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View Diary: NYT Lead: ACLU Documents Rampant, Warrantless Phone-Tracking By Police Throughout U.S. (197 comments)

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  •  Accumulation and hoarding are (5+ / 0-)

    instinctive behaviors and, in humans, liable to becoming obsessions.

    That said, while the right to privacy has been imputed, our agents of government have long preferred to consider the human rights mentioned in the first ten Amendments to the Constitution as the sum total of what they are precluded from violating, unless they have good cause (a warrant).  The right to be left alone is not codified.  And the punishments assigned to violators of human rights are ludicrous.  Information collected without a warrant can't be used to convict in a court of law.  Right.  The Bush/Cheney regime has already demonstrated that there's no impediment when there's no interest in going to court and long-term detention is enough.

    That's the problem with considering the amendments as some sort of guaranteed inhibition on the behavior of agents of the state.
    The Constitution has never made human rights a priority.  If it had, it would not have countenanced slavery, our children would not be considered the property of parents and human lives could not be terminated on the say-so of the state.

    Empty promises, they name is U.S. Constitution.

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:58:54 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for this diary, Bob. (20+ / 0-)

      Instead of writing a separate diary, I will comment here because you have done such a phenomenal job raising the relevant issues and braiding together the threads of secrecy, surveillance, and cutting out the courts.

      It is a predicable, but huge, problem legally and constitutionally for police departments or law enforcement agencies to track cellphones without a warrant, judicial order, or any court oversight whatsoever. Before the opposition starts raising the strawman of "You're against 9-1-1 calls?!," I will distinguish that 9-1-1 calls originate with a citizen contacting law enforcement in an emergency, not law enforcement tracking a citizen's location and travels, tracing their phone calls, and reading their texts.

      Of course, the government will continue to do this until the judicial branch stops them.  Here's a hint at what the legal system will say: The Supreme Court ruled that a GPS tracking device placed on a drug suspect's car violated his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches. I am betting that this holding would extend to cellphones, many of which include GPS locators. I am also betting that Congress will confer retroactive immunity to telecoms/wireless carriers once such tracking is found unconstitutional.

      Interestingly, I am appearing today and tomorrow with Eric Lichtblau (the author of the New York Times story), Tom Drake, whom you also mention in your diary--along with:
      * U.S. Attorney General Mukasey (2007-2009)
      * U.S. Attorney General Terwilliger III (1991-1993)
      * U.S. District Court Judge Ellis (E.D.VA)
      * CIA Inspector General Hitz (1990-1998)
      * Ken Delanian (L.A. Times)

      and other luminaries at the Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier, Virginia.

      My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

      by Jesselyn Radack on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:46:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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