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Before I lose my right to free speech….

@ 2010-11-16.20:33
Categories: Life,Miscellaneous
Tags: , , , , ,

Dear Congress,

It has come to my attention that we are losing the so called “War on Terror.” Maybe it is because the war was named so without actually looking up the definition to the word, so I will provide the dictionary definition for your reference:

terror [ˈterər]

noun

  1. extreme fear : people fled in terror | [in sing. ] a terror of darkness.
    • the use of such fear to intimidate people, esp. for political reasons : weapons of terror.
    • [in sing. ] a person or thing that causes extreme fear : his unyielding scowl became the terror of the Chicago mob.
    • ( the Terror) the period of the French Revolution between mid 1793 and July 1794 when the ruling Jacobin faction, dominated by Robespierre, ruthlessly executed anyone considered a threat to their regime. Also called reign of terror .
  2. (also holy terror) informal a person, esp. a child, who causes trouble or annoyance : placid and obedient in their parents’ presence, but holy terrors when left alone.

PHRASES

have (or hold) no terrors for someone not frighten or worry someone.

ORIGIN

late Middle English : from Old French terrour, from Latin terror, from terrere ‘frighten.’

You may find this confusing, especially since the American people are continually assured of the United States of America’s commitment to the “War on Terror.” However, underneath these assurances we are continually bombarded with fear campaigns and “enhanced security” in order to protect our “freedom” from terrorists. It should be noted that this “freedom” we are protected is outlined in a classic document known as the United States Constitution, more specifically the first ten amendments to that document: The Bill of Rights. This Bill of Rights details the supreme law of the land, designed by the founding members of this nation, in order to guarantee American citizens rights that they had to fight for. It is this very set of rights that terrorists strive to disrupt, and have. Not by their actions, but by the reactions of the US Government in order to protect it’s citizens in the name of “National Security.”

The first violation of these rights came in the form of the Patriot Act. Sounds nice, but it violates several amendments in the name of “National Security.” By declaring a person (including US citizens) as a potential terrorist threat, that person loses many of their rights, including those guaranteed under the fourth and sixth amendments. Just in case your are unaware of what these rights are here are the texts of those amendments:

Amendment IV
“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.”

Amendment VI
“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”

Furthering this violation of rights, The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) (under The Department of Homeland Security) has decided that in airports the fourth amendment does not apply. Traveling by plane is not a right of the American people, it is a privilege. One in which you must surrender your civil rights in order to use. We all remember the events that happened over nine years ago, and we understand the need for increased security screening at airports. The Supreme Court has already ruled that standard administrative security screenings are not a violation of the fourth amendment. But the current level of screening was deemed insufficient, so the TSA enacted new policies including X-Ray full body scanners and new “enhanced pat-down procedures.” What they did not tell you is that X-Ray radiation is classified as a carcinogen. They claim that these machines are safe, but Professors from Columbia University, University of California San Francisco, and others disagree. They cite flaws in the research presented by TSA, and demand further review.

That’s okay though, because we are American citizens, and we have rights. We can choose to not be irradiated but untested technology and opt out of this form of security screening. Instead we can receive an “enhanced pat down” to prove that we are innocent of being a terrorist. Wait… Prove that we are innocent? That’s what it feels like, you know that whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing? Apparently that is also surrendered upon choosing to fly.

But what is an “enhanced pat down?” Well, several recipients of this procedure have described it as an aggressive invasion of their person, even likening it to a sexual assault. Stating that men’s and women’s genitals are grabbed and probed, and women’s breasts are squeezed and twisted aggressively. So, your choices are now irradiation or sexual assault… Thanks TSA!

Ben Franklin, you remember him, that wacky old guy from the 18th century. The guy that believed in all kinds of civil liberties and such. He said “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” He had a point. If we are accepting of these violations of our rights in the name of “National Security,” we do not deserve them. So, Congress, I have a simple solution for you. Since obviously we cannot step down our security, and that damn Bill of Rights keeps getting in the way of better security, I suggest a new amendment:

Amendment XXVIII
“The United States Constitution and all it’s amendments are herein declared null and void. The citizens of the United States of America might be terrorists or in someway cooperate knowingly or unknowingly with terrorists, so therefore they do note deserve any rights.”

Thank you for your time,

Sincerely,

US Citizen.

Further reading:

  1. A dictionary
  2. The US Constitution
  3. Any news source
  4. Google

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