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Archive for the ‘Civil Liberties’ Category

Big Brother Will be Watching

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 6, 2013

A bit of levity for today, tied in with some serious issues concerning privacy and governmental intervention that are getting a bit too close to the mark.  Click on the link below titled Ordering a Pizza in 2015 and chuckle through your frown.

Ordering a Pizza in 2015


Posted in Civil Liberties | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Justice Department Memo Authorizes Assassination of American Citizens

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 5, 2013

NBC News’s investigative correspondent, Michael Isikoff, reported on a chilling story of governmental overreach.  Isikoff reported on a confidential Justice Department memo that authorizes the US government to assassinate American citizens located outside of the United States.  Should the government conclude that such individuals are “senior operational leaders” of known terrorist organizations, they have the legal authority to assassinate such individuals even without evidence of imminent threat to the United States.

The shocking Justice Department memo is likely created to be cover for future legal actions that may be taken against Americans who authorize this ultimate of sanctions.  In September 2011 a US drone strike in Yemen killed American citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan who were supposedly involved with Al Qaeda.

Deputy legal director of the ACLU, Jameel Jaffer, rightfully said of the Administration’s plan:

This is a chilling document.  Basically, it argues that the government has the right to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen.  …  It recognizes some limits on the authority it sets out, but the limits are elastic and vaguely defined, and it’s easy to see how they could be manipulated.”

It is remarkable how far we have come in four years.  Shortly after his first election Barack Obama and his Atty. Gen. Eric Holder threaten criminal action against government employees involved in waterboarding suspected terrorists during the Bush administration.  Since then the President has used assassinations without due process on the same type of individuals and creates a legal memo for justification.  Where is the moral outrage from the Left?

President Obama is indeed a uniter.  Who else could have gotten this Blogger and the ACLU on the same page on an important issue!

Posted in ACLU, Civil Liberties | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

President Obama Extends Patriot Act

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 31, 2011

At the later part of his European jaunt, President Obama extended two key parts of the USA Patriot Act for four years.  The provisions that required renewal are the roving wiretaps for an individual rather than a specific line, and court-ordered searches of business records and surveillance of non-American, so-called “lone wolf” suspects.  In signing the extensions the President said: “It’s an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat.”

Opposition to extending the Patriot Act comes from an unusual coalition of conservative-Libertarians and Civil-liberty liberals.  Both sides see the dangers of a government that grows more powerful with each new crisis; real or imagined.

It is remarkable that with candidate Obama’s many complaints about his predecessor, George W. Bush’s civil liberties related actions, the President continues down his predecessor’s path since taking office.  This latest example joins Obama’s decision to leave GITMO open.  In June 2007, Obama promised: “While we’re at it, we’re going to close Guantanamo.  And we’re going to restore habeas corpus.  …..  We’re going to lead by example – by not just word but by deed.  That’s our vision for the future.”

This President’s vision is clear hard to pin down.  Just as troubling is the mainstream media’s unwillingness to question the President on his broken promises.  When Progressives are starting wars (Libya) or trampling on civil liberties, the silence from the media and Leftist in general is deafening.

Posted in Civil Liberties, President Obama | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Shuts Down Internet Sites

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 27, 2010

The Hill reported that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a part of the Homeland Security Department, has shut down certain internet websites in recent days.  Examples include www.borntrade.com, www.51607.com, and www.amoyhy.com.  A visit to these sites will result in a notice that the Federal government has seized the domain name.

The sites have been shut down because they have been supposedly involved with some form of copyright infringement, including downloading copyrighted music or selling bootleg goods.  While the intention of the government seems reasonable at this time, it has been reported that the sites have been shut down without notice or any due process.  That raises questions and concerns as to future governmental uses of this power that could be less noble.

While the mainstream media was correctly quick to point out the Bush Administration’s usurping of power in the name of protecting American, they ignore the growing abuses in this area by the Obama Administration.  That same mainstream media screams when ICE attempts to deport illegal aliens, but offers not a complaint when that agency oversteps in other areas of civil liberties.  Further, how has a copyright issue been moved to Homeland Security Department?  that seems to be an over reaching of power.

The actions of the Obama Administration indicate that it cares not about civil liberties and government abuse of power, as long as those abuses help fulfill its political agenda.  Coincidentally, ICE’s attack on copyright infringement does serve the President’s constituents in Hollywood quite well.


Posted in Civil Liberties, Immigration and Customs Enforcement | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »