to enter my home. Now today, I am told there will be no re-entry’s until further notice. I cannot express how ****ing mad I am. I understand the houses can be unsafe. Just let me at least see my house, so that I can assess if it hit my top floor. I have pictures and memories on my top floor of my deceased mother, all I want to do is rescue those,” she writes.
As we reported in 2005, Hurricane Katrina was exploited by the federal government and used as a martial law drill while victims were abused and treated like rats in a laboratory.
Door to door gun confiscations were ordered and cops ransacked homes and took weapons from multi-million dollar homes which were in the high and dry areas and completely unaffected by the hurricane. In some cases, residents were kicked out of their own homes for no reason.
Outrageous footage showed cops seizing handguns from the home of a grief-stricken old women as they assaulted and punched her in the face.
Where does the government think it derives the authority from to break into people’s homes whose lives have already been devastated by massive floods on the flimsiest of pretexts?
The 4th amendment states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Even if there was a legitimate reason to inspect homes, why on earth do they not even bother to knock on the door?
Cops immediately attempt to break in or climb through windows uninvited because this procedure is all about sending a message – when a crisis unfolds we are the bosses and you – the peasants – will yield to our tyranny.
Lawsuits need to be filed immediately by people in Iowa and elsewhere who have had cops invade their homes in complete violation of the 4th amendment and a pretext needs to be set that will put a stop to the government’s routine exploitation of natural disasters as an opportunity to impose martial law measures on needy victims that have already had their lives devastated.
With reports indicating that the Mississippi river is in danger of bursting its banks, the precedent that was set with Hurricane Katrina could be set to advance as government minions and jackbooted thugs across the country lick their lips at the prospect of kicking down more doors and harassing innocent people.
Contact the Iowa ACLU and demand they pressure the authorities to stop these illegal home invasions immediately.
Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Source: Prison Planet
If elected president, Senator John McCain would reserve the right to run his own warrantless wiretapping program against Americans, based on the theory that the president’s wartime powers trump federal criminal statutes and court oversight, according to a statement released by his campaign Monday.
McCain’s new tack towards the Bush administration’s theory of executive power comes some 10 days after a McCain surrogate stated, incorrectly it seems, that the senator wanted hearings into telecom companies’ cooperation with President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, before he’d support giving those companies retroactive legal immunity.
As first reported by Threat Level, Chuck Fish, a full-time lawyer for the McCain campaign, also said McCain wanted stricter rules on how the nation’s telecoms work with U.S. spy agencies, and expected those companies to apologize for any lawbreaking before winning amnesty.
But Monday, McCain adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin, speaking for the campaign, disavowed those statements, and for the first time cast McCain’s views on warrantless wiretapping as identical to Bush’s.
[N]either the Administration nor the telecoms need apologize for actions that most people, except for the ACLU and the trial lawyers, understand were Constitutional and appropriate in the wake of the attacks on September 11, 2001. […]
We do not know what lies ahead in our nation’s fight against radical Islamic extremists, but John McCain will do everything he can to protect Americans from such threats, including asking the telecoms for appropriate assistance to collect intelligence against foreign threats to the United States as authorized by Article II of the Constitution.
The Article II citation is key, since it refers to President Bush’s longstanding arguments that the president has nearly unlimited powers during a time of war. The administration’s analysis went so far as to say the Fourth Amendment did not apply inside the United States in the fight against terrorism, in one legal opinion from 2001.
The Bush administration has arrogated powers to itself that the British people even refused to grant King George III at the time of the Revolutionary War, an eminent political scientist says.
“No executive in the history of the Anglo-American world since the Civil War in England in the 17th century has laid claim to such broad power,” said David Adler, a prolific author of articles on the U.S. Constitution. “George Bush has exceeded the claims of Oliver Cromwell who anointed himself Lord Protector of England.”
Adler, a professor of political science at Idaho State University at Pocatello, is the author of “The Constitution and the Termination of Treaties”(Taylor & Francis), among other books, and some 100 scholarly articles in his field. Adler made his comments comparing the powers of President Bush and King George III at a conference on “Presidential Power in America” at the Massachusetts School of Law, Andover, April 26th.
Adler said, Bush has “claimed the authority to suspend the Geneva Convention, to terminate treaties, to seize American citizens from the streets to detain them indefinitely without benefit of legal counseling, without benefit of judicial review. He has ordered a domestic surveillance program which violates the statutory law of the United States as well as the Fourth Amendment.”
Adler said the authors of the U.S. Constitution wrote that the president “shall take care to faithfully execute the laws of the land” because “the king of England possessed a suspending power” to set aside laws with which he disagreed, “the very same kind of power that the Bush Administration has claimed.”
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, Adler said, repeatedly referred to the President’s “override” authority, “which effectively meant that the Bush Administration was claiming on behalf of President Bush a power that the English people themselves had rejected by the time of the framing of the Constitution.”
Adler said the Framers sought an “Administrator in Chief” that would execute the will of Congress and the Framers understood that the President, as Commander-in-Chief “was subordinate to Congress.” The very C-in-C concept, the historian said, derived from the British, who conferred it on one of their battlefield commanders in a war on Scotland in 1639 and it “did not carry with it the power over war and peace” or “authority to conduct foreign policy or to formulate foreign policy.”
That the C-in-C was subordinate to the will of Congress was demonstrated in the Revolutionary War when George Washington, granted that title by Congress, “was ordered punctually to respond to instructions and directions by Congress and the dutiful Washington did that,” Adler said.
Adler said that John Yoo, formerly of the Office of Legal Counsel, wrote in 2003 that the President as C-in-C could authorize the CIA or other intelligence agencies to resort to torture to extract information from suspects based on his authority. However, Adler said, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1804 in Little vs. Barreme affirmed the President is duty-bound to obey statutory instructions and reaffirmed opinion two years later in United States vs. Smith.
“In these last eight years,” Adler said, “we have seen presidential powers soar beyond the confines of the Constitution. We have understood that his presidency bears no resemblance to the Office created by the Framers… This is the time for us to demand a return to the constitutional presidency. If we don’t, we will have only ourselves to blame as we go marching into the next war as we witness even greater claims of presidential power.”
The Massachusetts School of Law is a non-profit educational institution purposefully dedicated to providing an affordable, quality legal education to minorities, immigrants, and students from economic backgrounds that would not otherwise be able to afford to attend law school and enter the legal profession.
Now that US customs agents have unfettered access to laptops and other electronic devices at borders, a coalition of travel groups, civil liberties advocates and technologists is calling on Congress to rein in the Department of Homeland Security’s search and seizure practices. They’re also providing practical advice on how to prevent trade secrets and other sensitive data from being breached.
In a letter dated Thursday, the group, which includes the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the American Civil Liberties Union and the Business Travel Coalition, called on the House Committee on Homeland Security to ensure searches aren’t arbitrary or overly invasive. They also urged the passage of legislation outlawing abusive searches.
The letter comes 10 days after a US appeals court ruled Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents have the right to rummage through electronic devices even if they have no reason to suspect the hardware holds illegal contents. Not only are they free to view the files during passage; they are also permitted to copy the entire contents of a device. There are no stated policies about what can and can’t be done with the data.
Over the past few months, several news reports have raised eyebrows after detailing border searches that involved electronic devices. The best known of them is this story from The Washington Post, which recounted the experiences of individuals who were forced to reveal data on cell phones and laptop devices when passing through US borders. One individual even reported some of the call history on her cell phone had been deleted.
“The Fourth Amendment protects us all against unreasonable government intrusions,” the letter, which was also signed by the Center for Democracy and Technology and security expert Bruce Schneier, states. “But this guarantee means nothing if CBP can arbitrarily search and seize our digital information at the border and indefinitely store and reuse it.”
Several of the groups are also providing advice to US-bound travelers carrying electronic devices. The Association of Corporate Travel Executives is encouraging members to remove photos, financial information and other personal data before leaving home. This is good advice even if you’re not traveling to the US. There is no reason to store five years worth of email on a portable machine.
In this posting, the EFF agrees that laptops, cell phones, digital cameras and other gizmos should be cleaned of any sensitive information. Then, after passing through customs, travelers can download the data they need, work on it, transmit it back and then digitally destroy the files before returning.
The post also urges the use of strong encryption to scramble sensitive data, although it warns this approach is by no means perfect. For one thing, CBP agents are free to deny entry to travelers who refuse to divulge their passwords. They may also be able to seize the laptop.
If it sounds like a lot of work, consider this: so far, the federal government has refused to reveal any information about border searches, including what it does with the electronic data it seizes. Under the circumstances, there’s no way of knowing what will happen to, say, source code or company memos that may get confiscated. Or the email sent to your lawyer.
By Dan Goodin in San Francisco
Published Thursday 1st May 2008 21:11 GMT
Source: The Register
The suggestion from FBI Director Robert Mueller, which came during a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing, appears to go beyond a current plan to monitor traffic on federal-government networks. Mueller seemed to suggest that the bureau should have a broad “omnibus” authority to conduct monitoring and surveillance of private-sector networks as well.
The surveillance should include all Internet traffic, Mueller said, “whether it be .mil, .gov, .com–whichever network you’re talking about.” (See the transcript of the hearing.)
PRIVACY ADVOCATES SAY THE EMERGING PRACTICE TURNS RELATIVES INTO GENETIC INFORMANTS
He was a church-going father of two, and for more than 30 years Dennis Rader eluded police in the Wichita area, killing 10 people and signing taunting letters with a self-styled monogram: BTK, for Bind Torture Kill. In the end, it was a DNA sample that tied BTK to his crimes. Not his own DNA. But his daughter’s.
Investigators obtained a court order without the daughter’s knowledge for a Pap smear specimen she had given five years earlier at a university medical clinic in Kansas. A DNA profile of the specimen almost perfectly matched the DNA evidence taken from several BTK crime scenes, leading detectives to conclude she was the child of the killer. That allowed police to secure an arrest warrant in February 2005 and end BTK’s murderous career.
The BTK case was an early use of an emerging tool in law enforcement: analyzing the DNA of a suspect’s relatives. In the BTK example, police had a suspect and were looking to tie him to the crime. But now, states are moving to conduct familial searches of criminal databases, looking for close-to-perfect matches with DNA from crime scenes. A partial match with a convicted criminal could implicate a brother or daughter or father of the convict. Such searches, advocates say, constitute a powerful law enforcement tool that, experts say, could increase by 40 percent the number of suspects identified through DNA.
Recent news on the White House torture and spy memos has amazingly received very little coverage in the corporate controlled media. For instance, Barack Obama’s low bowling score has received more coverage than these memos. The media some how thinks Obama’s horrible bowling skills are more important than evidence that could be used to prosecute members of the Bush administration for all sorts of criminality including war crimes. That makes no sense, but of course when you consider that the corporate controlled media creates reality for people it makes perfect sense. Both of these memos were written by former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo and prove that the Bush administration sought to justify torture and ignore the Fourth Amendment under the guise of the phony war on terror. In the memos, Yoo concludes that Bush can torture and spy without a warrant if he is doing these things to protect the country from terrorists. Of course, the majority of the so called terrorists that the media and the government claims we are fighting are actually trained and funded by western governments so the whole thing is a big fraud. That of course is a whole other story. In these memos, it is clear that Yoo shows a blatant disregard for both U.S. and international law. Yoo and other members of the Bush administration should really be put on trial for war crimes but since the corporate controlled media thinks that Obama’s low bowling score is more important than smoking gun proof of war crimes, that’s probably not going to happen.
First let’s tackle the spying memo. Below is taken from an excerpt of an Associated Press report on the 37-page secret Justice Department memo in which Yoo concludes that the Fourth Amendment does not apply to domestic military operations.
NEW YORK – A newly disclosed secret memo authored by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in March 2003 that asserts President Bush has unlimited power to order brutal interrogations of detainees also reveals a radical interpretation of the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure. The memo, declassified yesterday as the result of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit, cites a still-secret DOJ memo from 2001 that found that the “Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations.”
The October 2001 memo was almost certainly meant to provide a legal basis for the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program, which President Bush launched the same month the memo was issued. As a component of the Department of Defense, the NSA is a military agency.
“The recent disclosures underscore the Bush administration’s extraordinarily sweeping conception of executive power,” said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project. “The administration’s lawyers believe the president should be permitted to violate statutory law, to violate international treaties, and even to violate the Fourth Amendment inside the U.S. They believe that the president should be above the law.“