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Judge Allows Bradley Manning Supporter To Sue Government Over Border Search

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the sticking-it-to-the-man dept.

Privacy 129

Fluffeh writes "David Maurice House, an MIT researcher and Bradley Manning supporter, was granted the right to pursue a case against the government on Wednesday after a federal judge denied the government's motion to dismiss. 'This ruling affirms that the Constitution is still alive at the US border,' ACLU Staff Attorney Catherine Crump said in a statement. 'Despite the government's broad assertions that it can take and search any laptop, diary or smartphone without any reasonable suspicion, the court said the government cannot use that power to target political speech.' The agents confiscated a laptop computer, a thumb drive, and a digital camera from House and reportedly demanded, but did not receive, his encryption keys. DHS held onto House's equipment for 49 days and returned it only after the ACLU sent a strongly worded letter."

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Not held in contempt? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39518449)

I'm surprised that he wasn't being held in contempt.. or similar.. for not handing over his keys..

Re:Not held in contempt? (4, Informative)

DaHat (247651) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518499)

Being held in contempt would require a judge making such an order that was violated... in this case, it was simply CBP/DHS.

Re:Not held in contempt? (5, Funny)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518583)

Not only that, but it's meanIngless since everyone holds the DHS in contempt.

Re:Not held in contempt? (3, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519211)

Doesn't that mean the DHS should be arrested?

Re:Not held in contempt? (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519581)

Well, for that to happen we'd have to have a justice system. I'm not holding my breath for that, but then again I didn't expect to see the Berlin wall come down in my lifetime.

-jcr

Re:Not held in contempt? (5, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518589)

If being in contempt of DHS was punishable, we would all be in jail.

Re:Not held in contempt? (5, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518759)

If being in contempt of DHS was punishable, we would all be in jail.

They are working on that.

Re:Not held in contempt? (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519801)

dude, you're in jail too?! btw, the food suck here, amirite?

Re:Not held in contempt? (5, Informative)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518669)

Try to keep up:

In United States v. Doe a federal appeals court 11th circuit ruled on feb 24 2012 that forcing decryption of ones laptop violates fifth amendment.[20][21]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_disclosure_law#United_States [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not held in contempt? (0)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519471)

Oh, it's so rare that you hear about our country doing something right. How very pleasant.

Re:Not held in contempt? (2)

Monoman (8745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520953)

I suggest everyone read up on that ruling and understand it was applied to a very specific situation.

Re:Not held in contempt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39521371)

There have been conflicting rullings on that subject. In one case pople have been required by the courts to hand them over, but in other rullings it has been said they are not required to.

Everybody needs to be documenting every court rulling they hear about. Date, Times, Court, and case, and keep a record of it to present as soon as we hear something contradictory to it.

Now, You have no obligation to obey any law that is unconstitutional, even if it has not been declared as such.

Re:Not held in contempt? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39522569)

And what happens with conflicting rulings is eventually they work their way up to the Supreme Court, where the "conservative" judges, who are currently arguing that the Constitution presents us with a "limited" federal government, will rule that the government can do whatever the damn hell it wants if it's fighting "terrorism".

Inconsistent? (5, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518461)

If they can't violate the 1st Amendment, then why can they violate the 4th?

Is this just setting up a contradiction that will land in the Supreme Court?

Not Inconsistent... (5, Insightful)

IBitOBear (410965) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518625)

Violating the First Amendment is a violation of Apparent Freedom(tm) and is part of Political Theater(tm).

Violating the Fourth Amendment is a violation of Apparent Secrecy(tmp and is part of Security Theater(tm).

The DHS, in its puppet role over the TSA is in charge of Security Theater(tm) and so had no leg to stand on against the First Amendment.

If proper form were followed, the DHS would have picked a fight with House in a public place away from the border but within view of a political edifice, and "accidentally damaged" the material seized, then claimed it was known to contain child pornogrpahy because someone saw it over House's shoulder.

In short, this was all a failure of Due Process, as they used the entirely incorrect Rail Road in its persuit.

It'll be fixed in post production before air... just you wait...

Re:Not Inconsistent... (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518685)

You lost me at "persuit".

Re:Not Inconsistent... (5, Insightful)

IBitOBear (410965) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518937)

Railroading someone in pursuit of "Justice(tm)" has become commonplace in this country. Each form of railroading has its very onw pro-forma means and mode of operation. In drugs offenses, for instance, they get to weigh the packaging as part of the drug and assign "street value" that corresponds to no known street in order to lay on extra charges etc. In this case they used border seizure on a politically undersireable person. This was not the correct means or venue. e.g. "they picked the wrong railroad" to go after this guy. (the e instad of u was just a typo.)

Re:Not Inconsistent... (5, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519603)

Long been commonplace. It's standard practice in computer crime to count the cost of securing the computers as damages - that's how a hacker (Or more often, script kiddie with luck) can break into a system, do nothing, leave, and still do enough 'damage' to make it a felony.

Re:Not Inconsistent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39518975)

In proper form, DHS could have simply asked DoD for a drone strike while he was still on foreign soil, or while his plane was outside U.S. airspace...

Re:Not Inconsistent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39521437)

DHS does violate this and many other laws all the time. Why are they not arrested? If they ever tried that on somebody in front of me, I would arrest the DHS agent on the spot for Interfearing with Constitutional Rights.

FYI "Apparent Freedom", "Political Theater", "Apparent Secrecy" and "Security Theater" are not trademarkable phrases because they are generic and have been used for many years, by many people and in many way.

Re:Inconsistent? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39518635)

Amendments are obviously written in order of importance. Border searches are more important than the 4th amendment but less than the 1st. I think that it in fact lies somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd amendments in terms of importance.

Re:Inconsistent? (5, Funny)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518863)

Amendments are obviously written in order of importance

Oh shit, that means I have to give up alcohol!

Re:Inconsistent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39522857)

Amendments are obviously written in order of importance. Border searches are more important than the 4th amendment but less than the 1st. I think that it in fact lies somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd amendments in terms of importance.

Read the 9th amendment.

Re:Inconsistent? (5, Informative)

PatPending (953482) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518677)

Oh, for goodness sake, RTFA:

Under the "border search exception" of United States criminal law, international travelers can be searched without a warrant as they enter the U.S. Under the Barack Obama administration, law enforcement agents have aggressively used this power to search travelers' laptops, sometimes copying the hard drive before returning the computer to its owner. Courts have ruled that such laptop searches can take place even in the absence of any reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing.

Re:Inconsistent? (4, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519219)

Which is why if I travel international from now on I remove my hard drives and replace them with a sanitized factory OS that only contains pictures of kittens and puppies. Anything really important can be retrieved over a VPN and then decrypted. Coming back into the US I have the hard drives removed and shipped before hand. Fuck em.

Of course that is a temporary measure and most likely useless when the DHS greatly expands its role to bus stops, truck weighing stations, interior border checkpoints, and the friendly mall nearest you.....

Eventually they will solve unemployment by making some barely educated moron, who graduated their fast track "degree in the security arts", pat me down entering and leaving my house.

Re:Inconsistent? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519295)

don't forget freeway rest areas, the most likely
hangout for the DHS and TSA

jr

Re:Inconsistent? (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39522333)

Careful, they might sieze your machine for having kitty porn on it then, which they would then claim with a strait face was 'technically true'.

Re:Inconsistent? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519273)

Oh, for goodness sake, RTFA:

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, except outside U.S. borders or when the Congress decides to set up departments to do otherwise.

Re:Inconsistent? (5, Insightful)

Loki_666 (824073) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519445)

Wait a minute! Doesn't this mean if they copy the contents then they may be pirating software, films, and music? .

Re:Inconsistent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39520293)

That's like saying the drugs officers confiscate would be breaking laws by their possession.

Re:Inconsistent? (4, Funny)

stealth_finger (1809752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520397)

Wait a minute! Doesn't this mean if they copy the contents then they may be pirating software, films, and music? .

Someone call the RIAA, maybe these two behemoths can bludgeon each other to death over a long drawn out battle and leave the rest of us the fuck alone for a while.

Re:Inconsistent? (2)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519585)

Under the "border search exception" of United States criminal law,

Which does not trump the constitution. I'm very glad to see someone litigating this issue.

-jcr

Re:Inconsistent? (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518703)

The same supreme court that allowed the creation of super PAC's or "corporations are people"?

Re:Inconsistent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519537)

No. "Corporations are people" comes from the Supreme Court of about 200 years ago, and from England before that.

Re:Inconsistent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39520501)

Corporations are not, and have never been people in England.

Re:Inconsistent? (3, Interesting)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39522373)

Actually, the 'corporate personhood' in the US started as an outgrowth of how British law handled the issue, so the basic framework did indeed come form England.

Re:Inconsistent? (5, Interesting)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518719)

Re:Inconsistent? (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520991)

See, I've always recommended this map [aclu.org] , also by the ACLU, that shows exactly where in the US your civil liberties are being protected properly.

Re:Inconsistent? (4, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518801)

Warrantless, causeless border searches of closed containers by customs agents have been permissible since the beginning of the Republic under an act passed by the First Congress on July 31, 1787, merely 4 weeks after the ratification.

What makes this act constitutional is the power granted to Congress under the Constitution to regulate commerce between nations and enforce immigration laws.

It is VERY unlikely that the Supreme Court will touch this principle that has been in force for 230 years.

Re:Inconsistent? (4, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519075)

What makes this act constitutional is the power granted to Congress under the Constitution to regulate commerce between nations and enforce immigration laws.

It is VERY unlikely that the Supreme Court will touch this principle that has been in force for 230 years.

And what would make it UN-constitutional is if the search and seizure were done to silence domestic political opposition. Which is why the judge is allowing the case to proceed.

Correct but also the GP is correct (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519713)

He was answering the original question. Searches at the border don't violate the 4th amendment. It doesn't say "no searches" or anything like that, it say there can't be any "unreasonable searches".

What is reasonable varies with the situation. For your home, it is pretty high. A warrant is required in almost all cases. For the border, it is pretty low. The SC has decided there is no expectation of privacy there, that the government has a right to secure its borders, and so on and as such they don't even need probable cause to do a search.

Hence the answer to the original question that no, these searches don't violate the 4th amendment.

In terms of this particular one, we'll see. If the search was done on account of they don't like what the person had to say or their politics, then yes it'll get ruled illegal. The searches at the border aren't unlimited, they can't be used as harassment, they just have a low standard. If the government had a legit reason for the search, then it is fine. It would also be ok if it was a random search (it wasn't, but if it was it would be ok).

More or less the reason they could be in trouble is if the purpose of the search was to harass him in an attempt to suppress his first amendment rights. That would be illegal. If the search was for another purpose, that would be legal.

Re:Inconsistent? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39522425)

Which would be a violation of the FIRST Amendment, not the FOURTH, which is what we were discussing.

Re:Inconsistent? (4, Insightful)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518925)

First remember that the 4th Amendment does not actually require a warrant before the government can search your property. It just requires that searches be "reasonable." It's just that in most cases the courts have held that reasonableness requires a warrant. Not so, they have said, at the border where travelers expect that they might be searched and where the government has a heightened interest in controlling what moves in and out of the country. Imagine trying to enforce customs regulations without an ability to search! (Note that I don't agree with all of the powers that the government claims flow from this, but this should help to explain why at least some of what they do is OK under the 4th Amendment.)

But the government can't enforce its laws in a way that infringe on other rights. So, for example, the police can't decide to only pull over black people for speeding, even if they were actually speeding. Or, here, the government can't decide to only seize the property of people who belong to the wrong organizations (such as the Bradley Manning Support Network). That would violate the 1st Amendment just as pulling over only black people for speeding would violate the 14th.

Re:Inconsistent? (1)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519423)

IIRC, the 4th amendment came from the Stamp Act. Under the Stamp Act, British law allowed for soldiers to essentially write their own search warrants. Naturally, the colonists weren't too happy about this and thus the intent of the ratifiers of the 4th amendment is that to search private property a search warrant must be issued.

Re:Inconsistent? (3, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519595)

British law allowed for soldiers to essentially write their own search warrants.,

It was actually worse than that. A soldier could write out a "writ of assistance" that compelled people to help him conduct the search, including the person whose property was being searched. It was as bad as the "PATRIOT" act.

-jcr

Re:Inconsistent? (2)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519613)

Yes, but one of those Acts resulted in a revolution. For the other the people have just bent over and spread their buttocks.

Re:Inconsistent? (4, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519857)

Imagine trying to enforce customs regulations without an ability to search!

Without the ability to search laptop hard drives? OK, I'll try to imagine that... Done. In fact, it was really easy. Here's how it goes:

You search things like trailers and trunks that carry physical things. Physical things that cannot cross the border via the Internet. Then, you don't search the hard drives, because they are not particularly useful for transporting Cuban cigars or Persian rugs.

Hard drives are only good for transporting data, which can travel just as easily through the Internet, or on a micro SD card that the border agents would not be able to find without stripping the vehicle to component parts. The increased probability of catching even a moderately intelligent data trafficker by checking laptop hard drives is vanishingly small, and utterly insufficient to be reasonable cause for avoiding a fourth amendment violation.

Which is to say; customs enforcement is not remotely credible as the actual, underlying justification for searching a hard drive.

Therefore, the objective of the executive in doing such searches must be something other than customs enforcement. Those objectives may be fine and wonderful things, but they are not directly related to crossing the border. The border crossing is the distinguishing event; the proximate source of reasonableness that prevents a violation of the fourth from a warrantless search. If the infraction in question is not directly related to the crossing of the border, the crossing of the border cannot be the means to satisfy the reasonableness requirement in a rational society.

Re:Inconsistent? (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39521253)

I agree! That's why I said "Note that I don't agree with all of the powers that the government claims flow from this." I think that the legality of seizing hard drives is a closer call than most /.ers do, but I ultimately agree that it's unconstitutional. I think it's usually more helpful, though, for me to make the legal case against the /. conventional wisdom when I can than to just report my own opinion. (And, honestly, the /.ers are often so confidently smug in their completely incorrect legal opinions that that disagreeing is sometimes irresistible. -- IAAL, btw.)

Also note, though, that customs enforcement was just an example. The government also, of course, has a particular national security interest at the border that, coupled with the fact that travelers should expect to be searched, causes them (and, unfortunately also the law to some degree) to conclude they can do just about anything they want within 100 miles of the border. This is a little ironic because they actually can't search your person without probably cause, even at the border -- that would violate your privacy!

Idea of amendments (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519775)

The entire idea of amendments is flawed. The people have forgotten obviously that the Federal government only exists as an agreement among States (ratification is signing a contract), and the Constitution enumerates the powers of the federal government. But this means that the governments has no powers except for those that are listed in Article 1, section 8, however amendments cloud this issue for the crowd (supposedly not for judges and politicians, right?) and the crowd believes that the government is allowed everything and it is only limited by the amendments.

It was probably the first step on the way of destroying the contract that was the Constitution - allowing the amendments in the first place.

Of-course the original document shouldn't have been signed the way it was proposed because of various included violations of the human rights in the first place ( blacks are not full people, etc.)

Re:Idea of amendments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39521009)

Ergo, why a new constitution every 50 years is a GOOD idea.

I'm hoping (5, Funny)

Lucky_Pierre (175635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518563)

For change.

Re:I'm hoping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39518713)

Nope and Unchanged

From the article--

Under the Barack Obama administration, law enforcement agents have aggressively used this power to search travelers' laptops, sometimes copying the hard drive before returning the computer to its owner.

Re:I'm hoping (3, Funny)

rastos1 (601318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519579)

I'm hoping ... for change.

Here. My $0.02. They are now yours. That's all you'll get.

Police State (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39518569)

This country was founded (in part) to protect people from the very shenanigans going on now re: unlawful search and seizure. Most of this crap is being justified under the umbrella of the "war on terror." The current occupant was elected by in large to combat the Bush era Patriot Act and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Perhaps we have met the enemy.

Re:Police State (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39518617)

We have met the enemy, and he is us. We're the ones who assumed BHO would be different from GWB.

Re:Police State (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39518665)

"We have met the enemy, and he is us. We're the ones who assumed BHO would be different from GWB."

You can vote against Obama in the coming election.

I voted for him in the first election but now that I know he
is a liar I will vote for his opponent if only to see Obama's lying ass
replaced with a different liar.

Re:Police State (4, Insightful)

eldorel (828471) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518965)

Voting against someone implies voting for someone else.

All i'm seeing is the same shit sandwich with different kinds of bread.


Sorry, not hungry.

Re:Police State (2)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519073)

Me too.
But we can vote on gay marriage or some other tiny issue. The big issues have nobody to vote for and have not since Carter. Nobody honest is going to fly into office after a disaster because those guys are not allowed to rise in todays system even Obama coming "from nowhere" was fake, it was to appease the public with an outsider and a feeling of change helped by the symbolism of his skin color. Even the backlash is now engineered.

Some of us "depressing" people saw all this coming but nobody can handle the truth anymore. Hell, "Dr. Doom" was what they ridiculed the only honest economist talking publicly about the pending collapse. The morons who were 150% wrong are still respected pundits and allowed on TV at every opportunity. (Sports pundits seem to be handled no differently either.)

Re:Police State (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519143)

Ah, but it still hurts if your side doesn't get to stay in power longer than one term.

Even if both sides are interchangeable, suppose everyone alternates between voting D one election, and R the next, etc. Then we're ensuring that no president gets more than four years, and once they're out it's highly unlikely they'll be a viable candidate again, 4-8 years later: Some other guy from the party will eat their second lunch.

So the punishment is they get power for a few years, and then they're has-beens just when they started to get comfortable. Moreover, the next bunch of guys will probably nullify their "work" on ideological grounds before it's had time to have an effect. If they don't want that punishment, they can act in the interests of the people, and be rewarded with a second election win.

Re:Police State (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519623)

You're assuming both parties aren't working for the same people. If they are, then the people they work for could give a rats ass how often we vote them out. We're just trading one puppet for another.

Re:Police State (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520065)

More than two sides exist.

Re:Police State (4, Interesting)

eldorel (828471) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520377)

While there are more than two parties, the simple fact is that no third party candidate has even been on the ballot in every district in the past 20 years.

I've already talked about this in other threads over the past few years, but here it is again.
Last presidential election I was asked to leave my voting district after asking for a write in vote because the candidate I wanted was not available.

I even called the police department about it, expecting to have an officer preset to insure I didn't "disturb the peace".
Instead I was told to just vote for one of the people on the ballot and play nice.

How can we get anyone through the system that isn't a republican or democrat if they aren't allowed on the ballot, on TV, and aren't even allowed to participate in the "Open Debates" in places like ohio?

Re:Police State (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39521049)

Expecting a new party to stand a chance in the presidential elections is like expecting to become CEO on your first day at a company. Start with local and state elections. Get a few people in and show that they're competent. Then stand for congress. Once you've got a few people in congress, use their voting records and speeches when campaigning for president. The only time I know of political parties becoming established and successful more quickly than this have been in new democracies or when they were formed by a group of people leaving an established party.

Re:Police State (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39521581)

Start with local and state elections. Get a few people in and show that they're competent. Then stand for congress.

All the while that you're working on the political machine, the political machine is working on you. By the time you actually achieve any power, you're beholden to the same special interests you set out to oppose.

The only time I know of political parties becoming established and successful more quickly than this have been in new democracies

Exactly. The only chance we have is to call America done and start over.

Re:Police State (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39521545)

In this instance you vote for a third party.

Voting Republican if you're a civil libertarian tells the Democrats not that they lost civil libertarians, but that they lost conservatives, and thus pushes the Democrats to the right, while causing issues on civil liberties to be ignored.

What you do is find a third party that is more representative of your views than the parties of power.

Policy wonks and party management generally ignore non-voters: they look at who votes and who they voted for. If a small party seems to have attracted a lot of voters who'd normally be in your camp, you look into why they voted against you, and see what you can do to win them over next time.

But this "I have to vote for the two biggest parties or not vote at all" crap has to stop. If you want clear blue water between both parties, with at least one actually representing your point of view, you do the world a disservice if you don't take a positive action to force the parties to change.

Re:Police State (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519345)

"We have met the enemy, and he is us. We're the ones who assumed BHO would be different from GWB."

You can vote against Obama in the coming election.

I voted for him in the first election but now that I know he
is a liar I will vote for his opponent if only to see Obama's lying ass
replaced with a different liar.

That's sad. You think you're being clever but you are doing exactly what they want you to do. BHO, GWB, etc may have different faces but they all work for the same side. You think you're striking a blow against BHO, and you are, but in doing so you ignore the fact your enemy wins nonetheless - tactically it's a victory, but strategically it's another defeat.
Republicans and Democrats alternate in screwing you and every time it happens you run to the other one, only to be screwed once more.

Re:Police State (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519417)

Who is this "we"? I voted for Ron Paul in '08. Serves you right for voting strategically. The true victims here are the libertarians who were dragged along by the stirrups.

Maybe next time you'll become a delegate so you can have a say at the national convention! Everyone knows the national election is over before it starts. You either hijack the nomination from the Republicrats or you get to choose the lesser of two evils in a single party system.

Re:Police State (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519601)

We're the ones who assumed BHO would be different from GWB.

Speak for yourself. It was obvious to a lot of people that the teleprompter-in-chief was a wholly-owned minion of Goldman Sachs before he even set foot in the Senate chamber for the first time.

-jcr

Re:Police State (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39523055)

Well some of us are just happy with the facts that we are not yet at war with Iran, are on schedule for getting our ugly mugs out of Iraq and Afghanistan, are generally on the "right" side of the Arab spring, and are not in another arms race with Russia. Just to give a few examples. There's this thing called reality where nasty things like killing people's families on foreign soil for reasons that are demonstrated to be flim-flam has genuine and long-lasting drawbacks. Pretending there is "no difference" is simply a disingenuous strategy by one side to try to make the other forget things like this.

And your comment is basically nonsense anyway because it is largely congress, not the administration, that has dropped the ball on reigning in the finance industry. And most of the "bailout" was already in motion by the time Obama took office. Most of the really nasty deals seemed to happen in December -- under the lame-duck.

Re:Police State (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518691)

Besides pointing out the obvious as an AC on /. what do you intend to do about it?

Strongly worded letter (4, Interesting)

PatPending (953482) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518623)

Anyone have a link to (or copy of) the ACLU's "strongly worded letter" to the TSA? Its contents might prove useful to others in a similar situation.

Re:Strongly worded letter (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39518705)

No, but I can point you to the many strongly-worded letters I've sent to politicians, manufacturers, restaurants, and TV Guide, concerning various topics. They're all excellent examples of strongly-worded letters that had no effect.

Re:Strongly worded letter (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518833)

Return his equipment OR ELSE.....!

Signed,
ACLU

Re:Strongly worded letter (4, Funny)

iamgnat (1015755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518947)

Return his equipment OR ELSE.....!

We'll put you in the COMFY CHAIR!

Re:Strongly worded letter (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519039)

Considering it was the ACLU that sent it I wouldn't be surprised if threats of litigation were included.

Re:Strongly worded letter (5, Informative)

solarissmoke (2470320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519209)

Re:Strongly worded letter (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519407)

Awesome! Thank you!

Re:Strongly worded letter (3, Funny)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520607)

As an Englishman, I can obtusely say that that's no strongly worded letter.

Where's the wit? The wow-words? The insulting, demeaning tone? The hidden threats?

And, at five pages, that novel was four pages too long.

God save the Queen.

Re:Strongly worded letter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39520651)

Dear Sir,

I wish to protest in the strongest possible terms your reply. It is well known that you are considered quite silly and it is rumored you have attempted to offend every one on the planet!

And another thing -- why can't you cover the good things on the Internet, like many of the wonderful sites containing the poems of Carlton Vladivostok?

Yours, etc.

Brigadier General Sir Charles Uppington Smythe (Mrs.)

Re:Strongly worded letter (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#39521973)

The English do seem to have mastered the art of rhetoric. I did enjoy watching one of the "discussion" in the British Parliament after Gordon Brown got back from one of the bailout meetings late last year when I was in Europe. It was dramatically different from what I have seen in the US in our congressional debates.

Galloway V. the U.S. Senate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39522835)

...or "what happens when a politician who is used to having to explain himself to everybody encounters a roomful of politicians who don't feel they have to explain themselves to anybody."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrdFFCnYtbk

Look Out! (4, Funny)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518629)

He's got a strongly worded letter!

Re:Look Out! (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519223)

So long as it's not a French Letter.

Another ass wiped with our Constitution (2)

SirBitBucket (1292924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518657)

Why is it that our asinine politicians in both parties have no respect for the Constitution anymore? I thought at least this crap would get better under Obama. Instead it has only gotten worse...

Re:Another ass wiped with our Constitution (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519009)

because the average american hates the constitution and any time you say we should follow it people call you a "fucking libertarian" or a paultard... and they wonder why they live in a police state...

Re:Another ass wiped with our Constitution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519605)

That's usually because you're proposing a strict interpretation which doesn't have any basis in case law. The US constitution hasn't been interpreted literally in centuries. It's mostly held literally when convenient for one side or the other.

Re:Another ass wiped with our Constitution (2)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519021)

No, not that much changed is the problem; even that part about killing US citizen terrorists was claimed to be already possible from a previous law (which expired or wasn't explicit enough to satisfy John McCain; i forget which but the OTHER candidate wrote the bill... and I think a veto wouldn't have stopped it anyhow, which they knew wasn't going to happen before they voted.)

It is that no ass kissing politician (does anybody vote for anything else?) has the guts to stop something that they KNOW will be used to blame any future nutcase's actions on them-- even if the guy is stopped, it'll be "why did he get that far?" "We would have stopped that if we had --Fascist law-- that the evil --honest politician-- repealed." The only safe thing would be to arrest him BEFORE he commits the crime, then they will not make that attack stick but instead rant about freedom to not be arrested prematurely, until they are in power... then the two sides switch strategies. You'd think TV nation would recognize a redo; oh wait, they don't. Aren't they redoing Spiderman soon? - already

Plus Obama doesn't even have the guts to be impeached for invoking the 14th Amendment; which was one of the threats during the whole farce about the illegal debt ceiling.

Re:Another ass wiped with our Constitution (1)

ppanon (16583) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519591)

To be fair, it would be the Senate that would need to have the guts to impeach Obama since impeachment of the President is a Senatorial responsibility.

Can We Search You ? (4, Funny)

rust627 (1072296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518877)

Yes We Can !

Re:Can We Search You ? (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519459)

That's Barack O'Bob the Builder for ya.

Re:Can We Search You ? (1)

mSparks43 (757109) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520351)

Somehow I seriously doubt Obama is taking peoples laptops at the Border.
Especially since he is letting people sue the ones who were.

Re:Can We Search You ? (1)

kbolino (920292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520977)

From TFS:

David Maurice House, an MIT researcher and Bradley Manning supporter, was granted the right to pursue a case against the government on Wednesday after a federal judge denied the government's motion to dismiss.

The administration was against allowing the lawsuit. The courts thought otherwise. We have multiple branches of government, and they're not all run by the President.

Cervical fusion (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519657)

The post is very informative. It is a pleasure reading it. I have also bookmarked you for checking out new posts.

Cervical fusion [erikbendiksmd.com]

Re:Cervical fusion (1, Offtopic)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519985)

Why don't you fuse your asshole to your mouth so you have more difficulty spamming people with your ad?

Manipulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519725)

However great the intention of the constitution, it is being manipulated like passages from the bible at a Sunday school.
There is nothing more distortable than sweeping statements put into law.

Gah (1)

mad-seumas (59267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520135)

I thought that getting Gentoo to boot as an HVM under an ancient Xen Dom0 was going to be the thing that made me the angriest today, but then I read this story...

Our very own gestapo, and all it took was one well-placed terrorist attack, a decade of festering, and a populace with no will to stop it.

Re:Gah (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39521047)

If you think this is anything like the Gestapo, you should go read a book. Senseless hyperbole like yours is just as dangerous as the apathy you decry.

Las Vegas Strip Clubs (-1, Offtopic)

giahills (2605233) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520365)

It is pleasure a going through your post. I have bookmarked you to check out new stuff from your side. Las Vegas Strip Clubs [vipnvegas.com]

Headless Beast (1)

jduhls (1666325) | more than 2 years ago | (#39521553)

Ah, the Military Industrial Complex again rears its Anti-American/Freedom/Privacy head. Eisenhower, 1961 [youtube.com] : never forget.

relevance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39521665)

how is being a bradley manning supporter in any way relevant to challenging the fishing expeditions they do at the border?

I support manning, but I don't bring that up when it isn't relevant. maybe everyone should mention that they support manning to the waiter next time they go to a restaurant.

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