Fourth Amendment loss crumples the Constitution

When Islamic soldiers attacked the United States in New York on 9/11/2001 they successfully collapsed the world trade centers by weakening their support framing. But in this single attack, these soldiers of Islam also weakened the framework of the Constitution of the United States. That framework has now deteriorated so much that the Constitution is now a “Worthless Piece of Paper;” so says Judge Andrew P. Napolitano in his recent essay distributed by

General Warrant is the term used to describe search warrants written, sometimes on location, by British officials claiming to authorize British soldiers to enter anyone’s private home and search everywhere for everything and then confiscate anything. It is often argued that the King’s soldiers were carrying general warrants and intended to confiscate the arms and supplies of the residents of Concord on April 19, 1775. It was certainly in response to these threats to the colonists’ rights to keep and bear arms and their right to be secure within their homes that prompted the Massachusetts militia to confront the British on that eventful morning.

After the Revolutionary War, the Constitution might never have been ratified by all thirteen colonies if not for the Bill of Rights. And even ahead of the famous Fifth Amendment (the Right to not have to testify against oneself ) is the Fourth Amendment. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath of affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and persons or things to be seized.”

George W. Bush said it this way, “9/11 changed everything.” It is a fact that just as the trade center buildings collapsed because their support structure weakened, the most deadly battle on American soil since the Civil War so weakened the foundation structure of the Constitution that it has finally become a crumpled pile of waste paper.

To understand the collapse of the Fourth Amendment we need only review the 2015 Lara D. Gass Symposium held January 23 and 24, at Washington and Lee University. The theme of this event should make every American take notice as it identifies us as now living in the “Post-Snowden Age.” The title of the symposium: “Cybersurveillance in the Post-Snowden Age.”

Especially disturbing to those who dare to challenge the growing power of the state at the expense of freedom is the panel discussion, “Interpreting the Fourth Amendment after Snowden.”

First of all, the Fourth Amendment needs no interpretation. Any young child with the ability to read or at least understand English can see that the writers of the Constitution clearly intended to protect citizens from government officials invading their God given Right to privacy. Second, what Edward Snowden did was sound an alarm to warn us the government was coming. While he may have been a few years late, what Snowden did is no less important to freedom than the revered feat of Robert Newman and Captain John Polling, Jr. on April 18, 1775. ( OK, I’ll tell you. They lit the lanterns.)

Obama has told Americans his administration stopped the spying activities started by Bush through Executive Order 12333 back in October of 2001. He didn’t technically lie, but the reality is that Obama ordered unimaginable expansion of cybersurveillance. The difference between the Bush ordered surveillance and the Obama era surveillance is a frightening growth in extent. The original Presidential Surveillance Program as ordered by G.W.Bush in 2001 limited the eavesdropping and email interception programs to communications in which at least one of the parties was not an American or the communication was international. Obama, on the other hand, has used the secret court judges of FICA to authorize General Warrants covering all Americans by forcing everyone who may have any records to turn those records over to the government agents. As a result of this “interpretation” of the Fourth Amendment, the government is now collecting every crumb of information about every innocent American from water bills to credit card statements; in addition to phone conversations, texts and posts.

Recently Samung reported that it can and has recorded personal conversations through home television sets and sold those conversations to third parties. That means the government can take those records as well. Yes, the government can record and store your living room conversations through your television.

January 20, USA Today reported police and federal agencies are widening the use of radar units that can “see” through the walls of our homes. Agencies initially might have justified such surveillance as necessary to protect officers preparing to enter a building. But, just as Bush’s limited eavesdropping and spying program has grown from limited to international calls into an out of control domestic spying monster, these wall-piercing radars will become the tactics of political abuse.

As the Constitution crumbles so does personal liberty and freedom.

Craig Masters

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