From the December 2002 Idaho Observer:

No question: Americans live in a police state

What separates republics from police states is the separation of power. Police states are ruled by a tyrant or a regime of despots who are blind to the rights and dignity of the common man. Police states exercise the authority to judge, convict and sentence the common man without the opportunity for established avenues of due process to impartially determine his guilt or innocence. If Americans were to wake up one day to find that due process was no longer available to them, would they be forced to confront the sad truth that they are no longer the citizens of a free republic but the hapless subjects of a police state?

From The Sacramento Bee:[12/5/02]

WASHINGTON -- Several Supreme Court justices expressed surprise Wednesday when lawyers for the Bush administration and the Oxnard, Calif. police asserted that officers are free to press unwilling suspects and witnesses to talk so long as their forced confessions are not used in a trial.”

In a case currently being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, lawyers for the Bush administration and Oxnard California police maintain that it is not a violation of the Constitution to use physical or psychological torture to coerce confessions from detainees. It would be a violation of the Constitution, however, if confessions achieved through torture were used in court.

The Constitution and the right against self-incrimination do not put “a direct limitation on the conscience of law enforcement officers,” Deputy Solicitor General Paul Clement told the court.

The case was brought before the Supreme Court through the case of farm worker Oliverio Martinez who was shot five times by Oxnard police and then coerced by police while in the hospital to confess that he had tried to grab an officer's gun. Blinded and paralyzed over the incident, Martinez sued the Oxnard Police Department and Sergeant Ben Chavez, the officer who “interrogated” the gravely wounded man while in the hospital.

“I take it your view is that if a police officer quite deliberately violates a person's Miranda rights [the right to remain silent and be represented by an attorney], he never committed a [constitutional] violation,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg observed.

“Yes,” replied Oxnard Police Attorney Lawrence Robbins.

Robbins also stated his belief that police are not obligated to follow Miranda, a Supreme Court decision from 1963, so long as incriminating statements are not used in court.

Note: If the Supreme Court rules in favor of police rights to use their discretion to coerce confessions from suspects and witnesses so long as such confessions are not used in court, we will have opened yet another door to the police state. There will be no limit to the brutality to which ordinary citizens may be subjected by street cops. A man with a badge and a gun suddenly becomes authorized to become 14 men in one: Judge, jury and executioner.

Another point: Under the Homeland Security Act, persons suspected of being a terrorist (see definition page 18) may be held indefinitely without a trial. While being held, suspects will be subjected to whatever physical and/or psychological torture deemed necessary to extract the desired confession or information. The issue of whether or not such confession or information will be unconstitutionally used in court becomes moot because those who are accused of being terrorists are not allowed to face their accusers, are not allowed attorneys, are not allowed to defend themselves and will not be given a trial.


From The Associated Press:[12/4/02]

“WASHINGTON -- American citizens working for al-Quaida overseas can legally be targeted and killed by the CIA under President Bush's rules to fight the war on terrorism, U.S. Officials say.”

After the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush signed a decree authorizing the CIA to covertly attack and assassinate al-Quaida operatives anywhere in the world. The decree makes no exception for Americans so permission to kill them if they are suspected of working with al-Quaida “... is understood rather than specifically prescribed,” unnamed officials reportedly said.

The issue came to life when one American was killed in Yemen Nov. 3, 2002 when a CIA drone fired a missile that blew up a car that allegedly contained a ranking al-Quaida operative allegedly involved in the 1998 bombing of the USS Cole.

The CIA claims Yemeni-American Kamal Derwish was not the target of this particular assassination but was suspected of being the leader of an al-Quaida cell in Buffalo, NY.

The Bush administration publicly asserts the position that killing Americans in this way is perfectly legal. “I can assure you that no constitutional questions are raised here. There are authorities that the president can give to his officials,” National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice stated.

Contrary to Rice's comments, Constitutional scholars believe that the Bush administration's position with regard to the intentional or unintentional killing of Americans without due process does raise some rather important constitutional issues.

According to the Bush administration, all the world is a battlefield in the war on terrorism. An inevitable condition of war is “collateral damage (the death of innocent civilians or damage to private property).

Duke University Center for Law, Ethics and National Security Director Scott Silliman commented, “That is the most vulnerable part of the theory. 'Could you put a Hellfire missile into a car in Washington, D.C.?' Under the same theory the answer is, 'Yes, you could.'”

Note: Investigators have uncovered long-term political and business relationships between the Bush family, the bin Laden family, Dick Cheney, Casper Weinberger, William Christopher, Saudi royalty and the CIA. Rumors that the bin Laden family has estranged itself from alleged al-Quaida leader Osama for his political activities is a thinly veiled cover story.

The relationship between high level U.S. officials and the al-Quaida terrorist network is well-documented in the dominant media as compiled by Icke and Ahmed (see page 9). Those relationships directly link the U.S. government to the terrorists upon which worldwide war has been declared. Therefore, the process whereby the Bush administration justifies collaterally killing Americans in the war on terrorism is built on an unconstitutional foundation of fraud.

Constitutional? Unconstitutional?

The stories above illustrate that those with enforcement and legislative authority are either wholly ignorant of the Constitution or are merely defending their actions as constitutional when, plainly, they are not. The world's most credible authority on the intent of the Constitution is contained in a work known as The Federalist Papers. Published in 1787 by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, The Federalist Papers are the comprehensive analysis of the federal system, the departments of government and how they were intended to function. Due to 18th century jargon and the Founders' tendency to out do one another in their literary expressions, the Federalist Papers have been difficult to consult as an authority for constitutional questions.

Now these writings have been translated into modern English, indexed and cross-referenced to help find answers to today's constitutional questions as posed within the framework of those who wrote the Constitution. What we find, in using the Federalist Papers as a guideline, is the fact there is very little happening in government today that is “constitutional.”

The Federalist Papers in Modern Language:
Indexed for Today's Political Questions.

Edited by Mary E. Webster

Available from Merril Press, PO Box 1682, Bellevue, Wash. 98009; 400 pp., $24.95

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