The United Police States of America?

by Admin on March 25, 2013

It seems each week, the U.S. seems to be looking more and more like a militarized police state than a country with a foundation in freedom.

Chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — in 23 states, to be exact — have filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with local law enforcement agencies to assess the status of militarization in the country.

A worthwhile effort, given the recent enormous and extreme purchase by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). For a country that thinks it needs over two billion dollars worth of ammunition for internal “training,” it will be interesting to see the results of the assessment.

The Raw Story reports that the requests will focus on “several areas of police training and equipment, including how many special weapons and tactics teams are operating and how many times they’ve been deployed, the weapons they used, any civilian casualties caused by SWAT operations and where their training and funding is coming from,” as well as drone use.

Chaninat and Leeds attorneys are Criminal Defense Lawyers specializing in Thai criminal cases involving foreigners.

While the ACLU’s initiative is a small step in a positive direction, the Patriot movement was dealt a blow in a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. SCOTUS ruled 5-4 that a group of attorneys, journalists and human rights activists cannot sue against the constitutionality of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

A 2008 amendment to FISA eliminates the wiretapping requirement that a target be a “foreign power or an agent of a foreign power,” and the warrant to wiretap the target must identify the facility where the electronic surveillance is going to be used. Simply put, the amendment  authorizes warrant-less, international “roving wiretaps” of communications.

The plaintiffs argued that the amendment was infringing on the Fourth Amendment. Their case was thrown out, not because of the claim itself, but because the plaintiffs reportedly did not have the right to sue. They couldn’t prove “that the interception of their phone calls and emails was ‘certainly impending.” That legal standing has never before been used in a case.

To no surprise, the Justice Department praised the majority decision.

 

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