L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 289, September 19, 2004
Today Is International Talk Like A Pirate Day!
Survey of the Bill of Rights: Article 6
Exclusive to TLE
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Looking over the Sixth Amendment, it is very plain, to anyone except a politician, a bureaucrat, or a fool (is there any difference?), that the Patriot Act is totally unconstitutional, along with many other government actions and laws.
One case in particular points out the illegality of the Patriot Act in all particulars. That is the case of Jose Padilla. This man was accused of planning to set off a 'dirty bomb'. He was arrested, incarcerated in a US Navy brig, and for over two years, was not allowed to communicate with anyone, nor was he allowed legal representation. Finally, after more than two years without legal representation, he supposedly confesses to planning to blow up apartment buildings. Huh? What happened to the 'dirty bomb?' After all this time, do you suppose he agreed to confess to this, just to stop the legal oblivion he was in? Do you think he might have been told that if he didn't confess to something, he would never see the light of day again? I hate even thinking this way about our government, but after Ruby Ridge, Waco, the travesty of the Congressional investigations into these two incidents, and the actions of federal prosecutors in the OKC bombing case and the current terrorism trials, it's kind of hard NOT to think the worst of our government. Not to mention the totally reprehensible conduct of the judge in the Branch Davidian trial!
No, my friends, it is quite obvious that the government agents in the so-called justice system, from the prosecutors to the judges, have, by and large, totally forgotten what the Sixth Amendment means, or why it was enacted. Is it a 'speedy and public trial' when you might have to wait months or years to get your case heard? Is it a speedy and public trial when you might be tried for your life on charges of terrorism, by a military tribunal? Is it speedy and public when the Patriot Act authorizes secret trials, for reasons of 'national security?' Is it public when the agents of the bureaucracy so fear the citizens that they choose to barricade themselves behind batteries of metal detectors and squads of armed cops? Don't you think that this in itself might be more than a little intimidating to many of the averages Joes and Janes out there? Is it legal, to arrest someone for a crime on the unsupported word of a convicted felon, who usually is not required to testify in person, thereby depriving the accused of the right to face his accuser? Is it legal to deprive a person of legal representation for months or years, while the government builds a case against him, even a specious one?
Supposedly, the Sixth Amendment lays out the bare bones of 'due process of law.' If this is true, then the actions of the Justice Department, various federal prosecutors and judges, and the totally illegal and unconstitutional agency 'courts', such as are run by the IRS, have totally and completely abrogated the social contract we are supposedly bound by (the Constitution) In other words, the government and its agencies have unilaterally decided that they are no longer bound by the Constitution, and only maintain a bare fiction of being bound to avoid any adverse consequences of their actions.
I have used this analogy before, but it seems to be quite apt: Suppose your landlord (or mortgage holder) decided to unilaterally raise your rent, then threatened to shoot you if you tried to move out or argue with him. You have no recourse at all. Isn't this pretty much the same thing that the government is doing to us, with all its violations of the Bill of Rights?
As always, I encourage each and every one of you to check it out for yourselves. I assure you, there are many more examples than I have the space to go into here. Prove to yourselves that I am telling you the truth. And again, never, ever take my unsupported word for anything, and still less the word of any government or media agency or official.