Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Don't Flush The Loo In Oceania

Police State Supreme Court Ruling Further Erodes Fourth Amendment Privacy Rights

Jacqueline Marcus

No film can truly reconstruct the horrors that occurred under Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Years of Terror, but we have testimonies from survivors, films and photographs that have furnished us with searing impressions that should have been a final warning to the world: a government that legalizes invasions, torture, murder and genocide ought never to rise again. The question of how easily a democracy can be transformed into a police state begins when a government abolishes individual rights without the people's knowledge or consent. It began when Stalin established a comprehensive spy network that turned every citizen into a suspect. Those actions taken together, spying and abolishing inalienable rights, are the foundation of a police state.

The New Yorker's investigative writer, Jane Mayer, described in her critically acclaimed article, The Secret Sharer, how the Obama administration is targeting ethical whistleblowers, in this case, Thomas Drake, a former senior executive at the National Security Agency, "who faces some of the gravest charges that can be brought against an American citizen" because he objected to NSA's domestic spying technology program that was designed to secretly monitor the American people through a wide variety of illegal wiretapping systems. The illegal wiretapping is bad enough, but to prosecute the whistleblowers for revealing the truth, for essentially doing the right ethical thing is draconian and shameful.

Paradoxically, the Feds spend billions of tax dollars to spy on ordinary citizens while oil and polluting industries are rarely inspected for securing safety operations. In 2008, BP Whistleblower, Kenneth Abbott, discovered that 90 percent of important operational documents were never received or approved for design operations. Such recklessness, he predicted, could have catastrophic results. He was right. Now the Gulf of Mexico is a toxic dead zone. (Black Tide, Antonia Juhasz, 217-18)

While Big Brother is watching every move we make and prosecuting ethical whistleblowers, the Supreme Court's recent 8-1 ruling officially hammered the final nail in our 4th Amendment rights that guaranteed our protection from an abusive and intrusive government. That "right to privacy" is a nuisance and burden to a government that has targeted its citizens as enemies of the state. So it comes as no surprise why Justice Ginsburg would boldly and heroically oppose a ruling that paves the way for a police state.

In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she feared the ruling gave police an easy way to ignore 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. She said the amendment's "core requirement" is that officers have probable cause and a search warrant before they break into a house.

"How 'secure' do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and ...forcibly enter?" Ginsburg asked. (L.A. Times 5-17-11)

I say "final nail" because the 4th Amendment was already barely alive after being severely hammered by the drug laws, the NSA's pervasive monitor-spying program and the Patriot Act; but it still guaranteed some measure of protection from an abusive police force that would not be allowed to bust down your doors at any given time without probable cause and a search warrant. To do so would constitute a clear violation of 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Consider for example the manner in which U.S. military soldiers secretly approach an Iraqi home in the middle of the night, and then BOOM! smash the door in, raid the house, and if anyone so much as squeals, he/she could end with a bullet to the head. The recent Supreme Court 8-1 ruling allows armed police to raid American citizens inside their homes as if Americans were in a war zone.

If, for example, the police decide to target you on a hunch or a whim without proof or evidence of any wrongdoing and they show up at your front door and hear muffled sounds within the premises of your home or the sound of a flushing toilet or shuffling up or down stairs, this ruling allows armed police to bust your door down and search and raid your house as if you were Osama Bin Laden, himself.

The ruling was based on a drug-related incident, which provided a convenient reason for shredding, once and for all, our 4th Amendment rights. The Supreme Court gave police the latitude to break into homes or apartments in search of illegal drugs when they suspect the evidence otherwise might be destroyed.

The ruling, in essence, is the government's declaration of war against its citizens. If the eight Supreme Court Justices were honestly concerned about reducing drug crimes, they'd consider the connection between our high unemployment and the escalation of criminal activity. You don't solve crimes by abolishing everyone's civil liberties; you provide jobs, and there could be plenty of jobs created if the government invested our tax dollars into rebuilding our eroding highways, hospitals, schools, sewers and bridges instead of spending our tax dollars on elaborate Stalinist spy technology, weapons, drug and oil wars, and allowing tax subsidies-exemptions for the billionaire polluting industrialists.

Justice Alito's comment is chilling: "When law enforcement officers who are not armed with a warrant knock on a door, they do no more than any private citizen may do," Alito wrote. "A resident need not respond, he added. But the sounds of people moving and perhaps toilets being flushed could justify police entering without a warrant."

Or, what if the police lie, which is not uncommon, that they heard people trying to hide or destroy evidence?

Imagine if the police knock on your door when you're in the bathroom, they hear the toilet flush, and suddenly like a scene from Stalin's Terror Years, you're surrounded by heavily armed police dressed in black uniforms, black boots and helmets that look exactly like the S.S. minus the swastika. Whether you like or dislike Presidential candidate Ron Paul, he's right about one thing: It's time to legalize illegal drugs if this is what it's come to.

It's absolutely mind-boggling and shocking that eight Supreme Court Justices would allow armed police to break and enter into the privacy of American homes on the basis of such flimsy and whimsical grounds! They can bust your door down simply because they hear a toilet flushing!?

Understand that this ruling is not limited to a few bad apples-it applies to every citizen of the United States.

Is it not creepily Orwellian, for instance, to hear media commentators and politicians use the phrase "Take them out" so casually that assassinating humans, here or abroad, is perfectly acceptable, as if they were talking about flies or mosquitoes. Does that sound like a civil society to you? A nihilistic government that is controlled by the military and oil industries creates a bully society. We have a government (Executive, Judicial and Congressional) that would rather strip the American people of their fundamental rights in Stalinist fashion than provide jobs for 33 million unemployed citizens who are starving in this country. buzzflash


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Himself said...

Thanks Chuck.

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Himself said...

Sorry, we are unable to access the page you requested: (Translated)

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Himself said...

Morning Chuck, I've just fell out of bed, will look to your stuff when I'm awake.

I would like to converse with you on another matter though, so perhaps if you can respond on this one when you are aware.
Bless you.

Anonymous said...

Good morning/afternoon H

Hope you're doing well. I'm just reading an article.


Großbritannien tritt die Pressefreiheit mit Füßen. In den USA muss der Whistleblower Bradley Manning wahrscheinlich für Jahrzehnte ins Gefängnis. Edward Snowden dürfte ähnliches widerfahren, wenn er denn gefasst wird. Wie glaubwürdig kann der Westen überhaupt noch gegenüber autoritären Regimen für Meinungsfreiheit eintreten?

Later. Chuck

Himself said...

Good afternoon Maren.

Am I well? Well enough I guess, if not a tad Irate. Spent the best part of the last two days trying to sort, via India of course, my mobile phone service.

Nightmare! But I have just filled in a brief questionnaire on what I think about their service.

You can guess!

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon H

Irate, sounds exotic.

One good thing to come out of all of this is that... I've learned a new word.

Thank you. M x

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