There was no warning. Someone broke down the door in the middle of the night. There was shouting and glaring lights.
As the terrified occupants of the house cowered in a closet, armed and uniformed government agents ransacked the house, laughing and commenting on the contents as they did. They made no effort to avoid damage. They were authorized to take whatever they wanted, and did so with impunity.
When they came across private papers in a cupboard, the head agent guffawed. “So you owe money, do you? And to your child’s physician? She’s sick, is she? That’ll come in handy to us one of these days.”
The year was 1776. It was America. Two hundred and forty years later, it’s happening again.
The same demagogues who encourage brainwashed partisans to focus like blinkered draft animals on the insecurity of Hillary Clinton’s email server — with florid appeals to law and adoration of “the Constitution” — are poised to violate it tenfold.
The year is 2016. My friends, say goodbye to the Fourth Amendment.
Who’s Your King Now, Subject?
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is an incisive response to demonstrated abuse of government power. It requires the government to obtain a search warrant issued by a judge based upon evidence of criminal wrongdoing — probable cause — before its agents can search persons, houses, papers or effects. It’s a cornerstone of our supposed freedom.
The Fourth Amendment was a response to general warrants, issued secretly in London. They permitted British soldiers and agents in America to search wherever they wished and seize whatever they found. General warrants weren’t based upon suspicion of individual wrongdoing, much less probable cause.
Instead, general warrants were used to enforce the Stamp Act, which required all colonists to purchase and attach government-issued stamps to all legal, financial, political, personal and public documents. It was justified as a revenue-gathering measure. It was actually an excuse to humiliate and intimidate the colonists. When soldiers and agents entered their homes looking for the stamps, they were really looking for evidence of revolutionary sympathies … and sending a warning.
All That’s Missing Are the Wigs and Redcoats
Here’s sample of what’s been happening over the last few months whilst the media encourages us to fixate on the Donald vs. Hillary horse race:
- A federal judge ruled that one FBI agent can issue a search warrant to another FBI agent permitting a search of all computers in the U.S. without notice. The FBI would be allowed to access your Internet browser history. Think of your browsing history as a combination of your virtual home library and a filing cabinet filled with deeply personal, political, medical, legal and intimate data.
- At the FBI’s request, the Supreme Court has approved a change to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure that would allow federal judges to issue secret nationwide “hacking warrants” to search all computers if they are unable to identify the specific computer under investigation.
- Congress is considering legislation that would prohibit your Internet service provider or anyone else from telling you that your records have been searched.
If that doesn’t add up to a modern-day general warrant, I don’t know what does. The only difference is that you won’t be able to hear the government agents laughing and commenting on your private information.
Nothing to See Here, Folks
Earlier this year, Judge Andrew P. Napolitano summarized our government’s track record of enacting modern-day Stamp Acts — laws that are purported to address one problem, but which are in practice used as general warrants:
The Right to Financial Privacy Act (which has nothing to do with protecting privacy) permits federal agents to obtain certain bank records with search warrants issued by other federal agents — as opposed to judges — as long as they are looking for mobsters or drug dealers. The Patriot Act (which has nothing to do with patriotism) enables FBI agents to issue search warrants to other FBI agents for certain business records — including doctors’ and lawyers’ offices, car and jewelry dealers, and the post office — as long as they are looking for threats to national security. And the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (which interferes with the privacy of almost all electronic communications) permits FBI agents to access certain metadata (the who, where and when of emails, but not their contents), as long as one FBI agent issues the warrant to another and as long as the recipient uses it for national security purposes.
As I constantly emphasize, this is not a partisan issue. Senators and congresspersons on both sides of the aisle support this stuff. The media ignores this issue, where supposedly “rare” bipartisan agreement is enabling the negation of the liberties we fought for in the Revolution and enshrined in the Constitution.
I can’t stop politicians and securocrats from acting this way. But I can help you protect your privacy from modern-day Redcoats with general warrants. Get a copy of my exclusive privacy report and start implementing my recommendations.
That’s how a real patriot would act.
Editor, The Bauman Letter