Many people of my generation remember, or have read about the abuses of the Stasi, or East German Secret Police, the KGB or Soviet Secret Police and of course the infamous Gestapo, the Nazi Secret Police.
These were not legitimate police agencies as Americans envision police. They were, instead agents of terror designed to keep the people of Europe compliant with the wishes of their dictatorial masters.
The British in pre-Revolutionary War days were more blunt and to-the-point. They simply forced the colonists to house and feed, or quarter, British soldiers in their private dwellings. This effectively stifled dissent against King George along with colonial free speech and privacy.
To counter-act British abuses and prevent future abuses such as those later imposed by the Nazi’s, Soviets and East Germans, American colonists insisted on a provision in the newly-written Constitution aimed, in part, at guaranteeing privacy. Known today as the 4th Amendment, it is elegant in its simplicity. It says, simply:
“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.”
Like the other nine original amendments, the 4th was designed to severely restrict government intrusion into the affairs of private citizens and expand and strengthen the freedom and rights of the people. But somehow, government at all levels, failed to get the memo. The federal government seized on the terrorist attacks that took place on Sept. 11, 2001 to rush through Congress legislation known popularly as the PATRIOT ACT.
There is nothing patriotic about the PATRIOT ACT.
The result is unchecked government power to rifle through individuals’ financial records, medical histories, Internet usage, bookstore purchases, library usage, travel patterns, or any other activity that leaves a record. Making matters worse:
The government no longer has to show evidence that the subjects of search orders are an “agent of a foreign power,” a requirement that previously protected Americans against abuse of this authority.
The FBI does not even have to show a reasonable suspicion that the records are related to criminal activity, much less the requirement for “probable cause” that is listed in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. All the government needs to do is make the broad assertion that the request is related to an ongoing terrorism or foreign intelligence investigation.
Judicial oversight of these new powers is essentially non-existent. The government must only certify to a judge – with no need for evidence or proof – that such a search meets the statute’s broad criteria, and the judge does not even have the authority to reject the application.
Surveillance orders can be based in part on a person’s First Amendment activities, such as the books they read, the Web sites they visit, or a letter to the editor they have written.
A person or organization forced to turn over records is prohibited from disclosing the search to anyone. As a result of this gag order, the subjects of surveillance never even find out that their personal records have been examined by the government. That undercuts an important check and balance on this power: the ability of individuals to challenge illegitimate searches. https://www.aclu.org/national-security/surveillance-under-usa-patriot-act
I remind everyone reading this of a comment by James Madison who is known as “The Father of the Constitution,” and later as the 4th President of the United States. Madison said: “If tyranny and oppression come to this land it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
Anyone looking for tyranny and oppression in America need look no further than the PATRIOT ACT which was hurriedly passed to fight Islamic terrorism (a foreign enemy if there ever was one.)
There are, however, other despicable acts of tyranny going on today. I refer specifically to the Utah Data Center which I wrote about HERE.
Smaller, but no less important violations of the 4th and 2nd Amendments are ongoing as I write this and have been more or less ignored by the major media. Fortunately, some of them have been captured on video. I call the first video “Throw grandma to the ground.”
The next video is a National Guardsman admitting he has been given orders to fire on anyone, specifically American citizens who won’t surrender their weapons peacefully. This is a warrant-less seizure, specifically forbidden by the 4th Amendment.
In the following video a common citizen says aloud that he was a victim of an illegal search and seizure.
Even the states and courts are beginning to grossly violate the 4th Amendment. In May of 2011 and Indiana court said it’s okay for police to illegally enter a private dwelling. http://blogs.ajc.com/bob-barr-blog/2011/05/18/indiana-court-okays-illegal-police-entries/
“….in a move that would have made King George III proud, the Indiana Supreme Court cavalierly decided that police can enter a person’s home for any reason – or no reason, or an unlawful reason — and the homeowner forced to stand aside and let them do their deeds. This 3 to 2 decision of the Hoosier State’s highest court, essentially reinstates the hated Writs of Assistance utilized by the British Crown in the colonies; according to which colonial citizens were subject to Royal gendarmes entering their homes for whatever reason their colonial masters decreed were necessary to “assist” the King….”
Then, horror of horrors, what happens when an unsuspecting, armed homeowner, hears what he fears is a home invasion and greets a heavily armed SWAT team bursting into his front door?
This article tells it best.
Jose Guerena Killed: Arizona Cops Shoot Former Marine In Botched Pot Raid
On May 5 at around 9:30 a.m., several teams of Pima County, Ariz., police officers from at least four different police agencies armed with SWAT gear and an armored personnel carrier raided at least four homes as part of what at the time was described as an investigation into alleged marijuana trafficking. One of those homes belonged to 26-year-old Jose Guerena and his wife, Vanessa Guerena. The couple’s 4-year-old son was also in the house at the time. Their 6-year-old son was at school.
As the SWAT team forced its way into his home, Guerena, a former Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, armed himself with his AR-15 rifle and told his wife and son to hide in a closet. As the officers entered, Guerena confronted them from the far end of a long, dark hallway. The police opened fire, releasing more than 70 rounds in about 7 seconds, at least 60 (actually 13) of which struck Guerena. He was pronounced dead a little over an hour later.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department initially claimed Guerena fired his weapon at the SWAT team. They now acknowledge that not only did he not fire, the safety on his gun was still activated when he was killed. Guerena had no prior criminal record, and the police found nothing illegal in his home. After ushering out his wife and son, the police refused to allow paramedics to access Guerena for more than hour, leaving the young father to bleed to death, alone, in his own home…http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/25/jose-guerena-arizona-_n_867020.html
Clearly, the Fourth Amendment is under assault at all levels of government. Unless the American citizenry awakens to this danger and begins demanding the rights the Amendment protects be restored, one of the fundamental underpinnings of our very Liberty will vanish, perhaps permanently. We must jealously defend all the safeguards written into the Constitution that are designed to protect us from run-away government.