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News Link • Homeland Security

Janet Napolitano: US must balance liberties, security

• Guardian.co.uk/world
 
"The First Amendment protects radical opinions, but we need the legal tools to do things like monitor the recruitment of terrorists via the Internet," Napolitano told a gathering of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. Napolitano's comments suggest an effort by the Obama administration to reach out to its more liberal, Democratic constituencies to assuage fears that terrorist worries will lead to the erosion of civil rights. The administration has faced a number of civil liberties and privacy challenges in recent months as it has tried to increase airport security by adding full-body scanners, or track suspected terrorists traveling into the United States from other countries.

4 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ross Wolf
Entered on:

U.S. Domestic Spying Increasingly Target Americans, Not Terrorists To Arrest Citizens and Forfeit Their Property.

The Obama administration intends to Fight Homegrown Terrorism by monitoring U.S. Citizens’ private Internet communications. But according to this article, Homeland security failed to mention whether its proposed new monitoring law will trash the Fourth Amendment allowing government warrant-less searches and seizures? That would appear extremely important, Government can easily take an innocent person’s hastily written email, fax or phone call out of context to allege a crime or violation was committed to cause someone's arrest or Civil Asset Forfeiture of their property. Any information government derives from warrant-less electronic searches that does not involve terrorism should not be shared or allowed admissible in criminal and civil courts when the purpose of the surveillance was to prevent terrorism. Despite (illegal wiretapping) being against the law, U.S. spy agencies, e.g. NSA appear to be have shared their exposed warrant-less electronic surveillance under Bush II of Americans with federal law enforcement agencies, state and local Police and private contractors employed by U.S. Government to cause the arrest of Americans and forfeiture of their property. In the U.S., government private contractors and their operatives work so closely with law enforcement to arrest Americans and forfeit their property—providing information, they appear to merge.

There are over 200 U.S. laws and violations mentioned in the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 and the Patriot Act that can subject property to civil asset forfeiture. Under federal civil forfeiture laws, a person or business need not be charged with crime for government to forfeit their property. Government is only required to show “A preponderance of Civil Evidence”, little more than hearsay. That low standard of evidence lends itself to corrupt police using false testimony of paid or coerced informants to cause forfeiture of innocent person’s property.

Rep. Henry Hyde’s bill HR 1658 passed, the “Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000” and effectively eliminated the “statue of limitations” for U.S. Government to civilly forfeit Property. The statute now runs five years from the date police allege they “learned” an asset became subject to forfeiture. With effectively no statute of limitations and the low standard of civil proof needed for government to forfeit property “A preponderance of civil Evidence”, it is problematic law enforcement and private government contractors—will increasingly want access to Citizens’ private electronic communications and’ private records. Under the USA Patriot Act, witnesses can be kept hidden while being paid part of the assets they cause to be forfeited. The Patriot Act specifically mentions using Title 18USC asset forfeiture laws; those laws include a provision in Rep. Henry Hyde’s 2000 bill HR 1658—for “retroactive civil asset forfeiture” of “assets already subject to government forfeiture”, meaning " property already tainted by crime" provided “a property” was already part of or is “later connected” to a criminal investigation in progress" when HR.1658 passed in 2000. That can apply to more than two hundred federal laws and violations.

Most U.S. property and business owners that defend their assets against Government Civil Forfeiture claim an “innocent owner defense.” This defense can become a criminal prosecution trap for both guilty and innocent property owners. Any fresh denial of guilt to the government when questioned about committing a crime “even when you did not do it” can “involuntarily waive” your right to assert in your defense—that the “Criminal Statute of Limitations” past for prosecution: any fresh denial of guild, even 30 years after a crime was committed may allow Government prosecutors to use old and new evidence, including information discovered during a Civil Asset Forfeiture Proceeding to launch a criminal prosecution. For that reason many innocent property and business owners are reluctant to defend their property and businesses against Government Civil Asset Forfeiture. Re: waiving Criminal Statute of Limitations: see USC18, Sec.1001, James Brogan V. United States. N0.96-1579. U.S.

U.S. Government domestic Spying, increasingly circumvent the Fourth Amendment in the name of national security to target U.S. Citizens, Not Terrorists to Arrest Americans and to forfeit their Property. Before Congress passes a law(s) that will allow warrant-less monitoring by Homeland Security of private Citizens’ Internet communications, measures should be taken to ensure non-terrorist information, cannot be admitted in any American criminal or civil Court.

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

We trusted Government to protect us on 9/11. Not only did they blow it then, but look at all the loss of life of our young soldiers when Government tried to follow up on 9/11 since. 

Has Government protected us with the bailouts? 

Has government protected us from false global warming by use of chemtrails? 

Is Government protecting us from illegals coming up from Mexico? 

Is Government protecting us from some of the biggest monopolies the world has known: The Federal reserve Bank, the nation's court's BAR association, the Post Office for mail delivery, freedom of choice in all areas of medical and medicine, freedom from police brutality, and a whole bunch more? 

Have we protected ourselves by trusting Government protection? 

Seems like the only way to national security is to get Government out of national security, and to get more big guns into the hands of ALL the private citizens. 

What do you think? 

 

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

Here comes a new round of repression from the man who said he would do away with the Patriot Act.

Comment by Anonymous
Entered on:

The Government will recognize and grant the 'rights' of the people only so long as it fears the people - - - and our Government no longer fears us.  


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