The Constitutional rights of an entire town were violated Friday, April 19, 2013. The Constitution was deactivated by an undeclared state of exception, — complete with “papers please” searches and seizures and military hardware and weapons all over the streets.
The Obama régime shut down an entire city to literal empty sidewalks.
And train service was halted along a stretch over a hundred mile.
The authorities also prevented residents who were away from their homes from returning their own homes, thus dispossessing citizens of their own residences for a while.
And by effectively occupying a part of the Boston metro area, law enforcement officers made a mockery of the 4th 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 or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
— The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution
Since there was no “hot pursuit,” no argument was available to Law Enforcement Officers allowing searches of private property without consent or a warrant.
The Fourth Amendment applies in Boston to the searches of homes and what was done there is unconstitutional and as a consequence is a crime under 18 USC 242. The so-called “law enforcement” enforcers who committed those searches and seizures under duress without a warrant violated the law. This is true irrespective of the means by which such is done because The Fourth Amendment does not grant you the right to be secure in your papers and effects: you have that right because it is an essential element of liberty; the freedom to possess privately-obtained property through the fruits of your labor without it being rifled through or stolen by anyone, including government agents, except under due process of law where probable cause exists to believe you have personally committed a crime. There are logical exceptions — if a police officer personally sees a fleeing felon he is chasing enter your residence he can follow him onto your property without a warrant. But what he can’t do is guess.
The Fifth Amendment also gives rise to criminal liability under 18 USC 242 to the extent that anything was seized, no matter how momentarily, without a warrant.
The exception to the rule has become the rule under Obama — to an unprecedented extent. The Obama régime has been systematically institutionalizing arbitrary decision. It has created a new “normal” relationship between the citizen and the State.
What we are witnessing is no longer the free and active participation on the political level, but the appropriation and registration of private life and properties, and the control and manipulation of public speech by main-stream media installations.
The very distinction between peace and war, and between foreign and civil war, is impossible where the emergency becomes the rule. This began under Bush, with the Patriot Act. But it has been consolidated by the Obama administration.
1) Obama appeals to the principle of the state secret to block any judicial oversight of “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
2) Obama asserts an exception for suspects considered terrorist threats.
3) Obama institutionalizes trial by military commission on domestic soil for individuals deemed “unlawful combattants” — in order to lower the bar of what constitutes admissible evidence and to restrict a suspect’s rights to legal defense.
4) Obama expands the system of secret “black sites” into which unlawful combattants disappear without a trace, whilst extending the mandate of the CIA (beyond information gathering) to military special-operation interventions.
Obama has made the CIA becomes a full-spectrum paramilitary force unto itself, carrying out the shadowy war games of the régime under the cover of secrecy provided by its black sites.
Obama also issues secret Executive Orders giving the Pentagon’s US Special Operations Command CIA-like surveillance capabilities. Perpetually poised for instant delivery of extralegal action on demand, the USOC reports directly to the president personally.
5) The practice of targetted assassination has expanded significantly under Obama. The régime has even extended targetted assassination to US citizens.
6) Obama used the national security rationale to institute exceptions to constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure. And he has expanded the high-tech surveillance system by invoking state secrets to prevent judicial oversight.
Obama has also declared war on whisle-blowers, prosecuting with draconian zeal individuals who leak government and military information.
7) Obama deployed the military in Libya without consulting Congress — and never went back to Congress for its rubber stamp.
The use of extralegal powers is becoming the norm. The exception is becoming the norm. And that’s why a hot war is inevitable. THE EXCEPTION is now THE NORM, and peace cannot be distinguished from war any longer. The Constitution is out of order, inoperative, neutralized.
The Constitution and the State of Exception
Article 1 of the Constitution establishes that “the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it” — but does not specify which AUTHORITY has the jurisdiction to decide on the exceptional suspension.
Another passage of Article 1 declares that the power to declare war and to raise and support the army and navy rests with Congress, BUT Article 2 states that “the President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.”
Let’s just look at a few precedents:
During the Civil War (1861–1865), Lincoln acted counter to the text of Article 1 (on April 15, 1861) by proclaiming that an army of seventy-five thousand men was to be raised and convened a special session of Congress for July 4. In the ten weeks that passed between April 15 and July 4, Lincoln acted de facto as a total dictator. On April 27, Lincoln authorized the General in Chief of the Army to suspend the writ of Habeas Corpus whenever he deemed it necessary along the military line between Washington and Philadelphia. Furthermore, on February 1862, Lincoln imposed censorship of the mail and authorized the arrest and detention in military prisons of persons suspected of “disloyal and treasonable practices“.
In the speech he delivered to Congress July 4 1861, President Lincoln justified his actions as the holder of a supreme power to violate the Constitution in a situation of necessity:
“Whether strictly legal or not, [the measures he had adopted had been taken] under what appeared to be a popular demand and a public necessity” in the certainty that Congress would ratify them. Those exceptional measures were based on the conviction that even fundamental, natural law could be violated IF the very existence of the union and the juridical order were at stake:
Although Congress was aware that the constitutional jurisdictions had been transgressed, it could do nothing but ratify the actions of the President, as it did on August 6, 1861. Strengthened by this approval, Lincoln proclaimed on September the emancipation of the slaves on his authority alone and later generalized the state of emergency throughout the entire territory of the United States, authorizing the arrest and trial before courts martial of “all Rebels and Insurgents, their aiders and abettors within the United States, and all persons discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting militia drafts, or guilty of any disloyal practice, affording aid and comfort to Rebels against the authority of the United States.“
During World War One President Wilson assumed broader powers than those Lincoln had claimed. However, instead of ignoring Congress, as Lincoln had done, Wilson had those extraordinary powers delegated to him by Congress. Instead of declaring a state of emergency, he had exceptional laws issued. From 1917 to 1918, Congress approved a series of acts (from the Espionage Act of 1917 to the Departmental Reorganization Act of 1918) that granted the President COMPLETE CONTROL over the administration of the United States and not only prohibited disloyal activities (such as collaboration with the enemy and the diffusion of false reports), but even made it a crime to “willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States” (from the Sedition Act of 1918).
Since the power of the President is grounded in the emergency linked to a state of war, the metaphor of war became a part of the presidential vocabulary whenever decisions considered to be of vital importance are being imposed.
In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt was able to assume extraordinary powers by presenting his actions as those of a Commander in Chief during a military campaign:
“I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems.…I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken Nation in the midst of a stricken world may require.…But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take [the necessary measures] and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad Executive power to wage war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.“
–Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933
From the constitutional point of view, the New Deal was realized by delegating to the President (through a series of statutes culminating in the National Recovery Act of June 1933) an UNLIMITED POWER to CONTROL every aspect of the economic life.
The outbreak of World War Two extended these powers with the creation of a “Office of Emergency Management” [the ancestor of today’s FEMA]. On September 7, 1942, FDR renewed his claim to TOTAL CONTROL during the emergency:
“In the event that the Congress should fail to act, and act adequately, I shall accept the responsibility, and I will act.…The American people can…be sure that I shall not hesitate to use every power vested in me to accomplish the defeat of our enemies in any part of the world where our own safety demands such defeat.“
On February 19, 1942, the FDR administration proceeded with the internment of seventy thousand American citizens of Japanese descent who resided on the West Coast (along with forty thousand Japanese citizens who lived and worked there).
By constantly referring to himself as the “Commander in Chief of the Army” after September 11, 2001, President Bush produced a situation in which the emergency becomes the rule.
The logic of politics has become a logic of war. This logic renders the citizen a suspect all along, a suspect against which all those military techniques and media installations need to be mounted that had been conceived of only for the most dangerous individuals.