On July 25, 2002, Federal agents raided the home of an American citizen, and
removed two computers and two floppy discs as part of a terrorism investigation. James
Ujaama, a Muslim activist, had been arrested on July 22 as a material witness in the investigation. James Ujaama is being held without being charged.
His lawyer, Daniel J. Sears, made this statement: "I hope we have not advanced to the point in this country where we are jailing people because the government
may disagree with their beliefs."
Yaser Esam Hamdi and Jose Padilla are being held in military prison without
access to lawyers, and without being charged. They are American citizens, deemed
"enemy combatants." They are held under the military authority accorded to the
President. Anyone could potentially be deemed a military combatant by the President
for any reason. Anyone can be detained without cause.
The courts have not been able to challenge this. So far, President Bush has circumvented the legal system.
These are the extreme examples of the police state that has evolved in this
country over the last century. Every day, though, American citizens are under
attack from law enforcement at every level. New laws are being enacted that expand
the already broad definition of what constitutes a crime. The tough stance that
the government has taken against the victimless crimes is filling jails beyond capacity.
Violent crime may be down, but the crime rate continues to rise.
Why? People are being jailed for
simple possession of drugs (less than one ounce of marijuana). The federal government
extorted the states to lower the standard for alcohol-related offences. (They
want a national standard of .08 blood-alcohol content (BAC). To get this, the
federal government withheld highway funding until the states lowered the BAC. Another
example of the stripping of States Rights.) A lower BAC standard might sound
like a good idea. Until you look at the statistics. In most fatal and injury accidents involving alcohol, the BAC is over .20.
The average number of drinks consumed in one hour to reach a .08 is about 3.
After three drinks, the average person does not pose any threat. Yet,
the BAC is over the legal limit. If that person gets pulled over, taxpayers get
to foot the bill for the expenses of formally convicting that person, and the expenses incurred for any jail time. It's not about public safety. It's about money.
Law enforcement officers can now contact citizens using the excuse that it
is a "courtesy stop." There is no longer a need for probable cause. The cop could be having a slow night. Giving law enforcement
this power opens the door to profiling. If you're not white, middle-aged, middle-class,
and white-collar, chances are that you've had contact with officers for no real reason.
It avoids the profiling issue by allowing cops to pull over anyone that they feel like stopping. If they feel that your actions are suspicious, they can search your vehicle. Refuse to allow the search (which is within your rights), and you'll be arrested on suspicion, they'll
get a warrant and search your vehicle anyway.
On every level of law enforcement, officers have been granted broader powers
over the citizens that they "protect and serve." Ward Churchill wrote an excellent
essay on this government's war against the citizens. "To Disrupt, Discredit and
Destroy: the FBI's Secret War against the Black Panther Party" appears on the
Propagandhi CD, "Todays Empires, Tomorrows Ashes." (I hope to find a way to have
the essay accessible from this site. The best bet (and a good way to find more
information on government subversion of the people) is to search for Ward Churchill on the web.)
More money is being spent to build more prisons than is being spent on education. Keep the people undereducated and incarcerated.
They are easier to control that way.