Category Archives: Fourth Amendment

General Strip-Search, are you secure?

I encountered two young veterans last week, as hot about the current violation of national security as I am.  They too remember taking the oath to protect and defend the constitution of the United States.  In all sobriety, I suggest the Supreme Court is forgetting that oath.   Last week’s news provides an example.

The Supreme Court rendered a judgement  in Florence v Burlington that it is OK to strip-search a person if they find themselves in prison, even if by mistake.   The Supreme Court decided that prison regulations trump the constitution in the above case, of a black man who was riding as a passenger in his wife’s BMW and the police  computer erroneously said he had a warrant out for his arrest, when he had already paid the traffic fine.

The judgement is pertinent in the context of the Occupy movement this spring  with many people seeking to assemble and petition their government for redress of grievances.   Those people are being intimidated by the law that they may be strip searched for engaging their first amendment rights.

The fourth amendment,  is explicit: “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.”

It guarantees the right of someone, anyone, to be secure “in their person” from search unless served with a search warrant, signed by a judge naming whom is to be searched, and for what particular things, and stating the probable cause.  The founders included this to prohibit mass intimidation by any agency of law.   I pray you can get this very meaning from the words of the fourth amendment quoted above.  I hope you can commit those words to memory.  It could save you.

I believe that We the People can put these things together; we stand up to the Supreme Court and say:  “Black is not White!”    The people are not secure if they can be strip-searched for whimsy, or by mistake, and without probable cause.   The fourth amendment says as much!

I write this because I want people,  We the People, who give consent and tax money to be governed, to indeed be governed according to law of the land, the constitution as Article VI states.  (Not the law of some institution, be it the Burlington prison or the park service).  I write this so that we can know, and state our rights.   For if we do not stand up for them, they will go away…. as they seem to be doing, with judicial sanction before our eyes.

I refer you to the previous post if you have not read it.  It concerns the legal case, again before the Supreme Court in which President Obama wants a brand new power to be granted to the government, namely to compel people to make a purchase from a private company.    For one to read and understand the constitution, this seems an open and shut case, an argument I made.  But if we all sit back and expect the “experts” to decide, we are going the way of the Reichstag in the 1930’s.   The Germans are not, nor were they, a flippant people.  But by relinquishing their authority to the ‘experts’ they succumbed to a very dark leadership.

Hence, I ask that you write your paper, your Senator and mention to your friends the document that was begun with the words We,  is being countermanded by justices who took an oath to protect it.

What Constitution?

The beauty of the constitution is that 99% of it is written in plain English. “[Only] The Congress shall have the power  to declare war…”.   or  “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 that is the law of the land, superseding all other laws.

Yet in how many countries are we bombing targets with our drones? Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and perhaps more.   I ask you.   Is bombing an act of war?  Of course.   Is it an act of war if is a missile  is shot from a drone?   Same answer.   Have we declared war?  We have not been asked.

On seemingly another subject, there has been a trade show that recurred for five years called the Wiretappers Ball. It is by invitation only and the FBI, the Secret Service and many  other US agencies which are invited and purchase huge contracts from private wiretapping corporations.  These firms also sell their wares to Syrians who are using the internet  to tweet for freedom from repression.  This too is in abject contravention of the constitution quoted above.

But these two items make the same point.   We are accostomed to living in violation of the US Constitution.   There are hundreds if not thousands of other examples, but two  are sufficient. One affects your personal security, the other your national security.  We are paying into a lawless government.

How can we the people be secure in our houses, email and effects when our own government is funding the wiretapping industry?    How can we say No to war when we are not asked, when war has not been declared, or denied in 65 years?  Is war so informal?   Does no one think: ‘I wonder whose bombs are those blowing up my neighbors house and family?’

This is profoundly disingenuous. How do we get out of this, when the candidates running for President do not discuss this, or when the congress does not require simply this:   Follow the Constitution.

All our public servants have sworn an oath to do just that.

Constitution ruined by defense

The latest Defense Authorization Act #1867 due to be voted on Monday or Tuesday has a portion that grants this president – and every future president – the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world.

The ‘King Clause’ *of the constitution states:

‘(Only) The Congress shall have the power to  declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal make rules concerning captures on land and water.
(Article I, section 8, clause 11)
This makes 3 for 3.
• No declared war in 65 years.
• A letter of marque and reprisal is a privateer’s, or pirates’s license.
Over 100,000 ‘private contractors’ work abroad enforcing America’s will, sometimes fatally.  These ‘privateers’ require letters of marque and reprisal from the Congress, not that section of the Executive branch called the Department of Defense, NSA, CIA, etc.
•  Now the  Congress, (the word means ‘to walk upright’), wishes to defer its power to the Executive branch by law concerning captures on land and water.
Every legislator, judge, president and person of military service makes an oath to preserve and protect the US constitution.
The constitution must be altered by amendment. It  cannot be changed by statute.
Otherwise it is not a constitution, but merely a set of obfuscatory verbiage no different from the ‘laws’ under Benito Mussolini or Idi AMin.
That the Congress would consider offering the President of the United States power to kill, or ‘pick up’  at will anyone of his choosing is more a  comment upon the diminished character of the Congress than any reference to ‘law’, for it is in abject contradiction of the constitution by persons who have sworn to ‘protect’ it.
I say its consideration by Congress is an aspersion upon the American people. I have no understanding how a rational person could read the constitution and then surmise in any fashion that the president at will can seize anyone at will.
The Constitution begins with the three words “We the People”, notably not we the citizens, we the lawyers, we the supreme court justices, or any other exclusatory officious subgroup of what it takes to be an American.   It, however, assumes that that the humans referred have honor, namely that their words are in concert with their action.
The founders of this country were well aware of seductiveness of power and thus provided us with checks an balances to protect us All from its abuse, but those checks were made of words, and if words are not honored the constitution is a farce, the flag is a rag, and America, the United States of America, is mighty military force run by a gang.
*The ‘king clause’ of the constitution is so named because if ignored, the president is effectively made king, able to invade, plunder and kill at will and whim.
I hope it goes without saying that this is precisely why the founders created this sweet country in order to free themselves from King George.
If you have questions about the “(only)” it is inferred in the structure of the Articles of the constitution Article I reserves exclusive powers for the Congress, Article II for the Executive, and Article III for the Judicial branch.
yours
David Bean        Amendments 4 and 5 follow, should the text of the constitution be insufficient to convince.

Amendment IV

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.

Amendment V

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 offence 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.

Just a note:   the War referred to in the amendment above, of course is declared, as stated in the king clause.   War is not informal.   People and countries like to be informed who is dropping bombs on them and why.    That way, an end to hostilities can be sought.     Without such a declaration, it is impossible to come to terms…. as our continued stance with North Korea affirms.

Patriot Act Charade

Every single person inaugurated into elective office, all people who serve in the military, over six million of them,  swear to protect and defend the constitution.   It is a short document.  The very most important part of it personally, to you, and to me, is the Bill of Rights, without which the thirteen colonies would not have signed on to become the United States; not enough protection.   The most personal part of the Bill of Rights which are the first ten amendments to the constitution is the Fourth Amendment.   It protects You, a person.

The Fourth Amendment reads:

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.

In short it means you and your stuff are free, unless there is a search warrant signed by a judge with particulars stating where, who and what is to be searched and seized.

That was regretfully obliterated by the ‘lone wolf ‘ provision of the patriot act. The enemy needs no affiliation.   That means is could be you, or me, anybody.

Sorry, they say.   There is no law, The world is a dangerous place and we are here to protect you…. but forget the fourth amendment and all the millions of Americans who swore to protect it, and those who died thinking they were protecting it.

I have been too morose to post this.   I guess you could call it denial, the first stage of grieving.     I have a good carpenter friend who just lost his house.  Oh, and his family.   He got securitized out of his mortgage after eleven years paying on it.  I  feel I am losing my country.  I made the vow as I entered the Navy to protect and defend the constitution.    So did President Obama and all congressmen and senators now serving.  I repeat myself because I cannot believe all these people do not honor their own word.

What nudged me out of my stupor was when Miss USA was driven to tears by the personal violation by a TSA airport frisker.   Flying home through Dallas she had the ‘freedom of choice’ to get radiation from a new high powered airport scanner that virtually undress you and gives an unhealthy dose of radiation, or to be molested by a female TSA frisk specialist.  But that is for another post.

The P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act was prewritten when 9-11 happened and was passed with the hysteria of that very dramatic moment, quickly.  It was not deeply considered then, nor by the congress  when it sunsetted a decade later, conveinently, Osama bin Laden had just been killed and a huge trove of intelligence was captured, and what responsible congressman had the political counterwieght to say “Stop Everything, let us discusss the Forth Amendment and the Patriot act.”  Few, the two Oregon Senators  Wyden and Merkley and Udhall from Utah, but not enough.  So the Patriot Act was extended without discussion another four years, fourteen years after September 11th of 2001.      Meanwhile, the population, especially those who travel by air, become habituated to being frisked for….. being in the USA.

And that is the latest from yourconstitution.   Honored, in the breach.