John R. Houk
© October 30, 2013
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 IV – U.S. Constitution)
I have been a huge supporter of the Patriot Act (Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001) due to the reason that this law came into existence; viz. an Islamic terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 (911) on American soil that resulted in the deaths of about 5,000 people. To the extent that the Patriot Act is a tool to examine foreign activity that results in the nefarious acts of terrorism or is a supply line monetarily to foreign terrorism is something I still support. The key is the term “foreign.”
Since 911 the Islamic terrorist paradigm has an adaptive agenda to circumvent the nature of “foreign” as related to the American Homeland. Foreign Radical Islamic global Caliphate-minded Muslims have been working for years to plant their theopolitical ideology as a homegrown paradigm. The more homegrown a Radical Islamic organization or Mosque the less the claim of ties to foreign terrorism. Currently most Islamic organizations in the USA can be traced to a foreign Saudi or Muslim Brotherhood hand in a large degree. There are actually lesser known Radical Islamic organizations associated with foreign Islamic terrorism that are not Saudi or Muslim Brotherhood; however it is less likely that those organization will separate from their parent foreign Radical Islamic connection. Inevitably the Radical Islamic homegrown planted organizations will attain a self-sufficient operation independent of foreign ties. When that happens use of the Patriot Act laws would legally be ineffective to monitor domestic criminality and will be subject to the traditional ingrained Constitutional framework of the Fourth Amendment that protects Americans from unwarranted searches of private property including snail-mail, email, telephone, Internet and so on. A Radical Muslim network divorced from their foreign founders will essentially operate mafia-style to Islamize America using the U.S. Constitution to terminate Constitutional Law in favor of Sharia Law.
I am certain the Patriot Act has been abused by stretching the reach of its mandate in protecting Americans from foreign terrorism. The Patriot Act must be updated to better accommodate the Fourth Amendment especially on a domestic level. For one thing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) needs more precise language so that relating information, broad undefined information or just plain no defined information cannot be used to acquire a FISA Court Search Warrant. The lack of specificity in legal language has made the marriage of the Patriot Act and the FISA Courts a Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies, a paradigm of an abuse-of-power waiting to happen. Such abuse is in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment. If Congress fails to add specificity in the Patriot Act and the Courts based on FISA, then those tools need to be scraped OR just plain be ruled unconstitutional due to the Fourth Amendment.
The ability of the devotees of Radical Islam to use the Constitution to undermine the Constitution is a reason for some kind of Surveillance Act on a foreign and domestic level to exist. In the past I have favored Security to trump Civil Rights directly in the aftermath of 911; however it has become evident the truism of ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’ has swayed me back to emphasize Civil Rights. Again, I am still a supporter of the Patriot Act, BUT not as it is codified today. There must be a balance in the use of security and Civil Rights with any erring to come down on the side of constitutionally mandated Civil Rights. Check out Judge Andrew Napolitano:
Here is an excerpt from the article by Judge Napolitano in which the above video was located:
The case or controversy requirement demands that there be real adversity between two or more distinct entities each of which has a stake in the outcome of a dispute before a federal court can exercise any jurisdiction. Federal courts can only resolve disputes; they cannot rule with finality in the abstract or when approached by only one party. They can grant preliminary temporary relief to one party -- in order to freeze the status quo and in anticipation of an adversarial contest on the merits -- but they cannot rule when only one party is noticed and shows up.
This is precisely how the FISA court functions, and yet we have no merit-based ruling by the Supreme Court on its constitutionality. …
But this is just what Congress did with FISA. In the FISA court, only the government appears, seeking a generalized search warrant without regard to the facts of any specific case. There is no case or controversy in the constitutional sense as there is no adversariness: No plaintiff is suing a defendant, and no defendant is being prosecuted by the government. Absent adversariness, the federal courts have no jurisdiction to do anything.
This flawed system is complicated even further by the fact that should the FISA court deny an application for a general warrant because it believes the government’s procedures to be illegal or unconstitutional, those court orders are non-binding and the government has ignored them. Unenforceable rulings that may be disregarded by another branch of the government are not judicial decisions at all, but impermissible advisory opinions prohibited by the Framers.
When a FISA court judge rules that the NSA has the constitutional power to spy on Americans about whom it has no evidence of wrongdoing, as one judge did two weeks ago, because that ruling did not emanate out of a case or controversy -- no one was in court to dispute it -- the court is without authority to hear the matter, and thus the ruling is meaningless.
By altering the constitutionally mandated requirement of the existence of a case or controversy before the jurisdiction of the federal courts may be invoked, Congress has lessened the protection of the right to be left alone that the Framers intentionally sought to enshrine. But don’t expect the government to wake up to this threat to our freedom. Its consistent behavior has demonstrated that it doesn’t care whether it violates the Constitution. Instead, expect the president’s secret agents and the politicians who support them to hide their wrongdoing behind more layers of secrecy. (Is the FISA Court constitutional? By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano; FoxNews.com; 9/26/13)
Marxist principles as espoused by Russia’s Lenin and Stalin and China’s Mao Zedong (or Mao Tse Tung) is a Communism that overthrows the government by means of a transforming ideological revolution. Early American Communists were enamored by Lenin’s revolution that overthrew Czarist Russia that transformed Russia into the illusory delusion of a utopia. The reality is Russia was transformed from an elitist oligarchy of nobles in which huge amounts of citizens were regarded in low estate into a Leninist-Communist oligarchy of top-down transformist police state. In Russia’s case the removal of a royal oligarchic autocracy to a Communist dictatorship did not produce individual Civil Rights. Conformity was the centrality of Russian culture under the Czars and the new Communist government. That Russian Revolution which affected American Constitutional government was the desire of Russian/Soviet Marxists to export their transformational revolution to the entire world. In America’s case too many closet Communists became a part of positions of influence in both government and culture.
Senator Joseph McCarthy in the beginnings of the Cold War went from a hero exposing Communists and/or Soviet-Communist sympathizers in these places of influence to being painted as a nut-job witch-hunter that ruined lives more than protecting the government and Americans from Marxist transformationism. History has shown that Joe McCarthy was closer to being correct than being a witch hunter that destroyed innocent lives. Bipartisan powerful politicians and Executive Branch Establishment-minded leadership began to fear the stigma of hiring Communist sympathizing functionaries. A Left oriented Mainstream Media sympathetic to a Socialist paradigm also began assaulting McCarthy. A better a truism might drove McCarthy to alcoholism thus ruining a patriot’s life.
There are bad people who desire to destroy America and our way of life initiated in the great experiment of a Constitutional Republic initiated by our Founding Fathers. The primary assault on America in the 20th and 21st centuries has been interpretations of Marxism and Caliphate-minded Muslims. We as Americans need to get behind some kind of balance between National Security and Constitutional protections we call our Civil Rights. Since 911 the government has evolved from a protective nature to ignoring the Rights ingrained in the U.S. Constitution. I believe government abuse caused by a misplaced enthusiasm to hunt down Islamic Terrorists (I guess our fearless leader would call them Enemy Combatants). That government abuse has filtered into policing domestic criminals such as thieves, bank robbers, various levels illicit drug distribution, murderers and so on.
Domestic policing ALSO has led to ignoring the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment pertaining warranting search, seizure and attacking personal property. Yesterday I managed to get to an old email from the Rutherford Institute written by John W. Whitehead. The email begins by relating true incidents in which police have erroneously invaded homes of innocent citizens which resulted in deaths. I am not talking about police officer deaths. I am talking about police officers shooting to death citizens who believed their home was being invaded by criminals.
And this is how I am going to end my thoughts on the Fourth Amendment. Read Whitehead’s article and be prepared to be outraged by the abuse of power.
Who Will Protect You from the Police? The Rise of Government-Sanctioned Home Invasions
By John W. Whitehead
October 21, 2013
“Democracy means that if the doorbell rings in the early hours, it is likely to be the milkman.”—Winston Churchill
It’s 3 a.m. You’ve been asleep for hours when suddenly you hear a loud “Crash! Bang! Boom!” Based on the yelling, shouting and mayhem, it sounds as if someone—or several someones—are breaking through your front door. With your heart racing and your stomach churning, all you can think about is keeping your family safe from the intruders who have invaded your home. You have mere seconds before the intruders make their way to your bedroom. Desperate to protect your loved ones, you scramble to lay hold of something—anything—that you might use in self-defense. It might be a flashlight, your son’s baseball bat, or that still unloaded gun you thought you’d never need. In a matter of seconds, the intruders are at your bedroom door. You brace for the confrontation, a shaky grip on your weapon. In the moments before you go down for the count, shot multiple times by the strangers who have invaded your home, you get a good look at your accosters. It’s the police.
Before I go any further, let me start by saying this: the problem is not that all police are bad. The problem, as I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, is that increasing numbers of police officers are badly trained, illiterate when it comes to the Constitution, especially the Fourth Amendment, and, in some cases, willfully ignorant about the fact that they are supposed to be peacekeepers working for us, the taxpayer.
Unfortunately, with every passing week, we are hearing more and more horror stories in which homeowners are injured or killed simply because they mistook a SWAT team raid by police for a home invasion by criminals. Never mind that the unsuspecting homeowner, woken from sleep by the sounds of a violent entry, has no way of distinguishing between a home invasion by a criminal as opposed to a government agent. Too often, the destruction of life and property wrought by the police is no less horrifying than that carried out by criminal invaders.
Consider, for example, the sad scenario that played out when a SWAT team kicked open the door of ex-Marine Jose Guerena’s home during a drug raid and opened fire. Thinking his home was being invaded by criminals, Guerena told his wife and child to hide in a closet, grabbed a gun and waited in the hallway to confront the intruders. He never fired his weapon. In fact, the safety was still on his gun when he was killed. The SWAT officers, however, not as restrained, fired 70 rounds of ammunition at Guerena—23 of those bullets made contact. Guerena had had no prior criminal record, and the police found nothing illegal in his home.
Seven-year-old Aiyana Jones was sleeping on her living room sofa, which was positioned under a window, when suddenly, the silence of the night was shattered by a flash grenade thrown through the living room window, followed by the sounds of police bursting into the apartment and a gun going off. Rushing into the room, Aiyana’s father, Charles, found himself tackled by police and forced to lie on the floor, his face in a pool of his daughter’s blood. It would be hours before Charles would be informed that his daughter was dead. The 34-year-old suspect the police had been looking for would later be found elsewhere in the apartment building.
Then there was the time police used a battering ram to break into the home of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnson, mistakenly believing her house to be a drug den. Fearing that burglars were entering her home, which was situated in a dangerous neighborhood, Johnson fired a warning shot when the door burst open. Police unleashed a hail of gunfire, hitting Johnson with six bullets. Johnson died.
Eighty-year-old Eugene Mallory suffered a similar fate when deputies with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, claiming to have smelled chemicals related to the manufacture of methamphetamine, raided the multi-unit property in which Mallory lived. Thinking that his home was being invaded by burglars, Mallory allegedly raised a gun at the intruders, who shot him six times. Mallory died. “The lesson here,” observed the spokesman for the sheriff’s department, “is don’t pull a gun on a deputy.”
In Fort Worth, Texas, two rookie police officers sent to investigate a possible burglary circled 72-year-old Jerry Waller’s house with flashlights shining. Waller, concerned that his home was being cased, went to his garage, armed with a gun for self-defense. The two officers snuck up on Waller, who raised his gun on the intruders. When Waller failed to obey orders to lower his gun, the officers shot and killed him. It turned out the officers had gone to the wrong address. They blamed the shooting death on “poor lighting.”
During a raid in Ogden, Utah, police dressed in black and carrying assault rifles charged into a darkened home. Upon entering the hallway and encountering a man holding a shiny object that one officer thought was a sword, police opened fire. Three shots later, 45-year-old Todd Blair fell to the floor dead. In his hands was a shiny golf club.
In Sarasota, Florida, a mixture of federal and local police converged on the apartment complex where Louise Goldsberry lived after receiving a tip that a child rape suspect was in the complex. Unaware of police activity outside, Louise was washing dishes in her kitchen when a man wearing what appeared to be a hunting vest pointed a rifle at her through her window. Fearing that she was about to be attacked, Louise retrieved her revolver from her bedroom. Meanwhile, the man began pounding on Louise’s front door, saying, “We’re the f@#$ing police; open the f@#$ing door.” Identifying himself as a police officer, the rifle-wielding man then opened the door, pointed a gun at Goldsberry and her boyfriend, who was also present, and yelled, “Drop the f@#$ing gun or I’ll f@#$ing shoot you.” Ironically, the officer later justified his behavior on the grounds that he didn’t like having a gun pointed at him and because “I have to go home at night.”
These incidents underscore a dangerous mindset in which civilians (often unarmed and defenseless) not only have less rights than militarized police, but also one in which the safety of civilians is treated as a lower priority than the safety of their police counterparts (who are armed to the hilt with an array of lethal and nonlethal weapons), the privacy of civilians is negligible in the face of the government’s various missions, and the homes of civilians are no longer the refuge from government intrusion that they once were.
It wasn’t always this way, however. There was a time in America when a man’s home really was a sanctuary where he and his family could be safe and secure from the threat of invasion by government agents, who were held at bay by the dictates of the Fourth Amendment, which protects American citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures.
The Fourth Amendment, in turn, was added to the U.S. Constitution by colonists still smarting from the abuses they had been forced to endure while under British rule, among these home invasions by the military under the guise of writs of assistance. These writs were nothing less than open-ended royal documents which British soldiers used as a justification for barging into the homes of colonists and rifling through their belongings. James Otis, a renowned colonial attorney, “condemned writs of assistance because they were perpetual, universal (addressed to every officer and subject in the realm), and allowed anyone to conduct a search in violation of the essential principle of English liberty that a peaceable man’s house is his castle.” As Otis noted:
“Now, one of the most essential branches of English liberty is the freedom of one’s house. A man’s house is his castle; and whilst he is quiet, he is as well guarded as a prince in his castle. This writ, if it should be declared legal, would totally annihilate this privilege. Custom-house officers may enter our houses when they please; we are commanded to permit their entry. Their menial servants may enter, may break locks, bars, and everything in their way; and whether they break through malice or revenge, no man, no court can inquire. Bare suspicion without oath is sufficient.”
To our detriment, we have now come full circle, returning to a time before the American Revolution when government agents—with the blessing of the courts—could force their way into a citizen’s home, with seemingly little concern for lives lost and property damaged in the process.
Actually, we may be worse off today than our colonial ancestors when one considers the extent to which courts have sanctioned the use of no-knock raids by police SWAT teams (occurring at a rate of 70,000 to 80,000 a year and growing); the arsenal of lethal weapons available to local police agencies; the ease with which courts now dispense search warrants based often on little more than a suspicion of wrongdoing; and the inability of police to distinguish between reasonable suspicion and the higher standard of probable cause, the latter of which is required by the Constitution before any government official can search an individual or his property.
Indeed, if Winston Churchill is correct that “democracy means that if the doorbell rings in the early hours, it is likely to be the milkman,” then it’s safe to say that we no longer live in a democracy. Certainly not in a day and age when the Fourth Amendment, which was intended to protect us against the police state, especially home invasions by government agents, has been reduced to little more than words on paper.
Reawaken 4th Amendment Due Govt. Corruption
John R. Houk
© October 30, 2013
Who Will Protect You from the Police? The Rise of Government-Sanctioned Home Invasions