Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wow, A Senator Read the Constitution.

There's an excellent article up on The Atlantic, Ceding Liberty to Terror, about the recent vote by the US Senate to give the US government gestapo-like powers to sieze and detain anyone. A majority in the US Senate believes that the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights magically dissappear as soon as any government agent or official utters the magic word "terrorist". They don't even have to wave a wand or click their heels together three times to perform such magic.

The article quotes Sen. Kirk (R-IL) from the debate. Read it closely. Some day you might be able to tell your grand-kids about when the Senate used to have debate.

Sen. Kirk had some grounding words to say about the Constitution:

I took the time, as we all should from time to time, serving in this body, to re-read the Constitution of the United States yesterday. The Constitution says quite clearly: 'In the trial of all crimes -- no exception -- there shall be a jury, and the trial shall be held in the State where said crimes have been committed.' Clearly, the Founding Fathers were talking about a civilian court, of which the U.S. person is brought before in its jurisdiction.

They talk about treason against the United States, including war in the United States. The Constitution says it "shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."

The following sentence is instructive: No person -- 'No person,' it says -- 'shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.' I would say that pretty clearly, 'open court' is likely to be civilian court.

Further, the Constitution goes on, that when a person is charged with treason, a felony, or other crime, that person shall be 'removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime' -- once again contemplating civilian, state court and not the U.S. military. As everyone knows, we have amended the Constitution many times. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution is instructive here. It says: 'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures' -- including, by the way, the seizure of the person -- 'shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, except upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.'

Now, in section 1031(b)(2), I do not see the requirement for a civilian judge to issue a warrant. So it appears this legislation directly violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution with regard to those rights which are inalienable, according to the Declaration of Independence, and should be inviolate as your birthright as an American citizen.

Recall the Fifth Amendment, which says: 'No person' -- by the way, remember, 'no person'; there is not an exception here. 'No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment,' hear the words, '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' -- meaning there is a separate jurisdiction for U.S. citizens who are in the uniformed service of the United States. But unless you are in the service of the United States, you are one of those 'no persons' who shall be answerable for a 'capital' or 'infamous crime,' except on 'indictment of a Grand Jury.'

The Sixth Amendment says: 'In all criminal prosecutions' -- not some, not by exception, 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' ... I go on to these because I regard all of these rights as inherent to U.S. citizens, granted to them by their birth in the United States.

Does your senator agree with all that? If not, isn't it about time that you elected someone who does?


Anonymous said...

That might explain this year's extreme purging of posters on Common Dreams. Take RichM, Visiting Professor, and Jill as examples. All were great posters but not only were they banned for no reason but all of their posts were removed as if they never existed. Sioux Rose has become a bigger lunatic and a cyber bully too. If you're planning on going back to Common Dreams, watch out.

Samson said...

I started this blog when I was banned from CommonDreams in 2008 for daring to point out that Obama was taking millions in Wall $treet donations, and that he was promising to ramp-up and expand the Afghan War.

I find it quite fascinating in how the Democrats on sites like CommonDreams act just like Republicans in banning inconvenient opposition voices and not tolerating any dissent or debate within their party. What you describe is one example. The way the Democrats bullied and intimidated any possible candidates out of a primary challenge to Obama is another prime example.

No fears ... I have no intention of going back to an authoritarian site like CommonDreams. No reason to, since almost all of their articles are re-posts of material available elsewhere on the internet.