Whether or not you agree with what Bradley Manning did, the fact that he’s been in jail for over 1000 days should give you pause when talking about what the government would and wouldn’t do to its citizens.
The cherry on top is that he spent 10 months in solitary confinement, and multiple US and UN officials have said that his treatment during that time was inhumane.
Here’s the sad part about all of this; Manning is a member of the military and they have their own courts and sometimes their own laws and processes.
Here’s the impossibly disgusting part about that; Obama and Congress have declared all of America a battleground, meaning that maritime law, the same laws that apply to Manning, can, in theory, be applied to all of us.
Regardless of how you feel about Manning and his actions, you should be absolutely terrified of the actions of the government.
Welcome to unconstitutional hell.
From the Wall Street Journal, written by someone who has apparently never heard of Due Process or the 5th Amendment or the Bill of Rights or the Constitution or morality and ethics.
I think the entire gripe was over the question of if US Soil can be considered a battleground and not specifically about drones themselves but their use and when and where it is permissible Because America can be labeled a battleground and we are stuck in this never ending declaration of war, then the Constitution will no longer apply to any American and we will all be subjected to maritime law where any of us can be executed at will of the President without due process or protection of the civilian code of law.
The WSJ completely missed the point. For shame.
Does a Constitution-free zone really exist in America? via Yahoo! News
Is there really a government law that disallows the Fourth Amendment for 200 million Americans? Some people say it’s true, but the reasoning behind a 100-mile “Constitution-free” zone argument is confusing at best.
The American Civil Liberties Union has been saying since 2010 that a regulation allowing customs and immigration agents to search electronic devices at America’s borders without cause is wrong. Two years prior to that, the ACLU also warned of a 100-mile-wide U.S. border called the “Constitution-free zone” where such searches could occur.
Last Friday, the Department of Homeland Security issued a two-page review of its policy on searching laptops, cell phones, and other devices at border checks, to clarify the policy that the ACLU had questioned in 2010.
The DHS said that customs and immigration agents can “exercise long-standing constitutional and statutory authority permitting suspicionless and warrantless searches of merchandise at the border and its functional equivalent.”
The ACLU also asked for the details behind the decision to be released.
To be sure, the ACLU has played a valuable role in the debate since 2008 and has obtained many government files about electronic-device searches after filing Freedom of Information Act requests.
But the confusion seems to be centered on the idea of a 100-mile extended border for the United States, and how nearly 200 million Americans could have their laptops, cell phones, and iPads searched at any moment.
In a lawsuit filed in 2010, the ACLU argued that “we are not saying that the government can never search or seize electronic devices at the border, but only that border agents should have some suspicion that the search will turn up evidence of wrongdoing before looking through all the private information that people have stored in their devices.”
The 100-mile-wide border zone is from that earlier missive from the ACLU in 2008, which claimed the electronics-search zone applied to any person who lived within 100 miles of a land or sea border—which happens to be two-thirds of the American population. At the time, the ACLU labeled the area asthe “Constitution-free zone.”
Since then, bloggers and writers have continued to make the connection between this 100-mile wide border and the lack of constitutional rights for searches of laptops and cell phones.
Legally, the 100-mile-wide region is called the “extended border” of the U.S., as defined by Title 8 of the Federal Code of Regulations. There is also something called the “functional equivalent” border, which is the area around international airports in the interior region of the U.S.
The DHS ruling from last Friday said its “warrantless searches” applied to the U.S. “border and its functional equivalent,” with no mention of the extended 100-mile border.
Two analysis papers from the Congressional Research Service from 2009 offer some legal insight into what tactics agents can follow within the 100-mile-wide extended border, and why the distinction between the extended border and the other two borders is important.
Searches within the 100-mile extended border zone, and outside of the immediate border-stop location, must meet three criteria: a person must have recently crossed a border; an agent should know that the object of a search hasn’t changed; and that “reasonable suspicion” of a criminal activity must exist, says the CRS. (The service had done the legal analyses to prepare Congress members for legislation.)
“Although a search at the border’s functional equivalent and an extended border search require similar elements, the extended border search entails a potentially greater intrusion on a legitimate expectation of privacy. Thus, an extended border search always requires a showing of ‘reasonable suspicion’ of criminal activity, while a search at the functional equivalent of the border may not require any degree of suspicion whatsoever,” the CRS says.
The fact that agents need to show “reasonable suspicion” outside direct border stops and airports puts their actions closer to the scope of the Fourth Amendment, says the CRS.
“The Fourth Amendment mandates that a search or seizure conducted by a government agent must be ‘reasonable.’ As a general rule, courts have construed Fourth Amendment reasonableness as requiring probable cause and a judicially granted warrant. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has recognized several exceptions to these requirements, one of which is the border search exception.”
The argument about a Constitution-free zone may better apply to direct border stops and airports, where agents don’t need to explain why they are searching a computer or cell phone. So, there could still be a “Constitution-free zone,” based on the outcome of legal appeals. It would just be much smaller than that 100-mile band around the U.S..
The CRS says the Supreme Court has yet to consider a case involving the degree of suspicion needed to search laptops at the border without a warrant or reasonable suspicion.
And in an evolving world where people keep much of their private lives stored on computers and cell phones, the issue should only grow in importance in coming years.
Not the greatest article in the world, but it’s on Yahoo! which is a pretty big deal and a really good sign that at least some of the MSM is starting to report the reality of how far we’ve fallen.
via Yahoo! News
Congress Can Go Ahead And Ban All Guns
If you haven’t heard, Feinstein introduced the
11th step to fascism new Gun Ban Bill to Congress today. Her stated purpose of the bill, and as I’ve mentioned many times before, is to “dry up the supply of these weapons over time, therefore, there is no sunset on this bill”.
Congress can go ahead and ban whatever they want, the people will find legal ways around it. Just like they did with the bullet button and other innovations, Congress can only build temporary walls because the possibilities of innovation far exceed the ability to limit things. Congress does not have the knowledge or the foresight to ban all things that exist today and that can possibly exist in the future, so it’s only a matter of time until new methods of production are discovered and guns of the same capability and perhaps even greater ability once again, legally, find their way back into the hands of the people.
Heck, this weapons ban might even push for innovations that go beyond physical rounds and traditional guns. Perhaps this will finally bring about the invention of laser guns or powerful air guns or maybe even some other technology that we haven’t even conceived of yet.
Congress is only quasi-capable of legislation but the people are masters of innovation. Like they’ve done before, they will once again legally innovate their way around silly laws that exist through a very narrow and backwards thinking lens.
So I say to Congress, go ahead and ban what you want and watch the people peacefully destroy your position on guns while efficiently bettering their own.
Joseph Story, United States Supreme Court Justice 1811-1845, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States; With a Preliminary Review of the Constitutional History of the Colonies and States before the Adoption of the Constitution [Boston, 1833]
What the honorable Joseph Story is explaining here is that it is the sole duty of the people to keep themselves both armed and educated on those arms. By educated I mean both in the ability to use such arms and the understand of their importance. However, Story both sees and fears that the ‘burthens’ of those rights (burthens as in burdens) is starting to shift the vigilance and willingness of the people to remain armed.
Joseph Story, in 1833, successfully predicted that the laziness of the people to both stay armed and to keep their own government at bay will soon lead from indifference on gun ownership to disgust and that disgust will become contempt. That contempt will soon remove the protection that the 2nd Amendment provides for all of us, individually and as a nation.
If we haven’t arrived at our final destination yet, we are certainly standing at it’s doorstep with our finger on the doorbell.
Timothy Dwight, Travels in New England and New York, 1823
As I’ve said before, America doesn’t have a gun problem, it has a morality problem. We’ve failed to remain vigilant and educated on both the utility and usage of guns.