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.