Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

Jonathan Turley had this to say (at the Washington Post) on the state of our civil liberties. It should scare the bejeezus out of you. HERE! Also, in case you missed it, some major journalistic institutions are just now realizing that they are supposed to let us know (in some clear and non-biased fashion) when so-called public figures are lying. This is in contrast to telling the public that so-and-so said something and that someone else said something different and letting it go at that (aka stenography).

To paraphrase and partially sum up:

Indefinite Detention:

The President now has the power to detain U. S. Citizens indefinitely. The government also maintains it has the prerogative to strip citizens of their legal rights.

Arbitrary Justice:

There are civil/criminal courts and military courts. The President decides where you will be tried. You’re welcome.

Warrantless Searches:

Warrantless surveillance (and soon, domestic drones). Institutions may be compelled to turn over any/all information they have in their files (and you will never know).

Secret Evidence:

National Security claims trump anything. Someone (who know who) can classify information as secret and there’s not a darn thing you can do about it. Definitions of ‘standing’ have been narrowed to severely limit how cases are brought to court.

War Crimes:

CIA employees have been excepted from prosecution for past acts that many people have considered to be war crimes. We’re in such august company as Iran, China and Syria on this one.

Secret Court:

F.I.S.A. use has been expanded.

The Obama administration has asserted the right to ignore congressional limits on such surveillance.

Immunity from Judicial Review:

Companies that participate in the surveillance programs of the government are exempt from judicial review (case in point: AT&T’s letting the government look at all the traffic on their servers). You can’t ask any questions about whether/how your privacy has been violated.

Continual Monitoring of Citizens:

The government can monitor your movements via GPS devices and the courts say this is ok.

Extraordinary Rendition:

Non-citizens and citizens may be secretly sent anywhere in the world. The President has said he will not do this – but this door is open.

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