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Instant military

By Jim Killebrew

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[May 22, 2014]  A lot has been said about privacy in America. This is especially true when the National Security Agency (NSA) story about surveillance broke and Edward Snowden, a former employee of the CIA and a contractor for the NSA leaked the presence of spying on Americans and other numerous global surveillance programs. Spying on the American people came to light when it was discovered through the whistleblower that “meta data” were being kept on all the telephone calls made in America for further “analysis” with different projects. Many political and non-political people alike were complaining about the loss of privacy by these activities.

This prompted me to read again the provisions regarding privacy accorded in the United States Constitution, Amendment IV. It is a succinct statement that establishes the rights for security for all Americans. It reads, “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 IV of the US Constitution)

This shed a renewed light on the fact of privacy; but not just the privacy as we had discussed in the context of spying and eavesdropping on telephone conversations. It shed a renewed light on the fact that we are given the right of being secure in our homes and with our “things” against unreasonable searches and seizures. Of course in America it has become so commonplace that our rights are upheld regarding such things, the average citizen need not worry about some government person breaking into our homes without warrants and searching indiscriminately; at least, not until the right situation occurs. Then I remembered the incident regarding the Boston bombing.

It is all well and good the suspected bombers in Boston were stopped from taking more lives, injuring more people and doing more damage. There is no doubt those two brothers were identified, found and neutralized in a record amount of time. We saw the people in the neighborhood cheer and applaud as the law enforcement, federal agents, state police and local police left the arrest site.

There is, however, another thing to remember regarding that incident. Local and state police were federalized, the government stepped in and "locked down" an entire American city, military-like tactical gear was brought in to a city with heavy armored vehicles and automatic weapons of war; they marched through the streets, closed down the entire city and went from house to house searching inside without warrants. There were even a couple of incidents where private citizens objected to the entry into their private home, but the citizens were overtaken by the force of the superior force of the military-like police. If it wasn't called marshal law it resembled it so closely one could scarcely tell the difference.

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Without a doubt people rested easier when the suspect was found and apprehended. Yes, the law enforcement agencies along with the federal and state agencies coupled with the military saved the day. One lesson we should have learned, however, should be that what we witnessed in a five-day period after an horrific incident, was the capability of military-like armaments and law enforcement under the leadership of the political structure can so easily and quickly come together to enact a marshal law type of control that immobilizes citizens in a sequester to their homes and subjects them to searches without the benefit of warrants from the court. This should give us pause to realize this action is not so difficult to accomplish in America given the right circumstances. In our time it is not impossible for the government at any level to raise up an instant military.

Someone in government has said, “A good crisis should not be wasted” meaning it should be used to the advantage of the political objective of the day. It may not be as far-fetched as one might believe that in America one may be caught up in a situation very easily where we see military marching down the streets of our cities and towns. The structure is in place as was demonstrated in Boston. The only thing lacking is the right situation and the will of the political leader to enact such a circumstance.

Fortunately the American people are still governed by laws and the protection of rights prescribed by our Constitution. But we must constantly be vigil to watch for signs of corruption by those in charge who would use their power to circumvent the Constitution for their own expedient gain for control. Every instance of by-passing the laws enacted by our legislative or congressional bodies in favor of centering power in the hands of oligarchies of government by the few, ultimately places us in danger of losing the rights of “We the People” granted by our Constitution.


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