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  Judging by the response, there seems to be near universal agreement that the 4th Amendment is in serious jeopardy.
   So I decided to look at some of the lesser known, but equally important amendments.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

 If you are like most Americans, all you know about the 5th Amendment is that you've heard actors on TV shows about court cases say, "I'm pleading the 5th."
   You may or may not know that the Miranda rights comes from the 5th Amendment.

   The Founding Father thought the idea of due process was so important that it exists not just in the 5th Amendment, not just in the 14th Amendment, but in the main text of the U.S. Constitution. In fact it was considered so important that it is one of only two civil right that exists outside of the Bill of Rights.
   And that is the part of the 5th Amendment currently under attack.

 Lawmakers charged with merging the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act decided on Tuesday to drop a provision that would have explicitly barred the military from holding American citizens and permanent residents in indefinite detention without trial as terrorism suspects, according to Congressional staff members familiar with the negotiations.
 You read that right. Congress is working with the Administration to gut the oldest civil right in the western world. A right that goes back to the Magna Carta.
   And don't kid yourself - it's a bipartisan thing.
 Of the four main negotiators on the defense bill, only one of the Democrats, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), opposes domestic indefinite detention of Americans. The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), believes detaining Americans without charge or trial is constitutional, and only voted for the Feinstein amendment because he and some of his Republican colleagues in the Senate convinced themselves through a convoluted legal rationale that Feinstein's proposal didn't actually ban the practice. Both of the main Republican negotiators, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-Calif) and Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) believe it's constitutional to lock up American citizens suspected of terrorism without ever proving they're guilty.
 Of course, this just involves the government locking you up forever without charging you with a crime or letting you talk to a lawyer.
   They've already gone waaayyy past that.
 The most extremist power any political leader can assert is the power to target his own citizens for execution without any charges or due process, far from any battlefield. The Obama administration has not only asserted exactly that power in theory, but has exercised it in practice. In September 2011, it killed US citizen Anwar Awlaki in a drone strike in Yemen, along with US citizen Samir Khan, and then, in circumstances that are still unexplained, two weeks later killed Awlaki's 16-year-old American son Abdulrahman with a separate drone strike in Yemen.
    Since then, senior Obama officials including Attorney General Eric Holder and John Brennan, Obama's top terrorism adviser and his current nominee to lead the CIA, have explicitly argued that the president is and should be vested with this power. Meanwhile, a Washington Post article from October reported that the administration is formally institutionalizing this president's power to decide who dies under the Orwellian title "disposition matrix".
 These kill lists have been created with zero transparency, zero oversight, and zero accountability.
   The power to decide who lives and who dies is the domain of kings, warlords, and dictators. Not for an elected official.
 The president's underlings compile their proposed lists of who should be executed, and the president - at a charming weekly event dubbed by White House aides as "Terror Tuesday" - then chooses from "baseball cards" and decrees in total secrecy who should die. The power of accuser, prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner are all consolidated in this one man, and those powers are exercised in the dark.
  There is no difference between this and a Star Chamber. Does Obama admire the power of Henry VIII?

  And let's not forget torture. After all, it is designed to get you to incriminate yourself.
Obama made an executive order banning torture, but failed to prosecute any of the torturers.
   Plus, our military continues to work with torturers of other nations.

  Other parts of the 5th Amendment are also under attack, such as the ability of a defendent to get a grand jury trial if you are accused of being a terrorist (assuming you get a trial at all).

  And then there is the fact that the government can use eminent domain to seize land and give it to a private developer.

  In fact, the only part of the 5th Amendment that is currently strong is the double jeopardy clause.

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  •  Tip Jar (147+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ek hornbeck, dance you monster, ItsSimpleSimon, commonmass, Horace Boothroyd III, joe shikspack, maryabein, hazzcon, triv33, Odysseus, truong son traveler, petulans, phonegery, chicagobleu, Words In Action, zerelda, Justus, COwoman, Marihilda, turdraker, northsylvania, SpecialKinFlag, Subversive, jbob, Simplify, leeleedee, Carol in San Antonio, Steven D, hubcap, semiot, Smoh, cybersaur, jadt65, gerrilea, terabytes, Zinman, bobswern, TracieLynn, tommymet, Keone Michaels, Nebraskablue, also mom of 5, JDWolverton, ratzo, mrbond, rapala, albrt, gulfgal98, xynz, kharma, bewild, gooderservice, LinSea, Norm in Chicago, jm214, Danno11, Joieau, No one gets out alive, wader, Eddie L, kevinpdx, sawgrass727, Wolf10, sfbob, lightarty, Deep Harm, nailbender, arizonablue, blueoregon, AoT, Gustogirl, old wobbly, gunnarthor, mrkvica, Johnnythebandit, Swill to Power, tofumagoo, Dbug, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, snoopydawg, wayoutinthestix, Mac in Maine, VTCC73, Rick Aucoin, enufisenuf, Jim P, pat bunny, MrJayTee, BusyinCA, codairem, cynndara, MRA NY, Dobber, BradyB, Paper Cup, jbou, CanisMaximus, ichibon, Shockwave, DeminNewJ, blackjackal, ovals49, cardboardurinal, AmericanAnt, Burned, Chaddiwicker, whenwego, dRefractor, la motocycliste, WheninRome, YucatanMan, fumie, john07801, Mariken, Lily O Lady, TheGreatLeapForward, out of left field, Avila, Bisbonian, Miss Jones, carpunder, pgm 01, raincrow, side pocket, Bluesee, yoduuuh do or do not, Indiana Bob, blueoasis, vigilant meerkat, JesseCW, saluda, sunny skies, reflectionsv37, slowbutsure, Wood Dragon, Chi, bunsk, David Futurama, jlynne, denise b, Sandino, GreyHawk, joanneleon, How Much, Oaktown Girl, Funkygal, lostinamerica

    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:43:17 AM PST

  •  What's the constitutional history.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jaimas, MRA NY

    ...of the notion that the guarantees of the 5th Amendment extend to American citizens outside the borders of the United States?  Because that's the specific question in dispute here.  

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:58:55 AM PST

    •  The fact that we have to debate that (35+ / 0-)

      shows just how far our rights have diminished.

        Seriously. Do we need lose our rights to defend ourselves from murder by our own government when we leave the country?
         And where does the jurisdiction end? Puerto Rico? Hawaii? Military bases?

      ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

      by gjohnsit on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 06:20:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This part of the 5th is sort of inconvenient: (5+ / 0-)
        except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger;
        I would still argue that the 4th supercedes the 5th when it comes to citizens who are stateside or within nations that we have extradition treaties with, so that's why detaining people stateside (or if we've actually captured a citizen internationally) without access to a speedy trial is offensive to me.

        Per the 5th though, looks like the whole justification on taking out Al-Alwaki was sound enough.

        I see what you did there.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:56:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How do you figure that? (7+ / 0-)
           looks like the whole justification on taking out Al-Alwaki was sound enough
           First of all, I don't believe there is a justification for assassination short of a declaration of war.
             Secondly, I am not aware of Al-Alwaki having been terrorist mastermind. Correct me if I'm wrong.

          ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

          by gjohnsit on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:48:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A declaration of war (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larsstephens

            is a strange concept. It's expressly mentioned in Article I section 8, but what does that constitute?

            The AUMF of 2001 is for all practical purposes a declaration of war. It is, in effect, the removal of the 'safety lock' on the 5th amendment.

            I'm all for repealing the AUMF, but while it's active, it grants the executive broad powers and doesn't constrain the theater of operations except it must be outside the borders of the United States.

            Habeas corpus provisions, of course, within the United States cannot be suspended barring invasion or rebellion, no matter what the AUMF says.

            We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

            by raptavio on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:32:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So the same would apply to the War on Drugs? (5+ / 0-)

              The War on Poverty?  The War on Christmas?

              "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

              by Bisbonian on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:10:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It seems, yes (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                blueoasis, JesseCW, reflectionsv37

                Since we supposedly "declared war", but not against a nation, ethnicity, or group. No, we "declared war" on an "ism".
                    Since the enemy is for all intents and purposes undefined, so are our rights.

                ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

                by gjohnsit on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:30:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, that's not true. (0+ / 0-)

                  The AUMF defined the enemy thusly:
                  "those nations, organizations, or persons [the President] determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons."

                  That's the only limitation -- and they gave the President authority to determine who those nations, organizations, or persons.

                  We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

                  by raptavio on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 05:56:17 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  As I said (0+ / 0-)
                     they gave the President authority to determine who those nations, organizations, or persons.
                    Completely undefined, as are our rights. Especially since "aided" can be used as verbally supporting a loosely defined terrorist group, or even just supporting the peace movement since it "weakens the nation's resolve".

                    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

                    by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:56:59 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Or the war on rationality, I suppose. (0+ / 0-)

                Because none of those involved a Congressional declaration of war nor any reasonable facsimile.

                We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

                by raptavio on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 05:56:56 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  No, it's not (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis, JesseCW, joanneleon
              The AUMF of 2001 is for all practical purposes a declaration of war
               For a war to be declared you must define who the enemy is. Just saying "terrorism" doesn't do that.

              ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

              by gjohnsit on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:32:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  For 220 years, any President has had the unlimited (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gjohnsit, jlynne

              freedom to target anyone he wants for assasination, so long as there is some formal declaration of hositilies against someone.

              But only Obama (and Armando) have been able to figure this out.  It's patently obvious and completely just and you know it must be so because, hey, lawyers said it.

              The alternative, I suppose, is admitting that you knowingly voted to support a campaign of murder.

              income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

              by JesseCW on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 03:25:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  nitpick (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JesseCW

                I knowingly voted to support a less heinous campaign of murder.  It was the least evil option I had . . .  both McCain and Romney would have targeted the entire extended family.  At least Obama confined himself to two generations.  

                How the mighty have fallen.  

                "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

                by jlynne on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:59:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  When the choice is made to hit a wedding (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jlynne, joanneleon

                  it's about extinguishing entire generations.

                  You're just talking about why you decided to give your consent to this.  It doesn't change what you consented to.

                  We're all faced with a lot of hard choices every day.  I'm just saying we need to be honest about the choices we've made.

                  income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

                  by JesseCW on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 06:11:12 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  You're very wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                For one thing, the President has directed assassination against an untold number of people throughout our history, up to and including leaders of foreign nations.

                For another, the President has never been given an AUMF or declaration of war that was nearly so broadly defined as the 2001 one was. Because Congress abdicated its responsibility in 2001.

                Bush took advantage of this (don't think for a minute drone strikes started under Obama) and Obama has as well.

                The solution is to alter or repeal the AUMF.

                We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

                by raptavio on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 05:59:32 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  We're in a permanent state of war now (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joanneleon

              How can it end? There will always be terrorists.

              War is a state in which we suspend our normal moral codes and allow unspeakable things to occur. In war we firebomb cities. We engage in slaughter, terror and destruction. We inflict collateral damage on innocent people. We dehumanize our enemies and whip up hate. We suspend the civil liberties of our citizens. We commandeer all the resources of our society. We stifle dissent.

              It used to be a state of emergency until an end was reached, and then it was over. There is no end now.

              What can we not justify doing if we're in a permanent state of war, and we can't even state who the enemy is?

              We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

              by denise b on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:41:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It can end, simply, (0+ / 0-)

                by repealing the AUMF. Or altering its terms.

                We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

                by raptavio on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:02:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You are making a serious mistake (0+ / 0-)

                  You assume that laws still mean something.
                  They don't. Our government breaks and/or ignores laws all the time now.

                  Repealing the AUMF would be nice, but it wouldn't solve anything anymore.

                  ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

                  by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:00:15 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I've heard the same hue and cry (0+ / 0-)

                    on some very dark corners of RW blogs.

                    I find the complaint no more credible coming from progressives, but let's say you're right.

                    Their solution is armed resistance to the totalitarian state.

                    What's yours?

                    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

                    by raptavio on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:33:13 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Only if the "war on terror" is actually a War, (8+ / 0-)

          or that the public is actually in danger.

          In my world, neither of these conditions are met in current circumstance.

          It has always seemed strange to me...The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. - John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

          by ovals49 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:49:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Feds can't grab Americans off the streets abroad (38+ / 0-)

      simply b/c the president has unilaterally decided that they pose a security risk to the US.  Feds can't seize assets here of Americans abroad simply b/c president unilaterally decrees it--feds still have to follow established forfeiture procedures.  The 5A, in short, doesn't allow the president to unilaterally decree the forfeiture of citizens' liberty or of property, but it apparently does allow forfeiture of their lives.  

      Putting aside the logical deficit of that argument, I'm curious how those who were not troubled by the drone strike policy would feel if President Romney were carrying it out.  If Romney's WH claimed that he could unilaterally decide to off people (including citizens), and if his AG claimed that there was no obligation to disclose the memos to Congress that set forth the criteria for offing citizens, this site would be in an uproar.  The whole point of having constitutional protections is so that those protections remain regardless of who is in power.

      The failure of many Dems to understand that core point scares me.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 06:25:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The 5th Amendant doesn't say "no American"... (26+ / 0-)

      It says No Person!!!

      No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
      Just because a person is not an American Citizen does not mean the government can deny rights guaranteed in the Constitution to all persons.

      I screwed up with a careless uprate so I'm a "No Rate" pariah. When I give a comment "+4 n/t", please consider that a recommend. (That's my workaround to participate here). DK haiku, one complete thought in a title field. Roar louder! NR since 3/7/12.

      by Josiah Bartlett on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 06:48:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  While that's true, the President has ordered (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gjohnsit

        the assassination of American citizens for the crime of treason while not actually using the term.

        Treason is a very specific and hard to prove charge for a reason - when Presidents are allowed to declare that citizens are traitors and must be killed without restraint, democracy ends.

        For all their flaws, the drafters of the Constitution were very well aware of this.  As result, this is one area in which Citizens do in fact have rights other persons don't.  

        A non-citizen doesn't have to be found guilty of treason before they can be targeted for execution as (why mince words) a traitor.  The President can declare that they're a "leader" of an opposing military force without first having to clear that high Constitutional hurdle.

        Many of the defenders of the murders of American citizens by President Obama have repeatedly declared that these aren't murders at all because the targets "Are Traitors!!!", without the slightest sense that they are actually hitting the crux of the issue the Administration and the "legal minds" that support its wrongdoing wish to avoid.

        income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

        by JesseCW on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 03:33:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Won't be limited by borders (6+ / 0-)

      ...for long.  And already the Supreme Court may soon decide that silence equals guilt:

      http://verdict.justia.com/...

      This question should not even be considered by the Supreme Court, and yet here it is, another part of the Bill Of Rights facing a firing squad.

      Are you a Green who has difficulty telling Democrats and Republicans apart? Well, I have difficulty telling Greens and Maoists apart.

      by Subversive on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 06:51:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is it the "history", really? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      No one gets out alive

      I don't think the "history" is the point here.  The point being there are things the government is lawfully obligated to do, follow the constitution.

      Our government can or can not do x, y or z.  The constitution does not end at the borders when it comes to the power they can exercise.  Many have argued that "international law" says this or that.  International law doesn't negate the rules we gave our created government, no matter where the servants we hired are standing.

      It doesn't matter if they exercise a granted power in Alabama, Antarctica or on the Moon, that power is limited to what is contained within that piece of paper.

      We never gave them authority to grant themselves power beyond it.  That would take Article V provisions.

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:31:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, because that's how constitutional law is made (0+ / 0-)

        If there's some prior record that courts said this was OK in past times, that's the default assumption going into any new discussion; if not, then not.  

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:37:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, like child labor and "freedom of contract" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea, Jim P, gjohnsit

          under recurring notions of "substantive due process." http://rawls.org/...

          So much stuff in one little Amendment.

          "There is no good or evil: only power and those too weak to seek it." (attributed to Lord Voldemort...)

          "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

          by jm214 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:28:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hum... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim P

          I know that is true when dealing with Union contracts and employment issues.  If the government did not fire employee y for doing x but then fires employee z for it. The standard has already been set that action x is not a violation that can be used to terminate another employee.

          And isn't this position you present the problem we face?  Many actions of our created government have yet to be challenged in a court of law.  Does this mean the law is constitutional or a legitimate exercise of their authority? Technically I'd have to admit that it is until it's reviewed by a court.

          The extreme case I can think of would be the POTUS ordering someone, say a soldier stationed in Florida, to kill another American in Florida.  Is that lawful and/or constitutional?  Without a declaration of war or hostilities?

          Could the soldier refuse to say shoot his own mother?  Who is the master and who is the servant in this?

          Then we'd have to consider the Geneva Convention, the Nuremberg Trials and our stated position that a country cannot make legal what is considered a Crime Against Humanity.  Since we are a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, our government could not do these things, right???

          And since those agreements do not undermine but support our constitution, they must comply.

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:31:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not just"outside" but "against" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native

      We have a long established history that any American citizen can join in any formal or informal organization against the US; however, when they do so they are considered to be "the enemy" and treated and killed as such.

      I have ZERO problem with that.  The problem is who gets to decide what merits "joining the enemy" in such an ill-defined war like the Global War on Terrorism.  I recognize the need for some discussion and clarity there.

      But Americans that openly take up with a clear enemy sacrifice their rights and will be killed like any other enemy soldier.  There is plenty of precedent for that.

      To make clear: 8 USC 1481(a)(3) states that any person serving with a foreign military engaged in hostilities with the US can be considered to have the intent to relinquish US citizenship and the US can formally strip them in absentia making them a non-citizen with no rights.  (The SCOTUS made clear that serving in a foreign military that is non engaged with the US can NOT be considered an intention to relinquish citizenship).

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:43:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How do you define "against"? (7+ / 0-)

        When I pay a premium on a satellite tv system for Al Jezeera, am I joining them?

        Didn't BushCo claim they were a terrorist organization?

        If I join AntiWar.com, am I now an enemy of the state?

        If I work towards disarming our government, is that justification for me being exterminated?

        It appears to be the case by the position you've just presented.

        Anwar al-Aulaqi was targeted and killed for exactly that, exercising his right to political free speech against the government.

        The Shac 7 were "treated as such."  None of them have been killed but do they need to be???

        Do not speak out against our corporate overlords and they will not use the levers of government to get rid of you.

        Naomi Wolf, "End Of America".

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:19:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Full stop. (0+ / 0-)

      I agree that that is the way the question is usually framed.  I very strongly disagree that it is the proper question.

      Consider instead the fact that the Constitution is the sole source of power for the federal government, and that if the Constitution does not permit it, the federal government has no power to act.  Period.  

      The question that needs asking is where in the hell does the government get off making the bald assertion that it has any power to do anything outside the context of the Constitution?

      And if it is truly acting within the scope of power delegated to it under the Constitution, then it cannot also argue that the 5th Amendment does not apply.  

      /end rant.

      "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

      by jlynne on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:46:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  all sorts of rights are diminished... (29+ / 0-)

    and all sorts of powers are arrogated by executives when there is a war going on.  madison warned us about allowing an executive to create wars at will, but sadly americans seem not to recognize despotism when it stands up and slaps them in the face.

    i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

    by joe shikspack on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 06:06:16 AM PST

    •  The 6th Amendment is next (8+ / 0-)

      I'm gonna leave the 2nd Amendment until last.

      ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

      by gjohnsit on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 06:18:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But all these cases (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MRA NY, raincrow

        are merely iterations of the same question:  How does the US properly administer a mix of military and criminal justice in an era of non-nationstate war?

        The 4th, 5th and 6th Amendment (possibly 8th as well?) are under much less assault in a purely criminal sense, though there are some significant questions in some current and recent cases.

        The problem is that we have centuries of precedent of treating military justice differently, related both to our own citizens as well as enemies.  This causes very little confusion or concern when "enemies" could be so clearly defined by which uniform they were wearing.

        Now, the term "enemy" is more subjective.  There are definitely enemies out there and the US should have at its disposal all the military and judicial power it needs to address them, the problem is how this crosses over to include American citizens.

        But I'd be more interested to see some comments and citations about where our Amendments are under attack here in the US related to purely civilian life.  

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:50:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the difficulty started when WE blurred that line (21+ / 0-)

          by treating "terrorism" as a MILITARY matter rather than what is is and always has been, a CRIMINAL matter.

          The instant we as a society pee'd our pants in terror, lost our goddamn minds, and decided on a vengeful MILITARY treatment of Bin Laden rather than a CRIMINAL one, the rule of civil law ended. We are now, all of us, subject to military law as part of the never-ending unlimited "war on terror".

          And that decision was stupid from the beginning.  Osama Bin Laden can no more wage WAR on the United States than you or I could.

          •  Of course that all depends on how one defines WAR, (7+ / 0-)

            and I for one find it interesting that the War Department (aka "Department of Defense," 'cuz who can be against "defense?") in its compendious "Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms," with lots of appendices and lists of acronyms 'n stuff, augmented by a bunch of specialized service-specific and "mission/command-specific" sub-dictionaries, does not even attempt to define that word that is central to the entire fucking Milo Minderbinder enterprise:

                            WAR

            Look in here. anybody,  http://ra.defense.gov/... , and tell me if you can find the definition, other than by implication that it is "everything in any of the nine Areas of Operation" that blanket the planet with a dark mantle labeled the "Network-Centric Global Interoperable Battlespace."

            By the way, thousands of Warriors and contractors are required to spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year just updating this dictionary, especially by way of fixing the definitions of terms like "insurgent" that meant one thing before Iraq and Notagainistan, something about armed attack on a legitimate government, but when the "doctrine" changed, meant daring to resist armed invasion by US, er, UN, forces...

            And while you're at it, note that there's no definitions of "success" or "victory" or, ,of course, "defeat."...

            "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

            by jm214 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:40:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  No, we blurred the line when (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gjohnsit, Chi

            the truth no longer became self-evident of us holding inalienable rights but rather rights coming from the government. If the government gives them, and they are no longer inalienable from who we are, then they can take them away. This is, unfortunately, the argument behind curbing rights expressly written into the our DoI and our constitution through regulations...little by little the regulating curbs rights, until they are gone, for the greater good of course (wink).

        •  The answer is easy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          YucatanMan
           How does the US properly administer a mix of military and criminal justice in an era of non-nationstate war?
          This isn't our first war on terror.
             The First Barbary War was our first war on terror, and we didn't feel the need to surrender any rights during that war.

             And I'll add, we lost that war just like we are losing this one.

          ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

          by gjohnsit on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:52:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, I might quibble with that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raincrow

            We got a treaty signed to end the First Barbary War and it was only our ramp up and dedication to the obvious pending clash with Britain that allowed this to flair up again.

            The Second Barbary War was a bit more definitive.  After that naval technologies and North African colonization settled the matter for good.

            But to my point... the Barbary Wars were generally a war against a sovereign state.  Algiers and Tripoli yes were technically part of the Ottoman Empire (or Morocco) but they had their own local government and acted almost independent.  That could easily be seen as a direct nationstate vs nationstate clash.

            Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

            by Wisper on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:43:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  The Constitution, including the Amendments, (5+ / 0-)

    is a compendium of instructions to AGENTS of government outlining their duties and obligations, as well as some prohibitions.
    The Document has no enforcement power. It is a piece of paper. Enforcement, even when the judiciary weighs in and announces that one or the other of the branches is not in compliance, rests with those who govern, we the people.
    The mechanism we the people have to enforce the constitutional provisions is the selection and election of agents to act on our behalf. If we do a poor job and elect dolts, always a possibility since it's not sure how someone will actually perform, then the dolts have to be removed.

    Human societies can not be left to run on automatic. While some behaviors are characteristic, how they are expressed is variable, so attention must be constant if some segments are not to self-destruct.
    "Eating themselves our of house and home," is a real problem for all organisms. It's why all organisms have built-in mobility, either on an individual or generational basis (plants do not stay in one location for ever).

    Human rights are not automatically respected for the simple reason that some humans are not sufficiently aware of themselves or anyone else to take a second look (respect), never mind not touching and taking what they like. That's why we have rapists running around, right? Some people have to be stopped.  Not all, but some.
    The Cons would have us believe that all men are created evil, but they're wrong. They just use that as an excuse to exploit their own kind.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 06:12:20 AM PST

    •  No. (8+ / 0-)

      It is not up to The People to enforce the Rule of Law, via elections.

      The law is the law and everyone must obey it. When the Agents of Government break the law, then they are just as subject to criminal proceedings as ordinary citizens; law enforcement upon Government Agents is not achieved via elections.

      When it comes to elections, then the Agents of Government are being held to an even higher standard than Citizens: as a condition of their employment, they must faithfully uphold the law. When Agents of the Government break the law, they are not only liable for criminal prosecution with respect to the broken laws, they are also liable for termination from their employment with the Government.

      In the Fox News Christian Nation, public schools won't teach sex education and evolution; instead they'll have an NRA sponsored Shots for Tots: Gunz in Schoolz program.

      by xynz on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:21:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It really depends whether it is an act of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica

        commission or ommission. Are they not doing what they ought, and have been paid for, or doing what they ought not and have been prohibited from doing?
        We do not punish people who do nothing, except in the military where people are charged with dereliction of duty, punished and then discharged.
        Fact is, it's not just horses who can't be forced to drink.

        It's because we can't force them that we hire people and pay them. Then, if they don't perform, we fire their asses. Failing to check whether performance meets expectations is a dereliction on the citizens' part. Elections are scheduled frequently for a purpose.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:35:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh....sorry, I didn't realize you were a troll. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gjohnsit

          Because only a troll would argue about such minutia in the face of Constitutional shredders like unwarranted wiretaps, torture and extra-judicial assassination.

          Buh-by!

          In the Fox News Christian Nation, public schools won't teach sex education and evolution; instead they'll have an NRA sponsored Shots for Tots: Gunz in Schoolz program.

          by xynz on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:18:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not at all true. (0+ / 0-)

          Affirmative duties and liability for failure to act can be imposed based on your relationship to another person. For example, you have a duty to help your children and spouse. Ship captains must help their crew. In the U.S., I don't think we impose criminal liability on someone who stands by as a violent crime is committed, but failure to report a crime may be prosecuted as obstruction of justice. A parent can be criminally liable for not calling for help for their child. Businesses have affirmative duties to provide safety measures, provide necessities (e.g., water and toilets for farm workers), etc. Homeowners have a duty to fence off "attractive nuisances" such as swimming pools. Contracts can impose civil or even criminal liability for failure to act according to the contract. If you know or should know that one or more people are acting in a way that denies another person their constitution rights and you do nothing, you can be prosecuted under federal law for conspiracy to deny that person their rights.

          YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

          by raincrow on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 03:55:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  "In fact it was considered so important that it is (12+ / 0-)

    the only civil right that exists outside of the Bill of Rights."

    That's not true.  The right to a jury trial is in the 6th Amendment and Article III.  

  •  Who says (14+ / 0-)

    we are making progress on Civil Rights?

    I mean, seriously, while there have been some important gains in focused areas such as DODT, the last 10 years have been devastating across the entire population.

    Which, IMHO, is simply a facet of the Class War, which we are also continuing to lose to devastating effect. I mean, basically, we've had a jobless recovery followed by nearly-jobless recovery in which wages continue to decline.

    An infinite number of more and better Democratic legislators will make little substantive difference in the Class and Climate Wars.

    by Words In Action on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 06:32:44 AM PST

    •  Jobs and econmic recovery (0+ / 0-)

      are not rights.  You can make very compelling arguments about their intrinsic involvement in almost every facet of life, but they are not, nor have they ever been, a "right".

      And by progress in "civil rights" we can mean the fight against institutionalized bigotry.  The courtroom and legislature is not the place to argue for utopia where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  That involves too many individual hearts and minds and is far too subjective about what perfect "equality" means.

      But what we fight for, and have a damn impressive track record for, is the removal of formal statutes and laws that denigrate people.  Laws based on gender and religion, race and sexual orientation... these are explicit encroachments on the civil liberties of subsets of people.  This is why in every case we always pull out the same weapons from our arsenal:  The First and Fourteenth Amendments, the "all men are created equal" clause and all the statutes drawn from these.  

      We are always right.  We have seen so many arguments held up about why it is permissible or even necessary to discriminate against a certain group of people and invariably we always win.  It takes a long time.. sometimes a VERY long time, but the cause of equality has never lost in the US.  All they can do is delay us.  

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:58:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Bill of Rights, which has been decimated (5+ / 0-)

        the past 10 years, is that to which I was referring on the topic of Rights.

        On the Class War, I was saying that the attacks on the Bill of Rights are part of the Class War, in as much as they give greater power to Power. In that sense, losing the Class War, which we continue to do, is eroding our Rights.

        I may not have said it as well as I might otherwise, but I stand by my original point -- that the impact of the weakening of the Bill of Rights on everyone is far greater than the expansion of Rights of certain groups in certain situations, as important as those are.

        An infinite number of more and better Democratic legislators will make little substantive difference in the Class and Climate Wars.

        by Words In Action on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:19:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, if you get technical, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi

        neither is health care a right, but that doesn't stop anyone from saying it is. Where do the 'rights' we imagine should be a right get added, but the ones we are guaranteed to have in the Consitution stop being taken away? It is absurd. We should be defending our rights in the Constitution WHILE we work for areas that are MUST haves but not rights.

        •  Of course it's a right. It's just not a right (0+ / 0-)

          recognized by the Constitution.

          We have lots of rights not recognized in our Constitution.  It was never intended to enumerate all of them.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 03:39:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The slow death of the Constitution... (9+ / 0-)

    ...is noted HERE: "Scorecard: How Many Rights Have Americans REALLY Lost?," Washington's Blog, 2/21/13

    (And, yes, I have significant "issues" with how the author handles the 2nd Amendment commentary, but I'll save that for another time.)

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:17:51 AM PST

  •  Hmm.. Im of a mixed mind (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Norm in Chicago

    The calls for transparency and information are compelling and I think therein lies the true strength of your argument.

    However, the idea of hand-selecting enemies and then targeting them with unmanned drone attacks strikes me as a much more efficient warfare system than anything in the past.  Call for the end of war all you want, but if war is to exist (and it will) I fail to see the outrage against waging it effectively.

    Yes drones impose collateral damage.  Yes drones seem a bit cold-blooded and instill fear in the populace of a targeted area.  ..how is this different than conventional warfare?  

    If we need a high-value target existed somewhere in East Afghanistan and bombed the area relentlessly with Stealth Bombers like we used to do with F-117A Nighthawks and will now do with F-22 Raptors, do you really think less people would die?   I would think MORE would.

    If we decided to wage a ground campaign and seek to clear and hold large areas of terrain through military power, do you not think the residents of that area would suffer and be terrified of foreign occupation?  And how many of our troops would be injured or die?

    What is it about the use of drones that upsets people?  Unmanned targeted missions (while far from perfect and still a part of the ugly bloodbath that is war) seem far better than older options of carpet-bombing, jungle-deforestation, militarized occupation, and any other tatic of conventional warfare.

    I would say though that the White House should not be in this decision process.  The C-in-C should lay out the objectives and scope of the mission and allow tactical officers to deploy force as they see fit.  This is how war, or at least successful war, has always been waged.  Barack Obama or some other hand-picked civilian should not be making tactical decisions on the battlefield.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:26:13 AM PST

    •  I believe you are responding to my OTHER diary (8+ / 0-)

      It's cool that you are reading both, but they are about different thing. But since you brought it up...

       Call for the end of war all you want, but if war is to exist (and it will) I fail to see the outrage against waging it effectively.
       First of all, killing lots of civilians is NOT efficient. secondly, there is that war crimes thingy to consider.

      ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

      by gjohnsit on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:30:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Battlefield? I know of no battlefield. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea, mrkvica, gjohnsit, JesseCW
      Barack Obama or some other hand-picked civilian should not be making tactical decisions on the battlefield.
      •  It's easy to find. Just look for places Muslims (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gjohnsit

        tend to be the majority.

        According to Wisper, that's most efficient.

        income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

        by JesseCW on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 03:41:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  My objection would be: "efficient" warfare cuts (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AmericanAnt, gjohnsit, JesseCW

      both ways.

      Would you consider it an acceptable form of warfare for our military and civilian leaders to be "efficiently" targeted as part of a campaign of war?

      Or would that be "assassination"?

      What, exactly, is the difference between the two?

      •  Nothing (0+ / 0-)

        nor would any "law" or "policy" stop a regime or network intent on striking the President from doing it if they thought they could.  I would think any enemy of the US would try to strike the civilian/military leaders of the US if they either had the capability and/or could do it with impunity.

        We targeted key military leaders of the Viet Cong.  We targeted warlords in Somalia.  We've targeted leaders of any enemy offensive we've faced.  We never acted against key leaders of the USSR out of fear of what the ramifications would have been.

        Its part of warfare.  Why would we not use an unmanned drone to do this?  Why is drone use something people get upset about but sending in Seal Team Six is something people make blockbuster movies about?  Why would we want something less effective that endangers US soldiers, causes as much, if not more, collateral damage (like conventional bombing), or further entrenches both sides (occupation)?

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:46:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unwittingly Important comment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, Wood Dragon

          In the process of arguing the merits of drone attacks, Wisper commented:

          We never acted against key leaders of the USSR out of fear of what the ramifications would have been.
          This points out an essential feature of drone use, and of much of our military policy in recent years: the tactics we use are only effective against weak opponents who have no serious means of retaliating against us.  Imagine trying to fly a predator drone--essentially a prop plane powered by a glorified lawn-mower engine--over a country with a real air force that can shoot down intruders, without asking their consent.  It's not going to happen; the drone would be shot down and their government would ask ours some stern questions.  

          We fly drones over Pakistan and Yemen because their governments have secret agreements with us--we are helping to control pesky elements that those governments feel the need to keep in check.  We fly drones over Somalia because that country is so dysfunctional that they have no capability to shoot down even a prop-powered drone.  

          The "great war on terror" is an assymetrical conflict: we are fighting against people who have little or no ability to attack people who are not in their immediate area.  This should tell us how unjust the GWOT is--we are attacking people who have no ability to threaten us in any serious way because, in the past, some people sort of related to them supposedly attacked us.  We get away with it because those we attack have no means to reply directly against us.

          As for why we are doing this, the stated reasons (we have to fight them over there so we won't be fighting them over here, etc.) don't make any sense.  The GWOT is being pursued for other reasons that have to do with power, money, world domination and, before I forget, controlling us, the domestic population.  Keep those bogey men in public conciousness ("underwear bombers"!) and the powers that be can do pretty much what they want.

        •  You just used The Phoenix Program as (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gjohnsit

          precedent for what you want our military to do.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 03:42:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Why is it that you believe that the only (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB, gjohnsit

      choices we've got are which aircraft to use to bomb a wedding in Pakistan?

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 03:40:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  there's one closer to home (7+ / 0-)

    Everyone knows the Miranda rights that we see on TV -- "you have the right to remain silent" etc. These rights must be read to anyone who is being questioned while in custody.

    The cops have never liked Miranda ever since it was established, though, since their interest is to get the suspect to talk so they can incriminate him, and what nearly always happens instead is that the instant the suspect is reminded that he has the right to shut up and have a lawyer, they shut up and ask for a lawyer. The cops get nothing.

    So the cops have been seeking a way around that.  And found it.  It's the ubiquitous term "person of interest"---a term that has no legal definition, and does not appear in any US law or criminal procedure.  It is a term solely and only made up by the cops, for a particular reason. And that reason has to do with Miranda.

    Like I said, the cops MUST Mirandize everyone who they question under detention. BUT they do NOT have to Mirandize anyone they question who is NOT in detention. And that's where the "person of interest" play comes in.

    If a person is taken into detention ("arrested"), the cops must have probable cause first. But they need NO probable cause to "talk to" a "person of interest". Furthermore, they have NO legal requirement to Mirandize a "person of interest" who has not been detained, in order to question him. And that makes it more likely that, if the person being questioned is NOT reminded that he has the right to remain silent and to see a lawyer, he won't exercise those rights--even though he still has those rights whether he's been arrested or not.  Indeed, like many people, he might even think it's illegal for him to NOT answer questions--it might be "refusing to cooperate with law enforcement" or "impeding an investigation" (he doesn't have a lawyer yet to correct that misunderstanding--and of course the cops have not reminded him that he CAN have a lawyer there). So he talks.

    The cops know all this, and take advantage of it.  The whole "person of interest" play is nothing more than an attempt by the cops to get around the Miranda ruling and to entice someone into talking who has the legal right to NOT talk.

    And that's why every police department in the country does it.

    •  According to Justice Kagan and 5 other (0+ / 0-)

      extreme right wingers, if the cops drag your from your cell in the middle of the night and question you for seven hours, you're not even in custody and there's no need to Mirandize you.

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 03:47:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah but Glenn Greenwald lives in Brazil (0+ / 0-)

    and makes money writing books letting us know how much he hates the US and the greatest president EVAH! so why should we care what he says?

    I.e. I trust Obama to violate the constitution.

    /snark

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:50:02 AM PST

  •  The Kelo v. City of New London (8+ / 0-)

    Eminent Domain worked out well... Snark!

    All that effort and money to rob the homeowners in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood of New London, CT of their homes, to hand them over to Pfizer for development into a complex stealing jobs from across the river in Groton, CT...

    In spite of repeated efforts, the redeveloper (who stood to get a 91-acre (370,000 m2) waterfront tract of land for $1 per year) was unable to obtain financing, and the redevelopment project was abandoned. As of the beginning of 2010, the original Kelo property was a vacant lot, generating no tax revenue for the city. It is still vacant.

    Pfizer, whose employees were supposed to be the clientele of the Fort Trumbull redevelopment project, completed its merger with Wyeth, resulting in a consolidation of research facilities of the two companies. Both companies had had a major presence in southeastern Connecticut for many years, meaning that only one facility would likely survive the merger. Ultimately, Pfizer chose to retain the Groton campus on the east side of the Thames River, closing its New London facility in late 2010 with a loss of over 1000 jobs. That coincided with the expiration of tax breaks on the New London site that would have increased Pfizer's property tax bill by almost 400 percent.

    After the Pfizer announcement, the San Francisco Chronicle in its lead editorial called the Kelo decision infamous:

        The well-laid plans of redevelopers, however, did not pan out. The land where Susette Kelo's little pink house once stood remains undeveloped. The proposed hotel-retail-condo "urban village" has not been built. And earlier this month, Pfizer Inc. announced that it is closing the $350 million research center in New London that was the anchor for the New London redevelopment plan, and will be relocating some 1,500 jobs.

    The Chronicle editorial quoted from The New York Times:

        "They stole our home for economic development," ousted homeowner Michael Cristofaro told the New York Times. "It was all for Pfizer, and now they get up and walk away."

    The final cost to the city and state for the purchase and bulldozing of the formerly privately held property was $78 million. The promised 3,169 new jobs and $1.2 million a year in tax revenues had not materialized.

    In the aftermath of 2011's Hurricane Irene, the now-closed New London redevelopment area was turned into a dump for storm debris such as tree branches and other vegetation. http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Just another case of Job Poaching at the Taxpayers Expense...

    "Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
    I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."
    ~John F. Kennedy~

    -7.5,-5.8

    by Oldestsonofasailor on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:59:32 AM PST

  •  Well it does say "except for public danger" (0+ / 0-)
    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger;
    Unfortunately there is a provision written into the 5th Amendment.  I don't like it, but there it is.  If the case arises in the armed forces, meaning the military picks someone up, then no Grand Jury is needed when there is a public danger.  And since terrorists endanger the public by definition, then the military can hold them without due process.

    I scoffed at state governors being able to ban all travel in a state during a blizzard, and was attacked for not caring enough about public safety.  "Didn't I want to save lives?", I was asked.
    The government has always been granted huge powers in the name of public safety, and this is no different.  So when terrorists threaten us, the government has the power to "keep us safe".  And the government also has the power to decide who the terrorists are, and what the public danger is.  It is immense power that can be easily abused, but there it is in black and white.

    •  Yep, and the last time I checked "FEMA internment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, Norm in Chicago, Jim P

      camps" were still perfectly legal as that ruling has never been overturned.  There is absolutely nothing, other than logistical issues (which to be fair, are huge to say the least), preventing a President from rounding up tens of millions of people in this country and putting them into detention camps.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:03:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Screw that, just blow up the access points (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Throw The Bums Out

        in and out of any major metropolitan area, instant detention camp. No food, no supplies get in or out and let the "riff-raff" feed on themselves.

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:30:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Who is the public danger? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ovals49

      It would seem our government security forces are a much greater public danger.

      ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

      by gjohnsit on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:59:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Drunk drivers are a danger to the public, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gjohnsit, JesseCW

        so can we take erratic drivers out now on our highways with drones?  I'll feel a whole lot safer if we do. Is that all it takes for us to justify shredding the Constitution?

        It has always seemed strange to me...The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. - John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

        by ovals49 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:07:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  IOKIYAO and IOKIYAD (6+ / 0-)

    If it was just Bush and the Republicans shredding our Constitutional rights in this way, then there would be near universal condemnation on this site. But when it's President Obama and the Democrats "going after terrorists", then President Obama's Apologists think that it's just dandy!

    In the Fox News Christian Nation, public schools won't teach sex education and evolution; instead they'll have an NRA sponsored Shots for Tots: Gunz in Schoolz program.

    by xynz on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:10:49 AM PST

  •  Being "Kept Safe" starts with being "Kept" (5+ / 0-)

    I keep valuable safe by locking them up and restricting access to them.  As soon as "being kept safe" began to dominate the national discussion after 911, the 5th amendment went out the window.

    It might seem subtle, but there is a difference between hiring a security guard and giving him a list of authorized personnel to a building, versus telling him to "keep the building safe".  One directs the guard to follow procedures, the other directs the guard to use his discretion and make it up as he goes.  It is no different with policing and rule of law:  if everyone clamors "to be kept safe", rule of law goes out the window.  Cowardice and rule-of-law are inversely proportional - you can't have it both ways.

    To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

    by ban48 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:18:12 AM PST

    •  Very good post! We are relinquishing (0+ / 0-)

      our rights to be 'kept safe'...giving up our expressly written rights for something the government does not have to do at all. We may want it, obviously, or we wouldn't give up our rights so willingly, but when is enough enough, especially considering the government not only cannot keep you safe even if it wanted, but has a crappy track record at trying while our rights are stomped on.

  •  "Dispostition Matrix" by Quentin Tarantino (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea, gjohnsit, JesseCW

    ... oh yes, excellent name for a movie indeed.

  •  Oh well, at least the SECOND AMENDMENT (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, reflectionsv37

    is still live and kicking!

    Which amendments have big money interest behind them?
    (not many).

    Those that do not will always be under attack!

    Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:03:03 PM PST

    •  They hit it with five shots! (0+ / 0-)

      And it's still alive!!

      Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

      by Floyd Blue on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:03:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The info in this diary and in the one on the 4th (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paper Cup, gjohnsit, YucatanMan

    amendment are depressing to the point of feeling that the decline of our democracy is in an unstoppable spiral downward.

    How do we possibly reverse this trend?  

    "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

    by MRA NY on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:04:12 PM PST

    •  Get out in the street (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MRA NY

      Organize. Get involved.
         The government will not respect our rights until we make a lot of noise.

      ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

      by gjohnsit on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:02:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What, like Occupy has? No evidence of our (0+ / 0-)

        rights being respected there - quite the opposite.

        "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

        by MRA NY on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:53:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It takes a sustained movement (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jlynne, raincrow

          One-off protests, like the ones leading up to the Iraq invasion, don't impress the government.

            The Occupy Movement got crushed when the government had no other choice but to notice.
            If the Occupy Movement started up again, it would get crushed again. And again. But eventually it would prevail.

          ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

          by gjohnsit on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:38:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Different legislators >> different SCOTUS (0+ / 0-)

      This requires educating and persuading voters that our rights MATTER, that voting matters, that gerrymandering matters, and that planning for the next census and the next big round of reverse-gerrymandering is worth doing.

      A tall order but consider the vast excursions, across the generations, of the rights of black people, children, women, Japanese-Americans, etc. -- the law of the land has tides.

      YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

      by raincrow on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 02:13:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Double Jeopardy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, YucatanMan, raincrow

    The civil forfeiture movement in the US, not the game show! It doesn't get enough attention nor does it seem to raise any alarms among anyone at all. You do a crime, you get caught, you get prosecuted in a court of law and found guilty, you serve the time, you get released..... you've "paid the price", right? Wrong! In many cases you are subject to forfeiture of your assets as well even though said forfeiture is NOT part of the proscribed punishment for the crime you did.

    It's immoral and it's been going on for over a decade. The heat gets turned up a notch and the frog doesn't notice. Another generation grows up thinking this is the norm, that this is how it's supposed to work.

    •  And yet various courts have ruled that this (0+ / 0-)

      does indeed constitute double jeopardy, and have sometimes ruled that because civil forfeiture was imposed before a criminal trial and conviction, the criminal prosecution constituted double jeopardy.

      I think it really depends on a state's tort laws and how the cases are presented to the respective juries. If you drive drunk, run over and kill someone, and are convicted for that manslaughter or homicide, the victim's family's wrongful death suit is not, in principle, double jeopardy if what they're seeking is monetary compensation for the loss you caused (i.e., financial offset because you damaged their standard of living or health and happiness) instead of moral retribution/punishment of you for the loss you caused.

      YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

      by raincrow on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 02:22:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bleh (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, jlynne

    What I find amusing, in some way, upon reading things like this and the comments here is how forcefully, and constantly, many of us were attacked here for questioning what Obama does or daring to complain about it around election season -- pretty much the only time of the year politicians will even feign listening to you.

    At this stage the voters are just as much to blame. I might not want to vote in Romney, but I'd sure as hell like some explanations from Obama -- and if we're not going to get that from him when his job is on the line, when the hell are we going to get it?

    Never, apparently.

    •  Election season is not the time to (0+ / 0-)

      back the lesser of two evils into a corner. Now that the election is over, it is time. You may not understand this.

      YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

      by raincrow on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 03:58:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, I don't understand it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gjohnsit

        No, I don't understand it. And I won't. And I think I was clear as to why.

        The fact remains that the stuff anyone here would have wanted answers about wouldn't have persuaded a single Conservative voter and doubtful even very many Independent voters. If they don't care about all of the information about drones and other shit now, why would they have then?

        As of right now instead of having some of their ears, we clearly have none. They've already gone back on promises for this election, we're still trying to get filibuster reform in place, etc etc etc.

        But good luck bitching at people in positions that have no fear of being re-elected ever again. I think we've seen enough of that not working.

        •  You have absolutely no basis, I posit, for (0+ / 0-)

          your assertion that spending 2012 going at Obama full out for his failures would not have dissuaded "very many independent voters."

          In fact, you make my argument for me: It is precisely BECAUSE low-info, wibbly-wobbly-middly types are swayed by overhearing mean words on TV and radio, and by sheer volume of wire traffic (I'm hearing those mean words very often, so they must be true), without necessarily evaluating content, that ripping Obama apart throughout 2012 would likely have driven more independents away from him -- and look who we'd be fucking stuck with in the Oval Office. Do you think Romney would eschew targeted assassinations? Do you think he would rush to defend overseas Americans' due process rights? Do you think for a second he would give a shit about the erosion of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments? Those are the rules for the fucking pathetic servant class that, the nail ladies and groundskeepers who don't understand how all the important stuff works.

          One man can't pull all the weight that state legislatures (specifically, nationwide trends in state law), Congress, a concerned polity, and an educated, skeptical Fourth Estate should be pulling. Nor can he be right all the time, in which cases state legislatures (specifically, nationwide trends in state law), Congress, a concerned polity, and an educated, skeptical Fourth Estate should be pushing.

          If Congress were doing its duty to the Constitution, it would pull all funding for our drone programs until it could put in place the proper constraints to ensure accountability. There would be loud, sustained calls for the prosecution of Bushco for war crimes, the repeal of the Patriot Act, and the institution of Euro-style privacy laws. The moment last week that the Supremes gave K9 cops permission to teach their dogs covert "alert" commands so they can trigger whatever searches they please on any whim, a tide of Congresscritters on both sides of the aisles should have protested loudly and begun drafting legislation to specifically counter that unconscionable ruling. If the citizenry were to rise up and demand the repeal of the Patriot Act and NDAA, an end to the current escalation of police brutality, prosecution of the big banks and the breakup of corporations too big to fail, and make their federal legislators' seats contingent on such actions, you can damn betcha there would be changes.

          YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

          by raincrow on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 02:57:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So? (0+ / 0-)
            and look who we'd be fucking stuck with in the Oval Office. Do you think Romney would eschew targeted assassinations? Do you think he would rush to defend overseas Americans' due process rights? Do you think for a second he would give a shit about the erosion of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments?
             So you are saying that we have very little to lose either way. That's hardly a convincing argument for staying quiet.

            ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

            by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 04:04:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  In other words (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        softserve, jlynne, BradyB

        In the only period of time in four years when a politician will listen to you, you should clap louder.

         Yeah. And where has that gotten us? A president that has no problems at all sticking it to his base over and over again.

        ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

        by gjohnsit on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:47:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  we aren't his base (0+ / 0-)

          we might wish we were, but we are not.  His base is corporate America.  He's just not as honest about that as Bush was.

          "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

          by jlynne on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:08:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then I'm confused (0+ / 0-)

            Why are you telling us that we shouldn't bother him then? If he doesn't even represent us?
               Basically you are saying that we have very little to lose anyway.

            ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

            by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 04:02:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  no, i'm not saying that we shouldn't bother him (0+ / 0-)

              I'm just bitter.  He doesn't represent us, but that's no excuse for passively allowing him to continue to fail.

              "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

              by jlynne on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:49:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  The War on Drugs™ (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, jlynne, raincrow

    has taken a large toll on the 5th amendment too! That whole concept of taking property without due process of the law pretty much went into the trash can when they started their asset seizures of suspected drug offenders even when they never charged them with a crime.

    The phony War on Drugs™ did more damage to our civil rights than any other act of government. And they aren't done yet!

    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

    by reflectionsv37 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:06:39 PM PST

jbou, Thumb, Doug in SF, DeminNewJ, Chi, Odysseus, Danno11, Avila, Shockwave, saluda, xynz, RFK Lives, hubcap, Gustogirl, Zinman, TracieLynn, whenwego, CanisMaximus, ovals49, fumie, wader, kharma, Subversive, mrkvica, jlynne, Miss Jones, pat bunny, gerrilea, CarbonFiberBoy, Oaktown Girl, zerelda, Steven D, Josiah Bartlett, sawgrass727, rapala, joanneleon, Bluesee, denise b, ichibon, ek hornbeck, Simplify, truong son traveler, YucatanMan, Dobber, Laurence Lewis, reflectionsv37, FutureNow, GreyHawk, Burned, Sandino, Isara, snoopydawg, turdraker, bunsk, Indiana Bob, Paper Cup, Jim P, tommymet, Keone Michaels, vigilant meerkat, cybersaur, AoT, raincrow, blueoasis, triv33, gooderservice, joe shikspack, NearlyNormal, RantNRaven, blueoregon, old wobbly, pgm 01, john07801, out of left field, SpecialKinFlag, yoduuuh do or do not, FishOutofWater, sfbob, Swill to Power, bobswern, carpunder, bewild, JDWolverton, 123man, cynndara, Justus, also mom of 5, wayoutinthestix, Arlys, tofumagoo, MrJayTee, codairem, petulans, enufisenuf, David Futurama, zmom, nchristine, lostinamerica, LinSea, Carol in San Antonio, CanyonWren, Nebraskablue, maryabein, Zotz, CamillesDad1, JesseCW, dRefractor, UnaSpenser, COwoman, kevinpdx, sfarkash, Words In Action, cezariusz, commonmass, The Jester, Johnnythebandit, sunny skies, Eddie L, gulfgal98, ItsSimpleSimon, Mariken, Jaimas, albrt, Funkygal, Wisdumb, Mac in Maine, allenjo, slowbutsure, jm214, boomerchick, Wolf10, MRA NY, Wood Dragon, VTCC73, Marihilda, jadt65, Mentatmark, No one gets out alive, mrbond, chmood, Joieau, Horace Boothroyd III, BusyinCA, arizonablue, MusicFarmer, Bisbonian, BradyB, WheninRome, Dumas EagerSeton, TheLawnRanger, Lily O Lady, Chaddiwicker, ororis, AmericanAnt, jbob, SixSixSix, Smoh

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