The Boston lockdown and the Bill of Rights

Tom Carter

SWAT team doing house-to-house searches in the Boston area

The “exigent circumstances” exception more and more resembles the “state of exception” doctrine propounded by Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt, pursuant to which a “national emergency” may override all existing democratic legal protections.

With the implementation of a state of military siege against the population of Boston last week, the American ruling class has crossed a historical, legal and political Rubicon. The die is cast and the sun is setting on the democratic forms of rule that have existed in the United States for the past two centuries.

What history will remember as most significant about the events in Boston will not be the bombing near the marathon’s finish line or the perpetrators or their motives. What will be remembered instead will be the unprecedented military lockdown of an entire major American city, with military vehicles in the streets and heavily armed soldiers going house to house—tromping through living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens, staring down their assault rifles at terrified, barefoot families in their pajamas.

The Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791 in the wake of the American Revolution, has provided the basic framework for bourgeois democracy as it has developed in the United States over the past 200 years. A simple comparison of the words of the Bill of Rights with the recent events in Boston—the cradle of the American Revolution—underscores the advanced stage of the historical process that is shattering centuries-old democratic forms of rule.

Free Lynne Stewart Now!

Stephen Lendman

Lynne's wrongfully imprisoned. She's one of America's best. For 30 years, she defended its poor, underprivileged, unwanted, and forgotten. Without advocates like her, they're denied due process and judicial fairness. She was targeted for representing clients prosecutors want convicted. A previous article said Obama wants her dead. She's gravely ill. She's a breast cancer survivor. It reemerged. It's spreading. She's denied proper treatment. More on her below.

America's gulag prison system shames the nation. It's a crime against humanity. It's by far the world's largest. It's one of the worst. Many in it shouldn't be there. Blacks and Latinos comprise two-thirds of its population. They're society's most vulnerable. Around half imprisoned are for nonviolent offenses. Many are elicit drug related. They're captives under cruel and inhumane conditions. Mandatory minimum sentences exacerbate things. So do racist and other deplorable policies. They include pervasive judicial unfairness, three strikes and you're out, get tough on crime harshness, and a guilty unless proved innocent mentality.

In his book "Race to Incarcerate," Marc Mauer discussed America's obsession with imprisonment, punishment, the commodification of prisoners, and rage to fill prison beds. Countless numbers of political prisoners fill them.

Congress Exploits Our Fears to Take Our Liberty

Ron Paul

"Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither." ~ B. Franklin

This week, as Americans were horrified by the attacks in Boston, both houses of Congress considered legislation undermining our liberty in the name of “safety.” Gun control continued to be the focus of the Senate, where an amendment expanding federal “background checks” to gun show sales and other private transfers dominated the debate. While the background check amendment failed to pass, proponents of gun control have made it clear they will continue their efforts to enact new restrictions on gun ownership into law.

While it did not receive nearly as much attention as the debate on gun control, the House of Representatives passed legislation with significant implications for individual liberty: the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). CISPA proponents claim that the legislation is necessary to protect Americans from foreign “cyber terrorists,” but the real effect of this bill will be to further erode Americans’ online privacy.

Under CISPA, Internet corporations are authorized to hand over the private information of American citizens to federal agents, as long as they can justify the violation of your privacy in the name of protecting “cyber security”. Among the items that may be shared are your e-mails, browsing history, and online transactions.

Like the PATRIOT Act, CISPA violates the fourth amendment by allowing federal agencies to obtain private information without first seeking a warrant from a federal judge.

The law also allows federal agencies to pass your information along to other federal bureaucrats — again without obtaining a warrant. And the bill provides private companies with immunity from lawsuits regardless of the damage done to anyone whose personal information is shared with the government.

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