Sunday, April 26, 2009

You'll Get Nothing and Like It!

In lieu of the recent controversy surrounding the Bush administration's torture policy, I wanted to review the Bill of Rights and see what rights remained unabridged in light of the policies of the previous administration (and in some cases continued by the current one). Let's take them one by one.

1st Amendment - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. While the Bush administration did not establish a religion, they did base some of their policies on the desires of the religious right. Freedom of the press is a different matter. They not only planted stories and talking points on one cable news network, but they also instituted a program of electronic surveillance of members of the press who were particularly critical of the administration. I'm going to say that the first amendment did survive fairly intact though. So the People are up 1-0.

2nd Amendment - A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Without a doubt this amendment came through unscathed. There are more assault weapons in the hands of Americans than ever before. The poor deer don't stand a chance. People 2-0.

3rd Amendment - No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. The People are on a roll. This one also remains in place. Although I can't imagine a time when this would be needed. Regardless, the People are on a roll 3-0.

4th Amendment - 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. Here is where it all starts to go wrong. The Bush administration (and for that matter the Obama administration) have decided that they can indeed gather any information they feel necessary without obtaining a warrant. The at first illegal wiretapping program that is now somehow been deemed legal by Congress, flies in the face of the 4th Amendment. The wiretapping now assumes that the all electronic data gathered by the government is "reasonable" and therefore not subject to the 4th Amendment. It's amazing how easily government action becomes reasonable when the rights of Americans are in peril. The People lose their first one 3-1.

5th Amendment - No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. The now infamous "enemy combatant" label laid waste to this amendment. The President now has the power to hold any person, he deems a threat to the security of the United States, indefinitely and without trial or representation. Any individual can now be denied of at least liberty and property without due process. The Obama administration has gotten rid of the enemy combatant label, but has maintained the right to use the power when necessary. The People take one in the nuts, 3-2.

6th Amendment - In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. This right goes hand in hand with the last one. The right to a speedy and public trial have been replaced by the right to held indefinitely without charge. The government gets around this one, by never charging the individuals with anything "criminal". While that allows them to avoid the letter of the law, it certainly violates the spirit of the law. After a strong start the People now stand in a dead heat 3-3.

7th Amendment - In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. It looks like this one is still intact! The People rule! 4-3.

8th Amendment - Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. And just like that, the winning streak comes to an end at one. Torture without a doubt would fit the definition of cruel and unusual punishment. Although the fact that it was used over 180 times in one month on one individual means that it certainly wasn't unusual to at least one person. Deadlocked again 4-4.

9th Amendment - The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. I would like to know exactly what rights are retained by the people at this point. We can be made to disappear by our government, we can be tortured by our government, we can be subjected to unreasonable search and seizure without a warrant and these are just the rights that are enumerated in this document. I not even sure I can think of what "others" we actually retain. This goes against the People. 4-5.

10th Amendment - The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. I have the same thoughts about this one as the 9th Amendment. The Federal Government has at this point gathered so much power in the name of the People, that they have left little outside of their control. The states do retain control over their own elections and their day to day operations, so even though I have my doubts, I'm going to give this one to the People. That leaves the final score at 5-5.

The Obama administration has ended the use of torture, but I'm not sure that holding an individual indefinitely without charge or legal counsel does not also rise to the level of cruel and unusual punishment. The 8th Amendment may or may not still be in tact depending upon your definition of the terms. One of my greatest hopes for the Obama administration was that they would reverse the course of the previous administration with regards to the Bill of Rights. It appears that although some steps have been taken (e.g., ending torture), we still have a long way to go to restore the rights that were supposedly guaranteed to us over 200 years ago.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rockefeller Madness

I know it’s not immediately apparent at times with all the pointed and vicious criticism I’ve written this year, but I do respect and admire Governor Paterson (when he’s not being nakedly careerist at the cost of the New Yorkers like me that he swore to serve.) -It may have been done on a Friday to take the (hot) air out of the opposition, but Governor Paterson has signed a bill that largely overturns the Rockefeller Drug Laws.

The new bill will allow for broader judicial discretion and power for judges in most non-violent felony drug cases. Under the Rockefeller reforms that became law more than 40 years ago, judges were instructed by mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines. Paterson is a Democrat, so the new law he proposes also calls for millions of dollars to be spent on drug treatment programs, -something I’ll comment on in a later post when I hear more details.

There is the usual outcry from Social Conservatives in upper New York State: that Democrats, Liberals, and commie-gremlin-socialists in Albany are trying to bring the state and by extension the nation to a situation of abject lawlessness. They are already citing this as the first step towards people blowing marijuana smoke in the faces of State Troopers who pull them over, or pregnant women shooting heroine and other apocalyptic nonsense.

Social Conservatives always fear that any deregulation, or legalization, or decriminalization of drug policy or drug law means increases in socially corrosive behavior or related criminal offenses.

I have to ask what have the Rockerfeller Drug laws (with their arbitrary strictures on amounts determining progressive levels of criminal intent etc.) really accomplished?

We have bigger, more overcrowded and curiously, more costly prisons. Yet for those outside government, like contractors serving the prison industry, it is more profitable than ever. The growth of the penitentiary industrial complex has created a weird and influential lobby that supports the expansion of prisons over policies of interdiction and other positive societal construction like the expansion of education.

America is ever more in the business of warehousing criminals, increasingly due to the draconian state drug laws across the nation. Addressing whether these laws are “too tough,” or even appropriate speaks to a deeper philosophical issue in Western civilization of whether punishment is a deterrent to criminal acts at all. In my experience it hardly ever is. People who do illegal things, whether it be speeding on the New England Thruway, murdering their spouses, or cooking their own crystal Meth are doing it because they think they are not going to get caught. I don’t avoid drugs because they are illegal, I don’t do drugs because I think they are dangerous to my health and mental well being in the long run. Very few people have ever committed a crime with the certainty of jail as an inevitability in their minds, again, they generally commit crimes when they think they can get away with it. The value of criminalizing drug use then, only has incarceration and its removal of offenders from society as a certain and desirable goal... maybe. The funny thing is, all of the Conservatives I personally know (like the majority of Liberals by the way), smoke pot on occasion. All of them have tried Cocaine. None of them think they should be in jail, and I agree.

I often hear the argument, “… but if I were like a dealer, I should definitely be in jail.”
To which I usually respond, “So the person who sold you the drugs should go to jail, but not you, yourself?”

It’s this kind of hypocrisy that makes the out of control drug trafficking violence in towns along Texas-Mexican borders inevitable, and it’s this kind of hypocrisy that made the Rockefeller Drug laws possible. The nation wants drugs to go away, but wants to ignore the fact that it is the people’s demand that makes the world drug trade possible. It’s interesting that so called Blue Dog Democrats in New York and upstate Conservatives feel so entirely differently when it comes to guns. They maintain gun ownership as an issue of personal liberty, the consequences of its abuse a matter of acceptable collateral damage in a free society.
While I have professed my love of guns repeatedly on this blog, it is on this point that Social Conservatives and I are united in our hypocrisy, -on entirely different issues. I think Gun laws are not nearly tough enough. I’d like to see the equivalent of Rockefeller laws for guns… knowing damn well that anyone breaking those gun laws is not going to be deterred by the punishment, self-convinced that they will get away with it… but it will take them off the streets.

Interestingly, every single one of my aforementioned friends and associates irrespective of political affiliation, drinks alcohol regularly, -and occasionally to scheduled, planned excess. The contrived criminal differentiation between Alcohol versus other drugs is an enormous matter for yet another post. Sorry.

As someone who is largely Liberal on the issue of drugs and the broader issue of drug criminalization; I am daunted by the idea of uniform codes and regulations. While I have largely supported drug use as an individual right for most of my life, I have to admit that like Social Conservatives, I too am worried about what an absolute legalization of all drugs would do, at least in the case of one particular drug. I grew up in the South Bronx in the 1970s and 80s when the Crack epidemic literally engulfed neighborhood after neighborhood, incinerating the poor and working classes across 5 boroughs in a linear progression like a slow burning cigarette. I don’t think I have ever seen any drug that destroyed a human being’s moral center and devastated their personhood like Crack Cocaine. I remember one kid I grew up with, who tried it on a Friday night and was selling his TV and all his belongings on Monday morning as I was going to school. He was in jail by the following Wednesday. While he has been off of drugs for close to 15 years now, his life was hopelessly derailed by the drug’s incursion into his life and the punitive consequences of all the crime he committed to support his drug use; something he never imagined would turn into such a self-destructive habit. I don’t think the Rockefeller Drug laws did anything to stop or correct this man’s behavior; but did much to ruin his life and make any “correction” impossible.

Ultimately, Drug laws and their support systems and programs cost money that should be spent elsewhere in society. The federal posture of interdiction and prevention that President Nixon initially supported like Operation Intercept have to be completely rethought and engineered to be applicable on a functioning personal level. What ultimately killed the Crack Cocaine epidemic in New York City was information. Even Rudolf Giuliani repeatedly asserted, as both an Associate Attorney General and as a Mayor, that information and education about drug abuse was the most effective weapon in preventing drug addiction.

Opponents of Governor Paterson’s courageous act on Friday say that non-violent drug offenses will now be seen as a public health issue, rather than just a criminal justice matter.



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Outrageous Fortune

The outrage from the Right over President Obama's actions at the recent meeting of American nations is just another example of the ridiculous nature of political debate. The manufactured outrage over President Obama accepting a book from Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and his attendance at a speech by the Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, proves once again that the Republicans have no interest in a grown up debate about the direction of the country. Republican Presidents have a history of meeting with opposition leaders. Nixon met with Mao and Brezhnev when he was President. Regan most famously met with Gorbachev during his two terms. There was no outrage from the Right then. Nixon even presented Brezhnev with a car, even though the USSR had recently invaded one of their eastern European satellites.

I wonder where that outrage was when the President decided that our rule of law did not apply to him. Where was the outrage over the continued abuse of prisoners and the wanton destruction of our Constitutional freedoms. The right was entirely silent while George W. Bush willingly broke the laws of the land. They are also surprising quiet as our current President seeks to pardon those activities. The Right is more than willing to harp about a handshake, but ignoring previous illegal activity apparently meets with their approval.

There can now be no doubt that our government initiated and maintained an illegal torture program along with an illegal electronic wiretapping program. Those are unequivocally impeachable offenses. Those on the right were not outraged by these activities but are up in arms over the fact that President has released the Justice Department memos outlining the torture program. They don't care that prisoners were tortured in the name of all Americans, they only care that now everyone knows it. They didn't even bat an eye when the Vice President proudly proclaimed that we had indeed tortured prisoners.

The same Republicans who were willing to submit this country to the most expensive trial in history in order to try and embarrass a Democratic President, are now unwilling to hold one of their own liable for the highest of crimes. The impeachment trial of President Clinton was was based on what should have been a private matter. The acts that President Clinton committed, while being immoral, did not affect society as a whole and certainly had no impact on the Constitution. George W. Bush not only thumbed his nose at the rule of law in this country, but at the rights of every citizen. For those illegal activities, the Right would have us forgive and forget. Our current President seems to be of the same mind. Perhaps he is trying to curry some political favor with the Republicans in order to get some bipartisan support for his policies. If that is the reason, he should know better. Both the recent and historical actions of the Republicans have shown that this will try at every turn to foil the actions of this President.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Liberal Democrats May Be Too Timid, But Working Class Republicans Are a Bunch of Suckers

On April 16th, generally acknowledged as the annual collective metaphysical hangover for our nation when sane people reflect on where they are in life, how much they are earning or what exactly are they getting for the third they lose every year to a government that never really tells them exactly how their money is being spent, thousands of people took to the streets. Poor and middle-class Americans all over the country, who probably have never protested anything in their lives, and in all likelihood have looked down upon every march they have ever heard of, got out and made themselves heard.

Excited? -Not so fast. I think you know where this is going if you’ve read a newspaper or watched a minute of television last week.

Americans were not protesting the off shoring of jobs, the lack of jobs, the abuses of the financial industry, the credit card industry’s strangle hold on the nation. No. They were protesting the Obama tax plan, which will lower taxes for all but the Rich, who incidentally, will simply be returned to their pre-George W. Bush-era tax rates when Bill Clinton inexplicably gave them a tax break of 8 cents on every dollar (The average American loses 30 cents on every dollar, the Rich on average only lose about 15 cents to taxes on every dollar. The Obama Tax plan’s adjustments wipe away the George W. Bush tax cut of 6 cents off every dollar for the Rich; meaning they still pay less than you at 21 cents on the dollar. That’s America. Deal with it.

The Americans who took to the streets were not protesting this inequity.

Thousands of Americans, largely Republicans if the news footage on Fox News, MSNBC and CNN is to be trusted, are protesting the mere act of paying taxes during the tenure of an administration they didn’t vote for out of fear. Remember, the tax plan hasn’t gone into effect yet, in fact it could stall with all the lying and intentional disinformation being pushed on those infamous “Low Information Voters” identified in the last election cycle. Interestingly, there are no reports of police actions like the ones that always follow protests for anti-war causes, or anything remotely anti-establishment. That’s because these “Tea Baggers” (a name so ridiculous and comically fraught with undermining sexual innuendo you really have to question the basic intelligence of these protesters and the popular leaders of the Right and its punditry as a whole) are nothing more than a bunch of unwitting sellouts.


In invoking the Boston Tea Party, the presumption being put forth as fact, is that Americans are being taxed without representation. This is retarded: Americans are paying taxes right now according to the Bush policies, since we just filed for 2008.

How working people and the middle class have been manipulated into voting Republican, specifically the post Reagan era of Republicanism is one of the more baffling developments of the last 25 years. I know that the only way you can get people to vote against their own interests is to first confuse or obscure the central issues of the day, and then lie, and lie huge.

Defeating the proposed Obama Tax Plan will only allow Rich people to keep more of their money and pay less of their share.

But the misappropriation of a defining moment in our nation’s history like the Boston Tea Party hasn’t been the only nonsense inspired by the elitist’s panic over the Obama tax plan. The Governor of Texas, Republican Rick Perry, decided to express sympathy with Texans who advocate secession last week.
Democratic Representative Jim Dunnam of the Texas House had this to say in response:

“Talk of secession is an attack on our country, it’s the ultimate anti-American statement.”

Amen, Mr. Dunnam.
Our costliest war was fought on our own soil, against ourselves to keep the Union together under one rule of law.

If Governor Perry, Michelle Bachmann or any other wack job advocates secession, revolution or any variant thereof, I’m calling my representatives in government and requesting they send in the National Guard.

How's that for a Liberal?

And by the way, somebody tell me what the hell is wrong with Penn Jillette?


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Are Your Parents Home?

It has taken less than three months of the Obama administration for the language of Washington D.C. to deteriorate to the level of a grade school fight. Barack Obama came into office with the promise of a new Washington. One in which both sides were heard and could "disagree without being disagreeable" as the new president so eloquently stated. This dream of a bipartisan nirvana lasted until for about a week. Once Congress proposed the new budget and every single Republican in the House voted against it, the proverbial gloves were off.

It seems that the only response either side has is to accuse the other of the wanton destruction of our republic. Claims and counter claims are made with each side responding with shock and awe at either the audacity or stupidity of the other sides proposals. The Republicans say that the Obama administration is in the process of destroying not only the Constitution, but our way of life. The Democrats say that the Republicans are hypocrites and liars and that their only concern is the well being of corporate America and the wealthy. They both react with feigned sadness at the ignorance of their opponents. They both claim to have the only answer for security and long term well being of the country.

This week the Governor of Texas decided to make some thinly veiled threats about his state seceding from the union if policies of the current administration continued. The Democrats responded with their usual mix of sadness and shock that anyone could even suggest such a thing without addressing the underlying issues that caused the Governor to make those statements. His statements came at the now famous "Tea Party" events of April 15. While the protests may lack a central theme, there is clearly a portion of the country that feels our current economic direction is wrong. Unfortunately, ridiculing dissent does not make it go away.

The era of understanding that our new President proposed only two and half months ago has devolved into name calling and saber rattling. As I have stated before, in order to have an effective government, we need ideas from both sides of the aisle. Name calling and manufactured outrage will not make our policies any better. It is time for both sides to grow up.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Emperor Still Has No Clothes.

Not a stitch, -and it’s been a cold winter.
Not only has the king unwittingly put one over on the kingdom, he’s about to die from the inarguable, non negotiable reality of his exposure to the elements. It’s a shame really, to be the face of a conspiracy, a scam, a racket, and still pay the consequences.

Who is the king? Actually there are several that I’m referring to. I’m talking about the monarchs who create and obfuscate reality. I’m talking about the transnational businessmen who own the news, Rupert Murdoch, Silvio Berlusconi, GE et al.

Rupert Murdoch and much of the country have been wondering why newspapers and the news media in general are failing and losing audiences. It’s not just the Internet that is pulling eyes away from news papers and TV. The generational exodus away from news networks reflects the fact that few people trust monolithic, unilateral news coverage and the news brands that deliver it anymore. Ever since Sidney Lumet directed “Network,” (a movie that Glenn Beck has referred to often of late, without a hint of irony or self awareness,) Americans have known their news is bought and paid for by corporations who only have dollars, and their own PR in mind, not the facts, not the things the citizenry needs to know to make decisions.

I don’t believe what I see on TV is the objective truth, do you?

It’s a fantastic turn of events where corporations sponsor a news network with ads, or buy it outright as in the case of GE and NBC news, and go from investing in the manipulation and control of information, to making money off of the audience they are defrauding at the same time. Whether I like it or not, part of my Cable subscription goes to Fox News.

Fox News is not a news network anymore than I’m a reporter.

If they were online exclusively, Fox News would be identified easily as a partisan Blog. Only on television can News Corp.’s charade of opinion and conjecture be promoted as “counter-bias” or some such nonsense. The dwindling of the mass market news audience is due in large part to erosion of said audience’s trust in single branded sources and there’s a silver lining in there somewhere I suppose, but let’s face it, real news, investigative news, that actually discovers life changing information, costs real money. All the Blogs in the world don’t add up to one night of PBS’s Frontline, or one New York Times investigative piece or Wall Street Journal financial article.

The news media oligarchs, be they identifiable individual media despots like Berlusconi in Italy, or faceless transnational corporations, are responsible for the devaluation of the news media properties they purchased and now manage.

So while the news media owners debase the purported mission of broadcast and print journalism for their own ulterior motives and gains, strangely they are also scratching their heads wondering why the advertiser pay for audience model is disintegrating; as if they were blind to the effects of their own exploitation.

The owners of the news are puzzled by everything collapsing around them, like an old man too frostbitten and savaged by the winds to realize he stepped out into the cold without anything on… an old man too proud to listen to someone telling him he has no clothes on… too proud in fact, to admit a mistake.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

"A dark and painful chapter in our history."

-Those are the words our President used to describe everything done in our country’s name up until he came into office. President Barack Obama officially absolved the CIA from prosecution for harsh, painful interrogation of terror suspects today.

There is a deafening silence from NeoCons and the Right at this moment, and it would be funny if it weren’t so damn predictable. All the pundits who spontaneously became defenders of the rule of law (careerist hypocrites on television like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly) when the Congress decided to go after all of the contractually generated ill-gotten fortunes (“bonuses” in the parlance of our time) of the most incompetent financial advisors and asset directors in AIG’s finance divisions are now silent again. The men who so passionately defended the sanctity of contractual incentives or unearned bonuses are perfectly and willingly ignorant of all the wrongdoing that today’s presidential order sweeps under the rug.

Where are Glenn Beck’s tears now? What’s the matter?

Doesn’t fatso love his country anymore?

…The four latest declassified Bush Administration memos authorizing secretly approved methods like the all too familiar waterboarding technique and other forms of creative beating expose, due to their expansive detail, the exact ways in which those methods and their implementation violated the Geneva conventions.

Here’s something that may surprise you: I agree: the CIA officials should not be prosecuted. The culpability of CIA officials acting as interrogators are frankly immaterial, because what I need is a full accounting of who made the actual decisions. Who signed the authorizations? Who of our supposed representatives in the Senate, in the House, knew what and when?

I want to know: who really did this? Who made this violation of international and domestic laws accepted procedure? Who decided our Constitution and the various agreements the United States has signed in direct response to the abuses of the first and second world wars were just pieces of paper deserving of no more respect or authority than a bounced check.

What really needs to be investigated is this scandal’s entire chain of command and most importantly, its point of origination. But today’s presidential order is aimed at stopping that.

So long as we argue about whether CIA operatives should be held responsible (They shouldn’t in so far as they were doing what they were told they should do by the administration in power to protect the nation) we will never get to the point where we demand investigations of the people in government who thought this up and all the others who made this happen.

Mr. President, it’s not "a dark and painful chapter in our history," it’s a matter of weeks past. It’s a matter of who can be trusted within our current government to uphold the Constitution and protect the country -not just as a piece of real estate, but as a sovereign Republic where citizens can rest assured that the law applies to all.


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The King Lives

Yesterday, the Obama Justice Department asked a judge to dismiss a case that was initially brought against the Bush administration for their warrantless wiretapping program. The Justice Department said that if the claim were to move forward it would risk disclosure of classified or sensitive material. Basically they state that regardless of the actual merits of the case, the mere risk of the release of government records should be enough to dismiss the claim. That is only the first of their reasons for asking for this dismissal.

The other grounds for dismissal is that, according to the Obama Justice Department, no lawsuit should be allowed to be brought against the government for wiretapping unless they somehow publicly release information that they have gathered, irrespective of whether the means of gathering that information was legal or not. It seems that the Obama Justice Department is not only seeking to immunize the Bush administration from any claims of wrongdoing based on their warrantless wiretapping program, they are also seeking to expand the right of the government to the point that they can invade the privacy of its citizens at will.

The Obama Justice Department is claiming the right of sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity is a concept based on old English law that basically states that the king or state is immune from having civil or legal claims brought against it. There are indeed valid reasons for making this claim, since the courts would literally be filled with people bringing frivolous suits if the government were not immune in most instances. However, when the government blatantly disregards one of the amendments in the Bill of Rights, I believe they forfeit their right to use this defense. I wrote an article about the Imperial Bush presidency back in May of '08. The Bush administration wielded power as if we lived in a monarchy. They clearly overstepped their constitutional boundaries and did so without regret. I honestly thought all that changed on January 20th of this year. I had no fantasies of President Obama changing the world overnight. I certainly did not believe that the economy would all of sudden reverse course and go from bust to boom. However I did believe that the Constitution would once again take it's rightful place. I did believe that our government would stop treating it's citizens like criminals. I did believe that we would free to live our lives without the constant threat of government surveillance. I guess I was wrong.

As I have stated before, my main desire for this administration was that we would ave an Executive branch that acts in accordance with and respects the Constitution. I ask again, where the hell is the man who said the choice between safety and our ideals is a false one? I will reprint the fourth amendment of the Bill of Rights here and ask the question; Does this opinion by the Justice Department, in any way, belong in a country that in theory is governed by this document?

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.