The memos’ release was the latest move in the Obama administration’s swift repudiation of many of Bush’s counterterrorism policies, which have been criticized by U.S. allies and advocates of human rights and civil liberties.
The eagerness of the Bush administration to wipe out the Constitution to deal with what is basically criminal activity, albeit sometimes on a larger scale, is chilling.
“The current campaign against terrorism may require even broader exercises of federal power domestically,” Justice Department officials John Yoo and Robert Delahunty wrote White House counsel Alberto Gonzales in the October 23 memo.
“We do not think that a military commander carrying out a raid on a terrorist cell would be required to demonstrate probable cause or to obtain a (search) warrant,” they said.
Wow. Military raids? Within our borders? In our neighborhoods? Well, with Posse Comitatus out of the way, it’s a definite possibility.
The Supreme Court has held that the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment ordinarily requires a probable cause and a warrant to execute a search. However, the memo said those requirements “are unsuited to the demands of wartime.”
Furthermore, it said, “First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully.”
There is a reason it’s called the War On Terror. The term: WAR, so easily bandied about by our leaders, appears to give them all the permission they needed to completely take over the country and turn it into a third-world dictatorship.
Whenever I hear a public official declare war on (fill in the blank), I always wonder, who stands to benefit from said war?
For instance, consider the War On Drugs. How many of you are now required (or at least not protected by law for refusing to do so) to pee in a cup to either hold or keep a job? No probable cause required. Instead, government has sided with business in protecting their interests over the interest of citizens. Funny that. I don’t see any mention of the overriding rights of businesses in the U.S Constitution.
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.
Drug use is a public health issue, yet it is now considered criminal activity and turned drug users into “criminals” who will forever be paying their debt to society, long after their prison sentence is complete.
Futhermore, the War On Drugs has birthed a multi-billion (trillion?) dollar industry that is no closer to its alleged goal than when it first began. We have built prisons up the wazoo and drug testing labs have sprung up all over the country to make sure that the mail room guy isn’t rolling a doobie on the weekend, or so Suzie can prove her worthiness to participate in cheerleading. The War On Drugs has led to “Zero Tolerance” policies so draconian that junior high girls can’t bring Advil to school for menstrual cramps. Schools have instituted drug prevention programs that turn our children into frightened little paranoics who freak out if their parents DARE have a glass of wine with dinner. We are no longer permitted walk into a pharmacy to buy cold medication off the shelf.
Still, Americans have, for the most part, gone along like sheep because they thought that in giving up their constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure of their very bodies they could protect themselves, their families, and their businesses from the scourge of drug abuse. How’s that working out?
Drug use among high school and college age appears to be relatively stable. And the availability of drugs?
Drug use goes from a public health issue to a “war.” Terrorism goes from a crime to a “war.” In both cases Americans are required to give up their Constitutional rights to “fight” the war. And somebody makes lots and lots of money.