Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Obama to Establish White House as Unreviewable Executioner

'Change' for the Worse

Published on Monday, November 8, 2010 by CommonDreams.org

Obama Administration Claims Unchecked Authority to Kill Americans Outside Combat Zones
ACLU and CCR Statement

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration today argued before a federal court that it should have unreviewable authority to kill Americans the executive branch has unilaterally determined to pose a threat. Government lawyers made that claim in response to a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) charging that the administration's asserted targeted killing authority violates the Constitution and international law. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia heard arguments from both sides today.

"Not only does the administration claim to have sweeping power to target and kill U.S. citizens anywhere in the world, but it makes the extraordinary claim that the court has no role in reviewing that power or the legal standards that apply," said CCR Staff Attorney Pardiss Kebriaei, who presented arguments in the case. "The Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected the government's claim to an unchecked system of global detention, and the district court should similarly reject the administration's claim here to an unchecked system of global targeted killing."

The ACLU and CCR were retained by Nasser Al-Aulaqi to bring a lawsuit in connection with the government's decision to authorize the targeted killing of his son, U.S. citizen Anwar Al-Aulaqi. The lawsuit asks the court to rule that, outside the context of armed conflict, the government can carry out the targeted killing of an American citizen only as a last resort to address an imminent threat to life or physical safety. The lawsuit also asks the court to order the government to disclose the legal standard it uses to place U.S. citizens on government kill lists.

"If the Constitution means anything, it surely means that the president does not have unreviewable authority to summarily execute any American whom he concludes is an enemy of the state," said Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU, who presented arguments in the case. "It's the government's responsibility to protect the nation from terrorist attacks, but the courts have a crucial role to play in ensuring that counterterrorism policies are consistent with the Constitution."

The government filed a brief in the case in September, claiming that the executive's targeted killing authority is a "political question" that should not be subject to judicial review. The government also asserted the "state secrets" privilege, contending that the case should be dismissed to avoid the disclosure of sensitive information.

The lawsuit was filed against CIA Director Leon Panetta, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and President Barrack Obama in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Attorneys on the case are Jaffer, Ben Wizner, Jonathan Manes and Jennifer Turner of the ACLU; Kebriaei, Maria LaHood and Bill Quigley of CCR; and Arthur B. Spitzer of the ACLU of the Nation's Capital. Co-counsel in Yemen is Mohammed Allawo of the Allawo Law Firm and the National Organization for Defending Human Rights (HOOD).

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

GPS Subversion of the 4th Amendment

and thus the subversion of the 1st amendment
to an ancient regime continuing counter reformation

An Illegal Search, by GPS
Published: October 5, 2010

An Illegal Search, by GPS


The courts are wrestling with whether new technology requires them to think differently about what is a reasonable expectation of privacy.","keywords":"Global Positioning System, Privacy, Surveillance of Citizens by Government, Search and Seizure, Fourth Amendment (US Constitution), Decisions and Verdicts, Courts

In a landmark 1967 case, the Supreme Court ruled that evidence from a wiretap on a phone booth was obtained unconstitutionally. Despite the public nature of a phone booth, the tap violated the defendant’s privacy under the Fourth Amendment. “Wherever a man may be,” the court explained, “he is entitled to know that he will remain free from unreasonable searches and seizures.”

Fast forward to today, when courts are wrestling with the question of whether new technology requires them to think differently about what is a reasonable expectation of privacy.
In August, three judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (two conservatives, one liberal) ruled unanimously — and correctly — that police violated the Constitution when they hid a GPS device on a person’s car and tracked his every move without a valid warrant. That person, Antoine Jones, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute crack and cocaine based on the tracking of his Jeep for four weeks.

The way to define what was reasonable for Mr. Jones to regard as private, the court said, is by focusing on what was unreasonable for law enforcement to consider public. “The whole of one’s movements over the course of a month is not constructively exposed to the public,” Judge Douglas Ginsburg said, adding that it “reveals an intimate picture of the subject’s life that he expects no one to have — short perhaps of his spouse.”

Last week, the Justice Department asked the whole court to rehear the case. The government relies heavily on one precedent. In 1983, the Supreme Court said it was legal for police to use a beeper without a warrant to track a suspect on public roads. The argument was dubious: The suspect’s movements were visible and anyone could have gleaned what the police did without the beeper’s help, so he had no reasonable expectation of privacy.

The government now contends that replacing the beeper with a GPS makes no difference because surveillance of Mr. Jones was on public roads as well. Two other appeals courts in the past three years have accepted that argument. In one, the opinion was written by Richard Posner, among the most respected federal judges.

He got it wrong. Judge Ginsburg got it right: “The difference is not one of degree but of kind.” He also said that, in the Supreme Court case, the justices “distinguished between the limited information discovered by use of the beeper — movements during a discrete journey — and more comprehensive or sustained monitoring.” The justices left for another day whether 24/7 surveillance should be regulated by another legal principle.

That day is here. Digital technology raises questions about differences between cyberspace and the physical world, which most search-and-seizure laws deal with. In showing why a powerful advance in technology calls for significantly greater protection of privacy, the three-judge panel provided an important example of how the law can respond to new circumstances.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Obama to Remove Oversight- Tool of the Continuing Inquisition

Obama to empower FBI to target dissidents without court oversight’
Potential subversion of 1st amendment via abandoning 4th amendment for internet
White House proposal would ease FBI access to records of Internet activity

Lawyer Stewart Baker said the change would sometimes "mean giving a lot more information to the FBI." (Courtesy Of The Department Of Homeland Security)
By Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual's Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation.

The administration wants to add just four words -- "electronic communication transactional records" -- to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge's approval. Government lawyers say this category of information includes the addresses to which an Internet user sends e-mail; the times and dates e-mail was sent and received; and possibly a user's browser history. It does not include, the lawyers hasten to point out, the "content" of e-mail or other Internet communication.

But what officials portray as a technical clarification designed to remedy a legal ambiguity strikes industry lawyers and privacy advocates as an expansion of the power the government wields through so-called national security letters. These missives, which can be issued by an FBI field office on its own authority, require the recipient to provide the requested information and to keep the request secret. They are the mechanism the government would use to obtain the electronic records.
Stewart A. Baker, a former senior Bush administration Homeland Security official, said the proposed change would broaden the bureau's authority. "It'll be faster and easier to get the data," said Baker, who practices national security and surveillance law. "And for some Internet providers, it'll mean giving a lot more information to the FBI in response to an NSL."

Many Internet service providers have resisted the government's demands to turn over electronic records, arguing that surveillance law as written does not allow them to do so, industry lawyers say. One senior administration government official, who would discuss the proposed change only on condition of anonymity, countered that "most" Internet or e-mail providers do turn over such data.

To critics, the move is another example of an administration retreating from campaign pledges to enhance civil liberties in relation to national security. The proposal is "incredibly bold, given the amount of electronic data the government is already getting," said Michelle Richardson, American Civil Liberties Union legislative counsel.

The critics say its effect would be to greatly expand the amount and type of personal data the government can obtain without a court order. "You're bringing a big category of data -- records reflecting who someone is communicating with in the digital world, Web browsing history and potentially location information -- outside of judicial review," said Michael Sussmann, a Justice Department lawyer under President Bill Clinton who now represents Internet and other firms.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

CPAC 2010 Debate: Does Security Trump Freedom?

Interesting panel within the schedule of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Friday 19, 2010 at 1:35 PM in Washington, D.C.'s Marriott Wardman Park Hotel at 2660 Woodley Road, NW, that includes 'PATRIOT Act' author Jesuit Georgetown University Law Center (Law School) Prof. Viet Dinh

Debate: Does Security Trump Freedom?
Marriott Ballroom
Sponsored by American Center for Law and Justice

Hon. Bob Barr
Hon. Jim Gilmore, Free Congress Foundation
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA)
Viet Dinh, Georgetown University Law Center
Moderator: Dr. Jay Sekulow, American Center for Law and Justice

Here's the panel, held February 19, 2010:

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Right of Mobility

From Spiritually Smart's Blog:
(which was unavailable for a while)


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

"Right to move about freely; at home and abroad..." ?

I was amazed to hear my daughter repeating these words. I looked at what she was reading from and it was right out of her school text book and was a list of freedoms supposedly covered by the First Amendmnet of the US Constitution. Why or how could she actually be taught this right now? We cannot move about freely at all. I am sick over what these incompetant people are having done at the airports. I will never fly under these conditions and I wish others wouldn't fly anymore either. How can you let people touch you or look under your clothes and search your personal belongings without batting an eye?

Recently a friend of mine travelled to Florida for vacation. She verbally protested the embarrassing search of her personal belongings. The airport "security" then began to make a public example of her. Cordening her off with her child as they both were violated by the hands of strangers on their bodies. This is nothing less than sexual assault. Yet America will not speak up. So why not think that Nazi Germany is upon us again? They "dusted" my friends child's hair for explosives. And it wasn't because they suspected them of being a terrorist. It was because they spoke up. Truly evil and wicked individuals. I pray all these people that oppress others in the name of "freedom" have all peace of mind (if they have any) removed from them by God Almighty.

I am almost too disgusted to write this because I can feel the injustice of having to go through this if I wanted to travel. Of course I wouldn't keep quiet either. This would then cause me to be blocked from getting on my flight. People actually do not even want to fly with someone like me. They think you're dangerous or even perhaps a terrorist yourself if you protest the assault on your privacy we must endure. Or maybe I would end up like like the Carol Ann Gotbaum who was murdered by airport security by being choked to death and left for dead in a small cell.

While these people are saying they are protecting me from "terrorists", who will protect me from them? I haven't seen a terrorist except the ones who are wearing badges eyeballing me and asking to look through my bags at any given time. To me these are the true terrorists. Can I help being offended at this intrusion? No I can't. I am just verbally expressing how I feel. I have the right to do that. Don't I? Only here though right? Only in this little forum I have here. But what happens if you go out and verbally protest? You become a target of harrassment and intimidation.

So this leads me again to the focus and cause of my work. Being that Religious Roman Catholics are in power in this government, who can I blame?

Don't forget the article from the Washington Post which spoke of President Bush's guidance of Roman Catholic thinkers under who's watch much of this oppressive legislation was passed. The article is called, "A Catholic Wind in the White House". This "Catholic wind" has blown away ALL of our precious civil liberties.

What's very strange is that when all this oppressive legislation like the Patriot Act was being passed I heard SOME voices protesting that it was dangerous legislation. But right now, in the face of 24 hour a day News coverage of all this crazy intrusive security I don't hear any public outcry of concern of the violation of our inherited rights to move about freely at home or abroad.

So while one child is learning about Freedoms under our constitution, another child is being "dusted" for explosives and held back, seperated from their mother and having bags checked by THUGS and being taught there is no US Consitution at all and that you have no freedom to move about or any privacy.

Maybe the answer lies in my above statement, "I pray all these people that oppress others in the name of "freedom" have all peace of mind (if they have any) removed from them by God Almighty." Maybe none of them have any peace and are terrified at nothing. Here's a few verses which decribe this feeling they have and WHY. "The wicked flee when no man pursueth:" (Proverbs 28:1) and "There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked." (Isaiah 48:22) Important verses to mediatate on. Do you line up?